It's still something I think about everyday. Usually in the early morning when I get up from hopefully but rarely 8 hours of sleep. It's like the first set of images my brain processes once it's awakened. It's in those few moments I still feel defenseless against him. Luckily I have developed what people with PhDs call “defense mechanisms” or what I call, the ability to lie to myself. One thing I will not do is lie to other people. I hope as I recount my story below, it will give you, the reader some insight on survival and just how lonely it can be.
Honestly, I can say at this point I am by far more upset with the people who were supposed to help me after my assault than even the person who did it to me. While I will never forgive him, I have accepted him. I have not however accepted the hospital staff that left me standing in a room clothed in nothing but an open back gown, for over 3 hours. Did they ever stop to think I didn't want the parts of my body that had been violated to be exposed? Did they ever think to perform a rape kit on me and that just because I am a male, didn't mean there wouldn't be something there, anything there to help me with a case?
I also do not forgive the police department that refused to investigate, and never even visited the scene of the assault, to collect any evidence. Their actions make me regret being smart enough to force myself to vomit and leave various other pieces of “myself” in that dark room, hoping it would provide proof of what had occurred. That happens to be the same police department that told me, via the investigating officer (if you can call him that) that with me being on the antidepressant Prozac, a jury would never believe anything I had to say. They also neglected to ever tell me about the boy my assailant raped and brutally beat before me, that was so scared for his life he left the country, no they never did. The same police station that now after a year has yet to ever call me once, they didn't even call me to let me know my case closed.
I am not satisfied with the support (speaking generously), that I received from my local rape crisis center. From the first day I reached out to the agency, I felt as if I was an outsider, someone they just did not know how to handle and barely put forth the effort to try. Every request I made to speak out, to advocate for myself and male survivors traveled to closed ears, closed minds and closed pockets. I fought hard to try and get funded a trip to NCCASA, the state sexual assault foundation here and I was told quote; “What do you think you will accomplish there, it's just an office”. Whenever It's been requested that I participate in some sort of fund raising event or some sort of publicity opportunity (such as this) I have always given myself to the cause, it's my role as a victim.
My friends abandoned me. People that I used to talk to on a daily basis are now once a month phone calls. Nobody is excited to take the “person that got assault” out. It's as if I have become a social stigma, something people don't want to be associated with in fear it might rub off on them. My family chose not to support me. Instead of offering sympathy and encouragement they offered criticism and blame. The person who attacked me dressed me in black sheep's skin. Without my consent I became the person people whisper about at the dinner table.
Relationship wise I cannot picture myself getting close to anyone, that part of me is now locked up tight in a box of shame. Instead of seeking out the good in people I am inclined to search for the bad. I view ever encounter as an opportunity for someone to manipulate me, abuse me or judge me. Just one of many gifts I was given that night.
In the aftermath, I tried to be a warrior, I even had the word tattooed on my right arm but, I am losing this war. I no longer view my outcome as optimistic, the glass is half full....of doubt. Even so, I will continue to fight for those that came before me and those that will come after me. It's my goal now not to seek justice for myself but for others. Somewhere buried deep in this dark cloud there has to be a silver lining, I keep looking.