Feature photo by Agustín Ruiz
In the first feature of this series, anonymous Gozamos reader shares her story about surviving rape.
As a poet it’s easier to just give you riddles to my heart, riddles to my truth, riddles to my biggest fears. As a poet, it’s easier to have you decode me and figure things out on your own, in your own way. But as a writer, my truth is so blunt there is no mistaking anything I just put down on my page. So here I am sitting, overthinking every line that I ink. Wanting to draw you to my point but then remove you from it just because I have that power.
I assume I became a poet the same way a lot of people have become poets. I was lost in anger and silence and needed a way to vent. I was drowning in darkness and words were my secret flash light. I’d stay up all night from a young age, exactly the way I do now, and write. Page by page everything that has broken me, everything that has killed a part of me that I couldn’t or will never get back. You’re probably wondering what poetry has to do with what I’m about to write, but it’s something that saved me.
At 19, I was innocent. I was shy and was never the girl who had boyfriends, or even a lot of friends around me. I was naive to almost everything. One night my sister, my flesh and blood, my once best friend took me out with her, and in the process of having a good time left me at someone’s house. This someone was a friend of her boyfriend whom she left with. I felt uncomfortable and uneasy, and this guy was just strange to me. He wasn’t a big guy, my height, 5’4. I was a little irritated that my sister left me there with someone I didn’t know, someone who seemed a little drunk, someone who would that night hurt me in a way that I would never forget.
Sitting on his floor going through my purse for something to do, he jumped off his recliner and pushed me down on his floor and tried to kiss me. I pushed him away as hard as I could. This upset him greatly, and he then picked me up and brought me into his bedroom. I fought of course, but it was no use. In what seemed like a second he had my pants off of me, and he was covering my mouth so no one could hear me screaming. He twisted my arms and pushed his knees in my legs. Eventually he got what he wanted.
But that wasn’t the end of my hell. After he got off of me, I jumped up for my pants, but he just got angry and pushed me back down on his bed, and repeated to rape me again. I remember the most odd things about that night. How cold his blankets felt under me, how I saw the snow hitting the windows and making water stains on them. I just lay there for a while when he rolled over and fell asleep. Eventually I crawled out of the room and sat by the window and cried.
I can’t say too much about what happened after that moment, after that hour, after that night. I was lost for so long. I hid in my room and didn’t tell anyone what had happened. I wore my favorite black American Chopper hoodie for weeks. I even slept in it because I didn’t want to see the bruises, nor did I want anyone else to see the bruises that person had left on me. I felt dead. I felt alone. Most of all, I felt disgusting and embarrassed.
No one understood what was wrong with me, no one understood why I was acting the way I was, or closed up inside my room. In my world where I felt the safest. Yet tourtured. I told my sister a few month later. I found the courage somehow. That was the last time we spoke. I got a card from her a few month after that and inside it said. “sorry your going through such a hard time, but sometimes we just need to get over things”. I was hurt over that card. I didnt understand what I did so wrong? I went over every little detail of what lead up to that night and then every detail of after that night. Sometimes I still catch myself doing that. I started writing more and more. Poem after poem. Getting rid of the poison that was consuming me.I’d cry and cry and write and write. Im crying now. This whole article has brought me back to that place. My nightmares are still haunting and I wake in fear sometimes.
I’ve come a long way since that night. but in some ways I feel like it was only yesterday. I tell myself I have forgiven my sister for not being a true hermana and being there for me. But I have no need to want to talk to her. And In so many ways I’m still beyond hurt. I thank God for my pen and paper. For all the riddles and rhymes. I spoke so clearly through them, with out speaking clearly at all.
I sit benith it all.
The midnight lights that flicker motion on the street.
The blood that falls and stains the bare of my feet.
My eyes dance in the snow,
and drift down steady and araid.
I push my face to the cold glass,
and find all the hurt that was made.
The rips in my shirt,
the pains on my skin.
I fear as I reach to the out side, that I will never get out.
Nor will anyone ever get in.
No one can hear me. My thoughts of death so obscure.
My reality has faded.
My future unsure.
The morning finally shows,
and I barry my face in the heat.
I cry harder than I thought I could,
and sit benith it all.
The midnight lights that still shadows motion under the morning street.