The Rape.

Possible trigger, which you could probably guess from the title.

I’ve considered writing about this before, but haven’t really had reason to. It’s not something I think about all that much, and it’s certainly not something I’m traumatised by, so I haven’t had that processing-through-writing desire.

But it does occasionally come up in conversation, usually if I talk about my teenage depression. Someone will ask, for example, if I know why I got depressed, and even though I am fine talking about being raped, I um and ah and make the conversation more awkward than it needs to be.

This comes back to something I mentioned before – the idea that I have a social obligation not to embarrass my listeners. I imagine that the bald statement “Because I was raped” is going to make the other person uncomfortable, but my reticence makes their discomfort more likely. I’m wondering if writing will help me deal with that discord.

As I said, it’s not something I think about much. It happened half a lifetime ago, and while it was jarring at the time, life is so changeable at 14 (or any age) that there is no aspect of my character I could honestly attribute solely to the experience.

And even if it changed me in some obvious negative way, there would be no benefit to pointing at someone else and saying “Yeah, but it’s his fault.” The only thing we can do if we don’t like bits of ourselves is alter them, and once we’ve done that it doesn’t matter whose ‘fault’ they were in the first place.

Similarly, I’ve never really been angry about it. For one thing, I genuinely believe the guy (who was only 15 himself) made an unwitting mistake. A selfish, ugly mistake, sure, but I think he was too socially and sexually immature to fully grasp what he was doing.

Plus, and this is a terrible self-help book aphorism (sorry), anger only hurts the person who’s angry. I could have got myself mad and carried that knotted inside me for 15 years, but the guy would have been none the wiser while I would have been constantly miserable.

That said, and before I sound too disgustingly pious, I can make myself angry about it. I have a strange, presumably false, memory, from the out-of-body perspective of a third party. For some reason me now can see the scene from above, looking down on me then and the guy from a height of about eight or ten feet.

That makes me angry, I think because the memory is no longer a continuous part of my experiences. It becomes something that happened to a small girl who seems separate from me, and I get mad on her behalf. But I have to actively summons that perspective, although it is vivid when I do.

The main fall-out I’ve dealt with has been guilt, stupidly enough. There was the obvious “I must have caused it in some way” guilt, and then some slightly more psychologically interesting guilt about using the word rape.

That was a complex issue – I felt guilty towards all the women who’d been through more traumatic, violent rapes (my own experience wasn’t particularly physically threatening). I felt like I didn’t have the right to use the same word to describe my experience as they used for theirs.

Then of course, there was the problem of being gloriously perverted. Almost every fantasy I’ve ever had has involved submission, restraint, humiliation or coercion. I’ve never had an issue with that when it’s been inside my head, but I struggled slightly once I wanted to role-play rape scenes.

Not because of issues around flashbacks or triggers; simply because I couldn’t understand (and felt guilty about) something that should be traumatic being such a turn on. I still haven’t really got my head round that – I’ve just chalked it down to my id making better sense of things than the rest of me.

So there you go. If you’ve ever wondered what made me such a maudlin teenager, why I took half a term off school, or how come I’ve volunteered at various counselling services, the answer might be “Because I was raped.” But it might not. Can we ever really know?



  elle wrote @

Another example of contrary human nature: I feel uncomfortable knowing the title of this post is gonna bring a load of new (disappointed) traffic from google searches, yet half my bookmarks are rape fantasy fiction. Really don’t get how my brain can compartmentalise itself like that.

  Grill wrote @

And that comment will bring another load of traffic…

I’d extend commiserations for the event, but you don’t seem particularly upset by it as you don’t seem to think of it as something that happened to the current you – just some 14-year old girl.

So there’s a whole chicken and cock thing going on here with the rape and the rape fic – did you like that sort of stuff before the event, or is that too far lost in the mists of self-mythologising?

  elle wrote @

Not any 14-year-old girl, one whom I feel hugely maternal towards/protective of. It’s only thinking of her that makes me upset, but yeah, she’s not quite me.

Can’t believe you stooped to a cock pun. (Was it hard to come up with?) I wasn’t really thinking about sex much before I was 14 so there’s no control group, but I’d say I’ve always known I was kinky, in the same way people say they’ve always known they were gay.

Perhaps it’s analogous: being abused by someone of the same sex probably wouldn’t turn a gay child straight?

  elle wrote @

Incidentally, the search term that brings the most traffic here is the mildly surprising “herr flick”.

  Grill wrote @

I prefer to say “reached for a cock pun”. Sorry, it was feeble – I can only plead the laziness of a now non-professional writer. Apologies.

Yeah… not all rapes breed the same kinks – the only thing we can say is that they mostly create kinks, whether that’s a desire for domination or submission. I have no experience about this, and I’m too head-coldy at the moment to deal with this rationally, so I probably should stop.

The MOR ‘Allo ‘Allo crowd are really going to be in for a shock. Maybe you should write something about the Madonna with the Big Boobies to really ramp up those hits?

  elle wrote @

You say ‘reached for’, I prefer to say ‘got on my knees and begged’.

Fortunately I shall say it only once.

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