Gemma Capdevila

Gemma Capdevila

What do you call it? 

It wasn't rape (at least... not the legal definition), but it wasn't consensual. It was consensual at first, and then he did his own thing without consent. 

Everywhere I look, the definition of rape is: "forced sexual intercourse." But what if it wasn't quite intercourse? It wasn't quite insertion... 

If you think I'm being vague, it's on purpose. I don't care to share the details of what happened to me last weekend. Needless to say, my boundaries were crossed big time during sex. 

As someone who has been raped ("forced sexual intercourse") three times, you'd think I'd know how to label this in-between area, but I don't. I've had various experiences of this, but none have seemed as terrifying as this last one.

I was triggered into a flashback from a past rape while simultaneously being assaulted in the present experience. I felt trapped. And I froze. I forgot I had a voice. I forgot how to move my body. I forgot how to fight. Or maybe I was just too tired. Tired of this happening so damn often. 

Freezing is a common response. It's the response I have had in other rape situations. I dissociate from what's actually happen. I can look down at myself and the event taking place. It becomes a weird, fucked up, scary movie that I can't stop watching. It still feels better than actually being in my body during that time, though.

After the man I was with said, "Wait, I'm cumming. Just let me finish", he held me tighter as he must have felt my body clench and tense up. And then I left my body. I froze. Again. Frozen in two worlds--the past and present. And days later... still frozen, still unable to thaw... because my body/mind are trying to protect me. 

Trauma expert Peter Levine says:

In response to threat and injury, animals, including humans, execute biologically based, non-conscious action patterns that prepare them to meet the threat and defend themselves. The very structure of trauma, including activation, dissociation and freezing are based on the evolution of survival behaviors. When threatened or injured, all animals draw from a "library" of possible responses. We orient, dodge, duck, stiffen, brace, retract, fight, flee, freeze, collapse, etc. All of these coordinated responses are somatically based- they are things that the body does to protect and defend itself.

I have to thaw to heal. I have to feel it to move on. I have to. I have to. I have to. But I'm not quite ready yet. I want to stay in this numbness for a little longer. 

And I think that's okay. I can heal at my own pace. Just check in on me... make sure I don't fall asleep in this freeze. 

I want to make sure I wake up someday. 

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