Trigger warning: Rape, suicide *GRAPHIC*
I don’t want to remember, remember…
For me, this is the most terrifying night of the year. For anyone who hasn’t read my recent fireworks post, it might be a good idea to do that first, unless you’re here for the juicy stuff.
I was raped. Like so many other women I have spoken to, I’ve had the experience of having my skirt pulled up and rough hands pushed inside me against my will. I was drunk and he was friendly, at first. I was 13, and out in a short dress. Asking for it right? That seems to be the attitude of every (generally white male) judge sitting, wondering if it was his fault or hers. It is never hers, but when it comes to the law, to ‘justice’, most cases don’t even make it past the CPS. This is but one of the reasons that despite studying for a law degree, I wouldn’t work in that field however much you paid me. There is not justice.
Field. A field is where I was raped. I lived on the coast and there were amazing parks by the beach. Big areas of grass where you could picnic of play Frisbee. It was nice but I was ambivalent. I was 13. There were giggles and flirting. Rudimentary flirting, the kind only drunk, socially awkward teenager can pull off. There was kissing. I don’t even remember the point at which things went from being okay to being too much. You’d think it would be burned in my memory, but I’ve lived a lot of life since then, experienced a lot of pain. Sometimes it all blurs together. Sometimes is is crystal clear.
But I remember the fireworks. I will never forget them. Popping and banging as this man boy thrusted himself into a dry space that was not ready for him, that did not want him. I did say no. Did I say no? I did. He thought my skirt and the vodka on my breath said something else. I did not scratch and claw. I did not scream. I barely fought. I barely resisted. Not enough anyway, not enough to make me certain is had been rape. It wasn’t like the TV, where victims have blood under their nails and big purple bruises that showed the cops they fought. I was drunk and pliable. No was not enough. Turning away from his touch was not enough. Closing legs and pushing hands was not enough.
I remember the fireworks. As I left my body so as not to be a part of it, they popped and banged and fizzed. It was the soundtrack of my violation.
And when I took the paracetamol, a paltry amount; not to die but to make the pain stop, to make the shame stop, the Doctor treating me spoke of fireworks. She had to have one removed from her eye when it went off and flew in her direction. Fireworks hurt people. People hurt people. People feel and cry and rage. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. It’s hard to fight, when you don’t know what you’re fighting for, or against.
You tell the psychiatrist you are fine. You have to go after a suicide attempt. You don’t know why it happened. You don’t want to talk. Your mother is in the room and she already thinks you are a whore after finding the dress, covered in grass stains. It’s all about her. it’s always about her.
Fireworks hurt people. People hurt people. Never be vulnerable. Never let them in.
This was chapter one.
Disclaimer: I am okay. I have an action plan and I am with my husband. This too shall pass.