Chapter 3: A slow death begins....
Updated: Jun 4, 2020
Life wasn’t all bad, all the time- but drama and bad stuff kept finding its way to me… and I let it
happen. Rewind a little from last chapter….During sophomore year I was half and half at two high schools. I cheered at Mountain View High School and took most of my academic classes there, and at Orem High School I took a college prep class and theater. On a GAME DAY at Mountain View I had an audition at Orem High for the musical. I got approval from my coach to miss riding up on the bus with the team and my squad and meet them at the game as soon as I was able…. My audition went swimmingly. I felt confident and was complimented by the director and choreographer…
As I dressed in the car on the way to the away game, I was in a GREAT mood. I got to the gym and went to get in my spot as Captain with the rest of my squad… My co-captain snottily said to me “Um, you’re back there for this game because you were late…” I was confused but took the place she told me to go. I called out a cheer to start and no one followed me… My Co-Captain called cheers and everyone followed suit. I was so lost… I glanced at the bench where friends of mine from the Basketball team sat…. They were all glaring at me… What the heck? I continued at the game, demoted and glared at. Once home, I texted a pal to say congrats on winning the game and he revealed why everyone was acting so weird.
It seems my squad ran their mouths on the bus ride about how I wasn’t dedicated to the squad anymore… See I had a History teacher who was failing me no matter what I did. Extra credit, extra work, I was always failing… Academic rules for our squad were no grades under a C. So I had worked out with our coach that I would be stepping down for next semester since it wouldn’t
look good for the Captain to be sitting on the bench…. My squad took it as a DIVA move like I was being petulant. The trashed me on the bus ride and the boys felt betrayed and let down and unimportant. Basically it hurt THEIR ego that I was failing and trying to do the right thing… Anyway… out of context and out of control. So I made the decision right then and there to switch full time to Orem High School. What I had seen there was yes they had cliques, but they had inclusivity amongst the cliques… everyone said hi and joked with all groups… After the last 3.5 years of my life, I needed that kind of environment over the continuing hell from my Mountain View crowd… PS I made the Orem High Musical as a featured dancer! Which I was stoked about until I saw the talent of the other featured dancers… Reminder… I was an ex gymnast turned cheerleader… That was my training and skill set…. It was me and 4 other girls who were all classically trained and life long dancers… ballet, jazz, hip hop, contemporary….. They were SERIOUS dancers. I was out of my depth here…. They all were so encouraging and helped me get steps that were hard for me… They were the most amazing girls! Presidents of our Orem Dance Company, sweet and genuine… I hadn’t met girls like this before… I was so happy to have made the switch…. Now during this show I had made some awesome new friends besides those girls who accepted me and introduced me to different activities.
Over the summer I auditioned and was accepted to be part of the cast of GREASE at Tuacahn in St George UT. The cast was made up of the best of the best from the whole state of UTAH High School Students… I played the role of Cha Cha due to my dancing talents…. I met amazing people and even a man who would later be a big role in my Husband’s life. Mic Thompson (first real name! He is incredible, so I gotta give him credit!) He choreographed the show and really pushed me as a dancer… I loved every second of that experience! okay not every second because there was of course drama…. Girls who were jealous and would make comments like it was a typo that I was cast in that role etc… BUT I loved this experience! My
friends that I made in the Musical at Orem came down to watch the performance… One friend told me that I had to audition for our High School’s Ballroom Team when tryouts happened… and I did. I made the team… I was partnered with a lot of different guys but one guy stood out to me… He was incredibly talented and obviously the best, AND most arrogant member of the team… They way the girls talked about him you expected him to be a god. He was cute, kind of EMO and so cocky. It was annoying… As a dancer I was thrilled when we were partnered together for a competition… But I hated the way he flirted with everyone behind his girlfriend’s back… She was so sweet and on our team… But she wasn’t oblivious… Just happy to call him hers…
Well at our competition, we slayed it! We made a huge impact on our team’s all around score and
placement and we were so thrilled… He tried to tell me we should share a victory kiss in an elevator so no one would know… Remember that sweet girlfriend of his? Obviously I said no… But she was staring at me with hurt betrayed eyes, so I assured her I would not cave and that I was not even interested in him… He told me later that night that would all change…. “Just wait, I’m gonna work out all summer and by the end of next year, you will be in love with me.” He said. I laughed and said “Alrighty, I bet I will.” What a tool, right? I hated guys like that. He was a year younger than me and so arrogant… Note to my past self- don't challenge these kind of guys (he is important to the next chapter, this is just his introduction)...
As junior year pressed on, I continued to enjoy my friends and do plays with them. It was a blast! I was also in a pretty cool PE class that I cant quite remember the name of it, but we would do a lot of cool outdoorsy physical activities… One that sticks out most to me is Bouldering…. It’s like rock climbing but you can only go sideways. Any way- weird the things you remember… So I sat next to two guys in that class (assigned seats) One guy was pretty cool and I enjoyed chatting with him.. On the other side was another obnoxiously cocky and arrogant guy… He was cute but a major bad boy. A Senior… Wreaked of cigarets, often talked about sex and booze and partying… I’ll admit I enjoyed playing coy and flirtatious on occasion. When he asked me to a school dance in December of 2016, I was hesitant and shared my concerns about his partying to my mom… We devised a plan. I would drive so I could leave whenever I wanted to, I didn’t have a curfew but he didn’t know that… And I wouldn’t go to any after parties. Felt pretty safe…
This dance was a black light dance, so for our date we went to a thrift store to pick out clothing to trash with black light paint. We ate at our mall food court (public and casual). My sister worked in the mall so I popped in to see her and she was giving me weird eyes… I didn’t get it… She seemed to know my date which i didn’t know they knew each other but apparently they partied in the same circles… She was quite confused as to what I was doing with a guy like him. I ignored her odd behavior and we went to the dance. For the most part it was great… Ran into lots of fun people, but it got slightly uncomfortable when he seemed to be really focused on bumping and grinding…. you know, dirty dancing with me… I did my best to avoid what I could and remain light. His friends mentioned they were leaving to go to a party and invited us… RED FLAG! I said I had to be home soon so I wouldn’t be able to go. My date- who we can call by his real name and I’ll explain why later- Gary, was quite understanding and said it was no big and that I could take him home now and he could go meet up with all of them later…
Relieved, I said ok (remember I drove). So we left the dance and I started to drive him home. He asked me to take a quick detour to drive past his old Jr high school… I was shocked to find out it was the same Jr High I had gone to… We would have been in the same school for 2 years… I never knew him then and he didn’t know me… But he knew my sister… She was a little wilder than I was, had a rough crowd of friends. As we pulled up to our shared Jr high school, he asked if I wanted to go make a snow angel… I was in a skirt- definitely not snow angel making appropriate. He laughed and jumped out to make one without me. I sat warm in the car on this freezing and snowy December 17th.
When he had completed his snow angel- Gary asked me to come take a look at it, so, trying to be
fun I got out of the car and looked… Yup it was a traditional snow angel.. Great… I giggled and said it looked cold. We walked back to my car and we reached the car, he turned me to face him and thanked me for a great night as he opened his door. I thanked him in return and he leaned in to kiss me. I was a tad shocked but hey, what harm was a kiss? He began making out with me and coaxed me to sit in his seat as he towered over me and gently climbed in the car to lay on top of me to continue making out with me in the abandoned and dimly lit parking lot.
My brain was confused and trying to work. He started grazing my thigh and playing with the edge of my skirt… I tried being polite and just said “hey, Gary, I really gotta get home soon.” He smiled with his lips against mine and said “Okay, we’ll go in a second.” His kisses got harder and more passionate and my head was reeling. Not from passion but from confusion… the next thing i remember is feeling him push himself inside me… How had he done this? I was wearing underwear…. Somehow he had pulled my underwear to the side, unbuttoned his pants and pulled out his penis, inserted it not fully erect into my body without my knowing it happened. To this day I cannot figure this out… As he thrust, my body went limp and my brain froze… what was this…. Was he really having sex with me? Did I lead him to believe I wanted this? I began saying over and over again, “hey Gar, I really need to go. We have to stop, I have curfew. I have to go. I need to take you home. I’m going to be late.” He continued thrusting and kissing my neck and nibbling my left earlobe. He buried his face on my shoulder… I really was not sure what was going on because I could barely feel anything but I knew he was inside me…. I don’t think he finished, but I honestly don’t know… Why else would he have stopped... my continued request to stop and leave were completely ignored.
I got out of the passenger seat, replaced my underwear and walked to my side of the car…
Almost in a trance. I don’t remember the drive home much, except that he kept his seat in the reclined position and tried to hold my hand on the drive home. I made it to his house and said goodbye…. Looking at the clock as he strung out his exit as long as he could I said “Gary I really have to get home, I’m late for curfew.” He came to my door and opened it, unbuckled my seat belt and stood me up out of the car… he slow danced me in a circle in an embrace and thanked me for a great night…. He kissed me good bye and walked in to his house backwards to watch me as he went inside…. A huge triumphant smile on his face. As soon as he shut the door, I started to shake and felt water dripping down my blouse… I was sobbing…. I pulled away from his house and made the drive to mine… What just happened? I made my way home and into my house. I poked my head into my parent’s room where they were sleeping and told them in a cheery voice that I was home safe. My mom asked if I had a good time… I said yes and that we would talk more the next day…I sobbed myself to sleep. I never told my mom about the drive home, our pit stop, or what occurred while we were there…Just all the pieces before.
School was slightly weird, I didn’t know how to talk to him or react. He seemed his normal flirtatious self but didn’t seem to expect anything from me… I didn’t get a called dirty names, and it didn’t really seem like anyone knew… I was thankful for that. I told my two best friends at the time (separately)…. Neither one seemed to really think much of it other than he was kind of a scum bag. I let it go…. I didn’t realize until 6 months later that what had happened to me that
night was rape. It was not a violent rape, but it was in fact rape. I did tell him no in a sense over and over all while he pleasured himself at my expense. Gary had raped me and I was slowly dying inside. Not enough for anyone to notice much. But I would find out over the course of the next few months just how much he had taken from me that night. I tell you his name because he does not hold power over me and in my path to healing I had to learn not to protect him after what he did to me. You may ask why I protected other people's identities... I am not interested in word getting out to these people and being contacted by them... However, in regards to my rapist, he should be known and not hidden from the truth.
Now what positives came from this experience? Well, it may appear none, but as the next couple
chapters unfold it will be more clear. What I want you to take away from this is that No is no, no matter how veiled or softly you say it. You can say no to sex with your spouse even. When your kids say they don’t want to hug a relative to say thank you or hello- they do NOT have to nor should you force them to. You and they have the right to say no, and we need to teach our kids that when they say no in situations that make them uncomfortable, they will be respected. That they should expect people to respect their wishes… This is not a free pass to say no to anything- but when physical touch is involved, if we want our kids to feel like they can forcefully say NO to a suitor or stranger, they need to learn early on, that NO does in fact mean NO, and if someone does not respect that, how to address it and fight back. I was a passive people pleaser. I didn’t want to offend or upset him… I politely said let’s go as my cry for No. If I had firmly said no- I may not have been violated that night. You can say NO… Why? Because, Mama, YOU are worth it! Together we can rise and overcome all obstacles! You can do it, and I will help you if you want my help. Until next Thursday, my friends!
Disclaimer: Next week’s post contains graphic and detailed retellings that may trigger or bring discomfort to readers whom are sensitive to sexual assault.