When your rapist’s name drives past you

Sometime last week, I was walking with my boyfriend around town on a warm, sunny day. A large truck passed by us, and I glanced at it for a second, and turned back. I did a double-take, because I noticed that this truck happened to have my rapist’s last name on it.

I was in a moment of disbelief. I had a second of panic and dissociation. I then was brought back to reality by my boyfriend saying something. I didn’t tell him what I saw. I didn’t tell him what just happened. I tried to just let it go. Of course, I can’t let anything go–especially something like that.

In that moment of seeing my rapist’s (and ex-boyfriend) name, our entire relationship flashed through my mind: the good, the bad, and the oh-so ugly. Feelings of shame came up for “putting myself” in the situation, because I had pursued him. I feel like I still haven’t processed a lot of these feelings. A couple of years ago, when I told a friend of mine, who knew my rapist, about what had happened, she dismissed it saying, “No, he didn’t rape you.” I remember how angry I felt (and still feel) about her reaction. She didn’t believe me. She didn’t even let me talk about it.

A few months ago, I had a flashback of me trying on my ex’s polo t-shirt. I was smiling and acting coyly. He told me I looked good in his shirt. I felt happy. Remembering this made me feel even more ashamed and disgusted with myself, him, and the entire situation.

The rape and relationship happened 8 years ago, and I’ve done therapy, and have had a slew of excellent feminist studies classes since, so I’m well aware that none of it is my fault. Though I can’t lie and say that it doesn’t still affect me, or that it doesn’t still make me question my past actions.

Seeing my rapist’s name in big letters on a truck was scary, quite frankly. I know he can’t still hurt me, but I guess, to some degree, he is. But don’t you worry, I’m fighting back. He doesn’t have what I have–he never did.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted May 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry this happened. Just curious, does the truck belong to your rapist, like is he still in the vicinity, or was it coincidentally the same name?

    My rapist has the same last name as a feminist author. I’m sure that’s where the similarities begin and end.

  2. Posted May 28, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jenny, thanks for the comment.

    I live in a completely different state from my ex (as far as I know), so it wasn’t “his” truck.

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