I’m Taking Responsibility for Getting Raped

A courageous woman named Coco Jones was the first to say it. She’s right. It’s all our fault. I’ve been in serious denial this entire time. All those people who said I needed to take some responsibility for what happened to me, here it is. My apologies to the neutral third parties who violated me, as it was completely my fault for being in the same room with you and trusting you. I’ve seen the error of my predator-blaming ways, and I apologize.

You truly must read the entire post, “I’m Taking Responsibility for Getting Raped,” but here are a few excerpts of things I’m particularly guilty of:

3. I let people in my life. I have relationships and friendships. I allow them in my home, I eat food they prepare for me without watching them cook it. I open the door when I am alone. I leave the house by myself to meet them places. I even let my partner tie me up and believe he won’t rape me on MERE TRUST.

I see now that it was truly my fault to be alone with my boyfriend, with whom I had had great sex with before I let myself get raped. He had told me he loved me and adored me so many times that I just really let my guard down. It’s really my fault that I didn’t push him away forcefully enough. Same goes with The Musician, silly of me to trust a colleague. My goodness, I’ve just let myself be a victim left and right.

I’ve learned a great lesson here. To not get myself raped or betrayed or discarded, I truly need to stop letting anyone in my life. Even therapists. No more friends. I’ll lock myself away in my room with my dog and cat, because then I’ll be safe. Indeed. Even my husband after 15 years together…one never knows. So, here is my first mistake. No doubt.

5. I dress like a fucking slut. No, really. I wear clothes that touch my body. I have hair. Sometimes it is up, sometimes I wear it down. I accentuate my eyes and lips with make-up. I go out in the world like this. Regularly.

6.My reflexes are not cat-like. If you throw something at me, it will hit me. I will not deflect it with a sudden, practiced movement. Things can catch my by surprise and I am not always ready for them. I should be sharpening my instincts daily. Instead I forget to because I’m usually doing something less important.

Me, too. I’ve made these same mistakes. In fact, I’ve got clothes on right now that touch my skin. I had better change before I go to the post office. I haven’t put make-up on yet, but I did already fix my hair. Maybe a bulky hat will help.

Additionally, I have an open heart and a tendency to believe people at their word, especially friends, colleagues, and lovers (the roles of the three men who violated me between 2010 & 2012). Foolish and careless of me, really.

In fact, I’m convinced that the only reason I haven’t been sexually assaulted since 2012 is that I have kept myself so isolated. I see no one other than my husband and therapist, which turns out was a waste of time and money for trauma recovery. All I ever needed to do was accept responsibility for the sexual violations. I do now, and how. I see the error of my ways. As long as I stay locked away in my house, venturing out only for Starbucks and to go to the movies alone (as long as I’m dressed properly), I should remain safe.

Good plan.

Just think, for nearly two years I’ve been saying how the rapist is responsible for choosing to rape and the communities for making excuses and embracing said rapists (ooops, neutral third parties, I mean) at their parties and conventions, when all along it’s been my fault. Huh.

Yep. I got myself raped, too.

Please read the post by the courageous woman who has just freed all of us “survivors” from years of recovery. We have nothing to recover from, as it was all our fault. Let’s start practicing victim flagging and rapist apology across the board. Let’s show sympathy for those poor neutral third parties who get labeled “rapist” for merely having nonconsensual sex and purposely blowing boundaries. It’s not their responsibility, after all.

Have some compassion!

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~ by omgrey on January 21, 2014.

22 Responses to “I’m Taking Responsibility for Getting Raped”

  1. Thank you for posting this. Amazingly there are a lot of people — most, in fact, who wont believe that is a satire.

  2. So much of this resonated with me because that was exactly what I thought and did after my “friend” sexually harassed and stalked me in high school. Even before then, there was already so much emphasis for a girl to protect herself. Rape culture really does start early.

  3. When I posted this on FL the responses of people who didn’t get this was satire were amazing. I wrote it when I hit my breaking point with the absurd amount of victim blaming. The owner of the Denver sanctuary (the class I posted at the bottom) used her mailing list on a huge rant calling me a fucking bitch to intimidate me for mocking the class. This is all real, harmful and happening right now.

    On a different note I’m sorry you were inconvenienced by a neutral third party ;)

    • I’m so sorry you’re dealing with that added bullshit from the Denver class! I wish I could say I was surprised, but not much about the cruelty of people surprises me anymore.

      Three different communities back in ATX turned on me and embraced the neutral third party (NTP). The PTSD got so debilitating I had to move across the country to feel safe. People are insensitive and so cruel when it comes to rape and sexual assault. I’m impressed you’re still active in your community. So impressed.

      As I healed, I was able to speak out against the previous NTP, the steampunk musician, just to have the steampunk community turn on me, too..although not to the extent. He’s a prominent musician in the community, and people see right through me, knowing I’m to blame for the assault, and keep scheduling him for cons and even as Guest of Honor because they know he was really just a neutral third party in all this mess!

      Yep. Not much surprises me anymore.

      Speaking of which, I’m a literary guest at the upcoming AnomalyCon in Denver, end of March. I’d love to grab a coffee & chat about how more survivors can take responsibility for their attacks! Email me steampunkgrey@gmail.com

      I’m really sorry we “met” under these fucked up circumstances, but I’m glad we met. You’re an inspiration, Coco. Thank you for your satire, your essays, and your comment. Thank you for using your voice.

      May you find peace.

      • Staying in the scene is relative as by speaking out I am not very welcome in most places. So be it! It’s true what you say. Nothing is surprising anymore. I have become more and more jaded. But things may be changing. I have to decide if I am ready to face what is next. I will email you and we can find a time to meet up when you are out here. I look forward to it :) Coco

      • Me, too on the jaded. Jaded & increasingly isolated. No matter how little I trust it’s still too much.

        I hope it’s changing for you. Maybe it will for me, too. I look forward to your email.

  4. It is SO nice to hear the truth, and so rare, so incredibly and sadly, rare. I am isolated and almost inevitably thrown out of every gp or place in which I speak the truth. I expect it now — even amongst gps exclusively of women, even when I go into saying right out front that I am a feminist, and an outspoken one. They tell me, “welcome, sister” — and it’s just a matter of time. And I’m not even speaking about rape — just dignity — something that is inconceivable, for most women — so let’s just toss out that “crazy” “extreme” woman who keeps bringing it up.

    This comment: “No matter how little I trust it’s still too much” is SO true. I think I’m being so careful, and keeping my life SO restrained and small — and yet it’s never small enough. No matter how small the step I take toward a pursuit of happiness — I crawl out of a shell a couple of inches, and am smacked back in.

    Does escaping to the other side of the country work? Is it better over there, or just as long as one stays very close to home and not venture out, and speak out?

    • It’s no different over here. Although, I’ve stayed pretty isolated, so I can’t be sure. Even the professional interactions I’ve had turned out suspect. My beloved (former) therapist, of whom I’ve spoken so highly in the past and helped me so much, ultimately did the same thing. I won’t go into it here, but it reminded me that I need to stay alone and isolated.

      Regardless, I’ve healed enough where I’ll be trying to speak out about these things in front of an audience in March. I’ll let you know how that goes. I will try to speak to groups about sexualized violence and how community response serves to either begin the healing or retraumatize the survivor, but I will do so from a very protective distance.

  5. […] so fragile” — “You need to toughen up.” — “Isn’t it time you take responsibility for your part in this? I mean, you are the common denominator […]

  6. Wah! Now I’m confused…..five years ago I was date-raped and I thought my two close gal-friends were serious when they called me ‘stupid’ and that I was ‘old enough to know what men are like’. (I was 48)

    Gosh..I must get in touch with them straightaway and apologize for my being offended by their satirical assessment of my faux pas. I better write a short note of apology to the Magistrate who signed off on the AVO as well.

    Doh!

  7. OM: I’m sorry this is a delayed response to what you wrote — sometimes i cant handle thinking about this, even though it’s very cathartic.

    So sorry to hear about your therapist. I remember you talking about him before… how at first he seemed to be handling things appropriately, but it seemed there was potential for him to go the other way with it — at least, it seemed so, to me. I love how everyone says the cure-all is “therapy,” but they dont recognize that these so-called professionals often make it worse. I’ve had rape crisis counselors tell me, “Well, you have to take SOME responsibility, for BEING there (on the first date, in a hotel room with the person). When i told her that married people who have known ea other for years get raped by their spouses all the time, she said that was different, ie, those women were less responsible for their rapes than i, “because THEY’RE married.”

    Do let me know where and when you’re speaking in March. I’d really like to go if it’s anywhere near me. Yes, we always have to balance keeping a safe distance, with wanting to make a difference, or bring justice/revenge by acting/speaking out loud. It’s one more burden we have to constantly deal with. If you have my email address, and can email me personally so i dont miss your speaking announcements, i’d appreciate a personal email. (I always read this blog, but because of the buttons it pushes for me, i tend to be behind in keeping up with it in a timely manner.)

    • I’m so sorry you had a damaging experience with a therapist, too. I’ve had more than I can count. My most recent therapist did a lot of good, but he also royally fucked up and did some damage, too. The worst of it was his failure to own the mistake & repair the trust. That hurt worse than any of it.

      Yes, they can be severely damaging, like the PTSD “specialist” who told me to “HAVE SOME COMPASSION!!” for my rapist who was obviously in so much pain to, you know, rape me, and that the reason I was so upset about him choosing to punish me with rape was that I thought that rape was a bad thing. My ego, you see, that was the problem.

      They do a lot of damage indeed.

      I’ll be speaking at AnomalyCon in Denver the last weekend in March. All engagements (that’s the only one so far) can be found on the Voyages page, linked from the right sidebar.

  8. I did a voluntary interview on The Rape Declaration Forum on WBAI a few yrs ago, about date rape. It was a call in show and most of the callers said that i was naive/stupid and should know how men are, and they didnt believe me that i had said “no.” It was disgusting. And the host, who created the show because her good friend was raped, is supposed to be moderating such comments, and let them be made with absolutely no comment. It was disgusting. If i figure out how to download and send a copy of the CD, and anyone’s interested i’d be happy to send it — i think i made some really good points about the prevalence of date rape.

    • I wish I could say such treatment was surprising, but no cruelty like this surprises me anymore.

      I’m so sorry you had to go through that.

  9. Thank you. Hard to keep that hightly touted “positive attitude” when we also need to expect the cruelty so we wont be devastated by it, repeatedly.
    Will you be speaking in CO about your books, though, or about the rape topic?

    • Both.
      It’s a Steampunk convention at which I’ll be on a number of panels with topics ranging from writing to sexual assault in convention spaces.

  10. This post, together with the post on emotional and sexual predators has been a huge eye opener for me. I’m going through a very rough time with flashbacks, constant anxiety and fear. I sometimes feel like I’m outside of my body and last time couldn’t remember how I got to work. Found car keys in my pocket, searched and found my car. Terrified me to death. Maybe I’m going insane.
    I’m afraid of people. I have no friends anymore, I never go out, I certainly don’t dress up or do my hair. When stuff is bad, it’s hard for me not to hurt myself.

    I’ve signed up for therapy, which scares me more. Could you share how therapy went for you the first time you got there? It’s really hard for me to talk about what happened. Everything gets worse when I open up…

    • I’m so sorry you’re going through this, and I know how hard it is all too well.

      First, what you describe sounds like depersonalization/derealization episodes, and I’m sure you’re quite dissociative as well. Both are hallmark symptoms of PTSD. Since you’re commenting on this post, I guess you’ve been a victim of sexualized violence. I’m so sorry about that as well. So, so sorry.

      My experience with therapy has been mixed. It has done as much damage as it’s done good, perhaps more so. I’ve had therapists retraumatize me by telling me to HAVE SOME COMPASSION for my rapist and say the reason I was so upset was because I thought rape was a bad thing…my ego was the problem. I’ve had therapists offer me a safe sanctuary and the welcome my rapist into their home/office, forcing me out. I’ve had therapists tell me that it was partially my fault…

      I also had a therapist who was kind, compassionate, and genuine, whose light led me out of the darkness. His patience and care helped me to become functional again, to the point I was able to venture out into society again for a short time. For a year we worked together and I made great strides, but it ended badly. He got freaked out and instead of being that genuine, kind, compassionate man with whom I had become so therapeutically intimate, he responded like a cowardly man. I’ve known far too many. Even though his unethical behavior at the end of our year-plus relationship was traumatizing and it reinforced some very damaging patterns and beliefs, it didn’t undo everything we accomplished together.

      I think trauma recovery therapy is essential to get out of the worst of it, but you have to find a good therapist. That’s not easy. You absolutely must find a therapist who specializes in and fully understands trauma and PTSD. If you don’t, they will invariably deepen your trauma. Start on the somaticexperiencing.com website and find a somatic therapist in your area. Ask for a reference at the local acupuncture clinic or naturopath. Then, interview the therapist before you commit. Ask him/her about heir knowledge of rape and PTSD and recovery. Ask for a therapy plan. Ask for their opinion on specific topics regarding victim blaming and forgiveness and anger.

      I know what it’s like to be afraid of people. I am, too, but I’m getting better. It’s been two years since the rapes, three & four since the other sexual assaults, and I had coffee with a new friend this past Saturday.

      That’s huge for me.

      I’m considering a Tai Chi class, but I haven’t mustered the courage to go yet….but I’m closer.

      Get the PTSD Sourcebook, an excellent resource, and read the word by Peter Levine and Lawrence Heller. It helped me understand so much. Learn all you can and learn how to start a self-care regimen, physical & emotional.

      You will heal, and I’m right here to help. Read my posts on PTSD. Learn all you can about it. You’re not alone.

      May you find peace.

  11. I think you are asking this question of OM, but i’ll respond with my experiences, if you’re ok with that. I found therapists very blaming — talking about “it’s who you attract,” “making better choices,” etc. I found that the best way to deal with them is to be choosy, dont settle for someone whom you feel is invalidating you, and be very guarded — despite their pleas for you to open up, which i know, can be very hard to resist. Approach them as laypersons, not as professionals, since they mostly arent genuinely trained in the ways of thinking that are on this blog — not realistic! I’ve found that some therapists are not properly equipped to handle issues around men/male violence, as they are in denial, so in my case, when i dont have a better option, i will talk to them solely about other issues where they might have some insight, even while i;m resenting them for not appropriately handling the major issues. I agree that it gets worse when you open up, because it’s not to those who really get it — and there are so few of us who get it. If you can find any radical feminist groups, or books, they help also. General feminist writings seem, to me at least, to focus more on the traditional bs of how it’s your fault because you just have such low self esteem that you’re attracting rapists. One book that helped me was “I Never Called It Rape,” which shows how most people dont even consider it rape unless the victim ends up with bruises, etc.

    • Thanks for the book recommendation. I’ll look it up!

      Agreed with the “approach them as laypersons.” Make them prove they’re ethical therapeutic professionals worthy of your trust. If they’re ethical professionals, they’ll understand and earn it.

      Don’t make the mistake I have so many times and open up widely just because they call themselves “a therapist.” They’re fallible, opinionated humans.

      Find someone who focuses on somatic therapy and healing touch, when you’re ready for that. Much of the trauma is trapped in the body, and people with PTSD have become dissociated from the body. Reintegration is necessary.

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