Would You Report Your Rape? Ctd

Andrew Sullivan —  Dec 31 2014 @ 11:08am

Another reader recounts a horrifying experience:

I’ve been following this thread closely.  Thank you, as always, for providing a forum for these kinds of conversations.  I’m grateful.

I’m an over-educated, professional, heterosexual male, single, no kids.  I’m also a recovering sex addict.  Several years ago I was to meet a woman whom I had met online at a party at a sex club, a club where she said she was a member.  I had never been to one of these kinds of parties before.  I was still very active in my addiction at the time, and I had not yet found my way to meetings or rehab or therapy or honesty.

She did not show up.  I stayed at the party anyway.  It was a pretty amazing environment at the time, given my current state of mind.  At some point during the evening (the details are still a bit sketchy), I was drugged.

It was a drink someone gave me, or mine was spiked – I don’t know. I woke up several hours later, alone in a room, bleeding, naked, battered, very high.  I had no active memory of what had happened to me, but I wasn’t stupid either.  I quickly gathered my things, put myself together as best I could and stumbled out.  My driver’s license, debit cards, credit cards and cash were gone.  I was barely coherent, barely conscious, barely able to move or walk. I did not know how I got out of there; I did not know how I got home. And I was in an incredible amount of pain.

On some level I knew what had happened to me, but my mind very quickly and very effectively buried and burned any memory away.  Three or four days later, I went on vacation with my girlfriend overseas for two weeks.  She did not know about my “other life.”  I told no one, and two days later I did not remember why I had bruises on my body and face – seriously.  I still didn’t know where my wallet had gone.  I had no conscious explanation, so I chalked it up to maybe I had been in a bar fight.

It took several years, two months of inpatient rehab, 30 months of Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings and 12-step work, and two years of incredibly intense therapy for the memories to begin to return.  I had been gang raped by at least three people that I can remember that night.  The memories came in bits and pieces for a day or two, and then everything, all at once, while I was driving across a bridge.  I almost wrecked my car, and then I almost parked it and jumped.

When “it” all came back, I cannot begin to express the level of shame I felt, the level to which I blamed myself.  I believed that because of how I had been living my life at the time I deserved what had happened to me – I believed that to my core.

And the next day I went to work.  I was in my office, socializing with my co-workers, again hiding my real daily experience from those around me, although this version was much different than what I had believed to be the exciting double-life I had been living before – as a sex addict, screwing everything in sight.

I have since told four people what happened to me, about my gang rape – my sponsor, my therapist, a sibling, and one close friend.  It is still almost impossible for me to even type those words and own them.  I have never spoken of it again until writing this email.  I did not “report” it … what would that have even meant for me?  Call the cops?  What would that phone call have sounded like?  HOW would I have even reported anything?  I could not even begin to wrap my head around that concept.

It was an experience that, on a very deep subconscious level, drove me deeper and deeper into my sex addition.  I was left suicidal for a very long time and kept heading full speed for rock bottom until I lost everything of any value in my life.  Only then did I somehow find my way to a residential, inpatient treatment center out of state.  I still don’t entirely understand exactly how that came to pass, but it is the only reason I am alive today.

Obviously the name on the email account is fake – the account is a burner account – but I would still like to remain as anonymous as possible.  Part of me fears that I have already given away too much detail in this email, that someone will find out its me.  No one (apart from those mentioned) in my life has any idea of what I’ve been through, what I experienced.  I still struggle with reconciling this experience in my life with being a heterosexual male, dealing with all of the fallout and aftermath, in the context of our society and culture, in the context of my “identity”.  It’s challenging everyday, but the ones I have shared this with have been (to me) surprisingly supportive and understanding, never failing in telling me that it was not something I deserved to have happen to me.