Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Life after rape

Yesterday's blog post got me thinking... all too often the media focuses on the rapist. Yet little is said about the victim.

Granted, I know they try to keep the anonymity of the victim. But what must she go through.

So I thought about my survival story. How were the days after the rape like for me?

First, let me say that I do not compare my story to the story of any other victim. Each victim is unique. Each rape is unique. Each healing process is unique. I am simply sharing this to give a little insight.

The first few days were surreal. Did that really happen? I mean, my rapists were guys that I knew. Was it all a nightmare?

Then came the blame game - did I do or say something that gave them the impression that I wanted it? How was I dressed? Had I been drinking? Did I say no enough?

What makes my story unique is that I was assaulted twice, on 2 separate incidences. Once occurred at my home by an ex-boyfriend, the second occurred about a year later by a guy that I was dating and his best friend.

The first assault took time to sink in what had happened. Rape wasn't talked about back then. Neither was sexual assault. It wasn't until a few days later, watching The Accused, that I had a light bulb moment.

Shortly afterward I began attending a rape victim support group. This helped tremendously because I learned that I was not alone. That the lack of sleeping and jitteriness was common. That while I was in a bad place now, one day there would be healing.

A year later, the 2nd rape. Yeah that one wrecked me. I blamed myself.

How could I let this happen AGAIN?

No one will ever want you. You're used goods.

Who the hell gets raped TWICE?

No one will ever believe me a second time.

I began retreating into myself. I started having trouble sleeping. I had to sleep with the lights on. Then I could only fall asleep once the sun came up. I didn't feel safe sleeping at night - even if I had the lights on. Eventually, I struggled going to work and  being around people. I would lock myself in the bathroom at work and cry. Finally, I would have a complete breakdown if someone stood too close to me (within 20 feet). I would shake & sweat. I couldn't cope with life.

And the flashbacks. Oh man. Those were the worst. They weren't just when I was sleeping. I would be out with friends and suddenly feel hands on me. I would struggle to breathe.

Even after a year or 2, I still struggled. I would have a complete meltdown, fall asleep and wake up not remembering the meltdown.

Then I started gaining weight. Eating my feelings. Trying to forget the pain.

Consuming large amounts of alcohol didn't numb the pain either.

This is what these victims have to look forward to. While their attackers get to live their lives as if nothing happened, these women will forever be changed because of what happened to them. Their lives are no longer care-free. Instead, they will worry. Worry what they did wrong. Worry if this will happen again. Worry if their attacker will find them. Worry that no one will want them because they have been 'ruined'. Worry that their friends and family won't accept them.

These women will have to learn to have a new NORMAL. A normal that is life after being violated.

My hope & prayer for these ladies is that they have a strong support system; friends and family who will help the healing process. Who will listen to them and not dismiss their feelings. That they are able to find a support group so they know that they are not alone in this. That every emotion they are feeling is the right feeling. That they will be able to one day share their story as a SURVIVOR and not as someone's victim.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Brock Turner Syndrome

Today I read yet ANOTHER disturbing headline..... yet another young, white male (David Becker) was simply given probation after being convicted of raping 2 unconscious women.

The judge didn't want to penalize him for using poor judgement.

Poor judgement? POOR JUDGEMENT?

Poor judgement is drinking from the milk container after the milk has curdled. Poor judgement is wearing all white in a rainstorm. Poor judgement is testing how long you can drive with your gas indicator light on and then running out of gas before you get to your destination.

Raping TWO women while they are unconscious is NOT poor judgement. That is RAPE! That is SEXUAL ASSAULT! That is the actions of a SEXUAL PREDATOR.

This 'young man' was known around school as "David the rapist".

No jail time. No sex offender registry. He'll be able to move on with his life, go to college, have a career, wife, family.

And what do his victims get? They get a LIFETIME of nightmares. Sure, they can still go to college, but you can bet your ass they are going to be looking over their shoulder every moment of every day, wondering if the next guy they meet is going to rape them. 

There's always strength in numbers is the old saying. Not in this case. 

Nope. There were 2 young women and only 1 David the rapist, yet he managed to rape BOTH OF THEM.

And what did our justice system do?


This kid is raping girls in high school. What do you think his college experience is going to be like?!?! More of the same. Think he's learned his lesson.... the only lesson he's learned is that it truly does pay to be a white male.

Yet again - one step forward, 2 steps back.

Many blessings,