TRIGGER WARNING. Graphic account of rape and sexual violence.
Trigger warning. Big old trigger warning. This blog has a graphic account of rape and sexual violence. The amazing women who has written this blog thought long and hard about if she wanted to write part two. She decided she wanted to. Her choice. Just as its your choice if you carry on reading.
These guest blogs are giving people a voice…I have said that before. But they are also helping those that have been reading them.
Before you go any further please take the time to read Permission not granted part one. And then…if you feel you want to…. listen to the rest.
Permission not granted. Part 2
Since writing my debut blog for Kendra I have been wrestling with how to continue telling my story. It’s not an easy story for me to tell for a lot of reasons. I have written and rewritten this blog a million times. I mean just how do you tell the story of how you became the victim of rape when the main perpetrator was the man you were head over heals in love with? How does that even work? How does a girl from a relatively stable home who had a really good education become the victim of “spousal” rape? I’ll tell you how. Rapists don’t give a shit about you in that moment. They don’t care about who you are or what you’ve achieved. They don’t care about your home life, your childhood or your future.. It’s not important to them that you’re someone’s daughter/mother/sister/friend. All they care about is the control over you in that moment or settling a debt that they believe you owe them…. I can’t say for sure because I have no idea how my wonderful boyfriend (let’s call him Pete) with whom I had a very active and quite twisted sex life (– I have a high pain threshold and boys seem to like that. I also have a very adventurous nature, take risks etc and believe in don’t knock it till you try it…) felt the need to rape me. I guess he tested the waters with me…. I should also say at this point that previously he had talked me into a 3some with him and one of his friends – I agreed to that because I’d done it before with a previous boyfriend and his friend was quite hot and lets face it when you’re 20 years old and feeling pretty shit about yourself and 2 rather gorgeous men want to sleep with you you go with it. Or at least I did because I wanted to. (and it’s at this point that judgement sets in from most of the people I have previously told about this… good time girl, slag, what did she expect…. )
I didn’t know then what he was actually all about. I didn’t know then that my beautiful boyfriend who was 19 years older than me and had treated me like his queen was a man who took turns with his friends to get a girlfriend, suck her in to the point where they could then subject her to the most humiliating terrifying and degrading gang rapes and solo rapes that you could imagine then do everything in their power to make you stay because they worked you so well that you questioned whether you were actually complicit in the act… He knew early on that I was grieving for my brother who had died in a car crash just over a year before I met him. He already knew that I liked alcohol a bit too much….
The first time it happened with his friends and him together was on a Friday. I had a rare night off from the nightclub where I worked as a barmaid 3 evenings a week on top of my full time secretarial day job. He was already home which was not unusual (he was a self employed) It was around 5.30pm. He was cooking a stew. I have to say at this point we didn’t live together – I lived in a shared house and he lived in a beautiful 2 storey town house but I spent every weekend with him there as well as a couple of nights a week. We talked of getting engaged and having kids. He’d spoken to my parents on the phone.. There were no indicators of what was going to happen. It all happened so quickly and seamlessly…
We finished dinner, we settled in the lounge with a bottle of wine as usual. I had most of it – he kept topping up my glass. The phone rang. He took the call (we’re talking corded land line – no mobiles in 1987). About 20 minutes later his friends arrived – nothing odd in that they came over quite a bit. 5 of them. All similar age to him – late 30’s and early 40’s. I knew them quite well. 2 were Czech nationals (one of those to my embarrassment was the guy I’d had the 3some with the week before), 2 were Hungarian and the other one was English. Nice enough guys. I felt comfortable around them – they had been a feature in every weekend of my life for the past 6 months. I had no reason to fear them. They were always nothing but respectful to me and we had all gotten drunk together on many occasions and I had always headed off to bed because I felt a bit sicky/swimmy. No problem.
My head was getting proper swimmy at this point that evening – we’d started on a second bottle of wine – I’m pretty sure he only had one glass. I told the Hungarian (I don’t use his name) that I was going to bed so he could watch “his” films with his friends – it was about 10pm I think – because I didn’t feel great. I started to walk towards the door. I was wearing skinny jeans, a t shirt and a cardigan. He followed me and took me by the arm, said he wanted a goodnight kiss. So I turned to face him. He kissed me. He kissed me hard. His mouth was firm against mine. His left hand was holding my right arm to my side and his right hand was cupping my face. I felt a little embarrassed because his friends were in the room including the one from the previous weekend (they were watching TV, drinking and had all done at least a line of coke each as had we). That’s when I felt his grip tighten on my arm. I asked him to let go as I wanted to go to bed. He didn’t let go he held me even tighter and was starting to walk me backwards towards the wall. What happened next all happened a bit quick. Suddenly I was pushed against the wall, my arm was over my head and he was using his body to pin me against the wall. His right hand was now over my mouth, he forced his knees between my legs. The 2 czech friends were on their feet now. I was pleading with them with my eyes. I was trying to shout I really thought they were going to get him off me. I really hoped they were going to tell him to stop so that I could go to bed and Saturday would be a new day and all would be well and he would apologise for being a dick. How bloody wrong was I??!!! They grabbed me and held me against the wall at first then while he started to remove my clothes then they forced me to the floor and held me down while he raped me. They ignored my pleas for it to stop. They took a lot of kicks to their bodies from me. I was not staying still. They stopped looking at my face. I did not exist to them. They kept swapping hands over my mouth. I was still struggling and trying to scream. The other 3 men just sat and watched. They did nothing to help me. They just asked if they wanted any help keeping “the bitch” still. When he was finished raping me the 2 Czech men continued to hold me down. I remember the Hungarian saying “she’s all yours, do what you like, she loves it all” and he looked me in the eye and he kissed me on the head. There was no emotion in his eyes. I felt sick. I was crying hard. He sat down in the arm chair. It all happened so fast. The 3 men who had been watching were now holding me down while the 2 Czech men took turns in raping and assaulting me more than once each, moving me around the room, forcing me on my front, on my back – whatever they wanted to do – ignoring my muffled screams and pleas for help. Ignoring that I was crying. Fighting me because I was struggling the whole time trying to move my legs my body.. I stopped struggling when I felt the knife. I thought I was going to die. A million thoughts rushed through my head. What would he tell my parents if I died that night?? I couldn’t have my parents go through the loss of another child. In that moment I stopped struggling. I just disconnected with myself. I can still feel the crack of the back of a hand hitting me so hard across my face and I can still hear the sound… I can still smell their breath, their stench. I can still feel their finger nails digging in my skin, I can still feel them grabbing at me, squeezing me. I can still feel the pain in my arms as they were being forced above my head. I can still feel their knees on my arms and my chest and I know that they all raped me. And I know it was more than once each. I know that more than one of them hit me. The bruise on my cheek and across my collar bone were the give away for that. I know that at one point there was more than one of them raping and assaulting me at the same time. And I know that the Pete was holding me down so that the English man could rape me. I don’t know how long it all went on for. It felt like forever. I just kept praying that I didn’t die. I prayed the knife would not penetrate my skin. I do remember that when it was over and I was lying on the floor unable to move unable to comprehend what had happened, unable to process what my beautiful boyfriend and his lovely friends had just done that to me – I was in so much pain, I was bleeding from a lot of places – that Pete came over and he picked me up – I struggled and kicked and punched him moaning and crying “no” I was convinced he was going to rape me again but he still managed to pick me up ( he was 6’ 5” and weighed around 16 stone with hands like shovels – I was 5’ 10” and weighed about 10 stone, I wore a size 8/10) He carried me upstairs. I felt detached from things. He was telling me to be calm. He was telling me how much fun we’d all had together and how he’d known that I was going to be able to handle it. He called me a good girl. He even said how much he loved watching me have sex with his friends. He said I was his queen. He even said he was so proud of me for what he had seen me do. Seen me do??!!!!! WTF!!! He was telling me that he loved me so much and what an amazing girlfriend I was to willingly have sex with his friends. He carried me into the bathroom. He was so calm. I let him carry me. I was terrified. I was numb. I lost all my energy. He locked the door. He put the shower on and told me to clean myself up and have a nice soothing shower. He said I’d earned it. He also tried to kiss me. He said I’d made him proud. He said I should make sure I washed it all off me as he didn’t want the bed sheets to be stained . He told me to go straight to bed after my shower as I must be tired after that performance. His voice was soft and soothing. He again told me he loved me. He said he knew when he met me I was the kind of girl who liked it rough. He told me he was sorry they had hit me as hard as they did…. He told me that I should understand that where they come this is what the girls expect. It’s normal. Normal??? I couldn’t take it all in……
I remember sitting in the shower hugging my knees and silently crying (he put me in there after he removed what was left of my clothing) with the water running over me wanting to die there and then wondering what had I done to lead them on to make them do that. He had managed to make me believe I had asked for it. It had to be my fault right??? He left me for no more than 5 minutes to see his friends out of the house. I mean he even told me in a round about sort of way that this was normal where they were from…. Had I even been raped in their eyes? He said he loved me…. He said his friends were grateful to me and that they loved my body and that they’d all had such a good time but hadn’t meant for it to get out of hand. They just got carried away he said. I just couldn’t process it. I had been quite drunk when it started but I soon sobered up….
When I woke up on Saturday morning every inch of my body ached. I had bruises all over my body. I even had bite marks on me. He was awake before me. For a second I hoped it was all a bad dream. I felt sick. My head hurt. He said I was hungover. Nothing was said about the previous night other than him thanking me for entertaining his friends. He was smiling at me….I was all over the place. I couldn’t process it. I had to believe that I had yes to it all because the alternative was so huge and so terrifying that I could not go there in my head. I had to bury it and pretend that nothing had happened. I had to make myself believe that I was compliant with it all. I loved him so much and he loved me. He made me tea and toast in bed, he’d even been out and got me flowers (there was a garage less than 100 yards from the house who sold flowers – lucky me eh?). He even came back to bed with me and made love to me. He was my beautiful boyfriend again. He was the man that I loved again. But he wasn’t was he?? I don’t know if he knew I was crying. That was when I saw that the knife that had been held against my throat the previous night was on the dressing table. And that was when I died inside again. That’s when I realised that it was highly likely that the previous night was going to happen again. It was only 3 days later that he raped me again because I said I didn’t have time to have sex with him because I was already running late for work. It was that day that he went to my home and moved all my belongings to his house. It was that night the he met me from work for the first time. I was that night that I started to abuse alcohol even more to self medicate and make things bearable. And it was from that night that it made no difference to him if I said yes or no. It happened anyway. And that was when the course of the next 18 months was pretty much set.
If you have been affected by this blog you can gain help and support from the following organisations may be able to help: