More often than not, the Sandman gets pushed aside by the Boogeyman.
He arrives first, grabbing a hold of me and pushing me down.
Much like someone else grabbed a hold of me and pushed me down 20 years ago, forever changing my life.
Rewind seven months or so.
My 17-year-old instincts told me not to bother. I really wasn’t even attracted to him. He had this flat-footed walk, he was starting to bald at 21, he wore the most god-awful sweaters, and he liked basketball.
Most importantly, my best friend at the time was interested in him -- and in my eyes, that was reason enough to look in the other direction.
But I was the one he wanted –- going so far as to attend my grandfather’s funeral with the mindset to score.
And in my zombie-like state, I acquiesced.
Except scoring was not in the picture. Raised by parents who were each other’s first on their wedding night, I believed sex was an act for two married people.
Four months later, he dumped me. I didn’t love him the way he loved me, he said.
Translation: I want to get laid.
Two months later, we got back together. I don’t even remember why.
I still wouldn’t put out . . . although I suppose I promised him I would think about it.
He chose not to wait, making a decision for me that would change me forever. He got me drunk at a house party, pushed me into his bedroom and did what he needed to do.
He dropped me off at my parents’ doorstep, drunk, crying and bleeding, and told me to get over it.
That’s what people in love do.
So, for the last 20 years or so, I’ve been haunted by dreams . . . a presence is in the room and it is holding me down, preventing me from moving, and somehow keeping me from screaming.
I mutter ‘no’ repeatedly, just as I did on his shabby little mattress 20 years ago.
For now, I battle with the Sandman of Metallica, the one for whom I have to sleep with one eye open, instead of the Chordettes’, who is supposed to bring me the cutest I’ve ever seen.
As I await my sexual-assault counselling to begin, I have hopes I’ll be able to put this battle to rest –- once and for all.