Let’s get something straight: I’m as uncomfortable here as you are.
In my happier days I juggle flaming torches. I write strange/sad science fiction, and poetry about the great Canadian wilderness. I hike and bake and have adventures.
I’d rather be doing those things.
I’d rather be mushing my dogs.
Or having a glass of wine and watching something with spaceships and explosions.
In some ways I’d rather be taking a math exam while passing a kidney stone and having my front teeth pulled.
I am an intensely private person.
But here I am.
In August 2015 I was sexually assaulted. On Thursday, November 12th I reported it to the RCMP.
This blog will not give you the details of that assault. It was violent; it was a violation. Let me be the first to say that I made foolish decisions. Let me also be the first to say that my foolish does not excuse his bad. I am not here to justify or castigate myself. I am not here to cater to our fascination for the morbid, the appalling, the gruesome.
This blog will record the aftermath.
When this happens – when we’re raped – the standard narrative is for us to feel as if something’s been taken from us. I feel as if I’ve been given things I don’t want: fear, anger, sleeplessness, a sense of responsibility for his actions now. I have no interest in navigating the justice system, in explaining my sexual decisions to a succession of strangers (however sympathetic they may be). I don’t want to be thinking about this for the next two, twelve, twenty months. I don’t want to see him again. I never wanted to blog about rape.
But here I am.
And here you are.
I could have buried this shit and walked away. I chose to report it, to take the initial steps on a journey that will, I suspect, prove both arduous and futile.
You can still walk away.
You can also come with me.
I don’t need you at the police station, or in the office of the Victim Services lady. I don’t need you in the courtroom, if this makes it there. You won’t have to testify, and your own sexual secrets are – as far as I know – safe. I’m not asking you to share my burdens, but I am asking you not to look away while I shoulder them.
We are too silent with this. We look away too often.
So you can come with me. You can join me as I learn disquieting truths about our justice system: I’ll teach them to you. You can join me as I listen to the unintentionally cruel responses from people who love me: I’ll catalog them for you. I will tell you my nightmares and my fears, and I will try, with as much delicacy as I can muster, to show you the untapped well of dark, dark humor I’ve discovered lurking at the bottom of this mess.
It probably won’t be pleasant.
I’ll swear a lot. I may offend you with details about my sexuality. I’ll probably whine, and it’s possible I’ll even over-quote Buffy the Vampire slayer.
But I’ll tell you the truth, if you’ll hear it.
This is what I’m offering you, from the shreds of my dignity to the shreds of yours: I will not hide if you will not ask me to. If you listen, I’ll talk.