Content warning for graphic descriptions of rape and violence
Many moons ago, I was able to pry your claws, that were penetrating deep into my skin, and rip them out of my larynx. Wounded and bleeding, I escaped from your grasp at last. The lacerations had pierced beneath the skin, freshly coated blood and purple tainted bruises were the only traces left from where you had previously held your grasp, in an attempt to suffocate me. My body was nearly seizing as it began to desperately intake the sweet oxygen it had been deprived of. My lungs felt as if they were going to burst as they ballooned, swelling against my ribcage. My breaths were scattered, heavy as the rain that was splattering against the rooftops on that frigid December night.
Tears streamed down my frozen cheeks, mixing in with the rain. The salty taste coated my tongue as I licked my lips. Despite my state of rest, my heart was thumping to the beat of a double bass drum. I was no longer in a state of physical threat, but the adrenaline still coursed through my veins. I no longer felt safe.
Virginity. It was what gave me worth to the male population. My father valued my virginity. My purity. My innocence. It was a symbol that dressed me in white. It aligned me with Mary and therefore with Jesus. But my white gown was now bloodstained. A concept, created by males, is what gave me value as a female. A man who found this trait of ‘value’ within me, and felt threatened once I began to open up to him, attempting to display the other traits that made me valuable. The traits that, once compiled together, made me the person who I am; this version of human consciousness behind this wall of flesh... the human that I am. My naivety led me to believe that I could prove to a man like this that I was worth more than my virginity.
I was wrong. My complexity fueled his inferiority; he felt the need to reassert his status as a male. A male who felt that he was above women; better than women. A male who objectifies females because he cannot comprehend that women are people too. The threat that I displayed, as a human being, was emasculating. So he stripped me from the only worth he felt I had to himself and the male population.
He undressed my body, ripping my blue jeans and panties from my legs, then stripped me of my virginity, trying to reassert his masculinity as he proceeded to insert himself inside of me. He pillaged my body and left my mind in ruins. I was an object to him; an object of desire, an object of pleasure. He tried to remove the humanity that existed within me as I witnessed any trace of humanity I thought existed within his soul disappear. He left his mark on my body, with the scars imprinted upon my neck, visible to the world, and the scars that he left branded onto my soul, only to be felt burning and aching deep within the depths of my heart every day I walk this earth.
Fifteen years old. I was still a child. He was a man, several years my senior, who forced himself on a child. A demon set out to possess a little girl. Imagine masculinity so fragile, that one had to decimate the mind, the body, and the soul of a child.
It will be forever burned into my memory the way his member pulsated with pleasure as he pressed the weight of his body against the inside of my wrists, pinning me into the bed with all of his might. The way he told me it made him want me more, as tears streamed from my pale, blue eyes and I begged him, my voice quivering as I helplessly jerked my body around, to stop. Why would he do this? A man who told me that he loved me, now slapped me in the face and told me this is what I deserve? For being a woman? For being a person when half the male population only wants to recognize me as an object?
Once he released me, I felt lifeless. I watched blood ooze from my loins, covering my thighs in a hot, sticky mess of crimson. I felt like I was out of my own body, a bystander who watched as a helpless child tried to comprehend that the mess that was unfolding, was actually happening. It wasn’t until I caressed my own thigh and felt the traces of blood stain my finger tips that I came out of my trance. I glanced at the droplets of blood that were on my fingertips, rubbing them together. I could not believe that this was my reality.
Without any comprehension, a shriek ripped through my body, echoing around the room. The man raced towards me, wrapping one hand around my mouth, attempting to stifle the piercing scream that I could not even control, and the other around my throat. He pressed his fingers into my larynx and the screams of agony and sadness eventually stopped. Gasps for air soon took the place of the screams. He ripped my body off of the bed by my throat, then forcibly pinned me against the white wall of the musty motel room. “You better hope you’re not pregnant,” he growled in my face, his spit coating my face as he spoke, “Because if you are, I’m going to have to do something like this.” In one swift motion, he shifted his weight to one side, picked up his leg, and quickly and forcfully rammed his knee directly into my stomach. With the little air I still had in my lungs, I cried out in pain and began clawing and ripping his hands away. Once I pulled his hands from my throat, I pushed him to the ground and began running. I ran out of the motel room and into the night, far away from this man.
Stained with blood, sweat, and tears, I sat alone in the cold December night, glancing at the stars. I kept wondering why this had happened to me. The desire to force the thoughts away was stronger. If events like this occur, I thought to myself, then therefore there is no God.
The innocence was ripped from me. I was no longer aligned with Mary. I was no longer of value because I was no longer a virgin. I had allowed the concept of virginity to define me - only to have it ripped from me. This man had to rip me into pieces, in order to put himself back together. I was shattered into fragments of my former self, with plenty of pieces obliterated beyond any repair. I was left to put the pieces of myself back together. To be recreated, to be redesigned. Without the meaning that virginity had given me, I had to be redefined.
Julia Beauregard is a writer, poet, and want-to-be literature professor. She is a student and mother by day and writer by night. She can be found on Twitter @juliabeauregard.