I will say, if you notice someone acting bizarrely or differently or way crazier than normal, talk to them, press them to find out what is going on or why they are falling off the radar. If you can't get thru, talk to someone close to them to bring it up to the person you are concerned about. I can sincerely tell you that rape is a hard thing to share, but it's an even harder thing to keep to yourself. At some point, all rape victims will share what happened to them. The reaction of the person hearing it is important. Don't just grab me to hug me, I might not be ready yet for human contact. Don't tell me I'm wrong, or you can't believe it. Just say the words, this is not your fault, what can I do to help you with this? Some times you just want a person to listen, sometimes you want advice. Ask which one they want. Each victim is different. We do all need to feel supported. Don't share your personal interactions with rape yet. It is part of the healing process to know you are not alone, but right off the bat, it's about a horrible trauma I am trying to deal with. Not to sound like a jerk, but it's not about you right now, it's about me. Especially to the first people you tell. It's pretty easy to determine if it's the first time someone is telling or not, there is an unbelievable amount of sobbing or stone cold shock. Just let a victim know this is not their fault, they didn't do anything wrong, and could not have changed the outcome in any way. They are the victim of a predator who has probably done this to other victims. Is it ok for me to hold you or touch your shoulder or arm? You can feel free to cry on me if it is. Can I help you get to a rape treatment center, or a hospital, or the police? I know what you are hearing is shocking and makes you angry, but intense emotions just cause more fear in a rape victim. If I tell you, I need you to be strong for me. I know you are not a licensed psychologist, unless you happen to be a licensed sex trauma psychologist, but it would be pretty random to just find one of those on the street right after a rape. We need calm, but we need to know you support us and you are on our side. Honestly, once you get the victim to a rape center, or hospital, or the police, the victim will be taken care of by professionals. And I hope better detectives than what I had. Your job is to help give them the temporary strength to get there. And if they are already in the system, then it's because I want you to know what I am going thru. That my processor is off line, and I need you to be patient and understanding with me. That there is a reason why I have been acting so differently lately. Also, throwing in a "well if that piece of shit ever tries to walk in here, he is a dead man" will also help. It's good to know you won't go out of your way to harm them, but you will help keep me safe within certain boundaries and contexts. There is a difference. I can't explain it, but there is. To go after him is not what I want. Circling the wagons to keep me safe in the unlikely event he comes to harass me at work, or school, or church helps me to feel a relative safety and calm.
Twice now I have seen Ed on the street. Both times were with smirks on his face directed at me. I can't express the venom I hold for him. I can't because it's an ongoing investigation, he might still be in contact with Naylor, and most importantly it would be illegal for me to put on paper and publish what I hope happens to him, and what I would like to do to him. There is a line between freedom of speech and threatening someone. Unless your cowardly enough to stand outside of their door at 2:30 in the morning and do it. Then it's just freedom of speech again.
I have noticed certain songs that I gravitate to during this whole process and in my healing. Or TV shows that I watch obsessively. Like SVU. Maybe it's to find some sort of connection to other victims or because I wish these actors were real and had been the ones working on my case. There are specific songs that just strike a cord and I listen to them over and over again. It's a place that only I can go into. It's safe and I can picture in my mind what ever I want to. Naylor rotting away in prison. Scared for his own safety day to day. Me flicking him off when his eyes meet mine just after the judge reads his sentence. Ed being dragged down the hallway in handcuffs for his part in all of this. This place is mine. It's where I go to when I write this journal for myself and everyone reading it. There are certain songs I loop and just type away. I told my friend A that when a lot of stuff happens in a week, I have to write it out or it's like it gets constipated in my head. I press play for this one song and just type it all out. I have gotten to a place where I can look at other blogs about rape, and there are not many. I have noticed some but it seems to be more about the survivors aftermath. Trying to live day to day after even the court date. I'm not there yet. I know my story is different because of the added trauma of the police bullying me into dropping the charges. I sincerely hope this journal can help even just one more person deal with their rape or give them the courage to go forward with pressing charges.