Photo from Wired
At almost two years of age I attempted to write my own story, when I ran out of words I tried to draw. It wasn’t a worthless effort however because as I was always told “It’s the thought that counts.”
At the age of four on Mothers’ Day I tried to make waffles with my older brother for my mom. It was half undone and probably tasted like shit. But she ate it anyway with happiness beaming in her eyes. Probably telling herself that “it’s the thought that counts”.
At the age of six, my Grand dad passed away. I was the last person to be alone with him. Apparently he once told that one day it would only be me who was there. I swear he wanted water. I opened my blue and red water bottle cap as he opened his mouth. I poured the last drop of leftover water after a long day at Elementary School into his mouth as he shut his eyes tired satisfied. I often wished I was old enough to understand death. Instead I ordered myself a coffin to go with my dead best friend and stood on his 6ft coffin to give a toast of Apple Juice for those who attended the funeral. Everyone thought this was sweet. I eventually told myself “it’s the thought that counts”.
At the age of 8, I had no hair, no earrings and no dresses. I was terrified of dolls and I hated the color pink. I was a ‘Tom-boy’. I made my first girl best friend and she was always dressed as a princess. I was more interested in my secret super powers but every once in a while I pretended like Barbie was cool. I guess they were told the same; “it’s the thought that counts”.
At age 10, I was going through my butterfly-caterpillar phase. If someone called me sweet or cute despite the beautiful or pretty I was hoping for, I told myself as preached before “it’s the thought that counts. ”
At the age of 12, He ran his fingers down my thigh and sniffed my hair like a blood hound. I wondered whether to feel pretty enough now.
At the age of 14, he said that I looked hot – that despite my insecure training-bra I was hot, that I was a woman.
At age 16, he grabbed me and kissed me and told me not to tell anyone. He told me I would feel good. He taught me not to enjoy a kiss. Not to have feelings. To feel completely numb. While my body was being taken over. I learned to bite in my ‘no’. I knew how to keep a secret. He told me not to tell anyone.
At the age of 18, he grabbed my boobs. He held on to them and played with them. As phrased in textbooks this is “implied consent”. For hell’s sake, I didn’t know that NO or DON’T was an option. I learned to bite my tongue and not struggle until he was done.
He instructed me to suck him off like a good girl. I didn’t have the strength to say no. So instead I murmured that ‘I am not in the mood’.
I was just starting to put the pieces of my story together. I was out of words.
I felt worthless.
In accordance to Sexual Offences Act 2003, section 01; Rape, it summarizes as follows. The actus reus (act) of rape involves the non-consensual penetration of the mouth, anus or vagina of a man or woman by a man’s penis. Penetration by any other object, i.e. hand, dildo etc. is not rape. And if the Defendant reasonably believes that the victim does consent, it isn’t rape.
Since age 12-18 I wasn’t raped. It may not even be sexual assault according to the law. I guess he, the Defendant did believe beyond reasonable doubt that me biting my tongue and me drowning my no and me waiting patiently till he was done, keeping his secret was implied consent.
I didn’t know that my choice mattered. I didn’t know that I had a choice in the first place. It was a nightmare I didn’t replay. A nightmare I tried to forget. But I failed. I still remember. Every detail, every word, every smell, every thought of disgust and anxiety. How I felt dirty. How I don’t think about it. If I don’t talk about it, it doesn’t exist.
I guess if I casually brought this up some day, he would say I was asking for it.
Maybe he was taught as well, just like the rest of us, that it’s the thought that counts.