Do you have any idea what it feels like to be hated for being a victim?
By now, everyone knows I had an affair while I was married. Several in fact. But that's all anyone hears. The "A" word always becomes the defining characteristic for a person the instant that it is heard. No one ever takes a second look at the Hester Prynnes of the world anymore than most will give a second look to a murderer or a rapist. Somehow we automatically get put on the "unforgivable" list, though Biblically it is said that all sins are on the same level and only one is truly unforgivable. That last fact gets nodded at and amen'd throughout Christianity, but actions prove it is not truly believed.
At this time, I do not need to say what happened prior to things going that far, but suffice it to say I was in a world of hurt from which there seemed to be no release, and feeling unwanted, I began talking divorce with Colin. The second I did, however, people rushed at me with the same "it's taboo" attitude of what would come, condemning me, shaming me for my pain. Instead of looking to help me find healing, everyone shoved me into a corner where I cried silently until all tears were gone and I blocked out all emotion for fear of being torn apart. I was like that for a couple of years before I met a man I will call Damon.
Meeting Damon is a complicated story in itself, which I have already dramatized in a piece of fiction for a class. The way he seduced me from my emotional shell is a beautiful tale all its own, but one whose horrific ending I have never told before now. As far as everyone knows. I willingly succumbed to him fully. I did melt as he was the first person in years to give any sort of attention to me and my pain. He wasn't a Christian, so his approach to me had nothing to do with what I should do, and how I shouldn't hurt, his reaction was merely "you are worth someone listening to." The bitter end of that, however, was an affair that began because he insisted I owed something to him... In the simplest terms: he raped me. That was February 2008.
In March, I confessed to Colin out of guilt I had been convinced of, but a month after that, I discovered that he had a huge secret all his own that he had been keeping since at least November. The devastation of that betrayal led in short to more affairs, this time, willing. It wasn't until I was raped in such a violent manner that it is a miracle I survived that I began studying up on the effects and definition of rape to realize almost every experience with a guy up to a certain point was a direct emotional response of rape. I often felt that I was living outside of myself and making decisions that were not my own, and there were many instances I could not even remember. Granted, there was at least one who could claim he had no idea that I was mentally incapacitated at the time- same time, I insist he had to know as I had also been drinking to forget that very night.
I am not excusing myself away. I did make decisions of my own during this time- not every instance was rape or coercion, however, this is why I am such a huge advocate for hearing people out, not judging, loving first and all those sorts of things. It took me finally finding truly good-intentioned people for me to climb out of myself enough that I could end the cycle that had begun and let the healing begin. It is still a huge struggle because even this doesn't tell half of what I went through or how others have reacted. I cannot however help but be frustrated at those who treat me according to my sin when they could not treat me according to my hurt, which could have helped keep me from falling as far as I did for it continues even today. I hope and pray that I am stronger now that even the damage they attempt to exact will not find fruition against me.