So the scenario is as follows – someone is speaking to a friend of mine and although I’m not going to go into the full context of the story, I’m going to give you the main point I want to write about.
“My friend was raped as a young girl by a military guy and I’m just trying to protect her and her girls.”
There is so much about this statement that bothers me, so much to the point that it’s been a few days and it’s still on the forefront of my mind.
The first part is “My friend was raped” – this part bothers me because I don’t feel that someone who hasn’t experienced the trauma and aftermath has a right to use the victims story in that context. You can sympathize and be a friend but you can’t use someone elses story as mechanism to cover up for what you truly want to say. I feel incredible pain and hurt for her friend as only I can as a victim as well. I also wish she understood what disrespect she is doing to her friends story by not speaking it truthfully and directly.
Second part that bothers me is “by a military guy” – just wow is what I can say to this. Painting an entire group of people with one brush – how incredibly narrow-minded. Yes there are bad people in this world but guess what – I wasn’t raped by a military man – I was raped by a young adult man and by my friends uncle. I guess in the context of that statement – I shouldn’t trust any young adult males and I certainly shouldn’t trust anyone who is an uncle in this world. Makes the point rather ridiculous – don’t you think? The other part of this is that M is a member of the military – so not only did she paint all these men that sacrifice their lives for us with the same brush but she also included someone I care about.
Third part that doesn’t sit well with me is “trying to protect her and her girls.” You are not protecting anyone by not speaking the truth. You will never be able to protect anyone with someone else’s story and you definitely aren’t giving your friend the respect they deserve by speaking their story on their behalf. I am a mother of 2 beautiful girls and what this person doesn’t know is that I was raped too just like her friend. I am the one who will protect my girls until my last breath with full knowledge and understanding of what a victim feels like.
As you can see – the whole statement touched a nerve with me. It touched a nerve because there is not one person in this world who could ever understand the impact of being raped unless you have been. By people not speaking about it truthfully and outright, they are guilty of contributing to the stigma around it. Making the topic hush,hush and not having the courage to speak it directly to someone just means that you haven’t earned the right to speak of it. So you see – if this person knew I had been raped – maybe she wouldn’t think that using her friends story as a victim story was necessary and maybe she’d realize that she’s got nothing on me as far as protecting MY girls goes.
Now after reading this post, I realize that when feelings like this arise – it means it’s unfinished. I have come miles from where I was however I am still passionate about this. I know how it impacts me everyday and that’s beyond where some people ever get to in their healing journey which is unfortunate because there is life afterwards. I am not sure it will ever be beyond unfinished.
Although I can agree with your standpoint about being careful of telling anothers story, and over-generalizing, I feel like I am missing the context of the statement? This moment resonated deeply with you, and just how her glasses impact how she interprets her world – so do yours. So happy that you are able to be open about your experience, so that you can help others to feel comfortable talking about their own. Continue to light the way buddy!