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In the discussion thread: Dear DU members who have been raped [View all]

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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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 30 replies Author Time 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
LineNew Reply It's been a struggle...
Blue Belle Aug 2012 #28
FightForMichigan Aug 2012 #29
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