>> Monday, June 29, 2009
First of all. I sincerely thank each and every single one of you for taking time to read my last post and making time to comment. They ALL help. So thank you.
Secondly, I apologize for not being able to get back here sooner and not staying updated on your blogs..I've been so very busy.
I never knew posting about what happened to me would actually make a difference to me, but it really does. You guys weren't kidding o. It really was a big step. I feel like some of the burden has been lifted off my shoulders and I am a bit more convinced that it wasn't my fault. But can you believe that? A bit more convinced. That's how strong the feeling of guilt is ingrained in me.
I want to talk about what rape did to me to shed some more light on the issue.
The guilt is undescribable. You go on living your life like before and from day to day, you don't feel anything. But as I look back I realise how much it all effected me. I am not trying to dramatize, in fact I was trying everything but. But the guilt is just so strong.
You feel so stained. So dirty. So broken.
I asked myself - Who is going to want me now?
I don't know what it would have been like to be raped if I wasn't a virgin. It's just as bad anyway, but somehow I feel like the fact that I was raped when I was a virgin made the whole experience worse. The feeling of loss has been overwhelming. Not even the first years, but later on I realised what I had really lost.
Losing virginity physically isn't the big deal here. It is the mental aspect of it all. My virginity should have belonged to me. It is my right to decide when I want to give it up. I never got to experience that, and it severely fucked up my sexuality. My initial introduction to sex was through violence and force. As a result, sex was very much reduced to a necessary routine to me. Just something that needed to be done. Not something for me.
I'm going to be very candid here, because it is the only way I can make people understand, so forgive me for being explicit.
The first year after I got raped completely secluded myself. I stayed inside mostly - depressed. I focused on other things. I wrote a lot of poetry. I listened to a lot of music. Sometimes, I'd be caught by flashbacks. Very strong, frightening flashbacks. I've supressed a lot of these memories so they don't stand out as very clear, but I remember waking up at night from nightmares and being set back to what happened. The guys face, the guys moves and the whole experience would reinact itself in my head so strong it all seemed real. I would smell his disgusting cologne. I'd sit shaking in the corner of my room.
It did get better.
After a year these flashbacks didn't come as often. I opened up a bit more but still remained closed. I think people sensed this about me and kept away as a result.
I felt unworthy. My confidence was low to say the least. I was very self-conscious. I'd dress in ways to try to make people not notice me as much.
I met my now husband and I think that did change things, but we sure have had a lot of problems because of it. I was broken when I met him. I was afraid and had not healed. Of course this affected our relationship. For me to trust him was not an easy thing and sexually I would struggle. I still do sometimes. By that I mean you would see no physical signs of struggle, but in my mind my head was somewhere else. My head would go back to that day. And after the whole act, I'd start crying. He'd try to comfort me, puzzled at my reaction. He didn't know then, but I've told him now. I put myself in his shoes and realise it is very hard to understand.
It all culminated into one day where I completely broke down and I was hospitalized for 3 weeks. But after that, I think I got it more out of my system
I'm more relentless now. I get annoyed with women who act cheap, dress cheap and behave like hoes. Because they're playing with fire and won't know what hit them the day something wrong might happen to them. The ones who get carelessly drunk and walk home alone. I am a feminist and I think we should be able to dress however we want without having to fear getting raped. But at the same time we need to get real and get responsible.
I struggle to express myself because this issue is so close at home. I fear being misunderstood.
The women I'm talking about are women who have no problems sleeping with men they don't know. Who can throw themselves on men and shows just a bit too much to everyone. I'm sorry, but they DO give some fucked up guys the impression that just having sex anywhere anytime with anyone is just FINE. And it is not.
Assault-rapes are not so common. But rapes between people who actually know each other happens every day.
I guess my point is: YES, ideally we should be able to be free and even act crazy if we want to (even though that is not my thing). It wouldn't affect "normal" guys, but we can't forget there are plenty of predators out there who doesn't care or understand. It's those we need to worry about. No we shouldn't have to shape our lives because of those stupid guys but lets get real.. No matter what we do in the world rape is never going to stop completely. There will always be those crazy guys who are capable of doing it.
Clarification: I am not blaming any girl or any woman for any rape happening out there. We deserve to remain untouched no matter how we behave or dress. BUT there is nothing wrong with taking precautions and use our common sense. We can be in situations where another guy, whether it be our friend, brother or father, won't be there to protect us.
I am not talking about guilt and blame here, simply about being smart and as precautionary as we can.
Talking of guilt, we really need to change the attitude in the population. Even though most people I meet always seem to think rape isn't the victim's fault, there is unfortunately an attitude in people that rape actually is the victim's fault. Many people don't say it out loud and clear, but it's easy to sense. This causes stigmatization. This makes us afraid to stand out and tell our stories. Because we are afraid of what people will think. And this in turn keeps a lid on the whole subject, which makes debate difficult.
I also think we need to make it easier for women to come forth and go to the police if they become a victim of rape. Practices are different in all countries, but here, the examinations you would have to go through are very traumatizing. I don't know it all, but I wish there could be an easier way of getting this done. Of course I understand it's needed for proof, but all this hassle combined with fear just keep girls away from going to the police. I never did. Because I just wanted to pretend it didn't happen, and I was really scared. The guy had threatened he would kill me. It's hard to be strong enough to resist that fear. I wasn't.
Lastly I think it is time us women bring our brothers, husbands and friends into this fight. It is time they fight this too. This battle is not only for us. We are their daughers, sisters and wives. Rape is very common. Men who are capable of it doesn't "look" like rapists. They look normal, have friends and jobs. They may look completely innocent to their friends. I don't know, but I think we just need to make rape even more unacceptable than it already is. Men need to fight this battle together with us. Speak out when you see or hear something wrong. This goes for domestic abuse aswell. I don't think it will solve the problem, but I do think it would help if more men spoke out about how wrong rape is. How unacceptable it is. Defend us. Speak up when they're hanging with the guys.
I no longer have flashbacks. Only a few nightmares in a year. I dress how I want to and I enjoy turning down guys who try to hit me up. I am careful, but myself. I am confident that I can be the woman I've always wanted to be. The rape no longer shapes everything in me, but it is part of who i am today. It's made me who I am today.I have bad days where I feel weak, but it is no longer dominant. And I am going to use it to empower me rather than weaken me. Empower me in the battle against it. I am going to use it against every rapist out there. The one who laughs last laughs best and karma will get your ass one day, mr. Rapist.
Thank you everyone for giving me the strength to realise this and push me another step higher on the road of redemption.