(on the trigger vs the bullet)
I never know when to share the fact of my rape with anyone. If I bring it up early, it’s this thing that defines me more than I would like— “dont trouble yourself getting to know me: just know this!”, and it colors every interaction a certain tint and lays eggshells out for fragile steps. If I wait too long, though, then it’s a looming, heavy, soggy shame, that grows heavier with more consequence than it deserves: “I never knew… Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”, or implies an earning of trust that is greater than it deserves— it’s not that I was afraid to share this with you until now… It’s just that (oh, this is so sad) we are always worried about putting others at ease. If I tell you, it is going to make you more uncomfortable than it is going to make me, and I don’t like to make anyone ill at ease. I don’t want you to feel any burden of appropriate response, or apologize, or laugh nervously, or (the worst of all, the most frequent response of all, and maybe the reason we all should get better about telling each other?) tell me: “Me, too. It happened to me, also. Mine…was like…this…”
The math is straightforward. It is almost as likely that we will have this thing in common than it will be a thing that alienates. If we don’t talk about it, it is something that happens to strangers, to others, to a friend of a friend. If we talk about it, it happened to you, to me, your roommate, your sister, your former boyfriend, aunt, brother, niece…
But as much as I want that awareness, I get angry in sensing that it defines me. It does not define me, at least, not as a victim. It defines me as a survivor. It defines me as someone who learned (maybe a “hard way”, but I know that there are harder) that she fucking loves life, and will be all-caps JOYFUL— and that I want… simply to FEEL, and that every single experience, no matter how much it hurts, is better than feeling nothing. I know with absolute certainty that I do not want to die. And that— the gift of appreciating my life (with all of its ugly nooks and crannies and all of the jaw-dropping beauty and humanity and tenderness and fragility), is a fucking TREASURE. And with that gift, I am certain: He did not win.
What he took from me is so small and insignificant compared to what he gave me. The fact, which, out of context becomes a sick joke, is this: being raped was the most important and valuable thing that ever happened to me, and I would not go back and undo it if I could. I WON. I am still winning.
So are you. You are so strong. I can see you shining from here.
Reblogged from Molly Broxton.