Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Living post-rape

I drove home from Disneyland today and I spent most of the drive thinking about rape. How the public "standard" is violent stranger rape it's... so completely missing the point.

Rape is someone you know just pushing too hard. Rape is very rarely a stranger jumping out of the bushes. Ok, that does happen. But it's incredibly rare. As a species the risk for engaging in that kind of behavior is too great. Most men have incredibly high impetus to not try that sort of funny business. When I talk about rape culture that isn't what I'm talking about.

My dad was a rapist. He raped his wife, his daughters, his son, his sisters, the children of his girlfriends... I don't know where the list went from there. My dad is dead. He killed himself because he couldn't handle going to prison. He died the morning his trial was to begin. He had already fully confessed. He gave them a lot of details and corroborating evidence that I had not given told the detectives about. I wrote a book about my childhood and I poured every detail I could remember. It's 160 pages. That's both a lot of remembering and not so much.

I mean, I did gloss over details and all. But if my dad raped me way more than I remember... when in the hell did it happen? What don't I remember? I kind of want to read his confession and I kind of don't. I'm pretty sure I could get it but it would take work. The trial never technically happened but I don't think they get rid of evidence anyway.

I love my dad. I love my mom. I love my sister. I love my brothers. But I can't be near them. Well, my dad is dead, Tommy too. But I divorced my mom and sister and brother and extended family.

It doesn't matter if I love them. They poison me. They tell me it is not ok for me to inconvenience them when I go through trauma that kills people. I'm kind of indignant on this score. I was not allowed to speak when I was a child--I was slapped into submission. Now it is "digging up the past" and "You're remembering wrong". Oh man.

It doesn't matter how much I love them. They hurt me. They tell me to be a prostitute. They tell me actively and specifically that I am required to have sex with any man who wants to have sex with me especially my family members. I mean... eww.

It doesn't matter how much I love them. My children can't grow up knowing those people and that dynamic. I don't forking think so.

In the first year we were married my husband and I agreed that some day he could ignore me saying "no" and push for sex. I imagined in my head some night of casually saying no and ending up playing a dead fish. I've certainly played that game before.

He picked the day I turned my sister in to CPS. I was a mandated reporter. When she laughed and told me about the 12 year old with alcohol poisoning in her house I had to call. I was completely hysterical. I was breaking every taboo of my family. We are white trash. You don't fucking nark. The police are the enemy. They want to hurt us. It's a thing.

We beat the shit out of each other. It was really brutal. He's a mean bastard when he wants to be. I think he partially does that because it makes me appreciate him being nice to me the vast majority of the time.

I've told him bluntly that I will never be raped again. He has a lot of enlightened self interest. And he only raped me because I had given him explicit consent with a set of boundaries I didn't properly think about. Whoops. Ok. I've played that game to the end. I'm done now.

It's kind of weird. I was 25 then. So I had a period of about 23 or 24 years where I was raped every so often by a new person.

It's really kind of weird to be thinking about my life now as "post-rape". And it is difficult to trust my husband. I don't very much. I mean... I do... but I have walls I didn't used to have. I protect me actively more now. I keep more of me hidden from him and that feels hard. It means I have no one to share those things with.

I want a mother so bad. But my mother isn't a mother. She's a monster. And I love her. But I can't let her destroy my kids.

My mom tried to tell me, "But I wouldn't have the same kind of influence on them that I had on you." You bet your skippy you won't.

I am ridiculously attentive. I don't hover, but I pay attention. My kids feel special and loved. They feel like they have a lot to give the world and many things they want to hurry up and get doing.

It's so different from my childhood. It's hard to watch sometimes. I feel like I am constantly having this pity party track in my brain as I see what I had to go through at their ages. As I realize just how much of a baby I was oh god. How could they have done that to me?

My father liked to penetrate my vagina while in amusement parks. That was his favorite way to spend the day together as a family. We went often. He always had me sit on his lap. His hand was always inside me. I had to not react. I had to sit very still and barely breathe.

When I watch my children exist in the world sometimes I feel like I am watching them through a sheet of glass. I am still holding my breath and trying to not exist. I wish I could feel the same joy they feel but I can't. I feel dead.


I feel like I have to create a new person out of whole cloth. I don't know what else to do now. I was told what I was supposed to do. But I'm not doing it. I'm being bad. Aren't I?

I don't know. It's very confusing sometimes.


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