Friday, January 30, 2009

How I became a rape victim

There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men
Edmund Burke

This is a blog dealing with my rape that occurred on May 30, 2006 and the nightmare that has followed it. I hope with this blog to obtain closure and perhaps prevent some rapes. Leave this record as a roadmap for a victim so that they are better able to defend themselves. I would love to communicate with others who have gone or are going through a similar situation. I am a survivor and in time I will do more than survive.

I am a flight attendant for a major airline. The transient nature of this type of job doesn't allow coworkers to really get to know one another thus making misbehavior and malicious rumor mongering much easier among those so inclined than it would be in a normal work environment. Here is what I've been able to put together. A lot of things I misinterpreted when they occurred, others I couldn't emotionally deal with, and many others I simply do not know.

Michel Quilis is a male flight attendant whom I met on a two-day reserve trip. It was the year of my fortieth birthday so my girlfriends were hounding me about being too closed off, too from another era and not dating much. So I flirted back and we exchanged numbers. He took a crew picture on the third leg of the first day. At the time, it didn't occur to me that this was odd but later I realized he had targeted me and was preparing his alibi. He didn't try anything during the trip so as not to scare me off and so he could get to me later. Next day was one leg back early.

I had bought a house that was a mess. It had no flooring, the kitchen torn out, you couldn't run the AC because of a missing window etc. I started to do the tear down and the lighter jobs as I literally couldn't get anyone to even come and give me an estimate after Hurricane Wilma. He calls and wants to see me but I don't want to. I am busy and tired but he continues to insist despite my saying that I have no table, no food, a mess etc. He is in Miami (a commuter as he lives in Atlanta) and is bored. He'll come over with some food and watch television so I said okay. He comes over and we eat with a glass of wine. I clear the dishes. Sip on a second glass of wine he had ready and I start feeling like I am outside myself and then everything goes black.

I woke the next day with him there both naked. I didn't know what had happened. He was very chirpy which further confused me because he was acting like nothing was wrong and I couldn't remember anything at all. I just wanted him to leave so I could think but he just kept going all over the house looking at everything and talking until I finally managed to usher him out. I see now that I was probably still affected by the drug he slipped me though I had no headache or nausea or anything like that, just addled. I knew I only drank a glass and a half of wine if that. Anyway, I know what drunk feels like and that wasn't it. I hoped that I had fallen asleep because I was tired and that I was naked because I had no AC and it was hot. He must have had sex with me while I was asleep- physically I could tell that. Why I didn't think it odd I didn't wake up during such event? For an explanation of that I refer you to Rape Trauma Syndrome and the particulars of victims who have been drugged. I questioned what happened here? You must also remember there is nothing in my memory. It must be what instant death feels like - a total void of nonexistence. I can't forget what I can't remember.

I still don't know what happened after what I estimate is about the ten to fifteen minutes that it takes for the drug to take full effect. No memories have come back of the rest. I've tried to figure it out from the rumors and the lies that have reached me and I know that those "men" who say they have been with me are lying but what if one or more of them is actually telling a half truth because there was more than one rapist? What if that person sitting in the jumpseat next to me was a rapist and I don't even know because I can't remember? I have heard that they rape with their buddies and there is no way for me to know if someone else came in after I was drugged. It is terrible to have to look to others for knowledge of something horrible that happened to you that you are not privy to because your right to memory has been taken by the perpetrator. It is sad to be taunted with -we know something about you that you can't know. It upends your world and I will never be who I was before. I have become a man-hating closed off person.

What do you do about men who lie about you behind your back from the safety that you don't know who they are thus can't confront them? How is it that so many of these grown men are so stupid and juvenile? I don't see how forcing someone to have sex with you by drugging them or paying for sex or having sex with just anybody for that matter makes somebody feel like they are some kind of stud. What surprised me most is how many there are. I couldn't understand what was going on at the time until I found out it was a rape club. I later find out that they film the rapes then after a layover somewhere one of them who are unknown to you will show the rapes and claim it happened on the layover. There is also a lot of badmouthing the victim in other to isolate her and psychologically damage her.

I didn't want anybody knowing about the rape despite what most people think the majority of people do not want to think of themselves as victims or worse labelled a victim especially of rape because to be a victim is to be powerless and to be a drugged rape victim is to be rendered powerless in the most basic way not only in the control of your own body but in knowing what has happened to you. People blame the victim eventually. You deserved it because you are stupid, weak, a whore or whatever else the rapist can allege or people can choose to believe. It is called dirtying the victim. It is easier than believing that your friend is a monster and you can't tell by looking at them. It is a self-protective mechanism to maintain the feeling of safety and exemption from these horrors and this is a horrific world. In the end, you are revictimized even in the best of circumstances.

It was a set up from the pre-rape crew picture to the boasting (most clever since I expected that he would be the last to talk since he is the one who committed the crime). It shows a great deal of experience and practice in how he went about it. How he was there in the morning to play on the doubts of someone who has no idea what has occurred, to gage the type of reaction and get a jump on shaping other's perception and opinion of the victim, to threaten you if necessary (what was he going to do if I screamed rapist? Beat me to a pulp? for me the threat is implicit in the crime), and most importantly to make sure you don't go wandering around in la la land and end up in some hospital with a blood test for evidence. Sociopaths are generally very clever and convincing and they believe they are entitled to do whatever they wish. Great manipulators. I guess they did what they normally does show the souvenirs/ trophies to the fellow freaks. Goggle power rapists for an explanation of their thinking.

Usually, this is were it ends for most victims but unfortunately not for me. He called about two weeks after and then some other time he sat next to me at Operations. I get up politely and I walk away. Appeasement. The way you would back out of a room where there is a hungry lion who has attacked you before looking to attack you again- back away and don't make any sudden moves. He follows me as I walk away so I rush over to greet a FA I know in order to get away. At this point, he gives an evil glare and I do mean demonic: you'll see what happens to you now. For a long time, I interpreted the call and the incident in OPS as intimidation (am I going to dare say anything) and I thought my message was clear that I would do nothing and just wanted to get away. I couldn't understand why he didn't move on to the next victim. Why so much hatred for me specifically? It is only much later after some research that I realize that he had actually called for a date and that I had inadvertently triggered him by "rejecting" him in OPS. I now had a deranged rapist with a posse pissed off at me. I believe this is the beginning of the worst. I have also since found out that they do go on to "date" and revictimize some of their victims, if they find the right one they can intimidate and blackmail. Never in a million years. I'd rather be dead. At that point, I still thought it was only one rapist.

I could sense things were going on but a lot of stuff just went over my head because I just didn't know what was being alluded to. Looking back, I have inklings of themes but it was all too confusing and strange. How can this possibly be happening? How can so many people be involved and why aren't they afraid of getting caught? The therapists tell you that you are hypersensitive, that all victims feel like we have a sign on our forehead that says RAPED. I am in the "I'm fine/can handle this" stage. I thought that the best thing I could do was not react as fear, tears, anger is what he was after and if not getting any reaction would give up. I guess it is a mixture of drug mafia and rape club and that's why there are so many people and adding to that is corporate security whose solution to the rape problem is to join the rapists in the psychological assault of the victim. There is a lot of fear of them all out there.

I start feeling like I am in some kind of nightmare from the Twilight Zone. I can only imagine the horribleness of it by some people's behavior toward me and by people I mostly mean the so-called straight "men" of this company. A lot whom are not only scumbags but liars and cowards as well. It is what I call the dirty snowball effect of one lie engendering another and another until the lies confirm and validate each other. Then there are also the other predators whose interest lie in not having any victim validated because it imperils their ability to operate. I tried to remain impassive so as to not feed these people's and his own enjoyment of my pain.

I waited for it all to die down. What else could I do? Things just got worse not better both externally and internally (going from "I can handle this" to "I don't know how much more I can take". Precisely the point for them as rape is not about sex but about degrading and breaking down another person. I finally started telling what happened. Some people didn't believe me for which I don't blame them as I had no evidence and I had waited too long to speak. Others believed me because they had been victims or knew someone who had been. Drug rapes are actually quite common here. Most people don't report because they are afraid of the rapists and their cronies and that they won't be believed -all of this with good reason. As for me all of those reasons hold true and in addition I can't say what happened. Imagine: Me: I want to report a rape Police: What happened? Me: I don't know. I only took action because I didn't have any other recourse short of murder. At that point, I was falling apart at the seams. I couldn't take the sexual harassment at work. And I still have to work or I'll lose the rest of my life. The therapist suggested that it might provide some relief to make a report to the police. What they call getting your power back.

So, despite warnings that it would just make things worse and well over a year later, I went to the police about the rape and filed a sexual harassment complaint with my employer. To my surprise, the police and my employer had no trouble believing me as drug rapes and this type of behavior happens much much more that one could ever imagine. The police detective offered that I make a recorded phone call from the station in hopes of him saying something like "I put in little something in your drink to relax you" or something of the sort. I really didn't know what to say and hoped to make him comfortable enought to trip himself up. It was at the very least surreal. I specially like "the thing you think I did to you I didn't do". Denying and dwelling on details that are of no consequence unless you have something to hide. He was inconsistent. I wanted to make sure he wasn't getting me confused with one of the other victims. I had found out about two other women he had drugged and raped, that's how I found out that Jimmy Duhig was his buddy bidder and probably a rape club member.

According to him, I was either really drunk or I wasn't and offered to drive him home at midnight. I may not know anything else but I know he was the one here the night before and in the morning. He gets stronger as he realizes that I really don't know enough specially that there is a group of them and they help each other. He wants to be friends! Work together politely. Make it look okay. I may not know if anybody else was involved and I may work with such a person unknowingly but I know who HE is and what HE is. You can listen to the police tape at and make your own judgment. One thing this recording is show by his own voice that there was never any relationship between me and Michel Quilis because he was saying for a time that I was his girlfriend. I guess saying I was his girlfriend as a way to justify things.
By the way, I didn't tell a soul what had been drugged and raped for almost a year so he couldn't have heard that I said he put drugs in my drink six months after the rape. I still wonder who could possibly be married to a monster. I had a very hard time for a long time using the word rape specially in reference to myself. I guess I did not want to accept the reality of it specially since I have no memory of it.

It was a great emotional effort for me to initiate the Rule 32 complaint and to explain that I had been drugged and raped but that I couldn't remember and that now I was been harassed at work to the point that I was a nervous wreck. I had had several incidents where I had felt in danger of another physical attack. One guy explained he had heard that's what I like not to worry if I ignore him or appeared unresponsive. My "no" was rendered meaningless. He was encouraging others to rape me, this time with the use of physical force since my protests and screaming was all an act on my part. I finally had some objective confirmation that I wasn't going crazy and hypersensitive, that all that was happening was not just a conincidence. I am too analytical for my own good. One of the things I've learned from this is to trust my instincts and the main lesson is to trust no one.

The Rule 32 was of no use. I didn't have high expectations anyway. My aim in that was simply to stop the harassment and to inform that there were serial rapists running around loose at work. No one has the legal right to stop you from speaking about what has happened to you and from warning others of the dangers. Apparently, they can stop you from speaking about the actual investigative process of the Rule 32 but since you are not informed about that there is nothing that you can say. Things improved a bit after that mostly just due to my relief in talking about it and at having done something proactive and in the hopes that it would finally be over but in the end, as I was warned, it was worse for me.
Still for me, I don't see what else I could have done knowing what I knew at the time. My choice was to remain another anonymous victim if only that had been allowed to me. I had expected that by reporting I would cause him to become scared of being exposed but he and others had been doing this and getting away with it for a while so the effect was the opposite. This kind of thing has happened before and the perpetrators know full well that nothing will be done about any of it or worse that they will be helped in blaming the victim . They'll just make up some story to excuse what they have done and go on drugging and raping. I don't regret reporting it because now there is a record. However, I would tell a victim that going to this airline will just be another source of abuse for them and to make sure that they are able to withstand it because they will try to destroy you emotionally hoping that you will commit suicide so if you die they are rid of you and if you survive they can label you mentally ill and solve the rape problem by getting rid of the rape victim not the rapists. The Union also does nothing for you, as usual. I will like to say that I am Catholic and I would never ever ever commit suicide so it is murder if I am found dead. I feel I must say this since I have been threatened.

At some point, someone told me they had seen nasty pictures of me and promised to get them for me but never does. Believe it or not, I never thought about the rape being filmed. I was too busy surviving and trying to figure out what was happening. I still saw a world that was essentially good that couldn't possibly applaud and aid such monstrosities -a world where such monsters needed to hide their activities. I was so caught up in scouring my brain to recover a memory from that day that I didn't see the obvious. It takes a lot of energy to keep yourself together through inner turmoil and outer punches. To process that information took energy I didn't have and I simply couldn't handle that prospect emotionally. I am very self-conscious about my body and old fashioned. Latin, traditional, and Catholic. What made me a good victim initially has made me the worst choice in the end. How I was treated and how women in general are treated, and that my reputation and future has been sullied with lies. It took a roofie or scopolamine or ketamine and I am told they mix it with extasy. There was and is no other way I would ever allow a dirtbag near me. I should add that I have never done drugs and never would since I am a person who likes to remain in control.

Such pictures or video could have only one source and that's from the day Michel Quilis drugged me. It is the MO of power rapists and in other drugged rape cases. I have so far been unable to obtain it but I need to in order to have closure, to separate rumor from fact as the imagination can be worse than reality and to give them to the police if only to build a foundation for use in the future as these kind of people continue their assaults. I hope that somebody reading this blog might be able to get them to me or send them to me anonymously or to the Ft. Lauderdale Sexual Crimes Unit. It doesn't matter whether out of malice or out of pity.

1 comment:

  1. I know Michel. I know Michel has had affairs. I know Jimmy. And I believe that Jimmy wishes he could be more like his handsome, smooth, French friend. I know that in the past, Michel has been caught up in a web of lies and cover-ups at IMA, almost always involving the excessive drinking of fellow crewmembers; damages occurring when Michel would not corroborate the story. I also know he and Jimmy are bosom buddies but that they would have to be damned good actors to pull off a base-wide crime ring as you describe it…. I see the debauchery that goes on in hotel crew rooms and bars on layovers, and I am appalled by it. Drunk coworkers are not pretty.

    You believe that whatever happened to you that fateful night is the truth. The probable truth is that jet lag - sleep deprivation - in combination with even one glass of wine [and let's face it: what flight attendant knows how to pour a 'small' glass of wine?] can cause one to rapidly fall asleep [i.e.: lose 'consciousness']. Yes, if he was there, Michel probably hoped the wine would relax you enough into consenting to have sex with him [just being honest], but you likely became too sleepy to be a participant, so you only "messed around" and he excused himself and left. As far as photos are concerned. I've worked many trips with him. Michel does not like being photographed, in the galley or otherwise. In fact, he runs from it. And I'm not saying it was not possible, but he was a commuter with a crashpad who stayed in the Miami area only between trips. Therefore I do not believe he would spend the full night with anyone, especially someone with whom he did not have an affair.

    That said, I am most disturbed by the fact that you illegally recorded and posted on the internet a conversation with an individual, hoping to trap this person into confessing an alleged crime against you, WITHOUT LEGALLY NOTIFYING the person that he/she was being recorded. Anything you discussed is inadmissable in court. The Rule 32 option is bullshit which will just create a bad reputation for you as a narc out on the line. You may believe yourself the victim, but you with be the fool. Genuine rapists should be prosecuted and convicted in a court of law, not over the internet. Without blood evidence, you have no case. I feel sorry for you. I hope you find your closure.