This summer has gone down in the record books for not only being ridiculously hot, but for being a serious kick in the teeth to survivors of sexual abuse, rape, and domestic violence.
It's bad enough to be raped. "Bad enough" doesn't even come kind of close to what it is to be raped. "Bad enough" is forty-nine billion galaxies away from the pain of rape, just stick with me here. It's pain enough to endure, and then to be subject to the discussions of scores of white rich men who know nothing of rape, and THEN to listen, cod-faced and nauseated, as those unraped, unrelatable, unkind lawmakers put my experiences into the category of Legitimate Rapes Because I Did Not Get Pregnant?
Oh, he didn't mean that! Bless your hearts, you victims!
Really? Bless *YOUR* heart. And I mean that in the most Southern Belle Way possible.
I know that this whole topic has been baked, boiled, fried, hashed and re-hashed. I also know that as a survivor, it is important to find your voice, and to use it to speak the truth when it is time for you to speak the truth. Today, it is my turn. Your turn might not be until six weeks or twelve years or three decades from today, but whenever it is, you will speak truth. You might not be a survivor; perhaps you love someone who is a survivor, maybe your neighbor's nephew is a survivor, maybe you don't even know who in your life is a survivor; it could be that the person you love did not survive the abuse. Even so, you may discover that it is your turn to speak up for those of us who are not ready or able to use our voices.
Today it is my turn.
Truth: Nobody asks for, or deserves to be raped.
Truth: Just because I did not get pregnant does not make my rapes more or less legitimate than anybody else's.
Truth: Just because I did not get pregnant does not make my abusers any less responsible.
Truth: There is death after abuse. But...
Truth: There is life after abuse. There is beauty, hope and laughter.
I was abused as a child and raped as an adult. There is no person on earth who can change that for me, and yet I live. True story.