SURVIVING THE MEMORIES SITE FOR SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT
ABBEY'S STORY

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Thorn In My Side by The Eurythmics

***T***
 
It was two years ago, I was almost 18 and had just moved to northern CA from a small town in Alaska.  My new home seemed like "the big city" to me since the population was more than a dozen  times larger than my hometown's. Despite having been kind of a "wild child" back home, I was still pretty naive & trusting.
 
    I'd known since my pre-teen years that I was attracted to girls, but I hadn't figured out whether or not  I felt "that way" about guys. Most of my friends were boys & it never occurred to me that they could be anything but friends - I was "one of the guys." So when this good looking older guy [8 yrs.] started paying attention to me, I was flattered. I felt something for him that I'd never felt for any guy, & in my naivete, I thought, "This must be what love feels like." I know now that it was admiration for this "cool," older guy & awe that he was attracted to lil' snotnose like me. The fact that he insisted on waiting till I turned 18 in a couple of months before he'd go out with me made me admire him even more.
 
    Our very brief relationship started off well - he was sweet, attentive, said & did all the right things. Occasionally, he got irritated because I wouldn't "go all the way" with him, but for the most part, he didn't pressure me. I was still sorting out my feelings about sex & sexuality & the mere thought of sex with him confused me even more. I was attracted to him, but I had no real desire for him ... or any other guy, for that matter. I finally figured myself out & knew 100% that I preferred women exclusively. It seemed unfair to let him go on thinking we had a chance, so I broke off the relationship.
 
    To say he went psycho over the breakup would be the understatement of the year. He trashed my car, made threatening phone calls, sent horrible emails, drove by my house at night yelling obscenities, sometimes actually getting out of his car to yell through my bedroom window. He even got some of his friends to start harassing me. I ended up getting a restraining order, which people don't always heed, but he was well-known in the business community & couldn't afford a bad rep. So he stepped off, obeyed the order & that seemed to be the end of it.
 
    A couple weeks later, he called me out of the blue & said he wanted to work out the bad blood between us. I hesitated at first till he swore it wasn't an attempt to get back together with me, that he just wanted us to be able to be friends. So I met him at a coffeehouse & we sat & talked for several hours. He apologized for all the things he'd done & said he wanted to try to be friends the way we were before we dated. He seemed so sincere & convincing - as psychopaths usually do - and I believed him. Like I said, I was naive.
 
    We talked occasionally over the next couple weeks & the conversations were always relaxed & pleasant. So when he called to invite me to a party at his place, I accepted without a second thought. July 29, 2003...I'll never forget that date. When I got to his place, there was one other guy there & my ex said, "You guys are earlybirds....the others will be here soon." Then he offered us drinks & not long after,  I was feeling very woozy & out of it. I must have passed out for a while because the next thing I knew, I was naked in a dark room & somebody was on top of me. I said, "What the fuck?!" as I tried to push whoever it was off of me. The guy shushed me & told me not to fight, he wasn't going to hurt me. I recognized his voice - he was the other "earlybird" (we'll just call him that from here on).  He said my ex had told him, "She likes you man, she told me she wants you" and that I would try to resist, but that was just part of a "game" I liked to play. Earlybird was a mentally slow - possibly even mildly retarded, oddball, unbelievably gullible kid who hung around with the "cool" guys, hoping to be one of them, but mostly he was the butt of their jokes & pranks.
 
    He held both my wrists in one hand & with the other, he pried my legs apart and tried to enter me. It was difficult since I was completely dry & a virgin as well. I kept saying NO & STOP. He was not even  halfway inside me when he asked if he was hurting me. I said YES & he began to withdraw but he ejaculated before he had pulled out all the way. I was horrified & disgusted. Earlybird sat there looking confused, like he was just starting to figure out something was wrong.  He looked at me & the moron was actually crying & said, "I thought you wanted to do it. They lied to me. They're my friends, why would they do that?" I almost felt sorry for him but I was too angry to give in to that feeling. I told him to just get the fuck out.
 
    He went into the living room & I started getting dressed. I heard my ex & another guy's voice asking him how'd it go. Earlybird said, "I don't think she wanted me to do it. I think I'm gonna get in trouble." The other guy told him he'd better keep his mouth shut, then sent him to the store for beer & chips. I heard Ex say, "Take your time...." then he mumbled something else I couldn't hear.
 
    I was about to put on my pants when Ex came into the bedroom & said, "Leaving so soon? The party's just getting started." I told him having his dipshit friend maul me in my sleep wasn't my idea of a party & I just wanted to go home. Ex acted all caring & concerned & asked exactly what happened. I told him & he responded, " I think that means you're still a virgin....but that's about to change." I jumped off the bed, he threw me back down & straddled my shoulders & forced me to perform oral sex, laughing when I gagged & choked. He pulled out & stretched out on top of me, with me fighting him all the way. I managed to scratch him across the face & draw blood.  He responded by pressing his arm across my throat & said, "Look. You can either lay back & shut up or fight me & get the shit beat out of you. Either way, I'm gonna fuck you." And so he did, pinning my arms underneath me & keeping his arm across my throat the whole time. I could barely breathe & I felt like I was being torn apart.
 
    When he was done, I laid there shaking & crying & I asked him, "Why?" He shrugged & laughed & said, "Why not?" I said again that I just wanted to go home. He said no, there was more in store, they had "saved the best for last." I didn't understand what he meant until the other guy I'd heard walked in with his fly open & to put it tactfully, he was very large. I was terrified, I knew it was going to hurt worse than anything before & I started crying all over again. Other Guy told Ex "Turn on the radio or something. I don't want this bitch alerting the whole damn neighborhood. Ex said, "She can scream all she wants....my neighbors are at work." The bastard had planned his so-called "party" right down to the time of day. Still he turned the radio on & blasted it.
 
    He held me down while Other Guy tried to enter me. He couldn't get inside due to his size, plus lack of lubrication & the fact that I'm very petite. Ex said, "I'll open her up for you 'cause I know what she likes." He then inserted his fingers one by one until he had almost his whole hand inside me. I cried in pain but still the most humiliating thing happened - my body turned against me & I had an orgasm. I felt lower than dirt, I was a filthy whore who deserved everything she got. Next, just for kicks, they decided to see how many different objects they could insert in me, including a beer bottle. I felt my flesh tearing & blood streaming out & they decided they were sick of all the noise I was making, so they stuffed a washrag in my mouth & gagged me with some kind of cloth.
 
    Ex pinned me down while Other Guy rammed himself inside me so hard I felt like I had shattered into a million pieces. All throughout, they were making the filthiest, most obscene comments that I can't even bear to print. Suddenly, Other Guy pulled out & I prayed it was over, but then he forced me onto my stomach & began to penetrate me anally while Ex was underneath, entering me vaginally with his hands around my throat the whole time. There was no way Other Guy could get in anally. For a minute, I was afraid they would start sticking things inside me again. I didn't think anything could possibly hurt more than that, but I discovered just how wrong I was when they penetrated me vaginally at the same time. By that point, I just wished for death.
 
    Then Other Guy forced me to give him oral & I bit down as hard as I could. At first he yelled & doubled over in pain, but then he saw blood & I guess that infuriated him because he grabbed me by the back of my head & forced me down on him so hard that I gagged and got sick all over the place. Ex said, "We were pretty much done with you anyway" & told me to go get cleaned up. I sat on the edge of the bathtub, too stunned & numb to move. After a few minutes, Ex came in & turned on the shower & told me to get in. I was standing there watching blood stream down my legs & down the drain when he pushed me against the tiles and raped me again. When he was done, he said "Don't even think of telling anyone because this was nothing compared to what I'll do to you, your sister and her girlfriend." [I lived with them at the time.]
 
    I don't know how I drove home, but I did. My sister asked if I was ok; I told her I was having a really bad period & just wanted to take a shower & go to bed. I pulled off my clothes & stuffed them way in the back of my closet - I didn't want to touch or even see them again. I showered so long I almost scrubbed my skin raw. I went to bed but I could not stop bleeding so around midnight, I took myself to ER. The doctor was a man, which made me nervous & scared, but he was very kind & gentle, as was the nurse who was with him. She asked me, "Sweetie......were you raped?" I didn't say yes, but I didn't say no. I just refused to answer. They stitched me up & before they sent me on my way, the nurse gave me a card with the number of the hospital's crisis counselor - "just in case," she said.
 
    If things weren't bad enough, I ended up pregnant. It turned out to be a tubal pregnancy, so they had to terminate it ASAP. I had so much damage, scarring, etc., that the doc said it was very unlikely I'd ever be able to carry a child to term. I had NEVER wanted children, but this still made me angry. It's one thing to be childless by your OWN choice & now ANY choice had been taken from me. I didn't tell my family that the pregnancy resulted from rape, partly because of my own shame and partly because I didn't want them to go through the pain of knowing.
 
    And then, just a month after the pregnancy ended, my father died. Think of the biggest daddy's girl you know & multiply it by 100....that's me. I might as well have died right along with him. I went thru a deep depression.......then the anger kicked in.
 
    For the next year or so, I was one big ball of rage. My temper was out of control, I got into many fights, including several where I injured people. I was dangerous to others & myself, especially when I started "self-medicating" with coke & pretty much any kind of pills I could get my hands on. It made the nightmares go away. I was pretty good at hiding my drug use, although my loved ones knew something was wrong. During this time, a female friend became more than a friend, but in the beginning it was more emotional than physical. She was patient & understanding & supportive, but she also knew how to deal out the toughlove when necessary & she really dealt it out concerning my drug use. She started talking a lot to my mom & my sister about my anger, the fights, the drugs, etc. She knew I would be furious, but she cared more about my well-being than how pissed I would be. They intervened & forced me to take a long hard look at  what I was doing to myself....I was angry at the time, but I realize now that I was ready for it,  I wanted somebody to stop me. It was six months after the fact, but I finally told them about the rape. They were & continue to be more supportive & loving beyond anybody's wildest dreams.
 
    I was already in therapy, but I had been doing it half-hearted and half-assed. When I looked at the person I'd become, how I'd changed from cheerful, energetic & outgoing to angry, hateful & violent, I hated myself & vowed to take charge & start participating in my healing process.  Even though it was six months after, I decided to go to the cops. I didn't really think I'd have much of a case, but since one of the guys was known to be a predator & had a record of sex crimes, maybe telling my story might help the next girl he would undoubtedly prey on.
 
    The cops were absolutely amazing & my lawyer was about as close to God as a human can be....maybe it had something to do w/the fact that they all had teenaged daughters....but they went after these guys like they'd just committed a crime six hours ago instead of six months. Even though the questioning was hard & often embarrassing, they pulled information from my brain that I had blocked long ago - including the clothes I'd stuffed in the back of my closet, which had a lot of my blood on them, but also some of their blood from when I'd fought back.
 
    This gave my case a huge boost, but what happened next is like a weird twist from a movie & it pretty much hung the bastards by their balls. They were so cocky & sure they'd never get caught that they had videotaped the entire sickening scene. When word of the investigation got out, the slow kid - Earlybird - committed suicide & left his copy of the tape with a note telling what he'd done with two friends of his & he revealed both their names. Long story short [too late, I know!], two wastes of DNA are now behind bars for a good chunk of time. I am still amazed at how this all turned out, especially since I thought there was no way I'd "win" since I waited so long to tell anybody. As hard as it's been, I think somebody "up there" must really like me.
 
    Since then, it's been a pretty bumpy ride with a few relapses into rage & depression & I still have the occasional not-so-good day, but for the most part, I have more good days than bad. At times, I've feel like "Shouldn't I be over this already?" especially when the anger & the nightmares pop up. But deep down, I know there really is no timeline for healing, and even though I still have some issues to work out, I'm a long way from where I was a year ago.
"I'm becoming
Whole
And I'm becoming
Healed
And I'm becoming
Something beautiful to see
I'm overcoming
Fear
And I'm overcoming
Shame
And I'm becoming
So much more than me."
~ April McLean, Becoming
 
 
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