Part of my New Year’s Resolution was to run a 5k every month while running a 10k every three months. For April, I ran the 11th Annual Victims for Victory Race. The organization was raising funds for the Center for Assault Treatment Services (CATS) at Northridge Hospital Medical Center. I chose to run for this organization because it has been one of the few that has really touched me. Truth be told, I don’t give a fuck about most of the organizations that I’m trying to raise money for.
In September of 2003, I was sexually assaulted in my apartment. I was 19 years old and I didn’t go to police. For the longest time, I couldn’t watch television that portrayed a rape scene as I would cry. I would stay up nights and just wonder what it is that I wanted to do. It took me a long time to realize what was happening to my body; I had gone into survival mode and it never shut off. I went months like this, just trying to survive. I had a messed up boyfriend, who happened to have another girlfriend in another country while he failing out of college; I was bulimic, but it didn’t matter as I had lost 30 pounds and friends and family were proud of me; I wasn’t attending classes, but I was working on campus, so friends saw me go out and about.
When I finally decided to go to the police, I was dumbstruck at their response. I told them what happened and they made me repeat after them, “I was not raped. I was assaulted.” They lead me to believe that because there was no penetration with a penis that it was not rape. Now as a much wiser adult, I realize the absurdity of that. I was punched and fisted, but in their eyes that does not count. Furthermore, I could not press charges although the same person had assaulted my roommate, months after me. They let me know that if I attempted to press charges, it would just become a he said, she said in court. The Riverside Police Department can go fuck themselves. I couldn’t go to a hospital that would treat me because I didn’t have insurance. With the help of a friend, I went to a rape victim survivor’s unit but even that seemed surreal. I ended up going to see a school therapist, who didn’t understand why I could be so angry. That I should simply forget about it and continue with my life. A part of me wanted to kick the shit out of her, but I simply left and never went back.
So here I am rarely mentioning it, trying to continue with my life. And sadly that is the same response I’ve gotten about my pregnancy and about break-ups with men that I love. People tell me, in order to get over something, I simply have to stop talking about it and ignore the gaping holes in my heart. Those wholes can easily be filled with the fat from a double cheeseburger.