TW: R*PE - GiantWaffle Stivitybobo It's time to tell the story of SGDQ 2014.
TW: R*PE - GiantWaffle Stivitybobo
I am not alone. I am not an object. I am not silent. It's time to tell the story of SGDQ 2014.
I have never felt capable of talking about what happened. Immediately after I was assaulted, I was handed the narratives of those that abused me and blamed me. I was publicly humiliated, I was ridiculed, my privacy was invaded, I was kept quiet in the name of protection. Finally, reading these stories from so many others in the online gaming community, I have the courage to speak out.
Almost exactly six years ago, I attended Summer Games Done Quick 2014 (SGDQ). I was 18, married to Sam (19 y/o), religiously indoctrinated (socially isolated from leaving said religion), I co-ran the twitch channel ShowVideoGames (went by the nickname Tolki on stream), had just spent 3 weeks straight streaming 12+ hours a day (only seeing Sam on stream), and was coping with intense self hatred spurred by harassment from twitch chat.
Sam and I shared a room with Stivitybobo and Hyperresonance92 (Brad). One of the first nights Sam and I were there, they invited us to drink with them in our room. Sam and I had literally no previous exposure to alcohol. I agreed to try some as long as Sam was there, sober, to make sure I was handling it okay and staying safe. Stiv, Brad, GiantWaffle, and I had a few drinks and played Mario Kart. They were pouring my drinks for me. Sam was silent and avoided interacting or playing with us. Pretty early on he left the room; I was already significantly intoxicated and didn't notice he was gone. I was alone and trusted that these acquaintances (people who I had literally never met or had small conversations with through twitch chat) would treat me with respect and keep me from harm while I tried alcohol for the first time... that was not the case.
They began taking advantage of me. I have no idea how many drinks I was given, I remember trying to keep count and losing track. Multiple people encouraged me to keep drinking. I was so drunk that I was confused, nauseous, and I only had flashes of memory. I remember feeling like I was being manipulated and didn't understand why. I remember kissing Stiv, Waffle, Brad, and ScottJProgan. I felt so gross and pressured. I felt like I was literally being passed around, person to person, each of them hoping to get some piece of me. I remember Waffle saying he loves drunk white girls and a couple other guys agreeing and laughing. It felt like they were acknowledging and enjoying taking advantage of me. They headed out for more alcohol and cigarettes. I already felt so alone since Sam had walked out. These were the only people I knew. I went with them. I practically passed out on the convenience store toilet. The next thing I remember we were back in the room and I was on the bathroom floor throwing up.
This next bit is the hardest for me to talk about. I still get crippling flashbacks of this night. Next thing I knew the lights were off, I was laying in bed. Stiv on one side of me, Waffle on the other. I vaguely remember some conversation, how I was worried about Sam being gone and missed him so much lately. Then Waffle turned the conversation sexual, saying it was hot that I was barely legal/still a teen (ew yikes), asking about sexual experiences, and opinions of condoms and anal. I was in and out of consciousness. I remember saying something about how light headed I felt. They both started touching me under my clothes. They both were pressing/rubbing up against me. They both were kissing me, touching my chest, and fingering me. They both penetrated me with their fingers. They BOTH raped me.
It is so so so disgusting. I could not consent! No way did I want to be violated! I wanted to lay in my husband's arms and tell him I loved him. Instead I was left alone, with nowhere else to go, and assaulted. It was never my fault. Their actions were inexcusable.
I mentally retreated from that night onward, protecting myself by depersonalizing everything that was happening. Sam drove home the next day without me and without talking to me. I was so distraught. I was so confused and racked with guilt, I thought Sam must know somehow. I thought me being assaulted ruined any chance of being with my own husband. I felt so worthless and so objectified and so resigned. That night the same group drank again in our room, they mixed all my drinks, I have no idea how much I was given. I was even more incoherent than the night before. I remember Waffle saying he didn't want to do anything more because he didn't want to get in trouble with Sam. Not because it was wrong! Not because I deserve human decency!! No, because he was more afraid of what another man might do! It was the first sign to me that what they did to me was not just traumatic, it was really, truly, awful. I remember lying in bed despondent, hours blurring past, just wanting to be alone, and not being able to. Stiv touched and assaulted me again that night. I remember waking up the next day and Stiv touching me again. I remember rolling over, away from him, he kept kissing and touching me. I thought he might leave me alone if I gave him a hand job. I reached down towards his shorts. I cannot write this without shaking from the paralyzing fear I felt next. He jumped up, threw off his pants, pulled me lower, and inserted - no protection. It couldn't end fast enough. I was silent, I stared at the ceiling. My world collapsed. The closest thing I ever got to an apology was "sorry it was short... it's been a while..." after he finished on me as I avoided looking at anything. I felt like a worthless husk.
Immediately, I felt silenced. I had learned any sex outside of marriage was adultery, I had learned it wasn't rape unless you said no or put up a fight. I was silenced. Stiv said something about how "we could never tell anyone." I was silenced. I flew home and met back with Sam, he said he had heard from someone else at SGDQ and knew what happened. I was mortified and assumed everyone there knew everything that happened. I was terrified of being proven right that I was worthless and being left again. I was sobbing and physically could not tell him what had happened. He asked if I had sex, I said yes, he called me a cheater. I was silenced. A few days later, Stiv sent Sam an apology he wrote on pastebin. Apologizing that betraying Sams's trust was “the worst thing he had done to someone in his life.” (https://pastebin.com/6JmhEriM) I am disgusted by the total disregard for me being wronged. Soon after, someone posted a link to the apology in Sam and my offline twitch chat. Stiv had posted the apology publicly and it had gone viral. I was mortified and shocked. If there were rumors of something happening before, I couldn't imagine the things people would say or think in our channel now. Ruining my livelihood was cruel proof that what happened was real and not just some wicked nightmare. I was silenced. An entirely fabricated, anonymous, pastebin started floating around giving ‘details’ about what I did at the event. (https://pastebin.com/ZhNRNfMG) This was SO humiliating and exemplifies the kind of things that were being said constantly in our chat. I was silenced. Stiv posted a second pastebin to "let you all know what EXACTLY happened so that all this speculation can stop and the issue can be put to rest." (https://pastebin.com/aDXBaEmA) He literally said, "to speak for Tolki." I Was Silenced! Sam and I avoided posting anything. Not only was our personal life upended, but humiliating narratives were now common knowledge in our own community. A subreddit was made documenting the worst week of my life, giving air to any speculation, and imagining a ‘timeline.’ I was mortified and disgusted. I thought it ruined any chance I ever had at pursuing my online career or making online friends. I thought this speculation was my legacy. I felt SO alone. I was silenced. I couldn't talk to Sam about what happened; when I tried, I couldn't process any of it as my own life. I still struggled to understand what had happened and why. I tried to forget everything. I felt like everywhere I turned people blamed me. I attempted suicide twice that year. Now I know these were symptoms of PTSD. Waffle answered questions about SGDQ 2014 on that same subreddit I mentioned above, lying about his involvement and saying that it wouldn't be a good idea if either Sam or I streamed again. (https://www.removeddit.com/r/SamandTolki/comments/3rkm3g/questions_for_waffle/) I was silenced! In 2016 Sam returned to streaming, we were planning on doing a marathon for the new Pokemon games. I wasn't ready to acknowledge how traumatized I was. I wanted to avoid anything online, but also wanted to be free of the fear of judgment and wanted to take more control. Sam pushed me to make a statement about how I cheated. I thought I deserved to be shamed. I was silenced. I tried streaming, I appreciated the kind welcome but even the most benign questions were triggering and exhausting. And then we were doxxed. My family photos and a virtual tour of our home were spread online. My slowly recovering sense of security was scattered. I withdrew again. I was afraid of drawing any attention to myself. I was silenced. When I had some unexpected health changes, I wanted to return online and work from home. Sam discouraged me saying it'd be safer to just let the internet forget about me. I was silenced.
I've come a long way. And still have a long way to go. I've been in and out of therapy. I'm managing the PTSD. I still sleep with a light on to avoid flashbacks. I still struggle to connect with people. I still struggle with intimacy. Sam showed me the recent movement in the gaming community. The brave people telling their stories of sexual assault and abuse. I am so encouraged by all the people listening and holding abusers accountable. Today I am choosing to speak up.
Stiv and Waffle chose to rape me. It is not my fault. Their actions were NEVER okay. It is inexcusable to be entitled to anyone else's body. It is inexcusable to take silence as consent. It is inexcusable to take advantage of people who are emotionally vulnerable. It is inexcusable to take advantage of people who are physically vulnerable. It is inexcusable to teach women their existence revolves around serving, submitting, or suffering in silence (like I’d been indoctrinated to believe.) It is inexcusable to slut shame. It is inexcusable to call trauma normal. This enables abuse. This silences victims.
To anyone else suffering through similar trauma: It is not your fault. I believe you. You are important. You don't have to stay silent, it is your choice to speak out. There are so many resources.💜 You are not alone.
It's time for us to break the cycle of abuse and silence.