I could feel his hands rubbing over my shirt. Sliding them down my body as if they were slow moving snails without leaving evidence of their travels. His hands reaching down, rubbing me over my sweatpants.
Myself, not even understanding what’s going on, still drunk on my deep sleep. That cloudy hangover, intent on making sure to keep my eyes closed. Maybe it was my brain trying to make me sleep through it, to not remember.
I laid there, trying to breathe normally, thinking this had to be a dream. I didn’t know what was going on, why I was being touched. Why I was being rubbed this way. I tried to be still, dead weight like a heavy log, as if that would stop him from pulling down my sweatpants.
I laid there, still, exposed, eyes closed, praying to myself not to move. If I didn’t move then he would see that I wasn’t saying yes to this. That I didn’t want this. I was wrong, as he put his mouth on me. Immediately my body went into panic mode.
I’d never felt that feeling before, being only seven years old, but in my gut- deep in my soul, I knew that this was wrong. My body ignored my brain praying to hold still, and began the attempt to wriggle away. But like a worm in a birds mouth, the predator had already started upon his prey.
Immediately the gentle rubbing ceased as his hands became solid blocks of iron. One hand holding my lower body still, while his hand that was rubbing my chest grabbed at my throat. I tried to push his hand away and started my feeble attempt at a call for my mother, but when I made the slightest whisper, I felt pain as a hand was slapped down over my mouth.
Then that demonic face stopped working my lower half, and presented itself before mine. I could feel his breath, hot and humid. The spittle coming off his mouth as he explained to me in a hushed gravely voice that if anyone were to found out about this, he’d kill them, and then me. He reminded me that I wouldn’t want to cause others pain, when we could just play, and move on. Nobody had to get hurt.
I was so scared. I kept trying to wriggle away, to get away from thus man I’ve known for so long. This man that used to babysit my sister and I. This man that used to make us feel so safe when mommy and daddy were gone. The man that gave us our first green apple. Who laughed when we said it was sour, but squealed in delight with every bite. I let out another attempt to call for help, but was met with a slap to the face, and then his heavy hand covering my mouth. His hand was so large compared to my small face, I found it hard to breathe, for his hand all but sealed most of my nostrils from any air coming in or out.
His mouth went back to my lower body, as I laid there, pinned and helpless. I cried silently. The tears rolling down my cheeks. Afraid to move, afraid to be hit. Afraid to call for help and have anyone else experience this. I wanted our dog. I wanted my mom. I wanted to sleep. I wanted anything than to be here with my uncle.
Then a feeling washed over me, an explosion of something that in my brain. It caused me to convulse and cry out against the hand on my mouth. I didn’t know what it was but I knew without a doubt that it was the most confused I’d ever been in my life. How could fear and pain lead me to a sensation that felt….good, but still left my gut knotted and constantly telling me something was horribly wrong with the whole situation.
My uncle removed his hand from my mouth, let go of my body, and withdrew his mouth from my lower half. I immediately grabbed my sweats and pulled them up over my waist, rolled over and tried to go to sleep. It felt like the process of covering myself and rolling over took years, and I’ll never forget him sounding hurt when he said, “oh come on, don’t be like that.”
I rolled onto my stomach, pushed my face into my pillow and cried. I tried to ignore the pain in my face, to ignore the warmth from where he hit me, to ignore that feeling of wanting to die or to be anywhere but here.
I’m sorry for not posting my workouts for yesterday and today. This is where my mind went Monday morning. This is what I’ve been battling. I’ve been trying to get myself out of bed. To face the day. But when I start to move, my brain betrays me and shows me images of that night.
For example: Today I slept through all three of my alarms and still had to force myself out of bed at noon.
It’s debilitating. I thought I was past this. I hadn’t thought about my Uncle Oggy since elementary school. But here I was, afraid to go outside.
Here I was, pushing away from my husband, telling him not to touch me. Making him sleep as far as he can on the other side of our bed, while I sat there and cried myself to sleep.
I wonder if Oggy knows how painful that one incident is for me. Still. Nearly 20 years later, I can still remember it, still fear him, as if it happened yesterday.
I remember the way his breath smelled, the way the sheets made my skin itch, the sound of his voice, and the cold feeling of death I felt on the inside, when someone I trusted violated me in such a way.
I wonder if other rape victims are this broken. Are still this affected.
I wonder if I’m crazy, hurting my husband, making him feel like hes doing something wrong, when some days the memories flood back and I become this cold shell of who I usually am.
I wonder if other rape victims call this surviving.
Some days…I just can’t do this. I can’t breathe. I can’t just…be.