This is something I’m hesitant to even bring up, because it is a thing that will offend and alienate even more people, I think, than my previous posts have done. I’m gaining readers now, and the wonderful Maggie Mae I* has just nominated me for an award (I’ll accept once I decide who, in turn, I’d like to nominate ^^), so that “SHORTSKIRTDRUNKSLUT” guilty part of me is balking at the idea of pushing people more than I already have, especially on an issue that I can barely admit to myself.
And then I realize oh, shit, wait, isn’t that the whole point of my doing this blog? To show that, no, after a rape, you do not get a chance to fit the idealized version of a survivor? To show that other people have ugly thoughts and dysfunctional tendencies and anger afterward, and that nobody needs to feel alone about this?
So yeah. Fuck that politically correct shit, here’s the deal.
After the rape, one of my persistent knee-jerk fears has now taken away a big part of what used to make me a Good Person.
Y’see, one of the most influential people in my life since freshman year of high school was a good friend four years older who went on to teach Special Ed at my high school. I admire this man more than you may ever know. He is incredibly patient and kind, the sort of person I want to be. If he ever heard me talking about this, it’d break his heart.
I used to volunteer at the local center for disabled (both mentally and physically, but especially mentally) children and adults in my hometown. I loved it. One of my prized possessions, still, is a Christmas card made for me by a severely autistic young girl I worked with for almost a year.
In high school, I went out of my way to learn the names of the Special Ed students and say hi to them in the hallways. One of my close friends had Asperger’s Syndrome – it never bothered me, and I hated the other students for ostracizing him over things that seemed entirely trivial. Many of my friends were disabled in other ways, mostly mental illnesses of one flavor or another. I was unfazed by the schizophrenic ramblings of a boy I dated for nearly two years when he forgot to take his medication, and I myself was diagnosed with anxiety and depression before I was out of middle school. No big deal. People were people, to me.
I still want to be able to say that, with pretty much every god damn fiber of my being. I want it not to matter to me, like it used to not matter. But it does. More than I can express.
See, I originally befriended My Rapist because he seemed to me to fit the bill of Nice But Very Socially Awkward And Probably Kinda Off Guy, and I felt bad for him. He didn’t seem in any way malicious – if anything, he was usually a little dazed and nervous. Yeah, he was definitely grade-A weird, but more in the D&D and probably some mild learning disorder way than the creeper way. Benefit. Of. The. Doubt.
If there’s one thing I can think of that is more highly stigmatized than just being raped, it is being raped by someone with a combination of severe mental illness and high-functioning mental disabilities.
It’s another layer of this that I can’t seem to get clean of, no matter how much I try.**
At this point, I don’t even know if I can verbalize how completely terrified I am of interacting with disabled or mentally ill people now. People who have even less of an understanding of social boundaries than the average man. People who the community will make excuses for if they violate someone in the most basic possible way.
Because they did make those excuses for him. In some ways, they still haven’t stopped.
Oh man, I KNEW that kid was weird! But, seriously, I don’t think he’d do something like THAT!
Come on, do you really want to ruin his life by reporting it? He probably knows better now.
He probably just didn’t get why it was so fucked up.
What he did was bad, but I think he still needs to have me as a friend.
I hate them for it, I hate him for it, I hate myself for my reaction for it.
I have no right to extend this fear to everyone who comes even close to fitting that bill. It is the Wrong Reaction. It makes me a bad person. It makes me a person I don’t want to be. It’s something I don’t even want to know about myself, that I’ve taken it this way.
There are so many things wrong with thinking the way I am thinking.
*http://maggiemaeijustsaythis.wordpress.com/ –> Check her out, she’s pretty swell!
**Reason number 247 that I probably couldn’t function in a relationship again: when I went in for my annual recently, I was informed that I’ve actually scrubbed raw spots onto my vagina. Adorable.