The R Word

Cry rape.

How I loathe that phrase. It’s a misogynistic utterance that perpetuates rape culture and suggests that women lie about being raped. *Few* (about 1.5% of reported cases) women lie about rape. Anyone who lies about rape is the lowest form of life, in my opinion, except, of course, for a rapist, himself. But a person who lies about rape is pretty close to that level of low life.

I’ve been extensively researching rape and sexual assault in our society for the past six weeks. Some of my findings and sources I’ve shared on this blog, and I’ll continue to do so. I’m aware of the staggering statistics. I’m aware of how people react, and I understand why victims stay silent. But, even so, I’m not staying silent. Never again.

Two weeks ago, a fellow survivor and new friend invited me to talk with other survivors on a FB group discussing how to have the conversation about sexual assault and policing predators in our communities, as I’ve been talking about on this blog. She said my input could be really powerful, and she encouraged me to join if I felt safe in doing so. The importance of the discussion is paramount, and I’m thrilled to see the local burner community discussing it. I hear that the poly community is still spending a lot of energy on whether or not to have the discussion rather than having it, but that’s neither here nor there. And it’s really none of my concern anymore.

Although my new friend had started several threads and posted a link to my blog post to help get the conversation started, I knew that my ex might be a part of the group, so I didn’t accept her invitation at first. I just didn’t feel safe. Last week, however, after deciding to leave for CA two weeks early due to the unending fear of being in Austin because of these assaults, I wrote to her and asked her if she thought it would still be powerful for me to comment on the group. I felt inspired to hear her reports about how the discussion was going, and I wanted to commiserate with fellow survivors and be a part of the conversation I helped start. After checking with her that my ex wasn’t a member of the FB group, and she said he wasn’t, I decided to join the discussion.

It was indeed powerful! It was so beautiful! Survivors had a safe place to speak and community support, and I was part of it. There were survivors on there who hadn’t spoken out in over 30 years who felt safe to do so. Through this discussion we all felt safe. We shared opinions and stories, mostly privately because of sensitive information, but some publicly as well, keeping real names out of it. As you all well know, I’ve never disclosed the identity of my ex on this blog, real or playa name. Never.

For the first time in 5+ months I felt safe and heard and supported and loved.

But the safety for all of us was short-lived.

The last thing a survivor wants is to have her rapist show up.

But, of course, that’s what happened.

Again.

And, just as all my research over the past month showed is par for the rape culture, the community openly supported him. He protested his innocence and called out for support, and he got it. He offered to meet everyone to see what a great guy he is, and I’m sure he charmed them all. That’s what psychopaths do. He’s still in the conversation, although most of the survivors stopped talking, as they no longer felt safe either. That’s the last I saw anyway. Maybe they’ve come back by now. I don’t know.

I can’t know.

Because I, of course, had to leave the group. Just like I had to leave the poly community and dance community and stay away from Flipside. Just like I had to stay away from Barton Pool and most of the greenbelt. Just like I had to leave Austin. Just like I had to leave Texas. I’ve been afraid to go anywhere. My world has gotten smaller and smaller. I went through extensive therapy and counseling and healing and such to deal with the PTSD and fallout of the trauma this man caused.

Rape destroys lives.

Now, 2000 miles away, I’m finally starting to feel safe. I no longer have to look over my shoulder wherever I go.

I’m free.

For those of you who follow this blog, you know the struggle I’ve had over the past six months. Several times on this blog I explained, without getting too graphic, what happened, what 8 different sexual assault professionals said was rape. I’ve also said several times that no legal line was crossed.

Eight. different. sexual. assault. professionals. used. The R Word.

But he and the people who support him are acting as if I just woke up one morning and decided to accuse someone of rape. It’s absurd. Of course, I don’t blame anyone for believing him, as he is very charming and convincing, as I’ve said countless times. But if I was going to lie about it, I’d have a much better fucking case than I have. If I was going to lie about it, there would be a criminal investigation right now. And I wouldn’t have had to lie much either. Just the insertion of one little two letter word, and there would be a criminal investigation right now.

I didn’t lie.

I told the police exactly the way it happened.

I told all eight sexual assault professionals exactly the way it happened.

I told them what happened: they said it was rape. All eight of them.

They used the R word.

Again, I really don’t blame you for believing him. I still want to believe him. More than anything in the world. I would give everything I have, save my husband, for it to be all a big misunderstanding somehow, and I’ve said that several times on this blog over the past six months, too.

But not one kind word in nearly six months.

I didn’t come out of this relationship calling him a monster. I loved him and defended him for months.

MONTHS.

My therapist had to work weeks with me for me to even begin to see the underlying abuse. Because something wasn’t right. I felt violated. Assaulted. Abandoned. And I couldn’t understand why. Even though I felt like what we shared was transcendent, the loss of such a short-lived relationship should not have affected me so profoundly. But it did.

My therapist at the time said it was as if he was tearing the very fabric of my soul.

And yet, I still defended him. And yet, I still called out for any sign of a misunderstanding. Again. And again.

Nothing.

And yet, I still wanted to believe. Fuck. I still want to believe.

Ah, yes. The joy of the trauma bond.

But, I won’t believe. Not now. It’s too late.

So, those of you who doubt me and my story, please remember this:

  • Rapists almost NEVER admit to rape.
    Especially if you call it “rape.” 1 in 8 will admit to rape if you describe the scenario but don’t use the R word.
  • This is not fun for me. I’m in survival mode, nothing more. I’ve been barely functional for the five-plus months, and now I finally know why…because I was raped. Only it was so masterfully enveloped in a consensual encounter and explained away afterward, that I questioned it for months. And months. Adding to the confusion and trauma. I haven’t been able to have sex for six months with any semblance of an emotional connection without crying, not even with my husband. Even the few times I’ve had casual NSA sex, it’s been extremely difficult to keep it together. I can’t even watch sex scenes in movies. I can’t even masturbate without crying. This is the reaction of someone who has been raped.
  • I don’t lie. And those of you who know me, know that. You know my level of integrity. I still have people who knew me from HS tell me that I’m one of the most genuine people they’ve ever known. And if you know me, you know that’s true. Remember, I’m not the one who deceives lovers about having HSV2. He is.
  • Psychopathic Narcissists are charming, manipulative, and convincing. They are arrogant. They don’t take responsibility for their actions. They are incapable of empathy. His post on that group shows that he’s been reading this blog the entire time. He knows the kind of agony I’ve endured, and he hasn’t offered one kind word. Not one kind word. And then to show up in a place where survivors *had* a safe place to discuss and make it unsafe for me and for them, chasing his victim and other survivors away. That is a man with no empathy. Period.
  • Just because he hasn’t raped you doesn’t mean he hasn’t raped someone else. Like this guy, “married to a beautiful woman” who has no idea about the women (yes, plural) he’s raped, he’s “known for being a great guy, friendly and easy to get along with, a community/political activist, a fervent volunteer in the community, and a person who rises through the ranks quickly due to successes at work.” Sound familiar?
  • The community will likely never see the monster, as one has to get very close indeed to see the monster within. One therapist suggested that’s what the first assault was for, as punishment for getting too close. Who knows.
  • Think about the last six months, each time you were out with your friends or making love or laughing or dancing or swimming or something simple like going to a restaurant without having to look over your shoulder in fear…each time you loved and kissed and flirted and hoped…if you were falling in love, meeting someone new and exciting, dreaming of your new future, bringing each other to orgasm, I was doing one of the following: hiding away out of fear; breaking down; crying; talking to sexual assault professionals, therapists, lawyers, or cops; shielding my eyes so I didn’t inadvertently see his car when I had to drive past his exit on the way to work; in a state of catatonia; crying; having a panic attack; in yet another therapist’s office; crying; reading up on psychopaths or sociopaths or narcissists or sexual assault, as it was the only way for me to get through the next few minutes without breaking down again, without missing him so much I was nauseous, without remembering how blissful it was, without questioning how he turned on a dime, without realizing it was all I lie.
    That’s what I was doing.

As much as I’d like to tell everyone exactly what he did to me and show everyone what he’s capable of, it’s not safe for me to post that here in detail. And If I’ve become anything through this ordeal, it’s self-protective. I have alluded to the assaults before in poetry as well as other blog posts, so you can look there if you choose.

For so long I just wanted to die, to fade away, to disappear.

But now, I’m not going to disappear.

Fuck no, I’m not.

Now I’m not going to give up or give in. Now I’m rebuilding my life after being forced to move 2000 miles away just to feel safe outside my own home. Now I know what sexual assault looks like, even the “gray” area, and I’m going to teach others.

Now I found my voice again. I’m no longer scared. I’m no longer frozen in shock.

I have found my voice again.

And I will tell anyone who will listen. Silence is the abuser’s greatest weapon.

So, did I “cry rape”?

No.

Neither instance was legally sexual assault, and I have never said it was.

Eight sexual assault professionals, including a legal advocate, a lawyer, and a PTSD/sexual assault recovery specialist said the first instance was rape. Forcible rape. And that’s when I started using the R word. Seven of the eight said the second instance was sexual assault, the eighth said it was sexual abuse. The cops said both instances in legal terms were “sexual exploitation” and “domestic violence.” Every single professional I’ve spoken with, including the cops, recognized the mind and actions of an abuser.

So, whether or not you call it “rape” or “sexual assault” or “sexual abuse” or “domestic violence” or just a real sadistic fuck using emotional manipulation and violent, angry sex to punish and hurt another person, it all adds up to the same thing: this is a dangerous man.

One of the reasons he’s so dangerous is that this monster hides behind such loving affection, happy-go-lucky attitude, a deep spiritual facade, and oh-so-rational words, that no one will ever suspect it. So, of course…

The community supports him and shuns me.

He laughs and smiles and jokes with them.
Of course he does, he hasn’t been traumatized.

He has “three wonderful relationships.”
Of course he does, he hasn’t been traumatized.

He goes to burning events and to dances and to Bedpost and to poly dinners.
Of course he does, he hasn’t been traumatized.

He goes on runs and hikes and swims without looking over his shoulder in fear.
Of course he does, he hasn’t been traumatized.

He has sex and cuddles and laughs and orgasms with his lovers.
Of course he does, he hasn’t been traumatized.

These things and more he and his assaults, body and soul, have robbed from me.

And all this time. All this agony. All this public processing. All this struggle. All this fear. Where one kind word from him could’ve eased so much of it. One “I’m sorry, let’s talk” could’ve saved me weeks of anguish and suicidal ideation. Thousands in counseling. It could’ve save me days of catatonia. Disassociation. Weeping for hours, days, weeks. Unable to write fiction. Unable to work. Unable to cook. Unable to pay bills. Unable to make love. Unable to masturbate. Unable to function. Suicidal to the point that my husband was terrified of getting off the phone with me, because what had happened to me was worse than death. Loss of hope. Loss of self. Loss of control. Loss of safety. All, by the way, common symptoms of PTSD and Rape Crisis Syndrome.

Playing with someone’s heart is not a game.
Playing with someone’s soul is not a game.
Violating previously established boundaries and sexualized aggression for punishment is not a game.
It’s rape.

And yet, nothing.

Not one kind word. Not one call. Not one text.

But even if he had texted or called, it still wouldn’t have changed the assaults. Admission and an apology, or even just acknowledgment of my anguish, would’ve gone a long way, though. It would have at least showed me he cared. That it wasn’t all a lie.

But it was.

Every “I love you.” Every “I adore you.” Every “Look into my eyes.” All of it.

That’s how much he loved me. And that’s how much he loves you, too. Just wait and see. You’re just a placeholder, just as I was, there until he’s bored or you no longer adore him unquestionably or just because he feels like it (because it is all about him, after all). I only hope you don’t let him in as deeply as I did, and it may not be as bad for you. That’s the thing that makes me cry still all these months later (and yes, I still cry every. fucking. day): I will never let anyone in as deep again. I may never trust anyone again, not after this deeply profound betrayal.

Thanks to him.

That’s his lasting gift to me.

So, no. I’m not “crying rape.”

I’m using the word eight. different. sexual. assault. professionals. used.

I’m using the word that describes what he did to me on every level of my being: psychological, spiritual, emotional, and sexual.

I’m surviving. I’m protecting myself. I’m using the only thing I have: my voice.

And, I refuse to stay silent.

-_Q

edit: 8/9/12 Turns out I misspoke. My lawyer and current sexual assault therapist said it *was* legally sexual assault, but there is not enough evidence for a criminal case, just like 86% of reported cases. So, yeah. Legally rape. Withdrawn consent ignored. Previous boundaries crossed without further consent. With a side of emotional manipulation just for fun.

~ by omgrey on August 7, 2012.

32 Responses to “The R Word”

  1. stay strong girl. just know you do have someone listening and supporting you.

    • Thank you, Jason, for your support. I actually have several supporters. So many who have been with me through all this over the past six months of hell. You sure find out who your real friends are.

      By “alone” I meant living in a little room by myself without community support or a kind word from him or any of the people I thought was my little poly family.

      But individual support. Yes.
      Support from my husband. Yes.

      And, actually, I think I have a lot of community support after all. They’re just not doing it publicly.

      And the word of Austin’s Poly Rapist will get around on it’s own. Hopefully at least one other woman will be spared what I’ve endured because of me speaking out. At least one.

      Your continued support means so much, Jason. Thank you for your kind comment. xo

  2. For what it’s worth, I think a lot fewer people in the burner community believe him than it would appear in public. I have been a part of several fairly large but private conversations where the consensus was that we believe you (at the very least that something traumatic happened to you that he is trying to smokescreen by only leaning on reputation instead of discussing the events in question), but confronting him in the public thread would simply bring him the attention he is craving.

    The word is out (and ironically, most of us had no idea who your ex was until he “outed” himself) but will primarily be relayed from trusted friend to trusted friend rather than on a public forum. And he will be watched.

    Sadly, some very vocal members of the poly Austin community are hell-bent on the “how dare you say some of our friends are rapists” self-delusion, and are being particularly acidic on the topic in spaces they think are private. A pox on ’em.

    You’ve done good by not being silent.

    • That’s worth a lot!! Thank you, Will!

      Agreed about not engaging him, especially in public. That’s one thing that can’t be done with abusers and manipulators like him. If you engage, it’s a losing battle, especially with someone that is as skilled as he is.

      And, yes, no surprise about the Austin Poly Community. How dare someone call a rapist a rapist because he’s your friend! How dare eight different sexual assault professionals who deal with monsters like this every. single. day. confirm that he’s both an abuser and a rapist! And the cops! What do they know? He’s so funny! And charming! And happy! And cuuuuuute! Really, the audacity of it all! /sarcasm

      Astounding, really.

      Because a man who has had over 40+ “relationships” (and another 40+ ONS) in the past 15 years, deceives lovers about his STD status, admits that “women have a tendency to get hurt” because they can’t “handle the way [he] loves” because they want “all of this for themselves,” and refuses to take responsibility for any of his actions is truly trustworthy and displaying so very much integrity on every level. Okay. Now, /sarcasm.

      My husband and I were both quite unimpressed with the Austin Poly Community as a whole, minus select members of the core group who are wonderful people and have been very supportive. They know who they are. If the rest choose to harbor rapists and other predators in their community because it causes too much “drama” and “negativity” or is too uncomfortable to have a discussion about the reality of predators being drawn to open and loving communities like theirs, I’m afraid they will have many more people devastated by him and people like him.

      But their solution is to close their eyes and hope it goes away.

      It won’t go away.

      I don’t blame them either, however. I’m sure he’s milking the sympathy with every last trick in his playbook. He’s really convincing, have I mentioned?

      I’m glad I’m out of there and finally starting to feel safe here.

      And I will talk openly about all of this as I travel the country speaking to Poly Groups and other sex-positive communities about open, honest, loving communication, about deepening intimacy and investing in relationships, and about sexual assault and what it looks like for the benefit of both men and women. This is an important conversation to have in every sex positive community.

      Yes! Very, very few knew his identity! Only a handful of people really close to me, actually. He did everyone a favor by outing himself and in such a melodramatic way! Now so many more know who he is, so they all know what he looks like and hopefully his real name by now.

      I’m glad to know that many burners are seeing through him and his superficial charm. Hopefully more will soon, as I’m sure it will be very exhausting for him to not let that mask slip even a little for as long as it will take for people to forget.

      For his current GFs, I hope that in the back of their minds they know something, too. I hope they will recognize the monster when that mask slips, having been forewarned. But his drug is powerful and blinding, so I doubt it. At least I hope they protect their hearts and souls better than I did. With some luck any new women will be cautious and not bowled over by the love bombing, because it is truly impossible to resist or see through unless you’re looking for it. He’s very, very good.

      And very dangerous.

      Thank you for validating me for speaking out. It hasn’t been easy, but I suppose it’s a walk in the park compared to what I’ve endured over the past six months. And I couldn’t have done it to this extent without the support of other survivors.

      Thank you so much for this comment, Will.

      Truly, I can’t thank you enough.

      Namaste.

  3. […] The R Word […]

  4. I wish I had a safe place to go, and someone safe to discuss things with. I live in a small city so there are very limited resources here. There are things I’d like to discuss, but there are no safe places.

    Though I know what you mean when you say “everyone believes him”. I know what you mean when you say “He’s charming.” There are so many things that resonate with me in this post, but my attack wasn’t physical. Still, the attack was there as far as I am concerned and I have never been the same since.

    The anxiety that you feel, I feel. I have for a very long, long time. In my head I know why it’s gotten worse over the last few years, but at the same time everyone I talk to doesn’t understand. They don’t get why I would have a problem with the things that happened. My rape wasn’t just physical, it was emotional. It was convincing me that if I don’t have sex, then I am broken and wrong. If I don’t have sex then I am not allowing HIM to love me. If I don’t have sex then I am not normal. “Everyone wants to have sex all of the time and if you don’t want to then there is obviously something wrong.”

    I have been needing and wanting someone to talk to about the entire situation, but there just isn’t anyone available. Thank you for you post. It helps. It helps that you talk about it. It helps that you’re showing that these people hide in plain sight.

    • Sweetheart. I hear you loud and clear. And, yes, in my case, the emotional, psychological, and spiritual rape was far more damaging than the sexual assaults. My rape wasn’t just physical either. It was emotional. It was psychological. It was spiritual. It was a rape of my entire being.

      First of all, that was sexual assault if for no other reason than because of the emotional manipulation. It’s called coercion.

      What so many people don’t seem to understand is that “rape” covers far more than physically holding someone down and forcing them to have sex against their will or physically threatening them with a weapon. These are indeed horrific forms of sexual assault; however, most sexual assaults don’t look like that.

      Most sexual assaults are via coercion or when the target is incapable of consenting, like drunk or emotionally distraught, or by crossing previously established boundaries without further consent. Most sexual assault is perpetrated through emotional violence and manipulation, leaving the victim terrified and confused and wondering what happened.

      What happened to you was sexual assault.

      Allowing him to love you? Does this sound like someone who loves you? This is not someone who loves you. This is someone who gets off on power and control. It’s not about love, it’s about power, control, and sexual conquests.

      What’s so disturbing are his words “not allowing HIM to love [you],” as it echoes what I’ve heard my ex say time and again about “the way [he] loves.” So often when talking about his ex, he would tell me about conversations they had where she was trying to get away from him because she was in so much pain, and he kept convincing her to stick around and let him “love her” in the way that he loves. Which is, basically, on his terms. What he wants. To fulfill his needs. Without any care or consideration for the other person.

      He didn’t want to lose his backup narcissistic supply, and he still hasn’t. She’s still around and so very brainwashed.

      If you don’t want to have sex, you don’t want to have sex. Period.

      You are not broken or wrong.
      He is.

      This is coercion and deep emotional and psychological manipulation. The reason it keeps getting worse is that you’re suffering from PTSD. You’re surrounded by people who don’t understand. People understand punch-her-out-forcible-rape, and still don’t want to talk about it, but people don’t understand the “gray” areas of rape until they experience it themselves. This was rape, sweetheart.

      Please feel free to email me and talk to me. Also, call RAINN, 1.800.656.HOPE(4673). They will validate you and listen to what you have to say. They will see the pattern of control and abuse. They will tell you this is not your fault. They will give you local resources. Even in small towns there are rape crisis centers, for rape is far, far too prevalent. Your state probably has a Sexual Assault Legal Association where you will be assigned a lawyer for no charge. S/he will help, too.

      Then. File a police report. Seriously.
      It doesn’t matter if there isn’t enough evidence for a criminal investigation. File one anyway. Give his next victim a fighting chance by showing a pattern of abusive and exploitative behavior. And, by the way, if you said “no” or “stop,” and he kept trying to convince you, then there will be enough for a criminal investigation. You can do all this anonymously for your protection as well. Talk to your lawyer.

      You are strong. Just for coming out here in public and talking about this. You are strong.
      You are not broken and neither am I. A little bent, maybe, but with the support of others survivors, we’ll straighten ourselves out and stop future sexual assaults on our own person and on others.

      • Thank you for your words and support. There is a center in my city, but there are wait lists like mad. Plus there are other complications, like the fact that I did go ahead and marry him, and while we are separated now, we do have a 15 month old. Also I’m a nurse in a small town, which makes it hard just because of the anonymity that you can’t have when you work closely with all the social workers in the city.

        Thank you though for the support.

      • Absolutely.

        Get on the wait list now. Maybe you will no longer have the need when the appointment comes up, but you can cancel at that point leaving the spot for someone who is in need. Plus, you can call a hotline and talk to someone for free without a wait. Do that.

        It’s not surprising you married him, actually. These men are very convincing. It’s a psychological trick of intermittent reinforcement, and it creates a very strong trauma bond. I know it all too well. Six months away from mine, after acknowledging the assaults and extensive trauma and abuse he caused, and sometimes I think I’d still go back.

        That trauma bond is ridiculously strong. That’s oxytocin for you.

        Thank you for your comment. You will be okay. We’re here for you.

    • And if you’re in Canada or other countries:

      Canada

      Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres
      Vancouver, British Columbia
      604-876-2622 (p)
      604-876-8450 (f)
      http://www.casac.ca
      headoffice@casac.ca

      Victoria Women’s Sexual Assault Centre
      Victoria, British Columbia
      250-383-5545 (p)
      250-383-6112 (f)
      250-383-3232 (hotline)
      http://www.vwsac.com
      vwsac@vwsac.com

      Sexual Assault /Domestic Violence Care Centre
      Hamilton, Ontario
      905-525-4573 (p)
      905-525-4162 (hotline)
      sadvcarecentre@hhsc.ca

      The Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Centre of Peel
      Mississauga, Ontario
      905-273-9442 (24/7 Crisis Line)
      1-800-810-0180 (Only for Caledon residents)
      http://www.sarccp.org
      admin@sarccp.org

      Regional Sexual and Domestic Assault Program, Simcoe
      County/Muskoka
      Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital
      Orillia, Ontario
      705-325-2201, ext. 3284 (p)
      705-327-9155 (hotline)
      1-877-377-7438 (toll free from 705 area code only)
      anaes@barint.on.ca

      Ottawa Rape Crisis Center
      Ottawa, Ontario
      613-562-2334 (p)
      613-562-2333 (hotline)

      Toronto Rape Crisis Centre
      Toronto, Ontario
      (416) 597-1171 (hotline)
      http://www.trccmwar.ca
      info@trccmwar.ca

      Montreal Rape Crisis Centre
      Montreal, Quebec
      514-934-0354 (p)
      514-934-4504 (hotline)

      Find more at RAINN International Resources.

  5. […] I just hear bits and pieces. I’m so not engaged. I’m free. See my post yesterday “The R Word” for more info on […]

  6. […] dare she accuse one of my friends of non-consensually crossing boundaries, especially using The R Word.” Are you saying, “If we talk about this it will become a Witch Hunt.” (poor […]

  7. […] spoken with nearly a dozen sexual assault professionals in the past two months and have done countless hours of research on sexual assault in our culture, the “rape […]

  8. […] man has been trying to limit the definition of rape for decades. He inherently doesn’t trust rape survivors and would rather placate the accused […]

  9. […] the *wrong* scenarios were taken from actual conversations. The Scene One before the rape (its what I was punished for), and the second in between the two assaults. I couldn’t bear to relive the conversation on […]

  10. Rape is really something that to survivors can impact just as much as being killed. It may not be all of you, but part of you, in each moment, dies. You don’t get those pieces of yourself back, you may find ways to fill in those holes but some just don’t understand that.
    The fact you are able to gather the strength so soon to speak on it shows your power; your ability to regain control.
    The lies, the betrayal of trust, to me, that is what is the everlasting piece of the situation that continually wears down and shreds what remains of the soul.
    The internal confusion that comes about when part of you may still want to protect or defend the life of the rapist but still carrying the anger and heated hatred and contempt you may hold for them, it is such an awkward balancing act; eventually you will find a comfortable balance but even then, no one realizes how much time or therapy is needed for recovery.
    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and I hope you are able to truly find the support you deserve and I can only hope that truth comes out to surround the rapist’s reality and that he drowns in it.
    Survive and thrive. Many hugs.

    • Thank you so much for your loving comment!

      You’re right, it seems very, very few understand the profound impact and the constraint struggle. I loved this man, so the betrayal by him was on so many levels. Part of me loves him still, as love doesn’t die quickly for me, if ever, so it’s a ridiculous balancing act. But the part of me that’s disgusted by him, who he really is, and his reprehensible behavior grows every day. As the few friends I have left (as well as some new ones who get it because they, too, are survivors) tell me how he’s avoiding responsibility for any of it, distracting and throwing up gorilla dust, I realize more and more each day that the abusive
      monster is reality.

      Insult to injury, friends also tell me how the community surround him and condemns anyone who tries to hold him accountable even to answer a few questions. I’m being accused of hiding behind some pseudonym on the Burning Flipside Flipizen group on FB in order to confront him, which is absurd. I can’t stomach engaging with him, even the thought of it makes me nauseous. I’m at Burning Man at the moment, and he’s likely here somewhere with one of my replacements, and at every turn I’m terrified of seeing him. These people don’t understand PTSD if they think I can engage with him. Plus, being at BM )'(, I only have internet once every 12 hours or so.

      To watch people question me, a woman who has been completely transparent, honest, and consistent for the past six months and believe a man who does hide behind a pseudonym, a happy puppy picture, and the arrogant defense of “I wouldn’t do that,” astounds me!!

      It’s all here on this blog, every bit of it.
      I’m not hiding. I have no need to hide or pretend or evade or lie. I am not ashamed. It’s his shame, not mine. It’s an entire community who wants to bury their heads in the sand instead of protect themselves and their loved ones, who perpetuate the rape culture by blindly believing the accused without question all while blaming the victim.

      That’s shameful.

      Thank you for your kindness and the validation of my strength.
      Peace to you.

  11. […] what The R Word truly means and talk about […]

  12. […] they can’t see themselves as a rapist. It has also been proven that men do self-report if The R Word isn’t used in the description, as shown in Lisak & Miller’s study reported in Meet […]

  13. […] great differences in the San Francisco community thus far; however, I’m still not at a place in my healing to get very involved in any romantic or sexual relationship, or even be around people talking about […]

  14. […] The R Word […]

  15. […] cloud and accepted that what had happened back on February 12th and 16th, 2012 was, indeed, rape, through the guidance of a PTSD specialist and a dozen sexual assault professionals, I couldn’t have sex anymore. Not even numbing, dissociative […]

  16. […] is so possible to have been abused or even raped and not even know it on a conscious level. Denial is a powerful protector, in a way, but it […]

  17. […] secondary trauma set me back months in healing. The tertiary trauma would come when the entire poly community embraced The Rapist and called me a liar. Fuck Austin, as I’ve said […]

  18. […] took a third rape in as many years by a third man, ostracism from my community, a dark decent into complex PTSD, and extensive rape recovery therapy […]

  19. […] least, and I just hear bits and pieces. I’m so not engaged. I’m free. See my post yesterday “The R Word” for more info on […]

  20. […] “How dare she accuse one of my friends of non-consensually crossing boundaries, especially using The R Word.” Are you saying, “If we talk about this it will become a Witch Hunt.” (poor metaphor, btw) […]

  21. I believe you. Count your blessings there were no messages. They would have caused you more grief. These animals have no consciouses. Know that this was not your fault. It s all on him. You are right he has done this before and will do it again and again. Your reporting to the police
    may one day help stop him.

  22. […] sexualized violence either. Trauma is cumulative. By the time it happened again, and again, and again, and–yes–again, in my early 40s, it all had caught up with me and I experienced severe […]

  23. […] We must start teaching enthusiastic consent to where it’s not a “yes” mumbled through fear or tears or coercion, it’s a YES! YES! YES! said either through their lips or their actions. It’s a […]

  24. […] We must start teaching enthusiastic consent to where it’s not a “yes” mumbled through fear or tears or coercion, it’s a YES! YES! YES! said either through their lips or their actions. It’s a […]

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