We met you both in the park, a beautiful day in spring. My friend and I on a lark, a red car you were driving. Your best friend was there with you and you seemed so cute and nice. “Wanna ride with us you two?” Jan and I didn’t think twice.
Who was gonna sit with who? An awkward moment occurred.Couldn’t hope it would be true that you’d like me more than her. Jan’s always cute and funny; I always felt so ugly. “You sit here with me, honey.” Shocked, you were talking to me!
We talked, we laughed, we flirted, as you drove around and round. My attention was diverted from the unfamiliar ground. Down a shady road we went. I soon began to worry. Where were we at this moment? The park I hoped we’d hurry.
Near some woods you stopped the car, then you softly spoke to me. Said we hadn’t driven far; you calmed my fears easily. Jan was there in the back seat, cuddling your best friend named Gene. I guess she really liked him, with them kissing, it so seemed.
You said, “I really like you”. To hear that made me happy. I thought that a kiss or two would be nice for you and me. Soon you tried to touch my breast. I said, “Please no, don’t do that!” “You are just like all the rest”, you snarled, “a teasing pussy cat!”
I was a naive sixteen, how could I see any danger? That he’d turn from nice to mean, just ’cause he was Bob Ranger. A small town football hero and a wrestling star adored. His character near zero, a jerk if he hasn’t scored.
He thought he had a right to grab any girl he wanted. Futile “no’s” because he knew cruel moves that left me daunted. He used wrestling skills honed true on gym mats and backseat brawls. Swiftly pinning me he knew I could not fight him at all.
He selfishly stole from me something that was mine, all mine. Stole from me so easily when my innocence was blind. My choice to whom I could share my very special first time. Stolen, taken, with no care as if it were not a crime.
It had all happened so fast, my emotions were reeling. I hoped the pain would soon pass and hide what I was feeling. Left me dazed, in shock, in pain, to wipe off his stolen blood. Threw the towel in disdain: “Mop up your own dirty crud.”
In silence he drove us back. What could anybody say? I would let no one keep track of my tears and pain that day. Jan tried hard to talk to me; I told her I was okay. I did not want her to know thoughts I had to keep at bay.
Back then when a girl was raped, it was herself put on trial. His actions were always caped as something normal, not vile. It only happened to those who somehow had it coming. Though that was an unjust pose, from those views I was running.
He committed the violence but he made me take the blame. Paid for peace with my silence, hiding truths increased my shame. And though for four days I bled, I was too numb to my pain. Could not tell, wished I were dead, lied to myself to stay sane.
For many years if I thought of that day with Bob Ranger, I blocked out that I had fought for myself with a stranger. My rape became just the day I lost my virginity. Stolen pain I would not say; some lies help your sanity.
All lies come back to haunt you, creep into your dreams at night. Silently they will taunt you with the truth you know is right. Not only had I been raped, much more was stolen from me. The blindness had to be scraped from my eyes for me to see.
Hiding truths and unfair shame takes its toll over the years. The loss of trust was my claim, unworthiness fed my tears. Needing love, feeling so scared, letting no one get too near. Controlling things best I dared, past and present pain the fear.
Can’t relax and enjoy sex even with men that I loved. That was a part of the hex and hell in which I was shoved. It took a long time to see all he had stolen that day. Not just my virginity, much more than I could say.
My innocence was traded for distrust and worthlessness. Though body-soul degraded, there’ll be no more helplessness. Somehow I’ll mend the pieces that were broken long ago. The pain that never ceases can be there as friend or foe.
I was raped, I accept it. I can be loved, I’m worth it. I’ve faced the truth, except it still hurts since I’ve unearthed it.
But the pain reminds me of how strong I really can be. Mended me I need to love, not fear being unworthy. Someday I hope to be whole, hope to love and trust once more. Being raped did take its toll, but I gained strength in my core.
Jeneane Behme, Began poem in 1985, finally completed it in 2002