A Face of Rape

This is my story of an act of rape that occurred to me in the early morning hours of January 29, 2016 in an affluent neighborhood of Nashville, TN. I have been unable to write about the details in hopes that the case would make it to trial, which unfortunately, like thousands of others, it did not. But now the muzzle is off of my mouth which rivals the size of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, so look the fuck out.

Please consider this a warning for any trigger it may cause, as well as an uncomfortable but important story to be told.

Mine.

Pre-rape: Captain of Confidence.

Four hundred and eighty days ago, I found myself without a career I had fostered for four years (the stab wounds in my back are still bleeding a year and a half later, which is most definitely a post for another day), a broken immediate family and received word that someone who was like a sister to me died suddenly in a car accident.

This life is living it up above us now.

In between this news and her funeral a few days later, I was raped by my best friend’s boyfriend of five weeks while I sought solace and comfort at her house.  I found myself not wanting to be alone an evening after finding out about my young friend. Always having her door wide open for me, I traipsed over in my mismatched pajamas to hang with my gal pal, her pit bull mix, her four-year old son and her boyfriend. Something I had done 1,197 times before (especially before the boyfriend was in the mix). I knew I was going to stay the night, sleeping on her couch with the pit bull who thinks she’s a lap dog.

Sleeping Beauties.

It was around 9pm when I arrived with a face swollen from bawling, hair looking as if I was hiding rats within it and a need for comfort so large, I would have stood on the side of the street with a sign that read “hug needed”. My bestie ushered me in, told me her adorable son was in bed already but poured me a glass of wine and we sat and talked, laughed, watched a movie and she just let me cry. Sweet pit bull and the boyfriend were also in the 600 square foot vicinity but us two gals carried on as usual, not paying much attention to anything other than the two of us (cause us self-centered bitches gravitate toward one another, ya dig?!).

The boyfriend refilled our wine glasses and after about three hours, we all decided to hit the hay. I took a sleeping pill, set my glasses and phone on the coffee table across the room and went to bed on the couch while watching my bestie and her boyfriend go into her bedroom together as I settled in on the couch I knew so well.

I mean, if this isn’t sex on a stick…

A few hours later, in darkness so deep it rivaled a haunted house, I groggily awoke on my back to something very heavy on my chest, with my arms down by my sides. Initially, getting my bearings and remembering where I was, I immediately thought it was the sweet pit bull who always slept on my chest with her ass to my face. But as the seconds ticked on, I realized there was a human head in the crease of the right side of my neck heavily breathing. It was my best friend’s boyfriend having sex with me. NON-CONSENSUAL SEX WITH ME.

In what felt like 10 minutes (but was more likely .000000004 seconds), I silently freaked out, put my hands up on his chest and hissed, “what the fuck are you doing?” Without uttering one word, he retreated from my body, stood up and walked back into the bedroom where his girlfriend was sleeping (sounds like someone who has a bit of experience in this, yes?) – into the fucking door that had been wide open the entire time.

Since this traumatic event, I’ve learned that you either fly, fight or freeze. I was frozen solid to the couch with my pink polka dot pants at my knees and all other parts of my pajamas in tact. Scared shitless at what could happen during a confrontation with a man I barely knew, my first thought was of the sleeping four-year old in the next room. While I wanted to get up and beat the living shit out of The Rapist, I couldn’t remove myself from that couch. Being blind as a motherfucking bat, my glasses and phone were across the room. I didn’t know if he was awake, passed out or going to come back out to finish “the job”.

So I laid there until it was light, which must have been at least two hours. At sunrise, I busted my ass across the room, grabbed my spectacles, phone and bounced the fuck out now trying to piece together what the fuck happened and how in the fuck I was going to tell my best friend. I wanted to do it while she was away from The Rapist and her kid was out of the house, so I texted her to call me when she got to work.

I also called two close friends who wanted to know why in the hell I was calling them before 7am (when I typically sleep until noon) for advice. I love a crime show – especially Forensic Files Friday night on the HLN network and knew not to shower or wash my clothes (which are still in my living room, waiting for the Nashville police to collect them). But did this really just happen? What do I do?

I know I’m a hot mess…but really?

The reality set in when my bestie called from work, I told her to sit down as I had something life changing to tell her that would have an impact on the both of us. Then I went on to say that I had awoke in the night with her boyfriend of five weeks – now known as The Rapist, having sex with me. Her initial response was, “did you finish?” Did we finish? HOLY FUCK.

This was my first encounter with victim blaming.

My friend and I hung up while she took time to process the information I had provided. Minutes later she called me back to tell me that The Rapist was sitting right beside her and she’s “not hearing the same story I’m telling.” Oh, no fuck.

  • I wouldn’t sleep with an ex-girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend – let alone my best friend’s current love interest. Girl code bitch.
  • Why is it OK if we did have consensual sex (which we did NOT). Kick that motherfucker out and cease being my pal.
  • WHY WOULD I LIE? We’ve been best friends for years. You’ve known this man for 50,400 minutes.

I believe the call ended with me tearfully trying to shout “fuck off” and two seconds later I receive this text from The Rapist:

Hmm…”wish I’d have told him no.” I WAS FUCKING DEAD ASLEEP. After taking a sleeping pill with three glasses of wine (which mind you, he poured) and being unbearably sad the entire day with endless tears coming from my eye holes, I was out cold. He had sex with what was basically a corpse instead of turning to his girlfriend he was next to in bed and tapping her on the shoulder for a piece of ass. He got up out of the bed and came to the couch. He knew exactly what he was doing. Oh and a side note, as soon as I was conscious enough I did say no. I said fuck no as I pushed him off.

Shattered into emotional fragments from shock, awe, disbelief and utter dumbfoundedness, I called my sister who immediately turned into a rescue responder. She called my dad, told me to call my doctor and told me to give zero fucks about a friend who didn’t believe what I was telling her.

A real face of rape.

My dad left work and arrived at my mini manse while I was still in my rape pajamas. We were like Tweedle Dee and Dumb, as neither one of us knew what to do. I had called both my gynecologist’s office and general practitioner. In lieu of knowing not to take a shower or wash my clothes, I had no clue where to go. Roll up into a walk-in clinic and casually ask to have a rape kit performed? The fuck? I finally got through to my gyno’s office and they told me to go to an emergency room.

We chose to go to the ER where both of my doctor’s practice. I was admitted, the police were called, and my blood was drawn only to be told after three hours that rape kits were only performed at one hospital in Metro Nashville. I encountered SIX medical professionals and was admitted to the hospital before being informed of this practice.

That’s cool. The worst day of my life needed to be drawn out three more hours by fucking professionals not knowing the ropes. Seriously a fucking shit show.

Of course, like a fucking comedy shit show, my dad couldn’t find his car in the massive hospital parking lot we’d started in, his battery on his key fob was dead and so the responding officer ended up taking me in the back of his patrol car (you can’t sit up front, ever) to the hospital that conducts all Nashville rape kits. So many firsts for one day – losing a best friend, being raped by her boyfriend of 35 days, sitting in the back of a cop car and getting a rape kit performed.

This cop car ride was waaaaaaay more fun – and only a few months prior to my rape.

With a dead phone, hoping my dad was finding his way to the correct hospital, and stripping down into a paper gown, the responding officer left me in the very competent hospital staff hands. When the Davidson County Metro Sex Crimes Detective arrived, I gave her my recorded statement to which my second encounter of victim blaming occurred when she said, “so you didn’t scream?” Oh no, I’m sorry I was too busy being in shock by a foreign object inserted into what the current President of the United States refers to as a pussy (that you can grab if you’re a star!), concerned that a four-year old would wake up and walk into an incident that would scar him for life.

While I sat and had pubic hairs plucked for my rape kit, The Rapist was very busy on social media, posting this photo on his Instagram account:

Please pay special attention to the fucking relaxing hashtag.

A rape counselor arrived. My rape kit was conducted. My dad waited six hours in a hospital waiting room with Barbie, the heavenly rape counselor. And when it was all over, she came in to the room with me and said, “there is going to be a before rape in your life and an after rape in your life.”

And she sure the fuck was right.

In minutes, The Rapist stole my joy and innocence of loving life.

Well, what innocence I had left.

In mere seconds, The Rapist stole my trust in almost everyone.

Seriously. Leave me the fuck alone.

The Rapist made me feel like I was responsible – ashamed, embarrassed and disgusted with myself. Insecurities I still fight to this day in the form of adjustment disorder, PTSD, chronic fatigue and severe stress.

How did I left his happen to me?

 In an instant, The Rapist turned me into a girl who could no longer withstand being in my own mind. I gave up my beloved yoga, my running, my reading, my TV watching…and cried in my closet.

At least it’s pretty in here.

The Rapist stole my pride. My confidence. My will. All in one act.

Cries for confidence I never knew I could lose.

My will to live never left me but I must admit most nights I wished I wouldn’t wake up in the next morning. What helped me take moment by moment and live to fight this ass hat of a rapist were my two little loves in Iowa. I would lay in bed and watch videos of them all day long.

Life savers one and two.

I also had fur babies and reason to put one foot in front of the other (even if it was just to feed their ungrateful asses).

Life savers three through seven.

The thing is, it takes a fucking village to overcome any type of trauma – and my village is as strong as an army. In instances such as the one I survived, it’s an experience I can hopefully convey to others and create awareness. Over 70% of all rapes occur between acquaintances. I never once thought I was putting myself in danger by going to my ex-best friend’s house (again, a story for another day) to grieve a loss of life.

Instead of gaining comfort, I became a statistic that is all too familiar. My treatment as a rape victim by the Nashville Davidson Metro Sex Crimes division is and was no less than abhorrent. I was re-victimized by the very people supposed to help, support and guide me (again, a story for another day). Also, the cost of being a rape victim has a tremendous impact for those who do – and don’t report it to authorities. Missed work, therapy visits, police follow-up, doctor visits, prescriptions (thank GOD I have health care), etc… is at an estimated $152,000 per victim according to a 2008 National Alliance to to End Sexual Violence report.

With all of this being said, I immediately went on defense mode with the help of my closest allies – and folks who have become my closest allies (and also dropped folks who I thought would be my closest allies – again, a post for another day). I dubbed my rape as “Rapegate” in order to having to avoid saying “that thing that happened to me…” Now we all just refer to it as Rapegate, as will I on this blog from here on out. It felt funny trying to post about fluffy matters of nail painting and weekend shenanigans the way I did before with something so heavy hanging over me that I couldn’t talk about outright.

I’m currently in survival mode, with the next step being thriving mode and I owe it to my support systems of thousands. You guys rock my world. Truly. You are my lifesavers eight through one million.

My new suit of armour compliments of college pals and happily married hotties HJ and CC.

With your help throughout this past year and a half, I’ve become one hell of a survivor through your letters, texts, phone calls, cards, gifts, flowers, financial assistance, sharing of your own stories – I know I’m not alone. You’re not alone. We’re not alone.

Aftermath face of rape – a Nasty Woman and proud of it.

So here we go, CBXB readers and supporters! I’m taking you on my Rapegate journey that won’t be hashed out in every post but when I do, humor will be tucked in here and there – like how to become a beached whale while eating your emotions. Or how to shit your car while talking to your pharmacist at the drive-thru because being raped has given you a severely nervous stomach. There’s nothing funny about rape. But finding a reason to laugh has been my saving grace.

And so have you. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Now let’s get to thriving!

CBXB

CBXB!

Alive and Kickin’

Holla!

Did you think I fell off the face of the fucking earth? Well, I kinda did.

My 2016 in a nutshell.

My 2016 in a nutshell.

After the start of this year, I knew January was going to be a doozie, so I stuck my head in proverbial sand, pretending I was the world’s most glamorous ostrich.

A leopard print ostrich.

The first month of 2017 marked the initial 365 days without my sweet J.Bean on the planet. The absence of this fiery young force is missed tremendously by her family and friends.

First anniversary of a devastating loss.

A devastating loss last year.

Couple the above situation with the first anniversary of bad shit happening to a good person (yours truly) within days of one another, I almost hunkered down in my dressing room to cry the rest of my life away (with all of my furry pussies, of course). I was hoping a sparkly asteroid would hit my mini manse.

Awaiting the Glitterbombpocalypse.

Instead, almost one year to the day of my bad shit, I found motivation to get my ass the size of Iowa out of the closet. I chose to march with millions of other folks in hundreds of cities across the globe in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington (if you’re one of the people still wondering why this took place (has your head been in the sand – or perhaps my purse from above?) I’ll be addressing that in a later blog). The Nashville march expected around 4,000 people. Over 15,000 showed up and peacefully flowed through the downtown streets.

#imarchwithlinda

#imarchwithlinda

Surrounded by thousands of fellow citizens made me feel less alone (which seems utterly ridiculous, since I have a support system that rivals the American military). On the actual anniversary evening of my incident, gal pals came over to the mini manse and at midnight, we cheersed the fuck out of surviving various bad shit that happens to all of us.

Cheers to

We survive. We persevere. We kick ass.

Starting the second month of 2017 off on the right high-heeled foot, I found myself feeling empowered, emotionally stronger and proud that I trudged through the worst few hundred days life has presented me thus far. Still struggling with PTSD, adjustment disorder and severe stress caused from one single traumatic event – I finally felt some of my happy seep back in. Happy – the one thing this lonely lady has needed most out of the many things stolen from her in an instant. And anything that makes me feel better seems like a goddamn victory.

Yay me.

I also found myself suddenly unemployed – but can’t say I was sad.

At all.

Although my wallet is waaaaay lighter, my spirits are brighter, not breathing fumes from a toxic environment. Stumbling into unemployment presented all kinds of fun. Like getting into a small fender bender on the way to a therapy session minutes after cleaning out my office.

I mean, C'MON.

Nothing a glass of vino can’t fix. With a side of car insurance…

Life Savers

… and a round of life savers.

Time away from the daily grind has been fabulous. It’s allowed me to arrange a long trip to Iowa, aiding Aunt Crazy Pants in kicking some cancer ass.

Aunt Crazy Pants

Jazz hands for Crazy Pants!

When bad shit happens to good people, sometimes they (who moi?) lose their fucking minds and adopt three cats at once without first consulting their existing pussy and chug.

Some of us were more happy than others on adoption day last year.

This milestone gave a big reason to celebrate! I mean, what pussy wouldn’t be thrilled to come home to a trashtacular mini manse and doting (albeit almost certifiably cray cray) mama?

Happy kit cat adoption day!

Dada CBXB and I threw down a party so hard, the cats needed to snooze the entire next day. And night. And then the next day. And night.

One year later…taking the damn manse over.

Having extra time on my personally manicured talons also means I can stare at these two mugs all day long.

Uh, yeah. Smiles for Miles

Uh, yeah. Smiles for miles from Iowa.

Waaaaaaay too cool for school.

Waaaaaaay too cool for school…

I'm waiting patiently to be their auntager.

… but not too cool to be models for their local library’s website. I’m waiting patiently to be their auntager.

While we creep into a Nashville spring, the reminder that human beings are generally kind has enveloped over me like a hangover seeps out of your pores on a Sunday morning. There’s finally a light at the end of the longest fucking tunnel I’ve ever looked down (maybe it’s more of a Grand Canyon type deal but you get the point, right?). Mind you, the hue is fuchsia with flecks of pink sparkle slowly falling all around. It doesn’t twinkle or glisten.

It glows. Radiating the biggest, brightest, fuchsia light I’ve ever fucking seen down a tunnel I’m starting to walk down. A tunnel I’m starting to run down. A tunnel I’m starting to sprint down. When I finally arrive at the other side of the tunnel (way out of breath needing a gallon of water but instead opting for a bottle of champs), watch out. Because it will be then that I’ll have gained the ability to pick up my rusty, once broken spirit and kick my ass into high gear.

Imthisclose.

Until then, I’m satisfied being just a little bit of a happier shit show.

At least I’m alive and kickin’!

Now, how the hell are you?

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

Weekend Winks – Emotional Banana Pants

Since my experience with bad shit that happens to good people, I have been a walking, talking shit show.

I’ve slept on my couch for the past four months, find it hard to be alone, don’t love my mini manse the way I used to, started a new job, adopted three cats, threw up in my car (soberly), shit in my car (while talking soberly to my drive thru pharmacist as if nothing was happening), developed adjustment issues, eat every single emotion that I experience, then don’t eat for three days in a row, was granted a girls trip of a lifetime to Mexico by two walking saints, have nerves that never go away, my feelings have been boiling for four months now and every.single.little.thing is a major issue, an ex-boyfriend and friend of over 11 years put me in my proverbial place, another man in my life has thrown major shade, the family dynamics I’m used to have shifted in ways that I can’t control, my bank account was hacked on Friday, meaning for three to five business days I’m broke and my usually positive self is more and more negative by the day and I want to fire me from myself.

All of that being said, I’m a swinging pendulum of highest highs and lowest lows. Listening to my therapist hero, Miss Sheila, I’m just trying to take one day at a time and find joy in the little things. Like, the Country Music Festival (that used to be called Fan Fair and really, still should be) that took place in Nashville over the weekend.

CMA Fest

Naturally, when work called for a White Trash Bash party in honor of the tens of thousands of tourists pouring their hard-earned money into my beloved Nashville, I was beyond happy to participate in something celebratory.

What's a CMA Fest without a redneck?

Tattoos not permanent.

And blow off some steam I did.

Seemed like such a brilliant idea at the time.

Seemed like such a brilliant idea at the time.

I enjoyed myself so much that I got on stage. In a very popular downtown honk tonk. In overall shorts. And sang. With braids in my hair. In overall shorts. And cowboy boots. And forgot the words to a song I’ve sung 1.578.987 times with my ’80s cover band. In overall shorts. And my new boss captured it all on film.

And yeah, this. Life.

Needing an S.O.S. from life. Immediately.

Thankfully I snagged a safe ride home but my grown ass needed a way to get to my vehicle the following day. What would we do without women who arrive in chariots with the best hangover food ever?

Breakfast of hungover champions.

My personal Uber, complete with snacks.

Once my body full of nerves returned back to the mini manse, I was once again in the throes of my emotions – and according to Miss Sheila – I loathe feeling feelings.

#sos

#iwokeuplikethis

Adulting has been so difficult lately that I’ve started to identify with a local Nashville Mexican joints social media postings….

Truth

Truth

But instead of being full of tacos I was left in bed with a bunch of fur balls.

This is how I want my life to be always.

Forensic Files Friday night.

Wallowing in self shame, embarrassment, pity I was invited last second to meet up with some old work colleagues (and friends) and decided it best for me to socialize.

Old friends. Good friends. Fun times.

Old friends. Good friends. Fun times.

I then decided to take up smoking – and surprisingly it took the edge off about 12 of my 3,794,579,000 nerves.

I asked for a puff and got the whole shebang.

I asked for a puff and got the whole shebang.

Other friends made me piss my pants by shopping the local racks of the store I hate more than anything in the world for tank tops to wear to Bonnaroo.

I hate Walmart but NEED that tank.

I loathe Walmart but NEED that tank.

Another reason to stay off the couch and keep moving was a pre-celebration opening at a buddy’s new bar. It’s dog friendly, so you know that Presh, Dada CBXB and yours truly were on hand to party.

Dada CBXB and Presh

Hot Saturday date night!

Bird Lady also made an appearance in my weekend, as did another inappropriate t-shirt that is now one of my faves.

Bird Lady and shirts with iniappropri mae me happy

Just wearing my emotions.

Much like my buddy at Dalts, who wouldn’t give me this t-shirt because his girlfriend gave it to him.

This is why I love Dalts.

Pure stud.

You show me your kitties, I show you mine.

mouths to feed.

Four feline mouths to feed keep me going.

Mini lions.

And my mini lion chug Precious, of course.

Naturally anything from my Iowa twins puts a grin on my gigantic mouth breather.

I mean, those faces!

I mean, those faces!

But most of all, I have to keep getting off of my leopard couch, braving emotions, feelings, checking account robbers and put one foot in front of the other for my favorite pussy, my best friend, my main squeeze, Mr. Ted E. Bear (who is costing almost as much as rent with his meds these days but you know (and he knows) he’s worth every goddamn cent).

Prince

Forever the king of my castle.

My new life mantra for my therapist prescribed “day-by-day” attack on life was passed onto me by one of my besties, Whitney Lover.

Mantra

I’ll drink to that…every damn day.

Motherfucking cheers.

Motherfucking cheers.

Thanks to you – readers, social media buddies, real life friends, co-workers, family, kind strangers – for sticking by your hot mess of a shit show. Here’s hoping you’re sucking a little less each and every day this week.

Love ya, mean it.

CBXB

CBXB!