Awhile back, our own David Garber posted this: Rape: Unspeakable Crime, But Not Speaking Is Also Not Responsible. Under that post is a comment by one of our regular readers/commenters, . She has graciously given her permission to post that comment here. She was raped by a "bad guy with a gun." Her words are electrifying, terrifying, brave, and deserving of a post of their own. Verbatim:
It's fear. At least in my case it was. Paralyzing fear. Of everything. It was over and I wanted to forget it happened.
I have always felt guilty and have worried that my attacker went on to rape others. It is the shame I live with every day... not the attempted rape...as I fought off my rapist successfully....who had a gun, by the way...
... and still, my boss yelled at me for sleeping with my window open as if the attack was my fault.
Yeah...so even me...asleep in my own bed...gets the lecture...I should have known better...sleeping with my own window open...what was I thinking? So you can imagine how a woman who was date raped feels...
Say something and be barraged with accusations...that is what women who are raped deal with.
And it seems the guy threatened them. That is why incest victims don't speak out either.
Flan followed up with an email:
By the way - all of the gun rhetoric and blaming the victim talk that is all over the news and social media has caused flashbacks and I am now in treatment for PTSD. My PTSD is caused by other traumas too - entire childhood with a verbally abusive alcoholic father - losing my twin brother Paul at 16 to schizophrenia - and then at 48 to lung cancer. I have lost several jobs recently because of it and am in serious debt, further sending me into my black hole.
I have found a great therapist and psychiatrist and have been in treatment for the last month or so. It was a good thing I started when I did because I lost my nephew in Jan and my sister-in-law two weeks ago, both under very tragic circumstances.
It seems the bad shit will never end. Then I hear the horror stories from my friends who have "Pauls" of their own who are getting incarcerated, victimized, becoming homeless, and dying from suicide or by cops - and it is all too much. I am so glad I got into therapy because I didn't know how much more of this I could take.
This needs no further commentary. Thank you, Flan, for allowing TPC to share your story, your feelings, your pain, and above all, your courage.
Note: Headline edited.