Shut the Fuck Up (TW)

Over 10 years ago, I started a relationship that ultimately ended in violence. He drugged me three weeks after we met. Enough ketamine will paralyse you utterly, and that’s how he raped me.

It’s at this juncture that I usually cut out the middle of my story and skip ahead to the end. Sometimes I tell about the bruises. Rarely, I tell about the scars, but I never tell the entire gory story. I learned during the first week of my rape that exposing the details was dangerous. The first friend I told blamed me, so I didn’t tell another soul for a year. The next one disbelieved me, so I didn’t tell anyone else for a decade. The third person I told was my therapist so of course she wouldn’t ask me to find my part in my rape, right? Wrong. That’s exactly what she did, so those three people are the only ones who know the whole truth; who will probably ever know the whole truth.

(Continued below) 

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I let myself be silenced, and I’m still letting myself be silenced because the alternative is intolerable to me. I’m in remission from my PTSD, but it comes flying back the second I’m directly blamed.

Being silenced has dire consequences for rape survivors. Carrying such a significant secret around for so many years is intensely isolating because not one of your loved ones knows the whole story of your life. The truth gnaws at you like an infection until your entire psyche is covered in scars. Living in the shadow of rape becomes excruciating when victim blaming enters the picture. I can’t take it, so I stay quiet instead.

It only takes one victim blamer to silence a rape survivor—just one.

At best, you’re teaching us it’s pointless to do anything but hide. At worst, you’re teaching us that it’s our fault.

I had my handbag snatched four years ago. I told all 130 of my Facebook friends. Not a single person said, “I don’t believe it happened.” Nobody said, “But were you wearing expensive clothes because then you were asking for it.” 130 people and not an enth of blame, but when it was rape, all three people I told blamed me in one way or another.

We don’t blame crime victims in this world. That would be ridiculous. We only blame abuse and rape survivors. They’re a special breed. They’re super bad and apparently invite trauma because it’s so much fun.

I’ve been relapsing on my feminism an awful lot lately. The public’s attitudes about assault keep reminding me my autonomy is considered less important because I was the victim of rape instead of a nonsexual crime. When I think about the sheer number of victim blamers survivors are exposed to online, I wonder how I would have coped in an internet-dominated society all those years ago. I know the answer: not fucking well. I’d have needed to be hospitalised, and that is no exaggeration because I was hospitalised directly after I ran into my first victim blamer.

Maybe I’m particularly weak. Maybe. But weakness is not a crime. Rape is.

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9 thoughts on “Shut the Fuck Up (TW)

  1. I’m sorry you were raped. It is a cowardly act that some people do. They’re seeking power etc–or that’s what they say. I couldn’t care less about what “they” say. It shouldn’t happen. The victim is never at fault. It is always on the rapist. I’m sorry people didn’t believe you and blamed you. So hard to heal and get past such a traumatic event when you are wrongly accused of being at fault. May I suggest you find a new and good therapist. Your old one isn’t worth a damn. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First, I want to tell you how brave you are. Not weak. I know this because you told someone. That alone = bravery. Your confidante added to your burden. Despite this, you tried again to share your most personal pain, were met with more vitriol, and still… you sought professional help and AGAIN shared your truth. I find that nothing sort of amazing. You are a warrior. A Fierce Goddess of Justice. That’s you.

    Here you are again, sharing your truths. Reclaiming your place as the beautiful, deserving, whole and powerful being that you are and always have been. Through sharing your truths you give others courage in their own lives. More than that, you make people think, and you make people feel. Both are necessary if we ever are to make a dent in the insidious layer of willful ignorance and hypocrisy protecting rape culture.

    The last paragraph of this piece raised goosebumps on my skin that persisted for an unusually long time. I want you never again to call yourself weak. Please. Maybe you spoke in jest to the cold hearted ones, but words have power. Strike weakness from your vocabulary. 💜 You are anything but.

    I’m sure I join countless others who would be honored to bear witness to your story in its entirety without judgment, condemnation, skepticism or blame. Mine is an open ear and an open heart. I share your pain.

    Thank you for your voice. I find you extraordinary. ✊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sometimes, very rarely, I get comments that touch me so much that I’m speechless. So I tell myself I will wait until I’m not speechless anymore and come back to them. But then I don’t stop being speechless, so I have to come back to them and say words like thank you and wow and I’m so touched, which don’t express my feelings at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Understand how that feels and I’ve experienced the same. I wanted you to really hear me. It became important to me as I read several of your posts on this subject that I give you a different perspective and let you know that you are not alone. Compounded trauma makes me want to scream and hit things. I’m sorry that it happened to you and I know that you are and will continue to rise above it. Love you much, sister.

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  4. I’ve only stumbled upon your blog recently – by accident really and I just kept reading. Not sure why stuff resonated but it has and then this post. It saddens me to know you were silenced too. It makes me angrier to know that a therapist was part of that. Fucking asshole. I’m sorry.

    I read your post where you said you got past it. I’m not there yet, but I will be.

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      • I don’t know what it is to be honest. Everything I’ve read so far resonates. And I just feel something pushing to be heard in my head. Not sure if it’s my Bipolar doing that or if I’m close to figuring something out.

        As for getting there, I just recently got a new therapist who is turning out to be really awesome so far and is encouraging me to use my writing as therapy. It’s been interesting to say the least. So I have high hopes on this one.

        Liked by 1 person

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