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Inside me deeply part 5 chapter 2 (Inside my rape part 2)

I talked about my rape here: https://aghostdancer.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/inside-me-deeply-part-5-inside-my-rape/ I feel strong enough now to include part two for you. Basically what many rape victims feel is the second rape they endure.

As if being raped isn’t traumatizing enough picture if you will the victim after such a brutal encounter. Once you report the rape (in my case I was rushed to the hospital and it was automatically reported) the victim now endures a second rape of sorts.

The rape of her dignity, what is left of her innocence, and mental health continues. Doctors poke and prod you. They collect samples (in other words they put things inside you) and take pictures. They photograph you naked, your wounds, your privates. It’s invasive in ways I can’t yet articulate and it leaves you feeling violated in a way all over again.

The process leaves you exposed and many people now see you naked when you only want to curl up and die. So many people touch you and you don’t want to be touched. So many people look at you, your wounds, your private parts. It’s unnerving to say the very least.

Doctors and nurses and social workers come and go. No one stops long enough to tell you everything that is happening. troubling to a mind already riddled with pain and struggling to understand all that has happened and is happening now.

Social workers questions seem almost accusatory. “Did you know the attacker(s)?” “What did you say to them?” “What did you do next?” The list is endless. I know they are gathering information but the questions seem almost like accusations.

The police are called and they take their own pictures. The same as the doctors but for police reasons not medical reasons. They ask you questions, make you describe the rape, the men. They make you recount everything you can remember all while you are crying, naked and exposed.

At least the police didn’t put fingers and things inside me like the doctors did. I remember wishing I’d been killed so it wouldn’t matter who touched me. It’s a hard thing to be touched when you only want to die.

Your parents are called, the doctors and police tell them everything and you’re left feeling ashamed, scared and sick. Everyone wants to hug you and you want everyone to stop touching you. Every touch feels in a way a reminder. The shame you feel is overwhelming.

I remember punching and kicking I wanted to be left alone. I remember the shame I felt (misplaced shame but it was none the less real.) I remember the fingers, pictures and things done to me and taken of me. I remember it almost as vividly as the rape itself.

Shame you ask? Yes shame because at this moment as a victim you can’t reconcile what has happened. You aren’t in a place to know you did nothing wrong. All you know is you hurt, you want to die and you don’t fully understand everything that’s happened yet.

The doctors keep coming back in. From time to time they check your wounds and see how treatment of them is coming along. I was bleeding from my vagina and my anus as many victims are. The doctors keep checking that too. Further exposing you when at the time I’d rather have bleed to death to be fully honest.

Rape victims feel shame like somehow they internalize the attack. They replay it over and over wondering how it happened. They look for any mistake they made. Yeah I know now I did nothing wrong and nothing I could have done would have changed it. But at the time the victim self reflects and often (as in my case) finds blame with themselves.

Had I walked straight home rather than stopping at the store?
Was the store where the saw me?
Maybe I should have stayed after school to do some make up work?
Maybe if I walked faster?
Maybe I should have carried a stick, fought harder, screamed louder?

The ugly truth is the victim was at the wrong place at the wrong time and they did nothing wrong. But the human psyche searches for answers and second guesses every decision when something bad happens. The worse the trauma the more second guessing. Dwelling on it makes the victim feel shame.

The questions the way they are presented by doctors and police make you think what did I do wrong. They are looking for my mistake in this. “When you got to the store did you see anything suspicious?” “When you were in the store did you see the men who attacked you?” “Think hard what color was the van?” “Have you ever seen it or any of these men before?”

The questions leave the victim thinking what did I miss. They are looking for could I have avoided it. At least that’s how it felt. I know now they were looking for a non-traumatic event where they could help me describe the men, the van, anything that might help them without me reliving the attack.

At the time I didn’t know it. And they didn’t make that very clear at all.

Our family pastor came and he was full of bible verses and quotes. He condemned the men and assured me they would pay, God would make them pay for this. He gave me a pep talk or so he thought. But at that moment in time I questions the existence of a good God. He did after all let me suffer this how could he be good then?

When they raped me they stripped me of my faith in God, They took from me so many things in such a short time. All I believed, my security, my innocence, and everything that was pure and good in the world. It was taken from me that day. The extra trauma just added insult to injury.

I pray no one who reads my words ever deals with rape or is forced to confront it with someone they love. The rape itself is but the beginning of the humiliation and pain. While a necessity the doctors and police might as well rape you too. At least it feels that way at the time.

~Michelle Styles

All of the series is as follows.
https://aghostdancer.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/inside-me-deeply-part-1/ my struggle with cutting as a result of my rape and the emptiness left afterward.
https://aghostdancer.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/inside-me-deeply-part-2/ my attempt upon my life following my rape.
https://aghostdancer.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/inside-me-deeply-part-3/ my years stripping for power over men.
https://aghostdancer.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/inside-me-deeply-part-4/ my only good choice after my rape the choice to not murder my child.
https://aghostdancer.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/inside-me-deeply-part-5-inside-my-rape/ my rape itself.
https://aghostdancer.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/inside-me-deeply-part-6-inside-my-hope/ my hopes since my years of darkness and return to light.
https://aghostdancer.wordpress.com/2014/01/18/inside-me-deeply-part-7-choices/ my new choices and the story of Linda and my revelations.

Blessings and peace upon you,
Michelle