I have to preface this with a brutal truth because people make it a pleasurable past-time to dig up anything they can find to discredit the integrity of your story. Nothing good can come from someone who has made a mistake. So note: I have lied about being raped before. Not to the police, just to a guy I was dating. Yes, it was shitty move. But that’s another story for another post when I’m brave enough to admit that I am bad at selling my body. Ok well I just did, I’m bad at it. Anyway, if you still value my words as having any integrity, here is what it was like the first time I knew I was raped.
It was 1998. I had the perfect body. Perfect like the body I see on instagram with the most likes, minus the clown sized ass. Full breasted, proportionate waist and toned legs. (This is how I’d like to remember myself but others may offer contrary descriptions.) I’d always been friendly and flirty, not because I had boobs but I had a happy childhood, most of the time. My family was fun and loving. I was the only child of 5 sisters so I wasn’t often allowed to have a dull or inattentive moment. My Mother adored me like a doll. I was her doll, to be pretty and pleasant. I definitely learned the power of my smile and body by age 11. I naively flaunted both along with a bubbly and gleeful demeanor. This was like a bullseye in the hood. Most times I knew who to avoid and keep away from but that’s not how life works or rape for that matter. It is the close and familiar that is more threatening than the strange and unknown, the comfort zone. There’s established trust and naiveté that a person intends you no harm and that they will respect your boundaries so you have almost no guard. My Father, for you who believe a fathers presence and lessons prevents sexual promiscuity and deviance or RAPE, was present but on weekends. I was 16 and he could not handle me wearing Chestnut liner and Oh Baby gloss, not to mention that my body was a woman’s body. I reflect now and wonder if my Father knowing about that date would have changed anything, I doubt it.
I’d met him at the mall, Fairlane Mall, like so many other dudes. I’d met Jason there in 1996, he went to Bishop Borgess, a catholic high school in Metro Detroit. Devin, I met later (1998), he was lighter, taller than me but not really tall like I liked. Devin was stocky but not so much that he looked like the lifting muscle heads that will snap if they bend. He played football at Borgess, with Jason. Jason was older and did not know Devin well enough to give counsel and, it would have been biased anyway, because he (Jason) was my first boyfriend and you know, I guess lover??? Lover wasn’t a word I used for sexual partners prior to 30 but I digress. Devin was cute, just cute enough, he had really big lips, soup coolers and a big block head. I’ve never liked a dude with a huge noggin. Put on a hat bruh. Devin put in plenty effort to “get me”. I didn’t realize at the time but now, in retrospect, it (his zealous efforts in capturing my affection) was likely to be in competition with Jason, the football teams star player, the popular dude and my 1st. Also now that I think of it, Devin always had that insecure, <I’m doing the most to show the most>, energy about him. I recognize that behavior like McDonalds arches now but, then it was just extra.
I don’t remember what I had on. I can barely distinguish my experiences with him from the night he raped me so I can’t romanticize it with description. I do remember we went to the drive-in. On Sheafer and Ford Rd. We were in his uncles van, a decent van. I was on the passenger side separated from him as vans have no center console to allow for movement to the rear cabinet. He wanted to kiss, which we had done a few times before because at this point he was officially my boyfriend. We tried to reach over the arm rests and the space between us but it was awkward. He raised from his seat and went to the space between the second set of seats and the empty space between the driver and first passenger seat. He grabbed my hand to join him and I did, with comfort. We began kissing and my mind wandered to all of the places, mostly because his lips were so big he got everything including my nose and chin wet. His breath didn’t stink but it just wasn’t minty fresh, so I’d be left with the smell of stale saliva often, after kissing him. Kissing him was a chore. As we were no longer on the couch with others around, he broke routine. He began feeling on my breasts, which wasn’t alarming because heavy petting did not imply sex, in my mind, but then it grew to him reaching in my bra cup. I quickly, without processing, attempted to block him. He moved my hand almost naturally. I went to stop his hand again and from that point I only remember fighting him and eventually giving in.
I gave in because I was scared he was going to do worse to me. I was scared to make a scene. Black women are looked down upon for making scenes, black women are reminded regularly to not make a scene often at the cost of our security. So I didn’t make a scene. I lay there and let him hump. It was over. I don’t remember how long it was. I don’t remember if it hurt. I don’t remember if he used a condom. I wasn’t happy, like I was with Jason. I didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t want it. I asked him to stop. I tried to stop him.
Bill (an associate) asks why women aren’t so powerful when it comes to rape. Why do we let ourselves be raped. Well Bill @ogwhiskeybravo because it’s not easy to fight off high school football players. It’s also not good when black women and girls make scenes because we’re not supposed to be ghetto and loud and make scenes, right?
I don’t have a lesson or moral in telling this. I saw Devin at Motor City Casino in my 20’s while out with my boyfriend and I froze and ran to the bathroom. I still don’t want to see him again. I don’t know what I would say to him. I still feel like he could rape me again and I would not be able to stop him.
I never told my Mother. I didn’t know it was rape. He was my boyfriend and I kissed him all the time. Rape had always been, on TV, a perfect violent stranger, who took advantage of weakness and a dark alley. I didn’t even call it rape. I’d only learned later that school year, in Values in Media, what date rape was.
Devin actually came over 3 times after that. I came outside on our very public porch, the first time, and happened to have plans to leave soon. The second time, my Mother let him in (under the impression he was still my boyfriend) and called me down stairs. I was wearing joggers, Jason’s joggers, and Devin, while sitting on my Mothers black satin couch, snatched them down and tried to rape me anally. I don’t know why I didn’t scream or yell out for my Aunt or Mother. I honestly thought I was doing something wrong. My Aunt came down stairs in perfect timing. He stopped. I somehow got him to leave. He came back a third time and I remember the power I felt telling him to never come back and slamming the door in his face. My Mother said it was mean and I went upstairs to my room and cried for a long time. I never told a therapist or anyone except Jason, years later. That is what it was like the first time I knew I was raped.