Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Innocence

"You were so cool that night, Porscha. You totally wanted it. I don't know why you're saying this," that's my rapist talking. I can see him sitting on his couch in front of the television. Bare feet on wine stained carpet. He's holding his phone while using his left hand to gesture for emphasis. "Porsch, rape is such a strong word. You don't just throw it around like that. I didn't hold a knife to your neck or anything. I didn't do anything wrong."

And for a while, as his voice comes through the my phone's speaker and slides against my eardrum, I feel sorry for him. I feel guilty for what I've said. I feel bad for feeling like I was forced to have sex with him against my will. I feel guilty for the panic attacks, the nightmares, the uncontrollable crying fits and the need to speak to a counsellor twice a week. I feel bad because I might be ruining his life by telling people that he may have ruined mine.

"I don't know what to say," I tell him quietly.

He's called out of nowhere. It's 7:20 on Wednesday night. I'm at home, instant messaging my sister on Skype while watching that horror flick with John Cusack, 1408. My phone rang, it was a private number. I answered. Cut to present-tense.

"Porscha," he starts. My name in his mouth makes my stomach churn. I imagine his hot breath against my face as I slipped in and out of consciousness. I feel my body rocking with his movement. I remember curling up and turning over to sleep but him continuing to penetrate me, despite my exhaustion and unresponsiveness. "One of the girls at work said you think I did something really bad to you."

I take a deep breath and prepare myself, "I just need you to listen for a little while." My voice sounds like it's fighting to escape my throat, it sounds tired and worn through. "That Sunday when I woke up, I looked around and couldn't, for the life of me, remember how I got there. I couldn't remember anything that happened the night before or anything..."

"Well what the fuck, Porscha. So you had a bad hangover. Now you think I raped you. You can't remember what happened? I'll tell you what happened." He goes on, "You were good, we had fun. I just wanted to have a good time."

Is there ever an absolute truth? Postmodernism says that truth lies in our relative perception. My truth is that I was raped. Someone used my body simply as a means to orgasm and didn't bother with asking my permission, though I was in no state to give it. His truth is that he and I both had a good time. That I wanted it and was okay with everything. The law states that it is completely illegal to have sex with someone who is under any influence whatsoever because it is impossible to fully gain that person's consent.

"Rape is sexual intercourse without consent or with indifference to consent. Indifference to consent is a legal term that means, for example, if a man has sex with a woman who is drunk or drugged and who does not protest, because she is not in a condition to give consent, it is rape. This means that the man does not care whether she gives consent or not (indifference)." CYH.com


"So, Porscha, if you ever want to talk, I mean it doesn't have to be about this, it could be about whatever, then just call me," he finished.

I hung up my phone feeling very confused. What was I supposed to say? I called my counsellor.

"Wow, Porscha, I'm sure that has got to be really difficult for you. Now that he's called, you're going back on things and doubting yourself?"

"Yeah, I just feel like maybe I'm wrong. If he thinks that it was all fine, then maybe I'm blowing this out of proportion."

"This happens so often and it's normal to feel confused and doubtful. Sometimes all we can go on is our perception of what happened. If you believe you were taken advantage of then that's right. He could have waited till you were sober; he didn't. He could have stopped at anytime; he didn't. If he thought you were okay, he was wrong because it turns out you weren't but he didn't bother to check," my counsellor assured me.

After making sure I wasn't feeling self-destructive, she told me she'd schedule another meeting for early next week for me and I thanked her and hung up.

I feel a little better now. My feelings are real and I know that. This is my truth.

17 comments:

SaucyKonfections a.k.a saucy said...

Wow,porscha(did i spell that right?),that was some deep stuff,real deep. Words alone would not be able to express what i felt when i read that piece. Continue to stay strong and stay saucy. LIFE IS SWEET!

La said...

I am SO angry right now. How manipulative! To call when you are still vulnerable and try to shape your perception of things. There's a difference between having sex with someone who is drunk and having sex with someone who is unresponsive to your advances. He KNEW the difference. Ugh!!!

With that being said, I am so glad you are willing to talk to an objective 3rd party who can help you fortify yourself against such foolishness. I had a friend who was assaulted and refused to get help because she didn't wanna admit it to anyone. She hasn't been the same since. You're so wonderful!!!!

jameil1922 said...

YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED!!!! i'm so appalled. SO appalled. such a typical thing for a rapist to say. "you wanted it" "you liked it" NO I DIDN'T!! you didn't ask me and you didn't give me a choice!! i've had at least 4 friends raped or nearly raped. all of them were in a 4 year period so i get really riled up about this stuff. don't deny your feelings. i agree w/la. getting help is the key. one of my friends was raped by her uncle before she was a teenager and didn't ever talk about it until she told us in college. i can't tell you how badly we all begged her to get help. she's never even told her mom.

natural muze said...

i'm glad you're talking to someone about this. don't allow him to manipulate the truth like that. he knew what he did was wrong, period. i'd report his ass in a minute. whew.

i hope this day finds you healing and obtaining some form of peace.

Vdizzle said...

"He could have waited till you were sober; he didn't. He could have stopped at anytime; he didn't. If he thought you were okay, he was wrong because it turns out you weren't but he didn't bother to check."

She is exactly right. Please do not doubt yourself.
You are still in my prayers sista. You will get through this. Stay strong.

Patricia Singleton said...

Porscha, I know you don't feel very brave right now, but it took a lot of courage to write this and post it to a carnival for other people to read. I am an incest survivor. Talking with a counselor and friends is the most important thing you can do. You haven't mentioned whether or not you reported the rape. Whether you do or not is up to you. What you need to do is to take care of yourself. If the sex had been concentual, as he says, you wouldn't be experiencing the intensity of feelings, the panic attacks, the crying spells, etc. that you described. Don't believe a word that that ass says. Don't let him intimidate you. Don't even talk to him until you are at the stage of confronting him about the rape and don't do that by yourself. It took several years of counseling before I was able to talk to my dad. I wrote him a letter. Then he called. I read the letter to him over the phone. When he tried to interrupt me with excuses, I told him to shut up and just listen. When I was finished all he could say was ok. I told him he was out of my life for good. I was shaking the whole time I was talking to him and continued to shake for some time after. I didn't speak to or see him for over 10 years, then he was dying. A year before he died, I had done enough work on myself that I was able to see him in the hospital and tell him I forgave him. He didn't respond except with his eyes which were glad. He died a year later, frightened and alone.

In June 2007, I started my own blog. You will find me in last 2 Carnivals Against Sexual Violence. I have been writing my Incest Series of articles only since August 3, 2007. The response to my articles has been very good. I was terrified to start writing these articles. You aren't ready for my latest article that I just finished last night. It is on forgiveness. Don't even think about forgiveness until you have taken care of your needs and learned to love yourself. Don't let people try to push you into forgiveness before you are ready. That happened to me by several church ministers over the years and I am sure there were some family members that thought the same. People will heartlessly tell you to just get over it. They don't have a clue. If it were that easy to forgive, I would have done it years ago rather than go through all of the years of pain. Until you can acknowledge and deal with your own pain, forget about forgiveness. It can become just another way to harm yourself with blame and guilt which isn't even yours. Some of the people who will tell you to get over it probably have unresolved abuse issues of their own. Ignore them. They need help themselves but won't get it until they are ready to face their own ghosts. That is their choice.

Find a counselor that will help you build your self esteem and learn to love yourself. Until you love yourself, the pain will never stop. You are a courageous woman. Find friends that can love and encourage you until you can love yourself. Wow!!! I didn't know I was going to say all of this. Take care of yourself.

CJ said...

wow. To be so honest and open is a freedom most of us will never know. So courageous!

Porscha said...

Thank you so much for your comments. It really helps to know that there are people out there who care, even if they don't completely understand what I'm going through.
@ Saucy: Thanks for stopping by the site, yup, that's how you spell my name. I'm glad my words touched you.
@ Lovely La: Yeah, it's been really beneficial to have a counsellor to talk through all of this. Even now, I can't believe he had the audacity to call me. Thanks for being so awesome. Did I tell you I have a sister in Atlanta? She told me to mention it.
@ Jameil1922: Goodness, I hope your friend is able to find some peace and I hope the same thing for myself. It's good to be able to talk to someone and write about it. There are days when I almost forget what happened and then something will just rub me the wrong way or someone will say something or I dunno, but it all comes back. If your friend is experiencing anything like I am, which I'm sure she is, she needs to get some help, free counselling is available.
@ Miss Muze: Thanks for you kind thoughts. I'm trying to not allow his words to have any strength over me.
@ VDizzle: You are so kind. Thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts. It means so much.
@ Patricia: Wow, your story is powerful. Thank you for sharing it with me. You are truly a courageous woman for confronting the man who abused you for so many years. This lets me know that I will be able to heal with time and help.
@ CJ: Is it strange that I don't feel courageous at all? Writing is really all I can do. Putting my words out there comforts me. I'm so thankful that people find the time to read them. Thank you.

Nikki said...

Ummm......what do you mean you have "a" sister that lives in Atlanta? I'm your only sister,missy!

Porscha said...

Whatev, Nik. You know what I meant. Goodness, you can be such a monster sometimes. Love Love Love.

Steve said...

PORSCHA!?!?!? are u fo reall????? what! why i gotta search a blog online to find this out...yo hit me up ASAP. Hope ur ok. get @ me. Take care, love u...peace.

--Steve

BeautyinBaltimore said...

I pray for you, please don't allow the uglyness of other people to run you away. You came to Austrailla for a reason, only leave if it becomes unbearable for you mentally.



I love your blog. I love how you express yourself in your posts. I linked it to my blacks who travel abroad blogroll some time ago.

Seeing Eye Chick said...

Porscha,

You dive right into the heart of the matter for many women. And by putting these details up where others can see them, you gift them with the freedom to explore their own experiences with honesty and grace. You might not feel courageous right now because you fear judgement and retaliation for saying/writing the words. Thats normal too.

If you were unresponsive then he should have backed off plain and simple. Your description sounds more like GHB than just alcohol consumption to me. MEN, real men dont have sex with women who are too drunk or drugged out to participate. He could have solved his problem with a piece of fruit and left you to sleep it off in peace. So he needs to back up and take stock of what he did.

Drinking or doing drugs does not make your lack of consent less valid. I know there are people out there who will say otherwise. But I know better. These other ladies know better as well.

A woman out to have a good time, is not an automatic invitation for sex, any more than a man passed out drunk is an automatic invitation to shave half his body and leave him in an alley handcuffed to a headboard in his skibbies.

Panik said...

"I feel bad because I might be ruining his life by telling people that he may have ruined mine."

This described the way I feel as well. I know I shouldn't but I still do, and that makes me angrier.
Thank you for writing this.

Celena Gill said...

Your writing is so vivid. As an avid reader who prefers the book to the movie, I can truly say that your writing is awesome....

Celena Gill said...

And your writing is very brave. I have also been a victim of a sexual assault, i.e. rape, and your words describe the things that I couldn't then. Thanks.

Bob said...

you really ARE courageous putting it all out there Porscha, I keep you in my prayers daily and think of "yankee idol" sometimes b/c i think thats funny...