I still blame myself for what Soldier did to me because I did not say no. I just laid there and let him do what he wanted. I just waited for him to “finish up” or “get it over with.” I would not admit to myself that I was raped or taken advantage of because, well I didn’t want to admit that is what it was. In fact I not only denied it for years, I also did not tell anyone it happened because I thought they would tell me I was wrong. That the fact that I did not say no, or fight back meant that I gave my consent and showed that I wanted him to do those things to me.
But when I look at the facts of this situation they all point to one thing. First I was young and naive, I thought that if someone wanted to have sex with you that they liked you and wanted to develop a relationship with you. This was the first time I was used as an object. The second thing was how scared I was and how many times I said in my head “No, I don’t want this. I want it to stop.” I was more afraid of what would happen if I told him to stop than I was to let him finish. The third fact was that while it was happening I kept asking myself “Is this rape? Is that what this is? Is he raping me?” Now even though at the time I answered all of those questions with a no because I was in denial about what was happening that is not what I think now. The fourth fact was up until him all the other guys I had been with would cuddle up and kiss me. They would touch me in other places rather than just that one that got the job done. They would make it an activity with open communication, whereas he did not. He did not talk he only used his hands and his body to tell me what to do. Then after he was done, he rolled over and went to sleep. We did not talk, we did not laugh, we did not look each other in the eyes.
But even with all of these facts hitting me like a brick to the face, I still denied it. Until today…
There is a video that I watched on youtube just a little bit ago about consent. It explained to me in the simplest statement possible what I needed to admit to myself that it was not my fault, that I really was raped, and that is a fact because my consent was not given. “Consent is not the absence of a no, it is the presence of a yes.” That was all I needed to hear. I replayed that part of the video several times just to let it sink in, even though I understood it perfectly the first time.
Going through the video I realized other things that helped me understand better how to define what happened to me. I am not looking for a legal definition of rape, just my own personal one. In the video she says “Everyone involved has a shared since of circumstances. Ellen knows that I am writing on her body…. and if at any time she changes her mind… I will remove the material.” In my situation I did not know what his plans were. They were never discussed. She then goes on to say that the most common type of consent is not resisting advances by not opting out. Not by opting in, but by not opting out. There is a problem with this though because, just like in my situation, his intentions were not discussed with me first. There was no conversation about consent, or intentions. Fear, confusion, and embarrassment were my reasons for not resisting his sexual advances. He was bigger than me, I didn’t know what was happening, and we were supposed to be friends. He was a friend in my group of friends and I did not want anyone finding out what happened because I was ashamed of it. I was afraid of what my friends might think of me, because he was known as a player who had slept with a lot of girls. Up until that point we were good friends. I did not want to have sex with him, I did not want a relationship with him. I did not like him in that way, and he did not like me that way. But I was a female body, and that was good enough for him.
Finding this video helped me in a lot of ways, so I want to share it with all of you in case you need some re-defining of the word “rape” for your own definition. I have liked it below. I hope it helps someone else as much as it helped me.