Abuse happens everywhere, in the Tibetan community and in every other community as well. In this interview, I talk with a woman from America. No matter where abuse happens, the impact on women’s lives is the same. Some men may feel like it’s not a big deal, they just do what they want, but they need to think about the consequences, which I believe are eloquently explained in this woman’s story.
Kunsang Dolma: Do you have any experience with sexual abuse?
Anonymous: Umm…yes. I had a very healthy relationship with my high school boyfriend, it was healthy. In college I had a very good relationship also that lasted four years, it naturally came to an end and when it came to an end I felt really determined and strong that I was going to live independently for awhile and travel the world. I wasn’t looking for a husband, I decided to be single for some time, you know? I think it was the day after I broke up with my college boyfriend, I was feeling so strong, I had no fear, I had no confidence problems, so I decided I would go for a little bit of a trip in car, like a road trip, by myself. In America this is normal, and my parents said, “Yeah.” That very night, the night I was trying to prove to myself that I could be independent, I was sleeping in a tent and a man came into my tent. I woke up, I was sleeping, he was raping me just like that. And I didn’t fight back, I was so scared I just layed there frozen. I always thought if something like that happened to me I would fight, I would scream and kick, because I’m strong and I could fight, but in that moment I just layed there completely still. When it was over I just got up and packed my things, I acted completely normal. I wasn’t crying or anything, I just got back in my car and drove straight home and at the time I didn’t get upset. I was very quiet for some days. I told my mother…
KD: How did she feel?
A: She was very upset, she starting calling psycologists, and all this stuff, like “we need to call the police.” I just said, “no, no, no I want to forget about it, I don’t know who it was, I don’t want to tell the police, maybe I’ll talk to a psycologist if you want to me but I really just want to forget.” I actually forgot very quickly, but what I didn’t realize was that it was still inside me. So I never cried, I think the tears came many years later. So that was a really big turning point in my life because just when I was about to be a strong, confident, independent woman this thing happened that made me so afraid, and from that point on I was scared to be alone. And that led to some bad decisions later. Actually after that I was again traveling alone, this time with a girlfriend, it was girlfriends actually, I wasn’t alone but there was no man with us. We were in a restaurant that had a bar, it wasn’t a really bad place or anything, it was just a normal place and we were drinking some kind of cocktails and suddenly the bartender who was a woman came to us and she told us very quietly, “I think somebody put something inside your drink, a drug inside your drink…I think.” But by the time she warned us it was already too late, we already drank it, and then I don’t know what happened after that. I blacked out, I don’t remember a single thing that happened that night, all I remember is that me and another friend we woke up the next morning in a hotel room and we didn’t know where we were. We didn’t know what happened, but we knew that we were raped.
KD: You both?
A: Both, but we couldn’t remember anything, so we don’t know who it was. We think maybe we could guess who it was, but there is no evidence, and again, we felt so sick still from the drugs. We felt sick for two or three days, and we just wanted to forget about it, we didn’t tell the police, we didn’t go to the hospital, we didn’t do anything because that’s almost more difficult. I really understand why women don’t want to go to the police or don’t want to go to a hospital because that makes it even more painful somehow. It’s easier to forget.
KD: Yeah, just try not to remember…
A: So now, it’s probably been not more than three months and I’d been raped twice, and I was a single woman. From that point on I think I was just looking for a man because I was too scared to be alone. I was deperate for a man then from that point on. I got lucky, soon after that, I was married before, I met a really good man and I was with him a long time. I was pretty happy during that time and it was stable. But then it naturally came to an end and I was scared when we broke up, I didn’t want to be alone again. The last time I broke up with my boyfriend I was raped twice, so this time I wanted to jump straight into a relationship. I didn’t want to stay single even for one month, so… I met a guy. You know? Even though I knew from the first day he was no good for me, and I really did know it, I jumped straight into a relationship, moved in with him and started planning to get married and live a whole life together. I couldn’t imagine to be alone, I was too scared. That’s what, those rapes are what made me be with a man who was abusive, because I was scared to leave him, scared to be alone.
KD: After that, was it hard for you to trust…how did you feel about men?
A: I don’t hate all men or distrust all men, and I think that’s because I have a very good father, a very good brother, and I have male friends who I really trust. I have lots of good men in my life. That helps me a lot, you know? But I seem to have a hard time finding a good man to be in a relationship with, maybe I trust too easily actually. I can’t imagine that these men in my life would do these things to me but they did, I couldn’t believe that they would do it to me, but they did. But I know that there are good men out there, I know I will find the right one, I won’t give up.