I thought rape happened to other people – until it happened to me.
By: Patrick in Indiana
I have been many things in my life: Son, student, soldier, husband, father and widower. Like I said many things. I never thought in my life that the words victim, survivor of sexual assault (rape) would also ever apply to me.
Until it happened to me. It happened on June 12, 2016. Many of you will recognize that date.
It was the terrible date when a killer took so many innocent lives at Pulse Nightclub in Florida. Many people were killed that night in the Pulse Club. Many more were heart broken and horrified as they watched, read or listened to it unfold for all the world to see. For me it was also the beginning of another kind of nightmare.
I remember the day well enough, I had been invited to come to Indianapolis, IN to celebrate LGBT pride during the annual festival in Indiana’s state capital. It had been a very hot day out in the sun and I had seen and caught up with many friends that I hadn’t seen in years.
Overall it had been a great day.
After our time at the festival I went along with my friend to one of the local bars to relax and cool down. Alex, not his real name, went to go get us drinks and I found us a booth to sit in. This was the beginning of my nightmare. I remember thinking what an awesome day it had been.
Alex came back with our drinks and we sat and had a good time. My memories of the next few hours are very foggy and confusing. I remember drinking my drink and then I remember nothing else of the bar. My next cloudy memory is being naked on my friend’s bed face down. Mentally I was aware of my surroundings and I could feel my body but I couldn’t move.
I LITERALLY COULD NOT MOVE!
The next thing I became aware of was Alex. He was talking to me saying “don’t worry a bit baby, you’ll hardly feel this.” And with that I felt something quickly and deeply inside of me. I remember the pain, the confusion, and sheer panic of it all. Mostly I remember the pain of it.
My brain was fighting so hard regain control but no part of my body would cooperate. My mind raced trying to understand what had happened. “The bar, I had been at a bar” my mind screamed. What had happened?
My brain was unable to answer that question. I laid there completely paralyzed and unable to anything to stop my rape. The fact that a friend was doing this to me terrified me even more.
Alex was someone I had known since shortly after I had come out about 20 years ago. Why would he do this? He had been such a great friend and sounding board after my husband had passed the previous year. Why would my friend do this?
Finally, he was done, it ended in a sigh as he came inside of me and laughed about what a great f*ck I had been. He got up and went out of the room telling me to “sleep it off since it’s not like I could do anything else for a while.” I must have passed out again and when I came to I could move.
I felt sluggish like I was walking through a world made of Jell-O. My body hurt so badly and I felt so utterly sick to my stomach but I could move. I got dressed. I left his home. He didn’t even look me in the eye as I left.
I got in my car with my head pounding and drove the two hours it took to get back home, to my home, to my safety, to my child. All I could think about was how I needed to get as much distance between myself and Alex as was humanly possible.
When I got home I showered, cried a lot and tried to make myself feel as clean as I humanly could. What do I do about this? Should I have gone to a hospital or called the police? That’s what the victims always do on TV but in my mind my humanity had been attacked on some deep level.
“I Literally Could Not Move”
Something had been stolen from me that no one could ever get back. I decided I would try and put the events of the weekend behind me and continue on with my life.
The most humiliating part was yet to come however as several days later mutual friends would start receiving a peculiar text message with video. The video would be of him literally raping me for the world to see. My humiliation was out. My friends knew what had happened. They knew I had been assaulted.
They knew I had been raped.
At this point I knew I couldn’t simply ignore what had happened to me. A few of my friends went with me to the police station in my city and I filed a report. Because I hadn’t gone to the police or the hospital while I had been in Indianapolis and because I had literally cleaned away any physical evidence on my body they could not press a charge of rape on Alex but I was able to get a “No Contact Order” to at least offer me some peace of mind.
Forward almost a year later my life has returned to normal. I still have moments of panic or flashes of what happened. I’m a little more quick to startle if someone sneaks up on me. I’m not nearly as trusting as I had been back in June.