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

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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Arrow 30 replies Author Time Post
Happyhippychick Aug 2012 OP
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