Raped By a Drunk Cowboy

Call it what you want – sexual assault, sexual coercion, rape – it’s WRONG.

Submitted by: Anonymous

There was a guy in town some of us knew as “Drunk Cowboy” because he frequented local bars, wore  a cowboy hat, and sang karaoke. I assumed he was probably an alcoholic, because he got loud in the establishments and started acting pretty stupid. I’d spoken to him a few times, and we had mutual acquaintances. Most women thought he was a good looking guy, but he had too many issues for my taste and totally not my type.

One evening I went to happy hour and Drunk Cowboy sat next to me. We chatted a bit and he picked up my tab, which I thought was nice. By the time I was ready to leave, I realized I needed to call an Uber, because I was too tipsy to drive. Drunk Cowboy offered me a ride, since he was heading in my direction. I obliged, thinking nothing of it, because in a small town, people often give each other rides. Plus, I hadn’t heard anything bad about him from anyone else.

I realized I was hungry when we got to my place, so I invited him in for some pizza I was going to cook. There was nothing strange about the encounter. There was no flirting (at least I didn’t see it), no kissing, no touching. It was simply two people sharing a pizza and shooting the shit.

Drunk Cowboy decided he was too drunk to leave, so I agreed for him to sleep on the other side of my bed. I kept my clothing on completely – long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. I recall falling asleep quickly, as I was exhausted and the alcohol made me more tired. At some point – and I’m unsure of how long I’d been asleep, I awoke to Drunk Cowboy feeling me up and attempting to take my pants off. I tried moving my body around, moving his hands away, saying no. I recall saying “no, no, no, please no” over and over. I know he heard me, but he ignored me. I had no intention of having sex with him or anything else. I wasn’t turned on. He wouldn’t stop, and I was too weak to fight him off. He was on top of me holding my legs down with either his legs or hand, I coudn’t tell. He entered me, had sex with me for a few minutes, came inside of me, rolled over, put his clothes back on, and went back to sleep.

At first I thought I was having a nightmare, but it was real, and I couldn’t get back to sleep. I lay there stunned and not knowing what to do. I felt like a wounded animal and blamed myself for allowing someone I barely knew into my home and bed. I blamed myself, because I was too drunk to fight back.

The day after it happened, I didn’t leave my house. I couldn’t take a long enough hot shower to wash away the awful feelings. I worried about having an STD. I had bruises on my inner thigh that appeared to be a handprint. I felt like total shit. I canceled a date a day or so later that I had been looking forward to, because I couldn’t face anyone or be myself. I felt numb. I stopped shaving for a few weeks until I couldn’t stand it anymore – but I knew no one would be feeling my legs or anything else anytime soon. I wanted no one to touch me. I was just healing from other issues in my life. This set me back again, I felt. I told one trusted friend, because I had to get it out, but no one else until now.

I haven’t seen or heard from Drunk Cowboy again, although we don’t have each other’s phone numbers either. I have avoided the last place I saw him and any other places I may see him. I really have nothing to say to him, because I’m pretty sure he’s the type of guy that would either say it was consensual or just deny it. I really don’t care if I ever see him again. But I do wonder if he’s done this to anyone else in my town.

Why Do Women Fail to Report Sexual Assault or Harassment?

I’ve been watching the #metoo movement for a while now and all of the scandals with celebrities and other men in high places that don’t deserve a mention on my blog that have been outed for sexual assault and/or harassment. Alanis Morrisette sang about it 20-something years ago in her hit song “Right Through You“. The most recent celebrity scandal coming to light again is in the docu-series called “Surviving R. Kelly.” It’s amazing what money can buy to either silence or shame the victims in this fucked up, male-dominated world. And for people that continue to wonder why women wait or never speak up about sexual assault or harassment, consider this:

When I was in my early 20s, I answered ads at my local college photography department to do modeling for some students and instructors. One person in particular was an older man (a student), probably twice my age and older than my father. As it turned out, he lived in a multi-million dollar beachside home and also happened to own a talent agency.

Although I was extremely naive and trusting (because at the time my process of thinking was if he’s a student at my college, he must be safe… mmmkay), I was also aware of my surroundings and felt nothing threatening about him. I felt comfortable doing some modeling for him at both his home studio and on the public beach in front of his home. Things were okay, although he may have made a few unwelcome comments that I hadn’t quite caught onto.

After a few modeling sessions and promises to get me actual work through his agency – surprise! – nothing quite panned out. He knew that I was looking for odd jobs due to my college classes, so we agreed that I was going to paint a mural on his kitchen wall at an hourly rate. Being that I was both an art student and a single mom at the time, I thought this was a great arrangement to further my talents with a flexible schedule. Now remember that this was just over 20 years ago, so I don’t quite remember all of the details, but I believe it took me two to three trips to paint the mural.

On my last visit, this talent agent set up a camera, which I’d assumed was to film me painting. This particular mural was on a lower wall, so I was sitting or kneeling on the floor to work. Next thing I know, this man is behind me feeling me up, telling me to pose and look at the camera. I froze. I wasn’t sure how to react. He towered about a foot taller than me and certainly doubled my weight. I was alone in a house with someone I’d gained some trust, and his hand was literally up my shorts. I squirmed away, and he did it again. Eventually, my squirming and non-reaction finally caused him to stop. I recall him saying something along the lines of me not being turned on. Yeah, no shit, ya old skeezy perv!

I just wanted out of there, so I made some excuse that I had to leave to pick up my daughter from daycare. I packed my gear and never went back, never completing the mural. Obviously, this asshole had ulterior motives before hiring me. Hindsight says he knew EXACTLY what he was doing and carefully planned it.

Now here’s the thing – I can’t tell you specific dates of this event (I could probably narrow it to the year but it would take some research), but what I can tell you are specific details that I do recall. He had a daughter in college about my age, which was really fucking creepy thinking about it now. I was painting the dunes and seagrass of the beach. I was wearing somewhat baggy overall shorts with a tank top underneath. I was barefoot. His finger penetrated me. I remember feeling grossed-out, disgusted, humiliated, and somewhat helpless. How did I know he wasn’t going to hurt me or hold me down and force himself upon me? I felt powerless. All I could think about was getting the hell out of there, picking up my daughter, and going home to shower off the shame I was feeling. But of course we cannot shower off feelings. Feelings are the details that victims/survivors remember, and there may be triggers over an entire lifetime that rekindle them. For me personally, any unwelcome touch from a male can be a trigger.

Did I report this man? No. Why? Because as many women are either taught or as our backwards society thinks, I had put myself in a position to be alone with someone of wealth in his home, and no one would believe a young, single mom in college that needs money. I did not fight back. I did not verbally say no, although my body language clearly did. And I was too inexperienced to know that a man older than my father may not know better than to touch a woman his own daughter’s age inappropriately. You know how some of us have been taught that our elders are right?  Well, they aren’t always.

There is no doubt in my mind that I wasn’t the first, last, or only woman to whom he had done this. Even today, I think it’s pointless to come out and name this man. I have no idea if he still lives in the area or if he’s even still alive. If he were to run for office today, I would probably continue to keep my mouth shut, because survivors are constantly scrutinized, called liars, and put through the wringer and victimized all over again. I don’t want my private life made public (no matter what I may post here), and what proof do I have? My word against his, unless of course that video he was taking resurfaced. It would only add salt to old wounds, and who wants to be subjected to that? Unless, of course, several others came out and we united, then I would stand with my sisters.

I applaud women that are brave enough to come out with their stories, because these predators need to be exposed. But coming out after 20+ years isn’t for everyone. I can only imagine how many women have never told a soul about these types of behaviors and took it to the grave. It’s a dark secret to carry.