I originally posted this on another website back in 2010. It was in response to “lighthearted” tweets regarding rape and abortion rights. I’m reposting it for a few reasons. One, once again I find myself rather angry at how the awful crime of rape is being watered down as much as possible to include things such as regret after sex, among other idiocies. Second, because to me there is a difference between “so-and-so told me that this person says she was raped” and “here is my rape story”. But that’s just me, I suppose. Here we go:
A Personal Story
I am about to write about something that is very difficult for me to put into words. After speaking to an online friend about this and in light of the demeaning and degrading tweets and posts out on the Internet, I thought that perhaps writing about a few events in my life may help assuage the anger.
I grew up religious. I had a very religious father and an exceedingly religious grandmother as almost a permanent structure during my childhood. Due to some family dynamics that I’d prefer not to go into detail at this time (one trauma at a time, thank you), I was a very shy and overly introverted girl. After graduating from high school, I decided to go into the Navy. College was an impossibility due to parents who were middle class – not enough to pay for college and too much to qualify for any financial aid. The Navy offered schooling in things I was interested in and I would have money for college when all was said and done, so it seemed like the logical choice.
The day arrived for me to go off to Navy boot camp. There was some mix-up in the dates or flight booking so all the new recruits had to stay in a motel overnight. I was the only female in the group coming from Seattle. We were all placed on the same floor with me in a room, by myself, in a room where the lock was a bit suspect. I really didn’t think anything of it at the time – in hindsight, I really truly wish I had said something to the management about this.
The guys managed to get their hands on some alcohol and were partying it up that night. I opted for an early night as I was pretty nervous and figured I wouldn’t sleep much. At some point the guys party let up and things finally got quiet. Quiet enough for me to finally fall asleep. Not everyone else went to sleep as I soon found out.
Without going into details, I was raped that night. There was no light, I couldn’t see who my attacker was, and remember thinking that I must have done something to entice this. By the morning, looking at the guys in the group, I couldn’t say with any certainty who had violated me. I decided to “suck it up” and get on with life because it couldn’t get any worse than it was.
Skip to 3 weeks into Navy boot camp and I’m called in to see one of the nurses. It seems I’m pregnant and I need to process out back to being a civilian. I became numb. I felt violated for the second time. After a very long flight home, I settled back with my mother, not knowing what I should do. The thought of bringing to full-term a child that was created out of something I never wanted to think about nearly drove me insane. “What should I do?” kept rolling over and over in my brain.
Nature had decided to take things into its own hands, apparently. I woke up in the middle of the night to the most excruciating abdominal pain I have ever felt – then and even to this day. Crawling through the hallway to my mother’s bedroom, I managed to tell her I needed to go to the hospital. Once at the hospital, things ran rather quickly. I was told that the baby had died many weeks ago, had broken up and was currently streaming into my blood. In short, I had a severe toxic infection. Had I not gone in when I did, I would have died within hours.
Over the next ten years, I had seven more miscarriages – never making it past the first trimester. Given my religious background, I thought this was my punishment. God was punishing me. For what exactly never seemed to enter my mind. I thought perhaps I was being punished for apparently and unknowingly enticing my rapist. Or maybe something else I was completely unaware of.
After turning 27 and having had an unusual pap smear result, I found out that I had precancerous cells on my cervix. I think perhaps this was the straw that finally broke the camel’s back for me. How could there be a God who would continuously torture me like this? First by allowing the act of rape to be forced on me, second by not allowing me to carry a child full-term, and lastly precancerous cells that could evolve into something worse. Fortunately this was caught very early on and as long as I had cryosurgery done, things would probably be back to normal.
I had the needed cryosurgery and, within a few months, discovered I was pregnant again. I went into a severely guarded and depressed mode as I was certain I was going to have to go through yet another miscarriage. I made it past the first trimester, then the second, and all the while my baby was healthy. I had my first child at age 28…then my next within 2 and a half years…and my final child 2 and a half years after that. Some magic Trix Rabbit in the sky had nothing to do with my inability to have children. Just as I was not guilty of any suggestive behavior that led to me being violated. And the perceived “punishment” of not being able to have children? Completely biological and clearly not of some maniacal and heavy-handed deity.
So, when I see the word “rape” being thrown around casually like it’s no big deal, I get rather pissed off. When someone has the audacity to tell me I should not go through with aborting a product of violence from my body, I want to punch them directly in the face.
It took a long time for me to be where I am mentally and physically without the need for magical fairies. Since realizing that what happened was not my fault and that “God” was not punishing me, my life has only gotten better and better. I have three beautiful children to show for it.
So, there we are. I didn’t report what happened to me and I regret it to this day. When I see people posting “the police/authorities won’t help so don’t bother reporting it” I want to slam my fist through a wall. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about what those men probably went on to “accomplish”. I’m sure several more women fell victim to the same heinous crime I had inflicted on me. I get even more angry when I see posts about consensual sex turning to a rape accusation because the gal just felt like shit the next day.
Every day online I see more and more of this crap. All it does, in the end, is trivialize the crime of rape. And I want to scream.