There is a large amount of people posting "Me too" on face book profiles as a statement about sexual abuse, harassment and rape. There was man who had made a post admitting his wrong doings. The way I READ his post was that he was trying to get other males to understand how they may not see how their actions and thoughts leave the lines of consent misconstrued. How other males need to make sure they take a good honest look at their actions as well.
I had posted that I was sorry how many haters, you can feel the anger from the woman who have experienced this type of crime against them, had told this guy in many ways he's a rapist, and should be in jail, and so many Fuck you's at this guy. And the fact that he admitted the tactics that he used to manipulate sex. The man indicated the remorse for identifying his role he played in a horrible act and that he felt ashamed for what his actions did that destroyed another person. I'm not saying he doesn't deserve repercussions.
I did not understand what I was doing, apparently, because of my initial perception of the post. I had also pointed out amidst all the man haters that men get raped too, it's not just woman. My point was to try and identify the problem as more then woman vs men. I failed.
I am NOT saying anger isn't justified, it is. The pain and struggle is real. I know this pain and struggle, I have lived with the same hate and anger for over 40 years.
Then, silly me - I had made the comment of forgiveness - not a smart thing to do when your in the middle of angry haters. One woman was mad saying why should she have to forgive herself for being raped. In the thread I made the comment that I had to forgive myself for not protecting myself, and forgive those who did not protect me, and forgave the abusers. I realize that too was taken in a different way then I intended it.
Now during that thread, others were telling me I need therapy. So I mentioned any therapist and councilor would suggest forgiveness and that my forgiveness didn't depend on the rapist asking me to forgive them. My forgiveness is for my well being not theirs.
As the thread went on, I was called a Rapist Apologist. Literally I had never heard of that before, so I googled it. As I am reading articles of what this meant, I am thinking I am really that? There is so much that I know I would never indicate as what was outlined. I would never tell any one it was their fault they were raped, I would not down play the actions of the rapist and the horrible act it is itself. Or the lasting effects it has on an individual, how the problems that tend to access every area of our lives. Or how evil it really is. I would not say that a rapist doesn't deserve punishment. But maybe the fact that I could send 1 - only of the few who abused me - to jail, did give me some of my lost control back, influences my perception.
I literally started to feel shamed for forgiving. I am looking back at the thread wondering how did I portray that. And I did, in my first sentence when I said "Wow, Sorry for so many haters...." That came from the PERCEPTION I took as to what the gentleman's point of his post was. I did not see his post from the aspect of anger or blame. I thought his post was about telling other guys to smarten the fuck up and stop lying to themselves about what the real boundaries were and pay attention to the very real damage that is done.
I started to question myself on what my position here actually is. Do I defend rapist? Is the fact that I do not carry the hate and anger and torch and pitch fork around make me an apologist? Because I chose to heal and forgive and let go of the anger inside me, does that make me an apologist? Am I wrong because I looked beyond the act itself and picked it apart to see the parts of me that were broken because of it? Because I carried blame for what happened to me, because I saw the need to forgive myself for that - AM I an apologist? It was a psychological issue I had that stemmed from the abuse that I had blamed myself deep down. Especially when I was 24 and raped at a field party. Because I blamed myself for not knowing better, for maybe not fighting my attacker off hard enough, not screaming loud enough for help. I did blame myself - that DOES NOT make me an apologist, it makes me a victim of their cruel act.
Those who know me, know I have taken this path of healing from abuse really hard. I did not want to let go of the anger, a part of me still holds onto some of it like a life line. I forgave horribleness in my life, but it still makes me sick to hear stories, and it makes me mad that there isn't more offenders put behind bars or held accountable. I believe that the orders in which rape, sexual abuse and harassment need to be dealt with, need to change to be enforced stronger penalties and more help for the victims.