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May 21

#ididnotreport: Anna

The #ididnotreport series is an opportunity for rape and sexual assault victims to tell their stories when they may have been prevented  from reporting it to authorities. These come with a pretty hefty Trigger Warning as they contain very truthful details about the realities of rape and sexual assault.

About two months ago I was walking home from an event. It was stupid of me to walk alone but I did it. I do lots of stupid things. I was feeling good that night. My life had been changing for the better. I am trans and I had finally transitioned. It had been a year. I had lost 140 pounds in that same year. I was back to school and looking forward to a career. Nothing could bother me.

I stopped for a donut and a coffee. I didn’t really want to go home and go to bed. A man came in that I recognized from my apartment building and I smiled at him. Mistake number two there. I should know better than to flirt. Smiling is flirting. My best friend outlined all these mistakes to me one night on the phone. He came over and said hello. Asked if he could sit with me. I said yes (mistake 3 just to keep track). We chatted, he flirted, it felt good. I craved male attention. Wanted the validation. That’s what always gets me is being needy and wanting love.

Eventually it came time to leave and he asked me if I wanted a ride since he knew where I lived. I didn’t want my night to end so I said yes (#4) and got in his truck. We started down the road and he suddenly turned into a school and stopped. I was a bit surprised but I figured he wanted to talk more. He asked me if I wanted to be a real girl and I knew then that he knew. I fool myself alot into thinking people don’t know but they mostly do and are just to polite to point at the trans freak. He wanted me to give him a blow job. I tried to leave. I couldn’t find my voice. He grabbed me and said it wasn’t a request. Maybe I should have fought back and nothing would have happened. My friend calls that mistake number 5. I am not very strong anymore. Since my ankle surgery I certainly can’t run. So I did it. Then he wanted more so I let him turn me over and do that too. Then he called me a faggot. And kicked me a bunch of times. Then he tossed me in the parking lot. He spit on me. In my hair.

I probably deserve it. You see this wasn’t the first time for me. Thats why im extra stupid.

When I was a child there was a family member. He knew what i was when the rest of my family didn’t. He offered a chance for me to be a little girl too. He let me wear my cousins clothes. He always called me a young lady. Called me pretty. And he raped me. I let him. I was 8 I think when it started and it lasted for years. Half of me welcomed it. I wasn’t allowed to be girly at home. Half of me hated it but i never stopped it and there was worse. I didn’t report it.

I found out later that he didn’t just do it to me. My cousin who I loved called him out on it. She was braver than me. But no one believed her. Still don’t. I could have said something. I was afraid that my secret would come out so I didn’t. I selfishly and cowardly didn’t want to jeoparadize my own status in my family. She suffers from addiction. She has lost most of her family. I am still being a coward. Even though I’m out now. Because im a bad person. I still see him sometimes and I sit and act polite. I don’t tell anyone. I let her bear it alone.

I didn’t report the recent event either. I put myself in these situations. I let other people get hurt. I don’t deserve to be happy. I figure I deserved the recent event too. The cops aren’t going to want to help a sick trans freak like me anyway. I am having trouble finding a councillor. The first one I saw said I should be reporting. But I couldn’t make myself do that because im a coward and stupid. The second service said they would let me know. They just werent sure when. During my childhood I had started to self harm. I also overate. Tried to kill myself more than once too. I had cleaned up and had pushed those urges away. Now they are back. I don’t sleep well. Nightmares are always there.  I eat too much. I am starting to hurt myself again. I did not report. I am bad. I am stupid.

For full details on submitting your own personal #ididnotreport go here or email me with questions. There are adjustments to comment policies in these posts. Authors get to choose whether comments are allowed. If comments are allowed, I will not tolerate any comments that are less than supportive for the victims. I will delete them without warning. These posts are not the place for nuanced discussion. The purpose is to give rape and sexual victims a voice.

10 comments

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  1. 1
    Xanthe

    Dear Anna,

    I know you said, ‘I probably deserve it’, thinking that your own actions are questionable, analysing to the point of over-analysis. But in fact no one deserves this to happen to them, ever. The word probably doesn’t even come into it. Absolutely nothing you’ve done takes away the responsibility for the abuse being solely with the abusers. They do things like picking out people who are vulnerable and without power, isolating you and disempowering you, and in terms of your family relative, who could be more vulnerable than a child? Or, placing you in a position where you can’t turn to others for support, and to add to the injury, they play on your sense of guilt, when they brazenly have none.

    I wish I could help make the nightmares go away. I wish you didn’t feel a need to punish and harm yourself. You didn’t deserve it to happen. You’re not bad, you’re not a coward, and you’re not stupid for being coerced by a rapist. The whole compelling of a victim to take on board a misplaced sense of owning guilt is also part of the harm they lay on you and I’m sorry if it seems that you’ve not been best looked after by what counselling you’ve had. Especially if you’re not going to be listened to. Please try finding another counsellor who understands where you’ve come from and who won’t be so judgmental. For my part I’ll try my best to listen and understand.

    Xanthe

  2. 2
    Anna

    Thank you. I am still working on the other councillor but its slow.

  3. 3
    Muse

    I’m sure you’ve run into this, but if you’re in the United States, rainn.org has a pretty good list of crisis centers at centers.rainn.org. They can often refer to counselors and resources. Also, if things get bad they have an online hotline you can go to and computer chat with someone.

    And again – not your fault, never your fault. you could have done all those actions with another man, and if the other man wasn’t a rapist, you wouldn’t have gotten hurt. His fault, not yours.

  4. 4
    Classical Cipher

    God, I am so sorry, Anna. It wasn’t your fault; you didn’t deserve it, any of it. All you did was try to live like a whole person deserving of respect – which is exactly what you are, no matter how much you may sometimes feel otherwise. (And again, I’m so sorry – I know how that hurts.) All you did was expect people to be decent, and to treat you as you deserve to be treated. The fact that these abusers hurt you, treated you as though you were anything less than a complete person worthy of respect and love – that’s what is wrong and sick and evil. They’re the bad people here, not you.

    And not reporting is a perfectly valid and okay choice, even a strong choice – after what you’ve been through, knowing what it’ll cost you to report, you are absolutely right to do what is *safest* for you. There is *nothing* cowardly in that. In fact, even through all the pain, what is most apparent to me about you is how much you still care about the people around you, and how much you still try, even though it hurts so much and is so hard, and even though sometimes you feel like you can’t do it anymore. That’s incredible. You’re incredible. I know you feel weak, I know you feel cowardly, but that feeling is something terrible that other people did to you. That doesn’t make it feel any less real or any less painful, but it isn’t an accurate reflection of who you are. I hope you find better friends, better counselors, people who are willing and able to see the good in you and help you see it too. You can make it through this.

  5. 5
    Dalillama

    First off, you share zero responsibility in either case you describe. The people who made the choice to attack you had an infinite number of other choices, and the fact that they chose what they did makes them monsters. Your behavior is entirely unexceptionable, and it is the shame of our society that so much danger attends such nutterly innocuous behavoour. You have the right to speak to who you will, smile at who you want, flirt if you so choose, and end your evening when and as you see fit. It is reprehensible beyond all words that this filth decided that he could attack you, but your behavior has no bearing on that. Unfortunately, you are probably right that the police would be unhelpful, and I really can’t advocate wading through the additional shit you would unoubtedly be put through unless it’s likely to help something, and I don’t really see that in this case. As far as your childhood goes, children can’t legitimately be expected to even understand the process of reporting something like that, and if, as it sounds like, the other members of your family were unwilling to listen/help, there’s really nothing that you, as a child, could have done.

  6. 6
    tori

    I’m so sorry, Anna. Stuff like this breaks my heart :'( You couldn’t possibly have known what happened to you. Those people were both sick and took advantage of your vulnerability. That’s wrong.

  7. 7
    Mattir

    I am so sorry. You are not at fault in any way. To the extent that compassionate thoughts help, you have mine. And a donation to a trans-advocacy group in honor of your honesty and courage.

  8. 8
    H.A. Cautrell

    Anna,

    You aren’t bad. You aren’t stupid. What happened to you is not your fault and it never will be. You aren’t required to do anything other than what you’re doing right now to take care of yourself.

    I hope you are finding ways to cope, that you can continue to go to counseling and that things get better for you. My heart aches to hear your story.

    What happened to me is no where near what has happened to you, but I offer to be there to talk or to listen. My e-mail you can get from Willo.

  9. 9
    Rob

    Oh my God, please please believe me, you have done nothing wrong or stupid or bad and there’s not even a question of whether you deserved it or not. I promise. I have a pedophile in my family as well who molested his daughters and nieces, and almost every one of them is still polite around him when they come in contact with him. Of the five girls he abused, only one confronted him directly and severed all contact. And the other four aren’t cowardly or doing anything wrong. They just already suffered enough from him, and it causes them less pain (though still plenty) to maintain the peace than to deal with the fallout of speaking out. That’s a completely rational, thoughtful, and acceptable response, to do what is best for them.

    And nothing you ever ever did made you deserve any of this, ever. Everything you did was harmless and not stupid. It’s not stupid to relax around a guy, to smile, chat, flirt, whatever. We feel like it is when something happens, but no one could live healthily and wholly if they spent every second thinking about whether their actions could lead to somebody attacking them. And if they tried, they could never do anything at all, because when guys like that are around, nothing is safe. It’s their – the rapists’ – fault. Always their fault, totally their fault. You aren’t stupid and you didn’t make any mistakes and you’re not to blame. You haven’t done anything wrong in your responses either. In many cases, and I think yours is one, reporting does no good at all and causes the survivor added pain. It’s the right choice for you. And I admire your strength.

    Love and prayers for peace to you.

  10. 10
    Anna

    Thank everyone who responded to this. It does help sometimes to hear people outside myself saying I wasnt bad. I still have difficulty holding that belief inside but it helps me and hopefully someday I can believe it permanantly.

    Either way it helps give me a moments respite from the guilt and despair and that means a lot.

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