I’ve always hated it when people suggest that a bad experience was just a necessary lesson. It’s not that I don’t recognize the lesson. It’s that I don’t seek to minimize the pain of PAIN by making it something good. I don’t enjoy finding or expressing some kind of approval toward those doing bad things to people–giving them some kind of holy status as some kind of tools for good. I don’t like that. That bugs me. Privately, I learn my lessons, but don’t ever suggest that that lesson couldn’t have been learned another way. Or that the perpetrator is some kind of hero.
That said, my trudging through this rape victim-trying-to-survive thing has brought me some valuable lessons. I appreciate and honour these lessons. They’ve made me stronger and more self-involved. These are important lessons.
In my younger life, before this last incident, I was very happy to accept societal missteps as my guidance. I was very happy to be mediocre–extraordinary is so exhausting. I had spent that time disapproving of so many things but never really embracing that part of myself. I felt that I didn’t want to stir. Keep silent, keep the peace. The feminist was gagged. Now she shouts when she must–which is most of the time. I found my voice. I found my rage. I found my I-will-change-the-world. All because I was raped. This makes me smile. At least. Now I have things to smile about. (Remember–this is not a “thanks to him”. Fuck him, really. It’s just what I’ve taken from it–even though it shouldn’t have happened and I could’ve learnt this another way).
Also, getting raped specifically, by my ex: a man I still loved at the time, has made me a beast at leaving. I have learned that even the best things can go sour. And it’s okay. When they do go sour–leave. Don’t wait on hope to bring you back. If you’re out there on that ledge alone more than once with no-one showing signs that they might meet you halfway, then leave. There are many good things out there. Including better lovers and being alone. BE ALONE. Enjoy it. And there are many things that can go wrong when you give your entire self away. This is not to imply that it is your job as a victim to prevent rape. This is simply insight into the lessons I’ve learned. And I’m not saying the consequences of staying involve violence like mine did. I’m saying experiencing one of the worst possibly scenarios, made me happy alone and always ready to go rather than stay where I’m unhappy. I have to be grateful for that. It’s something I’ve always known but have never been able to own.
The best part is that I’ve found a new interest; a brand new path to change the world for the better for women that will walk this path behind me who, perhaps, are less privileged and have less access than what I do. My plans are big. All because of this heinous thing that happened to me. So now, I will take it and squeeze the juice out of it and we will gorge ourselves on lemonade.
Rape is ugly. It never completely leaves you alone. But it gets better. A lot better.