Some People Just Make Me Want to Puke


Bill Napoli has defined an “acceptable rape” that would merit an exemption from South Dakota’s abortion ban as:

“A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.”

Smart Bitches posted an article about Napoli, and Doug, Kate Rothwell, [and others I’m sure] have joined in to try to ‘create’ a term for the Urban Dictionary.  I don’t quite know how to explain it, but that’s why I put the helpful little links up so you can go inform yourself, [and see some really cool blogs].

To me, this isn’t about abortion rights as much as it is about shining a light on a big, stupid moron who should be slapped repeatedly for daring to define what kind of rape could warrant an abortion.

The day Napoli is raped in any sense of the word will be the day that he has any right whatsoever to try to define it.  He obviously has no idea what it’s like to be raped, so he should shut the fuck up, and apologize to every woman [and man, for that matter] who has ever had to endure being forced to have sex, with no way to defend him or herself, whether she was religious, a virgin, and physically damaged because of it or not.

Because the physical damage will heal, but the emotional scars can last a lifetime.

*This post got a lot more graphic than I expected.  My intent is not to offend anyone, but this could fall under the TMI [Too Much Information] category.  I just wanted to warn you ahead of time.  Continue at your own risk.*

A month and a half before my nineteenth birthday, I lost my virginity to a guy who raped me.  I guess you could call it ‘date rape,’ although some would say that it wasn’t rape at all, since I went to the guy’s house fully intending to have sex with him.

There’s a long story as to why I wanted to ‘get rid of’ my virginity to someone I didn’t really even like, let alone love, but I won’t bore you with all that right now.

I went to his house with a friend, and she dropped me off and took my car.  I did go in with the intention of having sex for the first time, but when we got started, it hurt like hell, and I decided I couldn’t take it, so we stopped. 

I apologized, and explained that it couldn’t be normal for it to hurt that much, and we’d have to figure out something different to take care of his business, because intercourse wasn’t going to work. 

I realize now that I probably had vaginismus, but at the time, I was just confused and wondered if I was deformed or something.  The guy started out being all comforting and understanding.  He took off the condom, and I thought he was handling not getting any pretty well. I felt bad because I really hadn’t meant to be a tease, but I thought he understood.

Then he started kissing me again, and the next thing I knew, he was on top of me, trying to have sex again [this time without a condom].  I tried to get away from him, and ended up with my bottom half pinned under him, and my top half hanging off the bed. 

He pulled me back up, and maneuvered me around until my head was stuck in the corner made by the headboard and the wall.  I was still trying to push him away, he was between my legs, and I was pushing on his pelvis, trying to keep him from penetrating.

By this time I was crying.  Huge, racking, dry sobs that I still remember like yesterday.  I screamed and begged him to stop. He forced his arms between my arms and my body, which broke my hold on his hips. Then he reached under my shoulder blades, grabbed my shoulders and pulled, forcing himself inside.

Something happened to me then, and it’s hard to put into words, but I think my soul or mind or something was actually fractured.  It was the first time I realized that in the grand scheme of things, I was helpless. 

I had always believed myself to be invincible, in spite of the fact that I weighed a hundred pounds soaking wet, and couldn’t fight my way out of a wet paper bag.  Something broke inside me that night.  I remember looking at the clock, wondering how long it would take for him to finish.  It didn’t take long, but it felt like it took forever.

It was almost like I was outside my body.  I still felt the pain, which was awful and lasted the whole time.  I had stopped screaming and fighting, and just lay there whimpering.  In my mind, it was like it was happening to someone else.  I wasn’t completely there anymore.

When it was over, I went to the bathroom, and realized that I had bled a lot.  So I cleaned up as best I could, and then went out into the living room and waited for my friend to come back.

It seemed like it took forever for her to come back, but when we were finally out of there, I told her what had happened.  She told me you couldn’t really call that rape.  I figured if my best friend didn’t think what I’d been through was rape, no one else would either.  I didn’t tell anyone else.

I never saw the guy again.  He called me once.  I told him I wasn’t interested in him anymore, and he left me alone after that.  My body healed within a few days, but my mind, maybe my spirit too, changed forever.

After that, I realized that if another guy decided to have sex with me [and I was alone with him] there was nothing I could do to stop him.  I lost my right to say ‘no.’  Which means that I had sex with people I didn’t want to be with. I ended up making out with them in a room alone, and when they wanted to go farther than I did, I didn’t stop them.

I suppose mentally, those times were like being raped again. Looking back, I wonder how the hell I let guys lead me into dark rooms in the first place.  The only explanation I have is that some part of me was broken.

I not only lost [or gave up] my right to say no, but I completely forgot how.  So for a long time, any time I was in a situation that I wanted to be far away from, I couldn’t get out of it.

It took me a while to learn to avoid the situations that could end badly in the first place.  Once I learned that, I regained my ability to say no, and took some of my power back.

But I still checked out mentally during sex. I still felt like I was outside my body, disconnected from the person I was with.  That was so difficult, because it was still happening when I was with Steve.  I loved him, and was in love with him, but during sex, I blanked out and felt nothing emotion-wise. 

Steve already knew my history [we were best friends before we ever dated, and we had long since told each other everything about our pasts].  But telling him about my continuing difficulties was not easy, to say the least.

Even now, thirteen years later [eleven of which I have been happily committed to Steve] I still have issues I haven’t figured out how to heal from. 

I am and always have been pro-life.  Even when I wasn’t a Christian, I believed that I could never have an abortion, regardless of the circumstances.  But when I remember that night, and wonder ‘what if,’ I don’t know if I could have carried that man’s baby.

Even now, writing this and remembering him makes me physically ill.  I might have carried his baby and given it up for adoption, but then again, maybe not.  I can’t say for sure that the person I was then wouldn’t have had an abortion. 

And I’m not sure that I [or anyone else] have the right to tell any woman that she can’t get one.  She should get all the information on the procedure, good, bad and ugly, and then be allowed to make her own decision. 

I was raped, but I wouldn’t have met Napoli’s criteria.  I guess that’s why I hope the Urban Dictionary picks up the definition.  The man is a fricking moron, and his stupidity deserves to go down in history. 

Maybe it will help some one in the future to really think before they shoot off their mouths about something that is so personal and horrible to go through, when they have no idea what the fuck they’re talking about.

Jeez, I’m so mad about Napoli, I could just SCREAM!!!!!

So if you have time, read the links and consider adding your support in your own blog.  The directions are at Smart Bitches.

About Shelbi

Work-at-home wife, mom of three kids, and caregiver for my brother, who has Cerebral Palsy. Never a dull moment, in other words. No idea how much I'll post, since I'm super busy these days, but maybe I'll get over here once in a while.

7 responses »

  1. Wow, Shelbi. It took a lot of guts for you to articulate this.

    I get the feeling you still haven’t fully healed from this. You make no mention of whether or not you got any therapy — believe it or not, this might be helpful, but I’d be the last one to give you a blanket recommendation like that.

    Sometime this weekend, I’ll do a post on how to recognize a good psychologist.

  2. Actually, I started therapy, but had to stop as I didn’t have insurance at the time, and the funding for mental health went to the toilet here in Misery.

    I don’t know if Steve’s health insurance covers it or not, but if it does, I may consider it.

    I look forward to your article! Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Doug.

  3. I am so sorry that happened to you. I think you would be shocked at how universal an experience like that is. Shelbi, I know your faith and strength is keeping you going. You’re amazing. thanks for sharing that horrible experience. You have no idea how many people you are helping with that brave and lucid post. Thanks again.

  4. Wow, Shelbi. You’re amazing to let us read about your pain–thank you for that.

    Doug wondered if a man could somehow relate, but I think it’s like most shattering experiences–no one who hasn’t been through it can truly relate. (otherwise how could any woman/person advocate taking away even more control from a rape victim?) I’ve had a couple of sexual episodes that were not much fun, but nothing soul-scarring. And for your first time. Ugh. I’m sorry.

  5. Even though you’ve told me this before, I don’t think I ever saw it with such clarity. I can relate on a different scale, but I know what it feels like to be “broken.” I love you, Shelbi, really. Thanks for being honest.

  6. Thank you for so clearly defining exactly what ‘rape’ is, and being so open and honest about the long-term effects. You are not alone in your experiences. And, the fact that access to therapy is restricted because of our country’s f*cked up approach to healthcare makes me want to scream. I, too, am personally against abortion, but would never restrict another woman’s ability to make that decision for herself, and I actively fight to preserve and reinstate those basic rights. Your story is an important one that needs to be told. It took courage to tell it and I applaud you for that. If you would ever consider telling your story to other young women, there may be opportunities through local womens’ groups.
    I’m terribly sorry this happened to you.

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