Tag Archives: Rape

Today I came across an article telling part of a young man’s (Trey Malone) story. Not all of it, by any means; there is always so much more to a person than can fit into an article, or even a series of articles. What it details are after-effects of an unthinkable act committed against him and provided a link to his heart-wrenching and very eloquent suicide note.

I’m struck by several things as I read the story (here’s the link) and Trey Malone’s note, published in full at The Good Men Project site (link here) with his family’s permission.

The Huff Post story, while it outlined sexual assault as a contributing factor to Trey Malone’s decision to end his life and cited allegations that the college has failed to adequately respond to and address sexual assaults on their campus, and failed to provide adequate support to victims, provided only a single support resource link at the end of the article: to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. It did not provide any phone numbers or links to support resources for rape and sexual assault survivors. I do hope the oversight will be corrected.

The Malone family, in allowing the note to be published, shows incredible courage in the face of heartbreak. I would like to thank them for allowing the publication and offer my sincere condolences for their loss.

To fellow survivors trying to deal with victim blame, depression, feelings of isolation and / or shame, myself included, I would like to offer the following:

NOTHING you did, or did not do, justified having your will, your sense of safety, your sense of self, shattered and ripped away like it was. You did not “allow” it. You did not “ask for it.” The fault lies not with you. No matter what you may have been told, or how you yourself might feel, you are not weak. Having survived the physical, emotional and psychological effects so far is a sign of strength.

May we find peace, healing and continued strength.

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R* and Attachment Parenting

It’s scary sometimes where searches for information on current political events can lead a person. I certainly didn’t expect to find the following link to two topics I never expected to see together in the same post. hisveganmama didn’t even go into the level of detail that other bloggers went into in response to Mr. Akin’s ignorant (to put it politely) statement back in August 2012, but it certainly triggered a strong response in me. I wasn’t looking for information on his statement, and I’m not certain I can re-create the path that got me from the 2012 presidential campaign to hisveganmama‘s post…

Here’s where I ended my search earlier in my lunch hour:

R* and Attachment Parenting

It caught my eye, because, well, because of what I went through with Sam and because I am strongly drawn to the parenting philosophy of attachment parenting. I don’t know why I was so surprised to see the two topics together, because my belief in attachment parenting and desire to raise Max under that philosophy was one of many topics that would result in an hours-long diatribe about my intelligence, suitability as a wife and/or mother, or other unacceptable behavior by Sam towards me.

Her description of what she struggled with as being a rape survivor and a mama is shedding light on issues that I have struggled with, but which I wasn’t even aware enough of to have attributed to being a survivor.

It seems my list of stuff I need to work through keeps growing, but I’m not really sure that I’ve truly addressed any of them, much less healed. I’m not sure that feeling will ever go away, either.

Self-Defense Trigger

I should have realized there would be triggers in the self-defense class I’ve signed up to take.  But other than acknowledging that I want to (NEED to on a very visceral level) take self-defense, I’ve been trying to ignore the fact that the Rs ever happened.

Before I go further, let me say that I understand that’s not the best way to deal with R; I’m just so tired of dealing with it, with the fallout from it, with ME. Because I’m the only one who HAS to deal with it. HE certainly doesn’t; Sam still thinks he did nothing wrong. I’m so tired of dealing with him – every flippin’ weekend he has our son.  So every weekend, I have to deal with pick-up time and seeing the piece of filth that calls himself a man and a father.  I just want to ignore it, but I can’t.  I can’t and I can’t keep doing this.  When do I get to just BE? To be ME, not me-the-R-survivor or me-trying-to-heal-from-R?

Already, I’m off-track.

Last night was just the first night of the class – the fill-out-the-release-form, disclose-any-medical-conditions-that-may-need-to-be-considered night. And apparently go over information about the myths vs. realities of R and the statistics for R in our state.

According to the class instructors, who are or were police officers, our state has had the dubious honor of being No. 1 in the nation for the number of reported Rs per capita– for 23 of the past 30 years.  1 in 4 women in our state will be R’d. In this class, which is only for women, there would be 2 of us.  They also discussed making the decision to fight or submit. That whatever the R survivor decided to do was the right decision; that the important thing is to SURVIVE.  They did a very good job talking about it. Of clarifying submission is not consent.

I’m off track again.  I think I’m going to be talking in circles here, and I’m sorry for that. I really need to get this out and I don’t even really know what ‘this’ is…

I don’t remember how it was tied in, but it was; the instructor stated very clearly, very adamantly that R is a heinous crime. The way he said it, I believed it, I believed him, I believed that he believed that statement.  I understood, at that moment, that just because the judge in my divorce and custody case, and my lawyer, who heard Sam admit to R-ing me in the hearing, put it down to a euphemism and down-played the effect of Sam doing that with Max in the same bed, doesn’t mean that it had no effect on me – or our son. It doesn’t mean that I should, or have to, pretend it didn’t happen – happen repeatedly.

Which I guess is what I’ve been doing…  Pretending, ignoring…

When the instructor started talking about if you were attacked, “whatever you did, you survived.  That’s important.  There is no shame in surviving, no matter what your options were if it was to submit or fight, to press charges or not. You survived.”  It was all I could do to not break out in sobs and run out of the room.  I think I actually started getting out of my chair then and sat back down.

I don’t understand why.  Why does his compassion, his understanding, hurt?  Because it does.  It hurts more than the judge down-playing it.  It hurts more than my lawyer saying that doesn’t matter, we need to talk about his alcoholism more.  It hurts more than my lawyer saying why did you put that much detailed information in your affidavit, these are public and any one can see it: your employer, the public, your son when he’s old enough to ask; that level of detail is usually reserved for criminal investigations.

Max, instead of being asleep by the end of my class, called and asked me when I was coming home.  He told me Auntie told him to go to bed but he couldn’t sleep without me there.  After class, even knowing Max was waiting for me, I sat out in my car and cried and sobbed for a very long time.

Why?

I don’t know. I’m not expecting any answers.

I don’t know if I even want to keep looking at this.  I do…. I don’t.  I want to ignore it, but I can’t, can I?

I wish I didn’t believe this guy is for real

Reading this article, which was posted in the Faith section of the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman on Monday, July 18, 2011, made me sick to my stomach, angry, hurt….

What the Bible says about a modern controversy

I know, viscerally, intellectually, that the views this guy is espousing are twisted exegesis; however the shock of seeing this in print from a local newspaper was …  I can’t even find the words to describe the shock, the horror of seeing someone so blindly support a husband’s right to rape his wife and use religion as a reason to approve it.

I would like to say I’m surprised by the article, but I’m not. While spousal rape may technically no longer be legal, it is certainly one of the most under-reported crimes, and generally, that has to do with the wife’s fears of not being believed and societal attitudes towards women who stay within an abusive relationship. We don’t have to look through too many recent news stories to see that even when the rape victim/survivor doesn’t know her rapist, society in general tends to blame victims for the assault. If she comes forward, it is her character that is generally on trial. Amplify that a thousand fold when the rapist is the intimate partner or husband.
I’m not even sure what else I want to write here.
ETA: The link to the article no longer works directly.  Attached is a PDF of the article.  What the Bible says about a modern controversy – Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman

I’m Angry

20110712-013313.jpg

Or maybe a better title would be I’m angry and afraid….

Right now I’m so angry at Sam that I can’t think straight whenever his name enters my thoughts. I feel like a little girl who wants to jump up and down and stamp my foot and yell, “I hate him, I hate him, I hate him!” Can I? For just a little while, a minute or so… Maybe a couple hours…

Reason?

I’ve been having horrid nightmares about the rapes again. I’m almost certain that they’ve been triggered by Max coming home and smelling like Sam. So insomnia kicks back in. I don’t close my eyes until after 1, 3 or 4 am. Eyes wide open again between 3 and 5 am. The best sleep I seem to get is after my alarm goes off at 6 am and I hit snooze until 6:45 am. (Hmmmm, maybe I should set my alarm for 1 am and a 2nd one for 6, maybe then I’ll get at least 5 hours of sleep…)

I get up and check the locks on the doors make sure the windows that are easy to climb in are closed and locked… I’m sure I drive my family crazy if they hear me wandering the house at night.

Every little mention of him brings a white-hot anger to the surface. And it’s so hard to fight and so hard to hide when it’s Max talking about all the fun he had at Daddy’s: they rode their bikes to REI (nice to know Sam can spend money at that expensive toy store while not paying child support or 1/2 of Max’s medical bills….); they played with the neighbor kids; they went to the Park for a picnic… All stuff, of course, that I begged Sam to do with Max and I when we were still together, and which was always denied so Sam could sit on the couch and watch the games and drink. So it’s so hard to smile at Max and tell him I’m glad he had a fun weekend. But I do try. Because I am. Glad that Max had a good weekend. Glad that it was one more weekend where Max didn’t call crying – hopefully safe.

I should be happy that Max seems to be getting the best his father can offer during his visits, even if Sam is just playing and not actually parenting. Sometimes I am. But right now….

GRRRRRRRRRRRR

The only word that comes to mind right now when I hear Sam’s name is RAPIST. Followed closely by the desire to RUN. Just run, run, where can I go, where? And then the anger kicks in. How dare he still intimidate and scare me! How dare I let him have that power over me!

So I guess the question is: Who am I really mad at? Sam? or Myself?

This is years after the rapes, years after the daily emotional abuse, years after being out from under the same roof as Sam. Shouldn’t I be further down the road than this? Shouldn’t I be able to see Sam and not have to fight the urge to turn around and run? In the very literal sense.

My therapist tells me often that I need to stop “shoulding all over” myself. Intellectually, I get that. I can usually, now, stop myself when I realize I’m doing that, but it’s much harder to actually stop before I do it.

Anger and fear. Fear and anger….