As many of you know, I am a huge Outlander fan. I've read all eight books more than once; I've watched most of the entire series more than once. There are three episodes that I have had to make myself watch. I'm sure you can guess which ones, but I'll tell you anyway.
- To Ransom A Man's Soul, where Jamie Fraser is raped and tortured by Black Jack Randall.
- Wilmington, where Brianna Randall is raped by Stephen Bonnet.
- Never My Love, where Claire Fraser is kidnapped and gang raped by Lionel Brown, his nephew, and others.
It's a good thing that I've read the books, because I knew it was coming and could prepare myself.
Never My Love, the finale of Season 5, aired this past Sunday. It was an excellent episode. It hit home the hardest, because of my own experience of kidnapping and gang rape. I'm not going to retell the entire story; you can read about it here.
But I do want to tell you that the episode was accurate. In brief, during the assaults, Claire dissociates. She goes to a mental happy place, surrounded by her family, although the horror intrudes even there. Glimpses of the villains. A visit from police with news of tragedy. That sort of thing.
It hit home.
It hit home because I dissociated too, only differently.
I kept myself together during the kidnapping. I managed to stare hard at the rapists and memorize their faces. I stared so hard that at one point the rapist pushed me onto the floor of the car's back seat and covered my head with his jacket. That jacket stayed on my head until they were finished.
But when they pushed me onto a bed and pulled my jeans off, a bright white flash went off in my head and I thought, "This is really going to happen."
So I went away - but not away.
That's the closest I can come to describing it. I was there - I even did what the rapists told me to do - but I wasn't there. I kept thinking "how will I ever get that term paper done?" That term paper became something I could think about. It was a lifeline, because I couldn't think about the fact that I was being gang raped. It was like "This is happening to my body, but it is not happening to me."
This was over 47 years ago. My stomach is in a knot and my hands are cold. But I had to write it down, so I did.