Wednesday June 27 2012

What it means to... Be a male rape victim

What it means to... Be a male rape victim

 

The notion of a man or boy getting raped by a woman seems ludicrous since women are considered the weaker sex. But it does happen. Brian* tells his story on being raped when he was about 15 years old, and how it affected him.

Many people don’t believe that boys or men can get raped. I did not believe it either until it happened to me. My parents separated when I was in Senior Three, and my mother left.

It did not take long before father found a replacement for mother—a woman at least 25 years his junior. For a while, that arrangement worked out just fine. My father was pleased with us being civil. He had given me a stern warning before her arrival – create any trouble and you’ll follow your mother. One day, I was watching a talent show with her. We talked for the first time and made fun of the contestants. After the show, she asked me why I hated her. I said I didn’t – and left it at that.

From then on, she found any excuse for us to talk. Soon, she started finding excuses to visit me at school. Whenever I needed something and called my father, it was her who showed up. It was embarrassing hearing my friends talk about “Brian’s hot sister/ girl friend.”

One holiday, she made her move. She followed me into my room, locked the door and sat on my bed. I was not naïve. I knew what she wanted. The thought alone made me sick. When she started to stroke my legs, I slapped her hands away and warned her not to get any closer or I would tell my dad.

She suddenly turned serious. I remember her exact words; “If I were you, I wouldn’t even think about it. Honestly, if your father came back and you told him, then I ran to him crying, telling him how you forced yourself on me, who do you think he’ll believe?”

I did not dare to think she was joking. She helped me undress.

Reflecting on a teacher’s words, yes, sex depends on the male but honestly, we cannot help what our mind registers and how the body responds. Metaphorically, if it is cold, you cannot stop your body from shivering. That afternoon was the beginning. At first, I tried to fight arousal but she did things to me that made it impossible. I gave up fighting and tried to get as rough as I possibly could. It was the only way I could think of punishing her for what she doing to me. But the rougher I got, the more she enjoyed it.

I started looking at all women as lusty and selfish. I hated my mother even more; none of that would be happening if she hadn’t left or if she had taken me with her.

The next year, my mother came to visit me at school. The minute I saw her, I turned and walked back to my class before she could see me. It was the only thing I could do to stop myself from hurting her either by my words or even physically.

Dealing by punishing women
Before that holiday, I had brushed off girls who made advances at me. But after that, I started sleeping with them. After the sex, I would either ignore them soon after or go on a few more times until I got bored. It was the beginning of my mission to punish women.

I got worse as the year went by. Almost each night, I had a girl or two. Don’t ask how we got away with this in a boarding school. There are many things that go on in schools that teachers and parents never get to know of. One would think that once girls got to know of what I did, they would steer clear of my path but unbelievably, even more came.

I did not let what I was doing interfere with my studies. It became a pastime activity, like swimming or playing basketball. I knew my only choice was to work hard, join university and get out of the hell I called home.

My father did not notice anything going on as he was concerned with making more money and spending it on university girls. It was only my uncle, Tony, who noticed something was wrong with me.

Uncle Tony is the only person in this world I can say I truly love. He took me out whenever he could. On one of these outings at the beach, three beautiful girls walked passed our table. He made a suggestive comment about them and I unconsciously sneered. He picked that up and asked, “Are you gay?” I laughed and assured him I was not. He kept insisting that even if I was, he loved me all the same. I was touched but could not bring myself to tell him.

I got into university on a government scholarship. My father was so pleased that he started giving me pocket money worth my would-have-been tuition fees. I used nearly half of that money to lure girls into my bed. I had a single, self-contained room which was also to my advantage.

A new friend, fresh perspective
In my architecture class, I met Sheila. She was not lazy like her other female classmates. She did her research herself and contributed to group discussions. Her easy-going, friendly nature made her easy to talk to. She became the only girl I talked to who I did not intend to get into my bed because I respected her.

One day, we arrived earlier than our other group mates for a discussion. In the midst of our conversation, she looked at me and said, “Your eyes are sad.” It was the most concerned and yet gentle voice I had ever heard.

I looked into her big brown eyes and felt as though she was seeing right through me. I was suddenly disgusted with myself. I felt filthy and exposed. I walked away then. I could not stand the thought of her getting to know what I was all about.

Sheila got closer instead. We started spending time together. She came by some evenings to study. I tried to find excuses not to let her into my room. Not because I did not trust myself but because I felt the minute she walked in, she would feel my filth and evil. But if you knew Sheila, you would agree with me that she was impossible to stop.

Soon, she convinced me to attend a church. I don’t know if it was the positive energy of the church or the fact that she held my hand the whole service but I actually paid attention to the preaching and agreed to go the next Sunday.

This went on for about two months. In this time, Sheila’s charm had taken over many aspects of my life. I still sneaked around with girls but it became impossible to sleep with them. While having sex, I would imagine it was Sheila and I would be repulsed with the thought that I could disrespect her in that way then I would stop whatever I was doing and ask the girl to leave.

Getting the weight off my shoulders
One day, after church, we went for pizza and I found myself telling her everything. At some point, I could not hold my tears back. I did not care who saw me crying. I felt I owed Sheila that much. She needed to know the person I was so that she could stay away from me before I hurt her too. She hugged me instead and stayed with me until the storm had passed. I felt a heavy burden had been lifted from my shoulders. I was free again.

From then on, each day, I told her a little of my life, a memorable day, even life with my step-mother. She made what I had previously held onto seem not worth my time and happiness.

She convinced me tell my story to the world through this article. She believes it could help someone else in my shoes. And I believe her.

For those boys who know what it is to have your body abused, it truly helps talking to someone about it. Remember, you are never alone. There is someone wonderful waiting to happen to you. Just keep holding on. Like Sheila says, God can never throw at you something you can’t handle.

*The writer’s name has been kept anonymous.
Send your experiences to features@ug.nationmedia.com

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