I was raped last week.
I feel guilty that I let it happen which makes me feel guilty because I feel that it was my fault.
I feel guilty that I feel powerless to him and that I let his actions against me dictate my life now.
I feel guilty for not going out to meet friends at night because the passing lights and sound of motorbikes where I live are too terrifying and remind me too much of the ride home after the attack.
I feel guilty that I feel nothing inside and that I’m not crying or angry – that that has already passed through me somehow, or maybe it’s the HIV and HEP-A/B medication or maybe it’s the Valium. (I feel angry that my supposed best friend is jealous of my rapid weight loss due to this)
I feel guilty for not wanting to hide and tell close friends what happened but at the same time guilty for dragging people into my messed up mind and therefore burdening them, which makes me lie to them by saying “I’m fine – I’ll be ok” and smile. I don’t want to say the same things again and again, and I feel guilt for not wanting to listen to my friends’ advice or stories of their own rape and recovery which brings out more guilt.
To tell my family would only bring shame and more guilt, having already disappointed them 15 years ago with an ectopic pregnancy – and I know they will ask how much I had had to drink or what I was wearing (which is not fucking* relevant)
I feel guilty for feeling a bit sorry for myself while living a comfortable life as an expat in a country that has gone through recent civil wars, where rape isn’t even considered to be rape because it is so bloody common (1 in 5 men admit to having nonconsensual sex with women, even gang raping them – often as a right of passage).
But most of all I feel guilty for feeling guilty. – I know it’s not my fault, but I feel that it was; I shouldn’t have worn that pink dress that compliments my skin and long hair so well to the networking function and I shouldn’t have put on make up and I wish I was the definition of ugly and had hadn’t washed my hair, I shouldn’t have let my guard down while surrounded by men that I held great respect for in my business community, I shouldn’t have had that third glass of wine or agreed to go for a cocktail after the function with those esteemed people. I shouldn’t have remembered to bring my business cards. I shouldn’t have been friendly in hopes of getting a big consultancy contract. I shouldn’t have let this man talk to me and I definitely shouldn’t have told that silly joke. I shouldn’t let him get away with it – but he probably will because I’m too afraid to go to the police. I can only hope that he doesn’t ruin my reputation and my small company by telling his friends about the insane bitch* he fucked* so hard – so hard that I have bruises and scratches all over my body, so hard that when I finally came to I had to bite him hard in the neck and scream and kick for him to let go of me but that won’t be said – just that I’m a, to quote him, stupid fucking crazy bitch.
I shouldn’t feel guilty. But I do, so much.
*pardon the language