Monday, May 26, 2014

Solidarity--Yes All Women

For four and one half years, I have written strictly about myself, my own journey to find value and truth again, to reclaim who I once was and should love myself to be again.  More and more, I feel the need to stand up and publically speak about social issues, and I have held back because of my deep commitment to keep this blog anonymous.

On this topic, I really cannot.  If you haven't read the news this week, a young man in California killed six people and then himself because he was sexually frustrated by women, having turned them into objects who rejected his quest to have sex.  He also had Asperger's. 

As the mother of two teens with Asperger's, I find this trend bothersome.  One of my Asperger's children is thriving in life, the other is struggling mightily.  Yet, if either were to choose violence, it would not be because they have Asperger's.  My one struggling has told people that because they have Asperger's, they cannot tell the difference between right and wrong.  That is garbage.

Yet, boy or girl, Asperger's or not, every one of my children are aware of violence against women.  Every son I have raised gets the talk about how to respect women's boundaries, just like every daughter gets the talk on how to protect their bodies.  I do this because I was raped.

Mere weeks before I turned 17, I agreed to go on a date with the youth minister's son.  We were supposed to go to the county fair, and while I had icky feelings about him, this was a public place so I thought it would be okay. 

Then, at the last minute, he called because it had rained that day and he wanted to eat dinner and watch a movie at his house instead.  He said he mother would be there.  I was uncomfortable, and my egg donor told me I was being ridiculous and rude.  She pressured me to go, reminding me to not cause a scene and be polite at all costs.

Therefore, I was polite when his other left us alone in the house.  I was even polite when I said no to sex.  I continued to be polite as I repeatedly said no, and eventually I was polite while he ignored me and raped me instead.  I was polite until the next morning when I wasn't in a daze and really realized what he had done to me.

I got pregnant.  I got shipped to the furthest reaches I could be sent and still be in the U.S.  I got told I could not report my rape to the police.  Hell, I even got told by my father that I HAD to give my rapist's mother all of the "gifts" and letters he had left me after he raped me where he repeatedly told me that God had promised him I belonged to him.  I got told that no matter what I said, my father would always know I was partially responsible for my own rape.  I got told that my underwear missing from the drying that was in the unattached garage was just me making things up and overreacting, though four of my best pairs of underwear disappeared.

Meanwhile, my father forced me to give him blow by blow details of my rape, supposedly so he could confront my rapist and have the "facts" which was the most humiliating, re-traumatizing thing he could have ever done.  It was pointless anyway.  I was forbidden from reporting my rape, so I never even had the chance to tell my story to the authorities.  Yet, my rapist told my father that I got on my knees and begged him for sex.

Begged him for sex?  Anyone who knows me knows that that is so far from my personality it is laughable.  Even my father knew it.

So my rapist walked away with no consequences at all.  I ran into a girl a few weeks after my rape, given that I had lived in that town for two months and knew no one prior to my rape.  We compared notes and I learned that I was victim #6.  To the best anyone could tell, I may have been the first he actually raped, but he had certainly tried with two others, one of which he was chased from the house by the girl's father with a gun.  Oh how I wished I had been protected nearly half as much as that girl for years afterward.

So, I talk to my sons about how to never violate any girl's physical boundaries and never, ever rape someone.  I talk to my girls about no means no, and if no is not respected do NOT be polite.  Fight, scream, kick, yell, do whatever you must to protect your body from an assault, even if you know the guy touching you.  I've also taught ALL of my children if they ever see a girl fighting someone off, to step in and help protect her.

I was 16 and I was raped.  I have been haunted by my rape my entire life.

Know what happened to my rapist?  I looked him up last week for some reason.  He got married two years ago, to a girl the same age as the child that was conceived from my rape.  They had a baby last year.  I can only breath a sigh of relief that the baby is a boy.  And I still wonder how many more have there been after me, because there is no way I was his last victim anymore than I was his first.

Yes, all women.  We all face this risk, and we must all learn to protect ourselves.  One in four women are sexually assaulted in their lifetimes.  I am that one in four.  I am not alone. 

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