THINGS I SAID RIGHT BEFORE IT HAPPENED:
Please, I really don’t want to have sex. I actually do love my boyfriend a lot.
I can’t move my legs. Please help me get to bed. I’m tired. I just want to lay down. I don’t know what the hell I drank tonight.
Don’t touch me there. My dad would be so mad at me if he found out.
*Nothing, because I was unconscious*
THINGS THAT WERE SAID TO ME AFTER IT HAPPENED:
I can’t believe you cheated on him. Do you think it’s fair because he cheated on you? I thought ya’ll got past that.
Maybe if you stopped wearing such tight clothing then boys wouldn’t see you that way.
You need to repent for causing your brother to stumble.
I think he really loves his girlfriend. It’s not worth hurting their relationship over. He was probably just really drunk too. It happens.
Maybe it isn’t smart for you to drink at all. You’re a pretty small girl.
You can’t tell anyone. I’m going on a missions trip next week.
You better take Plan B and not get yourself pregnant, you idiot.
I went back to the place where I was first sexually assaulted in middle school. I hadn’t been inside the church in so many years, but my dad still works in the offices upstairs, so I thought I’d go ahead and face this room on my way out after visiting him. I was feeling brave and motivated to heal after therapy earlier that day.
As I sat in front of the stove that he held me up against, I simply could not stop laughing. The women in my dad’s office that knew me when I was that little girl didn’t even recognize me. I’ve changed a lot in the past decade. This kitchen, however, looked and smelled and felt the exact same. I may have had the power to grow and evolve over the years, but this space did not, so it must be powerless.
I thought about all the times that I was told that room was where a curse had begun in my life, because I was raped 3 times by 3 different men and molested again after that day in that kitchen. I had the “Jezebel spirit” and countless other sexual demons “casted out of me” over and over and it never “stuck”. I was told that it happened because of how I dressed. I was told that the assaults were the only reason that I ever “decided” to be attracted to women too. I was told that this kept happening to me because I was harboring unforgiveness towards my father. Apparently, that was even the reason that I felt uncomfortable in my body.
I’ve blamed the church and this incident for a lot of pain.
But man, looking at this utterly powerless space just made me crack up. This spot did not set anything into motion in my life. I was not cursed. It wasn’t GOD’S FAULT or His plan. It’s wasn’t my outfit’s fault. It wasn’t MY FAULT. It wasn’t even anything that was ever meant for me. All it ever was was me in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with some very sick and selfish men. A few men that felt so small that they had to try to steal control and power from a little girl. But they were completely unsuccessful. I’ve been the only one holding my power this whole time.
I felt absolutely nothing sitting in front of that stove. Didn’t even feel enough to tell my therapist that I went in and faced it. Sexual assault really doesn’t have to have any credit in my life and my body and I’m not going to let anyone project a different decision onto me anymore.