There has been a story in the news about a young woman who was raped by a college athlete after a party where both had been drinking. The story brought outrage because the judge in the case sentenced the athlete to 6 months when he could have received 14 years. The father of the rapist said his son should not have his life ruined over a 20 minute activity. Another athlete from the same school who was (falsely as later proved) convicted of rape was given a larger sentence.
These stories seem to come out more and more as victims are encouraged to speak out and as those on social media try to administer some virtual justice to the rapist. And as these stories are being reported, especially those involving college students, I thank God it never happened to me. I like to think I was more alert, street savvy, rarely drank, and had an awesome group of friends (many male) who looked after me.
But with this story in the news, it reminded me, I was just lucky.
I dated three guys in college. The first guy it was all innocent. Both of us had a hard time believing someone wanted to date someone like us. The relationship got to be too much for me and I broke it off. He ended up leaving school later.
The second guy, was full of confidence. He was not an athlete or even some guy that would make you look twice as he walked by. He was funny, nice, and interested in me. Once again, I was amazed someone would want to go out with me – sense a theme here? I was also battling anxiety/depression (which would not be diagnosed for another six years). Whenever I had an anxiety attack, he was there for me. We would sing and dance like big goofs to Jimmy Buffett. I considered “Come Monday” to be our song.
He was also my first. He made it all about me. When I was ready. When I wanted to. And when the time came, he was gentle. Perfect, eh?
As has been said, hindsight is 20/20. Looking back he had me in the palm of his hand. Not that he took advantage of it, but this city girl who thought she knew everything and was so careful was naive as could be. When I would stay over, he would make me sleep on the floor. Granted, he only had a twin bed, but still. When his best friend would come from out of town to visit, the friend was first and right. The guy was a jerk, but he would never stand up for me. All this I remember and have for years.
There is one thing he said to me that has slowly crept out of the memories I have kept hidden. He once said to me that basically, if I bring him to the point of arousal that not having sex would cause him pain, that he would rape me.
It never happened. I don’t know if it was because I was scared it would or if it just never did. But here was a man who said he loved me who said he would rape me if I didn’t finish him off. And I accepted that. How screwed up is that? I was so in love, so excited that someone thought I was pretty and all that crap, that I would have allowed him to rape me.
If we read this post about a young woman in college now, we would ask why she feels this way about herself? Bad parenting? Dad not around? We want an answer to find out why a woman would be so screwed up that she would allow such a thing. What was her family life like? Was she abused? Ignored?
The answer for me is”no.”
I had a normal childhood. Great parents. Wonderful siblings. Great friends. I was smart. Was it the depression? I don’t know. Probably. But since I hadn’t been diagnosed, I will never know.
What I do know is that I thought anything I did to lead to rape would be my fault. I doubt I would report it, I mean, we were dating. He was a nice guy. He loved me. I can go on and on as to why he thought this was acceptable and why rape is so prevalent on college campuses.
He left me for another woman. Who he later married. Who I hope he never raped because he was in pain. It has been 20+ years and I still get upset at the mention of either one of them. Not because I am still in love with him, but because I was rejected.
And that’s why I hate Jimmy Buffett.