Fantasy VS Assault
A survivor story written by Michelle
Rewind. I’m 19 years old. I just finished masturbating to a video featuring a fake kidnapping and bondage. I feel sick and guilty and disgusting, how I used to feel daily. I must be a freak to be turned on by this. I wanted to find someone to talk to. Someone who understood.
I turn to the good old fashioned internet. I find a kinky-themed chat room. And I meet Tom. I’m 19. And Tom is 38 (or so he told me). Tom sends me a private message. I create a fake yahoo messenger account and a fake email for safety. We talk all night. And the next night. He teaches me to trust my body. “What does your body tell you?” He teaches me about consent. He teaches me that this fantasy does not make me sick, but rather is enlightening.
I was completely taken with him. After all, at that time, no one had ever been able to normalize this fantasy I had been so ashamed of. He made me feel cool. And sexy. And wanted. I had a secret. Tom was my secret, and it was fucking fun.
Fast forward 1 year. We’ve been talking consistently for 1 year. He knows, because I’ve told him, that I’ll never meet him in person. I’m not that fucking stupid. And I meant it. But after 1 year, he convinces me to give him my phone number. I felt like I needed to. I was dying to hear his voice. To let him guide me further into this taboo fantasy. It was okay. He told me it was.
We would talk on the phone at night. Masturbate together while he described how he would take me. He pressured me to say things. How I “needed to be raped”. I didn’t like that. I really didn’t. But I wanted to please him and so I did what he told me. Sometimes I would get scared. I would occasionally cut him off for months at a time. Yelling at myself in the mirror. YOU FUCKING IDIOT. THIS IS DANGEROUS. WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU THINKING. YOU ARE SMARTER THAN THIS. YOU WILL NEVER MEET HIM. YOU’RE DONE TALKING TO HIM.
I always went back. I began to feel dependent on him. He was the only one who understood that I’m not disgusting. That I don’t condone sexual abuse. It was a submissive fantasy and he understood me. Right?
Four. Years. Pass.
I’m 23 and I am addicted to the thought of him. This man NO ONE knew about. This man who got it. I wanted him. And I wanted this fantasy with him.
I wanted to be his biggest challenge and best experience…..when the time was right. The time was not right when he convinced me to meet him in NYC, where he was on business. And I told him that. It cannot happen now. Naively, I ask him to promise nothing would happen. I just wanted to meet him. I needed to. I was on my period anyway so that would help in case something got out of hand. But I had to meet him. FOUR YEARS of typing and texting and speaking our most intimate thoughts. I had to meet him. He promised. I told him I was serious. He said he knew. He just wanted to meet me, too. Nothing would happen.
He promised and I believed him.
I trusted Tom. Entirely.
I call my boyfriend at the time and say I’m going to sleep as I stood in high heels and a short dress in a Manhattan parking garage. I’m 23 years old.
Fast forward through the big reveal (YES he’s fucking hot as hell thank GOD). Fast forward through the hugs and laughs and butterflies and drinks and playful tugs of my hair and somewhat forced kisses, which I admittedly liked. Fast forward. I’m in his hotel room. Why am I here. I said I wouldn’t go upstairs. Fast forward.
He is pinning me down now. He forcibly and roughly removes my tampon and replaces it with himself. No condom. I am frozen solid in disbelief, shock, confusion. He again forces me to say “I need this”, and this time I like it even less. He held a screwdriver to my neck. No one knew where I was. No one expected me home. And I had just found out, as he was “pumping” into me, laughing as he told me, that his name. Isn’t. Tom. Nothing he has told me was true. And that coming here was the biggest mistake of my life. He smacks my face and head so hard I saw flashes of white light. I thought he might kill me in that moment. I thought I might die that night. After, I was frozen. He was relieved. He complimented my “hot body”, told me he loved the sound of me crying, and expressed his disappointment that I didn’t fight harder. ‘PETER’ then turned and went to sleep, leaving me shaking. No aftercare. No checking in. Just blaring silence. His calm breathing as he slept like a fucking baby.
The next day, filled with guilt and shame and fear and his semen, I drove to My boyfriend’s house and dumped him. I tormented myself by telling no one for three years. Three years of the following thoughts alternating daily:
“It was no big deal”
“It was all my fault. Not in the way other victims say it. This was my fucking fault. I LITERALLY ASKED HIM TO DO THIS”
“It’s fine. It was just playing out a fantasy. He cares about me. It was a misunderstanding”
“I’m a disgusting fucking stupid piece of shit”
“I cheated on my bf ”
“If I keep talking to him, it will validate that I’m still in control.”
“I asked for this. I deserve to feel this way”
“I hate him”
“I miss him”
Can’t tell anyone. Can’t report him. He has 4 years worth of pictures, and videos, and IM conversations and countless other forms of “proof” that I WANTED THIS TO HAPPEN”
How could I possibly tell anyone when I SO CLEARLY brought this upon myself??? How can I insult the people who have actually been raped and been to hell and back with this bullshit. This monster that I invited into my life. I don’t deserve to feel like a victim. I don’t deserve the luxury of feeling violated.
But I did. I felt violated every moment since that night.
After the third year of self-torture, I told My best friend. Age 26. Then I told a therapist. Then I made my first and only post secret, featured as my picture. And I’m finally starting to accept that maybe I was naive, but this wasn’t my fault.
I may never truly fully believe that. But I’m trying. I’m saying it.
In this day and age, how can I help victimkind find their voices when I am still plagued by silence? The story doesn’t have to be told “right”. It just has to be told.
I’m 31 now. Eight years ago I was assaulted by an internet predator. Someone who admittedly has done this to several other women. Someone who pretended to understand me and manipulated and groomed me into giving him a piece of my fucking soul. And I’m not going to keep it a secret anymore. Especially from the the people who actually do understand me and who daily restore that missing piece a bit more.
We are all in this together.