Let's put a trigger warning for rape on this one
I shouldn’t be making this post, the chances of me not regretting it in the morning is slim to non-existent – but I’m making it because I’m cresting a vast wave of rage that needs venting as a way to delay/help/avert/deal with the brain crash that is looming in my thoughts right now. I’ve also had a couple of drinks, yes it’s before 1:00pm, yes I know that’s not good. No, it’s not a great coping mechanism. I thought I was doing well, it has been so long since a major incident – not every day was perfect, but I had a handle on it and then one thing and all the flimsy walls come down.
There has been a few trainwrecks of articles about Shia LaBeouf and being raped during the performance art piece he did and my gods has the response been pretty terrible and has danced on my triggers and bad memories to put me in a special kind of hell.
There has been a lot of the really toxic shit - I think a special prize goes to the “he’s a grown-ass man, how can he be raped!?” comments because, yeah, thanks for that. Let me go back in time and see if yelling “I’m a grown-ass man” makes me magically unrapeable. But bonus points for the “a man can’t be hard during rape” from people who apparently do not have penises.
There’s also a huge number of people – people who just last week were saying that this line of reasoning was utter bullshit that should be called out and shamed – are questioning whether Shia resisted enough/appropriately/whatever for it to be “really rape”. Normally I know the places and people to avoid during shit like this but turns out a lot of arseholes can flip their script awfully quickly.
I think because of where the pushback is coming from not just because there is pushback (because every rape has a legion of arseholes pushing back), this is roiling up a lot of bad memories for me. I remember a time when I didn’t fight. By almost every metric this wasn’t the worst thing that happened to me, not even the worst time a guy decided to force sex on me. It wasn’t the most painful, the most violent nor the one that took me the most time to recover – but in some ways it’s the one that left me the angriest.
I went home with a guy. I didn’t really want to have sex with him and I really didn’t want to go as far as he did. He pushed, he decided sex was going to happen. He decided what kind of sex was going to happen and I was really not happy with it, with him, with the whole situation.
But I didn’t fight. I didn’t push him away. I didn’t say no. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t pull away. I didn’t stop him. I lay there, my eyes screwed shut, my jaw clenched so it hurt hours afterwards, muscles so tense I had cramps in my legs. But I didn’t stop him.
I can’t tell you why I didn’t stop him. I know why – but I don’t know how to explain the morass of self-loathing and guilt and shame and depression and self-anger and how that translates to not saying no. Sometimes I try to edit my memories to say I was afraid. Fear is an easy narrative to explain, it’s easy to understand. But it’s not true, I wasn’t afraid I don’t now or then think I was physically INCAPABLE of stopping it. Not physically anyway.
I didn’t stop him and I can’t describe how much I’ve hated myself for that, how angry I’ve been at myself or how pathetic I’ve felt for it. Just about everything these apologists have been saying is what has run through my head, directed at myself. For a long time I didn’t even think I had a right to be angry at him or even blame him and directed that all inwards; it’s only recently that I’ve acknowledged that guy was at fault. I was, still am, angry at myself for letting that happen, especially given my experiences before and after. Even knowing why, I am still angry for my passivity at that moment.
Just about everything being said right now could have very easily applied to me. It may even apply more appropriately to me.
I am now going to get drunk, maybe call in completely-out-of-my-damn-mind sick tomorrow and generally avoid the internet and do my very best to plunge into magical fantasy lands full of vampires until my brain cells are in order