Friday, November 5, 2010

This is crucial. A huge piece of me.

For some reason, all I can think of is the Addam's Family movie when they have their School showcase and they sing "Getting to know you, getting know all about you... getting to like you, getting to know what to say..." UGHH.

Well, lets get down to the nitty gritty.

I think its time you all knew a little more about me other than the weird shit that happens to me or my opinions. I mean there is a reason I am the way I am.. its just... none of you know it yet.

*WARNING* this could be a long post. I'm considering doing a series for this.. hmm... I'll let you know at the end.

Yesterday the trending topic on Twitter was #tweetyour16yearoldself.
I don't usually do that trending topics but I found myself knee deep in spilling my secrets.. kind of.

My first tweet was:
 "Enjoy it now, the real world comes a knockin' real quick. #tweetyour16yearoldself"

When I was 16 I didn't have a care in the world. My friends and I were partying every weekend, I was being a dumbass all the time, wasn't saving money. Basically wasn't thinking ahead (so typical) and now that I'm here, I could smack 16 year old me.

But who really wouldn't given the opportunity? And I'm talking about smacking YOUR 16 year old self, not smacking me. Got it? GOOD.

Well, obviously that wasn't very informative for you.

So let's try the next one..

"It's okay to tell someonewhat happened that night, you will be so grateful when you admit to your secret. #tweetyour16yearoldself"

Okay, I'm ripping the band-aid off with this one.

When I was 15 years old, my virginity was taken from me by rape.
There were 14 people in the next room and no one heard my screams or my cries.

I didn't admit to my family or my friends (with the exception of a few) until April of my 16th year, right before I turned 17.

Here is that story...

The night before my entire life changed (that would be the admitting to it) I went to a concert with a "sister". We went and saw Augustana and the Goo Goo Dolls. It was an amazing concert. We couldn't stop talking, enjoying, loving, etc.. At the time, I was dating my abusive boy thang (will talk about in post 2) and he wasn't happy I was at this show, but I didn't care. I loved it AND I was the dick who bought a shirt for his roommate and not him. MY BAD.

So I get home and I'm feeling all inspired, peaceful and at one with myself. I sit down at the computer and I start typing my "My life in lyrics" paper for my creative writing class. I've looked around for that paper and haven't succeeded in locating it.. mostly because I don't have the password to the email I used for it anymore.

Anyways, I went to bed around 5am and woke up an hour and a half later surprisingly refreshed and ready for the day. I turned in my paper and marched my happy ass out of that school. The next day I came in and my teacher pulled me aside, handed me my paper, where I admitted to my rape, and told me I needed to go talk to a counseler. When I got down there, I was forced to admit to everyone I never wanted to what happened to me.

Then it was Spring Break.
It was really awkward at my house the whole week.
Then my parents left for California and I drove to Ohio to stay with my sister.
On the last day of my trip, I looked at my sister and said..

"Lib, I don't want to go back, I know this isn't over for me. I know tomorrow something is going to happen and it isn't going to be good."
she replied..
"Ella, you'll be fine. And if something does happen, I'll be on my way home the moment my phone rings."

I left, with a sickening feeling in my gut and got up the next morning and went to school.

In my first class of the day, my principal walked in to "check in" on the class.. He looked right at me when I walked in so I knew something was up. I knew something was going to happen. I continued about my day and realized every single faculty member was staring at me and keeping tabs on my whereabouts. It was so unnerving. My 2nd class of the day I got called to the Principal's office.

I was met there by Mrs. Hammill (our guidance counseler, may she RIP) to explain to me that the police were here to take my statement.

*gulp*

Well that made me nervous.
I didn't know what to do.
I sat down with them and repeated my story, the details of which I will spare you of.

Police - "It's so strange"
Ella - "what is?"
Police - "How calm and rational you are."
Ella - "why?"
Police - "Most girls we talk to can barely make it through the story without tears, or ending up in a corner. You just sat there, staring straight ahead.. numb."

I ran out of there the moment they were gone.
They told me I wasn't allowed to leave the school.
But I was beyond upset.. I wanted to run as far away as I possibly could.
I called my dad in California and told him if he didn't want me to get suspended, he'd call and get me out of school.

"You have to explain why Ella"

"You expect me to stand here in the middle of the hallway at the high school and explain to you what happened to me? What you want me to tell you all about my rape right here right now for EVERYONE to hear?"

I got called out immediately.
People started calling me asking me what the hell was going on since everyone knew the cops had been there to talk to me.

I was shaken.
I was broken.
I was terrified.

My sister immediately came home.
She spent the week with me taking my mind off of everything and convinced me to go to therapy which is by far one of the best decisions of my life. Although, instead of helping me work through moving on from my rape, it helped me to move on from douche bag boyfriend (referenced at the top). So bonus.

***

Today, I have the date tattooed on my ankle. This year marked 5 years. I thought of myself for a long time as a survivor, when in reality I was a victim. I couldn't move forward. I was just forever stuck on that day. Forever trying to find a way to will myself away from the situation.

I went to high school with the guy.
I saw him up until a year and a half ago. I don't know where he is these days and I'm okay with that.

Because of this I am not a huge fan of big parties unless I know a majority of the people there that can protect me. I've had a few panic attacks at parties and too many deja vu moments.. but I'm getting better every day.

These days, I'm looked at as being a survivor.
A real survivor.
I believe that now with all of my heart and that was the hardest part to accept..
Not that I was "tainted" as I feel so often when meeting new people.. You know that whole meeting someone new thing and them asking how/when/where you lost your virginity. Come on, it is bound to come up in conversation at some point.. I dread that. I don't want people to look at me different and believe me, they do.

I hope this doesn't change anything between us.
I love you all and that should be made apparent by me sharing this story with you.
In all honesty, I feel like I've really been holding out on some crucial facts/details of my life and starting now, I'm going to share them with you.
Any maybe, I can help someone along the way.


*There will be more parts.. possibly a series. For the record.

14 comments:

  1. I imagine this must have been really difficult to write, and I'm proud of you for sharing it with us. I don't have anything I could add except to say if you EVER need anything, I'm a great e-listener. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're very brave for sharing this. I don't think anyone will look at you differently, except maybe they will see strength.

    ReplyDelete
  3. We've said all we need to say about this. Love you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It gets better. Eventually you stop freaking out at parties and it ceases to pop unexpectedly into your head. That question about virginity will always come up, but you'll answer it matter of factly (if you don't already) without the emotional connection to it.

    I never told my family. When my creative writing teacher made a big deal out of something I'd turned in for the same reason I said it was all fiction. She didn't believe me but couldn't force it because I held to my lie.

    I went to school with him and was repeatedly harrassed and twice attacked by him.

    My family, to this day, doesn't know about it. It's been 15 years.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh girl, you are one brave woman for being able to come out about it. From one survivor to another - I'm proud of you!

    As for the virginity thing - it was not by your consent, and in my mind, that does not mean that he took your virginity. He took your innocence, yes. But until YOU willingly gave it, your virginity wa all yours.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am so appreciative of everything all of you have said.

    It makes me feel so much better about opening up here. I feel safe in my little corner and it is all thanks to you.

    I have so much more to share and you all have made it so much easier for me.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh Ella. I just dont know what to say. How horrifying and wrong. Your strength will certainly inspire others who maybe did not have the strength to tell.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Mama H - I hope it does. I want people to know that its okay to move forward and move on with life.
    It is a hard lesson to learn, but so worth it once you start make your way there.

    ReplyDelete
  9. At the bottom of my blog, as short as it is, is the results of the OTHER path you could have turned down. For all of humanity I am glad you took the right one, for my daughter took the left. Same age as you, but a longer time ago.

    Peace out and remember, we cant control our situations but we can control our actions following them.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Larry - Thank you. It was hard taking the right path and continuing along that one and not straying, and it still is a struggle, but I don't need anything else on my shoulders holding me back from anything.

    ReplyDelete
  11. We went to high school with him? I feel like I was one of the few that you had told before anyone else.. specifically while smoking a marlboro red on your porch long before we were legally supposed to be. But I never knew that.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You are a strong woman. Unfortunately we get haunted by things that made us who we are. Eventually, we learn to direct our energy forward. Eventually.

    It makes it hard when you have to see the guy everyday. I know. First hand.

    ReplyDelete
  13. By the way, that was a completely INAPPROPRIATE way that your situation was handled. COMPLETELY. I hope you filed a grievance so that they don't do that to anyone else. That is not ok!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I was too young to really understand.
    My sister wanted to but I'm pretty sure I stopped her since I was an angsty teenager who wanted little to do with the police.

    I'm hoping to be able to take action some day to spread awareness and get women to talk. We could change so much if people would just start the conversation.

    ReplyDelete