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Jeanne G. Miller

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It was not my fault!
By Jeanne G. Miller
Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2007
Last edited: Saturday, March 22, 2008
This short story is rated "PG13" by the Author.
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The summer between my freshman and sophomore years in college, I was asked to go on a blind date with a friend of a co-worker from my summer job. The plan was to go in separate cars and all meet for dinner. After he picked me up, he said he had forgotten something at his apartment and he needed to go back to get it before we met the other couple at the restaurant. He invited me into the apartment while he went to get what he had forgotten. I should have waited in the hot car, but because my friend had known him and had recommended him, I assumed that he was a safe date.

At first, he treated me as though I was a pretty young woman. I did not sense that my limp (from a physical disability) bothered him. I did not feel inadequate or shy as common emotions that I secretly carried within my soul. I felt confident and in control of my life. After a few minutes in the apartment, he forced himself on me. It happened so fast that I could not defend myself. All I could think of was that it was my fault, as I should not have gone into the apartment. I did not even think about screaming or clawing my way to freedom. I felt paralyzed and unable to take charge to bring about a different outcome. I kept saying, “Stop,” but it had no effect. He just became more forceful, holding me down with his hands and legs. Sexually, it hurt, and I was forced to be in positions that were compromising to my hip. My leg was in excruciating pain and I felt like it was being ripped out of my hip socket. The time seemed to stand still. I did not think the pain would ever end. I began sobbing and pleaded with him to stop, but he just kept on until he was finished. When it was all over, he told me to get up, clean up, and we would go to dinner. I was shocked that he was so nonchalant about the devastating event that had just happened to me. I was bruised, bleeding, shamed, and disoriented beyond my ability to process. Like a robot, I did what he said and attempted to clean up. However, my body felt so dirty. The world was swirling around me, and I was not sure that I was going to be able to stand. I felt sick to my stomach. My mouth began to gush with saliva and I was not sure I could get to the bathroom quickly enough before throwing up. After emptying the contents of my stomach, I was overcome with tears. My tears kept pouring out, and just about the time I thought that I had control, the tears started falling again. My make-up was all over my face and my hair was a mess. I struggled to find any coping skill that would allow me to “act as if it had not happened.” I had gone into his apartment of my free choice, but I did not ask for sexual intimacy. I had not been flirtatious, nor was I dressed in a loose fashion. What happened? My old coping skills slowly began to assist me so that I could minimize, deny, and disconnect from the pain. I think that I really was more in shock and therefore numb, rather than being successful with faking it. I was so traumatized that I went to dinner as planned. I did not even think of getting a cab and going right home. During dinner, I was miserable sitting next to the man who had just raped me. My friend noticed that something was wrong with me and asked about it. I was too full of shame to admit to her what had happened. I was too ashamed to talk about it. I was able to ask the friend to take me home after dinner. I stuffed the guilt and dirtiness I felt. Before the rape, I had begun to repair my self-esteem. Through education, physical therapy, and some successes, I began to accept that I had some value. Because of this sense of worth, I was able to challenge the college professor who humiliated me in front of the art class. However, all of this crumbled as the result of the rape. The agony of shame returned as I wondered if I was responsible for the entire experience. A few months after the rape experience, a high school classmate asked me to go on a blind date with one of her long time friends who was on leave from the army. Why I went I do not know. Maybe it was because I had known my friend for a long time or because I felt motivated not to allow myself to be put in that same situation ever again. Maybe I needed to reestablish control over my life. I now knew to be on the watch for sexual advances. I was rather apprehensive as I saw his car drive up to the curb. Just as he opened the car door to step out, the skies opened up and let loose of a sea of water. He ran for the front door. He was drenched nonetheless. When I opened the front door to meet David, he was sopping wet. The water was dripping off his eyelids and running down his face. He looked at me with the silliest expression, and he had a sense of humility about his being wet. I looked into those big blue eyes, and I fell head over heels for him. A dozen red roses came from him the next day with a note that read, “I enjoyed our time together. When can we have another date?” David and I dated for several months, getting to know one another with comfort and compatibility. He had had polio as a child, and he had encountered his own struggles on his way back to health. I felt we understood each other. It seemed that David accepted me with all of my limitations. He was funny and outgoing. He had energy about life that I enjoyed being around. I became spellbound in love with him and I daydreamed about spending the rest of my life with him. I know I fell in love with him with a passion as big as the state of Texas. Because I felt confident in our relationship, I decided to risk sharing my date rape experience with David. I had a sense that if I did not tell him, I would be founding our relationship on “withheld information,” and the strength of a solid marriage lay in open communication. My family origin had too many secrets to be a healthy family. I had also used the camouflage of silence to protect my emotions. I felt it was time to risk developing this new relationship on truth and openness. I had not told anyone, and it was a huge risk for me to be telling it at all. As I shared the story with him, it was as if I was experiencing the date rape all over again. I was sick at my stomach and my hands were sweaty. My heart was racing, which led to a mild form of hyperventilation. My mouth became dry. I felt like my throat was going to close before I could share the experience. I told him how I had felt violated. I described the lingering guilt. I explained how I did not believe that I had asked for the sexual encounter. I felt that I had tried to stop it but that he had been stronger than I was. I talked about the shame I carried in my heart and how dirty I felt. I was at the point of tears from reliving the story as I told it to him. He could see I was in excruciating agony. In a heartfelt response, he put his hand on my shoulder to comfort me. I finished and waited. The wait seemed so long. After he heard my story, he turned his head away from me and was silent for a long while. Then David said, “I forgive you.” What did he mean? Did he just not understand about rape and about blaming the victim? Did he think the rape was my fault? I was confused and hurt beyond my ability to respond any other way then to burst into tears. Where was God? Why had He let me go through this horrific event? I raged against God for allowing this devastating event to befall me. I was innocent. With much counseling, I later came to realize that we all have been given the gift of free will (otherwise we would not be free to chose and receive the love of our Lord) and that result is that we can hurt others. I have become aware of how my actions or words can hurt others. I am not an abuser as I was abused, but I can by my own free will hurt others or bless them. It took a long struggle, much soul searching work, and with god's grace, I was able to forgive the abuser. I was also able to let go of the burried self blame that was in my soul. The rape was not my fault. I should have reported it and held the abuser accountable, but I blamed myself and therefore, I said nothing. Had I to walk through the abuse all over again, I would have reported it and made a stand for my rights.       


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Reviewed by Mary F (Reader)
My daughter just recently told me this happened to her also. It did not happen just once but several times over the course of three months. This boy was here boyfriend & she had been dating him for about 9 months before this started happening to her. By the first time it happened she was in love with him & he had her so emotionally manipulated & dependant on him. She did not want to loose him or get him into trouble & was also afraid of him. So she continued seeing him anyway & told no one about what he was doing to her, not even her best friend. It even got to the point where he would hold her down & I did notice bruises on her arms. When I questioned her about the bruises she said she got them when they were playing around with each other. This has not been reported yet because my daughter is refusing to report it. This boy found out that my daughter was finally telling her friends what happened. So he told his parents & this boys mother sent my daughter a message on facebook. This women had the nerve to threaten my daughter with a civil suit for defamation of character against her son, if my daughter did not stop talking about it. She told her she would not just sue her but also her parents & that her lawyer would be in contact with her parents if she told anyone else. My daughter had only told her close friends & her parents when this boys mother sent my daughter the threat. Since then this boy himself has gone & told other students at school directly, that he knows will spread it around, that my daughter is lying about him raping her. I talked to a lawyer who said they can not file a civil suit against her at this point. I do not want to force her to report this but at the same time I want justice for her. I also fear what happen to my daughter will happpen to another girl if I can not convence her to report this to the prosecuter. The day after my daughter told me what happened I made her an appointment to see her therapist. The soonest appointment for her to be seen was yesterday. So she has only talked to the therapist once about this so far. The therapist told me that there is a good chance the boy will not be prosecuted & that reporting it would cause my daughter more harm than good. Even though the therapist does believe my daughter & agrees that this was definately date rape that occured. The lawyer I talked to said that if the prosecuter does not think there is a strong enough case they won't even file the charges. So I don't think there will be much harm in atleast having my daughter tell them what happened, even if no charges are filed. I am at a loss trying to figure out what to do in this situation. If you have any advise or would be willing to talk to my daughter please message me. I am not sure if she will respond back to you but if you are willing to write her a message, then I could atleast give it to her. Thank you for having the courage to share what happened to you. I wish you healing & peace after having to endure such a horrific ordeal. It certainly was NOT your fault & the man who did this to you will pay for it one day! It may not be here on this earth but God will hold him accountable for sure!!!
Reviewed by Julie Donner Andersen
(((Jeanne))) First of all, my most heartfelt sympathy. You endured a horrendous experience, but you survived. Many are not so blessed.

It's amazing how many men still feel that rape victims somehow "asked for it" by the way they were dressed, or if they were drinking, or if they gave the rapist a certain "look". More education is needed. Your story contributes to that edication, and for that, I thank you and God bless you.

As for your writing, the ending of this story, as written, came too abruptly. I would like to have read about what happened to "David", and more about your anger and eventual reconciliation with God. Otherwise, a very compelling read.

Reviewed by Denise Contreras
I sure can relate to this as I have been date raped before. It is good your sharing about it writing is healing. Hope we can get to know each other. We can share with eachother are writings.
Thank you for being here.
Hugs Angela

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