(That stands for “too long; didn’t read” in case that’s not a commonly enough used thing.. l) Anyway, if you don’t want to read, here’s the gist –
On this, the anniversary of a day I felt helpless, please help me feel helpful and support my project (by donating and/or sharing) to help prevent any future victims: http://www.AurorasBlog.com/2017/…/18/882-miles-882-survivors
And if you do want to read the whole thing, here you go:
Today is a very tough day for me
(Trigger warning: sexual assault)
Exactly one year ago today, I was assaulted in my bed – my perfect bed in my new apartment in a new city – in what was supposed to be my fairytale.
I’d dreamed of living in New York ever since I was in diapers. I’d dreamed of working in the Jon Stewart family ever since I was a kid. And I’d dreamed of getting into The BMI Musical Theatre Workshop ever since I found out my favorite composer (and role model) had gone there. (I just wanted to be like Bobby Lopez 👧🏻)
And all of those dreams came true within weeks of each other! (What?!) I felt like the luckiest girl on the planet.
My fairy tale was playing out!
When I’d lived in Los Angeles (for 5 years!), I never even bought a bed frame. I wanted to wait until I had my “real home” – and to me that meant being in New York.
So I got my dream job, my dream school, and my apartment right in midtown(!).
And I got the most beautiful bed frame. I spent my spare moments on planes (during my cross-country move) looking at Amazon (and anywhere else online that sold bed frames, really). I even made a little folder of bed frames I liked… After all, I’d waited 5 years. I wanted a good one 😊 And then I saw the perfect one – exactly the one I wanted. Just another piece of my fairytale falling into place!
And as I slightly struggled to find my way in NY with so much happening at once, one man pretended to be a really quite welcoming presence in New York.
I had a little hang-up about sleeping with someone in my bed. (That was always there, not just a NY special bed frame thing…) But he pushed and pushed and pushed until I relented and had him to my apartment. I was physically uncontrollably shaking that night. He noticed (of course; how could you not?), and he asked why. I told him I was so uncomfortable in my bed with him. I begged him – asking if we could go anywhere else. And he yelled at me for being “ridiculous.” Because “this is how it works when he has sex with a women. Sometime’s we’re at her place. Sometime’s mine. Aurora! It’s not a big deal!” And on and on the admonishment.
So, I felt not only stupid but scared with the way he was treating me.
I would’ve been happy to have sex with him anywhere else. He could’ve had a full night of consensual sex if he’d just let us go to his apartment (and I would’ve been happy to pay for the Uber). I was not even denying him. I just didn’t feel safe having him in my space…
He climbed on top of my shaking body when I said I was feeling too uncomfortable – after I’d begged to leave and go so somewhere else with him, and he yelled at me for making that request.
As he climbed on me and got closer, I said “I don’t know. I don’t know!” As I recoiled away (as much as I could with a man on top of me).
But instead of caring at all, he looked my right in the eyes and said, “It’s time,” as he put himself inside of me.
Apparently he gets to decide when *I’m* ready for certain things, such as having sex in my bed…
And if you think there is *any* grey area in that story – that I should’ve been more firm or that he was just trying to be “sweet” or “helpful” (which are things I wondered myself as I tried to minimize everything)….
I got the chance to ask him months later, “Was I not loud enough? Was I not clear enough? Did really you not know?”
And he told me (verbatim), “I knew you didn’t want to… but you needed to.”
He kept to the narrative that he was being a “helpful” man, helping me to get over my “ridiculous” hang up about not being ready to have someone in my new bed (as opposed to being the forceful sexually-assaulting man, scaring me when he yelled at me, scaring me by not taking no for an answer, scaring me into and eventual quiet frightened shock when he was inside of me).
My fairytale was upended by the one person who’d seemed like my personal welcome committee to NY – whom I’d really grown to trust and care about.
Without my built in network of friends and comforts I had in Los Angeles, it felt quite isolating to feel so violated and unsafe in a new place…
(It does get worse, btw, because it happens one more time with the same man. (I know. I’m so sorry. I’m embarrassed.) I just kept trying to write this one off as “not that bad.” And then a different assault happened… but we will get to that anniversary next month. *sigh* ugh. Sorry) Aaaaaaaaaannnyway,
The point is, it upended my whole life. I got a new bed since all I could hearing while laying in it was “it’s time”. (That’s why I focused on my bed so much, earlier in this post – because I had to get rid of my precious princess bed I’d waiting years for, and lovingly picked out. That, alone, was sad. (But of course that was just the tip of the iceberg..,))
I changed apartments. I even left BMI (though I do hope to go back). I cried a lot (A LOT). My relationships suffered. My health suffered… It was a freaking tough year.
And I don’t ever – ever ever ever ever ever – want this to happen to another human being ever again.
So, about two weeks ago, before the one-year-anniversary of this, I started a project (pictured below) in which I am running 882 race miles this year to represent the 882 Americans sexually assaulted every *day*. It’s an epidemic in America. And we have to stop it.
I am raising money for 3 amazing charities – two local ones, and a national one. I’ve used the resources of all 3, and I can speak personally to the incredible work they’re doing.
It is going to be a tough for me today. So, even though it may be selfish to ask this, I implore you (through my tears as I write this) to help me make today better – help me by donating, help me by spreading the word. Share this with the people you know… please, on the anniversary of a day where I felt incredibly helpless… help me. Help me in my quest to try to stop this violence in America.
You can donate here: http://www.AurorasBlog.com/2017/…/18/882-miles-882-survivors
(And share, share, share!) xoxoxo