My Name Is Erin Anguish

****Warning: may be triggering and / or way more information than you asked for.

I’ll need to vamp a little to get over the Facebook “cliff notes” package. So bear with me while I tell you that I thought of all this out on the way home from work tonight, thinking about something my shrink said about what I said. And what I told her, in a very offhand manner, was this:

When I was fourteen, I was sexually assaulted.

He was kind of my boyfriend, six years older, and I loved him in that way that only the very young can love. We’d sneak impassioned kisses, secretly hold hands – he made me feel different than I’d ever felt before. Certainly, that day, I felt more fear. It wasn’t rape, not quite, as fate intervened to interrupt the unwanted tryst, but it would have been. I wouldn’t have been able to get away.

“You know,” he said,Β “if I can’t get it from you, I’m gonna have to get it from somewhere else.”

Two weeks later, I was in the back of his car. Voluntarily.

Two weeks after that, he was gone.

I’ve always thought about this in terms of what he did to my body – his brute force, my utter helplessness – but what’s even worse is what he did to my mind. I was shattered when he left me, an absolute shell. I loved him. He made me love him. He made ME believe that HE loved ME. And, impressionistic as I was, I believed it.Β He left me for another girl, an older, taller, skinnier girl, and I promptly started starving myself. My thinking changed. My handwriting changed. It was like the sun went out all of a sudden, and all I could see was smog.

Sixteen years later, and I’m just now reaching the high ground. Sixteen years later, and I’m still trying to eat normally. Sixteen years later, and I’m still fighting like hell to give him less weight in my mind.

I write this not to be confessional, although I realize that’s how it may seem. Nobody talks about these things, nobody wants to hear them. There’s a shame wrapped up in there, in with the grief and the terror, but why should there be? This was something done to me, a venal sin committed on my person, both mentally AND physically. And I’d like to empower other women to be open about it too – women in abusive relationships of all types. Because it’s only through dialogue that we can move forwards, onwards,and upwards. It’s only through ownership that we can take our power back. And that’s why I’m putting my full, real, analog world name on this post.

My name is Erin Anguish, and when I was fourteen, I got royally, ROYALLY, screwed.

11 Responses to My Name Is Erin Anguish

  1. janice says:

    erin,

    our last post run somewhat parallel, and im so sorry you had to go through something like this. it has happened to me many time throughout my life, and it is so difficult, to say the least.

    i think its so brave that youre able to “publicly” talk about these things. im not quite there yet 100%. if you ever need/want to talk about this, you know where to find me!

    Like

  2. MegaZone says:

    Thank you for sharing that.

    Like

  3. DebbieG says:

    Erin, thank you for sharing this story. As it truly ties in with what has been happened in my life recently. I too was sexually assaulted as a child by a family member which I guess I had repressed for some years and has come out in my therapy over the last couple of years. At 12 years old, I stopped eating and becaming anorexic. I am currently 45 and I still struggle with my eating habits and personal relationships. I always struggled and felt less about myself because of it and never feeling that I deserved real love and even what real love was. I got married young at 21 to a guy 6 years older than me who I met when I was 17. I recently separated from him last Nov09. My goal was to be on my own for a bit to try and figure things out for myself and what was best for me for once because things were not going well at home. But instead what do I do, I get attracted to a new guy I just met, you said nice things to me and I seem to have more in common with him than my husband, because we both came from crazy backgrounds.

    Like

  4. DebbieG says:

    Continued (from previous). However, I found out the hard way that this was a HUGE mistake! I must have a big flashing lights on my head with a huge sign called “Princess Save a Thug”. Because that is basically what I found out that he is what he was. I was sexually assaulted by him early on. And during a short spam of time (nov 09 to April 03, 2010) he used me, abused me, took money from me, made me lose my job, threatened to hurt me even more and my family if I left, etc. You name it. He did it. He violated me in every possible way. But thankfully enough, everything came to a crashing halt with him this past april, but i finally got the courage to call the police. And he ended up in jail. And has been there for the past 4 months pending trial for his assault on me. However, today he will be getting released because I made a decision not to pursue it at the this time, because the prosecutor told me that I would basically get ripped apart on the stand and my emotional shit from the past 30 years will come out and that it would probably take at least 2 years for the whole process and I still would only have a 50/50 shot of winning the case. And I just can’t put myself through that at this point in my life. Because I have just begun to start to rebuild my life, just started a new job, may reconcile with my husband (not sure on that one yet), etc. But your story/statement has inspired/empowered me that I am better than this person who fucked up my life. And I can take my power back! So thank you so much for sharing and allowing me this space to speak out as well. I truly understand your pain. AS I WAS RECENTLY ROYALLY FUCKED AS WELL!

    Like

  5. kate.d. says:

    i’m glad you’re feeling like you can/want to write about it and talk about it. i’m sure it will be a good thing for you. sending you positive thoughts ‘n stuff – good luck as you press on through the thicket and make your way to higher ground.

    Like

  6. funkyboss says:

    You rock Erin, seriously.

    Like

  7. Nicole S says:

    Erin,
    Its Nicole from WTP, I stop by here from time to time to see how you are doing. The last paragraph in this post sent shivers down my spine. A man raped me about a month ago, which just added to my history of childhoos sexual and physical abuse. I came to the very same conclusion in April. I have nothing to be ashamed of, I did nothing wrong. There wasn’t anything that could have changed the outcome of the things that happened. People think these things are rare, but they aren’t and the only way to make this known and to get justice is to start making noise.

    Keep up the great work and remember, I’m always here if you need me. πŸ™‚
    Nicole

    Like

  8. Jess says:

    you do rock Erin..thanks for sharing this you brave, brave lady πŸ™‚

    Love,
    Jess

    Like

  9. Rachel says:

    Just another woman chiming in to say how brave it is for you to put this out there, and that I empathize. I have been raped more times than I can remember, and it sure does a number on your mental health. I hope you are able to heal in time. And death to patriarchy!

    Like

  10. MegaZone says:

    As a guy it has always been disheartening to learn just how many of my female friends have been sexually abused, assaulted, and/or raped. And, as a guy, I’ve also felt it isn’t a topic I’m really qualified to talk about.

    I’ve been very conscious of it since I’m a big guy and if I was so inclined it wouldn’t be hard for me to force someone to do something. So I always try to be as non-threatening as I can be, to make people more comfortable. (Not just women, men have told me I’m intimidating due to my size.) But I just can’t understand the mindset of someone who would do that to someone.

    I know, logically, about it – power & control – but my brain just doesn’t work that way. I can’t understand wanting to do that to another person, to inflict that kind of pain. I’ve seen, in people I love dearly, what it can do to someone, and it sickens me. I know some of it is self-centered – I feel frustrated because I wish I could undo what was done, or do something magical to make it all better, because I don’t like to see those I love suffer.

    But one thing is that many of the women I’ve talked to about this over the years felt isolated and alone, it wasn’t something they shared openly or in public, nor did others, so they didn’t know that there were others all around them with similar stories. Sometimes I’d hear from two friends about such things, and they didn’t know the other had gone through it. So I think it is good to see this openly discussed, so people can share their history, and also to raise awareness that it isn’t a rare, isolated thing, but something that happens far too often.

    Like

  11. kim says:

    Erin, it takes a very strong person to talk about these horrible things that can happen to us, it is empowering to let it out. As I am sure of God I am also sure that more people than not do not judge the victim, so there is comfort, even if it is faceless and anonymous. As a fellow survivor I can say that there is only forwards and onwards. Sometimes looking back too much can be more devastating because reliving it ultimately only hurts the one thinking about it and not the one who did the hurting. I hope it helps to know that so many women have been through similar situations and that you are not alone. Fuck that guy, what goes around comes around. You do you, and know that YOU ARE LOVED.

    Like

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