real life

Marcia met a guy she liked at the bar. Hours later, she was gang raped.

The following is an extract from Marcia Abboud’s memoir titled, ‘Every Shitty Thing – One Woman’s Journey Through Brothers, Betrayals and Botox’

Content warning: This post deals with the subject of rape. 

I’d had a crush on John for the longest time. He was older; even older than Tony. I thought they knew each other, but they weren’t friends or anything. Everyone knew John. He was so good-looking, tall with light brown hair that hung in his eyes. He was a surfer dude, every girls’ dream. I was leaning against the bar when his eyes locked on me. His lips moved and I thought he smiled ever so slightly. I turned around expecting to see some petite blonde surfer chick behind me, someone the opposite of me, but no one was there.

He started walking towards me, and my heart dropped to my stomach. My mouth felt dry and sticky like I’d just eaten an unripe banana. I needed a drink. Oh my God was he really standing beside me? He ordered a drink and turned to face me, then started talking. I couldn’t believe what was happening. He was talking to me. How was that possible? I wanted to be cool and sophisticated. I didn’t want to blow this opportunity. He bought me a drink. It helped, finally, moisten my mouth. I could talk properly. We spoke for what seemed like ages. I didn’t know where the words were coming from, but it was the best conversation of my life. It was like a dream come true. So this was what it felt like to be wanted. He must really like me, I thought. Why else would he be so kind? It was a miracle.

I was glad Tony was out of sight on the other side of the pub. He liked to pretend I was a pain in the arse, but he was my protector, whether I liked it or not. He’d have something to say about me talking to surfer dude. I was drinking too fast. He kept buying more drinks and I didn’t want to seem ungrateful. I forgot about Tony then. I forgot about everyone. I was lost in that delicious moment of flirtation and wanting, shell-shocked at my sudden change of luck.

“It’s getting really noisy in here, would you like to go for a walk?”

A shot of adrenaline exploded through me like I’d never felt before.

Now I knew he really liked me. I was sure he wanted to kiss me, but obviously not in the pub. He knew I had a crazy older brother, everyone knew that. No one messed with Tony and no one would dare mess with his little sister.

We slipped out the back door and the cool night air hit my warm flushed face. It made me dizzy. My head was fuzzy, but I was too excited at the thought of a kiss to care about my wobbly legs. As we walked slowly down the quiet street into the darkness, he gently slipped his hand into mine and I almost died with the touch of his skin on mine.

Marcia Abboud's memoir.
An extract from Marcia Abboud's memoir. Image: Supplied.

Oh my God, this is really going to happen. I was oblivious to my surroundings, chatting away like a stupid teenager, and then he let go of my hand. My heart skipped a beat. I knew it was the moment and I turned to face him anticipating the kiss.

He looked at me with the strangest look. Not the kind of look I thought he’d have at the height of desire and want. I didn’t recognise the look at all, and then without saying a word he turned and walked away.

A bolt of lightning shot through me, I was instantly sober. The chilly darkness engulfed me as every detail came into focus. The half-moon cast faint shadows over the landscape and I realised I was in a grassy vacant lot. I could see the pub in the distance. I hadn’t realised we’d walked so far. The muffled sound of music and voices drifted on the wind, the only sign that I was still in civilisation. Those few seconds seemed like hours as I watched him slowly disappear. John was gone.

I didn’t understand what was happening. I was about to call out to him but a sudden fear gripped me and I was stuck to the ground. I couldn’t move or speak.

Six figures appeared from the darkness as if they were apparitions. Where had they come from? I couldn’t make out their faces, but I knew he wasn’t one of them. None was as tall as he was.

Every cell in my body was telling me to run, to scream, to do something other than just stand there. I’d never felt fear like that before. I was in its grip, bound in an invisible strait-jacket.

“Run, you stupid idiot,” said the voice inside my head.

It was too late. They pushed me to the ground with such a thud I wondered if something had broken. They sniggered and laughed as I tried to cover my knees with my dress. I tried to stand, but it was hopeless. They kept pushing me down. I was powerless to do anything. I started to cry, begging them, saying that they had the wrong girl, it was all a mistake. “I’m with someone,” I tried to protest.

“Shut up, you fat slut. Make one more sound and you’re dead bitch,” they laughed.

So I did my best to shut up as they got on with the business of rape.

Every Shitty Thing is a raw and no-holds-barred memoir of author, Marcia Abboud’s heroic journey through the dark (and light) places in her life. It’s a story about how she survived family violence, addiction, sexual abuse, suicide, motherhood, divorce and loss, written with humour between the threads. It’s a story about hope, courage and resilience and how Marcia came to understand that whatever shit we endure leads us to exactly where we need to be.

You can buy Marcia Abboud's book on Amazon or through Marcia’s website,

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.