Rape Is Not an Event, It Is A Process That Never Ends
I want to talk about the nature of rape. Perhaps you are sick of the topic. Well, so am I. But the subject is thrust upon me once again due to my rapist’s desire to skewer himself with his nonsensical civil lawsuit against me for $3 million dollars. The US Army’s Criminal Investigation Division initiated, processed and concluded their own investigation of him and concluded that the rape charges they brought against him can neither be proved nor unproven. According to U.S. Military law, this is NOT a ‘Not Guilty’ equivalent to our civilian courts. This is a negative result to a soldier’s record. It may have played a part in my rapist not being promoted to general. Or then again, perhaps it didn’t. In any case, my rapist didn’t get the general’s star he had applied for. And now the cry baby thinks it is my fault and wants to sue me simply because I accused him of raping me. Apparently, in my rapists’ world view, women who are raped are legally to remain silent. Perhaps we should go back to medieval days? Perhaps he hasn’t read the laws that protect women from this type of prosecution.
Rape is a process that doesn’t end with the rape, my friends.
His 2014 story: I, (I!) am still obsessed with him (him!) because we dated a few times 31 years ago. We had sloppy drunk consensual sex and he broke it off with me (note: this is still a serious cadet offense- sex on campus. note 2: this is still conduct unbecoming of an officer). We had cordial, friendly relations for two more years and he didn’t hear from me until July 2013, when I mysteriously wrote a malicious article with the sole desire to ruin his career. He offers no explanation why, after 31 years, a happy marriage, a wildly successful career, three beautiful children, no criminal record, no record of stalking, no attempts to contact him, I suddenly and out of nowhere desire to prevent him from making his general rank. His story is that HE is the center of my world, not my beloved husband. My marriage is apparently a sham, despite all evidence otherwise; I have fooled my church, my neighbors and all my friends and have secretly been obsessed with HIM for 31 years. And when I saw an opportunity to harm him (even though I could have harmed him when he got promoted to Captain, Colonel and Lt. Colonel but took the immense gamble that he would continue to ‘re-up’ in the U.S. Army in order to attempt to make General), I finally decided to STRIKE! He is insulting my very real marriage and he is insulting my children’s very real, loving and wholesome parents. Basically, I must be a very crafty, mentally disturbed woman. As I said, rape is a process.
I used to think of rape as an EVENT. A one time event that happens once and then is over. I now understand that it is not so. Rape is a PROCESS that never quite ends. In addition, I used to think that the only villain in the rape is the rapist. Not so. I have now come to understand that there are many more villains involved in the rape. They only come out after you report it. And they are your family, friends and judgmental strangers who hear of the rape. They are the culture, the legal system, the universities, and the military. Worse of all are the ones who should be the most supportive. They are the so-called Christians who hate women for unknown reasons. These are the types of Christians who blame only the women for abortions as well. How this women hating disease has taken hold of the church is beyond me, but it must be rooted out. It is a canker that must be lasered out- it is festering and it is rotten.
There are so many reasons why women do not name their attackers. There are reasons they do not prosecute them. One of the major reasons is that they will not be believed. The second reason is that they will be blamed. The third reason is that they will be derided and scorned. They will somehow be viewed as ‘dirty’ or ‘used goods’ or somehow ‘damaged property’. They will become less desirable somehow. The man, however, is stilled viewed as ‘clean’. Why can a shower wash him clean while a woman remains damaged forever, I wonder? While one would think this type of thinking has passed away with the petticoat, it has not. It lives on, only secretly now, in the narrow corridors of petty men and women, lots of whom occupy the pews of American churches. Raped women sense this with every God-given instinct.
When I wrote my article in July of 2013, I had moved on from that rape in 1986. (note: it happened in 1986, not 1983, I’ll tell you why he lied about the date later.) It was long ago. I rarely thought of it. I rarely allowed myself to think about it. Had I dealt with the anger? No, I think not. That is the trouble with not reporting it; the perpetrator has gone free and you have not experienced any justice yet. And yet, by not prosecuting, I gained a great measure of peace. Forgetting and compartmentalizing had bought decades of peace. When I wrote the article, I exercised the one piece of justice I gave myself all those years ago; I gave myself the right to name my attacker whenever and however the subject should come up. I would name the boogeyman. This took his power over me away. To speak his name and put the blame on him was the right thing to do. I would not blame myself, nor would I allow others to blame me. That was one small bit of power I retained as part of my healing. Little did I know I would ever become a journalist of sorts. Little did I know what would be the result of that small bit of action. The U.S. Army saw the article and didn’t want my rapist to achieve the highest rank available to a soldier- a generalship. They told me their goal wouldn’t be to win, but to get an inconclusive result ( in the U.S. Army, this is not a ‘not guilty’ as the civilian courts have. ) It is a negative mark on one’s record. They felt confident that it would stop him from getting a promotion. Though extremely reluctant, I felt it was a chance to get justice and that it was also my duty as a patriotic citizen to stop a rapist and liar to rise to a policy making position in this great nation of ours. Sadly, it also meant that I would expose myself to the PROCESS of rape that I had avoided for 28 years. I had no idea what I was getting into.
Before this point, there was only one villain. Now many more surprising villains would arise from unexpected quarters. They would be cadets I once thought of fondly. They would be my rapist’s family. It would be my ex-boyfriend. It would be my company commander. It would even be my mother. I was forced to remember why I lied when I ran away from West Point. It would be the entire Corps of Cadets. I had to read my performance reports from my company commander. I had to see the demerits I received so unfairly from upperclassmen who were furious that I had reported one of their own and who was subsequently thrown out of West Point (another story, but one that absolutely kept me from reporting the rape). The entire Corps came to hate my guts over that. I was officially already a traitor. Reporting another cadet was death for me. I was already completely alone. I truly wonder if my rapist targeted me because he knew I was alone and vulnerable. Seeing that one of my favorite friends lied as an adult on this case was heart breaking. I suppose he and my rapist went on to become friends. Perhaps they barbecue together. Who knows. But the betrayal is very real. I didn’t tell my mother because she would have blamed me. Sadly, this brings up my own personal life; she disliked me very much because she hated my father. She always felt that I was like him. She had called me a prostitute out of spite since I was a teenager. I knew she would only call me one over this rape. She would not support me. As it was, she was furious that I quit. I was forced to remember that West Point was the only thing she liked about me; she got to brag about me to her Korean friends whose sons and daughters were doctors and lawyers while her son was in prison. Having me at West Point made her look like a success. They even did an article about me in Korea. I was forced to remember that she never loved me all these years after her death, after I have forgiven her for everything. Rape is a process, as I said.
I saw my explanation to my commanding officer that said I was leaving West Point because I wanted to pursue a medical career without the 20 years of service that West Point & the Army would have required. It was the only explanation I could think of that sounded half way rational. I got to see all the supportive comments from my commander on all previous evaluations and then suddenly this dead review that stated I wanted to leave. It sounded so angry. He simply stated that I had ‘average’ potential to the Army and that it would behoove both the Army and me to let me go. Nice. Rape is a process.
They kept all those records. And yet, the Army mysteriously ‘lost’ the records of my outtake interviews with the two psychologists who interviewed me. Both of them repeatedly asked me if I had been raped and I repeatedly told them I had not. Both of them were very suspicious and concerned. Only a year earlier, I had been forced to participate in a regulatory hearing board after reporting my roommate and her boyfriend for repeatedly using my room for sex (a very serious offence). I had tried to use my cadet chain of command to talk to both of them (standard procedure). The senior cadet (the cadet company commander)told me that while he felt very bad for me, he couldn’t and wouldn’t turn in his friend and that if I wanted relief, I would have to turn him in myself. You have to understand the culture of West Point to understand this statement. Reporting this is a serious business that would probably lead to this senior’s expulsion. My cadet company commander was refusing to do his duty, because he was a coward, and he was never punished for it. I was. Unlike civilian colleges, we had curfews; there was nowhere else for me to study but in my room. It was impossible to study with the two having sex. Both were laughing at me and ignoring my multitudes of pleads to stop. My grades were suffering. I told them I would have to report them but they didn’t care. I did and had to sit at this board where I had to give detailed evidence about exactly how undone his belt buckle was and how far down his pants were, etc.. It. was. a. nightmare. The entire corps of cadets hated my guts. And the juniors and seniors made my life a living hell from that day forward. They gave me demerits for every dust spec, imagined or real. Interestingly enough, my company commander (a captain) noted that incident in a performance review, along with how badly I felt my year had gone, and then noted in the very next performance report that many of the senior cadets had spoken very negatively about me and that it had hurt my military performance score. I remember explaining that it was due to the expulsion of their friend whom I had reported. Know what the captain wrote down? He said it was due to a ‘personality clash’ between me and one of the seniors.
The Corps basically shunned me. I became very lonely and depressed. I knew that if I reported my rapist, I would have to sit at another board and would have to admit to the drunkenness. He would deny the rape. My drunkenness would become fact (a regulatory violation). The rape would be unproven. Because I was unconscious, there was no struggle, no bruising. There were no rape kits. Who would even believe me; I was so hated already. Was I to be a double traitor?? My rapist was well liked by the cadets. What would I suffer? Also, these proceedings take forever. I needed to escape immediately. I don’t think either of the psychologists found my excuse plausible. I would have left the Army at 42 years old as a surgeon with no medical school debt and a full resume of battlefield or Walter Reid hospital experience behind me. I would have graduated from West Point and any medical school of my choice free of charge. I would have had a full 20 years of private medicine ahead of me. I was in good standing as a cadet and had never before expressed a desire to leave. In fact, just one performance report prior to leaving I had expressed a very enthusiastic desire to make it into West Point’s medical degree track. Before leaving West Point, I was notified that because I had signed a contract, they could contact me the following summer and enlist me as a private in the Army and make me serve for no less than 2 years. Not a very good medical school strategy, is it? I had quickly agreed to that, which was completely irrational since I had only one year to complete West Point (the easiest, most enjoyable year!), because of my intense fear and need to distance myself from my rapist and the Corps that hated me so . I was quite out of my mind. However, I received a letter that summer from the Army letting me go without serving!! I always thought it was because those two psychologists might have written their suspicions that I had been raped. I figured the Army just wanted to let me go quietly. And I did. I was grateful. But those reports are the only records that are missing from my file. And I have to deal with that betrayal of the Army now. As I said, rape is a process.
Then, there is my ex, my bitter, insecure, jealous ex. We were dating the entire time I was at West Point ( yet another reason the male cadets didn’t like me; I had the audacity to date a civilian man; it was oft remarked upon. I was surrounded by the ‘best of the best’ (for that was what they told us over and over again) and yet, I chose a civilian!). Suffice it to say that he is very bitter now that we aren’t together. He was extremely uncooperative with the investigation. He didn’t bother to answer the questions carefully and answered some questions too quickly and without thought. He was extremely rude and curt. He wanted the CID investigators out of his house asap. After I heard some of his answers, I wrote to him and he realized his mistake and recanted. But his anger and bitterness was something I got to relive. I got to hear him call me names all over again. I got to beg him to do the right and moral thing. And he got to lord it over me. Rape is a process. As I said.
I had to also tell the entire world that I was dead drunk. Unconscious drunk. Staggering drunk. Stupefyingly drunk. Shamefully drunk. My atheist, liberal, progressive enemies got to read that and they have had a field day with it. Their take, “this is why she is such a hot mess. She was raped and never recovered from it.” I suppose I should take small comfort from the fact that at least they believe me. Apparently, when a woman gets raped, according to their never-ending wisdom, she becomes a republican! lol. A woman exposes herself to ridicule when she tells the world how she got into the vulnerable position of rape. “Why’d you get so drunk, you idiot?” “Why’d you go alone into the parking lot, you idiot?” “Why’d you dance like that, you idiot?” The Army investigators had the nerve to ask me how many male cadet bedrooms I had visited. I love that- as if there were any other types of rooms we had. How many male cadets I had dated. How many male cadets I had slept with. Oh, you have no idea the rage I felt with those questions. At what other parties did I get so drunk? Do they have anything to do with the rape? No. Like I said, rape is a process.
And now, this butt wipe, wants to sue me (ME!). I should sue him. It is laughable. My husband certainly wants to. But I don’t. My lawyer actually thinks we could win; the idiot, after all, has confessed to the sloppy drunk sex. His only quibble is the date. And he will look extremely deceptive and manipulative trying to fix the date in the ONLY 6 month window in the history of West Point where there was a statute of limitation on reporting rape. That is why he lied about the date. And that is what my cadet friend lied about as well. That is what my rapist’s sister lied about. It is critical that they nail the date to 1983. Because he can’t be prosecuted, even if he admits to it. But in civilian court, it doesn’t matter. He admitted I was completely drunk. He claims he was also very drunk, but his admission of having sex with me denies that as it is well-known that a man can’t have sex if he is incapacitated by alcohol. That, combined with the fact that I had nothing to gain from the Army’s investigation, at least not in terms of monetary gain, along with the fact that I have never sought punitive damages from him, show that I am not a gold digger, nor am I a spiteful person. Further, my articles show that I had compassion for his wife and children. This was before I even gave evidence to the Army. Furthermore, the Army came to me, not the other way around. All this shows good intent on my side. The fact that I didn’t attempt to sue him in civil court is another feather in my cap. No, it was he who went there. My 27 years of silence is best explained by my version of events. The reason I spoke his name is best explained by my explanation: it is part of my healing process.
But I am really sick of this process. And I don’t want his very dirty money. If I won a penny from him, I would give it all away to rape victim counseling. My life can’t be polluted with anything he has ever owned. My life is good and wholesome and beautiful. Why allow it to be so polluted?
To all of you women, many of whom have messaged me behind the scene, take heart. I know you want to hide as I did. But don’t. You must finish the race, sooner rather than later. All I did was detain the inevitable. All I did was push it off to another date. All I did was make the evidence trail colder. I made it harder for justice to be done. Those who will betray you simply get to hide longer. The process hurts. Friends and family WILL betray you. Yes, Christians might very well be the most judgmental ones, so be prepared. Your enemies will get to have their day to gloat, yes. But God will always turn the negative into a powerful positive in your life. You will grow powerful from this pain. By standing up against fear and anger, you will help other women, as I have helped other women. There is always meaning in pain; you must follow it though. It feels like it will never end, but you will eventually be the victor. Then, it will become a champion’s cause. It won’t end, but it will eventually stop being a painful process. It will eventually be a victor’s process and one in which you can be the one who aids in another’s distress. That is the best band-aid there is. Mark my words.