The easiest stories for us to tell are the ones with the happy endings, right? But what about the in between. What comes after once upon a time and before the happily ever after. Up until now writing these blogs has been fairly easy for me. Not because I'm a talented writer, not because things have been easy for me. It's been easy to tell my stories because they aren't about my actions, they're about the actions of people close to me. That’s the stuff that’s hardest to say, and it’s the stuff I talk least about.
I've been struggling to write this blog. I’ve never told anyone the things I’ve written below. In fact, I completely put them completely out of my mind until recently. I saw an Instagram post by Abigail Breslin that said “You are not obliged to have sex with someone that you’re in a relationship with. Dating is not consent. Marriage is no consent.” I started having flashbacks of memories start coming back. And then I watched “13 Reasons Why” this past weekend. And I remembered everything.
When I was in 10th grade my mom got a new job and moved us to the ritzy part of town in Tallahassee. She took my out of my private Christian school and put me in the brand new public school that had just been built. New school, new friends, new life. I thought it could be my fresh start. My brother and I had to walk half a mile to and from the bus stop. Half way through 1st semester a new boy started walking with us. I don't know if he was new to school or new to the neighborhood, but there he was. He started becoming friends with my brother, which was odd because he was 2 years younger. My brother let him into our house one afternoon, so they could do “guy stuff.” I had a bad feeling every time he would walk with us. Luckily that feeling stayed with me that day. I went into my room and locked my door. I was silent, waiting for this strange person to leave me house. And then the boy tried getting into my room. I could hear him jiggling the handle, and then searching the door frame for the key. And then the words "I know you want it, Allison, just let me in" came. I called my mom who rushed home. Shortly after we left for Winter break…I never went back to school after that.
Fast forward to my early 20’s. My then boyfriend was sleeping over, which he did often. I used to be a very deep sleeper. I would sleep through alarms regularly, and even slept through a Tornado when I was a kid. I woke up in the middle of the night to him fucking me while I slept. It wasn’t sex, it wasn’t making love and it definitely wasn’t consensual. I jumped up and went into the bathroom. I was so upset, and shocked. I got back into bed soon after and he said “you’re not even going to let me finish” I felt so violated and betrayed. We never spoke of it again.
And then LA. I was 25 and I had just moved to LA. I met a guy on Tinder and we to a local restaurant for our first date. We were having a great time and he said he didn’t want it to end. We went back to my apartment where my roommate was (the only reason I thought it was ok to have him over.) He bypassed the couch and went straight to my room so my roommate wouldn’t be disturbed. I was weary but he seemed like a nice guy. He was an actor, I figured he wouldn’t do anything. And then he tried to assault me...in my own home, in my bed. We were just sitting watching a movie and the next thing I remember was him forcefully puling my pants down. I blacked out for what seemed like an eternity, but was just a couple seconds. I felt my pants around my ankles when I finally woke up and started screaming for my roommate. He ran out and that was it.
I haven’t been able to tell these stories before because I was scared. Scared of the sympathy, scared of the judgement, scared of the looks I might get. But after watching the show “13 Reasons Why,” I felt as though it was necessary. I never realized that my boyfriend had raped me. I never realized my first date in LA was trying to hurt me. But it’s because I thought it was my fault. I thought they did what they did based on my actions. Maybe I flirted too much, maybe our kiss lingered too long. There had to be some reason they thought it was ok.
Whatever you do, whatever the reason...If you don’t consent to sex, its rape. No matter what. And it’s happening everywhere. A patient was just telling me about a girl who was drugged and raped by someone she was with at a comedy venue. What kind of world do we live in that the word No is simply playing hard to get? I knew all 3 of these guys. They weren’t strangers in a back alley, or in a sketchy bathroom. They were all guys who were let into my home.
So there it is. These 3 stories make me who I am. But I live this amazing life in spite of these things. I’m a stronger woman and a better person because of those situations. Don’t let things that happen to you dictate your life. I hope by finally saying these things out loud it helps someone, anyone, who feels like they’re alone. Whether we’re friends or strangers, I will always listen.