Friday, February 6, 2015

I Was Raped and I'm Not Ashamed.

Delegate Brian Kurcaba (R-WV) was quoted by multiple news sources today as having said, "Obviously, rape is awful. [But] What is beautiful is the child who could come from this." This is on the heels of West Virginia GOP leaders attempting to revive and repeal a woman's right to choose an abortion in cases of rape or incest.

As the result of these articles, which I posted to Twitter, I angrily replied that perhaps Kurcaba's parents should've aborted him, (Because what a stupid, insensitive asshole this guy is!) I have been besieged with violently angry Tweets from conservative religious extremists who are intent on lambasting my character, my beliefs and my choices. These individuals maintain that I only read the headline and not the article, which is untrue. I read the article from several different news sources. In brief, I was called a "knee-jerk liberal" who "hates kids and wants to kill them," and a "baby killer," among other sickening insults, such as "It's not rape if you're willing."

I responded to each of the hateful Tweets by attempting to redirect their anger into compassion by telling them that I was a repeated survivor of violent rape. It's impossible, in 140 characters, to tell my story as to why I would have an impassioned retort towards Kurcaba's statement. I said what I could in a Twitter-span and promptly blocked those users who came after me. They're still coming after me.

I didn't ask for it. I didn't coerce the man into raping me. I wasn't dressed provocatively. I didn't get drunk or high. I was in a relationship with the man who raped me. Still, it's difficult for a 120 lb woman to fight against a 280 lb man holding her down, forcing sexual intercourse (oral, vaginal and anal) upon her, penetrating her with kitchen utensils, and urinating on her. All of this happened to me during the course of our relationship. I was emotionally and verbally abused as well.

The question on everyone's mind is always, "Why didn't you just leave him?" That answer is impossible if one hasn't been in such a situation. "Why didn't you report him to the police?" Because knowing his neck choke-hold, he would've killed me. He's also a very high-profile business executive in Chicago who has millions of dollars. I am a struggling single mother who would get crushed in court. I finally did leave him, but it took a long time.

Before I left my ex-boyfriend, I did tell my ex-husband that this man had slapped me across the face more than once. Some time after I left the man, I mustered the courage to tell 2 of my physicians what had happened to me, and soon thereafter, my therapist, who diagnosed me with PTSD and severe anxiety disorder. I was literally petrified of men being near me or touching me (even a hug), except for a very select few with whom I was still vaguely comfortable. Certainly, I was in no realm of shape to be intimate with a man, and haven't been in a sexual relationship since I went through that experience. (Though, I will say, through a lot of therapy and time, I am ready now to date again, but it's taken almost 5 years.)

Fortunately, after I had my only son, I experienced secondary infertility, so it was literally impossible for me to get pregnant. Still, I am vehemently pro-choice and believe it is solely my decision, not the government's, not my church's, not my family's, not my doctor's as to whether or not HAD I gotten pregnant as a result of these rapes, if I were to choose to have an abortion. There's a difference in being pro-choice and pro-abortion. I'm not pro-abortion. God doesn't get to decide this one. I do.

My personal opinion is that there is nothing "beautiful" about being governmentally forced to carry a pregnancy and have a child as the result of a rape or in the cases of incest. It's unthinkably horrible. To have a baby you resent with a man you detest, who should be in jail, does not make for a happy family situation. I wouldn't put myself or an innocent child through a life like that. "Andrea hates kids." What bollocks. I love my son with every shred of my being.

I'm not a "baby killer" or a "fetus murderer." I didn't have a freakin' abortion! All I said was that if I was placed in that awful situation, I probably would have had one. Most of the people I know, never mind a few dozen complete Twitter strangers, do not know the extent of my medical and mental health issues with medications and disorders which need to be managed, which would endanger and possibly terminate the gestation of a zygote or fetus without me even having to go through an abortion. Call me selfish, but I would put my own life and well-being ahead of an unwanted zygote's. I already have a child to raise, who was planned and wanted, and was a blessing.

Am I a liberal? Oh, most definitely. A bleeding-heart liberal. I'm also a practicing leftist Christian.

Here's an idea! Let's HAVE all the rape/incest babies, gather them together, and have the GOP raise them during sessions of Congress. You know, diaper bags with their respective state seals embroidered on them. More crying and crabbing than Congress normally does on their own. Having all of this "beauty" around the GOP in the form of rape and incest babies would cause the Capitol to glow in rainbows of miracles sent by the Good Lord, who, of course, founded our great country.

Oh! Update! I've just been called bigoted, gullible and someone wished my parents had aborted me.


Wait! I have an even better idea than Congressional babysitting. Why don't you all spread your legs while you're held down, have a kitchen scrub brush with a long handle penetrate you (as you scream for your attacker to stop and say no, and he doesn't stop) and then wonder if that's better or worse than having a cluster of cells removed from your uterus. (Moot point for me. I don't even HAVE a uterus anymore.)

I refuse to be in or play the "victim" role and I never have. I am a survivor of rape. I didn't die. I am deeply scarred, deeply angry and unforgiving towards the man who assaulted me, He took years off of my life, which I'm fighting to get back in my own way and on my own terms.

My story is not told out of courage. It is not told out of personal defense. It is the story of how a woman who is repeatedly assaulted responds to incredibly insensitive and erroneous comments made by men in positions of political power who mistakenly think they have a stake in what they deem a beautiful miracle, which is actually an unthinkable horror. Guess what? Neither politicians nor conservative extremist right-wing evangelical whack jobs get a vote in what happens to the body of a woman who is raped or assaulted.

That said, those of you assassinating me on social media? I'm laughing at your ignorance and I feel deeply sorry that you are so misguided in your patterns of thinking. It is my wish that should bills once vetoed re-emerge and are passed into law, and that women lose their right to choose, Mr. Kurcaba is chased down with a tire iron shoved up his anus, because it'd be a nice taste of the medicine doled out to me over the course of the relationship with my rapist.

Now, Ye Olde Conservatives, tend to your own youngins, don't forget to leave your loaded guns where the kids can get a hold of them (because YOU get to exercise your Second Amendment rights), read your Bibles (especially Leviticus!) and, if you have any compassion or brains, maybe visit a domestic violence shelter and have a talk with the women there. Talk to women who have had to make difficult choices in their lives with regard to unwanted pregnancies and find out how they're feeling instead of grandstanding either from Washington DC or the sanctity of your Twitterverse.

There's very little you can say which would insult or hurt me any more than I have already been hurt in my life and I do not take your comments seriously, certainly not in 140 character nibbles (though that's probably the extent of your intellectual capabilities in the first place).

I know I'm not the only survivor of rape and assault who feels this way. My wish is that my written testimony helps those who feel they have no voice HAVE a voice vis-a-vis my openness.


Maggie Jean said...

I'd like to say your case is unusual, but I really don't think it is considering my own experiences and the stories I hear from loved ones.

I would so love to share this on Google+. This is an articulate and heartfelt post.

Andrea Miklasz said...

Maggie Jean, please do share it on Google+. My case is NOT unusual. What is unusual is the level of victim blaming and shaming I'm receiving and still receiving on Twitter, still as of this morning.

I went out on a limb and opened up wounds that gave me nightmares last night to tell my story again, which I thought I'd put way in my past, and I'm STILL being called a "coward."

Absolutely nobody, not a single soul, could possibly understand what a rape victim goes through physically or psychologically long-term unless it happened to them. So yes, I'm getting defensive and angry. I was posting this blog and trying to get people to understand. But the ignorant are difficult to sway.

Andrea Miklasz said...

Dear Congress,

Unless you HAVE my uterus (which you might, it's in a haz mat landfill somewhere), please stop telling me what I can and cannot do with cells that may or may not grow in it. Please don't tell women who make the difficult choice to have a rape/incest baby that it's a "beautiful thing," because every time she looks at that child, she'll be reminded of the torture through which she was put which resulted in that child being there in the first place and have to relive over and over again what happened to her. Don't tell her, "Oh, just put the baby up for adoption," because that's still 9 months of having to gestate a total frightening resentment which could've been totally avoided if an abortion was an early option.

The Survivors.

KC said...

Oh yes, you do have courage. By sharing your story, you're making it possible for rape survivors to feel less alone. That's huge and I admire you for your honesty. People are terrified of the idea of rape. They have it stuck in their minds that men are supposed to be protectors, and they can't stand having that illusion stripped away. But if it isn't stripped away, we are in great danger. All the best to you.

Andrea Miklasz said...

Thank you, KC. I've rehashed the accounts of my rape so many times, it doesn't feel like courage anymore. It just feels like a part of my life I'm re-telling. Perhaps time has soothed some of that, but I must say after writing the blog, I had PTSD nightmares of the man who assaulted me.

"Rape" is such a misunderstood and misused term in our culture. And no matter how you look at it, the rapist (if not arrested) comes out looking on top while the recipient of the abuse looks like the one who asked for it. That's not fair.

For every million good men out there, there are a handful of scum. I happened to land with one. But I didn't let him silence my voice after the incidents occurred and yes, you're right. My honesty and frankness, while disturbing and vulgar, I believe, can help other victims of domestic violence feel less alone and more empowered. The one who assaults the survivor doesn't get away with all of the power. No way.

I've been critiqued that perhaps this blog entry isn't something I would want a potential employer to see. Should I be ashamed of what happened to me? Should I have not been more graphic? If an employer (not that I'm looking for a job; I'm a grad student) were to see that I was raped, would that make me less employable? That I don't understand. Does it make me less of a person? No. It makes me stronger.

To hell with what the internet thinks of my one was there when it was happening to me except for me and the person who abused me. I really thought I loved that guy, and our first couple of years together were great. Then it turned very, very ugly. I wish that upon no one and it further proves that you don't really know a person's true self until you're faced with the beasts inside of them.

Does the experience make me soiled, not-dateable? Not wanted? Unattractive? I've struggled with this for years, and have finally come to the conclusion that it wasn't anything I did wrong. Anyone in the future who chooses to love me needs to accept my history and accept that I'm a human being who has feelings and scars.

My attacker? Like I said in the Phil Spector piece before this one, I believe there's good deep down in everyone. While thankfully, this man is not remotely in my life anymore, except for nightmares, maybe he can wrangle the good in him before another woman endures what I did for way too long. Thanks again for reading my blog.