UPDATE: Police Report

So after my Police Report post, my parents called to tell me that they had a copy of the police report in their possession.  Turns out that they got a copy of it after I told them it happened years ago and held onto it for the day that I would want to read it.  So I no longer have to request it from the Tempe Police Department.  My parents feel strongly, having read it, that I should read it with my old therapist.  They offered to pay for an hour with her and I could use the whole hour or not.  For some reason I have a block on this.  I really just want to get it and have it in my possession for a while without opening it.  Of course my parents are willing to give it to me no matter what I choose to do with it.  They are SUPER supportive, awesome parents.

Maybe I’m kidding myself, but I wasn’t thinking it would be that difficult.  I thought maybe I would be a little upset and need cheering up or need something to take my mind off it, but that it would be matter of fact.  But the more real it gets (that I might actually read it) the more freaked out I get about it.  I think I need more time.

On another note, I want to thank all the people who sent me messages, called, or otherwise offered to be there for me when I read it.  I am amazed and humbled by the awesomeness and supportiveness of so many of you.  I am so lucky.

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Police Reports

October has been a weird month for me ever since 2005, which is when I was last raped.  Up until then, I loved October…it’s a beautiful month, and Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I spent the whole month excited.  These last few years, October has been bittersweet.  I get excited for Halloween still, and I always appreciate the beauty of fall, but rape is on my mind more often.  So, a few weeks ago I decided to get the police report from the last rape.  It’s the only one that even has a police report, and I feel like I should have looked at it long ago.  Years ago, my therapist encouraged me to get a copy and read it in a session with her, but it was too fresh and I didn’t feel like I could read it without being triggered.  I finally feel like it is time to get some closure on the event and that I will be able to read it without it upsetting me too much. (Maybe it’s wishful thinking….)

I called the Tempe police department the other day to find out the record number so I can send the written request.  One of my biggest hang-ups with the whole thing is that I don’t remember anything.  (The rape crisis center people thought I had been drugged.)  I don’t remember most of that night, and the parts I do remember are hazy at best.  I do remember sort of coming to in a hotel lobby with a blanket around me, naked underneath, with a cop with yellow glasses looking at me and asking me if I was alright.  He and his partner told me that the hotel manager had called them because I had come running into the lobby naked crying and asking for help.  I don’t remember that.  Anyway, I say all that to say I have NO IDEA what will be in the report.  The cops took me to the rape crisis center and were quite nice to me that night.  However, I chose not to press charges in the days following.  (I just wanted it not to be true, so I dealt with it by pretending it didn’t happen.  Not a healthy way to deal with things, I don’t recommend it.)

Anyway….police reports….  The website says that victims of crimes can get one free copy of police reports.  However, when I talked with the lady in the records department, she told me I would have to pay for the report.  As though I was the perpetrator.  This has me really freaked about what is in the police report, though I am willing to pay for the closure.  I need an assistant to be there with me when I open the report, but I have this really strong feeling that it needs to be someone who will support me without wanting to know what is in the report if I don’t like what it has to say.  At the same time, I need it to be someone who can get it together to be there for me if it is super upsetting.  I really don’t know who to ask.  I don’t want to ask Mr. Perfect, it’s just too much.  I don’t want to ask my parents because I think it would be just as upsetting to them.  I need someone with no vested interest in what the report says, but does care about me.  I guess I am now accepting applications….

These are the extra details of being a survivor of rape that no one would EVER think of otherwise….

A satisfying response

Mr. Perfect now knows about the rapes.  I won’t say exactly how it came up, but it did come up organically in conversation (which is what I had been hoping for) and I chose to take the opportunity to tell him.  He reacted very well (this is a big deal to me) and I was satisfied by the conversation.  He showed concern and seemed genuinely upset, but when I changed the subject, he followed and was able to let it go.  I always worry about how people will react and he didn’t let me down.

Besides that, we had a really nice night tonight.  We decided to go to dinner somewhere neither of us had ever been and we were rewarded for our daring by being very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food and the nice atmosphere.  After dinner we cuddled on his couch and watched part of a movie.  He DID ask me again when he could come to my place and asked again if I was dating one of my roommates.  I decided to come (sort of) clean and just tell him that it is a little awkward to have him over with roommates around all the time.  But I also invited him to come to a party on Saturday night.  This means I have a deadline for getting my room in order….oh shit….

 

The other “how do I know”

Everyone has to deal with the normal “how do I know” questions when embarking on a new relationship.  “How do I know if this is just lust or something more?”  “How do I know how he feels about me?”  “How do I know he is the one?”  And so on…

As a survivor of rape (I can practically hear your collective “gasp”, but if I can’t be honest on here, where can I be?), there is another “how do I know” question that is constantly on my mind, whether I am on the first date or the 30th.  “How do I know when it is the right time to tell him?”  I always feel as though it is too soon to tell “him” and then suddenly, it feels too late.  I used to tell men as a way of judging their character, as though the way they reacted was a good indicator of whether or not I wanted to be with them.  It isn’t.  It just isn’t a fair moment to judge someone.  More recently, I got tired of telling people.  It is exhausting and people often react badly, leaving me feeling as though I need to support them.  Except for the most recent major player (Rat-Bastard), I haven’t told anyone in the last few years.  The thing is, no one is ever going to get to really know me unless they know.  It is a major part of who I am and who I have become.  I certainly dealt with it and no longer think about the events every day, but the fact of those events is present in my life every minute of every day.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately in relation to the fact that I will now be dating people who don’t already know me well.  (Having lived in a small town for quite a while, many of the people I previously dated had known me for years.)  Well, to be honest, I am mostly thinking about it in terms of Aaron.  (See previous posts.)  We have been on four dates and text all the time.  While it feels like it might be a little too soon, I am worried that it will soon seem too late and that I will just let the opportunity to tell him slip away.  In order to “take a risk,” like one of my readers so wisely suggested, I feel like I need to be very open and honest and let him actually get to know me.  And, give him a chance to run away if it seems like too much for him, not that I think he would.

Sometimes I feel like it would be easier to have a tattoo on my forehead that announced it to the world.  “I am a three-time survivor of rape.”  It would make everything much more straightforward.  Then people would know from the beginning and could feel more free to ask questions about it.  It is even hard to tell friends.  Since it was a relatively long time ago, it seems weird to bring it up to new friends in the beginning, and then like it is way too late.  Just like with men.  And female friends, while sometimes sympathetic, tend to have wildly different reactions.  You never can tell before you “tell”.

In all my thinking about it over the last few weeks, I think I have come to a conclusion.  When I want to tell him, I will.  I have a feeling that might be soon.  Of course I will wait to tell him in person; it isn’t something that should be shared via text.  But I do feel the need for him to know.  If it makes him nervous to be with me or makes him not want to get to know me, then he is someone I could never be with anyway.

As for my friends, those who read this and didn’t already know will know now.  Please feel free to talk to me about it.  And I’m sorry I didn’t tell you in person, please don’t take it as a sign of disregard or distrust.