06 November 2009

"Everyone is Suspect, and There is No Peace"

We talked about the rage and the ways in which it steals your peace. I have been so angry that my whole body shakes and my vision blurs. It’s a rage that consumes you. You want to lash out but where. You have questions but what answers can ever fully explain why? You sleep without dreaming and move through the world like a zombie.

I'm not a regular reader of Womanist Musings, but I stop by occasionally (there's a great blog roll, for one thing), and today Renee has up a powerful piece that everyone ought to read. "My Friend Called To Say She Was Raped." There's a title to conjure with. What do you say? I've been there myself, actually, though not on the front lines like this. There's a sense of inadequacy, combined with absolute rage. The desire to somehow make things better combined with the knowledge that there is nothing that can ever put things right. And I have nothing to draw on, no comparable experience, no basis to offer any comfort or hope...

You see, you can theoretically understand rape but living with the after effects is another story entirely. Rape is evil. It is fucking evil. I don’t think you really know it, until it happens to you. It makes you sick inside...

Exactly. This is one of those things you really have to have been through to know how to deal with. A rape survivor—somebody who's been there—maybe she'd know—

I don’t know how to deal with this. She was talking and I kept flashing back to my own rape. People tell you that in time that you get over it, but I don’t think that is the case. In time you may learn to put it beside you, however; I don’t think that you ever put it behind you.

Oh, wow—but—but—surely—

Each day that I walk through this life, I feel his hands on my throat, I see his face, and feel his breath on my skin.

But—well, there's the transformative effect, the opportunity to use an experience, however horrific, to help somebody else? to make a change for the better?

I want to live in a world where rape is non existent. I want to live in a world where women matter. Thing is, I don’t even have the courage to write about it. ... God help me, I’m still scared.

No, there's no lemonade here. Read the damn piece. It's not going to make your day, and it may make you cry (I did anyway), but—well, just read it. It's worth it.

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