I, too, am the Stanford rape victim.

I had a dream last night that I was the Stanford rape victim. Became I am. Because I have been raped. I have been molested as a child, assaulted as an adult on a date, and raped by a stranger while completely blacked out.

I have believed that these occurrences were my fault and were the natural consequence of my own behavior. I was raised in a world that taught me this.

But not everyone in our world believes this way. And this morning I do not feel hopeless but hopeful. This morning my thoughts are focused on the men who intervened. I forcefully and willfully keep training my mind on the two men who stopped the rape, who stayed with the attacker, who went out of their way and who did not ‘mind their own business.’

It has opened a floodgate of memory for me and I think of the men who did the very same for me in my past. Men who stepped up, who defended me when they didn’t have to.

I think of that night I went out on a double date and we all ended up back at my house smoking pot. I was young and knew nothing and smoked way too much. I couldn’t move, couldn’t speak, and was assaulted in my bed. When I was finally able to get away and did, the other man in my house threw the offending party down my back stairs in a rage.

I think of the night a customer in a bar I worked at called me a faggot when he found out I had a girlfriend and the bartender literally jumped over the bar to throw him out the front door.

Of the time I blacked out and came to in the bed of 18 wheeler in circumstances best left undescribed and was left by the side of the road in the middle of the night. I called a man I had met poolside only days before who lived well over an hour away and he came for me and took to me to his house and, pay attention here folks, even when I, rock bottom in my addiction and self-loathing, tried to show my gratitude with sexual favors, HE REFUSED MY ADVANCES.

They are out there, these champions of love and safety and protection. They are out there and I am turning my attention to them today. I am grateful. And I say thank you.

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