In January of 2015 I wrote about my rape: https://allenagabosch.wordpress.com/2015/01/13/rape/
Recently, with the advent of so much talk about sexual violence and the #metoo movement I think it’s time to share a couple more stories. Warning, they are not easy reads.
My first #metoo moment
I was a pretty lucky person growing up, as I didn’t deal with much, if any sexual harassment or improprieties until I was in my late teens, other than high school juvenile crap. I tried to have traditional sex at 16, with this very hot biker guy and sadly he was way too big for me (think beer can) and so we just did other fun things and he taught me how to be a very attentive lover, even without PV sex. And that’s how I proceeded for a couple years, until I was 18. My father kicked me out of the house, shortly after my 18th birthday so I was a single high school student with her own apartment. Needless to say, we did party a bit and yet I did retain my technical virginity for another month. And then I went to the ballgame.
There was a crazy baseball game at a local park between a rock band and some other group (I was one of the band’s followers). There was a beer on every base, a case or two in the dugout (where I was hanging out) and of course lots of pot. To say I get messed up is an understatement. The last thing I remember was asking the guy next to me if he’d make sure I got home (I was within walking distance and wasn’t sure I could make it by myself). The next thing I remember was waking up in a strange bed with that guy. I looked under the covers and saw I was naked and figured that we’d had sex, which we had. To be honest I never really felt uncomfortable about the whole thing. He was sweet and cute and we both were fucked up. And yet, technically I do not know if I gave consent, even in my drunkenness. I kissed him goodbye and headed home to get ready for school.
Now, I was best friends with these two girls, Cheryl and Katie. Of the three of us, I was the wild girl; Katie was the prude; and Cheryl floated in between. We all knew I’d be the one to “lose my virginity” (god I hate that phrase) and I had a chain ring, I called my virgin ring that I wore on my ring finger. I told them that when “it” happened I’d move the ring to my middle finger (don’t ask why I did this, I do not remember). So, as I was getting ready for school I moved the ring to my middle finger. When I got to school, Cheryl notice right away and eagerly asked for details which I couldn’t give. Katie didn’t say anything until later that day, between classes in the crowded hall, when she loudly proclaimed “Well there’s the girl who isn’t a virgin anymore” Needless to say I was mortified and that was the beginning of the end of our friendship.
I didn’t consider what happened anything horrible. In fact, it made it easier to explore my sexuality. I was able to finally have intercourse with my “beer can” guy. That was fun. And with a wonderful hippie guy, sex in a VW bug in the front seat sitting up (complicated and fun) and my sexual journey began. And yet, it was a #metoo moment. No matter what my reaction at the time.
My second #metoo moment.
Shortly after graduating in 1971, I took off from Nampa, Idaho (where I had grown up) and headed to southern Washington where a boyfriend of mine had moved to. That didn’t work out (he did way more drugs than even I was comfortable with) and we parted ways. I spent the summer exploring my sexuality, living in a commune and hitchhiking around Oregon. By the end of the summer I was surprisingly homesick so I called my Dad and asked if he’d buy me a bus ticket home so I could back to Nampa. And equally surprising, he said yes.
My ticket was from Portland so that morning with my backpack, ticket and a few dollars I hitchhiked to the Portland bus station. I got there way early and decided to go hang out at Washington Park and chill and hopefully find someone to get high with (I loved my pot and psychedelics).
I put my backpack in a locker and headed to the park. It was a hot day and I was wearing my favorite summer outfit, cute little purple and white hot pants (hot pants were very popular in the early 70s). Needless to say I got lots of attention and found some good pot and a met a couple sexy guys. And, I didn’t pay attention to the first clues that I was hanging with the wrong crowd. One of the older guys looked me up and down and said “Mama, you could make some money looking like that.” I just laughed it off. I continued to flirt with this younger guy, named Jay Jay and we eventually went to his room in this old hotel where he lived. We had great consensual sex and afterward a couple of his buddies came over to shoot up some heroin.
Now is when things get really dark. In my youthful stupidity I wanted to shoot up too! Luckily, they didn’t have enough smack for me so they offered instead to melt down some meth tabs and shoot me up with them. I said sure and suddenly I was speeding my ass off.
His friends left and Jay Jay turned to me and said. “I noticed how all the guys in the park were looking at you. We could make some money.” I was dumbfounded and shook my head “no” and said maybe it was time to leave. “You’re going to make me some money” and he grabbed me and threw me across threw room. The rest is a blur. I tried to fight and he overpowered me. He’d also taken my money, ID and ticket. I begged and pleaded but no way was he going to let me go. A bit later, his friend and his friend’s wife, Vicki, came over and Jay Jay informed her that she was taking me with her to walk the streets and that if I got away she would pay for it. Then the four of us went downtown to a very sketchy part of Portland. I was too afraid to say anything and I just stood there looking miserable which is probably why none of the old men who approached us bothered to engage us. Vicki kept telling me to smile and I kept telling her to leave me alone. After an hour or so, our pimps came and grabbed us and told us they had found us a couple clients, Job Corps boys, and they escorted us back to the hotel.
Jay Jay took me into the room, stripped me of my clothes and said you’ll fuck him or else and that he would be right outside so not to try anything. This kid, not much older than me came in and undressed and started fucking me. I cried through the whole ordeal, which didn’t faze the kid one bit. After he was done, he left and Jay Jay came in angry that he didn’t ask for seconds (like the kid’s friend did who was with Vicki). Then he pulled me into bed and fell asleep.
I laid there for hours, not sure what I was going to do next, still speeding my ass off. Just as the sun was rising I got out of bed and quietly began looking for my ticket and ID and locker key. The upside of Jay Jay being a junkie was that he slept through everything. I only found my ID and locker key and that was enough and I left (to this day I don’t know why I didn’t take the money I’d earned).
I got to the bus station and got my backpack. I always kept a dime in the backpack just in case I needed to make a phone call (only a dime in 1971). I called my stepmom’s cousin, Larry who lived in Portland and made up a story about being robbed and asked if he could come and get me. While waiting for Larry I looked up and who should be at the station door scanning the room? Yup Jay Jay. I began crawling on my hands and knees so he wouldn’t see me. I crawled under people’s legs, around the room, doing my best to not be seen. It was like a scene from a bad movie. Finally I saw the restroom and decided to make a run for it. He saw me and ran after me. When I got the bathroom door I turned around and said “Leave me the fuck alone!” “Chill” he said. “I just wanted to know if you’d like your ticket back.” “Yes” I said. “Well come with me and we’ll get it” he replied. I laughed and said “I was stupid yesterday and I’m not going to be stupid today.” and I went into the bathroom. After washing my face and realizing it was packed enough that I should be okay I went back out to wait for Larry. I noticed Jay Jay talking to some hippie dude and keeping an eye on me. Eventually the dude came up to me and said that Jay Jay wanted to know if he could have Vicki bring me my ticket. I looked up and saw Larry walking towards me and I told the guy to tell Jay Jay to “Fuck Off” and I grabbed Larry’s arm and walked out the door.
These two events along with the rape a few years later were not the only things that happened to me over the years, just the most notable. As a young hippie girl in the 70’s I put up with a lot (the “free love” concept was seldom free) and I became wiser and more capable of taking care of myself in the process. And it still didn’t always protect me. While I’m saddened that there is even as need for the #metoo movement and that we are still dealing with the crap that we’ve been dealing with for centuries; I’m glad that at least we are talking about it in a way that may bring some solutions.