I suppose I should start with what he looks like. He’s tall, except when he’s not. He usually has short hair. Sometimes his hair is dark but mostly it is light. He is white, so very white. Sometimes tan and lean and athletic with glasses. Sometimes he is pale and bloated and sallow. Sometimes he is so young he makes my heart ache for the need I see inside him.
Always my rapist is someone I want to love. I see pain and hurt inside of him. I know that he is hurting me because I have managed to see that he is hurting. He is angry that I know he is in pain. He thought he covered that up. I am raped because he wants to cement that he is stronger than me. In a dark place inside of me I know that I am required to have this happen. I am required to lose. I can fight physically or
I can say no or I can pull away and protest and it doesn’t really matter; I am required to lose.
It is a lot worse if I fight.
I learned how to endure. I learned how to close my eyes and let my whole body go limp. I could go away. I would clench my fists and move my hips how I was supposed to. I do it even in my sleep. It is not a sign of desire but it is always taken as proof that what he is doing is right. I must want it. He was meant to get off in me. It is his right.
At other times he is so nice. He does care. He talks to me for days, weeks, months, and years both before and after. I like running into him in public. I stop and stare. I wait for him to approach me. I do my utmost to appear absolutely neutral as to warmth or coldness. I must give nothing away or he will have the upper hand again. Sometimes, horrible sometimes, he looks right at me then walks away. Yeah. I feel like I deserve that. I let you do that to me. I am that low.
It is always a gamble, sex. I can’t handle really losing any more. Each time I fight I come away with more long-term physical damage. I have a weird spot in my lower right back. It has hurt constantly since I saw him when I was ten. I think we damaged something. I don’t know how to fix it. I have a lot of tearing and scar tissue. It even complicates going to the bathroom because if I wipe too hard I tear and bleed. It burns terribly.
It sucks that I feel like I run into him in circumstances that are too close for comfort. Sometimes I want to greet him by slapping him the minute I see that self-satisfied smile. Yes. I know. It took a long time for him to finish so he thinks he was awesome. Can he just go away?
But every person you have sex with has a piece of you. If you run into them later there is that knowing that feels like a bond but isn’t. Sharing a secret is one of the worst bonding methods I know of. I hate him and I love him. He taught me what sex is. He taught me to expect pain and soreness. If I didn’t hurt the next day it wasn’t good sex, right?
I miss him. He has a piece of me. I still feel like he deserves more than I gave him. I feel like I failed because I always kept part of me, most of me, back. I hid behind this wall I have in my head. I didn’t want him to really know me. I wanted to always know that he only had access to this small piece of me.
That piece of me is as disgusting and dirty as he says. That part of me is as depraved, or more, than he could ever want. I know I deserve it. I know that even when I say no I really want it and know that I am responsible for serving him. I know this in the deepest, saddest part of me. I don’t deserve any better. I said no because I didn’t want it. I wish he had believed that truth. He didn’t and that made another truth. There is what I want and then there is what is. I know what will happen when I see him. I know that I am a rabbit gone tharn. I know what will happen when he gets that look in his eyes. It is time again. I am required to serve as a hole. It’s just how it goes.
I’m more afraid of him than he understands. At this point I can’t even tell him no. I am too afraid of the consequences. If I cannot say no, can I ever say yes? What does that “yes” even mean? Does it mean yes I want to have an intimate relationship with him? Does it mean yes I want to satisfy his fantasies so that he can have good stories to think about later? Does it mean I want him to know anything serious about me? Oh god no. I don’t want him to know anything but this one small piece. I want him to pretend it is important to him. I want him to tell me that I am special. God damnit. That he doesn’t do this with everyone and he is so glad that I can let him do this.
I deserve the acknowledgment. Haven’t I earned it? Haven’t I done this enough and well enough? It is hard. He doesn’t understand that what he wants from me is hard. So very hard. He thinks it is casual. He thinks he is just messing around.
I think he doesn’t know how to look at me and wonder what my needs are. I think he doesn’t know how to be kind to me if he wants to be. He does want to be nice to me, in fact. He is doing to me what he wishes I would do to him. He would like it and that means it is a nice thing to do, right?
He doesn’t understand that it brings pain. He doesn’t understand that if I have to fight I will be sorry later. He won’t hurt in the same way so why would he bother to think about my experience? He won’t have to sit there later wondering why he didn’t speak up sooner about the tearing and the discomfort. He won’t have to sit there later wondering why he didn’t speak up sooner about the fact that he really just didn’t want to and could they please stop. Or maybe he does think that. Maybe neither of us actually want this but we don’t know how to talk about what we really want and this is where we end up.
I said no. He thought I was playing a game because I talk about the fact that I masturbate thinking about my early trauma. Going past my no isn’t real trauma, it’s just playing a game. What happened when I was a little kid—that was the trauma. This is just “two consenting adults”, right? I’m of age. Now it’s all fair game.
Where do my wants fit into this? I don’t know. I’m not sure if I have them or not right now, to be honest. I want to feel like I will never have to go limp and dissociate to get away from sex. I want to feel like I will never have to bite my lip to keep myself from repeating “please stop please stop please stop” over and over again. I feel so much worse about myself afterwards when I do that. If things go far enough that I have to beg him to please, please, please stop then nothing is likely to stop it. I know better.
Why don’t I fight? Because I want to survive. Because I am a dumb animal and I am aware that continual injuries lesson my survival chances. This way I will always survive. There won’t be much of me there, but it will be something. I will keep something back. Something away from him. He can’t have all of me.
Even if he is beautiful. Even if I love him. My rapist is a strong man. A sometimes good man. He was a child, but we all grow up. I wonder how he would judge me if he actually knew me. I wonder if he would still find me attractive at this time. If I ran into him at this stage of my life, would he try to do that again? Is it unavoidable between us? What was the spark that set it off last time? I try hard now to eliminate the opportunity. I don’t care if it is victim blaming. I need to survive. People are counting on me.
I hate him and I love him and I hope I never see him again. But that isn’t a possible future unless I move far away. Somewhere with no connections to my home. He is too well traveled. Too beloved. Like a bad penny he can turn up anywhere.