First, I’m being as anonymous with the people involved as possible to protect myself and them. With that in mind, there are several details and some background story that is missing from this post. I apologize if this muddles some things for you, reader.
I’ve written about my encounters with rape, sexual assault, and molestation. I’ve talked about them on air a few times. And life marches on. And my faith and relationship with God has taught me how to heal. I know it’s strange, but most days I forget I’m a survivor. Most days are just days and my history doesn’t get in the way. I don’t shy from my past and I don’t let it control me. But some days the memories of those acts march right up to me and slap me hard in the face. So hard tears well up in my eyes as if the reminder became corporeal at the instant of contact then dissolved back into the ether, leaving me stunned.
Today of those moments came. I don’t know what provoked me to look but I did. One of my Facebook friends knows the man who raped me when I was 15. I knew several years ago they were friends with him on Facebook and occasionally spoke to him. This person knows what he did and chooses to still be friends with him. That is their business. I’m not here to regulate their life or anyone else’s. This person and I have had a rocky relationship through the years and have recently come to amicable terms and we are back on Facebook together (it sounds like more drama than it’s worth and some days it is, but whatever. It is what it is). At work this person came to mind and, for some stupid-brain reason, it came to me to see if they were still friends with the guy. At that point I could have ignored the thought and kept working, but I didn’t. My fault. They are still in contact with him.
This person- who is supposed to love and care about me- is remaining friends with my rapist. I cannot control this person’s life or friends. I don’t want to. That’s not my style. But it hurts to know they don’t care enough to at least pretend around me they’re not friends. Strangely, though, I’m more upset that I’m upset about it. I feel like I should be past this. It’s been 16 years and I’m not a naive teenager anymore. I have a voice. I have a future. I have a life. And this piece- this in-the-grand-scheme-of-things-tiny piece- of my life has a way of grabbing hold of me and shaking my core. It still effects me. It may not happen often. I may go months without issue, but sometimes…
Sometimes a reminder comes up and slaps me. Hard.