This post deals with issues of domestic violence and may be triggering for survivors of abuse.
I’ve never told this story in full. I’ve mumbled bits of it to friends but never from start to finish because I am ashamed. I started with the intention of telling you the full story but I can’t bring myself to do it. Maybe I am still ashamed.
I was 27 and living in London. I’d just gotten off of the bus from visiting friends and I was high on life. I stepped off the bus, on to the footpath and crossed the mildly busy road. While crossing the road I noticed a handsome man unsuccessfully hailing a taxi. I never had any trouble hailing a taxi so I offered to assist. This stranger and I began talking and what started as small talk ended up being a two hour in-depth conversation, on a bench, at the side of the road.
He had grown up in New York and had just returned to the UK. His accent was American but softened by a gentle English tone. He told me he was a writer, which of course, I found fascinating. His life sounded exciting with a streak of sadness and I was so drawn to him.
It was now around 2am. I didn’t want to sit on the street anymore and I suggested he stay at my flat until morning and catch the bus home then. From that moment, for the next couple of months, we were inseparable.
I can’t remember exactly when it was, maybe the first or second time he stayed over. We hadn’t been physically intimate yet, although he had asked. I woke up in the morning and still half asleep, must have reached over to him. He was lying next to me in the small double bed that barely fit in the tiny room, of the four-bedroom apartment, above a cafe. He started kissing me, rolled on top of me and put his hands around my throat.
I started to panic because in that moment I felt his strength. I had let this stranger into my house and I knew, that just a little more pressure and he could have crushed my throat if he wanted to. He moved his hands off of my throat and with his one large hand held my wrists together above my head and started having sex with me. I don’t remember when my pants had come off, I don’t remember how it got to this point.
Watch: How do men and women avoid sexual assault every day? Post continues after video.
I had always thought of myself as tough and able to stand up for myself but in this moment, I physically could not move, I couldn’t budge an inch. He was so much stronger than me. I started telling him to stop. I started yelling at him to stop. I yelled for help. He seemed so unfazed. I gave up yelling and he stopped. He rolled off of me and back onto the bed next to me. I laid there for a moment and then I rolled over and told him, “You scared me”. He said, “You started it”, and I believed him.