A friend of mine today, who is a person who has also experienced rape, posted about how she doesn’t like being called a survivor or a victim. She just feels bad.
I don’t like being called a “survivor.” My life was never in danger. What, the fact that I didn’t just cease to exist imbues me with this quality? I don’t like being called a “victim.” Partly because I’ll always feel at fault for what happened, and partly because I feel like the word strips me of my power.
I am a person who has experienced rape. I don’t think you can call me a “rape _____.” It is a part of my life, and sadly a part of my being. I was talking to potential boyperson today and told him he is the first man I’ve dated/wanted to date (who might want to date me back) who hasn’t made me feel like I have to do things I don’t want. Which is sad. Women I’ve dated aren’t the same, but men... it’s like my body is a vehicle. And it’s taken me two and a half years of being single to realize it’s not.
My most significant relationship was sexually abusive. My best male friend raped me. I’m not a victim. I’m not a survivor. I am a person who has been fucked over and is finally learning that I deserve better.
This post might not be totally cohesive. But a confluence of events today have made these thoughts rattle around my head. And I hope this makes sense to some of you.