Then He Wins

nakedEarlier today, I saw this meme making its way around Facebook, and I reposted it to my O. M. Grey page with the words “Never again, I’m afraid.”

Two people comment after the first 30 minutes. Both comments pissed me off. The second was from some guy I don’t recognized telling me that I can’t “block out the entire world because one guy turned out to be a jerk.”

Um. Understate much?

Number one, don’t tell me what I can and can’t do with my life, especially if you’re a man. That will earn you an immediate block. Number two, don’t comment on sensitive topics if you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. This man quite obviously knows little to nothing about me or what I’ve endured. Saying “one guy” proves that alone.

Fuck off.

Enough time wasted on him. He’s been blocked.

The first response was much more painful and severely triggering because it came from a fellow survivor. She said this: “Then he wins.”

Little makes me more angry than suggesting my rapist(s) win because of a choice *I* made to care for and protect myself. This isn’t a game or a race or anything of the sort.

This is my life. My heart. My soul.

If you can’t respect the decisions I make for myself, because no one has to live in my skin with my experiences but me, then fuck off. You are one more person that doesn’t deserve to be in my life, and you certainly don’t deserve access to my heart and soul.

Rapists “win” when people stay silent.
Rapists “win” when accepted into communities that know they’ve been accused of rape.
Rapists “win” when people renew their Social License to Operate by excusing their behavior, blaming their victims, and spouting inane platitudes such as this.
Rapists “win” the moment people start repeating The Great Derailers.
Rapists “win” with every rape joke.
Rapists “win” when they get more community support than their victims.

One of the many reasons this particular platitude infuriates me is because it’s a reminder that, as a woman and a survivor, I simply cannot “win” no matter what I do.

  1. If I try to explain why I came to this decision, I’m accused of “playing the victim” or I hear “Okay! Okay! You’re a victim. I get it!”
  2. If I “get back on that horse” and try to love and trust again (like I did after rapist 1, 2, and 3**) and I’m sexually assaulted or raped again, I get victim blamed. “Didn’t you learn from the last time?” — “When will you learn?” — “Again? Are you sure it’s rape?” — “That’s a very serious accusation! Do you have any proof?”
  3. Or, let’s take it out of the realm of sexuality and romance, if I open my heart and soul to “friends,” I hear, “You’re always 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 here.”
  4. If I pay a therapist to support me in my healing I get,
    • “You’re only upset about being raped because you think rape is a bad thing. The problem is with your ego. Have some compassion! (for your rapist)” (I reported her to the State Board)
    • The therapist offers me sanctuary in their place of business/community only to change his mind and welcome my rapist into his office/home.
    • The most recent and most damaging, the therapist builds a long-term, intimate therapeutic relationship with me and encourages me to open up and trust him, and when I  finally open up all the way and show him the depths of my heart and soul, he emotionally abandons me, makes excuses for all the men who have done that in the past, and makes 180-degree shift in personality, reinforcing the pattern of The Rapist (3). Then disappears without any word or effort to repair the broken trust, reinforcing the patterns of all and more. (Yes, I reported him to the State Board for that and for violating professional confidence.)
  5. If I take the hint, after being ostracized by four different communities and deceived/judged/betrayed by every. single. person. I trusted, and decide to just protect myself and remain isolated until (if ever) I can deal with being a part of society again without being (so obviously) vulnerable, I’m accused of “giving up,” “being too cynical,” “jaded,” or “*letting* him win.”

Yes, I’m angry. If you can’t deal with my anger, then NEWS FLASH — you don’t have to read my updates. You don’t have to read my blog…and you really, really don’t have to fucking comment.

Great that you’re oh-so-positive-and-spiritual (just like R3, btw, and 2 of the communities who embraced him, not to mention the “HAVE SOME COMPASSION” therapist) and you “forgive” your rapists and live in a world of rainbows and bunnies and love. I’m not there, and your judgments won’t help me get there any faster.

In fact, they’re keeping me away and reinforcing my decision to remain isolated.

As a survivor, one would think you would know this, but, as I’ve said before, I can’t even pretend to be surprised anymore.

**for the purposes of my writings in this blog, Rapist 1 is The Writer, Rapist 2 is The Musician, and Rapist 3 is The Rapist, aka Austin Poly Rapist. There have been many other sexual assaults, severe sexual abuse or harassment, and rapes over the past thirty years, as I’ve mentioned before, about 1/3 of my lovers and some who weren’t lovers. I mainly talk about these three as they were the ones that were so traumatizing over the past four years and sent me into a tailspin from which I’ve only recently recovered. But there was a digital rape after The Rapist (3) that I don’t often talk about because I wasn’t further traumatized by it. The guy owned it, more or less, apologized for it, and made amends. The only thing I’ve ever asked of Rapist 1, 2, or 3. The assaults before 1,2,&3, as well as ones during, I don’t talk about because it really borders on the absurd the sheer number of times, especially because it wasn’t until months after Rapist 3 (and the subsequent digital rape) that I realized they were rape. Boiling Frog phenomenon. I’ll write about that in another post. This and this, though, are great reads on the subject.

~ by omgrey on January 31, 2014.

12 Responses to “Then He Wins”

  1. Thank you so much! I spent so much of my own life being so angry at the nonsensical statements people made when they asked me “what happened” and I TOLD THEM. Guess what? It was ALWAYS ‘my fault.” Or being told “there’s therapy for that” as if “therapy” makes it all go away. NO IT DOESN’T. And I had a therapist who I reported and sued, Sonja K. Schoenwald, now operating in South Carolina, who wrote me up for “not having a relationship” with my father who beat, molested and raped me from the age of 3 years old on. She declared this was “part of my mental illness” that I refused to speak to him. Can you imagine?

    And then the “victim” part… I guess we are never supposed to allow that we are hurt by anything or anyone. We are never to speak of our pain, or risk being accused of “being a victim” or “playing the victim.” I guess VENGEANCE is the only acceptable reaction in America… that or that b.s. “forgiveness.” I have been attacked for not “forgiving my abuser” and told it’s all my fault I am traumatized by it all.

    Just remember: this all comes from the culture in America. I have never found these kinds of attitudes in Latin America or Europe. America is a whole ‘nother animal, which raises it’s young to make money and go to war. That’s it.

    Sensitivity in America is practically nonexistent, and the therapy I found there did so much more harm than good. Stick with groups that operate for free, and don’t make money off other people’s suffering. I wish I could find a “good therapist,” but after Ms. Schoenwald, I learned – the hard way – to never trust again. Thanks to you Sonja Schoenwald, I know what your kind is all about: $$$$ !!! and that’s all, folks!

    There’s a ton of great books available by Dr. Susan Forward and others who deal with trauma and our toxic culture in America. These authors have saved my life many times. And thank God for the internet, where we can find real support, caring, and dare I say it: friendship and love.

    Thank you for this post. It means a lot to find out “I’m not the only one.” It’s amazing, isn’t it?

    Love to you, from Catherine Todd

    “The winds of grace blow all the time; all we need do is set our sails.”
    Dear God please show us The Way.


    • I’m so sorry to read you’ve experienced similar things, especially with a trusted therapist. It’s a special kind of betrayal when it comes from them.

      The survivor who made this comment is in England. As much as I adore that culture and it’s history, the people as a whole (in my experience) are much colder. Although, the rape statistics aren’t as horrific as they are here with a rape estimated every 10 minutes in the UK, when it’s every 2 minutes here.

      The most recent betrayal by my (former) beloved therapist was quite the damaging shock. After opening up and expressing my heart and soul to him, exposing my ultimate vulnerability in the expression of love (the poem “I Pretend You’re Watching Me” was inspired by him), for him to behave exactly like R3 was, as you might imagine, quite traumatizing. It came on the verge of a breakthrough, too, which may be the most tragic thing. It was shortly after I was able to make love with my husband for the first time in a year and a half. Opening up to him was so healing, and I thought he would hold that safe space as he had done for 15 months. I had begin researching community events and groups to join. I had given my number to two women, in the hopes of making a friend. I was ready to re-emerge in society…then this.

      His betrayal just reminded me that whatever is inside me is apparently so horrifying people freak and run. He was the last stronghold.

      So, I’ll just keep it to myself.

      It’s all gone now, and then some. My rebudding sexuality…my renewed motivation to trust…my hope for being a part of society.

      I’m content mostly alone. I feel safe here, and that’s a start.

      • I am glad to hear that you have made your own safe place. That is a start. I pray you can build it into something more substantial. I was so glad to hear that you managed to reconnect to your husband, and so sad to hear that it was so short lived because of the actions of someone else.

        From your posts, it is obvious that there is strength inside you, perhaps more than you realize. May you find that strength and become comfortable within it.

        I am no expert, I am simply an observer. I have heard it said many times that rape is not about sex, but is about control, and I have seen many examples of how people will try to control and manipulate each other. It seems that the way to escape these violations is to take control over your own life and to know that your choices come from what you want,and not from fear of what others might do.

        May you find strength, and joy, and love, and live a life better than you ever dreamed.


      • Thank you, Doc. May you find peace.

  2. Our paths have crossed through poetry these last few years and I for one will always support you whether you laugh, rage or cry.


  3. I agree with what you’ve writen. Isolating myself for similar reasons – our society is filled with people incapable of treating a vulnerable person with dignity – and just “being present”.
    Your perspective about the frog and scorpion fable are very insightful.

    • I’m so sorry to read you’re experiencing similar things. Isolation feels safe for now. I’m reading a great book called The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook, and it’s helpful in understanding PTSD and how to heal from it. Isolation, ultimately, isn’t the answer, but it is for now.

      May you find peace.

      • I agree with you about the isolation. Not the ultimate solution but I should’ve done it years ago; should’ve recognized & accepted most people’s low threshold for realities not fixed with a pill or a platitude. It’s a rare person that can respond in a healthy manner to pain of any depth. My own digging / research has revealed how much of an impact social support is – positive and/or negative.
        I hope you find some healing and positive support when you’re ready to reach out again.

      • Beautifully put, Russ. Pills and platitudes, no kidding. Social support helps us heal much faster. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it reduces the amount of trauma and damaged sustained.

        The lack of social support deepens the damage and is re-traumatizing.

        Thank you for your wishes of healing and support. I wish the same for you.

        Know I am always here as someone who understands.

        May you find peace.

  4. […] commented “then he wins,” and it really pissed me off. It angered me so much that I wrote a blog post about it. Yesterday, I reread that blog post entitled “Then He Wins,” and I still […]

  5. […] commented “then he wins,” and it really pissed me off. It angered me so much that I wrote a blog post about it. Yesterday, I reread that blog post entitled “Then He Wins,” and I still […]

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