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Melinda

(5,465 posts)
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 02:23 AM Oct 2012

Hi! I知 a rapist. I知 one of those men who likes to force myself on women without their consent.....

***Disclaimer*** While this is correctly deemed "satire", this open letter to conservatives may very likely 'trigger' deep emotional responses in women who have been raped, women who have become pregnant as a result of rape, and women who have given birth and raised the child born of the rape.

Women like me. I hope at some point to be able to put my life experiences into words, the incest at the hands of my grandfather, the several molestations and near molestations as a child, the first time I was raped at age 14, the suicide attempt immediately thereafter, the last time I was raped at age 17, and the subsequent pregnancy from this rape. The emotional damage I incurred over the first 18 years of my life lasts to this day.

Triggers.

Todd Akin triggered an emotional breakdown several months ago. And damn near every day I read something else proposed by the GOP that triggers me back yet again... I want to write of this, but I am terrified at the same time. I kept my baby and he is now a man who looks just like my rapist. I am 58 years old, but the trauma of these experiences have left me as broken and scared. The scars will never heal.

I don't know why I just shared this, but I am going to post it and deal with the pain as it comes.

The reason for this post:

A Fan Letter to Certain Conservative Politicians

October 25, 2012 By John Scalzi

WARNING: this post is going to be oh-so-very-triggery for victims of rape and sexual assault. I am not kidding.

Dear certain conservative politicians:

Hi! I’m a rapist. I’m one of those men who likes to force myself on women without their consent or desire and then batter them sexually. The details of how I do this are not particularly important at the moment — although I love when you try to make distinctions about “forcible rape” or “legitimate rape” because that gives me all sorts of wiggle room — but I will tell you one of the details about why I do it: I like to control women and, also and independently, I like to remind them how little control they have. There’s just something about making the point to a woman that her consent and her control of her own body is not relevant against the need for a man to possess that body and control it that just plain gets me off. A guy’s got needs, you know? And my need is for control. Sweet, sweet control.

So I want to take time out of my schedule to thank you for supporting my right to control a woman’s life, not just when I’m raping her, but for all the rest of her life as well.

Ah, I see by your surprised face that you at the very least claim to have no idea what I’m talking about. Well, here’s the thing. Every time you say “I oppose a woman’s right to abortion, even in cases of rape,” what you’re also saying is “I believe that a man who rapes a woman has more of a right to control a woman’s body and life than that woman does.”

Oh, look. That surprised face again. All right, then. On the chance that you’re not giving me that surprised face just for the sake of public appearances, let me explain it to you, because it’s important for me that you know just how much I appreciate everything you’re doing for me.

So, let’s say I’ve raped a woman, as I do, because it’s my thing. I’ve had my fun, reminding that woman where she stands on the whole “being able to control things about her life” thing. But wait! There’s more. Since I didn’t use a condom (maybe I’m confident I can get other people to believe it was consensual, you see, or maybe I just like it that way), one thing has led to another and I’ve gotten this woman pregnant.


Full text of open letter


37 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Hi! I知 a rapist. I知 one of those men who likes to force myself on women without their consent..... (Original Post) Melinda Oct 2012 OP
Thank you for sharing this, Melinda... CaliforniaPeggy Oct 2012 #1
Oh Peggy, this is one of the most difficult things I've ever done in my life... Melinda Oct 2012 #3
... CaliforniaPeggy Oct 2012 #4
Oh my God ismnotwasm Oct 2012 #24
Very powerful, very dark, and very courageous.. Permanut Oct 2012 #2
Thank you Permanut. I centered my life on my son, thinking that I could make something beautiful... Melinda Oct 2012 #5
... Permanut Oct 2012 #6
Oh Melinda sheshe2 Oct 2012 #7
sheshe, you're a lovely soul, thank you. Melinda Oct 2012 #15
So let's send the GOP back into the darkness where they belong! sheshe2 Oct 2012 #16
Thank you for posting this Melinda. Very powerful indeed. I admire and deeply respect your strength. anneboleyn Oct 2012 #28
Thank you for sharing. Behind the Aegis Oct 2012 #8
I struggled for years about sharing the circumstances of his conception with my son... Melinda Oct 2012 #17
wow. how incredibly powerful... powerfully sad, powerfully persuasive, powerfully real renate Oct 2012 #9
I've only recently become acquainted with John Scalzi's writings... Melinda Oct 2012 #18
I can't begin to understand how your experience affected you... bluesbassman Oct 2012 #10
It may sound perverse, in that I wish all men could understand how sexual violence Melinda Oct 2012 #21
No, not perverse. The world would be a much different place if more men understood. bluesbassman Oct 2012 #22
***tears*** Melinda Oct 2012 #23
I have often wondered... davidthegnome Oct 2012 #11
David, thank you. Melinda Nov 2012 #31
"I like to remind them how little control they have." Spitfire of ATJ Oct 2012 #12
Thank you for sharing this azurnoir Oct 2012 #13
Thank you, azunoir. Melinda Nov 2012 #33
Wow, Melinda, it must have taken a lot of strength for you to write that. Zalatix Oct 2012 #14
I think I could be a case study for PTSD, Zalatix. Melinda Nov 2012 #34
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I really think the people who are trying to justify rape. Initech Oct 2012 #19
That's an interesting posit. Melinda Nov 2012 #35
Posted to BuzzFlash WilliamPitt Oct 2012 #20
Thank you for sharing Scalzi's writing, Will. You ensure a far greater viewing than I ever could. Melinda Nov 2012 #36
Reading that was like a punch to the chest. lilithsrevenge12 Oct 2012 #25
Thank you lilithsrevenge. Melinda Nov 2012 #37
A friend wondered if the R's were going for the rapists' vote duhneece Oct 2012 #26
Hi Melinda~~ DonRedwood Oct 2012 #27
To everyone who has replied to me so far... Melinda Oct 2012 #29
You are such a Lovely woman! Caretha Oct 2012 #30
Kicking, reccing, and re-posting on FB for my daughter lapislzi Nov 2012 #32

CaliforniaPeggy

(149,511 posts)
1. Thank you for sharing this, Melinda...
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 02:32 AM
Oct 2012

I cannot say, in terms strong enough, how sorry I am for what you have gone through, and what you will go through.

The letter may indeed be satire, but I'm willing to bet that there are rapists out there who are at least a little like this fictitious man. It's stunning.

Melinda

(5,465 posts)
3. Oh Peggy, this is one of the most difficult things I've ever done in my life...
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 02:39 AM
Oct 2012

I've lived a life of self-loathing, thinking that somehow it's all been MY fault... years of therapy, but it's only now that I am ripping the veil off these dark secrets and sharing with my family, and friends, and with strangers here and now, on DU, but oh! So much shame and hurt and pain and pain and pain... I am terrified every day.

I am brave right now though. Tonight I am open.

Thank you for your kindness, Peggy.

Permanut

(5,544 posts)
2. Very powerful, very dark, and very courageous..
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 02:33 AM
Oct 2012

Thanks for sharing your journey; as a male, I will never walk your path, or walk a mile in your shoes. Good on ya for doing this.

Melinda

(5,465 posts)
5. Thank you Permanut. I centered my life on my son, thinking that I could make something beautiful...
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 02:43 AM
Oct 2012

out of something so deeply horrific. My son is a fine, upstanding man, and I am very proud of him. But he is and always will be a reminder of the darkest time in my life.

Love the women and girls in your life, especially the young ones.. they are precious and deserve nothing but joy and love. On 2nd thought, I don't think you need my advice... I can tell you already know this.

sheshe2

(83,617 posts)
7. Oh Melinda
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 03:17 AM
Oct 2012

You bring tears to my eyes. That was so very powerful and moving!Thank you so much for sharing.
If only for a moment let us share your pain! I hope this helps in some way.The shame you feel? Let it go. Please! The shame is not yours. It is their's. They embarrass themselves and this country by their stupidity!
Be well!

Melinda

(5,465 posts)
15. sheshe, you're a lovely soul, thank you.
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 11:15 AM
Oct 2012

This world is filled with young girls just like I used to be; let's make sure we have their backs, that we protect their futures, that Roe stays law of the land, and the evil that is the GOP loses BIG this election season.

I slept poorly last night, and I dreaded opening this thread this morning. I am learning to let the shame go, I promise. Every word I type, every thought I share lays the wound(s) fresh again.... BUT I am going to be strong today, and I am going to participate in this thread. Today I am strong.

I appreciate your kind words of support.

sheshe2

(83,617 posts)
16. So let's send the GOP back into the darkness where they belong!
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 11:22 AM
Oct 2012

We will move Forward into the light together!

You are most welcome.

anneboleyn

(5,611 posts)
28. Thank you for posting this Melinda. Very powerful indeed. I admire and deeply respect your strength.
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 10:53 PM
Oct 2012

Behind the Aegis

(53,915 posts)
8. Thank you for sharing.
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 03:21 AM
Oct 2012

You are already on your way to writing your story. I am a child of rape, though I am a spitting image of my mother, eventhough I am male. Believe it or not, there are groups for women in your situation specifically, which IMO is so very sad. Perhaps you can reach out to them for help and support.

Melinda

(5,465 posts)
17. I struggled for years about sharing the circumstances of his conception with my son...
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 12:05 PM
Oct 2012

When he was young, I told him that I had wanted him, and not the relationship with his 'father'; I made up excuses as to why his 'father' wasn't a part of his life. I wanted to protect him, but the day finally came when he was an adult with questions, and so I shared with him.

Even though he was technically grown at that point, it affected him on a primordial level. Even though I tried my best (perhaps over-compensating) to ensure that he was protected from predators, that he had a healthy sense of himself, I *know* he suffered and still suffers from the circumstances of his being. I still wonder if maybe it would have been better if I had withheld this truth from him.

I've never participated in a support group, although I've had years of therapy. I know who I am and why I am the way I am, but knowing hasn't changed the feelings of worthlessness I still harbor deep inside. Every day I make a conscious choice to not harm myself, to self reinforce feelings of value, but, perhaps you're right. I live in a tiny town and work at a non-profit that is the only source of support for victims of rape and domestic violence within 50 miles, so I am wary of opening myself up to those I know personally... again, the feelings of being judged, looked down on - the shame - rise like bile in my throat.

I know better. I can do better. I will try.

Thank you for your kindness, Aegis. Your mom must be a remarkable woman, because she raised a remarkable son. I've enjoyed your posts for years, and I am grateful we get to share this bit of space together.



renate

(13,776 posts)
9. wow. how incredibly powerful... powerfully sad, powerfully persuasive, powerfully real
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 03:25 AM
Oct 2012

I've never "got it" with any other piece of writing so immediately and so down-to-my-core. I have his book on my bookshelf (and will read it the minute I get a chance to) because I read a positive review, and now I can see why.

Thank you for sharing your story about your abuse at the hands of people you should have been able to trust, and about your love for your son who looks like your rapist, Melinda. And the cruelty of the men who use pain like yours for political gain is infuriating even to think about--I can't imagine what it's like to have lived that pain and to hear it dismissed.

A million to you for sharing with us and for what you've been through.

Melinda

(5,465 posts)
18. I've only recently become acquainted with John Scalzi's writings...
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 12:16 PM
Oct 2012

And I was immediately moved to post this thread. Scalzi's piece is and should be shocking. A perspective most likely never considered by those other men who want to control women's lives. And I've come to the conclusion that men should never ever be allowed to make laws that directly impact women's PERSONAL lives.

I appreciate your words of understanding, renate; thank you for being kind to me.

bluesbassman

(19,358 posts)
10. I can't begin to understand how your experience affected you...
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 03:35 AM
Oct 2012

I hope this post of yours helps you continue on your journey of healing and I applaud your strength in making the decision to share it here. Thank you.

Melinda

(5,465 posts)
21. It may sound perverse, in that I wish all men could understand how sexual violence
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 03:32 PM
Oct 2012

and control negatively impact a child's psyche, but I am glad that you can't understand, if that makes sense. I don't think I will ever heal, I can't ever forget, I still have nightmares 50+ years later... there is so much to my story that people would most likely think it a work of fiction, but every bit of it is true. My truth. Forever.

I don't know if I am lucky or not... I struggle every day to lose the negative thoughts, the desire to cut myself or pick my skin raw, the painful memories that are always just below the surface. I do suffer from a diagnosed emotional illness, it's a sticky balance to stave off the omnipresent depression, and the last few months have been some of the most painful times I have known since I was a child.

I was prostrate for 2 days when Akin made his speech. I missed an entire week of work, and I need to work. Akin, Murdoch, Ryan, and their ilk have brought memories to the surface that I have struggled to bury, feelings I've spent years trying to work through, and the end result for me, most lately, especially now, has been struggle.

Struggle not to self harm. Struggle not to hold myself tightly and rock for hours. Howling at the top of my voice that I am a lousy piece of shit.

I know this must appear insane, but I am not insane. I am struggling with the sum total of my experiences at the hands of hateful, domineering, and violently controlling men. Men who didn't give a shit about the child they took so much joy in harming; men like Akin, Murdoch, Ryan, Gingrich, and Romney. The GOP of men.

Okay, /rant. Thank you for the opportunity allowing me to share, and to continue to try and heal, even though I don't think I ever will. I appreciate your kindness, bluesbassman.



bluesbassman

(19,358 posts)
22. No, not perverse. The world would be a much different place if more men understood.
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 04:04 PM
Oct 2012

Thanks for the appreciation Melinda, but my kindness was just a few strokes on the keyboard, your kindness to yourself is the key. This may sound kind of hokey, but i really do believe that every second brings a new moment for us to control our thoughts and ultimately our destiny. I truly hope that each new moment gives you an opportunity to be kind to yourself. Peace to you my friend.

davidthegnome

(2,983 posts)
11. I have often wondered...
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 03:49 AM
Oct 2012

How best to define the word "Evil". I would have to say that it adequately describes sex offenders, whether they rape grown adults or prey upon children. The politicians (mostly conservative) who think that evil has anything to do with demonic powers or devils are severely naive or deliberately misleading.

I know how much courage it takes to share your story - I have my own that I have shared. I won't go into detail except to say that I was a victim as a very small child.

Nothing that has happened is in any way your fault. I applaud your bravery in raising your child despite the circumstances of his birth. It's not a decision that should be forced upon anyone - and I don't much care about the will of some fictional God. You have faced your circumstances with amazing fortitude and unbelievable courage and strength.

One of the sexual predator's greatest tools is to use our own feelings of inadequacy and self doubt against us. There is often suggestion that it is somehow our fault, that we are dirty for participating in what they want us to do (or we wouldn't do it). These people should not be classified as people. They are the true demons of the modern world.

I know how hard it is to overcome self loathing, the guilt, the fear, the shame. However you may often feel about yourself, you are a strong, courageous person and you have survived trauma the likes of which no one should ever have to suffer.

Conservative politicians... particularly those of Akin's ilk, are enabling some of the greatest crimes possible against humanity. I can only believe that those like him are few and far between, that most of us have some notion of empathy and compassion. The idea that a loving God would force anyone to carry a child to term that they did not want, or were pregnant with as a result of rape... it is sick and bizarre. Right wing religious philosophy is one of the most despicable things imaginable in both it's ignorance and it's deliberate callous cruelty.

While my circumstances are different from yours, I feel a kinship with anyone who has suffered from sexual assault. So, permit me to say that you are not alone - and that it is those like you that often give me courage that I can keep going. Thank you for sharing your story. I admire you.

Melinda

(5,465 posts)
31. David, thank you.
Thu Nov 1, 2012, 09:02 AM
Nov 2012

Let me begin by telling you how sorry I am that you have suffered sexual violence at any age, much less as an innocent child. That your innocence and open heart and childhood were destroyed by some twisted criminal predator. Your words convey your empathy; I feel 'your' pain too. I wish I could make it better for all of us.

I was raised SDA (Seventh Day Adventist), and my incestuous maternal grandfather was a Deacon in the church. Indeed. I struggle with anger towards God each and every day of my life. Indoctrination from birth has made it impossible for me to deny there may be some magical mysterious force at work in the universes of space, but a loving and compassionate 'God'? Really?

When Akin made his "legitimate rape" comment last August, I was affected on a visceral level... it was as if I was washed anew in the experience itself more than 40 years old. I read somewhere that the chance of anyone being raped in the US is somewhere between 15-20%. I wonder how many other DUers are in this number? How many others like you and me became enraged or sickened or turned to hurting themselves yet again when he made that hateful, inexcusable comment? How many other grown children have never been helped, and who remain helpless to this day? You're right, Akin and his kind are EVIL incarnate, and not a one of them should be in a position of power where they and their ilk can yet again exercise their sick twisted control over people like you and I.

I also thank you for saying I am brave.... but the truth is I had a child to protect. A child I wanted to know love and happiness and to fly unafraid. I couldn't be selfish enough to end my life - I had to make certain my son had the childhood I never had, that he was surrounded by love and was safe. If I was courageous, it's because my little one made me brave. No other reason. I had therapy so I could equip myself with the tools I needed to protect him... no other reason. But once he was raised and on his own, the feelings rose more prominently, and they are just under the surface. I think I see the same with you as I read your post. You are brave, David. You. Are. Brave.

Maybe we can continue this dialogue one day, at some point. Work calls, writing about this is draining , and so I'm closing for now. I so appreciate the time you've taken to talk about this with me, and I recognize how painful it is for you to do so. But I am so glad you shared with me and DU. Thank you for this David. Stay safe, be well, and know that I am forever grateful for your courage.

-Mel

 

Spitfire of ATJ

(32,723 posts)
12. "I like to remind them how little control they have."
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 04:07 AM
Oct 2012

That really touches on the motive all right.

It's no different than a serial killer.

azurnoir

(45,850 posts)
13. Thank you for sharing this
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 04:18 AM
Oct 2012

perhaps the ones who should most read it the conservative politicians who are attempting to make these repulsive laws will see their own reflection in the words-perhaps

wishing peace and happiness to you and your son

Melinda

(5,465 posts)
33. Thank you, azunoir.
Sun Nov 4, 2012, 11:57 AM
Nov 2012

Would that they'd even consider any viewpoint other than their own OR that of the special interests who support them. I personally think that men should be prohibited from making laws that directly affect a women's health care decisions, but then again, this isn't feasible.

My son is an amazing man, an educator, and he is my heart. I wish you much peace too, and I apologize for the length of time it's taken to respond to your kindness. Take care

 

Zalatix

(8,994 posts)
14. Wow, Melinda, it must have taken a lot of strength for you to write that.
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 04:43 AM
Oct 2012

The fact that I didn't puke upon reading this shows I can't relate as well as I wish I could. Still, if I may, I would like to donate a million more to add to Renata's.

And a few kudos to John Scalzi for daring to post such terrifying and hard-hitting satire.

Melinda

(5,465 posts)
34. I think I could be a case study for PTSD, Zalatix.
Sun Nov 4, 2012, 12:02 PM
Nov 2012

Scalzi presents something I've never seen before, not in print, not in a movie, not in a courtroom (remorse)... and he was spot on with his reference to "triggers". A tough read, but one I am hoping will be shared wide.

Thanks so much for the - right back at you, m'dear.

Initech

(100,027 posts)
19. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I really think the people who are trying to justify rape.
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 12:28 PM
Oct 2012

Are covering up for past crimes. I really do. Either that or they're covering up for crimes committed by family members. I cannot think of any other reason why anyone would keep trying to make relevant such crazy criminal activity other than they have done it themselves.

Melinda

(5,465 posts)
35. That's an interesting posit.
Sun Nov 4, 2012, 12:08 PM
Nov 2012

There's probably some truth there... or maybe they have their own issues of "control" (they get off on it!), misogyny, religious indoctrination, it's cultural, etc. I've never given more than a passing thought as to their motivations. I only know I will continue to believe that men should have no say in a woman's health care decision, period.

I apologize for the length of time it's taken to acknowledge your post, and your kindness, but this is how I need to do this... it's day by day sometimes. Take good care

Melinda

(5,465 posts)
36. Thank you for sharing Scalzi's writing, Will. You ensure a far greater viewing than I ever could.
Sun Nov 4, 2012, 12:09 PM
Nov 2012

And on behalf of me and others like me, we thank you. backatchu

duhneece

(4,110 posts)
26. A friend wondered if the R's were going for the rapists' vote
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 10:02 PM
Oct 2012

Since they've alienated women, minorities, intelligent voters...there must be quite a few rapists and the R's seem to be working hard to get their vote.

DonRedwood

(4,359 posts)
27. Hi Melinda~~
Tue Oct 30, 2012, 10:15 PM
Oct 2012

Such a powerful story you shared and each post that responds to it only makes things more moving.

My mother recently broke down in tears and told me my older brother is only my half-brother. She was raped while my parents were dating and became pregnant. My father married her even though they had not yet had sex. He raised my older brother as his own but it seemed there always was something "off".

When my mother tearfully admitted to all this she swore me to secrecy. She forbid me to ever tell my brother so now I get to carry the weight of the knowledge. My dad is gone so just my mother and I know.

I told myself it doesn't matter but the other day I realized I had made plans for all my father's family heirlooms to go to my cousins instead of my brother's kids. (But they get all of the heirlooms from my mom).

Thank you for sharing what you shared. It helps me to understand my mother and what she is going through better.

Peace.

Melinda

(5,465 posts)
29. To everyone who has replied to me so far...
Wed Oct 31, 2012, 09:56 AM
Oct 2012

It's taking some time to respond to each and everyone of you, but I will answer every post - I will. Talking (writing) about this subject is akin to rubbing salt in an open wound; it's raw and painful and I revisit emotional wounds that overwhelm. I am grateful for each and everyone of you, as well as those who may not have said a word, but leave with a better understanding, changed perspective, sense of compassion, or determination to make a difference.

Thank you for sharing the OP, for responding to me and my story as you have, and thank you for letting me free some of the screams.

This is another reason I love DU.

 

Caretha

(2,737 posts)
30. You are such a Lovely woman!
Wed Oct 31, 2012, 10:18 AM
Oct 2012

I wish I was there to put my physical arms around you. Since I'm not able, just let me say....you make me so proud to be a 'sister' in the universal sense. The female gender is incredible. We are loving, nurturing, forgiving, teaching and such gentle creatures. We are so strong and you ...You amazingly so.

I've edited my post to add something that I read years ago, and has always stayed with me.

The Hebrew Talmud says: "Be very careful if you make a woman cry because God counts her tears. Every tear a woman shed is equivalent of a man's sacrifices in life.

lapislzi

(5,762 posts)
32. Kicking, reccing, and re-posting on FB for my daughter
Thu Nov 1, 2012, 09:37 AM
Nov 2012

Not because she is a rape victim, but because I never want her to become one. I was, and I know what it's like.

Your story, and the article, moved me to tears, despite the scary triggers.

You are brave, and you are loved, Melinda.

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