Friday, May 13, 2011

Taking Back My Night

I wish I had done this blog sooner, but someone’s story encouraged me to speak my mind and speak out.

Not too long ago, Voices Against Violence held an event during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, called Take Back the Night. For those that don’t know what Take Back the Night is, it is a night where people that have been sexually assaulted get to take back their night of being victimized. This is a chance for those to express their story at open mic. That night I expressed my story, but there were some parts that I did leave out because I was still not ready to confront what had happened to me. For right now, let me start with what I said at Take Back the Night.

*warning: this is triggering material. Keep in mind to take care of yourself, and stop reading when you feel triggered.*

It has been four years now that my life took a bad turn. It was New Years Eve of 2005, and by this point I was just starting my new life in college. I was finally away from my parents, away from high school, away from the hate of my sexual orientation, away from the place that I called home. I still long for that day to call it home again. But that’s not what I thought then. No, I thought that my home was my then girlfriend. She was my home, but my home was falling apart. I felt something terrible wrong in my home. Fights were happening left and right, name calling, worthlessness, thought of suicide, cheating…my home was falling apart and in my mind, I could save it by going back to where I grew up. All we needed was to hold each other. So for Christmas break, I went “home.” Little did I know, there was more than what I knew, and my home had changed. It felt like someone had broken in and completely desecrated the place. I was so lost and confused. I felt like I had no one. I couldn’t turn to my parents, so I sot comfort from my best friend. At 19, she had a family, for a couple of days; I was part of her family. I was with them almost every day, trying to make sense of what happened, still, just wanting my “home” back.

It was New Years Eve of 2005 and my best friend and her husband wanted me to party with them. I really was not in the mood but I went with them. I didn’t want to drink but I still had one or two. We went to a friend’s party and I chatted here and there. Then my best friend and her husband were ready to leave. Rocio, the best friend, was drunk, but I knew her all too well, she was just pretending. She tends to do that. When we got to their place, Rocio’s two sisters, and her newly born baby was asleep in the next room. I too just wanted to sleep, so I got on the couch, about to get ready for sleep, and that’s when Rocio and Sam (her husband) wanted me to continue drinking. I really didn’t want to; I just wanted the night to be over. But they were still making me the drink. Rocio comes over and tries to give me the drink, she starts forcing it on me. Putting the drink to my lips, forcing me to open my mouth, dropping the alcohol all over my pretty blouse, I stopped her and said, “Fine. Give me a class of water and I’ll drink both.” She brings me the glass of water. I take two sips from the drink she made me and the next thing I know, everything is a blur. One minute, I had the drink in my hand and the next minute it was on the floor. One minute, I was sitting up and the next I was laying down. Then Rocio laid down too and started to touch herself. Then she started to touch me. I just remember me telling her to stop, “no, stop,” and yelling for Sam, and telling him to stop her. For some reason, I couldn’t move. I would tell myself to move but I couldn’t. I felt something wrong. I knew I only had two drinks, “I can think clearly but why is this happening.” It all felt like a dream. Sam did come to stop her, but only to fuck her. He fucked her right next to me and somehow I became included into their sex. From here on, was bad. To explain is hard. The memories are scattered and blurred. One memory was him on top of me and other memory was her sharp, long, nails that were cutting me “down there.” A memory of just pain. Sheer pain. Uncontrollable pain. I remember one moment where I thought the pain would just go away, that my body was going to adapt to whatever they were sticking in me but it didn’t. It hurt the entire time. For hours I was raped. Over and over and over. Hours. I kept blacking out because of the drugs they gave and because of the pain. I felt like I no longer had a vagina. I remember screaming saying, “Stop. Stop!” I tried to fight back, but it was two against one. I tried so hard. For hours. Hours of pain. Nonstop pain. They did everything you could imagine to me. And I couldn’t stop it.

After that night, my whole life was gone. I wasn’t me anymore. I was this body, with no soul. I never reported them. I was afraid people wouldn’t believe me, or that I deserved it for having relations with another girl. I also didn’t want my parents to know. They still don’t know what I’ve gone through. They wouldn’t understand if I told them.

That was my story that I told at TBTN. And I look at it now, and I think that, just because I had liked both men and women didn’t mean that I was going to be up for anything.

I plan to continue my story one day. It’s hard to actually put my chaotic life on paper, especially when it’s a survivor’s story. Yeah, I said it, I consider myself a survivor. Then again, at times I don’t feel like I’m a survivor, but I guess that’s what you go through when traumatic events like this happens to a person. I have gone through so much in my life, and honestly, this is the first time that I’ve put my story in a public setting where anyone can see it any time they like. It’s a big step for me, but it feels right. I feel like my story is important for people to know who identify as queer because I know it was hard for me to say anything to anyone because of the fear of how people where going to treat me.

As of today, my journey has taken me through some crazy paths. I’ve been raped by a total of seven people. One of those people those people thought they could change my identity. I feel like this is a serious issue that is never talked about. Interpersonal violence is hardly talked about among straight people, and queer issues in general are suppressed, so can you imagine putting these two issues together. I never hear it being talked about.

It has taken me a long to get to where I am today, and I will continue to get stronger and be the voice for those that can’t have one.

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