I remember a passage from Nelson DeMille’s The General’s Daughter:
“What’s worse than rape? Betrayal.”
I wish to God I didn’t understand every syllable of that.
Rape caused me to question the justice of the world, the inherent trustworthiness of my fellow human. It certainly caused me to question whether I wanted to interact with people. It definitely started me on my path to introversion and complete self-reliance, revulsion at the idea of dependence on another, the complete rejection of anything that I could not procure for myself by my own efforts. It certainly was the beginning of my contentious relationship with my world, my belief that everything I wanted was only to be won in hand-to-hand combat with all of mankind. But rape never caused me to question my own value. It never caused me to consider whether I was a vessel worthy of the human life I possessed. It never caused me to grieve that there was no light left in the world. It never caused me seriously to consider ending my own life. Rape never brought to agonizing over the question, “If I am valuable, how could someone I trusted so completely, loved so intensely, valued so highly, invested in so deeply throw away everything that I am so casually? They cannot both be true.”
At the time, rape was the worst thing that had ever happened to me, but the things since showed me what a charmed fucking life I lived in those years. Somehow there’s comfort in that that I am at a loss to explain.
Sometimes you take hope where you find it, even if it makes no sense.