What does a rapist look like? Obviously, I can’t tell you what a rapist looks like, but I can tell you about my rapist. He was not who I would have suspected and I imagine not what others would suspect either. He was raised by his single mother and his grandmother. His mother had been impregnated by his father. His mother was from a staunch Catholic Family, so they were forced to marry. His mother gave birth to his older sibling. Per his account, his parents’ relationship was strained and to fix a troubled relationship, his mother became pregnant again. When he spoke of this to me, his disgust was evident. He accused his mother of “doing what all women do.” Shortly after he was born his father left, never to be heard from or seen again.
He grew up in a strict Catholic home and attended private Catholic schools. He saw religion as rules to control people and instill fear. As High School came to an end, he told me he was heavily pursued by a military recruiter. When I inquired as to why, he told me the recruiter knew he didn’t have the money to attend college. So, after he graduated from High School he joined the military. He traveled. He was already passionate about Art and his travels allowed him to see and experience the world. He became passionate about Architecture. During this time, however, he was the victim of rape himself.
When his required time of service passed, he discharged and took advantage of the G.I. bill to attend college. He was studying Architecture when I met him. He was passionate about the Theater, Art, world travel and Architecture. He had a season pass to the concert hall at our University which showcased all manner of performing arts from Broadway Musicals to dance and musical performances. He took me to foreign films and social-awareness documentaries at hole-in-the-wall screening rooms. Academic life suited him well. He was the most intelligent man I ever dated. He was incredibly articulate. He loved discussing religion, art, world travel and architecture. He also loved fine food and took me to several expensive restaurants.
Once upon my commenting that I didn’t think the town in which our University was located was attractive, he drove me to the end of a road. He turned around and parked on the side of the road. We sat overlooking the city. From here you could see rolling hills, trees and twinkling city lights. He turned to me and asked if I still thought it was unattractive. I had to admit from this vantage point it was beautiful.
No one in our college ever knew we were dating. He was fiercely private. The more I got to know him, the more I thought him to be somewhat of a loner without friends aside from me. He kept in touch with his best-friend from High School who lived in another state. He also kept in touch with at least one other military friend. However, he distrusted his roommate and frequently told me why his roommate could not be trusted. He also told me our college professors could not be trusted. He warned me that they were not like High School teachers, because students weren’t “off limits.” He cautioned me that many of the male professors, were eager to become physically involved with their female students.
Thanks to Social Media, I know a little about my rapist present day. A couple of years after he graduated from the university where we met, he received a post-graduate degree from a different university. He is a practicing architect. Thankfully he no longer lives in the same city nor the same state as me.