Mathair Fiona is a blogger whose posts I never miss. I can’t exactly put her in a nutshell which is what I think I like best about her. Meghan is inspiring, thought-provoking, honest, curious, and very smart. I am particularly honored to be hosting this post as she shares very defining moments in her life.
When Kerry asked me to guest post, I wasn’t even remotely sure what I would write about. Luckily, she has a topic list for her Freestyle Fridays so that gave me a place to start. I’ve landed on a defining moment in my life.
Typically, the posts on my blog are inspired by whatever is going on in my life at the moment, things I’m reading/studying, or current events. The topic I am going to share today has been one that I have been wanting to write about for quite some time, but I have never had the occasion to put the words to the page. This topic often pops into my head, but I can never come up with a way to write about it that won’t make it seem completely abrupt and out-of-place. Now I have a platform and a reason to share other than my own personal need to process.
Here goes (deep breath): I have been raped. Twice. It is scary to share that with a group of people of unknown size also knowing that people in my personal life will be exposed to this information for the first time. It’s good to get it out in the air though. Each time I tell someone about these painful moments in my life, I am a little more free from the darkness. In my experience, the time immediately after surviving sexual violence is like waking up in a room where all the window and doors have been boarded up. When I share the pain with others, the boards fall off, one-by-one, and more and more light pierces the darkness. Eventually, the whole room is filled with golden light and I walk out the door into our very beautiful world.
Neither event of rape is a defining moment in my life. I don’t even view surviving rape as a defining moment. What is truly defining for me is how I have been able to not become filled with anger. You might even say that I have been able to forgive. I know that some of you out there can feel your defenses going up when you read that: “How can you FORGIVE a rapist?” I’ve been there, trust me. I know a woman who has also been raped. She was able to forgive more quickly than I, and I had a hard time with it. Part of it may have been that I felt her forgiving her rapist meant that she didn’t think rape was a big deal, but my real issue with it was my lack of understanding of what forgiveness means. Many of us think that forgiveness means giving the transgressor a “pass”. By saying, “I forgive you,” we are indicating that it is OK that they have violated, defiled, and broken us. This is a major misunderstanding. The fourth definition of “forgive” according to Dictionary.com is: to cease to feel resentment against. The confusion comes when forgiveness is thought of in the first definition: to grant pardon for or remission of; absolve. For rapists to experience this first type of forgiveness, they will have to go to God. It is not within my power to remove blame from them for their heinous actions.
I choose to “cease to feel resentment” against the men who tried to feel their own sense of power and control by taking mine. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a long, hard road and I am still not 100% recovered from these events, but by forgiving, I have taken the control back. Time spent angry, is time wasted.
Life is too beautiful a gift to throw it away.
I hate being angry. It puts me in a foul mood and can ruin an otherwise fantastic day. I can’t imagine how devoid of joy my life would be if I were to hold on to anger at these two detestable people. My anger can do absolutely nothing but destroy me from the inside out. It will do nothing to change what has happened or to affect the lives of those rapists. There is very little I can do to affect their lives, but it doesn’t really matter. Their souls are blackened by their actions and I can only imagine what hell they were already living in which drove them to try to make me experience the same evil. I am resolved that the memory of those two terrifying acts will never be honored by my own destructive anger, but rather their controlling power will be destroyed by forgiveness.
This is my defining moment, today, when I tell the whole world that two depraved souls, who dared to call themselves men and attempted to make me an object they could control, have been rendered powerless by my ability to forgive.
Thank you for sharing your story, Meghan.
If you would like to guest post, please contact me here. March is available and I would love to have you!!