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Let me preface this entire diary with stating that I am completely disgusted with Todd Akin, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum and everyone else in the GOP who have decided to take it upon themselves to dictate when a woman has the right to choose what to do with her own body, especially after being assaulted.

Today’s story about Tom Smith, equating sex out of wedlock with rape, has only made it worse. As I was reading the user comments on HuffPo about it, I read the following:

‘Like way too many people in this world, someone I know and care deeply about has been raped.

And yet I suspect that her rape is the kind that conservatives would say wasn't "legitimate", or little more than a child being born out of wedlock.
You see, she was date raped at a conference we attended.  By someone she knew.

Afterwards, I was the one who took her to the police and hospital, and I can tell you that I have never in my life seen such anguish in person.   I was there when she had the "rape kit" test administered.  I was there when she had explain to male police detective all the painful details.   And I was there when we found out that the odds of successfully prosecuting an outstate resident for date rape were slim.

To this day, the memories of her cries still shake me to the core.

And anyone who could argue that women must somehow bear even more burden from the horrible crime already committed against them by forcing them to give birth to a rapist's child is something less than human.

Shame on you, Mr. Smith.  And Mr Ryan.  And on anyone else who shares this inhumane perspective and callous disregard for women.'

As I read the ‘By someone she knew’ sentence, tears welled up in my eyes and I couldn't stop crying.

Recently, I have seen and heard a lot of comments from women that had never told their stories of sexual abuse. Some were too ashamed; some were too afraid; some just couldn’t talk about it. I don’t know if it’s because of these neanderthal GOPers are bringing it out or if it’s the anonymity of the internet or what it is, but people seem to be speaking out more and more. Whatever it is, I keep hearing these stories, and I can’t help but think about how brave these people are.

So, today, I am going to tell you something that I have been holding inside for over twenty-five years and have only ever told one person in my life (and that person is my wife):

When I was a child, I was sexually assaulted. By someone I knew.

I was about 8 years old. My mother and father were going somewhere out of town and left me overnight with a man and a woman who were very trusted by them. Later in the evening, I was told that it was almost time for bed, but since we had been playing all day, I should probably take a bath first. After I had my clothes off and was getting into the water, the man came into the bathroom and told me that he would need to show me how to bathe properly. I didn’t know what to do, but I remember thinking how strange that was and starting to object, but he told me to be quiet. I was pretty small for my age, so I did what he said. I don’t want to go into any further detail, but at this point, I was subjected to things that no 8 year old boy (or girl or anybody)should ever have to go through. Then, he told me not to tell anybody and left the room. I finished my bath and went to bed, crying silently.

I tried to tell my parents, my teachers, my friends...but I just couldn't do it. I was too scared of what might happen or what they might think about me. For years, I thought I was the only person that this had ever happened to. And because of who this person was, I didn't think anybody would believe me.

From that point on, I had issues with staying overnight with anyone that was male. Where I was once on the honor roll and had straight A’s up to the third grade, I struggled to pass through the rest of my school career without failing. I began to have serious authority issues that still last to this day. I go through bouts of depression that can last for days and seriously considered suicide when I was in my teens. I have extreme temper issues that I still battle. I have self-esteem issues that I cover up with bluster and a smart ass attitude. I am still more comfortable around women than men. In fact, now that I’m writing this, I realize that may be how I picked most of my friends growing up: they were mostly children with single mothers.

So, for all of you Todd Akins and Pauls Ryans and Todd Smiths out there: the person inside me that I want to be says, 'just remember that when you’re deciding what is ‘legitimate’ rape and making your sloganeering generalizations, it is real, actual people that you are talking about. I hope no one close to you ever has to deal with anything like this.' The person inside that I really am says, 'fuck you, you horrible excuses for human beings.'

For all of you people that have shared your stories, I want to say thank you. With all of my heart, thank you for being so brave. Maybe my story will help somebody else out there that's too afraid to talk about it.

(I realize how disjointed and rambling that this diary is, but I just needed to get this out.)

UPDATE: After I wrote this last night, I needed to stay away from the computer for awhile and not read anything else about politics or this diary or anything, and I had no idea that there would be this much response to my diary. I am so glad that this community is so awesome and so supportive. It really means a lot to me. Thank you all so much.

Also, the person who did this to me has been dead for a while now. He hasn't been able to hurt anyone else for a while now.

UPDATE 2: I am trying to respond to everybody in the comments and in the messages that I have received, but I am having problems keeping up and with the site in general right now. Please don't think I'm being rude if I don't reply or if I just reply with a 'Thank you'. I truly, truly appreciate all of these messages of support and everything. It means a lot to me.

Originally posted to spgilbert on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 06:21 PM PDT.

Also republished by Pink Clubhouse, House of LIGHTS, Depression and Suicide, Rape and Domestic Violence, and Abortion.

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