• Rae Williams

The Face of Rape

The face of rape has no distinguishing marks, no striking features and no memorable characteristics.

At least none that I can mention, having been a rape victim. I can't even remember what he looks like, or his name - though I know I would recall instantly if I ever saw him again.

And what about my face? I wondered for days, months, weeks, years if it had changed. No one said anything, so I assume that it didn't.

I was broken on the inside, but I kept smiling. I drank the pain away. Night after night, I would drink to the point of black outs, and the next day I would find myself apologizing for things I couldn't even remember doing the night before.

I repeated this cycle for years, wondering if the man who raped me would ever apologize for raping me that night. Would he ever care that it wasn't him who I wanted to take my virginity? Or that I dreamed of being older than 16? Perhaps married? Would it ever cross his mind?

I never got the answers to my questions.

Flash forward, I wasn't even 21 when my doctor told me that I had sustained significant damage to my liver due to the abuse of alcohol, and that I was prediabetic and needed to do something immediately before being placed on medication like my father who suffers from diabetes.

This was a wake up call for me, that I couldn't allow one night to ruin the rest of my life- no matter how confused I was, or how many questions I didn't have answered.

The face of rape changed for me when I began to take care of my health, mentally and physically. That's really how my body positive journey started, and how it has grown into what it is today. So in a way, I am thankful that there was something beautiful that was birthed from such a tragic night in my life.

And I also have realized that there are so many faces, like mine who don't show the pain but have experienced it just the same.

I would like to dedicate this post to all those who have been raped, or molested. Please know that you are not alone,and you do not have to get over it alone either. There are support groups, and therapists to help. For a long time, I thought it was my fault- so if you feel that way, please know that it isn't. And no, you didn't deserve it. But you can use it as a part of your story to make you stronger, and I hope you do.

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