My phone rang at around at 3pm, I was at Birdy’s work in her office talking to her about the date I was going on that night, Bowling and Subway with a nice guy I kinda knew through friends. The call was my ex-boyfriend Mr.Nothanks, fresh outta ex-boyfriend-land, boyfriend of one and a half years. I had not heard from Mr.Nothanks for a week or two so I considered that it must finally be the end this time because usually it lasts a week you know? Every month for 2 years, you get used to the pattern. But no, here I was my heart skipping a beat and my brains scrambled when I saw his name pop up, was that excitement? or was I frightened? I couldn’t tell.
Mr.Nothanks needed to see me, at my house when I got there, I told him:
“I can’t, I’m going on a date tonight”
“Oh really? Well alright then”
He hung up and I was relieved, I felt strong that day, I felt able to perhaps-maybe-possibly-not? break the cycle. I said goodbye to Birdy and headed home to make myself date ready cos you know, that shit takes a while. I was in the shower when I heard the knock on the wood panels of the transportable cheap ass shack I was living in with Wheels.
I walked out of the bathroom and there he was, the ex boyfriend that I thought I loved so much, that I was so forgiving of. The ex, I let treat me like dirty crack den mattress, that cheated and humiliated and crushed my heart once a month with random or not so random break ups and manipulation, that ex, the one I thought I needed so dearly was back, with me in my shack made of dodgy ass wood. While he was a weakness of mine I knew I didn’t want him there, at first I was happy to see him standing there, but then I remembered it all, all the disgusting things he said and did and I remembered that I was after all going on a date in less than an hour. I said I would get dressed and told him he had to go because I was being picked up soon, he didn’t leave, he proceeded to push me into my room while I was still in my towel, my hair still dripping from my shower, he pushed me past the bi-fold caravan style doors that I hated so much, I wasn’t even sure what I was thinking or why I wasn’t enjoying the idea of what he wanted at that moment. I had never turned him down before because of my own lack of self respect, my need to have a ‘man’ in my life regardless of how he treated me, he clearly didn’t ever have any respect for me either, I also never had a date to go on before either.
I was telling him “I can’t”, that “I didn’t want to” when he grabbed my wrists, when he held them on my stomach as he pushed me on my bed, the same bed I had as a teen, the same bed where I cuddled my toddler in the night. He then moved my arms above my head while I said “No No NO” Mr.Nothanks began to force my legs open with his knees and I began to cry, because I felt crushed under him and my wrists hurt and the tears hurt my insides because I knew this feeling, I knew it. I cried more and it wasn’t until I screamed at him to “get off…. GET OFF ME!” through the tears right before shit was about to go down when I unleashed my anti-Rape demon. He stopped, reeled backward and his eyes weren’t black anymore. He stood, and watched me as I wiped the tears away. Rewrapping my towel around me, I was sobbing and I told him he needed to leave, I told him he had to leave and he did. I will never forget the look in his eyes, the black emptiness of them when he did that to me.
Then I went on my date, with in like 30 minutes of that. It was nice. Nice guy, fun date. But the enormousness of what happened that day never really clicked, not really, not until I talked to Batman about it last night and all day it played on my mind. I was nearly raped by my ex boyfriend, but I didn’t see it as that. I couldn’t see.
Later that week I told a few friends about it and one said:
“He tried to rape you”
I laughed it off and a week later I was back there with him, his girlfriend again.
“You almost raped me”
I told him.
He told me that he thought I was just messing around and that he didn’t mean it and it was just a game, that he thought I wanted it. He said he didn’t mean to scare me. I believed him, he said he was just playing, I believed him. And besides we loved each other. Right guys? Amirite? I believed him.
That relationship was so typically childhood sexual abuse victim, I was messed up from the abuse from my childhood and when I started to deal with that childhood abuse at around 21-22 was around the same time I began the relationship with Mr.Nothanks. I was so depressed I spent 2-3 whole weeks in bed doped up on valium my Dr prescribed because I was exhausted, anxious and almost crippled with sadness about my relationship, perhaps about the incident of the almost–did-he-didn’t he try to rape me thing. It had reduced me to a joke with my friends, they couldn’t take me seriously anymore, my relationship was like a TV Drama, it caused me problems in a job I really liked that I eventually got fired from because my anxiety was too much, my crying was too much, and as a result I couldn’t eat and I dropped to 53kgs was drinking all the time and don’t even get me started on how I parented Wheels in that time.
My ex had this aggressive charm, he was somewhat captivating to me although anyone who met him said he seemed creepy arrogant and overconfident. I never saw that. Not even after the time I was at the beach with some friends some male some female, I invited him along to meet them and he came which was out of character. He then proceeded to sulk, then started a fight with me and told me that my friends are only my friends because “they want to fuck you” (don’t blame em) and then poured red wine over my head in front of them all. One day after an argument he shoved me to the floor in my house and I hurt my knees. He used to get phone calls from random ‘girls’ who like me didn’t know better at 12am and 1am ‘needing‘ him. One night it was raining and we were driving up the expressway and he asked me for my facebook password and when I said no, he ripped up the handbrake which stopped us, I slapped him hard on the chest and kicked him out of the car, he ended up calling one of his 17 year old mistresses to pick him up. He would demand to see my phone bills monthly to ensure I wasn’t cheating and questioned every number he didn’t recognise. He would set me up using his friends mobile numbers and pretend to be an interested guy to see what I would say. And on a holiday, I was sitting in the car and I was wearing a skirt , he told me that I was a slut for putting my feet on the dash and brought it up for months afterwards. I would get Texts telling me to “DIE DIE DIE SLUT DIE” so often it became and still is a giggle between my bestie ‘Lovely head’ and I. I didn’t see the arrogance, the manipulation, the abuse.
I didn’t even see it after that time he nearly raped me.
Yet I stayed. I stayed devoted to a man that emotionally and physically abused me. And I think I stayed because I didn’t know anything else at this time in my life, I was so messed up that I thought this is what I deserved. I couldn’t see that what he was doing to me and my son Wheels was wrong. I think as for even a long time I down played the Sexual abuse that I was able to downplay this, because, well, he never hit me and never actually raped me. So it’s ok.
I honestly am lucky I wasn’t raped, and maybe he really didn’t know what he was doing, or maybe he wasn’t even aware I was scared and not ok with it. Maybe I’m wrong, what happened was ok? So many more than me have had much worse experiences and I in no way could even begin to try and understand what it might like to suffer something like that. So why should I complain?
The line in the sand is blurred. My perception just like thousands of other women’s is blurred. Sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse all needs to be talked about openly and freely, people need education on less obvious abuse because those women get hurt and suffer too, men especially young men they need that education too. People need to be reminded that any abuse is abuse and it is never ok because there are women like ‘ole/young Neeks (up there)’ who didn’t understand that fucking blurry line.