Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Nightmares, my 20-Year-Old-Rape, and Bill Clinton

In January of 1998, I was raped at a Maine ski resort at a friend's condo where a small party was going on following  a bit of barhopping. The story isn't particularly original (it's here if you're interested in reading it), and it's certainly not why I'm writing about this long-ago event at this late date.

I should mention that I've written about the repercussions before as well, here and here, but that's also not what has me in a a bad place right now.

No, it's like it's coming back, and I am just a hot mess.

I had the rape nightmare last night...and the night before. Not a random mosaic of images obviously symbolizing the rape in some way that I'm hopefully smart enough to figure out, not an "anxiety attack", but what was essentially a reenactment.

I've been a disaster for days.

You'd think that after all these years, I would stop doing this to myself, that my brain would just say, "Geez, Katie, it's been almost twenty years, let it go already!"

Yeah, not so easy...

It usually happens a lot in January, because that's when the event itself happened, but it has not ever been quite like this.

It took me a bit to figure out why I'm going through this, why I am again ripped apart by the smart, sassy, feisty little girl who died in January of 1998 to be replaced by the woman typing this. 


Me, brother Mike, sister Meghan 


In the old neighborhood (I'm on the right, holding a play I'd written for the neighbor kids to perform, I think)


With another childhood friend.

A woman who put on a lot of weight, because I was pretty the night I was raped and I do not want to be pretty anymore.

A woman who struggles with virtually every relationship, from family to friendships and everywhere in between, because she trusts nobody.

A woman who cowers with fear at bullies, injustice, and those who habitually do the wrong thing.

A woman who almost lost her passion for her profession because of the pain she lived with, pain she lives with to this day.

A woman who apologizes all the time, to the point where it's annoying and she knows it is, but she can't help it.

It took me years to share that this had happened to me, years. I'd buried it down deep, and while it shaped the adult I ultimately became, I do not think I experienced direct emotional pain on a regular basis. And once I shared, of course, everyone said, "Get help."

So I tried to get help, from a variety of sources using a variety of techniques. I think about the rape and my rapist more since trying to "get help" then I ever did before, largely because I had a huge flashback brought about by the bloody trauma of my daughter Gabrielle's birth that led to what was eventually diagnosed as PTSD and Postpartum Depression.

The last treatment I tried involved the therapist forcing me to relive every detail. Remember and retell and relive every single freaking detail. Blood sticky on my legs. Having my face forced into a pillow, smelling laundry detergent and tasting cotton. The pain getting ever worse. Blood, everywhere. The laughter of my rapist, which echos in my nightmares. He thought it was funny.

After that, I figured I'd just deal on my own, and I've been doing okay.

Until this year.

I couldn't figure out what had changed, why the rape has been on my mind constantly, marring any happiness I should be enjoying.

And then it hit me ...

The so-called "liberal media" has gone crazy posting pieces implying that Bill Clinton is guilty of sexual assaults (which I read to be "rapes") in order to knock down Hillary Clinton's chances of breaking the glass elevator and becoming the first female president.

It was the terminology "sexual assault", not "sexual inappropriateness" that got me going, I think.

Women had affairs with Bill Clinton, and they were paid handsomely in cash or favors to keep quiet about it (I've had bosses imply that my future with a company would improve with sexual favors). Women were sexually harassed by Bill Clinton at the workplace (I have been sexually harassed at the workplace, more than once).

Those women, women who were certainly victims but took bribes to keep quiet about it, don't know anything about being sodomized and screaming and unable to keep your mouth open because it is literally cracking at the edges, about being gagged with their own bloody panties, about having pieces bitten out of their skin. They don't know what it is like to have these images flash every time a man kisses you, even if it is a man you know and trust. They don't know what it is to scream for help knowing that everyone upstairs is passed out and the music is too loud.

And yet they are putting themselves out there as victims for political gain.

I would not ever intentionally cheapen the sexual assault of another human being, but it seems that this is being done to me ... and I can't possibly be the only one.

So I guess I can blame Bill Clinton for my nightmares, a sleazeball who was a sexual predator but by most accounts lacks the violent, sadistic streak that killed the finest parts of me on a cold winter night.

Or, I could politely ask the right-wing, anti-Hillary people to just shut up about it. My wounds are salty enough, and every time I read about Bill's dalliances and sexual misappropriations, they burn more and more.

Most recent pics: still shooting for unpretty...