This is for all survivors of sexual assault.
Rep. Todd Akin's remarks have had me reeling since I first heard of them on Sunday. I've been having flashbacks about the abuse I was subjected to from my paternal grandfather. He started molesting me when I was a baby and didn't stop until I was 17.
The incident at 17 was the one I remember best because this was the closest he came to raping me. He'd touch me in my private parts whenever he had a chance. I got to the point where I refused to wear dresses during family functions.
That incident is clearly burned in my head. My parents had left my sister and me alone for the weekend so they could travel to another family member's funeral. My aunt was checking in on us, but my grandfather took advantage of my parents not being home.
I was playing "dress up" in the downstairs bathroom. I'd put on a black skirt, a white shirt and I was curling my hair when he came in the back door. I won't go into stark detail, but I had a scratch on my inner right thigh for weeks from when I pushed his hand away from me. He did put his left hand over my mouth, and then moved it across my shoulders and neck so he could French kiss me. His eyes warned me not to yell out. My sister was in the living room while this was going on.
One thing that made me stop him is I knew he wasn't going to stop this time. I could see it in his eyes. I found the strength to push him away and he ended up in the kitchen when I did it. Part of what made me stop him is something my dad told my sister and I during our teen years: "If you get pregnant, don't bother coming home." This had a double meaning for me. I never had a boyfriend in high school, but I was also fending off my own grandfather's attacks.
How in the hell would I explain it if I did end up pregnant? What would I do if I did? I grew up in a rural area and didn't even know about abortion. I was on birth control, but that's not always effective.
After grandpa tried to rape me, I told my mother and my aunt, his oldest daughter, what he had done. They both denied it. I didn't even tell dad what he'd been doing until I'd been out of the house about four years. Dad believed me at least.
This is why Akin's remarks are so dangerous. This is why the Republican leadership is trying so hard to get Akin to stand down. He aired what one of the party's platforms will be for this year's election and exposed them for the dangerous hypocrites they are. Couple this with the anti-women platform they've been messing with the last few years both in the states and in the House bills that have been put up for a vote, and we have a real mess on our hands.
Sexual assault is something a person rarely fully gets over. At 43, that incident from when I was 17 still shapes my life, my relationships, everything. You can move on, you have good days and bad days. It's rare for me not to be affected when some ignorant ass says something as heinous as Akin did the other day. It takes me weeks to recover at times.
The good thing is I'm here to recover. Even though I've attempted suicide, twice that I remember clearly, I am here to work through these things. I'd much rather do that than not be here at all.
This is my plea to Rep. Akin and all Republican men: please stop being ignorant asses that refuse to see through your misogynistic dogma. Women are human beings. Women gave you life. We nurtured you. We love you, but please stop trying to rule over us. God gave ALL of us free will. Please allow us to choose for ourselves.
Otherwise, until you grow a uterus, stay the FUCK out of ours.