Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Birth/Rape Story




Written the week of February 5, 2007

By Christi Collins

Mom to Evan Wyatt Collins, born February 15, 2006

C-section for footling breech presentation


I didn’t birth my son.

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I laid on a table while someone I didn’t know sliced me open, then reached their hands in and wrenched him from me. It felt like a rape.

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I read another mom’s post online recently that compared the aftermath of a C-section to a teenager who thinks she’s ready for sex, but realizes too late that she’s not… then tells herself she’s OK and that she can’t complain.

That post partially resonated with me, but it didn’t quite fit my experience. It didn’t describe the entirety of the situation, as I remember it, for myself. I dug deeper, using this mom’s post as inspiration… and suddenly, I was able to describe, exactly, how the C-section felt for me.

So, this post describes the analogy that rings most closely to the truth for me. This is the only comparison that I can come up with that might help put my C-section into perspective for other people. To me, this is how it felt:

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THE RAPE

It feels like a girl who’s decided she doesn’t want to have sex until she’s found the right man for her, the one she loves… because she wants her first time to be natural, and loving, and wonderful. She wants to be treated with respect, and she wants to be able to claim her entrance into the world of sexuality with confidence and empowerment. She wants her first sexual experience to mark the amazing transition from “girlhood” to “womanhood” in a way she’ll always look back on with fondness and a smile.

She has been thinking about it for a long time, she’s been listening to music that gets her in the mood. She’s been visualizing it, talking about it in positive terms, surrounding herself with amazing images and books. She’s been doing exercises to help her body get ready. She’s been eating well, and sleeping a lot to save up her energy.

This girl has been reading lots of stories about first time sex that is positive and uplifting., first time sex that brings men and women closer together and makes a woman feel like a woman for the first time. She reads of first time sex that makes a woman feel like she can conquer the world, makes her face flushed with excitement and victory, makes her want to tell the story over and over again to anyone who will listen.

She’s delighted because she’s found the right man – her husband - and they’re getting ready for the big day together. He’s being so supportive of her, talking it through, planning, dreaming and preparing.

They’re hoping their first time will be amazing.

She can’t wait to become a woman in this way.

That’s the plan, at least.

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But that’s not what ends up happening.

The girl is told that she can’t have sex this way for the first time.

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Instead, she’s going to be gang raped.

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There will be lots of men involved, men she doesn’t know… men she wouldn’t want to talk to, much less have part of her first sexual experience. Instead of the calm, loving environment she and her husband were creating, it will be cold, bright, loud, and painful.

She will not have a choice in this matter – the gang rape will happen to her, no matter what. This is what the sex-perts say. She fights them with her words – saying that this is NOT how it’s supposed to be. But they insist. And they say that if she runs, or tries to tell them no, then she is a bad girl.

She is a bad girl and if she tries to hide from the gang rape, someone else she loves will be put in danger, and may die. At least that’s what they tell her. It doesn’t ring true for her, but she has to trust them, because she feels like she has no other choice.

She must be gang raped, or someone she loves is in danger of dying. This is how it must happen. The sex-perts have told her so.

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Upon hearing that she will be gang raped, and there’s nothing she can do to avoid it, the woman starts sobbing inconsolably. She is terrified. She has nightmares about the impending gang rape. She feels like the world has been ripped out from under her.

She reads, researches, asks around… God, is there anyone who can help me avoid this gang rape? She knows that this doesn’t feel right, she knows that she shouldn’t have to go through this. Yet, she can’t find anyone else who can give her another option, a way out.

Frantically, she tries to find anyone who can help her. She feels like there must be another way.

But the sex-perts don’t budge. They tell her this is the only way. Gang rape is the only way, the best way, the safest way. The only way for her.

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The woman feels like her heart is going to break in two. Why is this happening to her? Why her? She never expected this. She wanted her first time to be so amazing. That’s why she was doing all the planning and preparation and hoping and dreaming and breathing… so that this would never happen to her.

Hell, she’d even told other women how to avoid being gang raped. She’d tried to share what she’d learned during her planning and preparation, to help other women avoid this horrendous experience. All the women she’d talked to had been able to avoid it… partly thanks to the advice and information she shared with them.

Now, ironically, she’s going to have to go through the gang rape herself. And somehow, knowing what she knows about sex (and how wonderful it can be for) - and gang rape, too - makes it even harder. She wishes she didn’t know anything at all about sex. She wishes she’s never even planned a wonderful experience, because it hurts more to have that ripped away from her. She wishes she’d gone into it blindly, knowing nothing, having read nothing, having hoped for nothing.

Other people told her not to plan, not to hope, to dream… but why wouldn’t she? This was such an important experience. The first time a girl has sex… well, that is life-changing. Why wouldn’t she immerse herself – heart and soul - in the preparation? Her first time deserved everything she could muster. She’d never get her first time back again. It would mold her very existence and her spirit, forever.

She is embarrassed to tell anyone that she is going to be gang raped. She is afraid they will tell her, “I told you so… you shouldn’t have planned anything.” But people keep asking her about her first sex – they know it’s coming up soon – and they know she was so excited about it.

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When they find out that she’s going to be one of the women who will have a gang rape for her first sex time, other women don’t help her out at all. Women who haven’t been through the gang rape don’t understand how awful she thinks it’s going to be. Many of them think she’s getting the easy way out… after all, she won’t have to do anything, she’ll just “get to lie there.”

They say things that don’t help, like “Many women go through this kind of gang rape, so it must be OK. It’s totally normal. And just think, if you tried to avoid it, one of your loved ones would be in danger. And you don’t want that, do you? It may hurt for a little bit afterwards, but at least it will be quick.”

The women who have been through the gang rape before don’t help her either. They say things like, “No, it’s not fair, but the pain will fade with time. It’s really for the best. Mine wasn’t that bad… at least (insert their own opinion). And at least you’ll get your Trophy.”

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Oh, yes, the Trophy. Given to every girl who’d just had sex for the first time. Was that to be her reward and justification for being gang raped? Women who had marvelous sex experiences got the Trophy, too… so did those who were gang raped. Would the Trophy make the gang rape worthwhile? She didn’t think so, but she desperately hoped the Trophy would make everything all better. That was the only good thing that would come out of her first sex now.

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There were also women who gave her false hope. They tell her things like, “Oh yeah, well I was going to have to get gang raped too for my first time, but things ended up changing. I got to have sex the normal way. But I wasn’t in your situation.”

There is no hope for her, her situation will not change. It turns out she has something wrong with her body that has caused the gang rape sentence… and it’s too late to find another option now. No one thinks she can – or should – have sex the normal way.

The women who were gang raped before all have opinions about how she can come to terms with the experience. “Maybe you can listen to music while you’re being gang raped, because that will help you relax.”

Or “Maybe you could ask them not to hold you down while they’re doing it… maybe you could have your hands free. That will make you feel empowered, right?”

Or “Maybe you could tell them exactly when you’d like to be gang raped – you can simply say that you’d like it to happen next Wednesday – at least it could be convenient that way because you could schedule it in. And then your family could fly in from CA to be there afterwards.”

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None of those options seem to make it any better… the girl is still so unhappy and depressed. She cries herself to sleep every night… and most days, too. She can’t think or feel anything else, except the horrific dread of what is to come, and the fact that she is powerless to stop it.

Slowly, her reality is setting in. She realizes she has no choice. She will be gang raped.

That’s what she has to do, right? Oh, she might be able to run and hide, but they’ve threatened to kill her loved one… so that makes her feel guilty and the guilt is enough to keep her from running and hiding forever. She felt strong enough to run and hide, but if she ran and hid, it would impact her family. Someone might be hurt, someone might be killed, they would hate her forever.

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When she first learned about her gang rape sentence, she felt strong enough to run and hide (damn the guilt!). But as the weeks go by, she’s so tired of fighting and trying to find another solution that she doesn’t think she can do it all on her own. And it would be all on her own. No one else can help her, if she chooses to run and hide. If she were to run, she’d need her husband, and she knows he doesn’t feel comfortable running and hiding. Besides, if someone were to get killed because of her, how would she ever live with herself?

So, once the girl realizes she has no choice but to ‘choose’ to be gang raped, the girl takes all of the sweet emotion and anticipation and research and hoping and wishing that was meant for her first sex experience, and she turns it towards the impending gang rape. She reads about gang rape, trying to learn what she will experience. At least she can be prepared. She reads about gang rape, with tears streaming down her face. It sounds awful. Can she really do this? Note to self, girl: YOU HAVE NO CHOICE.

There are lots of dangers to gang rape. People don’t talk much about the dangers of gang rape. Gang rape is the act of sex, yes, but it’s not the sex she was hoping to have. Gang rape is sex that comes with a price. It comes with a lot of risks. There are dangers to her physical body… there are repercussions that might last for her entire life. She will have swelling, bruising, scars that will hurt for a long time. She may bleed a lot afterwards, she will need to stay in the hospital afterwards for a few days. The girl hates the hospital… with a vengeance. She feels sick when she steps inside the doors of the hospital.

After the gang rape, she could have problems if she ever wants to have sex again. Unless she can find a man who will have sex with her in the normal, one-on-one kind of way (it’s tough to find these kind of men these days) she may have to always be gang raped whenever she wants to have sex… because the sex-perts say that once a gang rape, always a gang rape. “They” say it’s safer that way. What an awful thought. That this first time might set the precedent for all other sex experiences.

She thinks, “Maybe I can find a man who will have sex with me in the normal way, before this gang rape happens.” But no men will come forward. There is one man, but he lives far away, and he’d need to come as soon as possible, and this kind of sex wouldn’t be relaxing or comfortable either, because she would barely know him. She doesn’t want to have sex with him. She wants to have loving sex with her husband, whom she loves.

Anyway, she is too tired to think of trying to find a way to prevent the gang rape. She has been researching so much, and trying to think of a way out, and not sleeping at night because she’s crying continuously… so she is very, very, very tired. At this point, even just the thought of giving into the gang rape feels easier than fighting it.

Plus, no one she knows has ever tried to thwart the system before, and she knows people would give her a hard time. At least if she goes along with the gang rape, she will be ‘accepted’ and people will say that she did the right thing. She won’t put anyone else in danger.

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So, she continues to try to come to grips with being gang raped. She is having nightmares about it every night, she is crying about it all day. She is supposed to be happy – not everyone knows of the gang rape (they think she’s still going to have sex the way she and her husband planned). So, every time someone asks her about her first sex, she gets a stab of sadness and anger in her gut. She doesn’t want to talk about it, but people want details. When she tells them she’s going to have to be gang raped, they don’t understand who terrible this is to her. They tell her, “Well, at least you’ll get your Trophy afterwards. I’m sure it will be beautiful.”

When she looks down at her pelvis each night, she is so sad about what it’s about to lose. She’s never had someone push into her in this way, violate her in this way. She would never choose this for herself.

She listens to other women talk about their fun first experiences with sex, and they seem to be so proud of it. They like talking about it, sharing all the details. Some even had a good time during their first sex experience.

She is so angry, pissed off, bitter about why she has to be gang raped. Most of these other women admit they didn’t even care about their first sex, they didn’t read about it, they didn’t put effort and planning and anticipation into it. Most of them were half-drugged during their first sex experience. But it seemed to work OK for them. Why couldn’t they be gang-raped, if they were just going to be drugged anyway? If they didn’t care how it was going to go down anyway?

She tries to come to grips with what is going to happen. She tries to plan as peaceful a gang rape as she can. She asks the men who are going to gang rape her if they give her a few concessions that will make the gang rape at least a bit more tolerable.

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She asks them if it would perhaps be possible if they could wear condoms?

NO.

Would it be OK if you pull out instead of coming inside of me?

NO.

OK, well, if you won’t do those things, will you at least use lube, please, pretty please, so it won’t hurt as much?

NO.

“Sorry, we don’t do things that way,” they say, and she decides to stop asking for concessions because she doesn’t want to piss them off. After all, these are the men who will be gang raping her, and she doesn’t want to make them angry. Her life is in their hands, and they can do whatever they want to her once it starts. She will be powerless.

In the end, all they agree to let her do is listen to music on her iPod, and have her husband in the room with her while she’s being gang raped (but he can only come in after they’ve already started). None of her other concessions are met.

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She tries to hold off the gang rape as long as possible. They want to rape her tomorrow, but she tries to get them to hold off a little longer. They want to rape her the next day, but she tries to get them to hold off a little longer. Finally, they tell her they can’t wait any longer, they will rape her that night. She is almost relieved at this point. At least it will be over, and I can start trying to heal and rebuild myself.

They decide to get started. She reminds them that they promised to wait for her husband to arrive, but they start anyway. They tell her that they have to finish before 7:00 p.m., when the next rape team comes in – it will be more convenient for them this way. She thinks this is totally absurd and selfish, but again, she is powerless. The process has started, and she is now out of control.

They take her into a bright room. There is nothing warm and cozy about this room. She shrivels up inside… there is no opening, no blossoming, no getting wet. The only butterflies are in her belly, and they are not from pleasure. They are from fear.

They hold her down, tell her she can’t move. The man who is holding her down has a beeper on his belt that is sticking into her knee and hurting her, but when she asks him to move it, he tells her not to move. They stick a needle in her spine… they tell her this will make everything all better, because she won’t be able to feel anything from the waist down.

Everything starts to go numb from her waist down. She doesn’t know whether this is a good or a bad thing. She hates needles with a passion, but in the end, she’d rather be stuck with a billion needles than go through what is to come.

They put up a sheet in front of her because she is dirty and they want what they touch to be sterile. Now she can’t see what they are doing, which means she is not connecting to the experience at all. How can she be sure that this is happening to her? What is going on?

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Part of her wants to imprint this experience (after all, it is her first time) and she knows she should not ignore it, but try to be there if possible… since this experience will be a part of her core being no matter what. But she can’t “be there.” This is too far away from what she’d imagined, hoped it would be like.

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There are terrible beeping sounds going on everywhere. The men are talking, but not to her. They are talking to each other. She is being ignored. Her body is there, but she is not there. She is trying to disappear, to go anywhere other than there, in that room.

More people come in, there are so many people in the room. Too many people. She is surrounded by people, yet she feels so alone. They are moving her legs, she knows, but she can’t really feel it. She wonders what they’re doing, but she doesn’t really want to know. She’s afraid if she hears what they’re doing she will pass out. She’s already feeling very lightheaded from the medicine that’s keeping her numb. She tells them she’s having a hard time breathing. They put an oxygen mask over her, which only makes her feel weak and like even more of a victim.

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“THIS IS NOT HOW IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE!”

she screams inside.

But it’s too late. They’re going to start to rape her soon. There is nothing she can do now, but try to disappear and hope it’s over with soon.

They shave her, even though she asked them not to, because they said, “This will give us easier access to you.”

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The door opens and her husband comes in. She is so glad to see him, but so sad. She doesn’t want him to see her here like this. She doesn’t want him to see her legs spread apart. She doesn’t want him to see that they’ve already started raping her.

She doesn’t want him to see her with a shower cap over her head, with her arms outstretched, with needles in her arm, with men gathered around her, ready to penetrate her. She is embarrassed. She is also mad, because she wants him to rescue her, but she knows he can’t. He, too, is powerless.

Her husband sits at her side, trying to support her, trying to be there for her. Telling her it’s going to be OK. Telling her she’s doing fine.

But he doesn’t know what to say. His heart is breaking inside, but he knows he has to be strong for her. He needs to be strong. This isn’t how he wanted it to turn out either. He’d wanted their first time to be precious, loving, amazing, and totally peaceful. He’s wanted to watch her become a woman in the way they’d been planning for and dreaming for. He wanted to play a part, to help her feel good, to be there when she needed him. He wanted to rub her back, breathe with her, and snuggle with her.

Instead he sits there, not able to do anything but try not to cry. Part of him is excited because they’ve been waiting for this moment for so long, but mostly he is sad because this is not how it was supposed to be. He knows he’ll never know what this feels like for her. He can sit there and watch, but he has no idea what she is going through.

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They tell her they’ve started. One by one, they take their turns. Raping her, one by one by one. Sometimes they tell her what they’re doing, but she doesn’t hear. She is trying to listen to her music, trying to pretend her innocence isn’t been ripped apart every time they pull, push, shove inside her.

The medicine is only partly working. She isn’t completely numb. She feels what they are doing. It hurts. It really hurts. She is being violated. She is being raped. She is being raped. She is being raped.

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She was raped.

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It’s over, but it’s not as quick as she imagined/hoped it would be. It seemed like it lasted a lifetime. The lead gang raper tells her that they had a hard time penetrating her towards the end, so they had to shove in extra hard at one point. They had to cut some pieces of her… but those pieces would heal – it would just take a little bit longer.

To celebrate her entry into womanhood, they give her her Trophy.

She’d forgotten about the Trophy.

Well, they didn’t really give the Trophy to her, because she wasn’t with it enough to take it. She was still laying down, strapped down, spreadeagled. She wouldn’t be able to hold it.

So they gave the Trophy to her husband. He was happy to hold it, looked at it in awe. So, this is what our Trophy looks like.

Everyone in the room is happy, but the woman is not. For some reason, she feels like she should be happy. After all, her husband is holding her Trophy.

“But I should be holding my Trophy,” she thinks. Why, after all of this pain, can’t I at least hold my Trophy?”

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In some weird way, she feels like she should thank the men who gang raped her. But she can’t. She hates them too much. She knows they tried to be gentle, but in reality, they don’t care about her. This is just business to them. They will just move on and gang rape another woman a little bit later.

There are so many women to be gang raped these days – it seems to be quite the trend. She imagines, based on what she’s heard other rapists say, they may even talk about her gang rape over dinner with other rapists. “Oh, yeah? Well, we raped this girl today who thought her first time was going to be sweet and loving. We know better. That way of sex is going out the window. Our way will soon be the only way.”

She is wheeled out of the rape room, into another bright, colorless, friendless room. Finally, there, she is given the Trophy to hold. But she is too weak to hold it. She tries to stroke it and touch it, but it is too heavy. She has to give it away.

She is confused. She thought perhaps holding the Trophy would make it all better. That it would make the pain of the gang rape go away. But all the Trophy does is make her sad. She looks at it, and it reminds her of the awful gang rape.

“Maybe this will change, as time goes by,” she think, “It’s not the Trophy’s fault I had a horrible first time.”

And with that, she feels an intense wave of guilt rush over her. She is a terrible woman, to hate an innocent Trophy for something it couldn’t control. But every time she looks at it, she is sad for what had to happen to her in order to get her Trophy.

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The next day, friends and family come to see her. They don’t really look her in the eye. They’re too interested in the Trophy. They ooh and aww over it, ask to hold it. They can’t get enough of the Trophy. They congratulate the woman on her new Trophy, but that is all the attention they pay to her.

They know what has happened – at least, they know it in theory. But none of the people who come to see her right after it happens have been gang raped. So they don’t really know what it is like. She has a feeling they can’t imagine how horrible it is. They’re just glad that she has her Trophy, and they wouldn’t understand why the Trophy can’t possibly start to make up for the awfulness that has just happened to her. In fact, many of the people who visit her might even be glad she wisened up and agreed to the gang rape… the “safe way” to have sex. And again… she had her Trophy now, and that was the important thing.

Most of her visitors don’t know what to say to her. So they talk about the weather, local sports teams. And they fawn all over the Trophy.

None of them acknowledge the gang rape. She assumes they don’t want to hear about it, that it’s too painful for them to hear about her pain. She assumes they assume that she doesn’t want to relive it, either. She’s not sure what would make her feel better. Would she want them to ask about it? Well, only if they would be prepared to listen to her sob and cry about it. So, she doesn’t say anything. She doesn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable.

Some people mention the gang rape indirectly… but they try to make light of it by saying things like, “Well, at least none of the men gave you AIDS” or “At least none of the men got you pregnant” or “Well, those men are supposed to be the best gang rapists around.”

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And then, of course, the most popular line,

“WELL, AT LEAST YOU HAVE THIS GORGEOUS TROPHY NOW!”

The woman doesn’t know what to say to them. She supposes that yes, not getting AIDS and not getting pregnant during the gang rape are both good things. And yes, it is a beautiful trophy… why does it make her so sad and bitter, if it’s so beautiful? She doesn’t know. So, she nods and smiles weakly, saying, “Yes, that’s right... isn’t my Trophy beautiful?”

But inside she’s screaming – “DON’T YOU KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENED TO ME? It would almost have been better to get AIDS or get pregnant… then at least people would have pity for me, or felt bad for me.” I don’t know if this Trophy is worth it yet… worth what happened to me.

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The next day, the woman feels horrible. Worse than she’s ever felt in her entire life. Her whole body hurts, she feels like she’s going to throw up, she can’t move, she can’t sit up, she can’t stand without it feeling like her whole body is going to split in two. She’s on drugs, which make it hard for her to talk. She’s slurring her words. She sounds drunk, which she hates because she doesn’t like to take even aspirin usually. Her body has a scar on it, which they cut, and it rips and pulls every time she moves.

It’s really bad. Physically, it’s really bad.

Emotionally, it’s even worse. She is incredibly sad. She hurts. Her innocence is lost, and in its place surfaces sadness, bitterness, and an intense anger. The lead gang rapist comes in once each day to ‘check on her.’ She wants to spit on him, but she has to be polite. After all, he’s the only one who can order drugs to help her deal with the pain.

She finally gets to leave the hospital and go home. She’s hoping this will make it all better. But it doesn’t.

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She’s home now, and as the days go by, people seem to completely forget what happened to her. They are too engrossed in the Trophy. She is still in a lot of pain, but there are things she has to do. She can’t shirk these duties. It’s her job to take care of the Trophy. She is in so much pain… so much pain. She can’t stop crying. But she has to go on, there are things she has to do for the Trophy. It has to be cleaned and walked around and sung to.

Her husband doesn’t know what to say to her. He can’t make it better. So he withdraws and retreats. She knows he secretly admires the Trophy, when she’s not in the room, but he doesn’t feel like he can tell her how beautiful it is… because he knows that she doesn’t love it the way he does. Not yet. She wants to love her new Trophy, but it just represents pain to her. She knows her husband doesn’t like it when she tells him she doesn’t like the Trophy. She understands why – she knows he just wants her to be happy and celebrate the Trophy, so he can feel good about it, too. But doesn’t he get what she had to go through to get the Trophy? He had to watch, but he didn’t have to feel it, and his body is scar-free and strong. Her body feels like it betrayed her. She wishes her husband would touch her gently, and let her talk about what happened. But he doesn’t seem to want to hear about it at all. She wonders if they will ever be close again.

On the outside, the woman looks the same as she used to… so people assume she’s fine. They expect her to walk, talk, come visit like she used to. She tries to do her best to meet all her social obligations. But she’s exhausted and sick of having people come over to admire the Trophy.

She wants to run away and never come back. She isn’t ready to take care of a Trophy. She wasn’t ready to have this responsibility. Especially now.


Other women come over with their Trophies to visit her. They got their Trophies after having sex the first time in the normal way… with one man… in a way that was close enough to what they’d expected to make them happy.

These other women LOVE their Trophies. They are proud to show them off. They’ve been taking them for walks, driving them around, and going on play dates with other women and their Trophies. They are confused as to why the woman is still sitting at home, looking so sad. Why isn’t she up and about, like they are? Why doesn’t she fawn all over her Trophy, like they do with theirs?

One of them figures it out… “Oh, now I know. You aren’t doing all of these things because of the gang rape. That must be why you aren’t like yourself. I would have figured you’d be up and about by now. Was it really that bad?”

“Yes,” the woman says, “It was really that bad,” and she hopes and prays that the woman won’t say, “Well at least you have your Trophy” because then she’d have to punch her in the face.

She tries to explain to her friend… what it was like to be gang raped… but the woman is so busy interacting with her Trophy that she doesn’t hear… and it’s hard to describe something so awful to someone who has no clue. So, the woman simply gives up and goes back to cleaning her Trophy.

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Days, weeks, months go by. On the outside, the woman’s body has healed, for the most part. Her scar still itches and is swollen, a constant reminder of the way she was brutalized. She ignores her scar, whenever possible. She never looks at herself in the mirror, or if she does, she focuses on her upper body. When she looks into her eyes, she doesn’t see herself there. A piece of her is still missing.

She has terrible flashbacks to the gang rape. These flashbacks come all the time… when she’s with the Trophy, when she’s on a walk, when she’s in the shower, when she sees her body in the mirror…

Most of the time, though, it’s not a specific memory of the gang rape. It’s just this feeling of dread and sadness that passes over her like a wave.

It’s especially difficult at night, since that’s when the gang rape happened. When the sun goes down, the woman starts to feel very sad. When she goes to bed at night, she has a hard time falling asleep. She keeps remembering what it was like, the horrible sounds and feelings.

She often finds herself awake at night, until 3 or 4 a.m., just at the computer, trying to research and reach out to anyone else who might feel this way. She knows that it’s not normal to feel this terrible after your first time… most women don’t seem to have any problems, even those who were gang raped.

Or is it just that no one is talking about it?

It’s hard to know… because when you first meet someone, you can’t tell which women had great first time sex, and which were gang raped. And out of those who were gang raped, you can’t tell who’s OK with it (or even enjoyed it… yes, there are some women out there who like to be gang raped)… or who are still struggling with the memory of their rape.

And if you ask a woman about her first sexual experience, usually she won’t give you lots of details… or she gives you a superficial answer (usually having to do with the Trophy)… so you can’t find a lot of support easily if you need it, like the woman does.

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The woman wonders, “Am I that abnormal?” Her husband thinks she should be over this by now. He wants it over for her. The ironic thing is that most people don’t even know anything is wrong. Or they don’t know the severity of the situation.

She finds some websites that talk about the fact that some women feel a bit ‘out of sorts’ after their first time, especially if they were gang raped. The websites recommend sleeping a lot, getting support from other women, taking drugs, and seeing a psychologist.

She tries talking with a counselor… and that helps a bit. But what she really needs most is support from her husband. He is enjoying the Trophy a lot these days, but he never asks her about the gang rape. She’s tried talking with him about it, but he tells her she’s told him those things before. He says that he doesn’t know what to do, he’d really just like it if it were behind them and they could move on.

He talks about wanting another Trophy sometime soon… but she knows that to do that, they’d have to have sex. The experience has been wrecked for her. She feels very alone, and on top of all the physical and emotional scars, she has a new emotion to add to the mix: guilt. Guilt over not being able to ‘get over it’ so she and her husband can return to their normal lives.

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She feels like she missed out on an incredible experience, one that she deserved to have. She feels like she lost control, and she was gypped. She feels betrayed by the people she needed the most, and her entire life has been turned upside down. She doesn’t know if she can fathom the thought of having sex again… because of the chance that it will have to be a gang rape. She wants to have sex again. But part of her knows that she wants to have sex a second time only if it will help her heal from the first. Only if it’s a good experience. And there’s no way to guarantee that.

She just doesn’t know if she could survive another gang rape. Physically, yes, she’d survive. But emotionally? She’s not sure. She’s still fighting and clawing and pleading her way back from the first one.


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1 Comments:

At November 14, 2007 at 10:28 PM, Blogger loraine said...

Hello! I, too, had to have a cesarean section, and it was an emergency because my son was showing decelerating heartbeats occasionally. I have since believed that I didn't need it, just was given way too many drugs and the baby reacted. My son is 32 months old and I'm "still not over it." My son is my one and only child, one and only pregnancy, so there are no "do overs" for me. He is it.

His dad was not supportive at all, and has since moved in with a woman 19 yrs his junior who he started seeing when our son was ten months old and is raising her two kids but not seeing his own even though he lives six miles away. He has no communication with us whatsoever.

Don't want to lament and complain but say that even though the comparison is a bit strong for me, at least after first having read it, I understand so many of the feelings you have described and the reactions of society to those feelings. It's like we're supposed to be happy no matter what and we are abnormal and flawed if we aren't.

I still don't feel totally bonded with my sweet wonderful son. He deserves it, relishes it when I am feeling closer to him, but "I" don't feel it. You do know what I am saying.

I wish you more support for what you need so that you can fully heal. Well, I guess we never fully heal, but we can feel better about going on with life.

Your child has a good mother. Sharing your experiences and trying to understand life better is being a good parent. Hang in there.

 

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