How could you not intervene?
To My Rapist's Mother,
When I was seventeen, your son invited me over to your house. We planned to watch an Adam Sandler movie, eat some popcorn and just hangout. It was also implied that we would probably make out.
I was excited — giddy, even — to come over. I spent extra time choosing the right outfit and applying my makeup just the right way. I wanted to look perfect. Actually, I wanted the whole night to be perfect.
I didn't expect, for even a second, that things would play out the way they did.
When I got to your house, no popcorn made it to the microwave and we didn't end up watching more than five minutes of Punch-Drunk Love. We jumped straight to making out. It wasn't long before he was pulling his pants down and forcing himself on me.
I said no. I said no multiple times, loud and clear.
But I don't need to tell you any of this, because you already know. You were just a room away and you heard the whole incident through those paper-thin walls. I screamed in hopes that you would hear my struggle. And you did hear me. I could tell from the sad look you gave me when I left.
I figured that when you heard me, you would do something to stop it — though I wasn't sure what, to be honest. Part of me thought you would barge into his room and tell him to leave me alone, or that maybe you'd use pepper spray on him. Or I figured that, at the very least, you would call the cops and let them deal with it.
But you did none of those things. You did nothing to stop your son from raping me.
For a long time, I was angry at you. In fact, a part of me was even angrier at you than I was at your son. Sure, he raped me, but you let it happen.
I just didn't understand how another woman could let this happen. Wasn't it some sort of girl code that women are supposed to look out for each other when rapists were involved? It was the first time we'd ever met but how could you just sit in the next room knowing what was going on without doing something to stop it?
I want you to know I'm not mad at you anymore. Mostly, I just feel sad for you. I feel sad for you because I doubt it was the first or the last time you had to witness your son raping someone. Maybe it happened so many times before me that you didn't do anything because you were already desensitized to it. Maybe you were even afraid of him.
I feel sad for you because the pain you feel likely exceeds any pain I ever experienced from your son.
I had to deal with the hurt, anger, and trust issues that were a result of the rape, but you have to live with knowing that your son — a guy who you raised — is capable of inflicting that sort of pain on someone. I feel sad for you because you probably blame yourself for that.
I hope that you're able to see it's not your fault. I hope you're able to eventually let go of any hurt or pain you may be harboring. I hope you're able to look your son in the eye one day and tell him he needs to get help.
But most of all, I hope he treats you better than he treats other women.
The Girl Who Was Able to Move Past it and Hopes You Will Too