I was assaulted three months ago.
I was violated by someone I trusted.
I was left confused, hopeless, and emotionally vulnerable by another person.
I was raped.
I did the right thing. I went to the police. I sat as they made me recount every detail of the incident, the person, the actions. I did the right thing. I went to the hospital where reality finally struck and I came out of shock to become a weak heaping mess on the hospital bed. They told me it was not worth the rape kit due to the trauma it would incite. The timing was bad. The details didn’t seem in my favor. I did the right thing. I waited as the police came to my house at 2:30 in the morning and collected my clothing. Took pictures of my house. Collected my bedding including pillow cases off my bed, leaving just a blank mattress and one lone pillow. I did the right thing.
I came in when they called me out of work. I came in to the station to ‘bait’ him into admitting he knew what he did was wrong. It wasn’t necessary; he already had admitted it and then some. He admitted he forced himself on me, he admitted he didn’t stop after I said no. He admitted he kept penetrating me as I laid there audibly sobbing. But I came in and got more admittance on text and phone recordings. I did the right thing. They gave me the pretense of the idea that if I did this, we would be able to arrest him within the following week. DO NOT go get an Order of Protection I was told. It would be made by the judge. I did the right thing.
It got passed to the District Attorney’s office. It sat for weeks. Weeks turned into months as I tried to play phone tag with the DA assigned to my case. Meanwhile I had my perpetrator casually appear places I had never known him to go. Parked outside my home on “public roads”, where nothing could be done because he was not contacting me. Driving the same direction as my path to work once or twice a week, despite working and living an hour from my work location. Public roads; coincidence. And I waited. I did everything I was SUPPOSED to do.
Three months of anxiety, and fear, and constant betrayal of my own emotions. Constantly hiding the feeling of paranoia. Constantly wondering if I was over it or just in another stage of denial. Constantly waiting for someone-a certain someone-to snap and attack me. Three months of trying to pretend everything is normal while knowing deep inside that nothing is normal. Three months of denying I was a victim in any way.
And then that call came. Three months of waiting for SOMETHING, ANYTHING. It came. The call that it was not worth the time and effort to push the case. A ‘He said/She said’ scenario.
It didn’t matter that I handed over my phone. It didn’t matter that I had pages and recordings for miles of him from day one admitting guilt and wrong doing. It didn’t matter that I have been in fear and paranoia for months. It didn’t matter that I have not slept more than four hours a night because the night terrors and the cold sweats make me clutch my knees and rock in bed sobbing. They make me check my children incessantly even though I know they are not in harm. Three months of checking every license plate of someone who appears to be following too close. Three months of assigned parking and (albeit a safety precaution,) alienation from my coworkers. It did not matter that I have thought about not getting out of bed in the morning; or that I would rather not try to make myself presentable because now every man (as ridiculous and untrue as I know it to be) is a threat. Because my perpetrator saw me at my worst. My worst physically; emotionally.
It will not go to court. There are no repercussions to him. There is no “slap on the wrist.” There is no consolation for the shell of a person I have become. It was never a question of letting it define me, or not “getting over it”. It is a question of what was taken from me. My trust, my sexual identity, my self worth. My confidence is gone. This was not an assault on my body it seems, but of my own inner self. This was an assault that was more personal than any Law & Order SVU episode will show you, this is more than the jokes the high schoolers will make.
I spent hours in the courthouse to apply for an Order of Protection. I did not receive one of those either. If I were to pursue through the fullest extent (if a judge has not already laughed at it) I would have to sit ten feet away from my perpetrator as he explained how he has done nothing wrong. Nothing to deserve a piece of paper stopping him from harassment. I will have to sit ten feet away from the man I once trusted around my children. The man I trusted to know more about me than anyone else in quite some time. I would have to sit in proximity to this man…who knows he did something terrible and walked away smiling.
I requested to file anyways. We don’t have his information to file. There would not be an order for as long as a year.
There will be no OOP. There will be no case to trial. There will be no justice except for the justice of knowing I DID THE RIGHT THING. And by God, I am trying, Lord knows I am trying to maintain composure. I have done a decent job the last three months and amazed myself. But those three months I had hope. I had faith that the system would stand behind me. I had the impression that those who do the right thing will be granted the right course. And I’m sure, in some parallel universe that they do. I would never tell another woman or man to not follow the process of reporting and following. I just would make it clear that you can do the right thing, and still come out hollow and broken.
I will move on from this. I will pick up the pieces of my own pity party and not let this define me. I will not let someone else have the validation of taking everything from me past this. But how do you go about getting your identity back when you haven’t even had a chance to catch your breath yet? How do you put one foot in front of the other while you’re still trying to get up off the floor? I guess we’ll see.
And in the meantime, I can at least pretend that there is some comfort somewhere, that may he walk around day to day knowing that he is a vile person who is not capable of respect. He is not capable of taking more than someone else is willing to give. And I hope every person out there knows that they are worth more than what someone else defines them by. Especially when they do the right thing.