Murder Vs Rape

It started off as any other morning as I waited for my bus to arrive and take me home. Nothing about it seemed extraordinary as I contented myself playing a game on my cellphone until I caught sight of a Jehovah's Witness making his way up the sidewalk towards the bus stop.
Now, I am not Christian but neither do I like to be rude to others without provocation. So I have found the simplest and best way to avoid unwanted conversations with them is to pretend I'm in the middle of a phone call.
There was another woman at the stop with me and just one look at her told you she had had a rough life. When the man approached her, she confirmed this by snapping at him and then snarling like a wounded animal afterwards.
She and I got into a discussion about Jehovah's Witness's and it became apparent to me that this was going to be no ordinary morning as we boarded the bus and she began to tell me her life story. How she was going to see her son who had been convicted of child *********** possession and how everyone in her life had let her down. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I can be rather caustic and dry with giving my opinions, but this particular moment, I decided to hold my sharp tongue for once and just listen. Amazing what you learn when the mouth is closed..
There was a comment she made however that almost made me let loose my tongue if not for the emotions that flooded up upon hearing those words. "I don't see what the big deal is. Why do they monitor rapists and not murderers? I mean, it's just rape, it's not like they kill anyone."

Even now as I write this out, I can't help but cry a little. Rape does more than hurt, it DOES kill. Kills the person you once were, takes a part of you that you will never, ever get back no matter how much time passes or how you try to pretend otherwise. I know because for years I have tried to pretend otherwise.
I have my good days and I have my bad days. And then I have the days that I wish I could scrub the skin off my bones just for the chance the memories will go away as well.
I've gained weight over the years and I know that deep down I'm trying to put more space, build a citadel between myself and the world so I don't get hurt again. I know this. I can identify the root of the problem and yet when trying to do the obvious..I can't. There are some days even now that I don't want to look at myself because when I look in my eyes, I see those moments when I was helpless and died a little.
The want to be close to people but feeling that overwhelming fear of intimacy and having to talk myself down because I can't afford therapy. Telling myself that this person isn't going to hurt me like others have even though there is a part of me that doubts even myself. The people in my life who raped me would have been far kinder if they'd just killed me rather than leave me to continue like this.
Though there are times when I can see beauty in life, see the strength that comes from surviving even if I cringe at being called a 'rape survivor'. Because then the sadness and the anger comes at knowing what was lost and I don't feel at all like a survivor but like a ghost. Do you call a shade, a wraith a survivor even if they continue to exist long after the body stops? And then comes the guilt for thinking in such terms, aren't they self-defeating? No one wants to hear such things so it is for the benefit of others that you put on your brave face every day and pretend the hell out of everything that you're just like them.
I suppose that woman had just been bottling things up for so long and she felt comfortable enough to share her thoughts and feelings with a total stranger. I've not seen her since that morning and I have to wonder how she would feel, what her thoughts would be if after saying those words, I told her I'd been raped. Sometimes in life, no matter how much a situation makes you angry, you have to temper it with love and understanding. There's enough conflict in this world and maybe in some warped sense of the word, I was trying to get revenge on those who destroyed and killed parts of me.
When a forest fire has ceased to burn, while things may be gone, new things can push forth through the ash. With death, doesn't birth follow? Where cruelty was dealt, compassion can be extended to protest, defy and combat against it. At least, it is what I strive for and try. Anything is better I suppose than to have to continue to mourn what was stolen and ripped away from me.
Himoto Himoto
26-30, F
Nov 30, 2012