… just a girl and her will to survive
Recovery from rape is such a bizarre, amorphous thing.
Take a common cold: One day is the scratchy throat day. One day is the sniffles/use-up-all-the-tissues-day. One day is the spaced out wonky day. Then, you’re coughing. Then, you’re better.
Rape recovery is like that. First, you are confused and you just don’t think about it. Then, you are confused because it is your coworker and wasn’t he supposed to be nice, and certainly he is nice, so what-does-this-mean-is-he-so-in-love-he-can’t-take-no-for-an-answer-or-WHAT-or-just-tell-me-it’s-normal-PHEW-it’s-normal. Then, you’re sick. Then, it’s not normal. Then, your brain EXPLODES. Then, you stop thinking for two years b/c of something a psychotherapist calls “dissociation” (disassociation?). Then, you EXPLODE. Get this rape out of me! KA-BLAM. Explosion, et al. ET AL. Then, you’re not better. You’re just something different. It’s like, you can never go back to being five, but five-year-old you is in you. Dissociated you is still in you.
And yet, this internet is full of trigger points and facebook posts about feminist this and women’s lib that and tonight, I did something I have never done before. I’m looking for something on the internet. I didn’t know what I was looking for, something for the police perhaps. Something to respond to the trigger. It’s not linear. It’s like googling while being tasered. Why I started, what made me start, I can’t explain. My mind was an electric haze. But, then I got there…
My rapist has a girlfriend. This girlfriend has a blog. Reading it was torture (I’d skim over his name – jordan – ugh I can’t look at a map of the middle east without feeling sickened by the very WORD “jordan”) so actually seeing posts, something with photos (UGH). Torture.
I want to send her a letter, but when the haze clears, I don’t want to send her a letter. I’d hate to be her. I hate that I was raped… it was the moment in my entire life which has had the most devastating domino effect and has destroyed my health and sense of safety and so much more. But, I’d hate to be dating someone who raped others. I’d hate to fall for someone who, behind the mask, was evil. Maybe, one day, he will hurt her when the dust settles and she sees right through the love spell. (I read too much. She did a long-distance thing, and recently moved cities to be with him. I can’t unsee this.)
But then, more curious… She recently WROTE A POST about sexual assault / rape.
gah: “some exceptional issues surrounding victim-blaming in cases of rape and sexual assault. as you may have already guessed, i’ve got whole pile of opinions on this… tonight, my take-away thought that provoked this post, is the idea that telling a woman to dress more conservatively, to wear flats instead of heels, to be sober 100% of the time or to never be alone, ever, promotes fear. fear that we are not safe. we are educating and encouraging women to not get raped, instead of telling rapists not to rape.”
does my rapist / her boyfriend read her blog? chills went down my spine. the first time he attacked me (unsuccessfully) i was wearing a long-sleeve thermal shirt & jeans. i don’t know what shoes i had on… flip flops? sneakers? thinking about my footwear (NOT HEELS!) the first time he sexually assaulted and attempted to rape me is crazy, but the thumb holes in the thermal (and my FIGHTING!) prevented him from pulling off my shirt.
ugh. he’s so sick. and this girl seems so nice and in that deluded honeymoon state. and i just realized I’m writing without caps like her.
Here we go. Real sentences. #me. #better. #hashtagsaremetoo #justlikeeveryoneelseontheinternet
The post that creeps me out the most is this one. I don’t know why I tortured myself by reading all the way back to July, but I did. I don’t do this often (ok, I’ve never done this ever. his name comes up in therapy and on maps, but the entirety of who this rapist is is wrapped up into a small story of four days, where the first three he was a “totally normal friend” and the fourth, he showed his true colors). Well, skimmed… I didn’t even read, since looking at the photos freaks me out.
I have the heebie jeebies, girl I do not know and feel somehow bad for but don’t know what to do about it. That photo on your blog… that is not “us”. There is nothing that is innocent or sweet or charming about that evil psychopath. It’s more like this.
I wish my eyes could unsee what they saw.
But what do you do in a scenario like this? The girl put her freaking work address on her blog. The triggered part of me will wear off before I ever cranked out a letter and printed it out at kinko’s b/c I have no printer and bought a stamp and got an envelope and walked down to the mailbox.
She’s probably nice. The dominoes have already come crashing down in my life over the years since he raped me. (And yes, he tried a second time, when I was asleep. I’m a fighter/he’s a pussy). And then I woke up. She has no clue that dominoes are stacked. That a time bomb is about to blow. Will a time bomb blow? Will his true colors be revealed? How would I feel if I learned I was dating… no, that I had moved cities for… a psycho that raped and sexually assaulted multiple of his former coworkers. (My friend woke up naked in his bed, too). Would I want to be that girl?
Dr. Phil had an episode where serial rapist, the Ether Man’s, two ex-wives and three kids came on the show. God, looking into a mirror is hard enough when it comes to this. I feel like I’ve just looked through a window and into another storm. Just b/c Evil exists, it doesn’t mean that revealing that won’t hurt some obviously good people :-/.