I had a rape dream last night. About the coworker who drives me to work. I can’t say I’m surprised. He reminds me a bit of Will (similar coloring, frat boy attitude), but it’s not overwhelming. It still left me pretty uncomfortable when I woke up. As we’re riding in this morning, we got to talking about my actual abuse. It became obvious that he totally doesn’t understand that rape is more than just a stranger in the bushes grabbing you. I tried to explain that’s a fairly rare occurrence. In support group, we would talk about the ignorant things people would say. I’d never really encountered that because I’ve told very few people what happened. Those I have told are very supportive and kind. His line was “well, why didn’t you just break up with him?”. Because I was 19 and I thought that’s what good girlfriends did, idiot. I’d like to see the life choices you made when you were that age. I convinced myself that I wanted it so it would be easier to handle (not to mention I wasn’t sober enough to realize anything beyond that). THAT’S NORMAL. You do what you have to do to survive. If I don’t want it, it doesn’t matter if we’re dating or I’ve never met him before. That’s the bottom line.
On the one hand, I understand that most people have a very narrow and well defined view of rape, especially men. On the other hand, you don’t say shit like that to someone who is telling you they’ve been there. I’m sharing something that was incredibly painful and traumatic and you’re acting like I’m exaggerating. All that did was back up my opinion that he hasn’t progressed past the age of 20. He said he didn’t think the epilepsy and the rape were connected. I didn’t have seizures until late in our relationship. I doubt very seriously that’s a coincidence. I’m sure many a medical professional would back me up on that. The brain doesn’t know the difference between physical and emotional pain. Pain is pain regardless of origin. I would argue emotional pain is worse. And takes a hell of a lot longer to heal.
Boy sent me an article a little while ago about recovering from rape. The author had been raped 4 times and taken a different tactic each time. One time she reported it, one time she didn’t, one time she convinced herself she wanted it (my category), and the last time she said no, then yes (also happened a few times). Like me, several times she was drunk. That doesn’t absolve the offenders from what they did. You have to be pretty sick to get off on doing things to a woman who is sloppy drunk or unconscious. It doesn’t matter if I’m drunk or sober. Yet somehow, I get labeled as a drunken slut for someone else’s psychotic actions. She said that it’s time to change the perception of rape. It doesn’t fit into a perfect little box. It comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s under reported because women (and men) think people won’t believe them if it doesn’t fall into that perfect little box. It makes us doubt ourselves. It makes us feel like what happened wasn’t as bad because we weren’t dragged into the bushes by a total stranger. We can’t let other peoples’ opinions make us doubt or second guess ourselves. They’re working off narrow minded assumptions. My guess is most non-traditional victims find themselves wondering if it was “real” rape. I know I did. I just buried it in the back of my mind until someone asked me the right question. The pain was there as was obvious by my self destructive behaviours, deep seated hatred of my own body, and self harm. I just didn’t know where it was coming from at the time. I wasn’t worth loving. No one would want me after I’d been with him. I was broken. I was damaged goods. I wasn’t worth or deserving of anyone else’s time or affection. Over time, I began to believe him. So I did what any damaged goods would do. I stopped caring about my own well being. After all, who would want me? Now I see that was a bunch of bullshit. A rapist’s opinion is certainly not to be taken to heart.
In a perfect world, we’d all fight back. We’d all fit nicely into that box and every rapist would see the inside of a prison for the rest of their lives. In a perfect world, people would understand that it’s more than just what you see on TV. The world isn’t perfect. The paradigm needs to shift. Perhaps more people would report it in that case. Of the women in the support group, only two saw their rapists go to trial. They both fit into the traditional category. The rest of us didn’t fit that mold. Our attackers never got their day in court. I can only hope that he’ll get his. If he did it to me, he’ll do it to someone else. That’s certainly not to say I wish it on another woman. Even if he doesn’t have to answer for what he did to the legal system, somehow, some way, what he did will visit him tenfold. Karma is a real bitch. I’m sure whatever the universe cooks up will be better than I could imagine.
So that’s my rant for the day. I would’ve loved to dump my cappuccino in his lap, but that’s a waste of a perfectly good cappuccino. And maybe punch him in the nuts to proverbially drive the point home.