Tuesday

Epilogue

Further research has revealed that B committed 2 more rapes after me. Both plead out. I am pretty sure he raped my Jr. High School friend before me. I've been trying for years to mend that bridge but I can't find her, though I am sure she lives. I can't help but wonder how many weren't caught. I was just the first one who told. I wonder if he befriended all of us like he did me and when did he turn to children or was it an under aged girl (also child molestation in Indiana)? I wasn't wrong in calling it rape and I didn't cause it. Those questions have haunted me most of my adult life. I didn't ruin his life. He did. I did not betray my friend. My friend betrayed me. In a way it is a huge relief that there were others, though I am sorry for them and appalled that I feel this way. Its a relief to know that it was not my fault. So my first posting on this subject did not yield comments as I write this....but I have received 6 emails. I'll try to discuss the issues in those emails as I write this post. Its a difficult subject to write about or even comment on publicly. I get your need for confidentiality. Still I always say catharsis is good for the soul. It truly is. I'm too old to be silent now and too wise to pretend like it didn't matter. There are very big differences between acquaintance rape and stranger rape. Not that all situations aren't different, they are, but the betrayal in acquaintance rape is the real damage---not the sex, that's why I felt no compulsion to share the details about the sexual aspect of it. To me it was a physical fight and I was outweighed and out sized. B was 6'4" tall and nearly 200 lbs, I am only a little over 5'4" and probably weighted about 110-115 then. I couldn't win, but yes I tried to get away. I wasn't the only one with marks on me. It has never been sex or making love in my mind. It was a fight. How he hurt me is not as pertinent as the fact that he did hurt me intentionally. He probably planned it long before I got there. FEAR is an unbearable side effect of both types of rape. So to the person who asked why I like the passionate relationships I write about now...This was not some bizarre sexual incident, it really was battery. His body was just the weapon. That is the short answer. There are deeper control issues involved as well if you really want to delve into the psychology of it...at least in my case. I was passionate before I was raped. My passion did die down for a while, but not because of the sexual issues, it was because of the trust and fear issues. My friend betrayed me. My judgment was flawed. The smart little girl who always knew the answers was wrong. wrong. wrong. The damage on my body healed fairly rapidly. I was young, healthy and well cared for at home. The damage in my head is still there sometimes. I overcompensate. For instance despite having male friends, I do everything possible to avoid being alone with them. We hang out in public places. I seldom go in a car with a man, but when I must then there are always safety issues that I make sure are taken care of. I always make sure someone knows I am with this man, where we are going, the length of time it will take. I have a phone and people expect calls or me to show up at certain times. My family, friends and I all act like its perfectly normal but they know I am putting my own leash on so I don't stray too far from safety. Even now. My kids have similar habits and don't even know why. They learned them from me. Sometimes I regret these little obsessions I've passed on to them, but mostly not. They have not dealt with that kind of threat. No one has pulled a gun on my kids because they were acting too reckless and free. Dating is difficult for me. I will interrupt a romantic moment to call in and check up with my *baby-sitter*. I prefer group dates at first so I feel safe. If I do meet someone alone, I make sure it is a well lit place, preferably one where someone I know is nearby in case I need an escape. Someone always knows where I am and what I am doing. My information is carefully logged into an email to myself before I go anywhere in case someone needs to find me. My mother knows my password in case she ever needs to use it. Those my friend, are coping skills. Serious coping skills. Its amazing that I was married 3 times. But then again not. I married one after the other. I was afraid to be alone. AFRAID of not having a protector, that is why I married such overbearing men. I've learned not to be so afraid to be alone now. Ok I'm still afraid but I've learned how to deal with the fear. I've done it all by myself for 3 years now (for 3 years prior I lived with family). Its progress...though I still need my checks and balances....and baby sitters for my peace of mind. I still have trouble sleeping. I still have nightmares of it when I sleep alone, so sometimes I sleep on the sofa so it feels like someone is behind me, protecting me. Still, those too are coping skills. I think living alone has helped me come to terms with a lot of things. Things my family and friends protected me from for years because they thought I was to fragile to deal with reality. I've been smothered with love. Its a blessing and a curse. I worry because they worry. I'm afraid to live fully because it will cause worry. I want to tell them not to worry that its all ok now....even if it isn't. The truth is its as ok as its going to get. This sort of thing happens to women every day. They go on and live full and vibrant lives because they don't have people who are trying to protect them from every little thing that life throws at them. They don't wallow in silent misery as I have. They don't expect others to make sure they are safe. They aren't handed excuses the way I have been. They develop coping skills far greater than mine. Those women grow stronger not weaker. If you don't use your muscles, you atrophy. These last 3 years have made me finally grow up and take on the responsibilities I've always neglected before. My own happiness. I guess its about time. Its been 30 years. I'm getting close to 50 now. (note: actually written and published on 11/13/2010 redated it to put it to the oldest posts in this blog)

2 comments:

Cathy said...

I've followed this blog for awhile now, just haven't visited ANYONE's since Facebook took over. You write with real immediacy and I like that you're able to realize a man can use his body as a weapon of control and power. Why do such violent things happen to humans, by humans? Since I've no answer and wouldn't trust anyone else's, I want to say you've a great aura of courage flowing from your words. I've said before you have an honest view of life - this confirms it. To admit to your obsessive need for feeling safe, and perhaps having passed it on to your children, this is a person who's not afraid to look at herself. Some cuts are too deep to ever heal, you can only make sure they don't infect the host - meaning you. Again I commend you on sharing what others cannot.

Tressa Bailey said...

Thank you for your courage in commenting. Rape is still one of those issues no one likes to talk or read about. Its scary because it is so very common.

Everyone is telling me how strong I am .... I don't feel strong. I still feel scared. Not brave. What has happened to me is that I finally feel capable of handling whatever life throws at me. I am no longer his victim. I took back what he stole from me.