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Mon Aug 20, 2012, 08:33 AM

Dear DU members who have been raped

I need to offer hugs and tears of sympathy to each of you. I have been victim to other kinds of harassment and my blood is BOILING at the inexcusable rhetoric of Akin and his non-apology. I can only imagine the intense anger I would feel if I had experienced what you did, and I am so sorry that you have to be victimized again.

Let's get this asshole out of politics forever, shall we?

30 replies, 3203 views

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Arrow 30 replies Author Time Post
Reply Dear DU members who have been raped (Original post)
Happyhippychick Aug 2012 OP
catbyte Aug 2012 #1
heaven05 Aug 2012 #2
citizen blues Aug 2012 #3
coalition_unwilling Aug 2012 #9
goclark Aug 2012 #11
Raine1967 Aug 2012 #4
peacebird Aug 2012 #15
Raine1967 Aug 2012 #23
peacebird Aug 2012 #30
wryter2000 Aug 2012 #5
secondwind Aug 2012 #6
JTFrog Aug 2012 #7
Heather MC Aug 2012 #8
kwyjibo Aug 2012 #16
cynannmarie Aug 2012 #10
Hydra Aug 2012 #12
freshwest Aug 2012 #19
RebelOne Aug 2012 #13
Lucy Goosey Aug 2012 #14
CoffeeCat Aug 2012 #17
redwitch Aug 2012 #22
xiamiam Aug 2012 #18
CoffeeCat Aug 2012 #21
Behind the Aegis Aug 2012 #20
Raine1967 Aug 2012 #24
Happyhippychick Aug 2012 #25
kestrel91316 Aug 2012 #26
Raffi Ella Aug 2012 #27
Blue Belle Aug 2012 #28
FightForMichigan Aug 2012 #29

Response to Happyhippychick (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 08:44 AM

1. I'm one of the lucky ones too, Happyhippychick

and we need to stand together to oust these misogynistic assholes once and for all. We should be used to this disrespect by now, especially when the GOP refused to pass the Violence Against Women Act and one of the provisions they were opposing was protection for Native American women. WTF?!? Women are women, I don't give a fuck if they're legal, citizens, gay, whatever. WE ARE WOMEN!!!!

Republican assholes pardon my French.

Diane
Anishinaabe in MI & mom to Taz, Nigel, and baby brother Sammy, members of Dogs Against Romney, Cat Division
"We Ride Inside"--HISS!Ē

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Response to Happyhippychick (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 10:01 AM

2. how

how women could vote for someone as evil as adkins/aynryan/romtwit is beyond my understanding. how? they mean to put ALL back in "their place" and chains. if this election is not a landslide, with all the social media, it should be, right

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Response to Happyhippychick (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 10:42 AM

3. Thank you for your words. For me Akin's rhetoric cuts in a much different way....

I am the product of rape. My mother was only 16 years old and was forced to give me up for adoption. When we reunited 19 years later, she embraced me with open arms. The circumstances of my conception never stopped her from loving me. Her attitude was that it wasn't my fault; I didn't ask to be born out of that situation; I was an innocent baby who deserved to be loved and have a good life.

My mother passed Christmas Eve of 2006. I was at her bedside in ICU. As much as I miss her, I'm also glad she didn't have to hear Akin's words.

Now I see Akin's trying to back pedal in the face of so much outrage, but I think he said exactly what his ignorant ass believes. What he should know especially as a politician is that there are words you can't take back. And there's a price you have to pay for your carelessness and your stupidity. Akin has forfeited the privilege of representing any woman or anyone who loves, cherishes and respects a woman. He needs to step down.

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Response to citizen blues (Reply #3)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:07 AM

9. +1,000,000,000 x 1,000,000,000 - I wish I could rec your response

 

to DU's Greatest Page.

A belated Welcome to DU!

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Response to citizen blues (Reply #3)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:13 AM

11. Thank you for sharing your experience with us


There must be a special place in hell for people like Akin's.

Just to think that he is one of many that have no CARE Gene for others, all they think about is " ME,Me,Me."

And their "candidate" should be called RmoneyME,ME, ME"

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Response to Happyhippychick (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 10:51 AM

4. Thank you, Happyhippychick

Many years ago, I experienced what that man would call an illegitimate rape.

While I have recovered, I never forgot. What he did by saying those words and by co-sponsoring the redefinition of rape is a further assault on everyone... not only women.

Thank you so much for your kind, and heartfelt words. They mean a lot.

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Response to Raine1967 (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 07:33 PM

15. As did i, Raine1967, and it sickens me to hear the phrase....

Just sickens me. I still remember driving on skyline drive thinking about hitting the gas at one of the gaps between the stone walls.... Flying off into oblivion.

Ultimately my love for my 6 y.o. son kept me on the road. I was a single mom and he needed me.

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Response to peacebird (Reply #15)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 11:52 AM

23. I'm just getting back to this thread...

peacebird... :group:


I am glad you are here.

Peace and Love.
Raine

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Response to Raine1967 (Reply #23)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 07:03 PM

30. You too, Raine1967, you too.

:hugs:

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Response to Happyhippychick (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 10:58 AM

5. Thank you

My rape was over 40 years ago now, so it's not much of my life anymore. I can honestly tell you that insignificant bug Akin doesn't mean squat to me. If it had come from someone I cared about, I'd be horrified and hurt. From him...nothing.

To the other people who are coping with more painful feelings now, we have your back.

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Response to Happyhippychick (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 10:59 AM

6. AMEN! K&R what an asshat!

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Response to Happyhippychick (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:00 AM

7. k&DUrec

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Response to Happyhippychick (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:03 AM

8. I was 9, I guess I should be greatful to find out after all these years it was a legitimate Rape

because I didn't get pregnant. My magical juices saved the day!
And I actually had a monthly cycle at the age of nine so I could have gotten pregnant
my Older sister was not as lucky as me she is 17 years older than I, but when she was 11 she was raped and that rape produced a little boy. and she was treated like she was a slut even though her attacker was grown ass man.

Because of what happen to my sister I never told anyone what was done to me.
Fortunately time heals all wounds and I know it wasn't my fault! But when i hear people say shit like what Akin says My rage raises all over again

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Response to Heather MC (Reply #8)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 12:50 AM

16. I'm so sorry.

To you and your sister. Thank you for sharing your story (and to everyone else sharing)... Maybe it will help Americans decide to stop voting for assholes like Akin.

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Response to Happyhippychick (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:11 AM

10. As a rape victim, I appreciate your support and sympathy

The disgusting words of Akin regarding "legitimate rape" poured salt in very old wounds that I have made great efforts over many years to heal. Over 30 years ago, when I was a young mother, age 26, I was asleep in my bed at home and suddenly awoken by an unknown intruder (broke in through a window) on top of me. He immediately gagged me, tied me up and raped me, all the while repeatedly threatening to kill me and my 2 year old daughter sleeping in the next room. When he had "finished" I lay there in terror that he would harm or kidnap my daughter, as I could hear him roaming about the small cottage (turns out he was taking money from my purse and looking for other items to steal) but I was helpless to do anything because of being bound and gagged. He then returned to my room to threaten me again, saying he would return to kill me and kill or take my daughter if he heard any sound or movement. Some agonizingly long minutes later I heard the door close, although I did not know where he was. Terrified as to what to do next, I decided that I had to do whatever was necessary to see if my daughter was still there and alright. So methodically I worked the knots of the bindings and finally was able to free myself, and immediately called the police. (My daughter was there and unharmed).

There is more to the story of course--an aftermath that ripped through my life like an earthquake of trauma with aftershocks felt even to this day, decades later.
One of the immediate horrors was fear of getting pregnant--a fate so dreaded that I seriously contemplated suicide. I was never offered the morning after pill--if it was even available then.
For a public figure to dismiss this horrific possibility with such an appallingly ignorant and insensitive comment is truly revolting and exceedingly cruel to the many rape victims past, present and future, whose scars are deep and enduring.

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Response to Happyhippychick (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:02 PM

12. On the one hand, it's easy to think of Akin as an asshole and dismissable

My mind shrinks in utter horror of what he and his kind are actually doing though.

He and the other "Political Elite" are legitimizing rape, violence, misogyny, torture, economic squeezing and even RW terrorism. They are supporting the rise of casual barbarism, all for their political and monetary benefit.

Watch closely as the little lights of civilization(even the poor excuse for it that we had) go out silently, one by one...

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Response to Hydra (Reply #12)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 03:37 AM

19. +1

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Response to Happyhippychick (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:13 PM

13. It happened to me when I was 15.

At least the jackass used a condom.

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Response to Happyhippychick (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:26 PM

14. I was raped by an ex-boyfriend when I was 18

I'm sure that doesn't count as "legitimate" rape to today's Republican party, especially since the guy in question was wealthy, white and conservative, and I wasn't a virgin (though I hadn't had sex with this guy in the 2 months we had been together) and I had had a couple of beers, and I was wearing a sleeveless top, and I'm a progressive feminist.

Luckily, here in Canada, I was offered the morning after pill as a matter of course and an abortion would have been available through our medicare if the pill hadn't worked. Of course I don't know if I was, or would have been, pregnant, but I can certainly tell you that it was rape.

Hugs to my fellow survivors of this type of horror.

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Response to Happyhippychick (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 02:21 AM

17. Thank you so much for this post...

...and to all of the women who shared your stories. I am so sorry for what each of you endured. I know your pain. At least my own version of it.

I was molested when I was a child repeatedly by multiple offenders. I have severe memory blocks from my childhood, and I have five total minutes of memory of my father.

Because of my memory blocks, I have become my own private investigator. I have contacted many old friends, neighbors, and people who were employed by my father. I always remembered having sex with my Father's best friend--a police officer. I knew there were others, but I didn't know who they were. I always remembered being pulled from my bed in the middle of the night and being driven to very seedy parts of town by my father. I remember screaming and telling my father that I didn't want to do this anymore. I was crying and screaming as he said, "Do you want mommy and Daddy to go to jail? Is that what you want?". The thought horrified me and I complied out of fear. I was only eight years old.

I confronted my father as an adult--and he confirmed my memories of being taken from the house. When I asked him what in the world had been going on, he kept insisting that he did not molest me, but he had no choice but to "cooperate with these men."

I had always remembered two names. I didn't remember faces, but I knew they were a part of this horrible situation. These thugs never anticipated the Internet, but it has helped me to piece together some of my story. The main man I remembered, i later discovered was a notorious organized crime boss in my childhood city. He did prison time for multiple offenses, including tax evasion from unreported income from running a prostitution ring out of a hotel he owned. I knew I had been in that hotel many times. I remember the red velvet couch there and I remember running away from the hotel, down a hill and onto railroad tracks--trying to hold onto my three year old sister.

I called this man's ex-wife and she confirmed the years of open and illegal Prostitution that was allowed by a corrupt police department.

I was hospitalized ten times, before the age of twelve, with bladder infections that were so bad that I was put under and examined. I obtained my childhood hospital records, and the notes indicated that I had urethral damage.

I acted out sexually as a child. I remembered this for the first time in my 30's. I called the person in these memories and he confirmed my memories, telling me very graphic details about sex acts that I showed him--that I had been taught.

So you see, I never fought back either. I was traumatized into silence and compliance. My years of rapes were neither "legitimate"or "forcible" according to Republican conventions and definitions.

I didn't fight in conventional ways. I screamed for help silently and through clues that no one solved. I wet the bed every night until I left home for college. I couldn't concentrate in school and was constantly reprimanded for not listening. I used to sit on the driveway and cry for my "real parents.". I was adopted at birth and I just knew that someone loved me snd I guess I hoped that someone would hear me if I was outside, crying for that rescue.

I cut off my parents when I confronted them ten years ago. My siblings are in very bad shape and my father has made it clear that I am the enemy. My mother hasn't tried to contact me. I've been in therapy for ten years and I am doing remarkably well. I am resilient now, as I was resilient and strong back then when I tried to escape and also protest to my father. I have PTSD--which is a gift. PTDS allowed me to suspend the pain unti I was free to finally process it in a safe place. I have two beautiful daughters, a supportive husband, friends, a garden and a terrific life. I have lots of ups and downs--nightmares and flashbacks, but I choose life. I choose to be happy and to make my mark in the world, because I deserve to be here--and frankly I feel lucky to have survived.

Therapy has lifted so much pain. It's like a dagger had been removed from my back. Someone discussed how rape takes away your soul. My impression is that the soul--or your authentic self--remains intact. My experience felt as if my soul had been buried under artificial layers. Sort of like armor. I told my therapist that I believe we are all born with an empty, light slate. It is that lightness that allows you to be free, at peace, truly happy and centered in your authentic self. But life is filled with hurts and imperfections; insecurities and weaknesses. And the "self" becomes wrapped and trapped in the layers that life creates. Everyone has these layers. Those of us whi have been raped, traumatized and abused understand that those layers become so thick and armor-like--to help us survive and get through each day. Otherwise we'd fall apart. I describe it as--eventually, you become the armor. You don't get to be free and light. You are a walking coping mechanism, unable to shed your protections, because your body and mind have learned that it is dangerous, and terrifying without any protection. So you cope, you exist and you go through the motions and do your best. But you're still wearing that emotional armor until you slowly learn that you are safe now and that you won't die without it. It takes time and patience. And you have to process the pain, and go through it, in order to neutralize it. It's as if the pain gets stuck in your eight-year old self, and you have to heal the child you were in order to free the pained adult you are now.

It's like emotional chemotherapy, but so worth all of the pain of re-experiencing the sorrow, anger and hopelessness of the past.

So yes, the words and labels that these Republicans use have been hurtful and it has been triggering and upsetting for me the past couple of days. That's my PTSD kicking in. However, I feel mainly sadness for them. They are so terribly misguided and off track--just as far removed from their authentic selves as I was at the height of my abuse. I honestly feel that many of these people were probably abused, raped and/or traumatized in their own lives. They are so off course, hurtful and so unable to empathize with the women whose bodies they so desperately need to control. They legislate shat we are permitted to do with our bodies. They use our bodies as debate fodder, but do they see us as human beings? I feel as if I am an object and they are talking past me-as if I'm an abstraction.

My hope is that we can all work together to heal ourselves, heal each other, heal our communities and eventually help our world become a better place for everyone. Talking about our pain and our triumphs and what we have endured is a great start. Silence only aids abusers.

Thanks for this thread and for opening the door for myself and others to share their stories. ))))

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Response to CoffeeCat (Reply #17)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 09:30 AM

22. Bless you.

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Response to Happyhippychick (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 03:27 AM

18. he is an idiot

this is the only post I will even respond to over this ridiculous comment. He is an idiot. Every woman KNOWS.. How does someone that stupid even get close to having a public opinion and platform?

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Response to xiamiam (Reply #18)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 09:23 AM

21. and to add insult to injury...

Akin serves on the House Science, Technology and Space Committee.

Really?

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Response to Happyhippychick (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 03:46 AM

20. I was flabbergasted by his remarks. It was one of the few times I walked away from the computer.

I am a product of rape. I have been raped. I have a brother who was raped. I have female friends who have been raped. In this day and age, I can't believe how stupid people are in regards to sexual assaults and rape. It is stunning.

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Response to Happyhippychick (Original post)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 11:58 AM

24. Happyhippychick: it took me a few days to write this.

It was this very OP that made me realize I had to write it. I have come out, as it were. http://www.fourfreedomsblog.com/Blog.php?Act=ViewBlogPost&BlogID=2057

I'd ask for people to read the entire thing.

I've been thinking a lot about this. I am horrified and astounded that these people would put the burden of rape back on women, as if it is our fault. I'm angry. It is personal for me; I am a rape survivor. I knew my attacker. For a period of time, I too thought I was complicit. According to the GOP, my rape never happened. That means my recovery, my education, my knowledge of what happened to me in 1986 didn't really happen. That is my history, and I am proud of my history, warts and all. I don't want people to feel sorry for me, and I am not a victim anymore. I am stronger because of what I unfortunately went through. Given a choice, I would rather have chosen to be strong without being raped. This is who I am. I went to Planned Parenthood and got the help I needed after I was raped. It changed my life, in many ways for the better. I have chosen to take my experiences to advocate for others that may have gone through what I did, or to prevent it from happening to people in my life.

The thing is, you know people who have been raped. They may not be telling you for whatever reason they choose. The least of these reasons should be shame. I don't want people to be told that what happened to them really didn't happen. That is cruel. It also can be deadly.

I resent the Republican party for trying to erase my history and the history of every woman that has ever been raped. How we choose to go forward should be our choice, not defined by a radical ideology that I would call rape deniers. Don't let them do that to us.

Don't let them take away my history. Thank you for letting me share it.


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Response to Happyhippychick (Original post)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 02:00 PM

25. Thanks for all of your stories, you are all beyond remarkable. Hugs, hugs, hugs.

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Response to Happyhippychick (Original post)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 02:16 PM

26. I think I'm lucky in that my date rape was not violence per se, just coercion after multiple "no's"

ending in grudging sex with someone I really didn't want to go that far with. It made me disgusted with him, and I had to continue through vet school with him another 18 months, never far away because our names were close in the alphabet and we rotated through clinics together.

I never felt like a traumatized victim, just angry that he was SUCH AN ASS.

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Response to Happyhippychick (Original post)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 02:52 PM

27. K&R

In Solidarity against Akin and against the Republican Party who encourage and nurture that hideous and outrageous mindset.

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Response to Happyhippychick (Original post)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 04:14 PM

28. It's been a struggle...

Iíve been struggling with my response not only to Akin and his ignorant notion of rape or how a femaleís body works, but also to some of the ridiculous facebook posts on this subject by my friends and family. I try to find the logic in their comments, but really, what about being raped is ever logical?

My rape certainly wasnít logical and wouldnít be considered a legitimate rape by Akinís definition. I was supposed to be going to a formal dance my sophomore year in college, but was instead attacked by my date in my own dorm room when he dropped me off. Apparently, he felt he was owed some for taking meÖ and then he proceeded to make my life miserable until I dropped out of school a few months later. Once I left, my mid blocked the scenario from my memory. I canít figure it out. I canít even remember what I told people when they asked about school. I didnít tell anyone and didnít even let myself think about it until a few years ago when another traumatic experience put the memory to the forefront.

You asked for a personal experience, for those that havenít been through it, rape isnít how itís normally depicted on made for TV movies Ė you donít have an outer body experience lifting you out of the reality, and there are no coping skills triggered that make you shut off your surroundings or shut down your body from normal reproductive functions. Rape is ugly and dirty and has an acrid smell and taste. Youíre acutely aware that this is happening, the names he is calling you, and the smirk on his face as he literally rips your flesh in places where flesh shouldnít be torn. Itís sweaty, gritty, and barbaric, and there is a noxious air of terror, adrenaline, and alcohol or cheap cologne being sweated out of pores. Every muscle fiber in your body is spent and exhausted from putting up the fight of your life. And it doesnít make any sense. The whyÖ the howÖ even the who. To this day I canít remember his face or even his name, but I can remember in great detail what the thing he took from me felt like. Itís not linear and you donít remember the event as a start to finish occurrence. It comes back to you in flashes and you donít remember what he wore or if he had any distinguishing characteristics because, ironically, the only coping skill that you actually do trigger is the ability to block his face and person out. Right now he is just a faceless monster. You want to remember what happened and yet you hope you can forget. Each time you retell the instances of the event, you start to remember another piece of information Ė something about that night will come at random from a photo you see or from something you hear in someone elseís story. And each time you re-tell the experience to someone, you relive the scene. And each time you tell someone who cares about you that you were raped the air shifts and all of their pity, and guilt, and shame, are suddenly palpable Ė suddenly it becomes your new burden. Youíre not seen as some brave little soldier that was a victim of bad circumstance - youíre seen as ďless thanĒ despite everyoneís protests and everyoneís efforts to show you that you arenít. From everything Iíve read and heard from other victims, most of the time, the victim will know the rapist and will already have a friendly history established with that person (this is especially true in cases, like mine, of date rape). After she levels the accusation, she will have her character smeared and be called a liar. Sheíll have to deal with the disbelief of those closest to her on top of everything else sheís experienced. Even if she wins and the rapist is convicted, there are still those close to her who will wonder if she wasnít just making it up, or will imply that she deserved it, or think that she blew everything out of proportion. In some cases, it doesnít feel like there is any justice for the survivor.

Now imagine being pregnant with the rapistís child on top of all that.

I couldnít imagine what would have happened or how I would have dealt with it had I become pregnant with that assholeís child. I canít begin to imagine. Sometimes I think that I am lucky my brain reacted the way it did, and after reading some of these posts, I donít know if I would have had the intestinal fortitude to survive if I would have gone through what they did (CoffeeCat, I have no words for the pain you must have endured but am in awe of how you survived). If I would have had to have a child of rape on top of everything else, I donít know. I donít know how I could see that child as a beautiful gift. Iím sorry, I donít know how I could. I think that most rape survivors just want to get back the beauty, and innocence, and audacity of being that was taken from them with this heinous act. I donít know how one can do that when they are forced to give birth to that rapistís child too. I know I should be better than thatÖ but Iím just not.

And I am angry above everything else. I am so fucking sick of having the definition of rape being dictated by men like Akin and Paul Ryan. I am sick of having to STILL fight for women to have control of their own bodies let alone having idiots like Sarah Palin who set legislation that make victims pay for their own rape kits share my double X chromosomes. And more importantly, I am sick of having to explain to people like Rush Limbaugh, and Kirk Cameron, and idiots like Akin that I am not ďa dirty whore who clearly wanted itĒ because I chose to go to my Homecoming Dance with the wrong guy. I have to live with my own guilt for not reporting him and not standing up for myself, but I refuse to carry the burden of their misogynistic condescension.

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Response to Happyhippychick (Original post)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 05:24 PM

29. One good thing

If any one good thing came out of this whole Akin fiasco, it's that on Monday, 17 years after the fact, I finally told my mother what had happened to me.

I was raped. It was a man I'd been on one date with. After dinner, I invited him over to talk. I didn't know he was a monster. Monsters don't look like monsters. They don't have the word "monster" tattooed on their forehead or anything. If there were warning signs, I didn't know how to see them. I just thought he was a regular guy, something of a computer nerd, who looked like a guy I knew in middle school and seemed harmless.

Look. I'm done with the shame. Just done with it. I'm done with hiding what happened to me out of fear of someone blaming me for it. I dare you to. The truth is, I was very open sexually in my early 20s. For me, sex didn't have to be a declaration of love and committment. It could simply be for fun. And so, I might have willingly had sex with this man. Why not? If he were a normal man, it would have been sex and that would have been the end of it. But he wasn't normal.

He knew what he was doing. He even brought in a bag with him that I now realize was his own sick kind of "rape kit." He had cuffs. Had I ever been curious about cuffs? Look, it's just velcro. See how easy it is to take off? Would you like to try? Well, sure. Clever. Not only are they NOT easy to get off when your hands are locked behind your back, but he had also ensured that I would not have the guts to report him to the police. Can you imagine how that would go over? "So you say you let him put those cuffs on willingly?" Yeah. Good job.

As soon as I was vulnerable, he switched. He wasn't meek and mild anymore. Next thing I knew, his hands were at my throat and I couldn't breathe. He warned me to never say no to him as his hands clamped to my neck. I knew three things very quickly: one, that he was incredibly angry; two, that he LIKED being angry; and three, that I had better do everything I could to keep him from being angry. And so, I complied. I complied because I didn't know if I'd ever see another sunrise or talk to my family again if I didn't.

He was in no rush. We must have gotten to my home sometime before midnight. He left just as the sun was rising. People have asked me what it is like. I tell them this: Imagine you are about to be in a horrible car crash. You know it's going to happen and you know you can't stop it. You don't know how badly you'll be hurt or if you'll survive. You know all this in an instant. Now, imagine that instant lasting six hours. That's what it was like.

My mind checked out. I was there but I wasn't. I should have felt things I didn't really feel. At one point, I had to concentrate to figure out if he was raping me vaginally or anally. I simply didn't feel it. I will tell you this, though - I was terrified of becoming pregnant. That fear was one of the few things that broke through my dissociative haze and brought me into the moment and the horror I was being subjected to. So when Akin said what he did, that's what set me off.

When my rapist finally left, I took a shower until the water ran cold and then I just went to work like nothing at all had happened to me. I knew I wasn't going to report it. I didn't know then that I could go to a hospital and get counseling without reporting it to police, so I didn't. I was new in this city and I had no friends, so I told no one. I didn't tell my family because I was too ashamed, I guess. The only person I told was an ex-boyfriend who I thought was a feminist, but he just told me I had been stupid. And I carried that belief with me for years and years.

It was weeks before I knew I wasn't pregnant. A year before I had the guts to get tested for AIDS and found out I had been spared that as well.

I kept it all in for 15 years. I just made myself forget. I was determined not to let that attack change who I was, and a part of that meant just forgetting it happened. I never totally forgot, though. Not really. It just wouldn't occur to me. I was in therapy for depression and my therapist asked me if I had gone through any trauma. I said no, not because I didn't want to tell him, but because it honestly didn't occur to me.

Eventually I went back to school to become a counselor, and after working with survivors of rape, I realized I had to do my own work or I'd be a hypocrite. So I did. But I still didn't tell my parents because I wanted to spare them from the hurt.

And then, Akin. I knew I had to speak out about it. I wrote about it for my blog and wanted to post it, but I knew I'd have to tell my mom first, because reading about it online is no way to do it. And she was every bit as loving as I ever hoped she'd be.

So, thank you, Todd Akin. You brought my mother and me closer together, you bastard. And we both look forward to your future unemployment.

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