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  • Writer's pictureJenna Kantor

My rapist was in my bed

[My rapist was in my bed]

For those who don’t know, I was sexually abused in my sleep twice. Once was when I was 12 years old and the other was when I was 25 years old. Two different people.

Here’s what I have not shared about my second sexual abuser, my rapist. I was in massive denial that I was raped by him. I thought I was too honest, fearless, and strong to be a victim. I desperately needed to believe that I wanted it all along. So, I invited him to my home to sleep with him again after he took advantage of me.

I invited my rapist into my bed.

The level of embarrassment, shame, humility, anger, and sadness I feel about that decision continues to haunt me. What was I thinking? Did I drink a Koolaid that made me dumb? How much did I not respect myself to do such a thing?

I just didn’t want my rape to be true.

This past Tuesday, I got a big relief. After more than 10 years since my rapist tainted my bed, I finally got rid of it.

I told my husband I wanted to burn it. This ended up not happening, but in retrospect, I think it would have been quite healing to torch the thing.

Watching my bed get carried out of the apartment filled me with a level of relief I was not anticipating. I’ve wanted that thing gone for a long time, but I did not have the financial option to do so. I did not say anything to my husband about it because it would’ve pushed us to live outside of our means. I stuffed down all the anxiety each time I laid myself down to sleep. That was not unusual to me because I’m used to stuffing down my feelings with things that have deeply damaged me.

... but that denial is no longer needed. The problem has been solved. The bed has been removed.

I felt like choreographing a whole dance piece to “I’m a Survivor” or “I Will Survive.” Instead, I bought myself a stuffed animal of Stitch dressed as an Easter bunny. It was the perfect way to celebrate.

The nightmare has left my home.

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