A Rapist In My Path

TW/CW: Rape, Sexual Assault
In the early hours of January 1st 2015, I was raped by my first cousin, the eldest child of one of my mothers eldest sisters. 
This isn’t something I had planned on getting into this very moment. The world is burning, I’m high risk, I fucking LOATHE Aprils & want to mourn my baby- so I’ve been hiding away in my own space. But trauma never waits. One of the few relatives who knew about my rape, told my rapists mother. They started attacking me. It’s been 3 days of hell- reliving my rape over & over again. I haven’t been able to sleep, I missed my dads birthday, I’ve been suffering, anxious, screaming & triggered by every touch. These people, who raised & protect my rapist- demanded I explain myself. They’ve begun attacking me, my character, my mother, my life. They will not bully me into silence. These words invoke pain that is immeasurable- but they are my words, my story, my only way to empower myself in the face of a rapist who will not stop terrorizing me. 
This is the raw, graphic, & disgusting truth about how my first cousin, eldest son of one of my mothers eldest sisters- raped me. 
On December 31st, 2014- I was in Miami for NYE. There was a party planned at my cousins house 45 mins or so away ( my rapists younger sister). My guard is usually pretty high up, due to past trauma, but these are people I grew up with- people I trusted & LOVED. I went into this evening excited, ready to debut this fancy sequin skirt I had gotten at Nordstrom. (My mom is big on nye traditions & always encouraged us to wear something new). We met up at my aunts house (where my rapist also lived at the time), my mom said she would drive up with her sister & my rapist insisted I come with him so we could hangout. On the way up he handed me a dab pen, (I had never tried prior to that point & only occasionally smoked). He generously offered me as much weed (concentrate) as I wanted. He played 90’s era trance music & talked about his own mental health issues, girlfriends, drugs, family stuff- etc. He seemed to be extra nice, especially considering the last time I had seen him he had drunkenly (& “accidentally/innocdently”) groped me*. We barely spoke in between those events. We stopped at a liquor store close to his sisters house, & I was already feeling the weed. He offered to buy me whatever I wanted, he ‘wanted to make sure I had a good time’. He was excited I came down. At his sisters house, we sat at a table with the other “young” cousins. At one point, the conversation got heated. He was putting on one last machismo display for the year, & was leading it with an attack on “lazy” women (like me). He insisted if women like me tried harder, we’d have more success (with men? With what? I don’t know). He started telling us, a table full of mostly relatives (& their invited partners) how he preferred his women to be of a certain caliber (hairless, skinny thick, always made up, styled up, smelling of roses). He said his mom did all of that for her man, how hard could it be? (Clearly this man has mommy issues but please stay with me this is not what we are here to discuss). The table debated, I laughed & said maybe things are different for us diaspora Domini-mericans, but hairy legs never stopped a man worthy of these legs. I explained that especially being chronically ill, I wouldn’t want to end up with a man so shallow he’d expect me to put my energy into keeping up appearances for his bum ass. This was his dynamic, he’d been picking me (& the women around him) apart for years. He’d always be there inappropriately rubbing my back & telling me to stand up straight & not be ashamed of my boobs, suggesting I work out just “a little even”, constantly telling me that if only I followed his advice, I’d transcend my assumed basic self into this hyper sexualized version of myself I was supposed to be, in order to be a worthy woman.
That night, it felt good to stand up for once & just disagree. He laughed me off & compared (mocked) me with a feminist cousin who was not in attendance. Apparently, we’re the worst so good luck finding a man with that attitude.
I kept my distance, at one point talked to the woman he was dating who thankfully left his bum ass some undisclosed amount of time later. He softened up at some point & offered me drinks, & more weed. His mom, who was always policing my own mother, was simultaneously trying to take drinks out of my moms hands. He had no problem slipping her his. We got drunk, we danced, we had our 12 grapes & we said our goodbyes. My mom was decently drunk (as she felt comfortable doing to at a family gathering). He was our DD, & insisted he had stayed sober enough to drive the 40-some minutes home (he seemed it to his own mother so,). In the car, he offered my mom the same dab pen we had been hitting all night. She had never tried dabs either. He kept handing her the pen until she passed out, & all we heard was the pen fall & start rolling around his floor. He was upset, I grabbed the pen & we hit it again. Once we got closer to Kendall, he stopped for gas & offered to buy more alcohol & snacks for our munchies. Why should the party end? We were two cousins hanging out, our aunt (who owned the house my mom lives in) was out of town so we could chill without worrying about his parents. He bought me all the munchies I wanted & joked that I better not babysit the fruity beer he was buying me.
Once we got to the house, I helped my mom up the stairs & tucked her in. She was out. I went back downstairs where my rapist had turned all the lights on, had already opened a beer, & was raiding the fridge. He was clearly more comfortable in this house than I was. He quickly pounded two or three beers & teased me for not having finished my first. We went to the backyard & he smoked a Newport, I turned it down. We smoked a little more weed, he played some dated 90’s trance music & eased into asking me about my life, my boyfriends, etc. He started dialing up the machismo, making it clear he had something to prove still from earlier. He started talking about his conquests, bragging about his body count & prying about mine. I remember I asked him if he was scared of catching something or a baby but he seemed sure that the caliber of women he selected was all the protection he needed. He started bragging about his poweress or whatever aging men who need control blabber on about. He started specifically talking about his dick & the lies he tells- comparing the size to small pocket electronics. It was starting to become hard for me to breathe. I backed myself up to the corner of the couch & attempted changing the subject.
He pulled out his phone & showed me an unwanted picture of said dick next to said small electronic. I said nothing, & avoided eye contact. He started accusing me of not believing him, & my face was loud only with disbelief. By the time I could find the air to protest he had pulled out his mediocre dick & insisted I look. He kept inching closer. He started insinuating that since he was nice enough to show me his, I owed it to him to show him mine. I panicked, & ran into the closest bathroom. I was hyperventilating at that point, still slightly crossfaded & feeling dizzy. I splashed water on my face. I took off my blouse & I tried to makeshift some sort of armor for myself. I tightened my bra to the third row & shoved my breasts in as deep as I could, the underwire digging into me & reminding me this was very, very real. I’m not sure how long I was in there but he came to the door more than once. I started to hyperventilate again, feeling trapped in a windowless bathroom. I remembered the last time he groped me, how disgusting it felt & how much more sober he is now- my mind was racing & I felt stupid, how did I end up in this bathroom? I’ve spent a lot of nights wishing I would’ve just stayed in that bathroom forever, but eventually I came out. He was in the kitchen grabbing a beer.
It was surreal the way he was acting as if any of this was normal.
I was worried about my mother upstairs & I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t hear my own panic over the celebrations happening around us. I sat down on the couch & tried to shield myself. He cornered me again & started pinning me down. 
He pulled my shirt down & despite the aggression in which he dislodged my breasts from their faux armor- he was talking to me like it was perfectly normal. He was trying to be nice, complimenting my breasts, telling me he wanted to see them just a little please, outright begging to put them in his mouth. I started crying. I pleaded with him & reminded him we’re cousins. I outright said no over & over again. My pleas didn’t matter, it was like he was playing a game in which he could be the romancer & I was but an NPC- consent be damned. He attacked my breasts & the more I pulled away the rougher he became. I kept pleading, even though no one was listening. This is wrong, Please stop, Don’t do this, This isn’t right. He started rubbing his dick on me & I realized I wasn’t fully sure he’d ever put it away. He started hiking my skirt up & I started to cry louder. He grabbed my arms & started pulling me towards the downstairs bedroom. He kept telling me to calm down, convince me I wanted this, try to coerce me in any way possible. He broke his nice guy facade momentarily to growl at me & ask me what my mother would think if she found her daughter like this ( exposed like a whore )? He demanded I be quiet & covered my mouth & eased himself back into his pseudo nice guy delirium as he reminded me that I wanted this, my nipples were hard (nor possibly by the aggressive pinching & manipulation or exposure to the cold air, or the fear) & my body was apparently telling him what he needed to hear. I felt betrayed, ashamed of my own breasts like I had so many times before, angry though I knew there was no helping my body response. I started bargaining with him, I told him I was on my period & was bleeding heavily after getting an IUD- you know, like the IUD your sister has the one she recommended? Please it hurts we don’t have to do this tonight, I won’t tell anyone just let me go. Please, you made it clear you hate everything I have going on, I’m hairy, I’m bleeding just please let me go we can do this tomorrow. He knew I was lying. I would’ve said anything if it meant he would leave and I could get in my car & never turn back.
I, having been severely anemic still, felt like a rag doll as he dragged me into the room & tossed me on the bed. He was quick in pinning me down & entering me. It was rough, it felt like I was being raped by knives (a sensation women with endometriosis are familiar with). My cries were drowned out by the salsa being blasted in the house to the left of us, & the cambia to the right. People were celebrating, I could hear them cheer & laugh. It occurred to me that even if my mom wasn’t deeply asleep, she couldn’t hear me over this anyway. No-one could. I felt my blood pooling beneath me, & he grunted that he believed me to be wet (& therefore wanting it because I assume, he had believed the period thing was a lie like the other pleas). I started to imagine, what if it was enough blood to kill me? What if I could just die right then, in that moment. I wanted to die, so I laid there- still, empty, & numb as he continued to rape me. It could’ve been 15 minutes, It felt like hours. The knives. The blood. The sweat & the stench of violence.
He finished inside of me, & it felt insulting. My stomach turned. I wasn’t moving but I could still feel myself crying. He started to carefully, (painfully) slowly, compose himself- occasionally turning back to take a glance at me in the shadows, as if admiring his work. He started telling me how much he had wanted this, no- needed this. He confessed he had dreamt about it for years. You know that blanquitra he dated a few years ago? The one EVERYone (including his own mother) commented on how she looked just like you? Yeah that was him trying to fulfill that fantasy, but she was just no you. He was openly reflecting on his conquest, reminiscing on this perverted, lonely journey he had been on- waiting for this very moment. Knowing it was premeditated made it feel sicker. I felt dirty & stupid. He kissed me on the head & offered me the rest of the Newports, as a gift. As he left the room it broke me out of this half dead state & I needed to know he was leaving. I needed to see him go & lock the door. I followed him & I needed it to be over. He mumbled something about sneaking back into his parents house & tried to kiss me again. I pulled away & he said he hoped he’d see me around before I left. He spoke it like a nicety but it felt like a threat. I locked the door behind him & leaned against the frame- waiting to break. Tears wouldn’t come. I went back into the bathroom & saw my hands were covered in blood. It was terrifying & felt fitting. I started to cry again. I started to sob, I started to scream into the night as I clawed at my body & tore the remaining garments off of me. I shoved my fingers inside of myself & tried to claw as much of him out as I could. It felt like knives again, there was more blood. I got into the shower & ran the water as hot as I could. I scrubbed my skin & kept clawing at my body- numb to the pain of the water because it paled in comparison. Eventually it turned ice cold, & I was still on the floor sobbing & scrubbing. I went into the room & turned on the lights. There was blood all over the bed. I started panicking again, frantically cleaning as much up as I could. I washed the sheets & scrubbed the mattress. I couldn’t get the blood out & to this day I wonder if she ever noticed & wondered where it came from? I couldn’t stand to be in the room anymore & I threw up. I showered again but I realized I would never feel clean. The room I was raped in was also an office, so I grabbed a piece of stray printer paper & a pen. I put the sheets to dry then I went outside & chain smoked half of the pack of Newports while the celebrations died down. The only thing I could feel was a distant pelvic ache. I wanted to scratch my own skin off, & I grabbed the pen instead & tore through the paper. I wrote ‘Am I now too fucked/flawed for redemption? I don’t know who I am anymore. I am not who I used to be.”. I kept thinking about his words, how it was premeditated & that mixed with the nicotine I never consumed made me throw up again. I took another shower & sat on the floor again because I felt dizzy. I knew the water wouldn’t make me feel clean, but I sobbed on the floor anyway, hoping to drown. When I got out I tried to gently touch my own skin- the bruises, bite marks, & red skin- but I couldn’t tolerate my own touch. I looked into the mirror & cried because I couldn’t recognize my own face. I started actively dissociating, watching this person desperately try to piece themselves back together. Eventually I crawled upstairs into my moms room, because the sight of the bed made me sick. I clung to her & cried until it woke her up. She assumed I had a bad dream & sleepily soothed me.
I was supposed to say in Miami for another 5 days, but I cut my trip short. On my way out, I tried to say goodbye to my rapists mother, my aunt. I asked my mom to make sure he wouldn’t be there (blaming the petty argument we got into at the party). He was still there, of course, awaiting my goodbye. My aunt pushed me into his arms & they mentioned something about a box. He led me upstairs & it felt like I was back in the nightmare. He gathered a few pieces of junk he didn’t want as he told me he was ‘so fucked up’ on nye, & how he might talk to his therapist about his problem with drinking & not remembering. He kept selling me on his idea of amnesia as I anxiously guarded the door. I wonder, even if he did blackout (not an excuse for raping someone)- how did he explain away that he was covered in blood? I tried to refuse the box of junk & his mother insisted. I left & drove straight home. The drive back was a blur- I felt like I wanted to keep running forever. It felt humiliating all over again to have to go get tested for STI’s. I couldn’t find the words to explain to my male doctor that I had been raped, he gave me weird looks & tried to pry into “exactly how many partners I had on my holiday”. I barely slept the week I had to wait for the HIV test results. With every step I took to heal, I was reliving it all over again. (I’m reliving it right now, it’s 4 am & I cannot sleep). After a few weeks I went out to dinner with a close friend. She had noticed that I was hyper vigilant- always looking over my shoulder & she knew. She comforted me & was the first person I told. I so desperately needed someone to tell me that it wasn’t my fault. I cried over my burger & felt a moment of validation. She recommended a great therapist & checked in on me every so often. I’m grateful for her . A few months after my rape my aunt (my rapists mother) faceted me. I missed her & had barely called her since the rape. I didn’t know how to explain or avoid her any longer. I was crushed when she almost immediately handed him the phone & I avoided eye contact while he pretended to make small talk. That was the last time I facetimed her. Time went on, I got engaged. My rapists sister was one of the closest women to me growing up, I had made her a bridesmaid. I knew it was dangerous emotional territory going in. I had seen her children grow up- I wanted them to be a part of the wedding. I had hoped if I could keep explaining to family that it was just a small wedding, maybe I could get away with just having them. They seemed to understand at first. He wasn’t invited. My rapists parents met my husband at one point & gushed over the wedding. They couldn’t wait. I wanted so desperately to feel normal again so I hoped for the best. A week before the wedding, they let me know he was coming & hd presumably invited himself. I tried to reiterate the point of the wedding being at capacity, but they all pulled out. There was a hurricane a couple of days later & I told them to just forget it. There was barely any of my family at my wedding, because I was raped by my first cousin, son of one of my mom eldest sisters, molested by my maternal grandfather- & my family had long chosen willful, complicit ignorance at the sake of young women. The panic I felt in the days I thought my rapist might be crashing my wedding was unMATCHED. We almost called the whole thing off. It was a sad relief when they pulled out. I took their calls less & less. I couldn’t stand to hear my rapists name. Shortly after my ectopic pregnancy my rapists mother called me incessantly to tell me her son, the rapist had finally gotten someone pregnant. I never answered her calls again. Hearing about my rapist reluctantly being thrown into fatherhood after losing my first & possibly only chance at motherhood was a weird trauma headspace that I still haven’t gone to therapy for.
In the time since, I have mostly been dealing with my chronic illnesses. Having finally gotten a diagnosis of endometriosis, I was recommended to physical therapy. Pelvic physical therapy can be quite invasive, & it was intensely triggering for me. Between the money needed for therapy, then physical therapy & medication to ease the severe panic attacks (& already mounting medical debt) it was out of reach. It was another painful reminder of my rape. Every pelvic exam, I have to explain through sobs & screams that I’m so sorry. But they already know. They’re delicate but it’s never enough. I can’t get the best treatment because my brain rejects it.
I’ve been depressed. The body remembers trauma. I’ve grieved the loss of several close family relationships.
The world is burning now, & honestly I had hoped I could grieve the second anniversary of my baby’s death in peace in my secluded space. I fucking hate Aprils & the body always remembers.
But my mom called me crying today, leading with how sorry she was. My rapists mother had hysterically & frantically called relatives across the country & Caribbean demanding for someone to tell her why my mother didn’t love her anymore. (I had to tell my mom the truth 2 years ago & she hadn’t been able to stand the sight of him or her since). People started calling my mom & demanding answers. She says they heard from someone it had to do with my rapist, but they didnt know why. Only three people knew: my mom, my brother, & a female cousin who confided in me that he had been rumored to have preyed on another of our female cousins- she was sorry for me but not surprised. We had both been dealt bitter hands by our mothers sister. I suppose it doesn’t matter who it was that told my rapists mother that the issue is her son, the rapist- because I’m finally letting this out. They demanded answers, accused my single mom of disparaging her good whole christian families name- because we all know single mothers raise lying whores and intact family units produce well behaved men who never, ever rape (dark humor, let me have it). Well, they wanted answers. I have the time. It was easier for me to just fade into my own obscurity, given that my rapists mother is also a huge homophobe & I’m a proudly queer, enby, bi-sexual slice of pan-dulce. She made it easier to not miss her so much, but, again- *she* demanded answers. 
There is a rapist in your path. They might be your son, your brother, your cousin, your friend, your co-worker, your ex boyfriend.
There was a rapist in my path. I was raped by my primohermano (first-cousin), the eldest son of one of my mothers eldest sisters. In this case, maybe it’s someone we both know. 

It didn’t matter what I was wearing, though you may take a peek if you’d like. The skirt hung in the pack of my closet like a bad omen for a while, then I gave it away & cried for the girl who bought it with so many intentions.


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