A difficult story to tell…

Recently I participated in a brief exchange on Facebook on the topic of sexual assault.  The person who initiated the discussion was upset by the comments following an article at Jezebel.com written by a woman who had been sexually assaulted on the street.  Apparently the nature of the offending comments were of the “I would’ve broken his hand!” variety.  My friend’s premise in her Facebook update was that this kind of attitude is harmful to the victims of rape and sexual assault, and only serves to perpetuate the problem.  She stated “Okay, actually, I get it: they are trying to comfort themselves with the idea that they are invulnerable. The problem with this is that they are implicitly blaming the person telling the story for, basically, being incompetent to defend themselves.  This reinforces rape culture, because it reinforces the conception that the onus is on people (mostly women) to NOT GET RAPED.”

I couldn’t agree more, and, like my friend on Facebook, I understand the “It couldn’t happen to me because I would have killed the son-of-a-bitch” response.  But I also know it is a totally unrealistic delusion, and it is one that is extremely harmful to a victim of sexual assault or abuse.  Like my friend, I believe that it perpetuates and reinforces this kind of crime. Unfortunately I know this from experience.

When I was a 19-year-old college student, I spent a semester of my junior year in France.  My best friend and I bought Eurail passes and spent some time traveling through various countries including spending a week in Rome.  Rome was not a safe playground for a naïve but adventurous young American girl.  One night, in a restaurant, feeling vulnerable and recovering from a narrow escape from a dangerous situation the night before, my friend and I were joined for dinner and wine by several young Roman men from the table next to us.  One of the men seated himself next to me, and we discussed the sketchy happenings of the previous night.  In broken English he confirmed that Rome was indeed a dangerous city, but he reassured me that there was no need to be worried with him, as he was “polizia”…

After eating, drinking, and conversing for a short while, he invited me to go for a ride on the back of his motorbike to “see the city”.  Unwittingly I accepted, and told my friend I would return shortly.  I climbed on the back of his motorbike, and he drove us straight up into a huge park on one of Rome’s famous hills and parked the bike under a big, old tree.  There in the cold November darkness, with not a soul in sight, with the lights of the city twinkling far beneath us, this man, this so-called police officer whom I had known for less than two hours, grabbed me and began to smash his mouth against mine in a grotesque exaggeration of a kiss.  He groped me and forcefully pushed his body against mine. With my heart in my throat and the realization of the gravity of the situation settling in, I pushed him away and politely but firmly demanded he return me to the restaurant at once.  He flared into an angry outburst of words and gestures, and the more I rejected his advances, the angrier he became.  He began to yell and gesture at me violently, pacing around in circles under that foreign tree.  He threatened to leave me there in the darkness of that giant, cold, ancient park, miles from my friend, in a city where I knew no one and didn’t speak the language.  Then suddenly and mercifully he stopped yelling and seemed to have a change of mood, and he directed me to get back on the bike.  I gratefully did so and begged him politely to take me back to the restaurant.

But he did NOT take me back to the restaurant. Instead, after experiencing a few moments of sweet relief thinking we were heading back to safety, I realized with horror that he was entering the on-ramp to a freeway. He then took us miles out of the city, away from the light, to a giant concrete apartment building surrounded by dark nothingness.  I followed him through that darkness into his apartment where he raped me.  I didn’t fight back physically.

At some point on the back of that motorbike, with the unfamiliar, ancient, polluted Roman air molecules blowing hard against my face and the light disappearing rapidly behind me, I steeled myself and made a decision.  I decided that I would do whatever it would take to get through the rest of the experience as safely as possible so I could survive and get back to my friend and back to my life.  I didn’t know him, I was afraid of him, I had no idea what he might do if I further protested, and I wanted to live.

Because I didn’t fight him, he became less aggressive with me, and began to treat me as if this were a romantic encounter I had chosen.  Much to his displeasure, I lay lifeless, closed my eyes and didn’t say a word. Let me just say that I endured the next few hours until the light began to come again.  I had no words for him then, and no words to say to anyone about it for a long, long time, including myself.

As dawn was breaking we climbed back on his bike, and he returned me to the restaurant which was near the hotel where my friend was anxiously awaiting my return.  Naturally she was upset with me for abandoning her.  Again, I had no words or reasonable explanation for what had happened other than the feeling that all of it was my own fault.  I was embarrassed and terribly ashamed but mostly I was just confused and shut-down. The anger and sadness would not emerge until later.  And even then, for a long time the words would not come.

Seventeen years later, in the year 2001 at the age of 35, I made my first confession, or, as it is now known in the Roman Catholic Church, my “sacrament of reconciliation”.  This involved an extensive “examination of conscience”, or as was the case for me, a painful journey through my past examining the ways in which I had caused harm to myself or others.  It was the first time in my adult life I had ever reflected on this experience in Rome with any kind of acknowledgement of the serious impact it had on me, and suddenly it was glaringly obvious.  Most distressing ultimately was the realization that I had never forgiven myself for “allowing” it to happen, and that I was still deeply sad about it.  Because I had never honestly acknowledged that I was raped,  I did not feel like a victim, I felt like a participant, perhaps even a “slut” – impure.  Wouldn’t I have fought back harder physically if I truly were a victim?  Wouldn’t I have screamed or kicked him and run away?  Was this a sin?  Should I confess it?  I looked at the stations of the cross and saw the depictions of Christ’s agony as his body was crucified.  I saw the resignation on his face as he carried the cross on his back towards his certain death.  I saw his acceptance of his suffering at the hands of those who would crucify him.  Was Christ a victim?  A willing participant?  Why was his face depicted in such an undisturbed manner, and why was he helping to carry the cross? This was a dark time for me.

Dear Reader, I know the truth now.  It has been 10 years since my last and final confession in the Catholic Church.  However, I will confess to you here my “sin”, or that which separated me from healing and wholeness.  The true sin I committed was to punish myself for this violation by being silent and ashamed and by holding on to even a glimmer of belief that I somehow deserved what happened to me for innocently climbing on the back of a motorbike with a man I didn’t know and not fighting back harder physically.  Somewhere inside I believed I deserved what happened because I didn’t do something violent enough to him to stop the chain of events that occurred EVEN THOUGH I begged him to stop, EVEN THOUGH I pushed him away, and EVEN THOUGH I asked him repeatedly to return me to safety.  Looking back with the wisdom of time and maturity, I know that getting on the back of that motorbike with a stranger in a foreign land was a foolish and risky thing to do, but it was NOT a justification for what came to pass.  Now as I am able to reflect back on my young, innocent self, I can see that I did the best with what I had and that the decisions I made were reasonable for me and were made out of self-preservation.  I wanted to come through it alive.  I knew I could get through a rape, but no one survives a murder, and I had no way of knowing what this man would do to me.

There are several reasons why I am choosing to tell this story now, including being inspired by the Facebook post I mentioned at the start.  By allowing myself to be ashamed and silent about it for so many years, and still, at the age of 46, to have any shred of guilt that I didn’t fight him violently, makes me feel like a participant in the culture that allows these crimes to flourish – “the culture of rape”.   I have far too much life experience now to believe it is this simple.  If by being open and honest here just one other person is given some insight, spared some shame, or has the opportunity to speak on her own behalf and not let someone who doesn’t understand speak for her, then I am grateful enough for that.

But I am also moved to tell this story now because I am shocked and alarmed by the utter lack of clarity and insight on the part of some politicians recently on the subject of rape.  I needn’t run down the list of outrageous remarks made in recent weeks.  Just Google the phrases “legitimate rape” or “what God intended” if you’ve been living under a rock.  Rape is never legitimate, nor is it EVER what “God” intended.  It is an act of violence pure and simple, and it does not come with easy options for escape.

This post is my absolution.

Rape of Proserpina, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini 1621*

Note: Yesterday, after reading my draft, my friend elroyjones was inspired to write her rape story, and posted it here in her blog.  I also bumped into this post recently, which I thought was very helpful.

*photo by uppityrib, used with permission by Flikr Commons http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en
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431 thoughts on “A difficult story to tell…

  1. This is so powerful and beautifully-written. I want my invulnerable 18-year-old daughter to read this. Hell, I want everyone to read this. Love and healing thoughts to you, Kate

    • Thank you Kate. That means a lot to me. I wrote it months ago, just so I could tell my daughter, but I decided to share it eventually, probably because of all the crap I hear floating around in the atmosphere right now on the subject of rape.

      • If it makes you feel any better, here in the UK we cannot believe what we see and hear about what the Republicans are up to. Unfortunately the US’s reputation abroad has a long way to go to heal from the damage that W and his ilk inflicted upon it.

  2. I have goosebumps and I am linking this today. Every time I read your story, my nose gets that tingly feeling and my eyes get all watery. I am grateful that you are out there and that you inspired me with your trust. I love that our pain-guilt-growth is part of the strong women we have become and will go on to foster that strength in other women. We are irrepressible! xo

  3. Pingback: A difficult story to tell… | elroyjones

    • Thank you for the validation. Even in writing those words, and knowing it deep in my heart, I still have feelings of unworthiness to say so, and I know it’s total garbage, so I appreciate it much.

  4. Something else I thought of after talking about this with you yesterday: much is made of the adrenaline “fight or flight” response, but as my therapist likes to emphasize, it’s really “fight, flight, or freeze,” and girls in particular are strongly enculturated toward the last one. That phenomenon is no one person’s fault, but it has to change; in any case, we are taught that freezing will keep us safe, and often that advice is at least partly true.

    • Wendy,

      Thank you again for inspiring me to write this. Indeed I know the “freezing”. I am learning how to speak truthfully rather than freeze and acquiesce, which is an old unhelpful habit. The truth can be gentle, it can be harsh, it can be a lot of things. There can be a pause before the truth, but freezing has hurt me.

    • This is the first time I’ve heard of the ‘freeze’ response. And it’s such a common one! With me and so many I know.

      Thanks for pointing out this angle, Wendy. Am definitely going to factor in the ‘freeze’ in future discussions with friends/relatives when we want to “kick ourselves” for not acting quickly enough in whatever undesired situation.

      Kate

      • I suppose a person who studies the brain and the adrenal glands and so on could possibly explain things like the “freeze” response from some evolutionarily advantageous perspective? maybe? There are certain wild animals for example, that we are not supposed to run from, because they will chase us and rip us apart…

  5. Thank you for your story. Yes, sexual assault is a many-unsplendored thing; I am almost 60 and I have been raped twice. The first time, I was incredulous to what was happening. The second time, I was drugged and incapable of removing myself from the situation. Other times that were threatening, I threatened BACK and did extricate myself. But no, that is NOT always an option. And yes, many women punish themselves for being the victim. It is possibly the most horrific thing, that the victims are the ones imprisoned (sometimes for decades) by what happened to them.

    Every rape or attempted rape is a new situation to the woman it is happening to, and thus there is no one way to act, react, or judge as people later interpreting it with 20/20 hindsight.

    • Thank you Syrbal. It’s crazy and overwhelming how many women have a story, or more than one story. My heart hurts to think of how many woman cannot speak for themselves, and hurt themselves over it.

      • Yes, that is an anguish, isn’t it — to consider those who cannot even find the words to say. But take some comfort in how many are uplifted a bit every time another woman does make an answer the the rape culture we seem to be swamped in!

  6. Chris,
    You’ve become a personal friend… I don’t know what to say… This is a brave and courageous post, and I hope it helps women and/or other victims of rape. There’s so much more to say, but I’d rather chat personally with you. Much love, Chris.
    Eric

    • Thank you Eric,

      I must say that your two blogs, A Clown on Fire and Black Box Warnings and your posts and the posts of other writers that you’ve hosted have helped provide me with some of the courage I needed to get this one out there. So thank you. You are awesome.

  7. Pingback: Ok! WordPress, You Win! | A Clown On Fire

  8. I am new to your blog and you, my words here feel lacking just now but I couldn’t just hit ‘like’ after reading that. I’m sorry you had such a terrifying experience and impressed with your strength, and your sharing..

      • I admire your strength so much. These guys just bring out so much anger in me. I find myself wishing they all did time in jail where they could experience victimization first hand.

      • I think that is a natural male response. I told my son today, because I felt it was a good opportunity to have a lot of important discussion. Wow, I am so proud of him for how he’s handling it, and the insightful questions and feelings he is bringing up, and naturally he is feeling the need to relieve himself of some anger…

  9. MissListed,
    This is a powerful story and you have such inner strength to share it. You are still so powerful as the then-19 year old who could have fought back physically (possibly to very detrimental consequences). I applaud your courage and heart.
    Be well with your growth and process.

  10. What a brave post. I’m so very sorry this happened to you. As I read this, I couldn’t help but think you were given the strength that night to *not* fight. You most likely saved your life by not fueling his rage. Thank you for sharing your story.

  11. This is an amazing expression of your strength and dignity. Yours is a timely reminder of the reality of rape from the point of view of someone who understands what it means unlike the sanctimonious politicians for whom it is only a word.

    • Thank you so much. I do get the feeling that for some of these men “rape” is only a word, a far off concept that has no rootedness in reality. Thus, they can make all sorts of judgmental, “sanctmonious” as you say, pronouncements that are completely detached from the lived experiences of others. Thank you too for offering me the word “dignity”. It is a word that I would like to stick on to myself and keep there for the rest of my life.

  12. I don’t know what to say, except that you are an incredibly brave woman, both for posting that story, and for living with what happened to you. I did some stupid stuff when I was young, too, and it was by pure luck that nothing bad happened to me. But the idea that you deserved it, that anyone would? It disgusts me. The current culture, the politicians, it all disgusts me.

    I am so sorry for what happened to you. I am glad you are able to finally open up and start to heal.

  13. You are changing the world. Every time a woman realizes that no, she did NOT deserve to be raped, she alters the course of humankind.
    Brave, fierce, strong, vulnerable, human.
    You have my deepest respect.

  14. Thank you Sara. You are right about altering the course of humankind. There is only one way, but damn it’s scary. I am glad we can do it together here, and you as well have my continued support and respect for your deep sharing.

  15. Chris: As a man—something to be a little ashamed of in these insane days—it’s difficult for me to make a comment that’s worthy of such a moving post, but please let me try anyway.

    I think it’s so important for ‘regular’ women like you—and I mean that in the best of possible ways—to speak out on this horrific issue that’s in the process of being watered down. People need to know that this happens to regular women: your friend’s mother, your neighbor, your child’s teacher, your sister, maybe your spouse. People need to know how often this happens—and that it happens way, way too often. People need to know that regular women are not going to put up with the legitimization of this crime by calling it, “God’s will.” It’s funny, isn’t it, how “God’s will” always happens to someone else. . . .

    It makes me sick that these men—the pride of the GOP—are so fixated on controlling women’s reproductive systems that they are willing to make the definition of a violent crime like rape ‘ambiguous.’ You’ve got to wonder exactly what’s in ‘their’ past.

    Again, this post was brave of you, so moving, and it will doubtless help someone.

  16. So brave and strong to share. I had something similar happen to me a year and a half ago. I feel ashamed and guilty and search for ways to sooth my mind. Lots of prayers for certain.
    Bless you

  17. Very touching and an experience you share with millions of women. And yes, it is incredible that women again have to fight for their life, for their body against prejudice and discrimination. I would like to add a quote by Mary Daly:
    “The fact is that we live in a profoundly anti-female society, a misogynistic “civilization” in which men collectively victimize women, attacking us as personifications of their own paranoid fears, as The Enemy. Within this society it is men who rape, who sap women’s energy, who deny women economic and political power.
    Males do indeed deeply identify with “unwanted fetal tissue,” for they sense as their own condition the role of controller, possessor, inhabitor of women. Draining female energy, they feel “fetal.” Since this perpetual fetal state is fatal to the Self of the eternal mother (Hostess), males fear women’s recognition of this real condition, which would render them infinitely “unwanted.” For this attraction/need of males for female energy, seen for what it is, is necrophilia — not in the sense of love for actual corpses, but of love for those victimized into a state of living death.

    Since women on average survive men by a significant number of years, it should not be surprising that gynecology is functioning to remedy this unacceptable situation.”
    Thanks for your very good plead to respect and honor women being respected as human.

    • Interesting quote…I have often felt a slight sense of “blame” for bringing my sons into this world and for kicking them out of my womb, not so much with my daughter…hmmmm…like I said, just a feeling….

  18. I have travelled (and still do) a fair bit. First, to study; now, on work, and in between, for leisure. A lot of times, I’m alone.

    I’m a planner. Along with things that I need to pack, and research of the place I am about to go to, I also prepare myself for mishaps of a few sorts by visualising the event. I find visualising helps me deal with circumstances better; something like a (mental) vaccination.

    Since I travel around the country and abroad, one of the things I visualise regularly is being attacked with the intent or culmination of the attack being rape and/or murder. The following lines of yours, Chris, are exactly how I visualised my reaction to an attack would be.

    >I decided that I would do whatever it would take to get through the rest of the experience as safely as possible so I could survive and get back to my friend and back to my life. I didn’t know him, I was afraid of him, I had no idea what he might do if I further protested, and I wanted to live.

    >Because I didn’t fight him, he became less aggressive with me, and began to treat me as if this were a romantic encounter I had chosen. Much to his displeasure, I lay lifeless, closed my eyes and didn’t say a word. Let me just say that I endured the next few hours

    – Years ago, I had decided I would not resist the attacker because I did not want to experience the physical pain. So I prepared myself (can one really?) to go along and take my mind as far away from that moment as I could should I have to experience such trauma.

    After reading quite a few horrific stories over the years from brave souls such as yourself, I have modified my goal – not just avoid physical pain, but live.

    That’s because I know my worth to a few people in my life and I am not ready to deny those people my presence by being “brave” with some person who has lost control of his/her senses.

    From your response to pouringmyartout above:

    >I told my son today, because I felt it was a good opportunity to have a lot of important discussion.

    – And here’s yet another example of your courage.

    First, to decide to endure the rape in a bid to preserve your life.

    Second, to share your story on your blog, especially since it is read by people you know personally.

    Third, to share this traumatic and very personal experience with your child.

    >If by being open and honest here just one other person is given some insight, spared some shame, or has the opportunity to speak on her own behalf and not let someone who doesn’t understand speak for her, then I am grateful enough for that.
    – Thank you for helping me reinforce my rule and reminding me that ‘giving in’ does NOT mean ‘giving up’.

    Kate

    P.S.: I was away for a bit, and I’ve just begun catching up on some of my favourite blogs.

    I like the new (?) look of your blog. It feels lighter and hip (whatever that feels like.) The banner at the top feels Zen-like; trippy comes to mind, too. Two of the same thing? ;-)

    • Nice to see you again Kate, and thank you so much for your thoughtful response. It is hard to see one’s own courage and how it manifests sometimes. Objectively, I know that I have been courageous in different ways, but I didn’t feel so. I felt scared and angry and so many other things, and even now, though I am truly doing well, I feel like it’s not my choice to have to write it, and tell it, even though I know it is, and quite honestly, I feel fortunate. My story could be so much worse, and I know that. Many people suffer much greater injustice and pain than I have in my life. But it’s words like yours that help me to put things into perspective after all these years. Thank you.

    • And the banner at the top, I hired my 20 year old son’s very talented friend Juan Uno to make me a personalized logo. I didn’t tell him what to do, just gave him some information about myself and this is what he came up with…

  19. Thank you for having the courage to share your story. It was an honor to read it. Like you, I did a semester abroad in college… in my case, I was in Italy and I remember feeling deeply disturbed by the prevailing attitudes toward women, particularly the further south one traveled.

    I spent the past three years working as a part-time crisis counselor for victims and survivors of sexual assault, which entailed spending a lot of time in the E.R. with victims who were there to have forensic exams (aka “rape kits”) done. I can’t tell you how many times people said to me, “I should have fought back,” or asked me, “If I didn’t fight back, does that mean it wasn’t rape?” I even encountered law enforcement officers who took the attitude that if the victim didn’t fight back and/or didn’t have any visible injuries, then s/he couldn’t possibly have been raped.

    My response to this was always the same. To the victims, I would say, “None of this was your fault. You are alive right now because you did exactly what you needed to do to survive the assault, and that is the only thing that matters.” I said pretty much the exact same thing to the misinformed cops, just substituted third-person pronouns.

    I wish more people understood this, and I appreciate the eloquent and deeply personal way you’ve illustrated this point. On behalf of all of us who help victims of rape on their journey from “victim” to “survivor,” thank you.

    • Thank YOU for the work you do. I can only imagine how it must feel to have someone there afterwards to help healing begin immediately, and to be an interpretor for a situation that doesn’t make sense. As for me, I just tamped it down as far as I could and held it there until I had enough experience/wisdom/support to understand it…and my feelings about it began to emerge in safety…

  20. Your unfortunate experience has finally shed light on why I cannot forget mine, and forgive myself. Thank you so much. I’m new to WordPress, but I’d like to reblog your story along with mine, as you have been my inspiration. No therapist has ever given me such clarity then you have in just a few short minutes.

    • Please feel free to use my experience, my writing in whatever way is helpful to you in your path to healing. Sharing your story is a great tool, but at the right time, with the right support.

  21. Speechless. This takes such insight and courage, and is such a wonderful way to address the infuriating political poison that has been raised by people who surely cannot have any idea what it is truly like to experience and emerge from such fear and isolation and violence.

    • Thank you Stephanie. It dawned on me recently that the only solution for me was to speak my own truth. Not always an easy thing to do, in fact, crafting words around one’s truth is a delight, but it is also a grave responsibility at times…

  22. This is such a powerful story you wrote and an incredibly difficult thing to experience. You are so brave, and very admirable because of that!
    ~ nerdwithtaste.wordpress.com

  23. You are so brave. Your level headedness, clear thinking and courage when you were so young and in trouble is inspiring. Perhaps you made questionable choices (which we all do), but you did the best you could in the situation that you were handed, which is more than could be said for so many. As a Canadian I started following American politics when women’s rights became such a hot topic. It is by sharing stories like this one that perhaps some day, together, women everywhere can help breed change.

    While I have never had an experience like yours, count me as ‘helped’. Women who are strong, honest, resilient and self nurturing are the best type of role models and the type that give me hope for humankind.

    • Thank you so much for saying that. It brings tears to my eyes. Blogging has brought me closer to a lot of Canadians…too bad Americans as a whole are so arrogant and seem to think we have something better going on. Ha! We have a lot to learn from that country that is perched on top of us!

  24. Wow you are so strong. I’ve been through a similar situation but never had the guts to say it out loud. I’ve always blamed myself, because after all “If I didn’t do this, or if I had done that” it would have never happened.. : /

  25. Thank you so much for telling your story. I am experiencing and dealing with those feelings of guilt for not “fighting back”. It’s been 2 years and I’m still in the process of healing. I can relate to your feelings. There are so many stories out there. Every time I share my story, I seem to get one back.

    It is important to get these stories out there and shed light on this issue. Thank you for having the courage to do so. I found this post very comforting.

    • Thank you so much, I am so honored that it comforted you in some way, that is the most I could hope for. And yes, it is very alarming to me how many stories there are. I have two sons and a daughter, I feel an even greater sense of urgency to help them develop into people who will live with purpose and intention and righteousness…

  26. While I’ve never been raped myself, I also have made many stupid decisions that put me into sketchy situations. This past summer, I followed a stranger and his friend into their apartment because I was so caught up in the sense of Parisian adventure. He kept on kissing me and trying to get me to have sex with him, but when I insisted on leaving, he let me. I have no idea what I would have done if he had been more forceful.

    Almost everyone has, at some point, put themselves in a position where they’re vulnerable to sexual assault. The fact that it happens to some people and not others is a matter of chance, not “stupidity” or “weakness” on the part of the victim.

    • Thank you for your comments, I worried so much about my daughter, who is 17, in this way for so long. I was scared to tell her the truth because of my own shame. When I did tell her, at the urging of my boyfriend, I realized how capable she is of understanding and assimilating the information for her own benefit. Use this “research” you did in Paris, and my story to inform you for the future, it’s a crazy world out there little sister….

  27. This is a beautiful writing, it touches my soul, it touches all my nerves. I like this very much. Thanks for sharing your personal, yet powerful story with us. This story opens up a space for everyone to share feelings or good and bad experiences, so to feel relieved, and get connected to one another.

  28. Such a story,one that I can sympathize with. One day I may feel like telling my story, in my own time however, as its not one that anyone else knows. I hate that I had to find your blog by such a story, but I’m glad and thankful none the less!! You weren’t wrong in what you did, in fact I would say you were very strong. It takes more courage (in my opinion) to make the decision to live then to fight.

    • Thank you DeAnna for your support. My story came out in pieces, first to myself, then to a few trusted others, now to everyone. It is a process, take your time, and ultimately if you are ready to feel the love, share it. You will have a lot of support, sadly, because there will be many who have been through what you have and they will be there for you when you need them. I actually feel terrible for all of the righteous men out there who have to live with the burden of this as well. It is time for change, and men need to be a huge part of that obviously…there are so many wonderful men in the world who are up to the task…

  29. I salute you for your wisdom and your courage. Your wisdom for knowing what to do when threatened with rape to make the experience as less traumatic as possible. And your courage in finally realizing that you did what you had to, to preserve your life and share your experience for others to learn from.

    An excellent piece.

  30. Never been more shocked reading a story. My heart and thoughts with you. I am from India and here too the attitude of the prey being portrayed as the predator prevails. Recently One of the Khaps (A local village group) in one of the states recommended to the government to lower the marriage age of women to lower the number of rapes. Could you imagine a worser scenario? Had it not been for the powerful democracy and the civil societies they would basically have made sure that these poor children would have been married off at 16 years and basically betrothed to statutory rape. I believe it’s all the more important your story reach a lot more people and spread awareness. God be with you.

    • Thank you for your support and your informaion…it is important for men like yourself to stand up and speak out for injustice against women, the world is changing, and we need you….

  31. I was at work when the tweet came in. Believe you me I read it 3 times and I asked myself one question – what would I have done? Great story. Thank you for sharing these with the world. I like your courage and braveness.

    • Thank you so much. I suppose every situation is different and has to be evaluated as such, I am not sure what I would do if I had it to do over again, but I do know how to heal now…

  32. Wow, thank you so much for posting this story. I’ve been writing a book about my experiences as a homeless woman in the US, and I’ve been stuck on my own rape, and had trouble getting past it. You’ve inspired me to at least try to blog about it, to get it off my chest, so that maybe I can begin to heal. It’s been two years, and it really does change you.

    Thank you so much for having the courage and the strength to post this. Fight the rape culture, we all have to. It’s not right.

  33. Your story has moved me to tears, and I am grateful to you for sharing your pain in your blog because it has helped me with mine. Like you, I was in a situation where I didn’t know what would be worse – to be raped or to fight back and face being killed. I think there is so much put on the victim to fight against being attacked, but what if you can’t? What if your fear of the unknown paralyses you? What if your only defence is to shut down your mind, your emotions and your sense of “self”, and to just let what’s happening to your body happen without “you” being present? That’s what happened to me, and I’m not sure I have ever been able to open all those things back up again in case I get reminded of the totality of the pain when it comes.

    God bless you for having the courage and the wherewithal to share your experience.

    • Thank you for your comments and blessings. Finding one’s way to truth and healing is a process, and is different for each individual. Take your time and have faith that others like myself will have your back when the time is right for you.

  34. I want to say something to you, and I truly hope it helps somehow…

    I’m sorry. I’m sorry that sorry excuse for a man hurt you, took advantage of you and your naivity. I’m sorry that you lost innocence that day.

    You are very strong and couragious for sharing this piece of your life with us. I admire you very much. And I completely understand what your intention is.

    There is no excuse to rape a woman. None! Even if she is standing naked in front of a man, there is no excuse if she says “no”.

    Thank you for your beautifully written post, and for baring a painful part of your past.

    • Thank you for your kind, heartfelt words. You are right that there is never an excuse for rape. I have explained this to my children many times. No ALWAYS means no. Even if you want it to mean yes.

  35. Not an easy story to share and I cried for you…and me. My dad did this to me and I struggled for years with sexual issues and promiscuity. Eventually I understood why I did some things. I am about to turn 40 and inly recently was able to let the past go and move on through forgiveness. I wish there were blogs like this when I was younger then maybe I could have healed sooner. I wish you much love and courage and a peaceful spirit.

    • Thank you, and yes, blogging has been so therapeutic for me. I am sorry for your story, but pleased to hear you have found your way to forgiveness, as it is truly the answer. I found that forgiving myself was the hardest part of all. But then again, this man was NOT my father, this man was ultimately nothing to me. Wishing you all the same sentiments….xo

  36. Reblogged this on After the Storm and commented:
    Powerful and beautifully written life experience that touched me deeply. So many women, including myself have gone through something similiar, it’s so sad to realize that we have to make the choice between fighting or living.

  37. I see I’m not the only one writing posts about this. My heart goes out to you and I wish you healing and closure. And I’m sure that even if the man who raped you wasn’t punished by the law, then the karmic nature of the universe found a way to punish him.

  38. I can only imagine a tiny sliver of what it took for you to get this from your memory through your fingertips on the keyboard to the computer screen. I admire your courage to let us readers in and give us a glimpse of the inner struggle one really goes through during and after such a traumatic event. No one knows for sure how one will react in any given situation. It’s easy to say they should have done this or that, to use your imagination to make up what should have or could have been said or done. But, until you live through that situation, you have no right to say you know anything for sure. You are a very brave woman for sharing. I hope many more get to read this and know, no matter what happened or how it happened, it’s not your fault and to tell of your experience (when ready) to whomever you feel comfortable with because it really does help you get through.

    Stay strong :)

    • Thank you, yes, it was a long time coming. Very hard to get it out. I suppose we all have our own time frame for healing. I am hoping that by putting it out there it will speed someone elses recovery. We are not alone in our pain.

  39. Hey good writer and open hearted,

    I feel very good after read your story. Cuz you decided very good at that bad situation. you did good. I am happy for it and also i am happy to read your story here right now. The time you are fine and fit right here right now. I don’t know much about religion but i always follow truth and reality. I could say that there is no sin you had committed at that situation. Whatever happened to you was lesson for your related and all of young readers of yours.

    good luck and stay happy always. No need to worry more! Past is past, bad experience teach us.

  40. You are a very brave woman. I shuddered as I read through your story. How you kept yourself together, while holding this information in is testament to your strength.

  41. I am so glad this was Freshly Pressed; such a brave post and so many will identify and benefit from it. I am sorry that you were assaulted, but like you so eloquently point out, we have to stop making women accountable for rape. It’s cruel for a woman to both endure an assault and carry the burden of thinking it’s her fault for decades. Amazing post, friend.

  42. Wow! That was really something. I have been a person who take “acceptance” right away when I get hurt and “move on”. I thought it was me having a positive disposition in life. But later on, “denial” and “anger” about the situation and the person sink in.I start to blame myself thinking I have done something wrong that led the person hurt me or the situation to happen. Thankfully, I have finally moved on and got out of it.

    Then another bad thing happened to me just recently. Again, I accepted what happened to me. I avoided questioning the whole situation. I stopped myself from crying. I didn’t have much of sleepless nights coz I didn’t wanna think about what just happened in my life. I shut myself down from seeing my friends and only chose to see very few people who knew the story.

    Months later, I felt better and could talk about it to other people. Or so I thought I was better.

    Anger and denial are coming. I blame myself again for what happened to me. I am thinking it’s my fault. I did something. But I know it wasn’t my fault at all. But I couldn’t stop myself.

    Even now, I’m still going through this stage. And as I’m in it, I realized that I should acknowledge things when they happen. Face and feel the pain no matter how painful it is. To move on, I need to get through the pain. If I have to think about it every night and sleep less hours, I would, just to make it less painful the next time. We can never be better persons if we couldn’t let go of the past, even if it’s gonna be a long process. We just have to get it done and over with.

    Thank you for sharing your experience. We may not have the same story, I may not fully understand how you felt, but I know I have learned something from your story that I can apply in my own. ♥

    • Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. I too have always considered myself to be a happy, optimistic person, and I still believe I am. But I now understand, like you mentioned above, how to begin to seperate unhealthy denial, which hurts me, from “positive attitude” which helps me. We must move on, but in order to truly do so, we must be able to be truthful with ourselves and others about what we are REALLY feeling, and about what is really happening. The truth will set us free…I am happy if I could have provided you with even a speck more insight for your own self-realization. xo

      • You’re welcome and thank you so much. Ironic how I know what to do right now. But I just couldn’t. You’re right, we have to be truthful to ourselves. But right now, the only thing that I think is best for to do is to shut myself down from others and even myself. I know I have to face these hurtful truths, but I hope when I have to, I’d be numb from the pain.

        Though I talk sad right now, rest assured, I am still feeling positive. :D

  43. First, I regret what you have gone through.

    But, I do not see how a person being protected from violence lessens your ability to heal?

    I guess maybe the difference between our attitudes is found in the difference I see in these words.

    Fear leads to reload.

    That instinct would greatly reduce violent crime.

    Ghost.

    • Hi Ghost,

      What do you mean exactly? “How a person being protected from violence lessens your ability to heal?”

      If I could’ve ripped that motherfucker’s balls off I would’ve. Does that make you feel better? It doesn’t make me feel better, but it’s part of the truth of how I feel in retrospect. The fact is, I chose a different path. I was terrified, and I made a choice. He was WAY stronger than me. I had no protection other than making the best choice I could.

      I do not live in fear…I feel protected now. Always. And not because I am packing heat. I do not believe in acting out on violent fantasies, but I do believe in self defense in whatever form that may take. Sometimes it’s by any means necessary.

      Peace,
      Misslisted

      • Normally, when I read, or hear, the ‘f’-word, I go to self defense mode.

        So, please forgive me, I am trying to interact with you. And my self-preservation mode is already activated by your violent choice of wording.

        You wrote:

        “like my friend on Facebook, I understand the “It couldn’t happen to me because I would have killed the son-of-a-bitch“ response. But I also know it is a totally unrealistic delusion, and it is one that is extremely harmful to a victim of sexual assault or abuse. Like my friend, I believe that it perpetuates and reinforces this kind of crime. Unfortunately I know this from experience.”

        I responded to this. This statement was contrary to what I know to be true studying violent crime, and survivor stories.

        More of my study focused upon robberies. So, I went out and studied. The references are on my blog.

        OVER HALF of the women who fought their attacker felt it helped them.

        This would seem to contradict your statement that it “is extremely harmful.”

        If God blesses me with a daughter, I will teach her to fight. If she is unable to, I will teach her to forgive herself.

        I am not SURE, but I believe my approach is holistic.

        Regards,

        Ghost.

        And as I wrote, there is more on my blog.

      • Hi Ghost,

        I’m glad you’re interacting with me, and I will definitely go have a look at your blog. What I am saying in the paragraph you quoted is that AFTER the fact, it is not helpful to a woman who has BEEN raped to say things to her like “why didn’t you fight back?” or “I would’ve broken his hand?” It just isn’t possible so much of the time for a woman to do that. This guy was at a complete advantage. Perhaps I could’ve done something physical, but he was much bigger than me, and I was not sure where I was, there were so many reasons I was scared. I’m sorry I chose the violent wording, but I was trying to point out that I HAVE those feelings in me, but I CHOSE NOT to act on them.

        I do believe there is a time to choose to fight back, and I hope I never have to do that, but I may have to make that choice some day, I am aware of that. I keep myself physically strong and healthy and part of the reason I stay strong is for self-protection.

        I think that it is extremely important for people, girls and boys, men and women to be empowered, educated and aware of various strategies that can be used for self-defense, and that may include fighting off an attacker, or being passive and getting through it. My point at the beginning of my post was just to say that we do not want to blame a victim for not fighting back. Sometimes it is not the choice she makes, but she is just as much a victim as one who does fight back.

        Thank you for your comments. When things mellow out a little I will visit your blog!

        Chris

  44. I want my sons to read this when they grow up. I want them to know wht a woman feels when she gets crushed by an overpowering male… I want them to respect every woman they meet.. I feel every man should read this. My prayers are with you.. Somethings are best forgotten..

  45. Thank you for sharing this. I finally shared my story (and my son’s – rape victims can be little boys, too) last night. I woke up today wondering how many readers I’ll lose for my honesty, if I should have kept silent. And then found your post. It’s that guilt, that shame, that I should have been able to prevent it, that haunts me. But as you say, I did the best I could with what I knew then. Knowing that doesn’t help me feel any better.

    • Anon, I just read through your most recent writing on your blog post. I do not know what is best for you, but I do know through my own experience that there are many ways to find healing, some conventional, some less so. Healing yourself will probably be the most important thing you can do to help your son. I feel qualified to say that. Writing about it, praying about it, talking about it, working it out of your body, and finding your way back to wholeness. I have been helped by the 12 step recovery model of Al Anon, by education, by yoga, by appropriate boundary setting, by talk therapy, by writing and blogging, by massage, by Reiki, by being present to others…and on and on,.there are so many wonderful paths. You DESERVE healing and YOU DESERVE LOVE and so do your children. So you just know that this one woman out here in the world, me, is totally rooting for you, and believes fully in the ability to heal. It will come from within. xo sister

      • Thank you. I spent most of the summer in the garden and it was terrific for my own healing and growth, but it’s a long process. I may never be quite whole again but piece by piece I put myself back together. Writing last night was a big piece, just to share that part of the story and not have it gnawing at me.

  46. I will reblog this in the hope that it will help others. I am sure it will, thanks to the power of social media. You took a brave decision ‘not to fight back’ and no doubt there are far too many others, who may have made similar choices. Let’s hope your story gives them the strength to face and maybe overcome the consequences.

  47. It’s certainly not just in the US that politicians (mostly male, natch) seem to have great trouble getting to grips with the issue of sex crime, and pronounce the most incredible, ignorant, insensitive things. Sex crime is big news here in the UK right now because of the Jimmy Savile scandal (a recently-deceased kids TV presenter who, it turns out sexually assaulted literally hundreds of girls and boys over the course of his career). The degree to which he was aided and abetted (either deliberately, out of fear or in innocence) by colleagues, authorities and members of other agencies; even his own family is one of the more shocking aspects of the case. There’s been an almost indecent haste on the part of politicians to initiate public inquiries into the scandal – mostly because the reputation of the BBC, for whom Savile worked, has been tarnished, I think – which flies in the face of typically ignorant, misogynistic, inadequate responses to sex crimes.

    But I digress; it’s heartening to read stories from people like yourself who have survived rape and are finding ways to move on. The subject of one of my recent posts was on social media and the web, and the opportunity they might provide for victims/survivors of sex crimes to circumvent the often unfeeling attentions of authorities and find a safe space to share stories, even organize politically. Good to see that potential is already being realised. Your story is inspiring.

    Andy.

    • Hi Andy, I have heard about the Jimmy Savile scandal…it’s like the world is busting open with this stuff…obviously it has to in order for things to change, but man, it’s crazy. It was a huge revelation to me to publish this story, and now, I feel liberated. But considering how difficult it was for me to get to this, I can only imagine how difficult it is for some victims who do not have support, who are young, vulnerable in different ways…it’s overwhelming.

      Thank you for your support and thoughtful comments, and I’ll be back to check out your blog when this business dies down for me.

      Chris

  48. I will go carefully here, as a man.

    I am a 64-year-old evening desk clerk at a resort motel, working 4 p.m. to midnight. Our resort is patronized by many young adults, male and female, all looking forward to having a nice time, and most looking forward to drinking as much alcohol as they can hold.

    When I check in young people, both male and female, I tell them our rules and usually conclude with a heartfelt warning: “Have a good weekend, have fun, but please be careful, be safe.”

    That is all I can say under the circumstances, to women and men who are young enough to be my grandchildren. Sometimes my female colleague, who works the day shift, dares to be a little more specific in warning young people about the dangers that await them.

    I absolutely agree with everything said here regarding that there is never any justification or excuse for rape, explaining that violent resistance is often not possible or even prudent, that the victim is never guilty, even if she knowingly put her self in a risky situation. Everything emphasized here is true.

    But the really important information that young people need to know is hardly mentioned.

    From my vantage point as the evening desk clerk at a resort motel, the most important sentences in the post are:

    “”I know that getting on the back of that motorbike with a stranger in a foreign land was a foolish and risky thing to do, but it was NOT a justification for what came to pass. Now as I am able to reflect back on my young, innocent self, I can see that I did the best with what I had and that the decisions I made were reasonable for me and were made out of self-preservation.”” END QUOTE

    Why aren’t responsible people like all of us willing to pound into young people’s heads the truth about DANGER and RISK? It’s not enough to say it once. I’m sure that the young people at my motel have been told by parents and teachers about “stranger danger.”

    But I can tell you for sure: They don’t understand, they don’t get it, they are still too innocent! They brush me off as a silly old man when I say, “Be safe.”

    We cannot allow young people to remain so “innocent” that they will get on the back of a motorcycle or go into an apartment with a stranger. Can we all agree on that?

    Please believe me, acknowledging that young people need more education, frequent education, CONSTANT education about risk and danger — acknowledging the need to KNOW and UNDERSTAND risk — in no way diminishes the crime of rape, and in no way places the blame on the victim.

    I truly believe that we as responsible adults are failing young people in many ways. 16-year-olds and 19-year-olds are hardwired to test the boundaries and take risks. We have to pound enough information into their heads to mitigate their natural sense of invincibility and immortality.

    • Thank you for “treading lightly” but I assure you you’re doing fine. I agree with ALL of the above. I talked with my mother about this subject this morning. She suggested that when young people go abroad, they might need some education on the realities of being young and vulnerable and what can happen. I have been educating my children. They want to hear about what is REAL. I speak plainly with them, but this is because I have worked hard on my own stuff. It wasn’t easy at first. I was ashamed, and that kept me from being honest about some things with them, not just this. I wanted them to not be burdened with reality. This is not an effective parenting strategy. One of the other obstacles is that the teenage brain is not developed in the judgement and decision making centers. This, and being an optimistic, sheltered person were problematic for me. I was young and careless. I probably had a glass or two of wine…the culture of drinking sure doesn’t help either…

  49. Thank you for sharing your story. Self-condemnation is an ugly thing. I was raped at the age of 7 (no, that’s not a typo!) and it took me many, many years to come to the realization it was not my fault. It has taken a broken marriage, several broken relationships and hours and hours and hours of therapy to finally pull my life together. Only my therapist and my closest female friends know what happened to me. Maybe one day I will be as brave as you.

    • Sounds like you already are “as brave as me”. You are working so hard on your own healing and self-understanding, what a beautiful thing. I am so sorry for your struggle, I am sending you a HUGE virtual embrace, and a lot more courage and strength for your own unique healing journey, which sounds like it’s progressing along the way it needs to. xo sister

  50. Thank you for sharing this. I too have suffered rape, both as a child and as a teenager. What I went through as a child I could not comprehend, but what i experienced as a teenager was very much the same as you describe. The feeling that it was somehow my fault, and that I should have done more to try and stop it. I had taken self-defence classes all through my teens, and felt like I should have put up more of a fight. You have put into words what so many rape victims go through, but struggle to address. Thank you

    • Thank you for your comments and your support. It’s so complex, which is not easy for people to understand when they haven’t “been there”. I still don’t understand it, but it’s getting clearer by the minute…much peace and love to you in your ongoing healing…

  51. Wow. Thank you for this. I agree with Sara. What you said can change the course of humankind. It’s disgusting what has been said in the news lately. The utter lack of understanding is so fucking scary.
    More so, your story, reminds me that what happened to me when I was younger was not my fault. I handled it the best way I knew how. Even though it was very different than your situation, where I didn’t feel fear for my life, it’s a good reminder that it wasn’t deserved. It took me a long time to not blame myself. Again, thank you.

  52. Just another word in agreement with other posts: Your actions that night, your decision to write this story, and your decision to share it reveal great courage.

    I simply cannot imagine forcing myself on a woman and I do not know what happens to men that makes them think this is something they should do. The nightly news, and stories like yours, however, indicate that such assaults happen all the time. It makes me want to apologize to all women on behalf of all men.

    Your entire premise – that blusters of bravado are ignorant and hurtful to people who have already been victimized – is a really important part of this issue that needs to be brought into the open. Thank you.

    • Thank you for your thoughts. I am sorry that you must be burdened with any guilt for actions on the part of your fellow man which you are not responsible for, however I think we all have to examine the role we play in this culture, and that is what I set out to do here, and will continue doing. Thank you for being present in this conversation. – Chris

  53. I can’t even imagine the strength it must have taken to share this story. It is something that I’m sure will help many people, and wordpress clearly believed that too – the freshly pressed is much deserved. Thank you for sharing something so difficult and powerful.

    • Thank you, maybe some day you will share it, but it is not necessary…whatever is best for you in your unique process. I am certain that it was helpful to write it in any case!

  54. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m glad you are at a point where you are no longer punishing or blaming yourself. Your post is beautifully written and confronts the ignorant directly. I’m sharing this with others.

  55. I applaud your courage in sharing this experience with all of us. ‘Tis truly the beauty of writing, leaving yourself on paper or a blog post for all to see.

    Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for sharing this because I really didn’t know about “rape culture”, just the unfortunate statements of certain politicians concerning rape. If I may, I’d like to apologize on behalf of these so-called “Christian” politicians. We Christians do believe God works all circumstances, no matter how awful, for our eventual good. However, saying that God actually intended for you to be violated in such a horrendous way is ridiculous and insensitive. So, I’m sorry.

    • Thank you, and keep representing that truth for your faith and it will go a long way for people who are hurt by those who don’t represent for their faith with love and kindness.

  56. Misslisted,, what a brave and courageous thing to do. There are so many women who have kept silent because they blamed themselves. You did nothing wrong and I am glad that you finally realized it. God bless and may your life be a living testimony to others. With your permission, I would love to press this on my page. I work with women who are broken and love self-esteem.

    Blessings,
    RSWY

  57. Pingback: A difficult story to tell…by Misslisted « Gwen Owens-Life Application Coach

  58. I took up blogging only very recently as an outlet to frustrations and exaltations in my life. What I didn’t realise when I started was how much I would get out of the blogging community – I barely write at the moment as I can’t stop reading. I’m sure you see by now how much your story has affected and helped other survivors of sexual violence. It also helps the friends-and-family-of. There’s no Al-anon equivalent for sexual violence as far as I know (but anyone correct me if I’m wrong!), but I grew up with two female parents, one of whom had that overt, gut-wrenching, detestable, and clearly-defined incest-rape that ended with at least jail (25 years later, and 2 years served for 8 years of rape), even if not family acknowledgement, and another who had an uneasy, fuzzy, and impossible-to-shake memory of times down the back shed. Your story shows that rape is not clear-cut, makes me feel uneasy about some of the dodgy experiences I hold myself responsible for (“shouldn’t have got myself into that situation”) and makes me absolutely admire you for your bold-faced honesty. I can’t really get on board some of the ultra-feminist responses, as I think this is a human rights issue, not a down-with-man issue, but as long as there is more awareness and understanding I guess it’s all a good thing. As one of your earlier commenters implied, people need to know that this is an issue that applies to everyone – not just marginalised women such as the poor and promiscuous, who always seem to take the blame, and certainly not just women either.

  59. As a teenager I was in an abusive relationship. He would often rape me. This wasn’t the violent rape that most people think of because I had learned if I didn’t fight back, he wouldn’t hit me. I too live with this “willing participant” mentality. As a woman with Aspergers, I often don’t understand people’s intentions until I am well passed the point of now return. I’m 27 now and there are still things, sexually, that I cannot do with my husband because of what was done to me. There are things my husband knows not to say, innocent things, but they send me into the memories head first and I can’t control the fight or flight that takes over my body. I endured that relationship for two years. I took everything because he was the first boy I’d ever slept with (though admittedly, losing my virginity was the moment he knew he could do what ever he wanted to me and I wouldn’t fight). I actually wrote the story of my virginity for a human sexuality class I took in college. When my husband read it, he was very angry at my rapist. I think it’s just as hard on him, that I’m still so broken and raw for something that happened more than 10 years ago.

    Blessings to you, for having the courage to write and tell your story. Something I still struggle with.

  60. I was 19. He was the manager of a college and I was away from home. I said No. Like you I said it politely. I was scared. It is not natural to fight. It is natural to be shocked and scared for your life. I felt your pain. You brought me back to that time with your story. Thank you for having the courage to speak out.
    We need more effective programs in schools and in the courts to stop this.
    Too many people are still suffering.
    For God’s sake, do not elect Romney et al!
    I wish more people had the courage to vote for Jill Stein.

  61. What a powerful post. Thank you so much for sharing it. I also recently shared my rape story for the first time with anyone other than my husband. I share your hope that by telling my story I might help just one other woman feel less shame, less guilt for their rape. I have the same guilt you felt, that I could have fought harder. My rapist was not a stranger. We had a long history and I was truly scared of what he would do if I said no. Still, I felt like a “participant”, as you stated you felt. We need to all speak out and help to turn around this rape culture.

  62. I was also raped and violently abused by my boyfriend of three years. Ongoing. I would say no but give in to avoid the pain.

    You are doing such a brave, wonderful thing by voicing your story and raising awareness. I made my penance by volunteering at a local nonprofit called Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services. It was redeeming to have women to whom I could relate telling me about their experiences and to support them. I don’t have time to work there anymore, and it seems I’ve come full circle working for a criminal defense law firm. But people who speak out, who refuse to be silent about their problem, they are the ones leading the end to the pattern of blaming the victim. You are exactly right. God bless and thank you.

    • Thank you so much for the work you do. I feel like I’ve come full circle too in many ways in the work I do. Some of these comments are making me teary, yours is one of them.

  63. Pingback: How the fate of one woman affected a nation « Theasaurus Vol. 82

  64. You have come a long way it seems, and after so much heartache. As I read this wonderfully written post, it dawned on me that your “guilt” was no difference that that of a child who has been molested. I have just done the same and written about this after many many years of silence. The response you have gotten…and will continue to get is a testament to your decision to write about this horror. Love Jenny xxxxx

    • Thank you Jenny, yes, I have come a long way, and this feels like a very big step. And you are right about the “guilt”. I am glad you are writing your stories. I will come to your blog shortly. Thank you for reblogging. xoxo backatcha

  65. Reblogged this on Jiltaroo and commented:
    I am reblogging this as I think it is a “must read”. So well written and a very personal insight on rape that is well worth thinking about (both men and women)

  66. My wife had to go through something similiar nearly every night of her life into her early teens—done by her oldest brother. Then when her dad found out and confronted him, no one in the family would talk about it for years. She went away to Bible School and there began dealing with it. She still is. We discovered that I cannot do third shift work—it does greatly affect her mentally—she needs me there during the overnight hours to feel safe…even though the perpetrator is long dead and cremated. I will reblog this to my blog at bythemightymumford.wordpress.com. I’m sorry it happened to you and I’m sorry the Church didn’t help. My wife may be able to, if you’d like. She has yet to see well enough to have her own E-mail, but I can forward things from mine…jonathanecaswell@gmail.com. —Jonathan Caswell

    • Hi Johathan, Please send my regards and love to your wife, and take some for yourself too. So sorry that she had to endure such abuse, and at the hands of her own brother who should have been her protector. You should know that the Church HAS helped me. It is a broken, sick institution BUT Catholicism has supported me in many ways, and offered me a lot of spritual guidance and wisdom. I am not bitter towards it, but let me just say I am praying for the Church, and I am outside of it right now, and I am right where I need to be. Love and light to you and your wife

  67. Thank you for sharing your story! I have also put myself in potentially dangerous situations before but have been “fortunate” to have escaped without incident. But all it takes is one time… How do we get rid of the “it won’t happen to me” concept? I’m 23 and I still feel invincible.

    • Hi Kiersten,

      Wow, what a topic eh? How to reach the brains of young people so they can use and have fun with those amazing brains without hurting themselves too gravely…Since I am the mom of three young people, this is a topic I love to explore. Why don’t you tell me what is helpful?

      What I have come to with my kids, is that I need to set an example for them with my actions, not be a talking machine all the time (hard for me! I am bossy!). I need to model the correct behaviors in all that I do. A HUGE job! I need to be open with them about things, even when it’s hard. I think a couple generations ago, people weren’t so open and this obviously hurt vulnerable people. I think kids need to hear the truth, and they need to have forums where they are safe to talk about their feelings and to share experiences. And adults need to listen! WE all need to learn to listen deeply… I feel like my kids are WAY smarter than I was, but still…they are teenagers, and they make bad decisions and like you said, “all it takes is one time”. Sigh…thanks for your comments!

  68. well, I think… if you fought back physically. He might kill you afterward.
    This is a very inspiring. women shouldn’t shut their voice, they have to brave and voicing it out.

  69. Misslisted, thank you for your refreshingly uninhibited post. It is true, as so many have already said, it’s an important topic and the absolution you seek is very real.

    The person who has the capability to do the most damage to you is, sadly, you. It is when the politicians, neighbors, facebookers, etc. say awful things that you use their words to reinforce some of those most terrible things you had spent years telling yourself. Bravo to you for standing your ground and bringing to light this subject.

    If I may, when you have a moment from the many responses and requests for blog reads, will you also read my post on this same subject?

    Written today: http://walkamileinherstilettos.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/ziggy-the-cartoon-doll/

  70. I can’t help but thank God for you for saying this all. Whenever I hear those “I would’ve fought” or “you should’ve fought” kinds of things in regards to rape, it tortures me. My best friend growing up was raped, and she reacted the exact same as you and was ripped to shreds by lawyers and everyone for not fighting back. She said that as soon as her rapist threw her to the floor, she knew that he was strong enough to kill her, so she didn’t fight. What she said was almost word for word your testament – that she would rather be raped than dead – so she vowed to do whatever was necessary to live, even if that meant lying still and enduring. She was a pretty big girl herself, very tall, and essentially her lack of fighting and her size were the reasons she lost her case against her attacker – who at the time of the rape, was a body builder over three-hundred pounds of muscle. It is a part of the reason I wrote what I did in my latest post about “panic” situations, and it sickens me how people think they know better, they know what they would do if they were her or you or me or anyone in a situation they’ve never encountered. My friend did not stay silent after the rape, but wishes sometimes that she had, because instead of getting acceptance and support and seeing her rapist stamped as such, she was attacked further by a distorted world. The only way to stop rape is to stop the rapists, to teach men that it is unacceptable and intolerable. Instead our culture perpetuates it by blaming the victims, reinforcing the act in the minds of those who commit or would commit it. So thank you for telling your story, and though I can’t say that I personally understand since I was not raped, I can say that you are alive and you aren’t alone, and by simply accepting yourself and telling your story, you’re helping fight back against the culture that would rather keep you silent than recognize that you’re alive, and you’re alive because you did what you had to do.

    • Thank you so much for your words, you clearly understand the dilemma. I am very sorry to hear about what your friend went through. When I look back, in some ways I feel fortunate that I didn’t have to get dragged through any further horribleness in court or with the REAL police. Though on the other hand, I am SO grateful to those women who have put themselves through that horror to bring justice. It would’ve been extremely difficult I imagine for me, considering I was in Italy, and I “willingly” got on his motorbike (the first time) and so on. I have read and heard from many women that getting dragged through the legal process is often as violating as the crime itself. I suppose that my story is evolving the way it needs to for me to find “justice” for myself, but I do look back on my young self and see how it hurt me to feel like it was my own fault, and to see how that affected further behaviors of mine…sigh. I wish I would’ve told my parents, I didn’t tell them until I was getting ready to publish this, and they were so awesome. Anyway, healing is a process no matter how you go about it. Again, thank you for your comment.

      • hey, I hope you don’t mind, but your story inspired me to write about my friend’s experience and I linked to your post on mine. If you don’t want the link, just let me know and I’ll take it down!

  71. My friend the tragedy that you endured is beyond painful it is in silence that it tortured you and took you through a journey of forgiveness few never get to attain. Your bravery and your choices very present it gave me tears as we fight this and even bullies with the same perception as this man who was no more the policia than a man in prison saying no to the bigger man in the cell who will take his life if he doesn’t do what he is told. That is a rather graphic description but those that have been raised to see such violence or sexual acts unfortunately are doomed to repeat it cause they are living entirely in their mind which will never be developed to love unconditionally. They can’t see the trueness of a souls purity or the fear in a little girls eyes who needs a savior instead of a monster.. There is no comfort for this nor is there any form of messages that can take this from you. I can only say from this post…I fell in love with your soul for the pain it experienced and endured! I will follow your soul to the depths, for you can teach what has been lost for ions it would seem. I commend your courage and your nature to word this to meaning it touched me and my family as it was shared! How can we heal a world that can’t feel it’s pain that it causes… forgiveness of self.. once you can do that you can heal deeper inside yourself and heal those that are in your life and those who aren’t! You did so in this post and I feel you were able to change perceptions to those who may have looked at it in that way. My middle daughter experienced something similar and I all I wanted to do was the wrong thing! Who did this is paying for it, but it doesn’t end with him going away it only makes you angrier that you can’t stop the cycle that has traumatized boys who turn into men who don’t see the destruction this causes! They do pay in some way if caught but not the way you would want them to! This has to do with the evolving that men still need to do when it pertains to being of pure love for the men they give birth to. If you do it they will repeat it like it or not this is a cycle that can be broken and it starts with you! Be a man they can look up to do not hit a woman, understand the word no, and treat with kindness. It does have a beginning.. And it is a choice to instill values and discipline. Do so with courage of love, not the heavy hand that can’t be understood that only eliminates the ability to see choice. I didn’t mean to rant but I have 3 girls who had to learn how to protect themselves because of this very thing as I can’t be everywhere all the time! Ty for posting this my friend.. Much love your way!

    • hello! You are right that “forgiveness of self” is everything. I remember one day, I remember the moment actually, where I had this revelation. It wasn’t just a sentiment any more, it was something I actually felt with all my being “I will never be able to forgive anyone until I forgive myself”. It is completely understandable that a father would want to “do the wrong thing” when his daughter is harmed. But you know like I do, because you said it above, that the perpetrator of the crime against your daughter is the one at a disadvantage. It may be hard for him to ever forgive himself and break out of the cycle that he has continued, while I am guessing your daughter WILL be able to do that, probably already HAS done that, partly because of you…her father. I know, I have a very special father…much love and gratitude your way too…

  72. Wow, you are one heck of a person. So strong and sure of who you are, I am impressed. That idiot that did that to you lives with his twisted decision every day of his life. Believe me, it will haunt him. It wasn’t your fault that that happened at all. Horrible people do exist and I am very sorry that you learned that. I can tell that you aren’t letting that stop you in any way though and I commend that! Keep writing, you have no idea who you are helping through this post. Thank you so much for sharing it. Thank you.

  73. I just found your blog tonight on freshly pressed (congrats to that part!) Thank you so much for sharing your story! I know it must have been heart wrenching to relive! About a year and a half ago I felt the need to write a book of my story and its many twist and turns with sexual abuse, rape and many other difficult subjects! It has been a very hard process to relive and for the last 3-4 months I have taken a break from the writing as I just needed some time to not think about all the pain and hurt. Your blog has really inspired me to continue down the road of awareness so that people can understand that no matter the case rape is rape… I don’t know if I will ever finish my “book” but hopefully I will take the time to write more in my blog about the painful things in my life so that if one person reads it and realizes they are not alone.. that will be enough! So thankful for your courage to write this and to also tell your daughter about it all. My mom had been raped and I didn’t find out about it until about 5 years ago when I was ending an abusive marriage and crying with her over all the past. I sometimes wish she had been able to be more real with my sister and I when we were growing up but I know that in her family everyone was taught to never talk about things like that. I really want to change that mindset because it does no good to hide it under the rug or inside a person and fester… just causes more heart ache and pain!

    Sorry for rambling… Thank you so much again for writing this!!

    • Hello, thank you for your words. I am honored that my story has inspired you to keep writing. Please know that this was my prayer and my hope for this post. Finding our way to healing and forgiveness and self-love is such a huge project, but it is ultimately the way the world will change. Some practices accelerate that process, and I have found that writing is right at the top of the list for me (right up there next to prayer, meditation and yoga!)…I will come on over and check out your blog…keep going!

      • I just finished with my story… well one of several. I have a pretty messed up past. But I have since turned my life around and am looking for healing. Thank you so much again for your courage!

  74. Pingback: Teachable Moment – Rape « Sisters of Christ

  75. Reblogged this on Eiraborate and commented:
    In a community where “selling” oneself becomes the ultimate goal, a ‘difficult story to tell’ levels up the desire to be desired and healing from dishonesty to oneself.
    This is an entry for word press freshly pressed and deserves the attention for the divulged information.

    • Thank you. I like that you said “tenderness”, this is a theme I have used as a yoga teacher in the past, tenderness towards oneself. Something that is important to cultivate. Learning to forgive oneself requires tenderness…

  76. Sadly rapists rely on the silence. Your courage in telling your story shows a wonderful strength of character. The current political discourse is so discouraging at a time when there is increased child abuse, violent crime and a real disconnect from the values that make communities functional and sustaining. Powerful stuff misslisted.

    • Yes, they do rely on the silence. This man was a predator, he preyed on a woman who was vulnerable, a young, foreign woman. He took something that HE wanted and he must’ve been pretty sure that he would get away with it. I am sure I was not the only one. Ugh. There is a disconnect, and I guess that connecting is one of my main concerns in this life. Blogging offers a unique opportunity for that and I thank you for your words and your connection…

  77. ONLY a wearer knows where the shoe pinches. I cry with you in pain, and smile with you as you share it to release yourself. U r a brave girl.

  78. What a woman!! The strength of character and will to recover from such an error of judgement with the power of your expression is almost overwhelming! I cannot and never could understand the mentality of such men as you encountered in Italy.
    Should you have fought? Would you have survived if you did? You will never know. What you do know is that you survived and have lived in a happy marriage and are raising children who will be far better prepared than you were.
    Here in Australia I notice that there is a macho attitude such as you suggest which says “she didn’t fight – she consented!” We have had some very bad cases here where this was offered as a defence.
    And we share the same mental attitude with your politicians it seems – it is not seen as really important.
    I feel for you, and rejoice with you for the relief you are now experiencing. But most of all, I admire your courage. You are inspiring..

    • Thank you so much for your comments…I am not happy to hear that there are similar attitudes in Australia, but not surprised…indeed my children are far wiser and better prepared than I was at their ages. I had a somewhat naive and cavalier attitude, and I am a first child, so fairly willful, so it took me a long time to accept certain things. There are some forces you just can’t come up against without hurting yourself. Thank you again.

  79. Your story made me silent.
    But I totally get your point, and I think you really were a victim. After all, you repeatedly asked him to stop, to get back to the restaurant. I myself would not have had the courgae to fight him off- he was probably stronger, and god knows what he had done if you would have fought him off. That could have made things even worse.
    So I understand why you didn’t really do anything. But that doesn’t make you a participant.

    But in fact, I don’t need to tell you this anymore, as you’ve ‘discvovered’ this yourself :). You seem to be a strong person, and a brave one as well to tell your story so honestly, and to watch it the way you do.
    I hope you’re doing well, and that you will keep on doing well.
    NBI

  80. Beautifully written, thank you.
    It reminded me of something slightly similar that happened o me many years ago, difference is, this guy was someone I “knew” (he had been proposing love to me for a while, two months maybe). That evining I naively agreed to go with him to his apartment because he wanted to show me that he van an cook.

    When we got there he attempted to rape me, but I fought with all my might and my power while praying inside, until his friend knocked on the door and I was saved. I wonder if I had gave in because I feared him, where would I be, because he was so outrageously rude at that time.

    But there’s a reason why you had to be calm, God gives us those reactions for a reason, I thank Him for making me fight the monster that night.

    • Hello, Thank goodness that you were able to fight, and he was not able to hurt you any more than he did. It’s amazing how many stories I have heard since posting this like yours. It is very sobering, but inspiring to hear people speak up. Thank you for participating in the conversation.

  81. If only people in Bulgaria thought that way I think a big change would have been made for good…. I really, really liked the post. :)

  82. I’ve been in your boat and did the exact same thing, Blamed myself for being a victim. I finally found peace and forgave myself for the self torture I endured for decades. I was not your fault, it was not my fault. Rape is an act of violence, pure and simple. And doing what ever is needed to survive an act of violence is the ultimate in personal strength and self preservation.

  83. Misslisted — I have so many friends who were raped, attacked, bludgeoned, etc. and you would never in a million years know it — and I am SO offended by the GOP and their callous, careless, thoughtless handling of this issue. But it shows the underlying distrust and distaste they have for women — and I’m sick of it! Anybody who knows anything about the Mormon faith knows that while they are very stalwart family folks, they also have a total bias against equality of women .. and before ANY woman votes, she needs to read the Republican platform which goes FAR FAR beyond what most women would find acceptable in terms of rape, abortion, and choice. My heart broke for your sweet, naive young self who had to make the impossible choice between just going along with forced sex and what you had every reason to believe was a violent end to your life … how could you make any other choice?? I am so sorry this happened to you and I celebrate your bravery in sharing it with others. Lots of love … xooxo b

    • Hi Betty, thank you for your insightful words as always. You are an inspiration to me in your joyful, kind, and powerful committment to the service of healing our world.

  84. Words of gratitude to you in sharing. Know that you are forgiven. Stories like this that start with a memory and progress quickly to words are meant to be shared rather than left in “draft”. The courage you have mastered is admirable. Be well.

    • Thank you so much. Yes, this sat in my draft box for months…I was intitated into Reiki a few weeks ago. I believe that the moment of initiation just sucked it right out of me, I had to post it.

  85. I was raped too. It’s not something I talk about too much, probably for about the same reasons you didn’t. It wasn’t “forcible rape”, and I totally cooperated. My situation’s way “murkier” though. I was 16, and the guy and I experienced my Very First Time, and it was GREAT…and it was oral in nature. I had a second date a week later, and said “sure” when asked me if I wanted to “try” anal, never thinking that I’d be on the bottom, or that he’d pin my hands down when I complained what he was doing to me was hurting me. The stupid thing is, that this guy was SKINNY, while I was muscular. He didn’t threaten me, just pinned me, and with the strength and weight difference I could totally have thrown him off. But he was 19, and I was 16, and a virgin, and I wanted to be “cool”. Or something. I don’t know what. I spent the rest of the time thinking, “why won’t you cum already?” over and over. It was only months later, when I figured out what the sadness and never feeling clean was about.

  86. Thank you so much for putting to words what so often goes unspoken. Many of us cocoon ourselves in shame after being raped. When the choice is to endure temporarily or potentially die we don’t fight back. It’s the survival instinct. Unfortunately there’s not a mute button on the survival instinct that stops the voice inside our own head that screams ‘whore’ or ‘slut’. Healing takes forever when attempted alone. Healing is bolstered when women like you come forward and we can stand together as a collective force. Thank you again.

    • Thank you so much for that. So true. I’m glad I can be of some service to others in this regard. I know I’ve leaned into some other very strong women and men, gotta pay it forward…

  87. Your story kind of reminds me of the sentiment that some people have about women who stay in abusive relationships. Looking at a situation from the outside in, it’s hard to see all the circumstances and evnironmental conditions that give victims pause. The “I would have left” or “I would have just ran” sort of thought is so easy when it’s not you. I think victims often make judgement calls for their own safety. What would have happened if you just ran away? What if you were to tell him to leave you there in the park? What if you started walking? You may have been in much, much more danger. You were a foreigner…for all you know, he may have beaten you or worse.

    I can’t help but think of the power problem here with “dating.” What you did was normal. You might have been interested in this guy, and that is completely reasonable. Should women not date or partake in potential relationships? It isn’t fair to have this shroud of guilt. You aren’t a “slut” just because you might be interested in someone, but you should never be forced to have a sexual relationship at the moment’s whim of someone else!

    It’s these rapists that make women feel “guilty” about even talking to a guy somewhere, as if to talk to someone should suggest you want sex that day.

    • Dev thank you for your remarks. It is complex in some ways isn’t it? The only way in which I don’t feel it’s complex is when the words “No” or “Stop” are spoken, at which time, it is simple. What is true, is that it is not easy to judge the decisions people make under duress. People are usually doing the best they can, and when an innocent or naive person is faced with distorted thinking and behavior, especially for the first time, it is never going to be easy.

  88. And sometimes, you can put up every form of resistance you have in your power, and still it does not stop the rape from happening, and still no one believes you, and still you are told that you should have done more when there was nothing more you could have done. It’s never an easy or pleasant story to tell, and so often now I find it much easier just to keep moving forward and never speak of it. In all these many years since I was stalked, pursued and assaulted by a classmate, I had come to believe that things have changed. They have, in fact, for my daughters. Thank God this has never happened to them. And thank God they know that if it did, I would know how to help them. This article reminds me why it’s important for me to keep telling my story to others, even though I’d frankly rather not. There are so many others out there who are unable to move forward unless someone who has been there is willing to light the way. Recovery and wholeness are possible; in fact, the only way we can truly triumph over our rapists is to refuse to become permanently damaged; to rise up, reclaim our dignity, and refuse to be silent. It can be done. Women are doing it all over our country every day. That is what I wish for every woman who has been raped. That is what I hope for every woman who comes to this space and reads these words.

    • Thank you so much. I am aligned with everything you said here. I too feel grateful that my experience has allowed me to help others, and I am humbled by the responses to this post.

  89. I thought I left a response — but I don’t see it here — Thank you for your post — I have been raped — as a child, a teen, and in college…Blamed myself.. then became promiscuous — felt that that was what I “deserved”.. looking for love”…

  90. I am one of those readers who’s gained “insight” into my own personal experience as a result of your post. All these years I’ve walked around with my own shameful story but now I realize FOR THE FIRST TIME that it wasn’t on me. It was on him. Thank you.

    • Best to you with your project of forgiveness. It is a journey worth taking, and though difficult to confront the shame, when you do it will bring you to peace and love and all sorts of miracles.

  91. thank you so much for sharing this. it brought a chill of recognition to my heart, from my own past experiences. it is so good to hear from someone else that you can not blame your vulnerable, young, inexperienced self for what happened to you. thank you thank you.

  92. Wow, Chris!!! I was just on a WordPress sight I’ve never been to before and happened to notice a tweet about your story! The tweet mentioned the fact that you were “Freshly Pressed.” Congratulations!

    • yes it’s been quite a busy few days…went a bit viral on facebook with over 1000 shares, it’s all good. I’m suppose to be taking the day off from social media! Elephant Journal is also going to publish a slightly different version sometime this week…thanks!

  93. Thank you for reminding me that we need to keep telling our stories over and over. There is always someone out there who needs to hear.

    I have written numerous essays about my own experience. If anyone is interested in reading one example, go to:

    http://anngrahamprice.wordpress.com/essays/

    Click on Meditations on a Sepia. It was published several years ago in a women’s magazine that published an entire issue on sexual assault. My essay was the piece that opened that issue, but in reality, it had been many, many years in the writing.

    I wish you all full healing and full lives.

    Blessings,
    Ann

  94. I read this a couple of times, and still can’t get over the intensity. I am SO sorry you had to go through this. But I admire you strength and your courage. For going through it, for coping, and for rising out of it. Fighting back ISN’t always possible, or helpful, and thank you for pointing that out. I might come back and write a longer response later, but for now, you have my heartfelt sympathy, and gratitude for sharing this.

    • Thank you for your comments. Please feel free to write a longer response, I will read it. I am really doing great, but it was hard to get this one out, and I am just grateful that it can now help others.

  95. Your bravery in publishing this story is only matched by your generosity in hearing – truly hearing – the flood of responses, and attempting to respond to each one. No wonder you became a bit numb after all this – but I know you’re resilient. It seems you feel ethically bound to face the results of your post (I mean facing all the replies!), and that is admirable. Long ago I made exactly the same decision – utterly consciously – and lay limp, just as you, on a dirty mattress on the floor of a stranger’s apartment, a bewildered, innocent 18-yr-old virgin. It was 1967, before the Women’s Movement had raised any awareness that women might not to blame for rape. I was “escorted” safely out of the apartment after the ordeal that began with my stupid (in hindsight), but completely understandable acquiescence to his insistence that I come up and advise him on the decor of his new digs. After he raped me, I quietly walked past the array of large knives on the kitchen counter, grateful for my life. It was a surreal moment when this man accompanied me out onto the street – utterly brazen – but I knew instinctively I could do nothing except get on a bus and go home. I dared not tell my parents; I sensed I would be blamed and shamed. I called a friend; she didn’t know what to say. The next day I called the police, and after they asked a few crude questions (this happened in NYC) I gave up – they were clearly not interested. Time to shut it down. Over the next few years, I became promiscuous, not caring what happened, which ultimately led to an abusive relationship and another rape. I did not understand the connection between promiscuity and sexual assault until 35 years alter, when I entered grad school for social work. I too told my son, but I had doubts about doing that, and how to do it. I hoped it would engender a sense of respect for women but I’m not sure it did. You see, even all these years later, there are still questions and there is still fallout. Maybe I’ll be brave enough to go more “public” with my story on my own blog, I don’t know. In any case, thank you for your well written story and the healing you have brought to many people.

    • Hello, I read your comment this morning at work, and thought about what you wrote throughout the day, I thought about you, the young scared girl with limited life experience and few options for support in coping with something so painful, and you, a wise woman who is very thoughtful and kind, and whose blog I will be reading soon!

      • You’re too kind…and not much to read on my bog as it’s more visual, but I trust you will enjoy some of the images, and maybe I’ll get the courage one day to write some of my stories. thank you, again!!

  96. Thank you for your bravery. I can not explain how it makes me feel to see someone be so honest and open about this. You give me courage and are truly an inspiration to all girls and women who have and will be abused. I too understand this feeling and there is an amazing amount of people who haven’t shared their stories because they are scared and hurt. Your courage is a light, and it is beautiful beyond any compare. My utter thanks, appreciation, and admiration to you.

  97. Well thankyou sharpiegoddess, thank you for saying so. True that there are an amazing amount of people who haven’t shared, it’s staggering how many people are hurt by sexual abuse and violence. It’s heartbreaking,and it’s all about stopping these cycles. I am honored and humbled to have given you a sense of courage. xo

  98. thank you so much for this for years i was a victim of incest i was 12 years old and my father and abuser was a police officer. he now sits in a jail cell and hopefulyy will continue to, but over the years so many people asked me why didnt you fight back why didnt you tell? its simple i was remaining alive the only way i knew how by not fighting a man twice my size i was saving myself from the brutal beeting i knew id get by not telling i was still avoiding that horrific beating which i honestly believed one of them would be my last. i have always had to deal with the guilt of allowance ive even been told it was my fault i didnt do more but i was a kid. even now as an adult i cant honestly say that id kung fu kick a rapists ass into next week its different when youre scared and clearly overpowered no one can say “if it was me” no they cant it wasnt them and they do not know

  99. Pingback: about rape | weebeebird

    • Thank you for your kind comments I am healing! And though it is most certainly an ongoing process, in many ways this is a huge step towards total liberation from what happened. It seems that the whole process of writing it, and now the response bring me full circle.

  100. A very brave and well thought out post. Thank you for sharing your story to remind everyone that you never know how you’ll react in a situation if you haven’t been in that person’s shoes and that rape is never, ever “legitimate.”

  101. I think you are very brave at sharing what happened to your innocent self so many years ago. I send you warm hugs and hope that your story will help many others who have become victimized and feel the shame. Love to you.

  102. I somehow missed your post when it was showcased and I am grateful it made a second round. This is such a deeply personal story describing such savagery that I find it hard not to choke up and cry. That you are healing and sharing your story with so many readers helps others heal and understand. That is a great thing. Thank you and congratulations on your healing journey.

  103. First of all, I think it is very brave and strong of you to share this awful experience with the world. I am very sorry something like that happened to you, it is something that is unforgiveable. You are a strong beautiful woman and your story will help many others come out of the darkness and see they are not alone in this situation. So thank you for sharing your story, it really touched my heart.

  104. Thank you for sharing your story. I work with rape victims and an a rape survivor myself. It also took me years to be able talk about it because I also blamed myself. I’m glad people are speaking out about this.

  105. I came across your story via Word Press today. I must say, I used to feel the same way. I was raped when I was nine years old. It was an older brother of my best friend. For years, I said nothing – so afraid I would be blamed for what happened. We moved away the following year and I happily lost touch with my friend. When I was 22, I finally told my mother and she was heartbroken but that was the beginning of my healing. I am 47 and still feel the pain of what happened to me so long ago.

    • Oh Andie, that is so sad, the horribleness of the rape itself, and your silence and lonlieness with it. For you, for your mother, and also for the perpetrator. So glad you were able to tell her eventually and that she was there for you…I am really not sure why I didn’t tell my parents. They were always there for me, always, but I suppose I was so ashamed and confused by what happened, and I really felt it was my own fault for a long time, so I couldn’t tell. Thanks again for your thoughts and for sharing.

  106. Dear Misslisted:
    I read through your account and I have to say that I think I went through it with my jaw down to my ankles and my eyes were progressively flooding.

    We like to blame ourselves when these events happen to us. And we live with this crippling shame and regret, full of “what ifs.” My heart goes out to you. Back in 2010, I brought my daughter to her study abroad time in Paris, her chosen city. I spent the next six months dreading a non-scheduled phone call. It did not happen.

    And so, while I read your piece, I thought, you are my daughter, my sister, my mother, my friend. You are every woman who has been taken advantage of by some sick weak pathetic human being who has to get off on dominating other people. No is no. “No” is a sentence. “No” is universal. You do not need an interpreter.

    And yes, I too wrote a piece about the “legitimate rape” statements made in my blog a while back. I could not keep silent about it. It made me so angry I could not walk away from it. I am so relieved that in spite of these people throwing their millions to support the candidacy of these “aliens-from-outer-space” candidates, they did not win!!! Good sense and judgment still prevailed.

    I hope writing this will help you come to terms with this so you can take back your life. You deserve better. Your children deserve better. Your family deserve better. The entirety of you is a whole universe compared to the speck of sand this event is in your life or who you are or what you are all about.

    • Thank you for your heartfelt response. I am going to use the “no is a sentence” “no is universal” with my children. It’s simple and easy to remember…I will check out your blog shortly…and yes, so glad to see Mourdock, Akin et al go down yesterday…time for themto step asisde and move on and make the way for enlightened, right thinking people to take over. You are right in your last sentence, and I have thought about that a lot. This post helped free me a lot, and I think I can put it all into perspective much more clearly than I’ve ever been able to in the past… again, appreciate your response.

  107. Hi mislisted, i have seen how callous male politicians in the U.S. try to sound authoritative in the subject of rape. I am suddenly reminded of the comments of one of our politicians here in the Philippines on the subject of Filipina comfort women during the Japanese invasion of our country in World War II. I believed he said something to the effect that the women should have just laid back and enjoyed it. The comment brought on tears of anger when I heard it. He of course got a lot of flak for his stupid comment which he claimed was said in jest.

    Like Tina Fey’s anger, I agree that it is hard to have a really serious discussion on this issue when too many monkeys are jumping around wanting to give their two cents. What we need are revelations like yours. A lesson in healing that will surely help others who have experienced what you experienced. I congratulate you for your bravery and you realization that none of it was your fault. I admire your strength for not allowing this moment to define you in any way even with a hat-full of misgivings. I applaud your maturity for exploring your own feelings about the whole matter, however painful they may be. But most of all I thank you for sharing this dark and harrowing nightmare as it calls attention to a subject that is often swept under the rug or indelicately handled by graying old men.

    All the Best!

  108. Even though I don’t know you and even though I am a lot younger than you are (18 yrs) I want you to know that I felt proud of you reading your story. It is brave and strong to tell us, all the bloggers on WordPress and the world, about it.
    I am an 18 year-old girl from Vienna, currently staying in Rome and working as an Aupair. Your story reminded me of having to be cautious. I often notice that, since nothing really terrible has ever happened to me before, I am probably relying too much on my present situation. Nothing has ever happened to me. But it COULD happen and that’s what people, and me too, tend to forget.
    I wish you all the best!

    • Thank you for your sweet remarks. I really appreciate them, but mostly I am glad that you are taking my words to heart for your own safety. I would not want you to be afraid or cynical, just to be aware, and to protect yourself. I would want you to know that while the world is filled with goodness and light and wonderful people, there is also the possibility of coming up against people who are behaving in hurtful, harmful, distorted ways, and there is real danger that your interactions with those people can have lasting consequences. As you get older and have more experience you will be able to discern these things more easily on your own, but lacking experience, you have to educate yourself and lean into those who have gone before you. I wish you all the best too!

  109. Thank you for writing this. I’ve been meaning to post my own assault narrative online but I haven’t worked up the courage yet. I was the same age – 19 – but it was a friend and not a stranger. Thank you again.

    • Thank you….I wrote this over the course of about 6 months, and first just did so to purge myself of it, and to share with my daughter. It was helpful to write it out, and that could have been enough. It sat in my draft file for months, I thought it would stay there, but then I felt like sharing because I knew that I had progressed to the point were I was strong enough to deal with the consequences of going public, which I must say have been nothing but more helpful and loving. Peace to you…and I’m sorry to know that you and I share this experience, and at such a tender age…

  110. Thank you for being brave a bough to share your story. You absolutely did the right thing under the circumstances, and what I imagine many women do in order to keep themselves ‘safe’.

    It’s awful you felt ashamed of this for so long, so thank you for finding peace and sharing- if just one other person reads this and realises they should not be ashamed either, then that’s worth everything.

    I read recently (I can’t remember where) that we should stop defining it as sexual assault and simple what it is: assault. Then maybe we would begin to lose the connotations that the victim is to blame, and start seeing it as simply an act of power and violence.

      • Thank you for your validation…it certainly is interesting how loaded the language is around “rape”, “sexual assault”…etc. I do think there is .truth in what you read. It is hard to say “I was raped”. It took me a long time to say those words out loud, and I still choke on them. Using the words rape or sexual certainly do bring a whole lot of extra stuff to the conversation…

  111. A very profound, touching and necessary telling of your story. Thank you for sharing it, I’m sure you have helped many others with it.
    Janice xoxo

  112. A powerful piece and thank you for sharing it. This could happen to anyone and it’s no shame that it happened to you. I had a “near miss” as a teenager many years ago; waiting at the kerbside for a bus in the city one afternoon, I mistook the offer of a lift from a man in a blue valiant as being from someone I knew. By the time I’d climbed into the car, I realised my mistake but it was too late and he had driven off. A few minutes into the ride, I told him how old I was (14) – a rather foolish declaration in hindsight – and asked to be let out. Fortunately, he thought better of it and I emerged shaken but unharmed. I was lucky. With another man, it might have been a different story.

  113. Thank you for your bravery. You are not alone in your outrage at the ignorant statements on rape floating around. You are a phenomenal woman, and God bless you.

  114. Thank you so much for this. Reading your story makes me feel as though I am not alone. I am a victim of rape. 16 years ago this month my ex and father of my son decided I was going to be his again. I like you after seeing that the more I fought the more violent he got let him do it. Doing what ever it took to keep me safe for the sake of my 6 month old son.
    I thought I was brave and spoke out. Reported to the police and it went to court.
    What hurt me most was that he was acquitted of rape because I DIDN’T fight. The jury saw it as consenting.
    Since then I always look back and wonder wether it could have been so different. Should I have ended up black and blue maybe even dead to be believed. Was it because he was my ex, I was young?
    Reading your story lets me know that yes I did do the right thing. I am still here for my sons sake. I know now there was nothing I could have done to make it easier/better. Karma did its thing and he died a few years later from a Heroin overdose. I no longer live in fear that I may bump into him in the street.

    From here in the UK where the justice system is so messed up to recognise true victims I thank you. Xx

    • Wow, I have heard so many stories like that. I am so sorry that you had to go through, first, the rape, and secondly, what must’ve felt like another soul-sucking violation. Thank God you lived to take care of your son…peace to you and thank you for sharing.

  115. I also recently posted about my own rape experience, prompted by similar things as you were. First, I want to say I’m sorry for what happened to you. Second, I want to say that I completely understand why you did the things you did and why you waited so long to say anything about it. As you mentioned, many people’s reaction is to say they would never let that happen to them, as if rape is just something we allow to happen. I mean, really, are we supposed to fight to the death? It should be enough just to say “no” one time, with no qualifiers on how loudly or strongly we said it or how many times. You did what you had to do to stay alive. It’s easy for people to say they would never let it happen to them when they haven’t been there and don’t know how they’d react in those circumstances. I used to think it would never happen to me, either- especially the way that it did, being taken advantage of by an employer. I always thought I’d have the strength and determination to “not get raped”. But it can happen to anyone. You’re not in control of the situation when you’re the victim and you don’t get the luxury of deciding to “not get raped”. Thank you for sharing your story and I wish you peace and healing.

  116. It takes courage to accept what you went through and even more courage to tell the world about it. You are right. God did not create us to be coerced and violated in any way by anyone. And instead of judging victims of abuse, we should be doing what we can to help them. You just did. By sharing your story, you have opened eyes of many.

  117. You have given the response that rape is not OK under any circumstance. Thank you for being so open with your story. One warm summer nght I new I was in trouble on a date when we were standing side by side outside his car. The park was beautiful as we stood in an area of seclusion. The conversation was good, but trouble reared its ugly head when he turned to face me and pulled at my designer belt. The button on my pants flew off and hit me on my lowier lip so hard I tasted blood in my mouth. He was bigger and stronger than me. I was over powered physically and mentally from the struggle. I to gave in to save what was left of me. The less I struggled the more docile he became. I understand your and your friends story because I have lived it.

    • Wow, such an image with the button hitting your lip. It’s so crazy how many people have the same story, I have to take deep breaths when I read your words, it makes my body tense up. Such an injustice. You do what you can to survive it, and avoid it in the future, but sometimes it comes to you and there is nothing you can do but make the best decisions you can with what you’ve got. xoxo love to you.

  118. Rape is both violent and a violation of our right to say NO! I applaud your courage in sharing your story and reminding the rest of us that no one chooses to be raped and God never intended it. Blaming the victim is despicable… Sending you love and healing virtual {{{HUGS}}}.
    Eliz

  119. I know what you shared will help other women. This blog has also helped you to acknowledge the past and to live more fully in the present. Michelle

  120. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed, and especially, for having the courage to write this. I’m sorry for what happened to you. You are brave and your voice, I’m sure, will help a lot of women, and perhaps men too. I know it helps me. Maybe many of us will decide to stop holding our secret(s) silently. Thank you so much.

    • Thank you. I do hope it can help men as well, in the final analysis I am fairly certain that the perpetrators of these crimes are hurt deeply by their actions, particularly if they are unable to reconcile within themselves the hurt they’ve brought to others. Without healing and forgivness for them, it is an unending cycle. I know of no other way to end it but to speak up, and encourage others to do so in their own way and their own time.

  121. Thank you for sharing this…….you are an inspiring woman, and I am so glad that you have battled your way through because you have given hope to others. It has obviously been a long and difficult journey for you, but you are now victor rather than victim through your bravery and determination. I wish you happiness now as you move forward with your life…..from darkness to light. God bless you.

  122. I just posted my blog my story that seem to flow onto the screen as if by accident. I hadn’t meant to share my story and yet there it was. It is not my complete story but at least I have begun to talk about it. I feel as if a weight has been lifted off of me. Thank you for triggering an opportunity to heal. You gave me a much needed gift and hopefully my story might inspire someone else to talk much dominoes as one story touches another setting off a string of healing and sharing.

    http://lisalday111711.wordpress.com

    post is called Escape is Futile

  123. thank you so much for sharing your story. my best friend was raped while we were in college. i think one of the hardest things for me was knowing how to act, what to say, and how to help her. i think i’ll share this story with her. thanks so much for your bravery to share this with the world.

  124. Thanks for sharing. I am so sorry that you went through this: the rape and the years of keeping it silent. I hope you can truly begin to heal, and let this go now.

    I have long told my daughter (now 22): IF you are ever in a situation where you do not feel safe, there is no way out, and you know that a man is about to rape you- let him. It is only your body, love of my life, that he will harm. You are so much more. Don’t let him touch that. If he uses your body, it will heal, but if you let him have any more, that will take so much longer. Live. It is only your body.

    Understand, I do not take that lightly in any sense. I have also told her that if she can fight, if she can get away fight for her life. But if, like you, she is in a position that is dangerous and there are no other options, live. It is sad that I feel the need to tell my girl this kind of thing, but the world is filled with plenty of men like the one you met… and politicians as well.

  125. I thank you for writing this. I hope that the attention that it has received is validating to you as you continue your journey toward healing.

    When I was in my early teens, my stepfather exposed himself to me a number of times. All I could do was freeze, and afterwards act as if everything were fine. I have always felt some guilt and responsibility for not trying to stop it. Until reading your blog now, I did not even realize that I had subconsciously minimized my role as a victim because I believed somehow must have been complicit in these acts. I never realized that I should forgive myself until this very moment.

    Thank you.

    • Thank you Joyce, sorry you went through that and glad you could get some clarity by reading this. It is very validating and freeing to read the responses of others, and once again, reinforces the importance of using my own experience, bad or good, to inspire others and to heal myself…

  126. Thank you for opening up this conversation. I know I can’t help what might happen to my own teenage daughter out there in the world, but I can help her shape how she responds. Posts like this one are so valuable in helping all of us see that we do not have to punish ourselves for what others do. You are a brave and beautiful writer!

    • Thank you. I have three children, two boys 20 and (almost) 13, and a girl 17. My two younger children read it and I watched their sincere and thoughtful reactions and answered their questions. It was amazing for me to see how they responded. I did tell my oldest son, and he was very moved, but he told me he didn’t think he could read it right now, but he understood. I think it’s important for them to know the truth about the world so they can be prepared….

  127. Wow. What a powerful post. A friend of mine asked me to post my testimony on her blog….I did, but I did not want anyone who knows me to read it. I am struggling with “what will peope think.” My stuggle was not with rape, but with spiritual warfare, intense demonic oppression. Thank you so much for your vulnerability. One of these days, I will, too, post my testimony. You are an encouragement.

  128. even though you are 46 now and this rape was a long time ago, what would it look like to do any actions you maybe wished you had done after the rape occured?

    did you wish you told your friend. is it possible to find her and tell her now?

    did you wish you reported it? it was 28 yrs ago but can you report it now?

    did you wish you went to the hospital. can you talk to someone at a hospital now?

    what if you were to visit Rome again and act as if it just happened – where would you go, whom would you speak to?
    can you do that?

    do you wish you prevented him from being free to harm other women? are there ways to work now to fight crime and help women?

    do you wish you had understood more about rape before you experienced it? are there ways to help younger women (whom I believe are really just versions of ourselves)

    he raped you and my guess is that he had done it before.

    shutting down in order to stay alive was a way of “fighting” what was happening and there was nothing wrong with your choice. there is no way to tell what would have happened had you chose something else.

    I wish you peace.

    • These are really excellent questions. So many times I’ve asked myself the same questions and wondered what would have happened if I had done X, but what really matters is what I do now.

  129. I wish that I had been prepared better before I went off to Europe on my own. I do not feel the possibilities of what could happen were addressed with us. I’m sure that the program we went on could’ve done more education on prevention of this type of thing. There was a lot of talk about pick-pockets and having things stolen (my purse was stolen there too with all my ID, passport, traveller’s checks, Eurail pass etc.), but not much about the vast possibility of predatory sexual behavior and violence, which was a factor wherever I went. I was grabbed on the street by a man in London also who held me to him and pressed his mouth against mine. I could taste him and smell him for a long time, in fact I still can. Why would anyone think this kind of thing is okay? I don’t know. Alcohol is often a factor.

    I wish I would’ve told my friend more about what really happened and my feelings at the time. She did know that I went with him, but I believe she thought it was voluntary, and I didn’t really tell her about my feelings of terror and shame. I was really humiliated. I need to tell her to read this piece and I will.

    I am quite certain if I’d reported it, it would’ve been very problematic. There were witnesses that saw me go voluntarily. He was with friends, I’m guessing they would’ve backed him up…this was in the 80’s, I can’t imagine that the culture there at the time would’ve been kind to me. I do NOT regret not reporting it. I think it would’ve been dismissed, or a fiasco. Not sure. On the other hand, I am sure he did this to other women, so I would’ve liked to think I could’ve spared others. That’s probably naive though.

    I am not sure what I would do differently than I did back then other than wishing I’d learned better how important it was to protect myself (under no circumstances should I have left my friend, for example). It’s been a long time, but I wonder, could a couple glasses of wine have been a factor in my getting on the bike to begin with? I know that a teenage brain is already predisposed to allow for risky behaviors, and if you throw the disinhibition of a little alcohol on top of it…it can be trouble.

    I suppose that I could’ve told the story sooner than I did, I think it has held me back in some ways NOT to have. But we cannot second guess ourselves too much in these matters…

    Not sure I answered ALL your questions, thanks for coming over here, I couldn’t post anything longer than a few sentences at Elephantjournal.

    Chris

  130. I’m sure there is some girl who had a few drinks, got on a guy’s motorbike and that is now her favorite memory of her trip to Europe or wherever. The guy you were with committed a crime.

  131. Not only did he rape you, he also kidnapped you when he took you to his building against your will.

    I feel for you. It must have been not only a terrifying night but also scary and ugly and confusing and mystifying and very very painful. I’m glad you came through it and are telling the truth of what you experienced no matter how long ago it happened.

    • Thank you Becky. Yes, he did kidnap me. As I wrote the story I used that word for the first time. I had accepted the idea that I was raped long ago, but the word “kidnapped” came to me as I was writing it. Ugh. It was mystifying, and it is truly a long journey to figuring it out. Thank you for your thoughtful comments, questions and validation.

      • You know, I didn’t even think about the fact that you were kidnapped. Amazing how much ‘our’ minds can bypass or ignore.

        When I opened my email today, I saw this threaded comment, and next to it was a workshop on writing to heal. I took the introduction class last year, but never did anything with what I learned. The next workshop is 6 weeks, so maybe I’ll take that one. The premise of the teaching is that holding on to a secret can and does make people sick. Much research has been done to show that sick people often have a long held secret.

        I was wondering if you have physical ailments that you feel might be associated with this awful thing that happened to you.

        Also, your post made me remember things I had forgotten. As if I don’t already have enough of these sorts of secrets. I do. I’ve held on to them a long time. Was on FB yesterday and saw a photo (on a friend’s page) of a man who threatened to rape me and kill my dog. I did tell people about it because I had to move out and go live in a house without walls. (ha! great title for a post aye?). A friend was remodeling the house, and I was visiting my son in the hospital so I had to stay somewhere and had two dogs with me. I was so happy to sleep on that floor and be away from that man! My sister told my mother that I was probably wearing pajamas, and that I should have been grateful to the man for having let me stay at his house, while my son was in a hospital near there. I had given him an entire Winter’s worth of organic meat from a family farm. Sigh… I felt sick seeing his picture, but then, so much worse has happened to me in life. That story is nothing compared to the rest. I don’t know if I will ever tell and at 48, I hear myself saying that I am too old and should have dealt with my past already, but I wouldn’t tell another woman not to tell.

        I hope you don’t mind me sharing here. Again, thank you for writing your story. (I was also kidnapped, for a long time, but the secret lies in the events that followed). I can’t tell you what all I remembered, but it was rather like a realization. I can’t believe how my mind covered up what happened to me. I think that is part of the, “rape culture”).

  132. With the corruption in Italy he could have been polizia—you never know, and you didn’t know. There was only consent in short travel; the fault was 100% with him what he did. The blame-the-victim culture has yet to go away.

  133. Thanks for sharing–it really made me think that there but for the grace of God go I. It could happened but it didn’t, not because of anything I did right.. I had several experiences that could have been as bad as that and by pure chance it didn’t come to that. I was 19 and going around Europe with my close girlfriend who was 21. At one point we were in Arles looking for a hostel or a hotel room, but everything was full. We were going to every hotel and knocking on the door. A young man came to help us find a room. He walked with us for hours, but no rooms available. We had our backpacks on our backs. And we had been on the train for 24 hours prior, so were very tired. Finally he offered to let us stay at his parents house in our own room. After questioning him about the details, we somehow trusted him. But when we arrived at his house, he locked us in his room. We laid out our sleeping bags on the floor. At this point he tried to make a move on me. Our jeans were off and we were in our sleeping bags. Suddenly I shouted to my friend to throw our backpacks and sleeping bags out the window.They landed on the street (there was no sidewalk since it was a narrow old part of town.) and it made an enormous noise as they caught the air. We got our jeans and shoes on, and somehow through the grace of God, he opened the lock and let us out. Then he chased us up the street in the middle of the night with only his Red white and blue underpants on, yelling at us that we had asked for it. All of this was in French, which I understood. It had all started so innocently with me enjoying using my French. We ended up sleeping for a couple of hours in the train station with the lights on bright, and then on to the morning train, still so tired. Sorry but we did not see Arles. The other experience was in Rome where two boys chased us throughout the neighborhood near the train station and we could not get away or get help. Finally after so much running, and trying to get away in the bathroom and in a store, finally we found a police station, and then the boys finally ran away. It took at least a couple of hours of running, all the time we were holding our bicycle pumps that we had removed from our bikes so they wouldn’t get stolen. We met some nice boys in Rome who took us out dancing etc. I’m sure something bad could have happened, but we got lucky. One guy was so worried about us that he was trying to warn us about his friend. Now I’m 53, but it seems like yesterday, 1978.

  134. The stupidest thing about people who say, ‘I’d’ve broken his fingers’ is that you’ve no idea what you’d do in that situation and what you’ll be up against. I was attacked in similar circumstances to you – trusted a stranger, got in a car, ended up on a deserted, under construction housing estate fighting off a guy much stronger than me. My fight reflex kicked in – which surprised the hell out of me, I’m 5″0 and not tough at all – but however hard I tried to push my thumbs into his eyes and kick him in the balls, the slippery little fucker still had the upper hand. It was only after he’d cut off my breathing passage a couple of times that my brain kicked in and I made the same decision as you – better to be raped and alive than be a dead shero. Fortunately luck intervened at what was coming to the last minute, and I made a desperate getaway.

    No one can plan for what they’d do, no one can understand what it’s like unless it’s happened to them. Thank you for sharing your story and speaking up, more of us need to let the world know that this happens, that it’s not our fault, and that it’s got to stop.

    • Thank you for sharing your story, and SO GLAD you were able to escape. How traumatic. There are so many variations on the story…it blows my mind. And indeed, it has to stop.

  135. Thank you for speaking out against this violence. So many women and girls blame themselves for the crimes committed against them, when the truth is that the perpetrator is the criminal. For far too many years, I blamed myself because my dad molested me, and I allowed him to blame me too. I was wrong. It was his crime, not mine, just as the rape against you was the perpetrator’s crime, not yours. I pray the Lord blesses you and gives you peace.

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  137. Thank you so much for sharing your story and the link to temiranir’s blog. I linked to both on my site as well. I was also inspired to start talking about my experience by all the idiotic republicans recently. It’s been very cathartic for me to talk about something I was so silent about for years, and to read others’ stories as well. I haven’t been able to write anything this specific about my experiences yet, but I hope someday I will be able to. You are very brave. I have a lot of fear about potential reactions from some of the same people I told after the first time I was raped who called me a slut and said I was lying. I don’t have enough distance yet from those social circles, even though it’s been 22 years. I don’t know if I’m quite ready to go there yet.

    • Hello, and thank you for your comments. It took a lot of bravery to get it out, I must admit, but once I did, everything changed in that regard. I wrote about it and just let it sit for months, and then…the idiotic comments from politicians…and I had to put it out there. I am glad I did. It has helped me to let it go, and I know that it helps others to be able to speak my truth. It is your story to tell though, and you will tell it in your own time, in your own way. I wish you the best.

  138. Wow. I think innocence taken is a sin beyond most other sins, if sins can be compared. I’ve been wondering what’s up with misslisted since I’ve been taking a break; almost sorry I checked – almost. Good for you for sharing; somewhere, sometime alarm bells will sound thanks to you, and innocence will be spared. Man, I’d love to curb stomp that guy. If he came with a label on his shirt, I would. Ladies, most guys aren’t like that, but you have to assume they are until you know them!

    • Hello, Your response to this was just what I needed today, your choice of words was strange and synchronistic though I cannot saywhy here. You are one of the good guys…

  139. this is extremely brave and courageous of you…what you wrote is powerful and what happened to you was horrible and torturous…am so glad you made it out of there alive and you’ve taken the step out of your comfort zone to help so many of us….may god bless you!!!

  140. Pingback: Very Inspiring Blogger Award Nominees-Yes You Made The List!!!! « Gwen Owens-CEO of Relationships Start With You

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