I stormed out of his apartment and he didn’t even bother coming after me. I wasn’t sure what time it was but seeing as he wasn’t remorseful for what he had just done, there was no telling that he wouldn’t repeat the act if he wanted to.
I had grabbed the few things I remembered I had there and with my shoes in hand, I ran for my car. I started it and drove home, still trembling like a terrified turkey that has just been pardoned. I made it home safely and checked the clock to find it was almost three in the morning.
I spent the rest of that morning in the shower, washing and scrubbing like I was trying to wash away shame, guilt, evil, wishing I could have my virginity back, wishing that the night hadn’t ended the way it did and wishing I hadn’t gone to his place at all.
I slept in for three days, no work , no school. The anger and pain I felt had turned to humiliation and shame. I wished I hadn’t stormed out of the apartment and stayed instead to dial 911 and report the incident. Then again I wondered, would they believe me? He was my boyfriend after all and I drove to his apartment, so how could he rape me? The thought of recounting everything to a total stranger and having them judge me secretly was torture and humiliating, as if I had not been through enough yet.
I needed so badly to tell someone but I wasn’t even sure how to start the conversation. Would anyone at all believe that the man I was so happy to tell them I had met four months ago, who I couldn’t stop gushing about, was the same one I was calling to tell them he had violated me? It sounded made up even to me because somehow, I still didn’t want to accept that it had happened to me.
In a shocking turn of events, he calls me three days later to scold at me for walking out on him in the middle of the night without his knowledge, alluding to the fact that he could have been attacked and even murdered since his door was open because he had no knowledge of me leaving. I wonder the kind of person I am sometimes because instead of rage and me cursing him, I began apologizing for leaving his door ajar. I who had been violated, I who had been hurt, I who was taken advantage of and whose feelings didn’t matter, I turned around to be the one apologizing.
Somehow in the midst of that stupidity, my senses returned to me and I gave him a piece of my mind. He never once did apologize for it till date and I feel he must have known I was too weak to go after any legal actions against him. I was very bitter that year and resentful and grudging him but I miraculously wiped it off my memory. No one wants to keep relieving a nightmare.
When I first heard about the accusations against Bill Cosby, believe it or not, I was on his side. I was asking questions like why did it take them(victims) so long to tell their story? Why did they wait 30+ years to tell anyone about this incident? I was siding with people who were saying they needed their own fifteen minutes of fame and those who said, they all made it up. I had completely and totally forgotten that I was a victim a rape too who didn’t speak out at the moment the incident occurred.
There is a saying that “if you lie to yourself enough times, soon you start believing those lies”. I had managed to somehow tell myself that what happened to me in 2012 never happened. I was too humiliated to tell anybody when it happened (except for one of my friends who didn’t act like he believed me, and it totally discouraged me to tell anyone else), I blurred the memory of it just enough to not remember it often, and even though I gained so much weight right after the incident, which was my own coping mechanism, I still refused to admit that I was feeding my pain.
So whilst I can’t speak to Bill Cosby’s innocence or guilt, I would appeal to whoever is reading to at least give the accusers the benefit of the doubt. They are the ones who have encouraged me to share my story on this platform. Maybe, just maybe they felt no one would believe them then, it was their word against his. He was a big star then, so can you imagine what lengths the big corporations would have gone to, to make sure such accusations never saw the light of day especially on one their bankable stars? Maybe they did still, but there was no social media to run with their story like now.
Coming out this many years later might not even be about exacting revenge on Cosby but finally getting closure. Yes, closure because as a victim, these women gave me the courage to talk about my ordeal and it finally feels like I am ending a terrible chapter in my book and ready to move on to the next. Even though, it was all in the back of my memory, I know It held me back from being myself and now I am ready to let go. It would be gratifying if Eric actually ever asked me for forgiveness himself which I already have but would like to know that he realizes his shortcoming and tries to make amends. That may just be what the others need for Cosby to do, to at least admit that it happened and so they can all move forward.
We might never hear from Cosby but we owe it to these women to at least keep an open mind. How are feeling today? Do share and thank you for allowing me share my story on this platform. Happy holidays ahead.