Me too.

I can’t hold it in any longer. And not because I’m dying to tell about the time I was raped. I won’t name who did it. It doesn’t matter. I was raped when I was twenty-one. I told the guy no and he continued to force me to have sex with him. I worked at Blue Mesa and it was a fellow waiter.

Last March, I was drug into an Alley when I was on vacation in L.A. I was drunk. I was walking to get cigarettes in a nice part of L.A. I thought I was safe. It was about 5 p.m. I had my hair, as usual, in a messy bun on top of my head. Before I knew what was happening, I was drug in an Alley. My pants were ripped off, and someone I couldn’t really see that well, because I was screaming like hell and fighting, was trying to rape me. I clawed. I scraped. I got away. I ran. I ran to a gas station and was screaming and crying, and a complete wreck. A total fucking wreck.

No one would help me. The employees would not call the cops. I didn’t know what to do. I went back outside and continued to sob uncontrollably. Finally, a black guy on a bike with a thick gold chain rolled up next to me and ask to help me. I threw my arms around him and begged him to call the cops. I hugged him and told him over and over “thank you for helping me,”

He did.

The cops came.

I was taken to the police station in Encino Heights.

I filed charges.

The police officers were beyond kind. I was a mess. Still drunk.

The police officers gave me part of their dinner, a pizza, where I tried to eat a piece as I sobbed.

I was taken to get a rape kit done in L.A. while on vacation.

I told them this wasn’t necessary as the act was not completed because of my fight.

They did it anyway.

My best friend Jamie Glaviano came to the station and held my hand while I cried. While I sobbed. I was shaken. I didn’t understand how this happened.

The nurse who performed the test said IN THE AREA IN L.A.  I was in they got about 3 victims A NIGHT. A NIGHT FOLKS.

The detectives flew out to Fort Worth to help me try to identify my attacker. I couldn’t. I was trying to get away from someone who had attacked me from behind. I couldn’t tell if he was short or tall. I had a vague description… Mexican… I thought. Sorta thin. Average height, from the 30 seconds of hell I remembered. I wasn’t exactly focused on his face while trying to save my life.

I’m writing this because all of the “Me Too” stories have sparked something in me. I don’t want to say who raped me at Blue Mesa. It’s embarrassing.

I don’t know who my attacker was in L.A., but because it was a stranger, I would have pressed charges. I knew the guy at Blue Mesa well. It was awkward because I had had sex with a few of the waiters at Blue Mesa, but I did not willingly have sex with him. Who would have believed me? Some, yes. Some no. I wasn’t about to put myself in that situation.

All of this sparked a conversation last night at a meeting I was at. Matt Lauer was the “latest” and I spoke about my experiences. I said, what is crazy… is that for 15 years I worked in an industry where men grabbed my boobs, my ass, my pussy… And I thought nothing of it. I thought it “came with the territory” because I was a female.

Because I was a female… Think about that males. I thoughts I deserved to have my boobs, ass, and pussy grabbed, at conventions, because I was a female, and working, and therefore, had no power. Men would often say things like, “Add that to my bill.” Or… “Are you married?” And if I answered “Yes.” The next question would usually be “Are you happily married?”

This is what I learned… Men in Power are usually pigs. It doesn’t matter if you are at a bar, a propane convention, a news convention. Men in power think they have the control and women are conditioned to “shut up and take it.” That’s what I thought.

At the 2004 RNC {Republican National Convention} I met every famous news person you can think of. My job, amongst other things, was to show up at the crack of dawn and get on the convention floor and sit for 8-10 hours next to a photographer. We were second row behind AP {Associated Press}. My memories from that week are amazing. One of the best experiences of my life.

Al Franken was there. He was a total asshole. Wolf Blitzer and Larry King were beyond professional. Anderson Cooper was less well known. He wasn’t “out” and every female I knew wanted to make out with him. Tim Russert was my favorite and called me “little red” all week. Rudy Guliani was a close second. A total politician, and very very kind. Karl Rove, was an asshole. Laura Bush, southern sweet. I wished she was my aunt.

The photographer I was FORCED TO SIT NEXT TO for a week grabbed my crotch on the convention floor. Yes, on the floor. I could not move. We were packed in that “room” which happened to be Madison Square Gardens. I told my boss. Who was female. She rolled her eyes and said, “that asshole.”

That was it. I honestly, didn’t think much about it until all this “Me too” crap came up. Because I didn’t consider that a violation. Which is… crazy. When I count how many times I was raped, it is one. That night, after work, at Blue Mesa.

When I count how many times I was attacked violently, it is one. That night. In L.A. It wasn’t rape, but it was scary as hell and I’ll never ever ever forget it.

When I think about how many times as a woman, I’ve been sexually harassed… I could not even begin to count.

Isn’t that sad? That’s sad. I live in a country where I have been conditioned “as a female” to shut up and take it. Because… “it happens to everyone.” And it does. To every female I know.

Enough is Enough.

Where does one draw the line? It’s a slippery slope. If you are a man, you should not touch a woman who does not want to be touched. Period. If you do, you sir… are a pig. An asshole. And you should be scared about what is happening, because if you committed a crime, you should be punished. Women should not have to accept this behavior.

Now I know I don’t have to.

Amen sisters.

Together we are strong. We are not alone. And we will be heard.

 

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