March 15, 2009 marks the 39th anniversary of my rape. I hate writing these words. It's a club I don't want to belong to, who would? I read somewhere once, that if you keep your demons inside of you, they will destroy you, if you bring them out into the open they will liberate you. I'm intrigued by this and in theory believe this. So this is the test run. On March 15, 1970 at the age of 13, I was raped. Do I feel any better? No. But let's give this time.
I wrote in an earlier post about a friend who wrote the screenplay for one of the most notorious porn films of all time, Debbie Does Dallas. She agreed, 35 years later, I could tell her story. At the last minute, she changed her mind. The shame was killing her. I was angry at first, I had spent a lot of time on the article and a prominent journal had accepted it. Then I realized that it was hypocritical of me to be angry. After all, I had my own dark secret, too. I think there are many, many women out there with their own dark secrets. No, I'll rephrase that. I KNOW there are many women out there with the same secret.
I would like to propose a day of mourning, once a year, for all the women in the world who have been raped. On this day, we would all join hands and tell our stories out loud. People---family members, friends, and even strangers would embrace us in their arms, hold us tight, whisper in our ears, "it wasn't your fault, we're so sorry it happened, we love you, you are not dirty, you are not damaged goods, this is not your shame, this is not your sorrow." Instead of wrapping myself up in blanket, not answering the phone, crying, anesthetizing myself with cigarettes, and junk TV, just waiting until the day has passed.
I've tried ignoring it but the body remembers trauma. The body has a life and a mind of its own. It has its own memory. I'm tired of this demon inside of me. After 39 years, I'm going to try something different.
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