This offends me on a deep and shame filled scale. I have been always honest with the fact that I have been raped, tortured and in at least one case kidnapped and assaulted. I don’t go into detail often, but the internet seems to be in a shitstorm over the Maryville case. Because hey, all girls like guys who stand up for Rape victim’s right?
The problem is, I’m seeing a ton of anger (and rightfully so) but what frightens me is that I am not seeing anyone say “What can we do for the victims, what do THEY need” No one ever asks that question. People see someone who is broken and hurt and suffering, and they want to help but rather than help often times they cause more harm than good.
In the case of my first rape my counsellor took me to get my makeup done, she figured that if I was just smiling and happy and looked beautiful I would feel beautiful and “get over it”. What she did, unbeknownst to her, is that she set me back fifteen years.
I had you see, all the girlie dreams for the romantic way I would lose my virginity, and laugh if you want, but it was very important to me that it be someone I love. I wanted the fairy tale, and god damn it I fucking deserved the fairy tale. We all do.
Every time I was ever assaulted it was my fault. When I was kidnapped, put into a van and taken to the middle of no where in South Surrey ( a place I still cannot bring myself to go back to) by five large east indian males, one named tiny (I later found out it was because he had a REALLY tiny penis) I was asked by the police why I was out so late at night by myself. When I asked them to call someone to pick me up the dispatcher looked at me and said “well can’t you just walk? it isn’t that far”. I was treated at the hospital, but no one did a rape kit, no one asked me any questions, they just sent me on my merry way.
When I was date raped I had no memory of it for three months. I had been drinking tea the night it happened. At a party full of friends, I remember it was tea because I was very ill.
Every time I have been left to fight my own battles, deal with it myself. When I have seeked out help I have been told to take drugs or in the case of one counsellor “it happened, you may as well accept it and let it go”.
It was not until a friend of mine told me to remember it. At the time I thought he was crazy, and uncaring.
“Go through every second of every event, like a movie, let it play, and if at the end of it your not laying in a puddle of blood and tears, you’ll know you’re okay.” Sure enough, though it took some courage, I learned to deal witht he fact that it happened. I am still not okay, every day for fifteen years I have to remember that I am not a normal person.
For the last eight years, every august I go into hiding and have legit “shadow pain” because my ex boyfriend held me down while my child died inside of me. At the time he was drugging me with a mix of morphine, tylenol 3, whiskey and pcp. I knew about the first three, due to outside issues, I had no idea he was putting PCP into my system – a fact he later laughed about. At an NA meeting several years later he said to me “I still owe you a step nine” – the forgie me step – while laughing about the fact that not only had he killed his son, but he had then had another and given his 2nd son, the name of his 1st son.
Rape is a brutal culture – on both ends of the scale. There is no middle ground. You cannot excuse it, while at the same time defending the victims. You cannot blame the victim, whilst at the same time saying “but hey yeah this is wrong so lets fight for said victim.”
The best way to help ANY victim, is ask the one question not one person in over 28 years has ever had the courage to ask me. “What, do You, Need?”
You’d be surprised. Most victims suffer not just from the shame, but from the fear of never again feeling safe. Even today I have a big scary dog and I keep a minimum distance of 10 feet between myself and any man that comes my way. Yeah I’m fucked up I have issues, but I am aware of them and I had to find them on my own because no one defended me.
I am not trying to nor would I dare, speak for every rape victim out there, but AS A Survivor in training, I ask you, PLEASE before you act, think about what it means to be a victim. To be shamed, humiliated, ostracized and lose yourself of security. Think about what it means to have your entire world ripped apart with no one there to pick up the pieces.
THINK before you act.