Do I Have To Tell You?

Right now I want to talk about my rape. It has been said; I was not the victim of a pedophile. That I was willing because I wrote letters professing my love.

DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU?

That he was holding my arm so tight that he left finger-shaped bruises. He and his friends took me to an apartment where they made me write four “love” letters. Made me sign these letters of shame and lies. Made me kiss them with silenced lips. They had guns. Did I have any choice?

DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU?

How he said to me,

“You’re not stupid,”
“No one will believe you.”

You already left your mark those letters sealed with a kiss. Your DNA.

DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU?

The officers.
Even the female detective, even
she asked me,

“Did I lead him on?”

DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU?

I was so stupid when I found out I was pregnant. I had no idea. I was 14 years old.

That I didn’t know missing my period meant pregnancy. Do I need to be ashamed? Do I have to tell you how many pills I swallowed to hide my shame? Do I have to tell you how it felt to have tubes shoved up my nose as they pumped my stomach at 15 years old?

DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU?

Do I have to tell you the officers didn’t believe me? They told me girls lie to get out of trouble, especially Muslim girls. Do I have to tell you he intimidated & scared me?

Do I have to recount how I was victimized more than once? He stalked me, shamed me and isolated me….for months. Do I have to tell you that I picked a fight with girls so they’d jump, so I’d be hurt and lose the baby? Do I have to tell you that I bought wire hangers because I was afraid? Do I have to tell you I binge drank in high school to hide the pain?

The only thing that saved me was my journalism class.

Everyone except one friend told me it was all on me. I was told that it didn’t matter that he was 37 & I was 15. If I said yes…regardless of coercion and fear…it was a yes. They wouldn’t even pursue statutory rape.

I felt so much guilt after the abortion. Knowing I couldn’t have that child because I didn’t know if I could look at the face of a child who may look like a man who raped me. He forced me to have anal sex.

DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU?

That I had to take HIV tests till 2004 to be cleared of the risk of HIV exposure? Do I have to explain to you the works? That Planned Parenthood helped me take care of myself and not once suggested an abortion?

I could have had the baby and given the baby up for adoption, but I would have killed myself afterward.

Why won’t you just believe me?
What would I gain by lying?
Why must I relive every moment to be heard and believed?

DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU?

Photo Credit: whitemints Flickr via Compfight cc



Shareen Mansfield

Shareen Ayoub Mansfield is a veritable font of information, compassion, and attitude. She is a first generation, American of Arab descent. Widely known as both an airhead and genius. She is a Jill-of-all-trades resulting from her Lebanese heritage plus compulsion to learn everything once and learn it correctly. She has a soft side. It's her back side. If she's facing you and you've ignited the wrath of her inner dragon, duck or burn. Your choice. Aside from balancing ferocity with kindness, Shareen has been trained for Red Cross Disaster. She has helped train dogs for emotional support and Search and Rescue. She's studied Nursing, Dietetics, Journalism, Kickboxing, cooks better than your mom, is active in her children's school, is a runner and has a third-degree black belt in the creative use of "fuck" and putting megalomaniacal narcissists in their place. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook or connect by emailing her at Shareen.Mansfield(at)me.com Shareen is a Social Butterfly choosing to connect with her favorite authors on all platforms. Consider her your biggest fan. You can find her poem Compromised Field listed in The Writes Of Women. Read her on Raising MothersHer personal poem of her journey into the inferno of Hell & addiction and how it impacts the lives of those you love featured on OTV's Team Wizard Raymond Baxter's site The Relationship Blogger. Her raw & unfiltered experience with An Eating Disorder featured Nourish Your Soul published by the prolific author of Hush by Nicole Lyons on TheLithiumChronicles.com.

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