Last night, I was invited out by a friend I grew up with, RB. She used to live directly down the street from me, and we shared a lot of fun times as we grew.
Recently, as some of you know, I lost a friend over insesnitive rape joke comments, which is detailed in another of my blog posts further back. I got a message from my childhood friend, RB, saying thank you for posting that status about how rape jokes are not funny, it means a lot to me.
When I asked why, she said she had been raped too and it was amazing for someone to stand up for her, even if indirectly.
That hurt. Now both me AND my friend are part of the one in four. It hurt because she didn’t feel like anyone stood up for her. It hurt because I remember her as a happy-go-lucky six year old. It hurt because she is my friend.
I went out last night and all she wanted to talk about was what had happened to her. She led me away from the people we had come with and we spent ages talking about it.
I hurt for her so much. It seems RB has tried to tell others, but they called her out on it. They told her it was “just bad sex,” or that she was lying. She has even been told to “grow a pair and get over it,” despite the fact that when it happened she was screaming and crying, and it has left it’s sorry mark. She called herself pathetic because of how she still reacts- you know, the hypervigilance, nightmares, flashbacks… She was choked up at one point trying to describe the reactions of others to what she tried to tell them: the truth.
I felt like suddenly, the old world of securities was crumbling like old plaster around us. I realised even more that writing this blog is important, because there are more rape victims out there who feel ‘pathetic’ because of what they had to endure. I realised that so many misdiagnoses of Borderline Personality Disorder are out there because not enough psychiatrists actually understand that PTSD/RTS are caused by being exposed to the horror of rape. It was a weirdly empowering thing to realise that my voice here is doing some good, no matter how smalll.
What RB said next nearly made me cry.
She told me I had been her rock whilst she was at her worst about the rape, without me even knowing. She said that I had been there for her in a way nobody else had, despite the fact that we didn’t talk much. She also said that having somebody to talk to like this was just so good- it made her feel less isolated.
I had an honest-to-god lump in my throat, and tears pricking the corners of my eyes.
Even at my lowest, my most worthless, I was helping someone and I didn’t even know it. I was of value when I felt like dying would solve everyone’s problems over me. There had been value in my life when the dark passenger was threatening to send me down the void forever.
I am still shaken by it. I wish that I had recorded what she said, so I could play it back to myself whenever I feel like I can’t go on.
Sometimes, life actually surprises me still.