I am terrified to tell this story. I reason that I am so ashamed that it even happened. There-in lies the problem…shame. I did nothing wrong. So I will finally tell my story and let it haunt me no more.
Trigger Warning: sexual assault.
I had taken a few years off of college after I completed my first year. My grades were not that great. The hard fact was I didn’t know how to study, I had to learn. High School was a breeze compared to college courses. So when I went back to college at age 22, I was fully prepared to study hard for my grades.
I picked Social Work and Criminal Justice coursework. The accredited college I went to was also known as one of the most prominent party schools in Minnesota. I was fully aware I would party my way through school, and I did, but I also worked two jobs; bartending and driving a school bus. I kept my grades high enough to make the Deans’ List a few times and was dating a very nice guy who was a DJ at a local radio station.
One night, my friends and I had gone to see a favorite local bar band, and it had been my turn to be the designated driver. After the band finished, we were getting in my car ready to leave. Then, “Dude” came running up to my car. He said his buddy went with some chick and he didn’t have a ride. Could I give him a ride to his apartment building? Sure, no problem. I knew him from school, we had even chatted a bit earlier in the evening at the bar. He was funny. I was the designated driver, after all.
I began dropping off my friends one by one, according to how close they lived and “Dude” lived the furthest out. When I pulled into his apartment parking lot he asked if he could run up and get his keys, his truck was parked close to where I lived. Sure, I was going that way anyway. But there was a group hanging out in the parking lot, very drunk, and very loud… “Well, you’re not waiting out here for me with this bunch.” So I went up to his apartment with him, feeling secure and thinking he was very thoughtful to not leave me outside with a bunch of drunk strangers!
He went to get his keys and yelled from a different room that wanted to show me a picture. I followed his voice, and it led me into his bedroom. I looked at him, stunned. He just chuckled and said it’s right there on the wall. I turned to my left. To my relief, there was a picture hanging on the wall. It was a picture of a bunch of military guys sitting on a tank. He pointed himself out. I continued to look at the picture, it was amazing how big that tank was with all those guys being able to sit on it. Then, from behind me, he reached his arms around me, restraining me with one arm and covering my eyes with the other. Everything went black.
He was not violent, he was precise. I felt like I was a participant in a very deranged choreographed sexual encounter. He didn’t speak much, but what he did say was weird, like I was his girlfriend… He was pure muscle, every time I tried to pull away, he corrected me quite easily. This went on for almost 3 hours… finally I convinced him to let me go to the bathroom.
I got into the bathroom and tried to think of a way out. Think, Kim! I had to get myself out of this! Ok, military, what did I know about the military? He spoke to me as if I were his girlfriend. How could I use that? Did he really think I enjoyed the night with him? I was going to have to be convincing and make him believe I wasn’t phased by what had just happened.
I walked back into the bedroom, he was sitting on the side of his bed, “There you are, I was just coming to see if you were ok?”
“Where are my clothes?” I started gathering them up and putting them on pretending I was bored but moving quickly. He moved closer to me. I put my hand on his chest to stop him from getting any closer. I said as calmly as I could, “I’m tired and hungry, let’s go get breakfast.” He was agreeable. I told him to remember his keys to the truck and to hurry up and get dressed because I was starving.
This was working… This WAS working! We got close to the front door, and then we walked through it! I was out of that apartment. We got into my car, I asked him where his truck was parked again? My voice was shaking, but I turned it into an attitude like I was impatient. We got to his truck, and I pulled up beside it, blocking traffic because I wanted him out of my car, quickly … he got out, then he asked me, “Where are we going for breakfast?” (I was on the brink of hysteria.)
I calmly said, “this isn’t working for me…” and stared him down. I knew I now had witnesses. We were out in public, in the daytime, holding up traffic. He said, “well, call me sometime” and he shut the door. I drove home, peeled my clothes off and threw them in the garbage, I sat in the shower and cried… how could I have been so stupid? When I got out of the shower, I heard my boyfriend’s voice on the radio. He was a DJ wrapping up his shift. “This goes out to my number one…”
I wanted my boyfriend to save me, to make it all better. I was angry with him for not being with me to hear the band. I was irrational. I was conflicted and ashamed. I wanted someone to pay, but I knew he was not deserving of my anger. I wanted to be his ‘number one’ when he called me after his shift, but I couldn’t be that anymore. I wasn’t that girl any longer. The phone was ringing, I knew it was him, but I didn’t answer… the song played to the end. And that was the end for him and me.
I never told a soul. I never reported the assault, I didn’t want that on my record. I broke up with my boyfriend. I wasn’t alright for a while. But I would be… I would be.
Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE(4673)