I Was Scared
By Keana Murzi
We lived in the same building for roughly a year, and for six more months after he raped me. We were friends, not truly close, but close enough to let me hang out in his room. I was close enough to share his beer with and to play video games with but not all that close.
I was scared. I wanted to use a better word here. An SAT word to describe the fear I had. However all I can honestly muster is scared. He was friends with my friends. He dated one of my close friends. He was my teammate. What was I going to do, just walk up and say their teammate stole a part of me? Their friend, their roommate, their girlfriend, how could I make them believe me. That is all I could think about. That is all I think about sometimes.
I was scared. All I could think was what if they didn’t believe me. What if he denies it and then it would all be for nothing. I was paralyzed in fear and in shame. I didn’t see the true pain it caused me. I denied it and buried it and every so often it would seep out and hurt those around me. So many nights I would stare at the ceiling and rationalize it all away. I’d tell myself it didn’t count as rape because it wasn’t violent, he didn’t bruise or cut me. I told myself it wasn’t rape because I let him kiss me at first.
By now I am sure you are waiting for me to get to the better part of the story. The part where I found the courage to punish him for destroying me, but that never happens. It has been a year and a half now. I am writing this because it took me a year and a half to even begin to see just how deep I was cut. I isolated myself from people that loved me. I thought that I didn’t deserve their compassion because I didn’t report him. Please, don’t let this be you. If someone cut you like this, do not be silent like I was. The thoughts I had were so far from the truth. The lies I would recite to try and make me believe I wasn’t drowning consumed me and made me someone else. This is Rape Culture; it runs rampant and wild and it never slows down. This is Rape Culture; it is suffocating and so very loud. I was surrounded by women who loved me and wanted justice for me and I forced them to be silent as well. I watched myself push them away and create a wall big enough to keep everyone out. Don’t do this to yourself.
It starts by accepting your truth and no one else’s. The pain in your body and soul is valid and it deserves to be heard. I will always regret not reporting him. I will always regret that the people who love him will never know what he really is. You don’t deserve this pain. You don’t deserve this fear. You deserve to be uplifted, to be heard, to be cared for, and to be believed.