On August 16th, an anonymous Twitter user who tweets under the pseudonym, “Angry Man,” posted a series of tweets that told a devastating story.
When he noticed some discussion about the Nate Parker rape case in his twitter feed, he decided to share something that would make his fellow men change their minds about judging a victim.
“I often wonder if the men making foolish comments have actually been close to a woman who has been raped. Like, really understood the impact.”
He then shared his a story about a man named Aaron Thomas, who committed a string of rapes in the 90’s.
“This dude right here is evil. His act of violence in ’98 impacted my life & someone that I loved. *takes a deep breath*…. It’s a long story….”
“I’ve never heard another man discuss the impact a rape of a woman he loved had upon him. But I’ve lived it and feel compelled to share…
July 10, 1998. The day before my birthday. I was out with the homies at an Orioles game. Hung out, got drunk, got high, had a ball. My girlfriend at the time had been out planning a surprise b-day party for me. Of course I was not aware of this at the time.
Anyway, I got home sometime around 2am. I admit that I had been driving drunk and should’ve stayed where I was. We lived together in Greenbelt at the time. I pulled up to the condo and saw a rack of police. I was drunk, so I got scared. I didn’t want to get out of the car and get hit with a DUI, so I sat there for about 30 mins. I then fell asleep.”
“I woke up around 4am to my girl’s sister blowing up my cell phone. I answered and she was screaming “Where are you!?!?” I said “I’m right here, I’m right here” as I ran past the police cars still parked there, into the building and to my condo. As I ran up the stairs I saw pieces of a dress that I had bought my girl strewn all over the steps. My heart was racing like shit. I got to my front door and cops were taking fingerprints. I told them who I was, showed my ID and they allowed me access. I walked in and my girl was on the floor balled up in a fetal position covered in a bathrobe. I walked over to her & she was shaking. I kept asking what happened, but she wouldn’t answer. She just kept crying. Her sister pulled me away, into the bedroom & broke the news:
As she arrived home & placed her key in the door, she heard quick footsteps. A man grabbed her from behind & began to choke her. He tried to force her into the apartment, but she fought back. He then dragged her down 2 flights of stairs & out of the building. From there he assaulted her physically and then forcefully took her to the back of the building into a wooded area. At that point, he then sexually assaulted her. He physically assaulted her. He stole her purse & her keys and took off in her car.
As my girl’s sister told me this, I broke down. I mean, I broke the fuck down. I went back out and tried to hug my girl. She screamed. I talked to the police. They verified what her sister told me. I was in shock. I couldn’t breathe.”
“My baby was hurting. I wasn’t there. I wasn’t there to keep this from happening. Dear, God.. why!?!? Never in my life had I felt so much pain. I wasn’t there to keep her from being raped. I was all kinds of fucked up. Her sister got her up enough to get her to the hospital. We rode in the car silently. I sat in waiting areas while exams were done. Got home. Her mom had arrived by then with her other sisters. They all surrounded her with love. Me, she wouldn’t let me near her at all. I just sat there… broken. There was nothing I could do. I’d touch her gently and she’d jump and start crying.
Called a locksmith in the AM & had the locks changed. Called police about the car being stolen. Called insurance. Called my parents. Cops had nothing on the car. Insurance was being a hassle. My mom then came over to see her. She went to stay with her sister. I advertised the condo for rent and we moved less than a week after the incident. There was no way we could stay there. She was a shell. She didn’t say a single word to me for close to two weeks.
The police would call, say they had potential suspects and I’d drive her down to Palmer Park to look at line-ups. Nothing. A painful process. Eventually we settled into the basement of a friend’s home for shelter. All of our stuff in storage. No car found, no assailant caught. After months of going to police station, the leads didn’t pan out. No one was caught. The car turned up in the parking lot at Jasper’s. She refused to get back in the car.
State Farm gave me hassle. Claims agent joked that maybe we stole our own car since it was found close. All the anger & pain bottled up in me released. I jumped over the counter at the State Farm office and grabbed the claims agent. I’m dealing with all this and this asshole thought we made it all up for insurance money. I lost it. Other employees grabbed me off him. They threatened to call the police. I told them what he said and what we had been through and that I had every right to kirk out on him. We ended up getting compensated for items stolen from the vehicle and nothing else. I sold the car and got her something else.
For the next 18 mos, it was pure hell. I did everything I could to be there for her. I didn’t push sex because I knew what her psyche was. No intimacy at all. Even 18 mos later when I tried to hug her, she’d shiver and cry uncontrollably. She refused any suggestions of therapy. 2 years after the incident, we parted ways. We had been together for 3 years before that terrible night occurred.”
“I still reflect back to that night and the shit still hurts like hell.
I wasn’t there to save her from the pain and anguish. I wasn’t there. I was out with the homies at a baseball game, drinking & smoking. Of course there was no way for me to know an assailant would victimize her that night. But I still feel bad about it. I wasn’t there… My 26th birthday. A day I’ll never forget. The pain I still hold in my heart. The love I had for someone who was sexually assaulted. Life changed. I changed. I never let any woman I was dating walk to or from my home or theirs without escort or careful watch.
Yes, the perpetrator was eventually arrested & convicted. I had years of wishing I could get my hands on him. I had so much bottled up in me. I wanted to kill him for what he did to her. The system took care of him. Justice right? I don’t feel it. He ruined lives. Not just my girlfriend’s life, but other women he raped. Anyway, as you can tell I’m still impacted by it. 18 years later.
Thanks for listening…”
A haunting look into the aftermath of a terrible crime. No one should have to go through this!