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[TW: Sexual Assault mention] Rapist Died and I got mixed feelings

My rapist died in the middle of last year from a heart attack. He was only in his 30s and it was a huge shock because it came out of nowhere and apparently wasn’t Covid related.

It was, and still is, a very weird time for me emotionally. Because on the one hand, he’s gone and incapable of hurting me or anyone else, but everyone is venerating him because he was so young and he was somewhat well liked.

It’s been so strange seeing people’s odes to this man who’s actions royally messed up my development as a child and sparked my PTSD. THATS for sure gotten to me.

Of course, only close friends and my mother know about his actions towards me. So they don’t know about the negatives, but I also feel like the chance of anyone knowing is gone also. I’ve made the decision to not ever publicly disclose anything about him. As good as that will feel, it would feel odd to tell my story and have him incapable of telling (or denying) his side.

While I’m relieved, I’m also grieving. Not the man himself, but my ability to let myself have a voice on what happened.

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Hey @JoatheKatz ,

Thank you so much for being here and for sharing this. It’s a heavy situation, and I hope you will give yourself the time you need to grieve properly what can’t be anymore. There’s room for all your feelings, whether they make sense to you at the moment or not. There’s just what you feel, and it will never be wrong. :hrtlegolove:

I can only imagine how hard it was and is for you to see peole honoring his memory and what they knew of him, his “good” parts, without realizing that he had a very dark side that impacted your life in a way that should have never been. Hearing people talking about him in this way is like stealing your own voice. You see them claiming that he was a good man and brag about his qualities, while inside of you there’s a storm happening and you wish you could scream, so people would finally hear you and stop being blind to the truth…

For what it’s worth coming from someone you barely know: I hear you. Your voice is not lost my friend. This part of your story is not out of the knowledge of other people. It’s just not part of the world of those who happened to be friends with him.

You’re not invisible. To your mother, to your close friends, and to us here. It feels like your voice has been robbed since you are not getting the justice you deserve, but I promise you that you are not unheard right now. You are here. You are carrying your own story, with these specific parts of it. You still have the possibility and the right to share your voice, at your own pace. Maybe not to these people who are mourning him and knew him personally, but at least through other tools like online and without naming him. Your voice is present, and you are using it. That strength isn’t gone. He didn’t take that away from you, and he never will. And who knows, maybe in the future you’ll learn use to it in a way that would bring some kind of justice to yourself too.

I often wonder if my rapists are still alive, and if yes how they’re living their life. I often wonder if they think about me and what they did to me, also how they would react if I was in front of them today. Without knowing who they were, I feel like I have to constantly grieve even just the posssibility to eventually get some justice one day. But through the years, and since I’ve started to open up about it in this community, I’m learning that justice can also happen by sharing my voice, and not exclusively by making them face the heaviness of their actions. I find a type of restoration through sharing parts of my own story as a way to acknowledge someone’s pain and remind them that they are not alone. It can be direct, by talking to someone and supporting them. Or it can be undirect, by sharing my heart during vulnerable times.

This is what you just did here, friend. And because you shared your voice, because you opened that door, I feel inspired by your bravery and was willing to respond to you. To tell you that I understand and just sit right next to you, even just virtually. That’s how deep and impactful is your voice. It is real, strong, and powerful. You are not invisible and you are not silent. He had hurt you in the past, but there’s a freedom and capacity of restoration that none of his actions, nothing in who he was, nothing in the fact that he’s not alive anymore, will ever be taken away from you.

I’m sending love your way. Allow yourself to feel what needs to be felt. And if sometimes things get darker, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your mom and friends. You’re not alone.

PS - There’s an account on Instagram called “What I wish people know”, where people can share their story, or parts of their story, anonymously. When I look at it (if I’m sure it won’t trigger me/put me down), I feel inspired by the bravery of all these people who use their voice to share what they wish people knew about sexual assaults, about their assaulter or others reactions, about how they feel or more precisely what happened to them. Maybe this could be another tool to use for you, one day. Just to prove to yourself that your voice is not gone, and it’s not echoing into a void either. There are people who listen, and hear. :hrtlegolove:

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I can’t say I was sexually abused, I don’t remember a whole lot about my abuse. I remember enough to know I was hurt and damaged. Recently that man attempted suicide and I had mixed feelings I still do. I didn’t get why but I think you helped maybe clarify something for me. I don’t think I’m sad he might be gone soon I’m upset that I don’t get that voice the reconciliation we want towards our abusers. I’ve struggled with the feeling of wondering why I’d be upset there gone but that makes a lot of sense. Thank you for posting about this, it’s something for me that personally has been a lingering question for twenty years now. I hope you grieve healthy and feel peace after, sending my love to you friend

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@Micro
Thank you so much for your kind words. They were extremely touching. I don’t have much to comment on but please know I’ve read your comment and reread it many times :heart:

@Donavand
I’m glad my description gave you a bit of clarity on your own situation even if they aren’t the same

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No worries, friend. No response is expected so it already means a lot to me that you actually thought about sending a reply. Thank you so much. I’m glad if it encourages you, even just a bit.

I hope you are taking care of yourself, as much as possible. You matter. :hrtlegolove:

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