I wish that there were more narratives out there, more talk in general, by and about women who have faced things like rape and abortion more than once.
I know that "things like rape and abortion" is a really weird phrase, too casual, but I'm tired. I use those two examples because they are mine, they are me, but of course other experiences can be repeated. Domestic violence, for instance.
It is very, very challenging to say that one wasn't raped only once. That's the expected story: here's this nightmare that happened this one night. When one has been raped three times, or five times, people get a lot less sympathetic. If a thing keeps happening to you, how can it not in some way be your fault? It's not happening to others at the same rate. And try asking yourself that.
It's hard for me to say that I've had three abortions. Not on here, but in my real life. It's tremendously hard because I know that almost no one will hear that and fail to think: irresponsible slut. One abortion is OK. "We all make mistakes!" But they weren't mistakes. They were bad luck followed by good choices.
There is nowhere I know of to talk to people about this. About how women who have been raped multiple times or had multiple abortions face unique challenges. There's no mercy even for the women who have been raped once, or had one abortion: they're shamed and shat on and victimized all over again when they talk about their experiences. But think also about women for whom every assault, and every terminated pregnancy, is met, automatically, with you're-crying-wolf skepticism of one kind or another, precisely because it's not their first time at that ballgame.