This week rocked my emotional core. Donald Trump bragged about assaulting women. Then on Monday, women started speaking up. I haven’t done this much crying for an entire week for a very long time.
I promise I was not sexually assaulted by Trump but I admire these brave women coming forth to accuse a very powerful man. They aren’t seeking to be paid. They aren’t seeking to file a lawsuit against the man. They do, however, want to be sure their story is heard especially when they sat and listened to Trump say directly to Anderson Cooper that “no” he had not ever done such a thing on the night of the second Presidential Debate. have done a lot of crying this week. I cried at Michelle Obama’s speech. I cried last night when I heard Mindy McGillivray was having to leave the country for her and her family’s safety after speaking out.
Whatever is happening within the political campaigns, there is some good that may come from this. People are finally talking about sexual assault and harassment. RAINN says that every 109 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. Every 8 minutes, that victim is a child. Meanwhile, only 6 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison. I wondered what those statistics would be if all the women who had been assaulted but never reported it finally were included.
When doing research so I could get the exact terminology correct, per the RAINN website, “Sexual assault is a crime of power and control. The term sexual assault refers to sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim. Some forms of sexual assault include: Penetration of the victim’s body, also known as rape; attempted rape; forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body, fondling or unwanted sexual touching. Rape is a form of sexual assault, but not all sexual assault is rape. The term rape is often used as a legal definition to specifically include sexual penetration without consent. For its Uniform Crime Reports, the FBI defines rape as “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”
For more than 30 years I considered myself a victim of sexual assault as there was no penetration of his penis. But there were his hands in what they said above in the description. Today, after 30 years, I now found out I was a rape victim. And I cried some more.
All these reports coming out about Trump has sickened me because I know they are true. The Trump campaign said that if these things truly happened that the women would have come forward sooner. Their feeling is that they are too suspicious this close to the election. What these people do not understand, because they have not been through it, is when a woman does not report it, they try to put it out of their minds and move on with their life. If these allegations are true for any of them, whenever they see Donald Trump in the news or on TV, they might turn off the news, they might become nauseated, they might experience PTSD symptoms. But when Anderson Cooper pressed Donald Trump on the matter to get a definitive yes or no answer at the second Presidential Debate, he gave an emphatic “no.” That was all these women needed. His “no” was their last straw.
Not many people know my story. I decided to make my story public. Maybe if I share and make it public, some of my PTSD symptoms will abate. Maybe it will give someone else the courage to speak up. There is strength in numbers.
In 1990 (or was it 1989?), my friend came to visit. We went out to a club on Richmond Avenue (the name of which I cannot remember). I do not drink as I am allergic to alcohol so I make the perfect designated driver. My friend is model-level beautiful and all these men were coming up asking her to dance. One man came over and I just assumed he was interested in her. He made it clear he was interested in having a conversation with me. While my friend was enjoying dancing, I talked with this man. He seemed nice but was very intoxicated.
I was ready to go but my friend wanted to stay a bit. The man was talking about leaving, too. I said, “You are planning to drive home?” And he said, “Yes.” Ironically I just gave her the lecture about being safe, especially since she was from out of town. If she decided to go home with someone, she needed to call me and give me the address where she was, the name of the person, the phone number. I told her this guy lived at Westheimer which on my way to my apartment. I had sized him up as harmless and invoking the “Good Samaritan” rule, I didn’t want him on the roads driving drunk and killing someone. If I read that something like that happened in the news the next day I would have felt I contributed to that by not providing a ride to this individual.
He was so intoxicated he could not stand up and needed help even getting to his apartment. When we got to his apartment and got inside, he collapsed into a chair and to the best of my knowledge at the time was completely passed out. I used the restroom. When I opened the door and stepped out, my 2-3 hours of terror began.
He charged at me and knocked me to the bed (it was a studio apartment so his bed was in his living room across from the bathroom. He landed in such a way that he had me pinned down totally. His weight was completely on top of me and his hands were around my throat. I was being choked. I can’t describe it. It seemed like such a long period of time but I said, “Oh my God, this is how I end. I’m about to become a statistic.” I tried my best to look around to the extent of my peripheral vision allowed without turning my head to try to remember all the things I could just in case I got out of there so I could tell the police. When I looked to my left, I saw a knife. I felt myself slipping away and feeling like I was floating. Then I said to myself, “He’s going to stab me; please let me be unconscious when that happens.” I had already surrendered myself to the fact I was going to die.
His weight shifted. Tears were running down my face and the compression on my throat lessened. I managed to whisper, “I can’t breathe.” And he said, “Oh” and moved off me. I didn’t understand what was happening but I got myself upright immediately. I said, “Hey, well, I really need to get home.” He went insane. He grabbed me and slammed me up against the wall. I tried to say things to see what words would get him to stop and calm down. It was a trial-and-error approach and when I thought certain phrases calmed him down, if I continued down that same line with additional comments I thought would continue to soothe him, I blundered and faced his ire. During this period of trial and error, he was viciously groping me and there was penetration by his hands. I assumed until today that because his penis did not touch my vagina or mouth, I wasn’t raped, just assaulted.
I was terrorized like this for the next two or so hours. And I just kept repeating whatever he needed to hear to get me the hell out of there. “It’s not you; it’s me. I just thought I was bringing you home. I have to get up very early for work in the morning and I can’t lose my job. I’ll give you my number and you can call me and we’ll go out on a proper date.” Or other such things. Of course I had no intention of giving him my phone number. But it was an inch-by-inch journey down to my car.
My first goal was getting out of the apartment. The apartment complex he lived in wasn’t like the apartment I was in. It was a building that had rooms in it much like a hotel would. We walked through a lot of stuff to get to his apartment and I wasn’t at all confident that I could find my way back. This was in a day I did not own a cell phone. It was 1-2 o’clock in the morning and I really didn’t know where I would run. The goal was having him escort me to the car and I realized that was going to be excruciating at the pace we were going.
Inch by inch. We were now in the hallway.
Two people were in the hallway and I was tempted to yell to them to help, but at that point he silenced me with his mouth and he still had control of my body. He was strong and I didn’t think I could push him or fend him off or even run away from him. If I tried that, I felt I certainly would be dead.
Inch by inch. “You can do this,” I told myself. “Once you get to the car, you’ll be home free.”
Do you see how I am already talking? I’m blaming myself for not being able to fend him off or to break free.
Unfortunately the repeated slamming of my body up against the wall and then the concrete was taking its toll on me.
Inch by inch. Just keep moving towards the car.
Eventually, we got to the car and I thought it would be a quick “get in the car and leave” type of thing but it wasn’t. By now, I’m surprised I hadn’t vomited into his disgusting mouth. Finally I got in the car and I said, “Here, see, here is my number and call me tomorrow.” Finally I got away. I shook all the way home. I got home, took a shower, crawled into bed and cried. I had bruising on my neck and I saw bruising on my back. My arms and hands were also bruised. My soul, however, was crushed.
I had forgotten about my friend. But upon arriving home, my friend had left a message on my answering machine to let me know where she was and I called her back. I was terrified for her. She asked me where I had been and I told her I would tell her when she got back to my place. When she did, I spilled with all the details. I’m sure back then I had more details. Time has lessened some of those memories of inconsequential details.
Next came the decision of whether to contact the police. I weighed the pros and cons. The list of “why you shouldn’t” was strong. I voluntarily took a stranger home. I should have known better. After taking him home, I actually went up to his apartment. I should have known better. If I filed a report, he was arrested and put on trial, my character would be up for debate and I would basically be made out to look like a slut who picked up a guy at a bar and when the sex (well we didn’t actually get that far) got too rough, I left but not before saying all these things to this man (and I am NOT going to share all the horrible, vulgar things that had to come out of my mouth to save myself). The list of reasons why I should: If I don’t report it he may actually rape and kill someone and that will be on me. I reasoned that he didn’t have my phone number, he didn’t know my name, he didn’t know where I lived, I don’t go to bars typically so I will never see this man again. When blood showed up in my urine, I did have to see a physician. I lied and said that I had fallen off a bike. He told me he thought I had a bruised kidney and if the blood didn’t clear out within a certain amount of time I should see a nephrologist. But the physical bruises healed; my emotional scars would not.
After having some time to think about it, I decided I would file a police report. Suddenly I couldn’t remember important details like his apartment or exactly what he looked like. I drove to his apartment complex and to the spot I thought I remembered I parked and tried to remember which building we were in and I could not. I stopped short of walking the halls trying to find the exact apartment; I was afraid I may run into him. At that point I decided I obviously couldn’t file a report without those details and I would just have to put it behind me. Maybe my mind was trying to protect me by forgetting so I couldn’t file the report because deep down I didn’t really want to.
The scars still are there. Nightmares. People making sudden movements towards me. I could no longer wear clothes that covered my throat. Dental procedures as simple as teeth cleaning became an event. I avoided dentists until I finally couldn’t. I asked the personnel in Patrick’s pediatric dentist’s office if they knew of a dentist who was really good with “wimps” and as luck would have it, his wife, a dentist for adults, was the perfect choice.
After explaining what happened, she was so compassionate. She gave me Valium for my procedures and they went very slowly. I cried during the whole exam. I didn’t mean to but I couldn’t keep it in. They did as gentle of x-rays as they could with pediatric-sized things in my mouth. Whenever my gag reflex got too much, we took a break. The Valium continued for several appointments after that. But as my body and mind realized this was not a threat, the Valium was discontinued. But then I had to see another dentist in her practice and that worried me. But things went fine. However about two years ago I saw another dentist in her practice and as she was injecting me, it was hurting me and I said, “Please stop.” And she didn’t. I was more forceful and yelled, “STOP!” And when she ignored me, I went to grab her and push her away when her assistant grabbed me and held me down. That was a bad move. Dr. B knew my history. I still was not numb. She had my whole face number except the area she needed to work. But my dentist was going to be gone for another month or so and I told her to finish it because I wasn’t coming back. I had nightmares about my assault…excuse me–rape….for two weeks after that, memories I thought were done haunting me.
When I went to make my next cleaning appointment, I told them I wanted my dentist. I explained when I came in that the dentist did not mean for that to happen but what did happen and I couldn’t tell her if I could even do x-rays. They made me sign a waiver placing the blame on me if something bad turned up and I said “whatever.” I made another appointment. I was told they would put on my chart I wanted to see Dr. A only so I assumed they gave me a date she was in the office.
I came back and made it through the cleaning. When she told me Dr. B was coming in to check my fillings and do the oral exam part, I became belligerent. I said, “Wait, I thought Dr. A would be here.” She informed me that Dr. A had to leave town to take her kids to college. I was crying. I reminded the dental hygienist what had happened and I told them why I could never see that person again. I said, “I’m sure she is a very nice person but she triggered memories of my assault and I’m not going to have 2 weeks of nightmares again.” She came in and I let her do the gum check. But she wanted to “talk” to me. I couldn’t. I had this anger swelling up in my throat that blocked any sound from coming out. I managed to say, “No means no.” I don’t care what she thought. I think she thought I said “no” on a part of the exam and she saw me as this irrational woman. I said it because of the last encounter I had when I said “stop” and she didn’t. Because that reminded me of my assault…excuse me–rape.
Then there are procedures where they want to put an oxygen mask on me. That is the hardest. I have to warn every doctor and anesthesiologist about it—if they put an oxygen mask on me I will punch them or worse. I could become combative. I don’t know why every single anesthesiologist needs to hear the entire story. It should be enough that I say, “I was assaulted. He tried to choke me to death. The mask makes me feel like I’m being suffocated and I will act out in ways I cannot control.” I don’t know why that is. I will tell the story to one and then another will come in and want the details. I remember one time saying, “Why do you all seem to need to know the minute little details of what happened to me and make me relive this every single time I have to undergo surgery? It should be in the chart by now and I don’t care to talk about it again.”
There are other echoes in my life that are just too personal to share.
But I have developed this creep-o-meter that I trust with every fiber of my being. My creep-o-meter has been pointing in the “DANGER WILL ROBINSON” zone with Trump ever since Ivana’s divorce deposition described the time he pulled out her hair and then violated her (and to friends she said rape). That feeling has never gone away. And now my creep-o-meter was accurate.
This morning I sat watching a very intelligent woman named Sandy who has her master’s degree in science who is a former Democrat who was for Jeb Bush but now switched to Donald; however, if it was Ted Cruz she would have flipped back to Hillary even though she says Hillary is a crook. She was a Clinton supporter in the distant past. She vocalizes the myth, “Did they complain about it at the time.” And because they didn’t, that makes this false. And she says if one story is false (speaking of the airplane “fact”), then they are all false. She also cited the reason she didn’t believe the airplane incident is “because the seat arms in first class did not go up.” The reporter says to her, “You think the women are lying.” She says, “Yeah.” This woman is part of our problem. But I was this woman in my early 20’s. I couldn’t imagine having this done to you and not speaking out and not pressing charges until it happened and I didn’t.
Fact checking that about the arm rests proves that she is incorrect about that. “A 1979 flight attendant manual furnished by the Braniff Airways Foundation stated “the arm rests in first class are removable by pulling up.” See below. So if that fact is now true, does that make them all true? I would have liked for someone to have fact-checked this woman while the interview was going on and ask her what her opinion was based on the new irrefutable evidence that the seat arms in first class on that plane did go up. Now there is also a friend of Trump’s from Great Britain saying Donald was, in fact, on that flight.
Trump’s narcissistic sociopathy is being fed by all these people who think he is a God and can do no wrong. I encourage then to watch PBS’ “The Choice” which profiled both candidates and you can see the early roots into both of them and how they behaved. You can see that Trump is not the business man he presents to you as. It is not a partisan representation for either side. It is a truth-based documentary on how they grew up and how things in their lives influence the people they have become. It even shows you the psychological component of Roy Cohn’s influence on him of never admitting defeat so if Donald Trump loses the election, it will not be “his” fault. It will be the fault of some other reason, like a rigged election.
I said to Jeff last night that I’m glad that our family line will end with Patrick (because my son with autism is not competent to be a father). I have never been as pessimistic about the future of mankind as I am today.
I used to be the one who would complain when rape victims didn’t come forward to report the crime. UNTIL YOU ARE IN THE SITUATION, YOU CANNOT SPEAK FOR THESE WOMEN. I would like to apologize to all women I spoke about back in my early 20’s when I was ignorant to understand why some do not report such things. With Donald Trump, the stakes are even higher because if the allegation was made, Donald Trump had the power that would discredit them to the point where they might lose their livelihood at the very least, and they worked too hard. Or perhaps they wouldn’t be believed as I felt was in my case. Trump has the powerful lawyers; these women did not. Unfortunately the consequence to that is that it embolden Trump to believe that he is allowed to do these things because no one would ever say anything because of his power.