Ok, hun. Have another bottle of Chardonnay, sit back, because you have stirred the smoldering fire that has been burning inside me for so long. I want to apologize if this is a rant or if it doesn’t make sense.
It wasn’t until I started coming to this wonderful site, reading your eloquent and insightful posts and talking to my fellow sister/brother survivors that I have been able to actually put a name to what happened to me.
YES, I WAS SEXUALLY ABUSED AS A CHILD. YES, I WAS GANG RAPED. NOT ONCE, BUT RAPED 4 TIMES BY 4 DIFFERENT GUYS.
No matter how I try to sugar coat it that is what happened to me.
I have talked about how society blames the victim of a rape or sexual assault/abuse. Even in a court of law, the accused is presumed innocent until proven beyond a reasonable doubt otherwise. Why can’t society hold the same standards for victims of rape. Until this can be changed, we as survivors are stuck with the stigma of just that….. Blame and Shame.
To give you an example…..
About 8 or 9 years ago, a year after starting therapy, a co-worker and I were talking. Well during our conversation the subject of rape came up. This woman went on to say that she would never have put herself in a situation to be raped. That she would never dress inappropriately, drink to an extent that she would allow such a thing to happen to her. It had to have been something the woman did to get raped. Like it was the woman’s fault for being raped. My God, I wanted to reach over and slap the shit out of her. I was so angry at what she said that I told her that I had been “assaulted” (couldn’t use rape back then). She just stared at me in disbelief. She even went so far as to say “I don’t believe it”.
Back in November of 1975, when I was raped, no one ever talked about it. “It” was never to be talked about, much less thought about. Nice girls didn’t have things like that done to them. Or if they did no one ever knew about it, because it was hushed. So, as a 15 year old girl, who had just been gang raped, I shut down, never told a soul.
#### it wasn’t until (I may have the dates wrong here..sorry) the late 70’s or early 80’s that there actually was a Movie of the Week on TV about rape. It stared Elizabeth Montgomery and portrayed her as a woman who was beaten and raped in her apartment by a single perpetrator. I don’t know if anyone remembers this movie or the name of it even, but it was the first time that the issue of rape had been addressed so publicly. It was very controversial at that time and I remember sitting there watching the movie, my stomach in knots, shaking and thinking my God, that is what happened to me. But still I said nothing.
Now, I am learning that I can use the word rape when speaking of what happened to me. That yes, rape is a word that conjures up all sorts of ideas and if you speak to the wrong person, yeah even shame or blame. Yes words have power, but I have started to take back the power that was stripped away from me all those years ago by those sick fucks. Only I have that power now. And by God, no one is going to take it away from me ever again.
As I said in my story, God forbid I should ever be raped again, for I will not be silent.
Ok, I have ranted enough for one day. I don’t know if this is what you were expecting Rachel or not, like I said, you stirred a fire deep inside. Thanks for posting this. And again I apologize if I didn’t make much sense or rambled..