Lauren Elizabeth

My pain never had a purpose. 

It never blossomed into blooms of bravery, never solidified into reeds of resiliency or tentacles of triumph. It congealed like cold beans on a stovetop, metastasizing into a kingdom of suffering, a communist mass of maggots festering in the hollow of my chest.

I never turned the violence and brutality of my rape into anything beautiful. Instead, I stare at it still like a museum exhibit, glaring through glass with kohl rimmed hazel eyes, staring down the cervix of empty city streets in the winter, unplugged like a television set in a the belly of a blackout. Pain is useless if it is not used, if one cannot transmute the staccato
Morse code of their suffering into legato lyrics of altruism or benevolence.

My rape has culminated into nothingness. All that torture and violence and humiliation. All the lessons I could have learned and the pain simply percolates and runs clear like a coffee pot without hazelnut grounds, leaking like a watery hemorrhage into the delta mouths of dollar store mugs.

I never turned my funeral into a baptism, but, rather, continually permit myself to drown in it. Like a lamenting Schindler, I could have done so much more. I could have turned the ugliness and stark horror of my rape into advocacy or charity, but I sit on it. I stuff it inside like binges and purges. I empty it in sewer drains with my vomit. I soak it up in paper towels pressed to the bleeding summit of my nicked elbows.

Nearly years since the rape, since the brutalization, and I still have not harnessed these tremors into solar power. Hunched beneath the drawstring sphincter of my gray hoodie, curled on couches in fetal positions, I look nothing like Joan of Arc aside from the burning, aside from the way in which I cry to the heavens in a latter day lamentation. I never glued together the splinters of shattered glimmerglass to make a greenhouse. My pain is a knocked down spider web, half built; an unfinished symphony.

There is some unwritten expectation that pain and rape and abuse are only salvageable if the experience is spun into golden bandages, if the hell becomes a Pacific beach, if the beestung lips can find the honey in the hive.

I never became anything more than the same scared teenager I was the day after the rape, violently shaking, shrouded in a goose down blanket, perspiring and perishing and fleeing the city like the evacuation of Sodom and Gomorrah. My tragedy never redressed its body in silk or rearranged its limbs in the casket to look more presentable. I learned how to die with a pulse, how to walk and how to drag my ghost around limply by the wrist.

I don’t know why I survived my rape or why my rapist allowed me to live. I should be dead now, six feet under, but here I am, licking wounds and marinating in the lacerations of my psychological damage.

I wish he’d killed me after he was finished raping me. I don’t think I was supposed to make it. Yet, somehow, I survived. Somehow, I continue to breathe. He didn’t kill me and I’ll never know why he chose to spare me. Why he let me live. I could have been one more dead girl on the news, one more body in a morgue, one more magazine blurb turned obituary.

I used to think that I was lucky to have survived, but now I think I’m quite the opposite. There’s nothing lucky about surviving rape. Why couldn’t I be a survivor who picks up the pieces and moves on?

Why couldn’t it have been that easy?

Life after rape is so fractured that it can hardly be called a life. It is breathing through the conduits of ventilators instead of lungs. It is an automobile running on fumes. It is drifting from room to room and realizing that one is only alive because their rapist allowed them to live.

He raped me. Violently. And spared me. And now I’m forced to live out the rest of this miserable existence in this cesspool of suffering.

I’m twenty seven and I still shake in November, arrested in my development. Psychologically frozen in place like some kind of archaic Pompeii corpse coated in the sputum of a volcano. I never grew. I never surpassed.

I once thought there was a reason that I was raped. That maybe it was part of some larger, colossal plan to steer my existence into some vein of empathy or radical feminism. Once upon a time. But now, I think my rape was pointless. It was unnecessary violence and humiliation. It was useless sadism and sexual exploitation. It wasn’t poetic or prophetic or the catalyst of some symbolic, cathartic change.

It was wanton aggression and a horrific crime perpetrated by a twisted, sadistic, sociopathic man.

There was no reason for it. It didn’t make me a stronger person. If anything, I was growing before it cut me down and reduced me into half of what I might have been. My rape was, in some ways, a psychic murder, a little death. A cipher of the end of a dream.

I have yet to find my new beginning.

I was never strong or brave. I dropped out of school and fled the city like a fugitive out of fear of running into my rapist again. I never persevered. I retired home to full body tremors and didn’t leave my bed for months. I was never poignant or courageous. I withered like an atrophying muscle. I crumbled into the siege of decay.

My pain was never poetic. My hell was never cool. 

I’m just a rape victim, one more statistic.

My pain has culminated into nothingness.

One thought on “Lauren Elizabeth

  1. So, so sad and sorry for what was done to you. It should NEVER have happened. It makes me angry that your rapist can rape you not only of your mind, body, soul that day but of years of your life of what you could be, should be, of the joys,and successes you deserve to have. Don’t let him win that power over you, too.

    Like

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