Words of Testimony  
     
 

THE RAPE

Phillip continued his routine of work during the week, bar on the weekends, and sleeping with me. Things should have changed. Either I or his wife should have come to our senses (I should've acknowledged mine), and told him that he needed to get himself together and stop spending so much money on beer at the bar. How he had so much money to spend I'll never know. The school system already doesn't pay the teachers the money they should be getting, but clerical staff makes to next to nothing. Nonetheless, Phillip was buying beer and other drinks, and others' drinks.

One particular weekend, probably a Friday night, I was over Phillip's as usual, waiting for him to come in from the bar. I had taken a shower, and lay down on the floor, as usual. I waited and waited, as usual. Then just as I was about to give in to sleep, Phillip comes in. He didn't say a word, very usual. He began taking off his clothes until he was naked and he got down beside me. He then began to position himself in his usual sexual position. I turned over to protest his advance. We had no kind of lubrication at all. No lotion, no Vaseline, no KY, no nothing, and he thought he was going to enter me. He said nothing even though my protest was starting to get above whispers. He did put one hand over my mouth, and position himself on me so that I could do no more than wiggle. It's amazing how much control he exerted. Even when I tried to bite his hand, he said nothing. Then it happened. He had forced his way in. I immediately tightened up, like anyone would at such an intrusion. It was like rubbing two pieces of rubber against each other. He made a few lunges, stopping only when I said,"We have no kind of lubrication. It would be easier." He then proceeded to spit onto his hand and wipe it on me. It was of no use. He then forced himself in again. I wiggled, turned, twisted, and moved as much as I could to get him out of me. He took both of my arms and stretched them out so that I couldn't use them to move, and I was caught. With my legs pinned down by his weight, and my arms stretched out, I could do nothing. I finally got to the place where women who have been raped sometimes get to, like Celie in "The Color Purple". I stopped wrestling, wiggling, twisting and turning. It would be easier to just lay there and let him finish than to fight anymore. Here I am in this situation I watched women in movies go through. I was always like, "She coulda done this, " or "She should've done that," to get out of the situation and now here I am.

This violation of my person, my body, my love, my trust, ME probably lasted about 20 minutes altogether start to finish. When he was done, he probably went to sleep within a minute, literally. I lay there for a while. I was in disbelief that it had happened. He had never used any force with me before - he didn't have to. I was willing up until this particular night. And he lay there drunk and sleep. He had to have had more than beer that night. My mind said that he probably tried to get with somebody else they refused him, and he was taking it out on me. I'll never know. I lay there, not having moved from how he left me when he finished until I was sure he was asleep. After about 10 minutes or so, I quietly crept into the bathroom to clean myself up. I sat on the toilet to expel what he put in me. As I sat, I could feel where my skin had been torn. When I began to wipe myself, I saw blood. In the toilet there was blood. I was horrified. I cannot begin to tell you how much more and more tissue, and how much more and more blood I saw as I tried to clean myself up. I never imagined such a thing could happen to me. Returning to lay down beside him, my mind was frozen in a state of shock. I thought maybe I should go to the hospital (it was only a few blocks away), but how would I explain this? Maybe I could go to the police station, but what would I say? A man raped me? In prison it would be believable, but this is Waterloo. IOWA. A married black man. A minister. Who could I trust enough to tell? My relationship with my folks was too strained. I lay thinking these things until I fell asleep.

The next morning, I told him what he had done. There was no apology, no remorse, no nothing, and later that evening he would ask me if he could have some sex. I had enough sense to tell him he couldn't. I wouldn't even use the bathroom for over two weeks, too afraid to re-open the wound. During that time, he had the nerve to ask me, "Is your 'doonkhole' healed up yet?" I couldn't believe his insensitivity, and still, I stayed with him.

In retrospect and fairness to Phillip I should take into account what I know of his background for what it's worth. Phillip was part of a mid-sized family. The children were raised in the church of God in Christ. For some that may be explanation enough. For me, it is the only source from which I can draw any conclusions about the way he treated me during the time that I was with him.

Being raised in the church can have a person more dysfunctional than had they not been raised in church at all. The doctrines and the way they are executed more often than not are highly repressive and oppressive, very much to the contrary to the liberty Christ came to give. I firmly believe Phillip only married out of pressure to prove manhood and masculinity. It covered the fact that he had been quick to be on his back, legs wide open. It was an attempt to make up for having been caught in the bed with another man. (I heard about this when I was in middle school.)

There were a number of incidences in his upbringing that made him feel inadequate and getting married to Lulu, who was much smaller, would be dependent on him, and who looked to him as a knight in shining armor, was a way to lord himself and compensate in manhood. Lulu, however, was not a man. To dominate a man would prove more sufficient in establishing the power he desired along with a stronger sense of masculinity. To lord himself over another black man, that being where the attacks on his manhood took place, would validate him as a real black man.

The relationships he had with black men were the most challenging. The black men he dated would not stand for his behavior. When it came to me, I believe, I was an easy target, and yet a conquest. I had just enough attitude to challenge him, but not the experience, nor the strength (at that time) to resist him. This is my theory on the dynamics that played part in the relationship, the forced sex (or rape), and ultimately his demise. I have been kinder in my words to Phillip and Lulu in life and his death than many would be. I must show compassion and forgive him. Though you?ll never gear these words from me, I forgive you. You did not know what or why you did what you did.

 
     

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