They’re Walking Off In To The Night
I don’t know what I would do if I saw him again. I know it’s a possibility, a remote one, but nothing’s impossible. All it would take is him being deployed, and he could wind up here, and with my luck I’d bump in to him. Would I say anything? Would I be able? Would I react? Would I cause a scene, have a breakdown, anything?
What he did to me continues to affect me, it affects my relationships, my ability to form them, have them, my ability to connect, my sex life. Sex is not rape, and rape is not sex. The two are VERY different by their definitions alone,they’re miles apart in motive. Sex is a shared experience, it can be enjoyable, everyone involved wants to be. Nobody wants to be raped. The root cause of any form of oppression is power and control. Rape is about power and control. For the rapist it’s about exerting their power over you, stealing away your control, stealing your strength. Once you’ve been raped sex changes; suddenly it’s no longer a pleasure, it inadvertently becomes a weapon, whether your partner realises or not. Sex has destroyed every relationship I’ve attempted to have since it happened. It’s become an obligation, an expectation, a requirement in order to stop them leaving. I’ve even used it as weapon. I’ve used it to try and control how I’m feeling, to regain control over my own sex life and sexuality. It doesn’t work though. Every touch brings back memories. Sometimes I find myself relaxing and enjoying it, getting lost in the moment and then the fear returns because if I’m relinquishing control, if I’m in the moment and it turns sour how am I going to be able to fight back, to stop it happening again? It’s not that I equate sex as bbeing a dirty act, it’s just that I don’t know how to let go of the belief that everyone is out to hurt me?
Rape culture and the throwaway slang that has become attributed to it has become a huge trigger for the anger that I feel about what happened to me. I HATE the word “triggered” being used as some sort of lighht-hearted dig. It’s not fucking funny. Being triggered is not a fucking joke. People reducing the word rape as an adjective for petty inconvenience also pushes my buttons; “face-rape”, “frape” and the like leave me wanting to punch the word back into the mouth of the cartwheeled out of. Recently I was accused of being “triggered” when I declined a date. A) He was male. Not interested, not even slightly. B) I’m just out of a relationship because I couldn’t stand having her touch me and consequently Lesbian Bed Death occurred after 6 weeks of being together. To be fair to her, she was SO patient considering I couldn’t tell her what was going on in my head and the relationship lasted almost a year without sex, so it CAN be done.
I’ve had my fair share of confusion and guilt where my sexuality is concerned. Siince it happened, I’ve found it easier to identify as Asexual as then the obligation is reduced, but I know I’m not, I’ve know that I’m gay since I was 14. It’s just easier to say that I’m Asexual and runaway from the problem rather than face it and tell someone else what happened. I’d rather be alone than keep telling people, it’s just easier. I often wonder that IF I opened up, would people try an attribute my sexuality to what happened. Being raped didn’t make me a lesbian. I just met someone who happened to be male and we clicked. I didn’t know he was a rapist, not until it was too late.
I’d like to think that one day I’ll be able to move past all this and be able to enjoy my sexuality again, maybe with the right help and some time I’ll be able to eventually reach the edge of it all and climb out. I could become a functioning person with a healthy attitude towards my sex life, but only time will tell because right now it all feels pretty hopeless.
Every time I hear somebody joke about “triggering” it makes me so mad – because that term exists for a reason, and it’s because of real people with real problems that maybe they don’t want to re-live. I’m sorry that you have had to go through this.
I was having a conversation with some people the other day about sexual harassment (which is obviously five million miles from rape and not comparable but) and I was saying that harassment like that is not about sex, it is about power politics and forcing somebody to do something against their will. Using your position to force somebody to do something they don’t want to is never right – no matter what that thing is – but I’m not sure I was getting my point across. In any case, that’s a long way of saying I agree with your view.