Friday, October 21, 2011

Something You'd Never Know

I met this guy online once when I was 19.  We'd been chatting and hell, I thought he was a good guy.  He was sweet, his picture was hot, and we'd been chatting for months before I agreed to meet him....at my house.

I know what you're thinking: "Vic!  NO!!!"  Alas, yes, I did.

This is something that I know is a big no-no now of course but at 19, I was still full of sunshine, daisies and still trying desperately to be a "girl".

So he came over (and I'll never forget his name-Gordon) and before he got there I wisely hid knives underneath all of the cushions in the living room.  Why?  Well, in case he tried to rape me or kill me of course!!!

When he got there I noticed a few things almost immediately.  He was about a whole foot shorter than he appeared in his picture and about twenty years older.  I didn't let that stop me, he'd driven all the way to my house from Orlando.  That's almost an hour.  So I invited him in and we talked.  Slowly I became more and more comfortable, until I finally admitted that I'd hid the knives and then retrieved them all and put them away.

Big mistake.

I returned to the living room and, I kid you not, he attacked me within seconds of me walking back into the room and raped me.  On my mother's gold couch.

It was violent and vicious and I bled all over my mother's couch.  It wasn't the first time I'd been raped, and unfortunately, it wasn't the last time either, but it was the one that I learned the most from.  I learned a lot about that little voice of instinct and hesitation.  As I lay on my mother's couch, shivering and bleeding, watching as he walked to the bathroom and cleaned up, wiping the blood and semen from his groin and chest, I felt such hatred fill me, but I felt a wisdom infuse my body as well.

You see, I realized then that I gave people the power that they exhibited in my life.  I gave them the power to hurt me, the power to heal me, the power to help me, to support and encourage me.

This is something you'd never know about me.  The fact that I'd been raped, that I'd been so stupid to put myself into that situation.  It's not something that I'd planned on sharing.  I was going to share Friday of GRL with you all today, but I had a friend ask me to write a blog post about online relationships and it made me think of this incident, because this is not what I'm going to share with her.

I didn't let that horrible incident or any of the others I had (and I've had LOTS let me tell you!) stop me from forging relationships, stop me from believing in the basic goodness and kindness and decency that everyone has within them.  I would have missed out on so many wonderful relationships if I would have looked at everyone as being a liar, everyone as being a fake, everyone as being a figment of someone's imagination.  I've experienced all that.  I've sent $800 to someone who said that they were about to be homeless or had cancer only to find out that it was a fake.  It didn't stop me from doing it again.  I've met guys who lied about what they looked like.  I've found out that the person I was talking to, wasn't who they said they were, or were in fact characters from a book (imagine my shock to pick up a book and see our conversation within the pages of that book), but NONE of that has ever stopped me from treating the next person as a completely unique individual, because they are.

Not everyone in this world is out to deceive me, to hurt me, to rape me, to attack me, to extort money from me, to lie to me, to use and abuse me.  And I can't look at everyone as if they are.  It makes for paranoia and fear and misery and I don't like to be paranoid, scared or miserable.  I'm not pleasant that way.

So as I prepare to write this blog post about the wonderful people that I've met online.  The ones who befriended me and supported me, the ones who saved my life...twice, the ones who encouraged me and pushed me to become a better me, to live my truth, those are the ones that I'll be writing about.  I'll talk about the things I learned not to do, but more than anything I'll emphasize trust and the bigger picture and I'll definitely talk about hypocrisy, because I'd never ask them to give me something that I'm not willing to give myself.  For every picture requested, there's a picture sent.  For every text message asked for, there's a text message given.  And for every proof of identity that I need, I given one in return.

Because I can't sit around on my high horse judging others for their online personifications when I've spent years pretending to be something that I'm not and I can't begrudge someone for wanting to keep something private when I know that I'm doing the same thing.

So that's something you'd never know about me unless I shared it and I hope as you all go throughout your day (many of you have sent me emails or comments regarding Thorny-I encouraged him to close his blog and his GR account-but thank you for being concerned for me-LOL) to remember that just like you don't see every black person as being a drug dealer or a drug addict or a gang banger or as being on welfare, just as you don't see every Hispanic as being a drug dealer or an illegal or illiterate or only speaking Spanish, just as you don't see every white person as being racist or thinking that they're superior or being rich and snooty, etc.  you shouldn't see every online person as being out to hurt, manipulate, deceive, extort or rape you.

Sometimes you have to have blind faith, sometimes you have to believe even when evidence points to the contrary.  Do you know how many men and women have been incarcerated and executed based on evidence only for it to be discovered later on that they were innocent?  A good lawyer can get someone off with all the evidence piled against them, just as a good lawyer can get someone found guilty with no evidence at all.

Be cautious, but still believe.  You never know what you're missing out on when you're suspicious of everyone.

18 comments:

  1. I don't draw lines in the sand and dare people to step over them. I am willing to accept everyone at face value- and to enjoy what they choose to share- to laugh with them, to cry with them, to wonder why with them. But it's not in my nature to throw myself out there. Sometimes, rarely- I share things...on my terms.

    There's something that offends me about people who insist that you owe them something because they chose to interact with you.

    I hope Thorny returns to the net- in whatever new incarnation- I hope he continues to write- because I believe he has talent and I'd like to read that novel one of these days.

    I wish the family well, and offer my sympathy in this time of sorrow. Sorry to ask you to pass on my condolences, - but I can't comment on Thorny's blog, and I decline to comment on the GR thread.

    Lee Brazil

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  2. I messaged Thorny and I didn't understand anything and I always take everyone for face value. Most people have told me be careful when meeting the men I love. I know and I will be careful. In everything I do. I love you Big brother and I love T as well and just want to understand things. I hope Thorny returns and I also hope and pray that he's well. I've got his email I hope at least if I can talk to him I can get to know him better.

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  3. Lee thank you for commenting and I will definitely pass along your condolences to Thorny and don't feel sorry for asking me, I'm glad to do it. Told him that I would pass along anything that anyone told me as a matter of fact. And I too hope that he continues to write as well (and I'll delicately push him in that area-LOL). I've never felt like anyone owed me anything because they choose to interact me and it always baffles me when someone else feels like I have to or someone I knows has to. It's ridiculous to me. Thank you again for commenting and for caring about Thorny.

    Lucy, you should always do everything cautiously, but you should always take that step to trust people, just as you would want them to trust you. Not everyone is Osama Bin Laden in Lady Gaga clothing (like my analogy there?). I'm glad that you intend on writing to Thorny and supporting his decision. That's what he needs. People supporting his decision to take care of himself and his family, not someone asking for something from him or demanding answers. So just be supportive without asking "why" and you'll be good okay?

    -Vic

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  4. Vic,

    I've never commented on your blog before even though I frequently read it. I was sad to see that Thorny closed his blog and that we had no way of letting him know that our thoughts are with him at this difficult time. I hope he does come back, if and when he's ready, in some form.

    It never ceases to amaze me how rude and insensitive people can be to the misery in other peoples' lives. I did get a few messages of thanks when I mentioned that on the GR m/m thread. :)

    I enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for putting yourself out there.

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  5. Vic - thank you for writing this blog post because this is something that needed to be said.
    I will miss Thorny a lot because he is a wonderful person, a great writer and brought everyday a smile to my face. But his wellbeing is far more important than anything else and I fully support his decision.
    And I am very proud of you that you encouraged him to do so - you always have been and always will be a man of great wisdom!

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  6. Thank you Laura and Katharina for commenting.

    Laura you're right and if you want I will certainly pass along your words to Thorny. I know he'd appreciate to hear them. And thanks for reading my blog, even if you don't comment! :)

    Katharina: Thanks for calling me a man of great wisdom. That was awesome! LOL. Honestly, I'm going to tell you the same thing I told everyone else. I'm just returning the favor. He saved my life twice in two very different ways, he's been there for me, looking out for me and I've done the same for him. It's what friends do. It's what family does. I know he appreciates your thoughts.

    -Vic

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  7. Vic,

    I learned that Thorny closed his blog today.
    I will miss him more than anyone may know. He put sunshine in my life where there hasn't alway been any.
    Thank you for posting this, and helping me understand his decision.

    I want him to have the wonderful life he so deserves, safely and
    securely, so closing the blog is something I must support.

    When you talk to him again, give him my hugs and wish him well.
    And in your "delicate" way, which you do so well, encourage him to continue writing. :-D

    Many hugs to you for everything you do. :)

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  8. Please do Vic. Thorny (like his avatar) really was a ray of sunshine. I'm going to miss him.

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  9. Vic, what you have been through in your young life. It amazes me that you are still positive and belives in goodness of people. Though as you say not everyone is bad, so we have to keep an open heart to find the good ones. And we have certainly found one in you...a genuinly loving and supportive person...:-)

    I did also read Thorny's blog (that's how I found you). I didn't comment many times on his blog but I really looked forward to read whatever he had to tell us. He's adorable, sweet and so so funny. But unfortunately young and sometimes innocent...which some people seems to prey on. So I think he is doing the right thing closing down for a while, taking care of himself, Jazz and the life they are building together.

    So please , please tell him that he will be missed but we'll understand and still be here when he returns.

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  10. Vic, i also found you through Thorny. And I agree with what Chris said about him, people do seem to prey on the innocent, no matter what we try to do to stop it from happening. He will be missed greatly , even though I do have his email, I do not want to push to much and you know the reason why. I think it is good for him to take a break from it all. This is not the time to be bombarded with nasty comments and I know that while most of us support him, there are those that were extremely mean with what they said to him and neither he or Jazz need that right now. Those of us who truly care for him, he knows we will be there, if and when he decides to come back.

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  11. V,

    I've read part of your life history in your other posts and what you have been through...it's heartbreaking. Your optimism and belief in the good in humanity is really amazing. I haven't been through nearly half of what you have and yet I'm always reminding myself that not everyone is bent on making my life miserable. You're an inspiration, Kid (my 12 years on you says I can call you that! LOL)!

    I've already sent my message to Thorny on. Though I'm surprised I was coherent cause I was half a sleep. LOL I was really hoping to see him start writing fiction. So much talent! He's a wonderful, sweet man and I'm going to miss him and Jazz so much.

    C

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  12. Thank you all for your comments. I honestly try very hard NOT to think about all the hell that I've endured in my life, because at 27 I've seen way more than others have...hell, by the time I was 4 I'd already lived a lifetime. But I thought that in light of everything that has happened recently, not just with Thorny, but with Mores, Matt, Brad and many others, in this age of too much information and not enough trust and belief and faith that maybe I could help people put things into perspective. I also wanted to remind everyone that in the grand scheme of things we have to take care of our real life and learn to let other shit go.

    Thorny does appreciate the comments that I've been sending him. He told me he was smiling today (though rather that was from your comments or the dirty pics I sent I'll never know-LOL), and I'd like to thank you all for caring about him. I was naive once (as evidenced by this post) and I know what it feels like to be preyed upon or to feel like you're walking around with a target on you, just because you're liked and popular or because your life seems too....whatever, but I also know that anything can be conquered and survived. It really DOES get better.

    And CJ and Chris-Sweden, I think I can be positive now because I was so negative for so long in my life. I was a troubled teenager and I got into some trouble, but then I met this girl who told me that instead of allowing my attackers to keep winning by killing myself slowly that I should get revenge by being happy and doing something positive. So I did. That's when I got involved in my community and non-profits, that's when I started studying for school, got into the arts (writing, singing, dancing, acting, painting, fashion design, sketching), and decided that I wanted to create a group home for teens who were at-risk, just like I was.

    You can't really be negative and depressed when you're helping someone else.

    Anyway, I've blathered on enough. Thank you all for commenting and I'll have to thank Thorny for sending most, if not all of you, my way!

    {HUGZ AND SQUEEZES AND FIST BUMPS}
    Vic

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  13. Vic,
    Can I thank you for being our liason with Thorny?

    As pathetic as I may be, it has me believing he's still close, and he knows we're thinking of him. I hated losing Mores and then losing touch with Thorny too, my heart was aching, although I know that was never his intent.

    So thank you for being the gate keeper for Thorny, keeping the shit out, and letting the love through.
    Hugs to you VeeVee

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  14. Archie: I love the sound of the gatekeeper. Sounds like I'm sort of sexy angel or something. (Hhmm...sounds like a book idea...) I honestly didn't even mean to be the "Thorny liasion" but I'm glad that I'm able to do it for those of you who wanted to let him know how much you still support him. It makes me feel good. Thanks for thanking me and I'm glad to do it for you guys.

    -Vic

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  15. Can't think of a better gatekeeper than you Vic. And oh wow. I'm 14 years older than you! Officially old enough to be your mom. :D LOL

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  16. I knew we were kindred spirits! I feel the exact same way. I've met some very lovely people on line, some in person, and while some weren't exactly what I thought, I never felt like I wasted anything by giving my trust to them.

    Luckily unlike you no one betrayed my trust. Sure there are times when I question if someone is 'real' or not, but the bottom line even if a person is playing a persona there is still someone in the background typing.

    I'm glad you're there for Thorny, he seems like a great guy but one that gets hurt easily. There's no need for that, especially if all he wanted was to share a bit of himself with everyone. I'll miss his refreshing outlook and sunny attitude but he's got to take care of himself first.

    I just think that people take things way too seriously and like to create a little drama around themselves. I've dealt with people like that and honestly I've got my own issues, I don't need to subscribe to theirs. :)

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  17. I, like Shanna, have met quite a lot of online friends and never been betrayed by anyone I've met. Some of them were in groups of 60 or more, and some of them were one on one. In fact, the first "really stupid" one on one that I met, he is 7 years older than me, he drove around 10 hours to meet me through the snow (which doesn't happen often or badly in the South, but it did that year - Murray, KY to Charlotte, NC), and his name is also Gordon. When we met, he was attracted and I wasn't. When I said no, he accepted that. (And thank God, because I was alone in a 4-person suite at the end of a hallway at college!) Of course, he thought that meant he was going to instantly throw me away and move on, and I said "'Scuse me, hold the fuck up!" because we had a good friendship, and so I got him to rethink his "if she doesn't want me, move on" philosophy. We remained friends, he's the one who told me about and helped me get my first job in the city I still live in over a dozen years later, and we still talk to and see each other on occasion (though it has lessened over the years due to jobs, kids, and sometimes attitudes). =)

    His story is one of many where I did the stupid thing and met the guy alone in a place where it could have been BAD!®. I got really lucky in that nothing ever did, and I have met some fabulous people that way.

    Up to and including my husband. I drove 3 hours (halfway between us) to meet him at an amusement park. Well, at the hotel the night before. And you know what hotels are for. =P


    Vic, I am so sorry for the true and utter miserable hells which you have lived through, and I applaud your strength and endurance because you're right, that would have broken a lot of lesser people. And the world wouldn't be as rich without you in it.

    xoxoxo, --Adara.

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  18. Thank you Adara! Like I said I try not to think about a lot of the stuff that I've been through. I have to think about it when I'm with my therapist, but when I leave there I like to be done with it, but every so often I have to remind people that there's so much more underneath everyone's surface. There's so much more that people just don't know.

    I am happy that nothing totally horrible happened to you and that your experiences had a happy ending.

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