It's not what you are eating, it's what's eating you…

Archive for the ‘RAPE’ Category

“Why didn’t you fight back?!?” #MeToo #WhyIDidntFightBack

Sigh…

I really didn’t want to write this blog. I figured my last blog, I’d do the topic justice regarding rape and sexual harassment and why people don’t come forward to report sexual harassment and rape, regardless of socio-economics, gender and ages of the perpetrators, among many other factors.

I figured I’d do what I can, to help others and then be able to walk away.

Shortly after I published my blog, the ONLY hateful thing I got about what I wrote, was someone, insinuating that it would’ve been “unlikely” for me to be a rape victim and asking me to define, what I  “defined”  as rape.

Which relcutantly I did, by additionally adding a clarification, on my last blog. It wasn’t to help myself. It was with great trepidation, as I explained that both my parents and my children are on the internet, including my teenage daughter, who has NO idea that this has happened to me. And NO ONE had known all the details, the VERY little I’ve talked about this both in my personal life and the little I’ve brought up, as an a activist/blogger.

I’ve seen though enough misguided dialogue on social media and the media in general,that I will explain a few things about how not only is it insensitive at best, but at worst, it re-victimizes victims of rape and sexual harassment when it’s questioned and debated ad nauseum, why they don’t fight back.

Let alone say anything at all, and maybe this will add necessary feedback to what’s needed in the dialogue of prevention of rape and sexual harassment, as well as making it a safer society for victims to come forward.

When I was raped in January of 1996, I didn’t fight back, because while I was very heavy, my rapist had 40 lbs on me and also had said he wouldn’t hurt me if I didn’t.

He also had an established career in the MILITARY (I’m not demonizing his profession in any way, other than it was why I didn’t feel it would’ve been worth the risk to fight back).

I had a young child, to think of. Who then, I couldn’t be his mother, if I was DEAD. I didn’t trust the fact he said he wouldn’t hurt me physically, because for one, he already had and while I was seriously violated physically and emotionally, I at least didn’t increase my odds, of unrecoverable physical injury or death, which I’m not blaming those who do fight back and seriously hurt, if not killed, (of course,if it prevents rape and assault, I’m grateful that was that person’s result)  it’s just my mindset at the time, was I had to survive this and go on with my life, in hopes that I could at least walk away from this.

I’ve seen since my experience in the mental health system, people though who are 90 lbs be able to beat the crap out of someone’s a foot taller and 100 lbs more than them, due to RAGE.

So all I have to add at this point, while the dialogue that’s happening is SO necessary, be VERY careful on what people say either clearly or insinuate, of why others should’ve fought back or that if they were in that situation that they would’ve, is extremely HARMFUL.

For more than one reason, as I’ve tried to highlight.

I can’t speak for everyone who’s been a victim and/or would rather consider themselves just a survivor of rape and sexual harassment, of why they didn’t fight back and or what their triggers going forward, are.  I can only speak for myself. Only they can tell you their stories and hopefully they will be listened to, with sensitivity and their physical and emotional safety, going forward.

But I’d ask, for those who’ve NOT experienced any type of rape, physical assault or harassment, aren’t a clinically trained professional and/or law enforcement professional who hasn’t worked with victims, of choosing words carefully when you question any aspect of an assault, no matter what the circumstances ARE.

Especially, especially, ESPECIALLY, when it comes to “Why didn’t you fight back?!?!”

Note: I’m pubishing this blog, with great tredpidation, in hopes it helps others. I do the activism that I do, to help other people. I’m not saying I’m better or worse than anyone, in my case, where with my disability sets, I don’t monetize anything that I do, nor do I crave being in the spotlight in any way.

I feel strongly enough, that it’s worth for me to try to help others by chiming in this dialogue, to risk attention, this way. I’m only doing so, because I truly believe it can help other people.

I’m also making it clear, with like most of my blogs, any comment that’s not constructive and respectful, will NOT be published. Thanks!!!

Edit/Additional Note: When I created #WhyIDidntFightBack, it was to open the door of giving victims/survivors a means of telling their stories, not being able to forecast of how many people will read this blog.

Advertisements

The horrible messages that society and the media SHOULD NOT be promoting, when discussing Harvey Weinstein, rapists, rape victims, assault and sexual harassment….

http://www.rainn.org

Trigger Warnings: If you or someone you know is in danger of hurting someone else, please seek acute medical/mental health treatment and or contact law enforcement. If you’ve been a victim of rape or sexual harassment know that in addition to the links above, that there are multiple avenues of support for people to get support and recover from the trauma physically and mentally that this can cause, if in acute need, please get acute help from a professional, in an appropriate setting. The same could be said, though if it happened a long time ago and have decided to get support, now.

Goddamn it!!!

I didn’t want to  have to write this blog. I thought for how much discussion about rape and sexual harassment was being discussed by public figures I adore, I wouldn’t have to say the following, below.

That someone I’d adore who’s in the public eye,would bring this up, but sadly that hasn’t been the case, so here we go…

I like most people (and being an activist who tries to remove stigma) has been horrified like most decent people, when it came out that Harvey Weinstein, a powerful Hollywood mogul had raped, sexually assaulted and harassed multiple women for decades, both actresses, female reporters and other women have now come forward.

Since the story broke, it’s leading to a very necessary dialogue we have to have as a society regarding rape and sexual harassment, both in the workplace and out of it.

It’s easy to go for the jugular, or in this case, above and below Harvey Weinstein’s  neck, as far as making derogatory statements that are justified about what he did, but also what he looks like.

And that is the REASON for this blog. In seeing in the media the jokes about his looks and his weight, sends a HORRIBLE multi-complex message, to perpetrators and victims alike, that while his money and power was something that allowed him to get away with despicable crimes he perpetuated on his victims,for decades. And if the looks and fat shaming of a rapist, if that reasoning for hate on rapists or murderers existed, exclusive to that population, ALONE, I probably wouldn’t lose much sleep at night, but it isn’t and that mindset hurts millions of innocent people regardless of their size.

Let me explain.

As it  sends a very misguided and dangerous message that only not attractive men are perps in these horrible crimes but that only conventionally attractive or beautiful women can ONLY be victims.

Rape and sexual harassment can have victims of both women and men. That isn’t being questioned. It shouldn’t be perpetuated in any form that someone who is not considered by society’s stringent standards of beauty, that people who aren’t considered conventionally attractive aren’t victims.

We saw this exemplified last year, when women spoke out against Donald Trump, who had said to the effect of “Look at her, like I’d even want that?!?!”.

I’m in no way wanting to change the good that’s coming out of the national dialogue about rape and sexual harassment both in the workplace and outside of it.

It just needs to be expanded on and it needs to include that we have to have to establish and educate that both rapists and their victims can be of all ages, all genders and all shapes, sizes, personal and professional relationships and within consideration of what’s considered attractive and in all socio-economic backrounds.

That we need to educate people on how to get help for their predatory violent behavior and have resources in place for that, in helps for prevention.

We have to have more resources and a safer and evolved society that realizes that there are victims of all ages, genders, races, religions and shapes and sizes.

And to start this education, from the time people are young.

I remember when I was 25, as a young mother participating in Early Childhood Family Education, that we once watched a video, about “Stranger Danger” of how to teach our children that you cannot go by the way someone looks, to determine whether or not is a danger. I really wish something like that existed now, where it’s more needed than ever.

When I was raped, at the age of 26,  I didn’t say anything because I was fat single mother of 1 and my rapist was someone who was considered attractive, as well as accomplished.

I didn’t think anyone would believe me and in my life, other than a blog or two, where I only started mentioning it, was because a rape victim, who was victimized repeated at a young age by her brother, had gone viral.

I only personally healed from that, unconventionally, because I spared myself further trauma by NOT talking about it. Because I could chalk up my rapist as an asshole, as in my case, he didn’t know anything but my name and my phone number. I couldn’t have beared to put what I went through out there to the  people who I care about and risk whatever unsupportive thing they may have had to say about it.

And that’s AWFUL, as it applies to me. And I can’t be the only person who’s had to have that mindset.

I feel obviously then, heartbreakingly awful for the victims of any rape, incest, physical assault and sexual harassment. I think that the bravery of Harvey Weinstein’s victims or anyone who comes forward is commendable, but also and his victims stories and his heinous actions, have to be the start of a much more comprehensive dialogue on rape and rape victims, where ALL victims of rape,incest  and sexual harassment can safely tell their experiences and have the opportunity for support and healing.

But we can’t make inroads of prevention of rape,incest  and sexual harassment without more resources for discussing openly on the complex multi-faceted why people rape and sexual harass without blaming their victims and to have treatment options before they ever offend. That perpetrators and victims are of all ages, genders, sexual preference, races, religion, socio-economics, individual perceptions of attractiveness and shapes and sizes.

Note: I have both as an activist and a personal investment in the reasons that played in the need for me to write this blog. If you want to find out how much hate there is, towards unconventional people who are victims of rape and physical assault, try looking for a meme, like I did, before writing this blog.

It’s a bunch of hateful bullshit that makes mockery of the idea of rape in people who aren’t considered conventionally attractive fat or thin. That’s hurtful to any human being who’s been violated physically and/or emotionally with rape and harassment and it hurts everyone.

Additional Note/Clarification/Edited after receiving anonymous hate:

I didn’t realize I had to spell out what happened to me, personally, of what I define as rape. I normally don’t do this, because not only do I have parents on the internet, so are my children.

I met someone unfortunately in their home, on 1/1/1996, a blind date, that was supposed to lead to going out to lunch. I realized the very second, I walked into that man’s home, that I made a mistake, it was a gut instinct and said I had a headache and needed to go home. He forcefully  grabbed by the arm and said I wasn’t going anywhere. I said please no, but I didn’t fight him, because he said he wouldn’t hurt me if I gave him what he wanted and kept  quiet.

So the specifics of my rape was forceful vaginal and anal penetration that led to bleeding and oral that led to gagging that I held back my vomit, to not further upset him. Did he beat me up or cause any further injury other than when he grabbed my arm and then physically violated me, that way? NO. When he was done, he said I could go and I left.

I couldn’t cry or show being upset, right after it happened,  either, when I left, because I had to pick up my 2 1/2 year old son, who was being babysat by my parents. I couldn’t cry or be upset, when I got home, because I didn’t want to upset my son. I went to work the next day and went on with my life. I was NOT okay, for the first 6 months afterwards, but I couldn’t show it.

This is what I mean when and why people are afraid go forward with their stories about rape and sexual assault. IF a woman is attractive, she’s asking for it. Or there’s many other consequences such as the victims of Harvey Weinstein, have showed why those women didn’t say anything.

If she’s not considered attractive and deemed unfuckable, by most people, it’s not believable an attractive accomplished man would do that. And if both attractive people and people who aren’t considered attractive, they get blamed should they press charges, if the charges stick and they are put on trial, right along with the people who commit these crimes. And it’s worse now that victims get tried in the court of social media.

Unless people are more evolved and understand the dynamics of rape and sexual harassment. It’s about humiliation. It’s about power, regardless of socio-economics. Rapists and sexual harassers can be parents, they can be children of any age, they can be family members, spouses and significant others, they can be doctors, teachers, fellow students, friends, police officers, members of the clergy of any religion, among many other populations.

I guess if someone felt the need to question in a derogatory way, I hope they only chose me. I hope they realize the harm, because it wasn’t asked in an innocent way, that I don’t choose to talk about the specifics of it normally, the little I do now, as an activist who works with people who have PTSD issues as a result of both childhood and adult trauma, because it isn’t helpful to either myself or who I’m trying to help as I don’t want people in medical and mental health crisis, to have to worry about me, as well as what I said about my parents and my kids being on the internet.

So whoever felt that need to do that, congratulations for not being a rapist or someone who’s capable of violent crime.

You still are an asshole that could work on your regard and trying to have empathy or at least apathy, for human beings, because if you can’t be part of the solution, don’t try to make people’s problems worse for them!!!

EVEN if you haven’t done the crime……

Victims will ALWAYS end up doing the time…… One way or another… I’ll explain as I go along…. Just please bear with me… And know that we CAN and DESERVE to heal…….

**********************************************************************************************************************

There are a lot of things I have not talked about, as much as I like to dispel stigma, there are things in my past that I’ve not talked about. Such as being molested by a female babysitter when I was about 8 or 9, who lived across the street, from where I grew up. Or that I was “date” raped (of the “blind” date variety) , 6 years PRIOR to my gastric bypass, at almost my heaviest, at the age of 26, because we live in a society that while there are so many resources in place, there are still so many travesties that are put upon others, that are not talked about.

Because of stigma, of course. And because of the shame we carry and the secrets we feel we HAVE to keep and we shouldn’t have to….. We meaning, others and myself who have not come forward, yet.

It’s not difficult for me, to metaphorically, wear a hair shirt on the internet, so to speak, regarding the neglect that I so heartbreakingly and so unintentionally, put my children through when in I was in both a medical and mental health crisis from about 2006 to 2008. I accept that as my due. My hopes have always been, in talking about that horrible period of time in our lives, is that given the fact I can’t take it back, that to honor my children, I talk about it, in hopes of helping other families. And it has helped other families get the help they need, as well as support to stay strong until that help arrived.

As there was a lot of things and systems that failed my children and I, in making it much harder than it should’ve been, to get the help that I tried to get for my children, who I loved more than anything, and myself (who I didn’t love) when I saw that I was getting sicker both medically and psychologically. To the point it was too physically painful and emotionally excruciating to know that I was not the best person to take care of them, anymore.

However, I would’ve seriously hurt anyone who would have victimized my children in the way that I had been, humiliatingly and violently. If not killed anyone who would violently harmed, my children. Or I would’ve pressed charges against anyone who would do that to them, at the very least. I was their biggest advocate for the longest time for normal childhood things, though and I should’ve been. I was their Mother. And again, it does bear repeating that I did try to get help when I knew I was at my sickest, as the last thing I ever wanted to do was hurt them in any way.

BUT,  it’s not so easy to talk about for me to talk about the times in my life where I’ve been victimized. I’ve mentioned briefly and on occasion on my blogs, the horrific bullying I went through as a fat child when I was very young (preschool) to adulthood. That’s what makes me an anti-bullying advocate.

So I’ve never really  talked about, at any great length (actually, AT ALL) the time I was molested by a teenage female babysitter, to anyone or the time I was date raped but because I was fat and it was by a man who was respected in society, that I figured no one would’ve ever believed me. Even though I knew intellectually, that rape is not a sexual act, it’s an act of violence and it’s about humiliation, I just somehow filed it away. Only to briefly talk about it with friends, closest to me. Around the time it happened,which was about 6 years before my gastric bypass. And not to be mentioned again. It never came up in my psychiatric hospitalization pre and post suicide attempt. It never got brought up in therapy, before or after. Which I stopped going to, in 2011.

But SOMEHOW, in my digital universe, it’s being reinforced that it needs to be brought up. RIGHT NOW. Perhaps, in my bringing it up, maybe others who’ve experienced similar or any type violent trauma or victimization, will come forward in hopes of healing. As well as preventing these, if not any heinous act, being perpetrated, in the first place. Or preventing them from happening again to ourselves or to others.

The biggest shame I’ve carried around and have not dealt with up until now, is that it has ALWAYS haunted me, on an intellectual level as well as emotional, is that I could’ve, if not without a doubt, failed innocent others, by not reporting these crimes. Because, by not doing so, thinking no one would believed me, also left the door open for those who have victimized me, in a criminal way, to be able to do that to OTHERS. That is probably caused me more shame and hurt that I left others to potentially be harmed, than the harm that was brought to me.

The catalyst that made me decide to come forward with what happened to me, was based upon a heartbreaking situation of a young girl who was repeatedly raped by her brother but chose not to say anything. It was an Upworthy link, shared by one of my Facebook friends, tonight.

The last thing I want to do in a circumstance so tragic, because not only of the circumstances that tragically and repeatedly violated her, but that as a young woman, she’s actually dying from something else. But has chosen not to go public with her circumstances. I don’t want to take away the peace of mind that she’s fought so hard for. But I can’t help wonder, if her brother has horrifically victimized more innocent people. This is why I’m writing this.

Here’s the Upworthy link: http://www.upworthy.com/she-was-just-a-little-girl-when-her-brother-did-these-things-now-shes-dying-and-she-wrote-him-a-letter?g=2&c=ufb1

(Note: Resource and support for victims is on the Upworthy link toward the bottom. Also note, in my case I’ve never hated those who’ve done harm to me, I’ve hated what they did. I, obviously am struggling with complete forgiveness, as a means to my healing, but it’s not for me to say that isn’t the best way for anyone else to heal .But I also absolutely believe that people can heal without forgiving those who’ve caused them such horrific harm.)

I remember running into my teenage female babysitter (who did have a drug problem at that time and I learned later was also abused sexually by her father prior ) who abused me, when I was an adult. She had a young daughter. I was with my son who was a toddler at the time and this was before the rape. It was at a local yogurt place and when she recognized me and introduced me to her young daughter, who was actually my age, when she abused me. As soon as she left, I had to go quickly to the bathroom and throw up.

I also did end up bizarrely also running into the person who raped me, on the internet, a year later, after the rape. It’s not going to help my healing or others to talk about what happened in that situation. But it makes sense now why I have such a lack of regard for myself and no self esteem for so long. When other people tell you or show you that you aren’t worth anything, it’s human nature to believe it. I say that as a survivor, but as an activist, I have bigger responsibility. But I have to obviously help myself in someway, to have credibility in helping others get help that they need to heal.

In NO way, would I want to do harm on people who’ve suffered horrific abuse of any kind by trying to shame them, in any way, to come forward if they just absolutely cannot. Or to press charges. I do want though to bring attention to the fact that perpetrators of horrific crime usually do NOT have just ONE victim. And ONE victim, is ONE victim too many.

I can’t be the one to tell you what is best for you, to heal. Only to caution you, as I’m learning that while I never deserved to be violated in the manner that I was, that my biggest regrets, as it applies to myself, SHOULD HAVE been TWOFOLD. That I SHOULD HAVE fought back out of respect to myself, to the fullest extent of the law. As well as forgiving myself for failing others who may have been spared being violated in the same way I was, because I chose not to act in fear and because of self loathing.

But at this point, I need to forgive myself and move on. And if you’ve been in similar circumstances and reacted the same way, you deserve peace and healing. And what you need for that to happen  may require professional help. And sadly I can only bring attention as an activist. I don’t have the qualifications that are necessary to help others in circumstances like this other than trying to remove the stigma and make you see that the secrecy and shame we carry is not ours to bear.

IF this helps one person, to get the help they need to heal, it was worth the heartache and humiliation that I hope to let go, from going public with this…

Peace……

Tag Cloud