….is this why I was so angry all the time?


**********************Trigger Warning — Gang Rape*******************

I want to tell you this, but it’s a long story and we never have much time. I come to you to see Autumn, she should have my time and love when I am with her. But I think this explains so much about our marriage. Perhaps this is the whole reason things went wrong. 

We got married in July and the following February, Julie was born. When she was a few months old I was diagnosed with post-natal depression, and I was sent to a depression group that would help me. 

When I was at the psychologist’s office, after our session, I took a cab home. The cab driver asked me about the post-natal depression group I was going to next week. He asked a lot of questions. He asked me when I was going, what time it was. He asked too many questions — I remember sitting there, feeling empty and numb, and just answering him. What’s the worst that could happen, I thought. 

Then I glanced up and he was looking at me in the mirror. I looked him in the eye. I knew then I was in trouble. I knew then something bad was going to happen. 

_____________

I came home and told you what the psychologist at the hospital said. I told you I didn’t want to go to the group. You jumped up and said I must go, it was important. I told you I didn’t have anyone to look after Julie. You said you would take the time off work. I asked you if you would do that every week? You looked sheepish — you knew that was never going to happen. I let it drop, carried on with my day. 

Quickly, the day of the group came around. I think it was on Monday. You stayed off work. I asked you to drive me to the group, but you didn’t want to. We would have to wake Julie up, you said. 

So I got a cab. I walked over to the cab office to make sure I didn’t get the dodgy cab driver, which I didn’t. Phew. 

The cab driver took me to somewhere I didn’t know — it was another part of the hospital, it looked unused. He took me around the back. I got out of the cab, I looked around. There were no clear doors to get into the building……it was the definitely the back, just fire doors and narrow metal staircases. I got back in. This isn’t the right place, I told him, take me home.

Then, things took a turn for the worse.

The cab driver didn’t say a word, he just got out of the car, walked round to the back. I remember the crunch of the pebbles on the floor and thinking, oh, he must be getting something out of his boot. I don’t remember hearing him come towards me……he grabbed my arm, he dragged me out of the car, he shouted at me: “Get out! Get out!”.

Two other men appeared out of the fire door, they all grabbed part of me and hauled me into the building. I remember one of them saying: “If she was much bigger we wouldn’t be able to do this!”

______________

One of the men was the previous cab driver, the dodgy one. Then there was the one who had taken me. There was another man, a younger one. The next thing I remember was being on my knees and him (the younger one) making me give him head. I told him my boyfriend wouldn’t like it — then wondered why I hadn’t said, my husband. He replied: “I’m your boyfriend now!”

They put a black bag over my head and led me to another part of the hospital. I walked along, reaching out for the walls, I could see nothing at all. I was terrified, my heart beating fast, confused, frightened. What was next?

They took the bag off and I had to lay down on a bed. The cab driver that day raped me. He stank. His breath was awful — I remember him puffing at the exertion, his breath on the side of my face; I was looking away. He didn’t take long. He was from India or Pakistan; I thought about his culture and how his family would react if they knew. 

Next, the dodgy taxi driver raped me. The first taxi driver/rapist recorded him on video. He was violent, he had me in different positions. He raped me like he hated me, hated women. It went on and on and on. 

The young guy said: “Come on, there won’t be anything left of her for me! She’ll just be mush!” The dodgy taxi driver finished then. 

I was lying on my side on that bed, curled up, fetal position. It was like my body wasn’t my own, or that I had no energy, no life force in me anymore. You could say I was at rock bottom — I felt like I was nothing, that I didn’t even exist. 

The young guy curled up behind me. He whispered to me: “I have to do it, or they’ll kill me. I’ll be gentle and quick.” To his credit, he was both. 

______________

The next thing I remember is being driven home. I picked up my bag, my mind in automatic, I was going to pay him! Then I thought, he’s taken enough from me. I got out of the car and went home. 

As I was climbing the stairs up to the flat, I realised they knew where I lived. They could do it again. The could hurt Julie! I couldn’t tell on them, because they knew where my home was. I couldn’t put Julie at risk. 

By the time I reached the top of the stairs, the entire incident was wiped from my conscious memory. 

I walked along the hall in the flat and got to the living room door. I remember I put my hands behind my head and my elbows on the door frame. My body ached, my soul ached, I was so sore I wasn’t sure I could even sit down. 


You turned suddenly and looked at me.

Where have you been?” You jumped up, shouting at me.

“I don’t know.” 

I really didn’t, by then. Looking back I am amazed at how quickly it was wiped from my mind. 

I walked into the bedroom where Julie was asleep. I didn’t want to wake her up, but my breasts were really full, uncomfortable. I felt like a zombie. I picked her up and gingerly sat down. I fed her. 

When I had done, I went back in. You were getting ready for work. 

“I have to go in,” you said. 

“Is it worth it?” I asked. You only had an hour before work ended. 

“I have to go in,” you muttered, picking up your keys and walking out of the door.

_________________

I told you I didn’t want to go to that stupid group, but you insisted. I should have been stronger, stuck to my guns. But I had bad post-natal depression; I didn’t have the strength to insist. 

I asked you to take me — it all could have been avoided if you had driven me there. But you wouldn’t do it, you were reading the paper, you didn’t want to be bothered. 

So I was angry. Although the memory of the kidnap and rape was gone, the anger wasn’t. You were my husband, you should have been on my side, you should have protected me. That’s why I was angry. 

I wish now I had told you, that I was incensed with anger at the rapists and came home and spat it all out. Told you everything. Your dad would have gone mad, wouldn’t he? He would have killed them, probably.

_____________

A few weeks later you came home and barged into the kitchen and blurted out: 

“There’s a rumour going around that you were raped!”

I calmly wiped the taps. 

“Funny that, I never felt a thing!” I joked. 

You told me that your dad said he would get them.

“What kind of sicko would put around a rumour like that? That’s an awful thing to say.” I told you. 

I honestly didn’t remember the rape then.  

You let the matter drop. 

_____________________

I think about those rapists sometimes. The man from India/Pakistan, I wonder why he did it? I have heard that part of the culture is to hate white women. A friend of mine’s daughter got hit on by Indian/Pakistani men, she worked in an area where mostly Indian/Pakistani families lived. They would offer her money for sex. I don’t know if that was true, about Indian/Pakistani men hating white women? I guess it would explain it. 

The violent dodgy taxi driver, he was Caucasian. White and male, socially the top of the heap. What had women done to him to make him hate us so much? Has he raped again? I think he probably has. 

The less violent one. I felt like he probably worked as a caretaker at the hospital and had been persuaded that the whole rape thing would be a good idea. I feel like he was shocked when it actually all happened. 

I forgive them. 

I forgive them for me, not much for them. When I forgive them I can take my power back, I can put them in a tiny file in the back of my mind. It happened, it was awful, but I am back now and I am more strong and more powerful than they will ever be. 

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Ruth Stewart is a writer, a mother and wife. She would love to write books and earn a comfortable living from writing. She loves dogs and horses, and dreams of wide open spaces and solitary homes on wind swept plains.
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Ruth Stewart is a writer, a mother and wife. She would love to write books and earn a comfortable living from writing. She loves dogs and horses, and dreams of wide open spaces and solitary homes on wind swept plains.
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