In our world today, shame holds us back more than any other feeling.

In my life this one aspect pops up over and over again.  This particular post is rather scary for me.  I am not sure if it is a good idea or not.  I am going to share with you something that I have only shared with three other people in my life. And even then I did not tell them the real story…

When I was travelling through Europe I spent a week in Scotland.  I was travelling alone and was starting to run out of money.  I arrived in Inverness late in the evening, around dusk and was already concerned that I would not be able to afford a room in the hostel, even if it was available.  Fate being what it is, an older gentleman approached me and asked if I had anywhere to stay that evening.  He had a kind face, and appeared to be offering me a place to spend the night in town.

Why we do not listen to the voice in our head, I will never understand.  I have only heard this voice a few times, but every time I ignore it I always regret it.  This time more so than others.

The drive to his house was longer than I would have liked.  He lived in a cottage on the outskirts of town.  I learned he was renting it for the week.  I had no idea where we were by the time the car pulled into the laneway.  I was a foreigner in an unknown city.

Upon arriving, my new friend offered me a drink which I accepted.  I do not know if it is because I was nervous, or because the drinks were spiked, but I have never been so intoxicated before or since.

The rest of the details are uneccesary, save to say that I did not enjoy the rest of the evening.  I have memories of being dressed in a kilt and photographs being taken.  I remember locking myself in the bathroom until it became obvious that this would not stop him.

I remember asking to be driven to the train station the next morning.  My train was at 6:00pm but I told him it was at 9:00am.  I remember sitting in the train station and crying for 9 hours.

This event changed my life considerably.  At first I felt it was all my fault.  How incredibly stupid of a thing to do!  I felt so much shame.  Shame for getting in his car.  Shame for staying the night.  Shame for not fighting more.  Shame for leaving the bathroom willingly.

Then something in me changed.  I started to realize that nothing in my life had actually changed.  Except for my new feelings of worthlessness.  I had never felt worthless before.  What was different now?  Did I do something wrong that night?  Was it really my fault?

Of course not.  I probably should not have accepted his offer.  I probably should have listened to the voice inside my head.  But I did not do anything wrong.  He did.

I am love.  I deserve to be loved.  I deserved it before being raped and I still deserve it afterwards.

Since this event a lot has happened to me.  I have become so much stronger.  I have lived in shame, but I am tired of that now.  I don’t know why I feel compelled to share this story with all of you.  Perhaps it is so that you will see that this blog was not written by someone who has lived the perfect life.  This blog is written by someone who has suffered. 

But through my suffering I have come to see how incredibly lucky I am.  That night was a nightmare, but it was only one night.  It is over and never has to happen again, so long as I listen to the voice in my head next time…  Does that mean that I should stop trusting in humanity?  Does that mean I should block the love from my life from this point forward?

I can’t do that.  I will not.  I forgive myself for getting in his car that night.  I forgive myself for not fighting back more.  In the end I was not hurt physically, at least not as badly as I could have been.  Perhaps if I had fought back I would have been.  I forgive myself for being raped.

I also forgive my rapist.  He wasn’t really that terrible of a person.  We talked for quite a while that night before it all happened.  He is a school teacher, which makes me nervous.  He did not hurt me.  He asked me about my life.  He looked at me with love in his eyes.  But he was very wounded.  Incredibly wounded.  His wounds are far more severe than mine, if he is prowling around train stations looking for young men.  He is trying to live in love, but is doing so in an incredibly selfish way.  His passions are very unbalanced and leads only to hatred in his victims.

But only if his “victims” allow themselves to slip into hatred.  I am not a victim.  I have lived a life, with ups and downs.  That evening was a down.  But writing this post is an up.

Shame is something we all feel, for different reasons.  But today is a new day.   Today I am worthy to receive love.

I invite you to join me in love.  All of my posts so far have been in an effort to bring people together in love.  This is the first one where the topic is rather depressing.  But I hope you will see that the message is exactly the same.  I made a mistake.  But the mistake was not getting in his car.  The mistake was thinking this event had somehow changed me.  I was beautiful before this happened.  I am even more beautiful since.

I am no longer ashamed of my past.  I do not care if everyone knows I made a mistake.  I do not care if everyone knows I was raped by another man.  I know that this event has not truly changed me.  I am the same person I was before posting this message.  I am the same person I was before being raped.  I could allow myself to enter the cycle of abuse as my rapist did.  I also have an affinity for young girls.  I could choose to be ashamed of this fact and justify my behaviour by saying that I am a victim.  I could turn around and do the same things to others.  But I will never make someone feel the way I felt that day.  How could I?  I will not slip into the cycle of abuse.

I would rather trust in humanity.  I trust that by sharing this message you will see that I am still the same person.  I know in my heart that you knowing about my past will not cause you to judge me.  It will only strengthen our friendship.

I am ready to live in love.  I am love.  I offer my friendship to anyone that will accept it, in the hopes that you will join me in ending the cycle of abuse on our planet.  You are love, too.  I trust in that.   Together we can do anything!