M’Lady and Her Jester

I have something to write. I don’t know where or how to begin. Do I begin at her beginning, her middle, or now?

I have a friend that I love. I think of her by many names, the one that fits here is M’Lady and I am her Jester. As such, I am allowed to speak the truth. The lowliest member of the court may be the most honest…this is the now…

In the middle, she was married to a boy that feared her. He feared her mind. He feared his own weakness in the face of her strength…and he made her pay for his fear and weakness by raping her in the guise of marriage. He inflicted pain and humiliation on her and convinced her that she was to blame. He resented her past and her present. He told her that if she didn’t like what he was doing, he could bring another man to do it to her, He called it love and didn’t realize that it was hate. He convinced her to love her rapist…and she believed his lies and abuse. He taught her to lie to avoid worse pain. She thought she had somehow earned his actions and deserved them…

In her beginning, she thought she was a “badass”. She became promiscuous at an early age. Too young, some would say. Her Jester believes her life is HER’S and no one’s to judge save for her.  She paid, through the years by being bullied and shamed. Her reaction was, “if y’all think that’s bad, check this out”…and paid with more scorn and derision, “slut shaming”. To her credit, M’Lady would do it over the same way, sparing herself none of the pain that was to come because she has grown and learned through it.

…and now for the words of the Jester…

M’Lady, you did no wrong. Your youth and enjoyment of sex gave no cause for what happened later.

Your middle is not excused by any prior action of yours. There is no excuse that can be made, no justification given for a rapist. No amount of fear, shaming, or resentment of you excuses coercion or forcible rape. That you survived and escaped is a testament to your strength. That you became the person your Jester knows and loyally serves proves that strength. That you kept the light in your eyes for the Jester to find, makes your rapist even weaker because, no matter how he tried, he could not dim them.

In your present, M’Lady, you have so recently escaped the middle so listen to the words of the Jester. You did no wrong. You are not to blame, not then and not now. There should be no shame in you for being the person you are. If you were the person you came to believe, your Jester would not be here. That society and your rapist would use your past to excuse your middle speaks of them, not you…

M’Lady, trust the words of your Jester. You are worth being loved. You are one of the finest human beings I have ever known. You have your scars, we all do. You have your weaknesses and bits of inner darkness, only the weak fear them in others and refuse to believe their own. Your innocence, after all you have been through, gives your Jester cause for hope and proves his affection and love are not misplaced. That you would allow these words to be written proves that you will survive stronger than before.

*****

Slut Shaming is never an excuse. What she does with her body is her choice. Who she sleeps with and when she chooses to is no reason to excuse rape. It never was. It never will be. If you can not accept that there is ZERO excuse for rape or coercion, then it isn’t her that deserves shame, it is you.

I am in no way by the phrasing making light of the subject. It is FAR too close to home. The only way for me to touch this topic, rape within the confines of marriage and slut shaming, is to write in the third person and as the Jester. If I were to write the words in my heart, the hatred I have for the ex, I suspect it would be a crime or perceived as a threat and that is not intended as she will not allow that. There are very few humans in the world I love, perhaps 5 not related by blood, M’Lady is one.

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