Nov 30, 2014 @ 07:26
As an avid watcher of #CNN and global news programs on a daily basis, I’ve recently been feeling a little anxious while I watch my morning news and haven’t been able to pinpoint why. I mean, the news is always pretty bad, but lately it’s been a little hard to bear. The Bill Cosby rape accusations and the Rolling Stones article about the fraternity party rapes, have uncovered a common culture that needs to be exposed.
Many of the women (victims) coming out against Bill Cosby have been holding on to their dark secret and shame for decades. People who have not been victimized or don’t victimize others can’t seem to fathom why no one spoke out sooner.
I can answer that question.
Let me explain-
Shortly after I graduated high school, I was one of the first in my group of (so called) friends to get my own apartment. Although I was subleasing it from a mutual friend at the time, I was starting school at Houston Community College and was still SO proud to decorate my own space and have a hangout for my friends. I was a naïve young girl fresh out of high school, trusted many and inexperienced with boys/relationships having had only one boyfriend during my senior year of high school.
After gaining all this freedom and doing some of the things that 18-year olds do, I ended my relationship and spent more time with my friends. My “best” guy friend at the time – we will call him *Arash, was a little nerdy (like me) but he was friends with some of the “cool” older guys. Some graduated from the same high school a year or two prior and others were in the same cultural circle. Sometime around Halloween, he was invited to a party at the “party house” and invited me to come along.
I was excited and happy to be hanging out with the “cool guys” , anxious to see familiar faces and nervous to imagine the possibility of seeing a crush or cute boy. We arrived to a full house and I was introduced to several people. Most of the guys I had seen in passing but some were completely new faces. As the night went on, I was my eyes fixed on a tall, built guy that I recognized from both school and my summer job. We were finally introduced.
A few days later, like the immature young lady that I was, I decided to write him a cheesy “love” letter. I told him that I thought he was attractive and smart and wanted to get to know him better if he ever wanted to talk on the phone or go out sometime. Of course, my letter was the ongoing joke for days in their group, but he did get in touch!
There I was, thinking my letter worked and that this guy (we will call him *Aiden) was really interested in getting to know me, when he invited me on a date! *Insert fairy tale daydream sequence here* He told me that he would pick me up, but I refused (trying to be cautious) and we settled on me leaving my car at the home where we first met. We had plans to go to dinner and when I got into his car, he asked me to give him my driver’s license because we were going to go to a club after dinner, and since I wasn’t 21 he needed my id to get a hook up. Did he want to take me out later too? Must’ve been a good sign!
I didn’t think twice when I handed it over, and shortly thereafter we were on our way to dinner. My nerves were at an all time high while we drove on Westheimer until he decided we had to make a quick stop to unexpectedly pick up another couple. He wanted to make it a double date so I would feel more comfortable, and I obliged. In my world it didn’t matter how many people were around, I was focused only on him.
We arrived at an apartment complex behind a shopping center on Westheimer near Winrock, and he parked the car so we could go inside. He told me that it would be a “few minutes” and to “relax” because we were going to “have fun.” He led me to the apartment of his “friends” house and told me they were having a party.
We walked in and were welcomed so kindly by his friends but as I glanced around I didn’t see the couple we were expecting to pick up. *Aiden had gone to the balcony and was talking to someone, when I started to walk towards him. I wanted to find out when we were going to leave. They both came inside and guided me towards the kitchen. They wanted to celebrate. About ten shots of pre-poured liquor were in a line. Aiden handed me one, and they passed the rest around. We toasted, and although I had consumed alcohol in the past, something about this time was different.
I could feel all their eyes on me, watching and waiting. Fear started to take over, and I started to panic. Realizing that I was the only girl in the room, and somehow the center of attention, my instinct was to go to my date and ask him to leave. He was on the balcony again this time alone, and I made my way to him and asked him if we could leave. He looked me in the eyes and reassured me. “Everything is okay babe. You look so beautiful tonight. Would it be okay if I kissed you?” He is starting to lean towards me when instantly, my knees buckled from underneath me. I had been drugged.
I vaguely remember the horrendous details because I was in and out of consciousness, but I do remember faces and voices. I recognized a family friend (Omar) and begged for help as he forced me down and held my arms. They threw me around like a rag doll, like a pack of wolves fighting their prey. They pinned my arms down as they called me a “bi-ch” and “wh-re” , repeating that I was “disgusting” and that I liked what was happening to me. They pushed and pulled me in every direction and as I begged for them to stop I just kept crying, shaking my head and repeating “no”.
I opened my eyes. My head was leaning against my arms wrapped around the toilet, and a woman was holding my hair. She advised me to get it all out of my system because if I didn’t I wouldn’t be able to walk, so I forced myself to throw up even though nothing came out. “You aren’t the first and you won’t be the last,” she said. I could see the darkness was lifting outside, and I could hear some guys arguing outside of the bathroom.
*Aiden was nowhere to be found. He left me there. I had no car, no purse, no ID nothing. They didn’t know what to do with me. They discussed kicking me out until another guy showed up. *Jonny had met me once before. He was good friends with the couple I was subletting my apartment from, so he decided to phone them. He called. It was almost 4 am. He told *Lina and her boyfriend what they told him. “Your girl got wasted and had a little too much fun; you need to come get her!”
She refused and told *Jonny that she only knew me in passing. She said she would call the mutual friend that introduced us *Angeline, to see if she would pick me up.
I opened my eyes again and was hunched over in the backseat of an unfamiliar car. The two guys were laughing and joking in the front as if nothing had happened made it feel so surreal. The car pulled up to the Starbucks on Fondren and Westheimer, and they told me to get out. “Someone is coming to get you, stay by the trash can” one of the guys ordered. They drove away.
I sat there in the empty parking lot, unsure of whether they were telling the truth, and trying to fathom what had just happened, when I saw it. Her car. *Angeline had come to rescue me! She was still in her pajamas, and as I stumbled to get up, she didn’t bother to get out of the car.
She looked at me like I was trash, and although I had tears streaming down my face she proceeded to berate me and express her anger towards me. “I don’t know if I’m going to be friends with you after this,” she said, “I don’t want to ruin my reputation!” I sat there stunned, unprepared for what she was telling me. “I’m embarrassed and ashamed that you could be so slutty; I can’t be friends with you!”
I pleaded with her to listen to my side and for her to understand that they drugged me and violated me, but she refused to believe me and made it very clear that NO ONE ELSE WOULD EITHER! She convinced me that I was just a “wh-re” and that when our circle of friends found out, they would all agree and shut me out. I told her I wanted to go to the police, but she advised me to “sleep it off” because I was “just wasted.” So I listened.
I went into my apartment, undressed and turned on the bath. I put the hottest, scolding water I could withstand and forced myself into the practically boiling water. Even as my skin turned red, I couldn’t kill the sensation of dirtiness on me. I painfully soaked until the water was cold and hid in complete darkness for two days. By the second day, *Angeline decided to check on me, but the guys had already spread their alibi- and she couldn’t be convinced.
*Arash came by and when I told him what happened, he told me that he knew they did things like that. I asked him why he let me go, and he said because he was “mad at me” for going on the date. He told me that I needed to pick up my car, or it would be removed and that they had my driver’s license. He gave me a ride to the house where the nightmare began, (the “house party”) and I knocked on the door to get my car keys and DL. The host no longer had that inviting look on his face, but a look of hatred and anger and he said “we know exactly where you live. “Everyone of us has a copy of your address. Imagine how your dad is going to feel when he finds out about what you’ve done? If you EVER tell anyone, we will find you and kill you and your family.”
I promised him that I didn’t want any trouble, and I apologized for leaving my car there. He laughed and slammed the door in my face. I felt overwhelmed with guilt and fear as I was already convinced that it was all my fault.
I tried to go back to school and pretend that my life had not been shattered, but I would see one of the guys on campus or in the parking lot and would become so overwhelmed with anxiety I would have to turn around and go home. I kept this secret for over seven years only telling my closest friends and a few others. It wasn’t until I got pregnant with my son, that I decided that I needed to fully let go of the pain, in order to be the best mother to him, and I proceeded to tell my father and the authorities.
I’ve told my story to police investigators, counselors, psychologists and psychiatrist with every name, location and detail accounted for. It doesn’t get any easier to repeat, but it is cathartic. It’s all officially on record now, and although I have not taken legal action against those cowards, I can sleep well at night KNOWING that justice will one day be served. What goes around comes back around.
TO THE GUYS WHO VIOLATED ME-
I hope that you think about what you did to me and the other young ladies EVERY DAY of your life. As your families begin to grow, your sisters become women, your daughters become young ladies- the fear of this happening to someone you love will only intensify and the guilt will consume you. Your actions WILL NEVER be erased! No matter how much liquor you drink or how many drugs you do, YOU will always be a DISGRACE TO YOUR FAMILY. You are nothing but PREDATORS, ANIMALS, MOLESTERS, RAPISTS and worst of all PERVERTS. I pray that God protects your daughters from animals like you, because you guys know how EVIL people can be. You think you got away with what you did, but the truth ALWAYS comes out, just turn on the news. Your karma will come.
To my so called “friends” –
You all tried to tear me down. You doubted me, you convinced me and tried to break me down for many years, but now you see – I WILL NOT BE BROKEN! I have grown stronger and wiser than YOU WILL EVER BE because of this experience, and I can see the kind of people that you truly are. All of the things that were said about me, the jokes made, the pleasure you got from my pain, I forgive you. Although none of you have the decency to apologize, I don’t need to hear it anymore. You are guilty too. Hiding and protecting secrets instead of supporting and backing me up, it’s no wonder why you are all miserable on the inside. I don’t have any ill will against any of you because I genuinely feel sorry for you all. After today, none of you will exist to me, you’re completely meaningless, stored away in a dark little box labeled TRASH. Thank you for teaching me what the saying means: “with friends like you, who needs enemies?”
To women who have been through this-
Tell someone. Anyone. Don’t be afraid to go to the authorities. Get everything on record right away. What has happened to you is WRONG, and you don’t have to be afraid to speak out. Don’t let anyone tell you not to go to the police, or shame you into believing that it’s your fault. It wasn’t your outfit, your makeup- there is no amount of sexiness or intoxication that would ever make it your fault. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!! It’s time to take back our power as women and stand together against this social stigma towards rape/assault victims. #STOPRAPESHAMING – and #PROSECUTETHEPREDATORS! If you or anyone you know has been through this before and needs help or just someone to listen to you there are several resources out there-
Feel free to message me,comment online or email me at: Roayalproductions@gmail.com & find me on Facebook.com/MichelleRukny or Twitter @MichelleRukny
Other resources available:
1-800-656-HOPE or online
Watch this amazing song by Lady Gaga written by: Diane Warren about College Rape