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What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger

by Sam Kissiar 4 years ago in gender roles

But Also Slowly Chips Away at Your Sanity

I don't talk to people much about social issues. I don't think I should have to explain why everyone should receive basic human rights. The right to be in a country founded on immigrants. The right to choose what you do with your body. The right to proper health care and mental treatment. These are all things that every person on the planet should rightfully have, these among others. I shouldn't have to spell this out.

But rape is a different story.

Probably because I've been raped thrice, so I have firsthand experience to the insubordination that is the average White American male. Because three out of three times, that's who was on top of me.

I guess the first time, he wasn't on top. I was. But I still didn't have much of a choice.

I was in community college and I'd had my eyes set on this one dude. Pretty cute, I suppose. Tall, dark hair, deep voice, kind eyes, huge nerd. I was in awe of this man—no, not man. Boy. He is a boy. Because no real man would ever rape someone. Real men get permission. Anyways, I finally got his attention and we became a thing. And one day we were hanging out in his car, just being normal teenagers and making out. And he asked me to give him oral. I told him no. Simply put. No. But it turns out, no wasn't the right answer, and the next thing I know is my face is being pushed down into his lap and my mouth is being filled with the sour, stagnant taste of his erection. I don't even remember him ever taking the thing out. But he did, and now I was choking on it. I thought I would vomit. Oh, and I wasn't allowed back up until he came in my mouth AND I swallowed every last drop of semen he spewed down my throat.

And that was the first time I was raped.

The second time was a little more average, if that's what you want to call it. When you think of rape, this is the scenario that plays through your head. I'm still in community college. I'm at this party with five — count 'em, FIVE — of my closest friends. There's literally only six people at this party. We were having a blast and we were all getting smashed. I'm pouring myself another heavy shot of vodka and suddenly it's ripped from my hands. Agitated, I sloppily look to see who might be taking my elixir from me, only to come face to face with the guy who had a massive crush on me. I was single at this time, and I wasn't really interested in this guy, but he was taking my booze and I was not happy. He told me I'd had enough, and that he was cutting me off, and I argued with him that it didn't matter since I wasn't driving home. He took the vodka upstairs, and I followed. He dragged me to the top floor and forced me into a bedroom — I had no idea where the vodka went at this point — and before I could even say anything in protest, he had me stripped and on the bed and was plowing into me. I was too drunk and weak to stop him. Even if I was sober, I couldn't have forced him off me. But it happened and he finished and left me there. My best friend (who no longer is) was at that party. She still doesn't know about it. Neither does my rapist.

The third time I was raped is why I'm studying psychology. Well, sort of. The guy I was dating at the time raped me in his sleep. It's a sleep disorder called sexsomnia. It exists. It's a real thing. And it's still rape. It's not a valid excuse to get away with having full on sexual intercourse with someone while you're asleep. I'm hoping to study the phenomenon more when I get my PhD, but for now, it's only introspection. There's been studies done on the disorder, but there isn't enough data to go to a lawmaker and ask for it to be regulated, and it isn't in the DSM-5. But back to the incident. I was lying in bed, nearly about to hit deep sleep, when I feel him on me. He's grabbing me and pulling me closer to him. I thought he wanted to cuddle. I was horrifically wrong. Now he's inside of me and I can't figure out what's going on. I try to rouse him awake. I tell him to stop. He won't listen because he can't. He's asleep. Asleep and having sexual intercourse with me. But he still didn't have my permission. I even told him to stop, even though he couldn't hear me. It was so odd.

I asked him about it the next day, and he just shrugged it off. Simply said that it was something that he did sometimes.

The point is, these things didn't kill me. They certainly did make me stronger. But at the same time, they eat away at my mental stability. Every day, they push me deeper into the looming shadow of depression, leading me down the claustrophobic pathway that is anxiety.

I don't mind talking about what happened to me. I want to share these moments with others, so that they know that these things are real and these things need to be dealt with. That this is a real problem. I'm not saying that these kinds of things only happen to White women by White men. That's just how it happened for me. I'm not saying any of this was my fault, even the second time, because it wasn't ever my fault. People need to be taught from the get go that this is unacceptable behavior.

#metoo

gender roles

Sam Kissiar

I'm studying Psychology right now and I think writing will be a good way for me to calm my nerves and help with the stresses of college. And the extra money will be nice, I suppose.

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