Please welcome to the blog director and producer of Chocolate is Not Better than Sex and author Aleisha Gore as she shares her story. Aleisha has a powerful message that I hope will encourage and empower other survivors. *Trigger Warning*
A couple months before my thirteenth birthday, I was raped at a Monsters of Rock concert. I remember it was during Metallica, my favorite band. I was dressed in a white-tiger striped mini skirt and had bought a M.O.R T-shirt. I was with my brother. Some fans crashed the gate below us and a hundred people or more moved forward into the lawn area. My brother had some friends in front, so he left. I stayed where I was. I met a guy named Eric, that’s his name, I don’t see any reason to protect it or him. We chatted a bit and then he asked me to come sit with him in seats behind the stage where it wasn’t as loud. I didn’t know or didn’t think at the time, it was also where no one could hear us. I went with him and it was there that he forced himself on me while I called out, “I’m only twelve! Stop!”
He walked me to the bathroom where I saw my skirt was bloody and I told a girl in the bathroom that I had just been raped. She ignored me. I don’t know if she just didn’t care, was on something or didn’t hear me. But, I washed my skirt and tied my shirt around me. When I came out, he smiled and made it seem like it was such a great thing. He hugged me, kissed me and even took my shirt. I was so confused. Was this man who took my virginity and treated me like now I was his girlfriend thinking that I was ok with it all? I didn’t know what to do. I must have been in shock. I did everything he asked. I let him have my shirt and my phone number and I left to go find my brother.
When I found my brother I started shouting at him and throwing the discarded beer bottles at him. He didn’t know what had happened. [share ]I hid the words from him even though I did not hide the anger and pain.[/share]
The next morning, our babysitter found my bloody pantyhose in the trash and told my parents. I had to admit to them that I had been raped.
[share ]This was the first time, but not the last that I would be assaulted.[/share]
When I was seventeen, I babysat for a young couple. They were rockers and lived in Hollywood. When I arrived, I took their daughter into my arms and started playing with her on the floor. The husband walked out fresh from the shower in just a towel and sat on a chair spread eagle in direct eye-line from me. I averted my eyes.
When they returned from the party they had attended, the husband took me home but instead of dropping me off, drove me past my house and parked and wouldn’t let me out. Instead he opened his pants and took my hand and placed it on him. He told me he could teach me things and that he wasn’t happy in his marriage. I was utterly mortified and felt powerless, I froze. I refused to do anything with him. I took my hand away and after begging him to drive me to my home, I jumped out of the car. I thought about calling the wife and telling her, but I never called them again. The next day when I met up with my boyfriend, I told him what happened. He wanted to take a baseball bat to that guy. But, I wouldn’t let him do anything. He wanted to be a police officer when he got older and I wouldn’t let him hurt his chances to defend my honor.
Finally, when I was thirty years old, I auditioned for the part of vampires in a vampire film. The producer gave me an “eh, you could be sexier,” and asked me to come back for another audition. I was naive to say the least, when I went alone and at night and it was only him at the apartment serving as his casting office. I was fondled and humiliated. He said if I couldn’t take this how was I to take it when an actor did it to me on camera. There was some logic to it, I thought, but at the same time, shame and more humiliation. I cried and called my friend as I drove home. The next day this same producer asked me on a date. Again, humiliation crept in.
You may be thinking that I sound like a victim. But in my 39 years (14,235 days) on this green earth, I’ve had three bad experiences like this but thousands more empowering experiences.
- I stood up to gang-bangers in my Junior high school who threatened me and got them to stay away from me.
- I joined a Tae Kwon Do Studio and excelled to Orange Belt (and I plan on taking that back up!)
- I worked two jobs while maintaining an A-B average in High School and earned enough money, plus a scholarship to go to Germany on a student exchange program TWICE!
- I visited France, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Germany, Denmark and Norway all before I turned 18.
- I fell in love, got married and although I almost died, I had a beautiful baby girl, a preemie at 31 weeks. She weighed 3 pounds 14 ounces. But not only did she and I survive, she grew very well and caught up!
- I was, myself, a hard labor, I was breech, had the cord wrapped around my neck and when I was born, I weighed 9 ½ pounds and was very long.
- When I was 13 I wrote over 300 pages of song lyrics and poetry
- When I was in the 5th grade I wrote a children’s book and even drew all the pictures.
- When I was 15, I wrote another children’s book and submitted it to an agent.
- In Junior High, I received one of the highest awards from the State Department for an essay I wrote.
- I was digging through my storage and I found a screenplay I wrote when I was just 13.
- I went to India for three weeks, two I spent in the jungle!
[share ]These twelve experiences show I will not be put down[/share]. I will not be stomped on or brushed aside. I have value. I am worth something. I am powerful. I am loveable and can love.
There is so much more to tell, but I will end with this: I have written over 300 pages of poetry and lyrics, 2 novels, 4 screenplays (working on 5 & 6), several short stories and 17 shorts. I produced 47 episodes of an SNL spoof on YouTube called Saturday Night YouTube where I wrote, produced, acted and edited every Saturday for 6 months straight. I got my degree in film production. I have produced music videos, PSAs, Industrial videos, sketches, short films and live shows. I am currently working on my first feature film, a heart-warming romantic comedy called Chocolate is Not Better than Sex. It is live on my website right now. I intend to direct it in December, come hell or high-water, because I do believe in myself. I know I can do it.
I like to go back to the film Shakespeare in Love, where the theatres are all closed and the debt collectors are threatening to put the producers feet to the flames, the producer says, “Strangely enough, it all turns out well.”
“How?” asks the collector.
The producer responds, “I don’t know, it’s a mystery.”
What I do know is, it’s happening. No matter what, we’re doing it. I hope you will all join us as supporters on our website and share with everyone you know. Life is a funny thing, time is relative and if a cell can appear from nothing, so can we.
Much love and much success to you!
About Aleisha Gore:
Aleisha Gore is the director and producer of Chocolate is Not Better than Sex.
Join us for all the fun on our website! http://www.chocolateisnotbetterthansex.com
Music Videos I produced and directed http://espritfilms.com/musicvideos.html
PSAs I produced and directed for Help for Orphans, Int. http://espritfilms.com/psas.html
Short Films I worked on or wrote, produced and directed http://espritfilms.com/watch.html
My blog www.aleishag.blogspot.com
Teaser Trailer and movie site for Chocolate is Not Better than Sex www.chocolateisnotbetterthansex.com
More about me: www.aleishagore.com
My books: www.marneyandme.com and http://girlinahouse.com/adventure.html
Lisa saysNovember 9, 2014 at 10:25 am
Thank you for sharing your story Aleisha! It is powerful, and I love how you deliver a strong message of hope, resilience, strength, and empowerment! Best of luck in all of your journeys!
Aleisha Gore saysNovember 10, 2014 at 9:18 am
Thank you so much Lisa. <3
Norah Colvin saysNovember 10, 2014 at 4:43 am
What a brave story of strength and survival.
Aleisha Gore saysNovember 10, 2014 at 9:19 am
Thank you Nora. 🙂 <3
Kate Tilton saysNovember 10, 2014 at 9:45 am
Aleisha you have such a powerful story! You have accomplished so much in spite of everything that could have kept you down. Thank you for sharing your story with us!
Aleisha Gore saysNovember 10, 2014 at 11:44 am
Thanks Kate. It’s been a long time coming and Rachel makes it safe to communicate. 🙂 xo
Will Van Stone Jr saysNovember 10, 2014 at 9:50 am
That’s one hell of a list of accomplishments to be proud of. It’s wonderful that you never let the ugliness of others destroy your creativity. Sadly, so many who suffer through sexual abuse (or, really, abuse of any kind) are swallowed up by the experiences and loss that part of themselves that they were meant to share with he world. You’re a true inspiration to people; you are proof that anything can be overcome.
Aleisha Gore saysNovember 10, 2014 at 11:49 am
Thank you Will. The more we stand together and show that we cannot be put down by these terrible experiences, the more we win and the bad guys lose. You’ve likely heard the phrase, “drive ’em crazy by succeeding”? Or similar? 🙂
Thanks again, I’m glad that I can inspire you and others. Let’s all win, how’s that for an idea? 😀 xo
Sarah Fader saysNovember 10, 2014 at 10:09 am
Wow! You are incredible. What a voice, a spirit, and a fierce woman.
Aleisha Gore saysNovember 10, 2014 at 11:51 am
Thanks Sarah. Could be the Leo in me. 😉 I appreciate you and I hope you’ll follow our film journey. This may be the first but still lots more to come for me that I hope to share with the world.
Kate O'Connell saysNovember 10, 2014 at 10:15 am
I love the title of this post for the simple reason, sexual abuse is something no survivor can walk away from. For the rest of our lives it is the elephant in the room despite our achievements. But perception is everything. How much control we give this elephant in the room and how much space we give it is up to ourselves. Thank you so much for sharing your story and for being a candle in this sometimes very dark journey.
Aleisha Gore saysNovember 10, 2014 at 11:56 am
You’re welcome, Kate and thank you for writing to me. I totally get what you are saying.
Luckily, I started to understand, early, that I had to take responsibility for the future of my life and things that happened “to” me were not, in fact, me.
Beth Caplin saysNovember 10, 2014 at 11:09 am
That second assault, with the husband of the child you were babysitting…I had something like that happen to me with an older male friend when I was 18, and I didn’t think that “counted” as assault. It was degrading because I didn’t feel like I was really *there* I was just a piece in his own pleasure, and it was all about him. In a weird way it’s sort of encouraging to read that I’m not alone in that kind of struggle, because for years I didn’t know what to make of it.
Sounds like you have lived an incredible life! The hardest part, in my experience, is struggling with making meaning out of the story we’ve been given. I never thought sexual assault would be part of my story (who does?). I didn’t want it, I didn’t want survival to mean becoming an advocate. But it’s through advocacy that I’ve met some incredible people, including Rachel and the contributors on her site. Thanks for sharing your story with us 🙂
Aleisha Gore saysNovember 10, 2014 at 12:08 pm
Wow, Beth! Yes, it totally is. But it can be very confusing. And that is a position of power men (and women) who assault have…they have the power to totally throw your world into confusion. “Is this ok?” “Why am I justifying this?” Like the producer who rationalized why I should be ok with him touching me, otherwise I wouldn’t do well in the film with another actor touching me. There’s a big difference, not subtle. It’s not just about someone touching you or you touching someone, it’s literally about “self.” You weren’t really “there.” That makes total sense. When you weren’t there, you basically shut off “cause.” I did, too. What we need to do is hold a position of power by being “cause” ourselves. As an actor in a love scene, you become total cause over yourself and your body and you are responsible for your actions and can be totally happy doing a love scene. But, when someone takes that power away from you and you’re no longer cause over yourself, your body, thrown into confusion, it is abuse, whether it’s the husband of a kid you babysit, a “friend” or a producer. The way we give ourselves back the power is by taking charge. “NO!” That’s a great word. People need to use it more often. “Bullshit!” is what I should’ve said to the producer. Your voice is your position of power. Abusers will always try to steal that from us. Two crimes in the universe are “being there” (oh well, she was asking for it with that cute little leopard skirt she was wearing) and “communicating”(don’t tell anyone, or they’ll be mad at you…our little secret…) Well, we’re gonna straighten this universe out by being there and communicating in force, in droves, and we’re gonna be such successes in life that the abusers cannot win, ever. My love to you. xo
Aleisha Gore saysNovember 10, 2014 at 12:56 pm
Just a P.S. I wanted to say, by the way, you are brave, wonderful and I am also grateful for you. You are powerful and that you share your strength with others in advocacy is awesome. 🙂 Much <3
Rachel Thompson saysNovember 10, 2014 at 9:43 pm
mwah! I’m so honored. By all of you.
Peter M. Olsen saysNovember 11, 2014 at 10:25 am
You are freaking awesome, Aleisha. Thank you for being brave and telling your story.
There are too many people, men and women, who cannot find their voice and tell their story.
You found your voice. I have tons of respect and admiration for you.
I am very, very, very glad your life is in an unbreakable state of complete awesomeness. 🙂
“I do believe in myself. I know I can do it.”
You damn right, sister.
You have been doing it, are doing it, and will do it.
Keep on keeping’ on, sister. 🙂
Aleisha Gore saysNovember 11, 2014 at 11:39 pm
Thank you so much Peter. 🙂 I agree, more people need to find their voices. You have an encouraging awesome voice yourself and thank you for using it to make my day. 😉
Much love and yes, I will keep on keepin’ on.
Kimmie saysNovember 17, 2014 at 11:33 am
WOW Aleisha, yours is an incredibly powerful story, and despite the awfulness of your experiences, what really stands out here is your strength, and hope for others who have been subjected to same/similar – you are an inspiration.
Thank you so much for sharing,
God bless, Kimmie x
Aleisha Gore saysNovember 17, 2014 at 5:32 pm
Thank you Kimmie. 🙂 I’m truly blessed by you and all the others whose love I feel totally shining through. Just stunned at the reaction and interaction I am getting and so grateful.