Last night I received a phone call from my father.
Now I first want to say that I have the best father in the world. Truly and completely amazing. Fun, loving, laid back, patient, kind, wise. Especially wise. He's lived a lot of life, and has seen a lot go down, and has a pretty good idea of how to deal with a lot of things.
My father deals with one of my rapists on a fairly regular basis. He didn't know until just a few days ago that this man had raped me, however. In fact, a goodly number of my friends deal with this man on a regular basis. Have been friends with him for years, having no idea what happened.
Well, not even a week ago a lot of them found out. This man, whom I will refer to as X, also found out. Now he had never considered himself a rapist, and he was surprised to learn that I consider myself to be raped by him. I wasn't surprised that he thought that way--He is not an evil man, just a thoughtless narcissist. (As our own L so succinctly put it.)
Anyway. One of the reasons why I never told anyone about this is because X runs a business in an area where a lot of my friends and family spend a good amount of time, which is why they deal with him fairly often. And when X heard about what happened, he of course was worried about it costing him his business. He went to talk to my father (Who, being patient and wise, listened.) to recount his version of the story. He then expressed his concern for the future state of his business, and was quoted by my father as having said, "Do I need to sue her to get her to stop?"
I mentioned his name exactly once. Only his first name. Not his middle name, not his last name, not his age, nor description, nor did I mention anything about his business or even how I knew him. Just his first name and what he did to me, in a friends-locked blog entry on facebook.
And now he's talking about suing me.
This, my friends, is my fear come true.
Now. I don't think it would really hold up in a court of law. And either way, the statute of limitations for sexual assault in the applicable state is 7 years, and it's only been four. So if he DOES decide to sue me, I will defend myself with a counter-suit. I may not win, but he probably won't either.
So, while I'm not truly academically worried about that right now, it is a thing that I should never have to deal with. Unfortunately I may have to deal with it.
And this leads me into the other part of this topic that I wanted to discuss--The responses of friends and loved ones.
After finding out that a friend or loved one has been assaulted, often one of the reactions is a strong, violent desire to revenge or retroactively protect the abused party.
Listen. Anyone out there who has this desire, listen. It doesn't work that way.
I'll say that again.
It doesn't work that way.
You can't change something that happened. You can't protect someone from something that's already happened. You can't defend them. Unless you're superman, and run backwards around the planet in a rage until you go back in time. Then maybe you can. But then we're all subject to paradox and alternate timelines and GREAT SCOTT! Who knows WHERE it could lead us?
Mixing metaphors. Sorry.
The point is, what's done is done. You can't change that by lashing out. If you try to hurt the person who hurt your friend, child, sibling, lover, whatever, you'll only hurt yourself and your loved one. If you REALLY want to hurt the person, try to convince the victim to press charges. The further it gets from the time of assault, the more difficult this is, of course. But that's the only way to do it that will help.
Anything else, any other form of lashing out, will only hurt the situation and make your side less plausible if you do decide to press charges.
If any of my friends are reading this, then don't go bother X. I don't want any drama. This is in no way about him at all. It's about me. About my moving on. Causing him problems will only cause me more problems. Going public does not make it public business. It makes it my business which I have chosen to divulge for reasons of my own choosing.