Can’t take the trauma anymore…

I’m in a tremendous amount of pain these days due to a long history of male-inflicted trauma I have experienced over a period of many years.  Sometimes I feel as if I’m the only woman who has ever dealt with such heinous behavior from men.  It really helps me to read about experiences that other women have gone through that are just as bad or even worse than mine.  It helps me to see that I’m not alone and that there is obviously some kind of huge gender or social problem at play here that isn’t being addressed.  I guess this is just a vent for me right now, but here’s a breakdown of what I’ve been through that is causing me to hate and destroy myself these days:

Seven years ago as a new student in college, a male classmate invited me to his dorm room to study and ended up trying to make out with me.  I refused to make out with him because he had a serious girlfriend who was an old friend of mine, and I wasn’t going to do anything like that to hurt her.  So I stormed out of his room and left.  Someone saw me leaving his room and told her about it.  She immediately dumped him and never looked back.  He blamed ME for everything and called me one evening vowing to get revenge on me for it.  And he did by making up a disgusting rumor that I had shoved foreign objects into my vagina in front of him that night and then spreading that rumor all over school FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS.  Even on the night before our senior graduation ceremony 4 years later, he was STILL spitefully repeating his pathetic little lie to other guys trying to get one last laugh out of it.  I guess his hateful grudge towards me for turning him down never died!

Two years ago a male friend I knew from college pulled me into the bathroom at a party and forced me to have sex with him on the bathroom floor.  When I cut off all contact with him and avoided him like the plague from thereafter, he had the audacity to wonder why I was snubbing him!!  He is currently awaiting trial and a possible prison sentence for being found passed out in his car by a police officer with heroin needles in his car.

A few months after that, another old friend of mine who I had known for ten years invited me to visit him in Chicago for a weekend so we could have fun and catch up, since we had always kept in touch via internet but hadn’t seen each other in person for several years.  The first night we went out on the town, he put some type of drug into one of my drinks to knock me unconscious.  I vividly remember sitting next to him up at the bar counter looking out at the skyscrapers and suddenly having this feeling of something “washing” over my brain.  And from that moment on I was barely even conscious the rest of the night….walking around in a haze like a zombie.  Fortunately for me, he didn’t get to take advantage of me that night.  What saved me was that either I didn’t ingest enough of whatever he had drugged me with, or I got it all out of my system that night when I threw up.  I only had two weak drinks that night, and I nursed & sipped them instead of gulping them.  And on the cab ride back to his apartment, I got motion sickness and vomited up everything I had eaten and drank that night on the sidewalk outside his building.  As soon as I threw up, I instantly felt better….instantly “awake”.  Whatever daze had come upon me suddenly left me as soon as I threw up and got whatever was in my body out of my system.  Once I was fully alert again, I guess he wasn’t going to risk attempting to rape me.  He played the whole thing off as me just being a lightweight who had drank too much that night, and as soon as I returned home after that weekend he suddenly became VERY shady towards me and stopped speaking to me.  It took about a year for me to realize that he had quite possibly drugged me.  Looking back on the events of that weekend, too many things didn’t make sense.  I have NEVER become drunk to the point of unconsciousness after only TWO weak girlie drinks, and there had to be some reason why a longtime friend like that would suddenly cut me off after hanging out and catching up for a weekend.  I later ran a test on myself by returning to that same bar and restaurant and ordering the exact same food and drinks I had consumed that night…and I was perfectly fine afterwards.  This confirmed my suspicion that a longtime trusted friend of mine had drugged me with the intention of doing God knows what to me.

A year after that, ANOTHER male friend I had known for ten years suddenly broke the news to me that he had had feelings for me ever since our school days and wanted to have the chance to finally date me.  I wasn’t bothered by this in the least because he was one of those friends whom I had always been able to confide to and joke around with.  He was kind of like a brother to me.  Immediately after we had sex for the first time, he did a complete 180 on me by laughing in my face and saying to me, “Sorry whore.  We were never really friends and I never really wanted to be with you.  I just always thought you’d be a good lay and I was gonna do whatever it took to get into your pants….even if I had to pretend to be friends with you for ten years. So fuck off and have a nice life!!”  And with that he suddenly blocked me from his cell phone, Facebook, and AIM messenger and disappeared.  The last I heard, he had become quite despised throughout his town for basically “servicing” every unhappily married and lonely middle-aged divorcee in his town (using no protection, of course).

And now for my latest man-related nightmare:  Last August  I met a man while on vacation in Florida.  He was a lifeguard at the local beach and he approached me one morning carrying my umbrella after the wind had blown it away while I was swimming in the ocean.  He was VERY friendly and after introducing himself he immediately invited me to hang out with him and some friends later that evening.  I definitely wasn’t looking for anymore men since I was still trying to heal from being completely fooled and used by my former longtime “friend”, but this man was very sweet and gentlemanly to me.  He was at my side the entire week of my vacation, took me out to dinner a few times, took me snorkeling, watched over my belongings on the beach, and even gave me shelter when Hurricane Irene came through the area…my first ever hurricane experience.  Before long, he just eventually grew on me.  Against my better judgment, I allowed us to be intimate at the end of my trip…mainly because we both knew we night not see each other ever again and we wanted to take advantage of this “once-only opportunity”.  As I was laying in his bed, he suddenly took a topless photo of me with his cell-phone camera.  I wasn’t exactly comfortable with this, but there wasn’t much I could do about it at that point.  Interestingly, he continued talking to me via phone and text messaging almost every single day for the next three months after I returned home.  I could tell he missed me as much as I missed him, and I decided to apply to go back to graduate school in his area so we could live near each other and continue our friendship and possibly a budding romantic relationship.  Of course, applying to graduate school and making plans to relocate across the country don’t happen overnight…it takes a long time, and I could see his interest in me slowly begin to wane towards the end of those three months.  It all culminated in early November with him suddenly getting angry and telling me we “wouldn’t work out well” together as a couple but that we would always remain good friends.  I got upset and said some mean things to him out of anger.  He never responded.  He has not said a single word to me since that day in early November.  Any calls, texts, or emails I send to him are completely ignored.  Soon after he stopped speaking to me, I discovered I had a large cyst growing on my ovary.  As my abdomen swelled up to the size of a 4-month pregnant belly, I sent him photos of my stomach and informed him of my condition hoping he would have some concern for me and speak to me again.  Not a word.  He apparently didn’t even care that I was going through a serious medical issue when before he worried himself to death when I even had just a simple migraine!!  I have repeatedly asked him to please be honest and just tell me if he wants nothing more to do with me ever again so that I will know to avoid him and not try to speak to him when I am in his area.  I apologized for the nasty things I had said to him and told him if he would tell me he wanted nothing more to do with me anymore, I would quietly delete everything of his with no resistance.  I figured he would gladly tell me to “fuck off” or “lose his number” like my former “friend” who told me the same after tricking me into sleeping with him.  NO RESPONSE.  Strangely enough, he has NOT deleted me from his Facebook or blocked me on his cell phone like my other “friend” did.  In fact, if I publicly post anything on his wall, he doesn’t even delete it…too weird!!  It’s been over two months of him ignoring me with no explanation and now I have an even bigger problem to deal with—the topless photo he took of me.  I have repeatedly asked him to please delete the photo from his phone and to just let me know if/when he has deleted it.  I’ve also begged him not to show it off to anyone, since he once admitted that he liked to show off all the other (fully clothed) photos he had of me to his buddies.  I’ve explained to him via email and text that even if he now hates me for whatever reason, he has no reason to want to destroy my reputation and future prospects by showing a half-naked photo of me to everyone.  I had hoped that appealing to his logical, decent side might goad him into giving me some kind of response on this matter, but NOPE!! He refuses to even tell me if he still has the photo or not!  Nothing but continued total silence!!  So….right now I’m dealing with a “man” who went from being seemingly smitten with me and talking to me almost every day for three months to not even acknowledging my existence or even caring if I were to live or die, and is now probably showing off a half-naked photo of me to everyone he meets!!  I have NO IDEA what’s going on because he refuses to give me any clues or information whatsoever, he apparently could care less if I were to suddenly drop dead, and he doesn’t seem to mind at all that I’m very worried about him having an inappropriate photo of me on his phone of MY body.  Can someone please explain to me how on earth a human being can go from talking to you every day and being concerned about your well-being one minute to suddenly not giving a flying fuck about you the very next minute and even ENJOYING your pain and suffering?!?!?!?  Judging from his behavior right now, I’d almost bet he is ENJOYING my pain and suffering!!  What on earth did I do to him to deserve such ruthless treatment….surely this can’t all be just because I lost my temper and said things to him out of anger that I didn’t mean??  Who HASN’T done that at some point in their lives??  And what the Hell is going to happen when I inevitably run into him when I begin school??  Is he going to continue pretending as if I don’t exist….or, even worse, suddenly explode on me in some violent way?? He’s given me no warning as to what I should do when we see each other again.

After the accumulation of all the trauma I have dealt with at the hands of men over the last few years, I think I am finally reaching my breaking point.  I have begun drinking heavily and doing drugs as a way to numb the pain of betrayal and sudden abandonment.  I just can’t live with the thought that I am too worthless of a person to even deserve an explanation or a simple “Goodbye” from someone who once “supposedly” cared about me.  I no longer feel that I can trust ANYONE, not even my longtime friends.  Hell, if two friends I had known for 10 years can drug me and use me, then who’s to say none of my other close friends couldn’t do the same….or worse??  I no longer want men anywhere near me, and I have decided that I no longer want to have sex ever again for the rest of my life.  I know that I’m still very young and I have a long, lonely road of celibacy ahead of me before I eventually die, but being alone with no sex life whatsoever is far safer than attempting to trust anyone and getting used in the most horrific ways. When new friends come into my life—particularly males—my first thought is always “How long will it be before they suddenly hurt me or turn their backs on me for whatever reason?”  This is why I no longer allow anyone to get too close to me….I’m just protecting myself from the inevitable.  Something seriously bad has happened to the males in our society.  I can’t imagine that the entire male population was behaving this way decades ago….or were they?

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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