Tag Archives: Violation

#MeToo

I wasn’t going to write this, I really wasn’t. But, the thoughts kept nagging at me, to the point that I couldn’t sleep. My writing friend and mentor Andi says that when this happens you must write the story that gnaws to be told.

This is going to be difficult for me to write for various reasons. Mostly, because my story will not coincide with many in the #MeToo movement.

The purpose of a writer is to tell the truth and that’s what I am going to attempt to do. For better or for worse.

Around this time in 1983, I was raped by my boyfriend. I was 16 going on 17. I remember it like if it happened yesterday. It changed the trajectory of my life. I was never the same. A part of me died. I fell into a deep depression, was suicidal and started to drink a lot to cope with feelings I didn’t understand.

I was naive as I didn’t even know that what had happened to me at 16 was rape until 10 years later while I was in therapy.

Now that I have told the whole world (I’m exaggerating), I feel so much better now (I’m joking). Actually, telling you or the whole world will not make an ounce of difference nor will it ever change what happened to me.

I am not minimizing any woman’s experience and their needing to come out and speak up about their violation.

There have been several stories I have followed: Dr. Larry Nassar, Bill Cosby, Harry Weinstein, Corey Feldman, and Kevin Spacey.

I was especially touched by Rachael Denhollander’s moving statement.

However, I’m not Rachael or any of these Hollywood celebrities coming out in protest against something that unfortunately happens all the time, especially in high school. Again, I am not minimizing or dismissing their or my experience. I am just stating a fact.

There are various reasons for rape which doesn’t make any of it right, but it does happen. Young boys who are under the influence and go too far. They don’t exhibit the proper self-control. I’m not saying every incident of rape is like this. But, a boy’s raging hormones mixed with alcohol is a dangerous combination. Young boys already struggle with self-control and if there is no male figure in their life to teach them, well, a whole bunch of stupid things can happen at that age, which includes rape.

My coming out and speaking the truth about my experience does nothing to change it. The two men who raped me (yes, unfortunately there was a second time by another “boyfriend”) are six feet under. I can’t go back and undo what happened to me. Even if they were alive and I was able to press charges against them (which I didn’t and wouldn’t), punishing them wouldn’t do anything to change what happened and the damage it caused.

In my case, it doesn’t matter. I am a nobody. I have no influence. I am no one of importance in the big scheme of things. My #MeToo story doesn’t matter and won’t change a single thing.

My point is who cares if I was raped. What difference is it going to make if I told my story? How is my experience actually going to revolutionize some else’s life?

However, for people like Rachael and others, it does matter. Especially given their abusers are serial rapists. Unfortunately, sexual predators will continue to victimize and sexually abuse until they are caught and stopped. It’s an illness. Nowadays, they define help as prison time, which I don’t wholly agree with. But, that’s different topic for another day.

I don’t mean to come across as cold or callous. I have been in rooms with others who were sexually abused much worse than I ever was which made my experiences look petty and insignificant. We all talked and cried until we were blue in the face, and it did nothing to change what happened to us.

Yes, rape is wrong. No one should ever be sexually violated. Yes, it was bad. We were young and innocent. However, there comes a point where we can’t focus or linger on what happened to us.

The pain of our pasts can only be healed by the One who created us, and it comes through forgiveness.

This is why I admire and respect Rachael Denhollander. She did not come across as angry, vengeful and with something to prove. She was peaceful, you could see it in her demeanor and countenance. The peace she possesses comes from her faith in Jesus Christ. She forgave Dr. Larry Nassar. That’s huge.

My healing did not come by fighting or speaking up about my experience or lashing out at men because I was raped. There was a time when I was angry. However, my anger didn’t dissipate by talking about my experience, it came by drawing close to Jesus and through forgiveness. Forgiving them and myself.

I am sure many reading this will think I sound trite and religious. After many years of suffering and not getting answers no matter how many rooms I sat in or how many hours of therapy I had or how many journals I’ve filled, I realized the answer to my pain and suffering was surrender and forgiveness.

The complete opposite of what this world will tell you. This world’s philosophy is to fight back, and shake our fists at whomever goes against what we think or believe.

There are times when justice needs to be served, and God will allow it. Not always though. When all is said and done, as believers, earth is not our home. The ultimate justice will be served when we stand before Jesus Christ and give an account for everything we have said and done.

 

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