A white lady who was in the same rape crisis group as me was kept chained in a backyard shed by her father and grandfather after she turned 12 years old, until about 4 years later when she was taken to the hospital while 8 months pregnant with twins. She did give birth to these children and always stated they were “the light of her life.” These two girls were physically disabled. That’s because their father was either her own father or her grandfather, the ones that chained her in the shed and raped her just about every day until she was rescued at the hospital. She did not know which and it was before they would have done DNA testing. Her father was imprisoned but her grandfather died before the legal process could be completed. In partial response, she had gained a tremendous amount of weight before I knew her, which she could say to anybody was a form of self defense since she knew if she was fat and ugly enough, she would not be raped again.

Most people treated her generally like dogshit but she worked all her life to take care of these little girls and I used to see her all the time around town and always felt extremely sad because I knew what had happened to her while most people just saw a big, fat, ugly woman.

She had gone into healthcare, but was unable to afford more than the education to be a nurse’s aide so that is the job she did. She was one of the kindest, most self-sacrificing and empathetic people I have ever known. I couldn’t say to you which person in medicine you might trust, or who would treat you decent. I don’t know that, I don’t know who it would be but I do know things are changing and there is a lot of education and improved awareness and empathy in the medical field. I’d like to say that if you went to one of my cousins or to my aunt when she was alive they would have treated you the same as a family member or friend.

So yeah “We all do it.”

I could have ignored you, judged you or worst of all in my personal opinion, patronized you by saying “OH YOU ARE SO INTERSECTIONAL I AM AN AWARE WHITE PERSON”. No. I am just a human being. I am a stupid bitch, I am vain, I am self-serving. I have committed innumerable sins during my life.

What my friend, who died of the untreated STD one of these two horrible men gave her all those years before — I don’t know what she would have said. I just know that when I went to that rape crisis group after two solid years of trying to kill myself over what happened to me and heard her story and got to know her — I thought “WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU! IF SHE CAN TAKE CARE OF HER DAUGHTERS AND GO ON SO CAN YOU!” and realized that any problem I thought I might have had was nothing compared to what had happened to her. She made me better just by being herself. She helped me heal.

This is my story. It is part of how I learned I not only wasn’t better than other people, in a lot of cases, I was probably worse.

So, having heard your story

I wish you can find someone you can trust, wish you will find the treatment you need and wish for you happiness, health, love, wellbeing and fulfillment because you are a human being who totally deserves it and you are worthy of all of these things and deserve to live free and well.

Sure “we all do it.” But who does not? And who does not have the capacity to be cruel to each other or kind?

No, I did not say what I said because I was EXCUSING racism or those who do not treat others with common decency, empathy and respect or because I was saying “My white woman opinion is so much more important than yours!”

I was acknowledging you and encouraging you to not lose hope as it is possible for you to receive proper care, decent treatment and respect for who you are despite the many daily problems, world problems and evil people that make it seem or feel like that could never be.

According to Harlan Ellison and my grandmother, “You’ll go far Amy, because you have heart.” Author of 40 books, former exec., Nebula Award nominee, Poor.

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