It's the fourth anniversary of the night i was sexually assaulted, and there is so much i could say about this.
Where should i start? My state of mind in the days and months leading up to it seems like a good place to start. It happened during the very end of my 14-year marriage; my ex and i lived under the same roof, but had not been intimate in over a year, did not sleep in the same bed, and barely even spoke to one another. The worst of the tension between us, the worst of the fights -- during which she berated me for my attraction to men in the crudest, most abusive ways, shouting at the top of her lungs so the neighbors could hear all about it, until by the end i was curled up on the bed screaming in anguish -- the fights like that hadn't happened in two years. I held so little trust for her i rarely dared to say anything to her at all, lest it be used against me in some way. I was still with her because i had promised her i would take care of her.
I never told her i was sexually assaulted. At first that was out of shame, but later it was out of lack of trust.
During that last year, 2003, i engaged in some of the most self-destructive behavior of my life. I was not necessarily suicidal, but frankly did not care whether i lived or died. On a typical Friday night, i got drunk and went to an on-premise sex club to meet men who wanted oral sex. This was a reasonably safe place to go because i wasn't alone with men there; the club had security folks who made sure no one got out of hand. And sometimes i met couples or groups too. By the time they closed at 4, if i wasn't done for the night (by which i mean, ready to pass out from drunkenness), i'd wander around the French Quarter. Sometimes i used drugs if offered. Sometimes i got into cars with men. I wake up every morning quite frankly amazed that i came through that year without any injury, disease, or substance addiction.
Why did i do it? Because it made sense and brought some meaning into my life. Sometimes it was fun. Sometimes it wasn't, but really, i didn't feel like my enjoyment mattered; it was an accident, something that was nice if it happened. It was an obsession -- i felt a lot of distress if a couple of weeks went by and i hadn't pleasured anyone; but it was also a way of nursing or nourishing my soul.
Some of the things that happened were so incredibly erotic i fantasize about them today. Other things that happened were so hideous and shameful i have still never told anyone about them, not even V., the one person i trusted enough back then to discuss any of this.
So it was because of all this that for the longest time i felt like i fully deserved what happened to me on that night four years ago. Not only did i feel it was a logical consequence of the choices i had made, but that it was even the final culmination of what i thought i had been seeking.
It was a fairly typical Friday night; i think for some reason i'd left my usual hangout before closing time and was wandering around the French Quarter; i don't remember the exact circumstances but i don't remember it being after 4 AM. I was drunk, of course. Anyway, he stopped to talk to me and after a couple of moments i got in the car with him. It was a few minutes later, as he was driving through a part of town that i didn't know, that he made some kind of oblique allusion to using violence to get what he wanted.
Within seconds i was sober and this weird calmness came over me. I didn't know if he had a weapon; he never mentioned one but sort of hinted at it; i never asked, of course. I assumed he did. I kept him talking, nodded or agreed when i thought i should. Finally, he took us back to the French Quarter and stopped in a dark parking lot, and opened his pants. I put a condom on him and pleasured him; he purred, said i did it like a pro. Next he decided he wanted a beer, and drove us to a convenience store - where i saw my chance and jumped out, running into the store. I stood inside, pulling my sweater back on and looking at the befuddled clerk while we could both hear him outside yelling and swearing.
I thought about telling her to call the cops, but did not ever seriously contemplate telling the cops what had happened. I could think of a million reasons they would do nothing - or even accuse me of solicitation. He had not directly threatened me, and i had never said no; and in the first place i was just a drunk, stupid tranny who got in a car with a stranger. I had practically begged for it, or so i told myself.
He drove away, and i bought a diet soda, and walked outside a few moments later and caught a cab to V.'s apartment a few blocks away, where, as i often did on Friday nights, i crashed on her futon.
Today i've been re-reading the journal entries from that night and the month that followed, and it was one of the bleakest and harshest times in my life. Not as bleak perhaps as when the abuse from my ex was at its worst; but pretty damn bad. Less than a week after the assault i finally moved out of the house where i was living with my ex, and my friendship with V. became very strained.
I was keeping two journals, a journal where i recounted my sexual exploits, and this one, which was more "serious" and "weighty." I wrote about what happened the next day in my sex journal:
I'm extremely confused this morning.
... as I play the events back in my mind, the strongest reaction I'm having is... arousal.
That's not right, is it?
I was sexually assaulted, but the whole thing is a powerful turn on.
Is this some kind of self-destructive impulse coming to the surface? In fact, I almost wonder if I didn't, on some level below my awareness, willingly seek out this situation. How bizarre!
In this, my primary journal, i did not write about what had happened until over a month later, and then only for a select filter. Here's an excerpt from that entry:
Hell isn't some pit of fire that you get thrown into. Oh, no. No, hell is a place you go willingly because it has been painted to look like paradise. And there are enough moments of good and happiness to make you think that maybe you have achieved paradise. Cracks in the facade are easy enough to ignore because you want to ignore them. And once you realize you're deep in the belly of the beast, there seems little point in fighting to get out because of your complicity in shameful deeds.
...I won't say that I deserved what happened; I did not. But it would not have happened at all had I not been complicit. I credit myself for staying calm, for getting out of the situation alive; I also credit myself for allowing the situation to develop, and for not going to the police afterwards. I doubt the police here would fret much over a stupid situation a silly tranny let herself get drawn into. Maybe I should have gone to them anyway and let them determine whether or not the event was prosecutable.
...It could have been much worse, and so I have not felt much in the way of lingering trauma from this. At least, I don't think I have. Perhaps it has yet to hit me. But over the last month it has made me face the hell I have constructed for myself. There is no reason for me to allow myself to become debased. Not if I love myself, and not if I love others.
I was still numb even when i wrote that. That's obvious now because i can see the permanent change the assault has had on my sexual fantasies and practices, which revolve much more than before around being bound or coerced into performing fellatio. It's taken me this long to come to a place where i could even write all this, to lay it all out and see it for what it was, to see it in the context of my then deteriorating life... and to know that one can be healthy and happy after having been through such a place. My life today is happy... not free of stress, but, genuinely happy.