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Survivor's Story

Matin’s Story

Matin's Story

To my supervisor when I was a masters student:

I always wonder how much that selfish act of yours changed my life… or my perspective of life… and how much it affected yours, if any at all… I remember waking up happy that morning because we were going sampling to collect my study plant! That meant I could finally get to start my experiments. I am sure you remember how excited I used to get every time I found my plant in the field! Some students told me, you even talked about it in your classes… you talked about how you have this new student named Matin who is so passionate about what she does, and you have never seen anybody like her… And yet you managed to ruin that passion for me… You were right about my passion for the field of Plant Biology… But ever since that day, every single time I went sampling again, I was reminded of that day, and I never got that happy again on a sampling day… It is like you threw up on some food that I really loved before… Way to manage turning passion to disgust … turning trust to disappointment, confusion, loss, sadness, and anger… that’s right… there was no hate in that… because I didn’t know how to hate… Up until then I somehow stupidly always believed that nobody deliberately does something bad… they just don’t know any better… Therefore, there is no reason to hate… I am not even sure if I hate you now… hate never came… it was always only hurt… even when I gradually started to understand what you did… and how wrong that was…

It is sickening to me how you had it all planned out … and you followed through your evil plan! You had time to talk yourself out of it, but you simply didn’t! You chose not to! You chose to rape an innocent girl… when you got to the university to pick me up, I excitedly told you that I went and checked out the hills around the campus until you arrive, and found two individuals of my plant… Your answer to that as my supervisor was “why did you do that!? you might have gotten sweaty!” Well… I am sorry if you wanted my body to be fresh out of shower before you rape me! I thought we were going sampling! Sweating was kind of a given! You then told me you had forgotten your keys at home, the keys to that lab that we needed to process the samples afterwards … You said we need to stop by at your place to pick up the keys… I remember when we got there, I naturally expected for you to just go inside and grab the keys while I wait in the car… But you had thought of everything! You had that part planned out too! You said I don’t want my neighbours seeing there is a girl sitting in my car, so come inside with me… And I didn’t suspect anything at all! I just followed you like a normal human being, having no clue that you are far away from a normal human being!  You locked the door and walked towards me… trying to take my clothes off! The more I said no and tried to get away the more force you put into it… I couldn’t believe it! I was just so full of trust that I kept talking to you and asking you what you are doing and asking you to stop! That’s right… I just told you to stop… I didn’t scream or shout… I just kept talking to you and asking you to stop! Because that was the only way I knew how to talk to a person, and I didn’t know some people are just not a person… they are not a human being… or I’d like to say they can turn it off! Which is strange… How can someone turn their humanity on and off?  I was shocked that you just took ALL your clothes off in front of me as it was so normal… and when I covered my face so that I wouldn’t see you naked, you pinned me down and pulled my pants off. I remember asking you “to stop” I remember repeatedly telling you “NO”… “DON’T” .. But you chose not to listen… In the middle of the room… right next to your front door, you pinned me to the floor…  and you raped me!  I still flinch when I remember that day… I remember how helpless and weak I felt… I remember thinking how wrong I was for believing I am physically strong… all I did was try to convince you to stop and all you did was prove to me that some people don’t understand words… they just understand force… and I didn’t have enough force to stop you… I remember you were referring to me as a little child… and trying to keep me quiet, the way you calm down a toddler… every time I said no… you just shushed me and called me a little child… that means you knew how naive I was in that way… Like a little child…and you were okay raping that little child…  and when you were finally off of me, I opened my eyes… and as you saw how scared and confused I was, you casually kissed me on the cheek and said “don’t worry! The first sex is always only stress” … and I was thinking… “was this sex?” … The worst part is that you tried to convince me that you did me a favour… You said it is so catastrophic if a 24 year old woman has never had sex and I did you a favour … When you got off of me I covered myself and put my clothes on… You still took me sampling and at the end of that day you had the nerve to say “what a productive day! We managed to get everything done!!!” And I was still wondering what had just happened…? I sometimes think you picked me as your prey because I didn’t have a mom… or any woman figure in my life to talk to… So much went to my mind…  I even felt so guilty about the fact that you were married… you had a kid! Because I thought it takes two people to cheat … and I don’t cheat! period!!

I think I still feel guilty about that … and what kills me is that I couldn’t report you! Because we were in Iran and in the traditional city of Tabriz of all places! I would have been expelled and probably banned from ever taking the entrance exam to go to any university ever again, and you kept manipulating me and telling me not only I get expelled but they execute you!  And I obviously didn’t want to be responsible for someone’s life! But you should know, you are responsible for my life! Part of me did die because of what you did to me… I managed to get a scholarship and come to Japan for my PhD… I managed to graduate and do research… do science… do what I love… but what you did to me…. The wound you caused never healed… it just got more and more infected over the years… And let me tell you… it hurts so bad… it hurts that you took advantage of my innocence… of my trust and of my kindness… I always knew there were bad people in the world who rape! I just didn’t know they can be your teacher… they can be married, have kids, and have a normal life… I thought they’d be criminals and always in the run! I didn’t know criminals like you can be a respected professor and hide their monster side… You stole so many things from me… so… yes… I really wonder how much of all these has affected your life… If any at all…

This happened to me when I was student in Iran, and I couldn’t tell anybody then, as I would have most likely been expelled. Now I am a scientist and I live in Japan…I specifically wanted to have my name and picture on to hopefully take off the stigma of this. The rapists are the ones who should be ashamed not the survivors.  We should be proud that despite of that we are still doing our best to live a meaningful life.

Matin Miryeganeh

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