Oh how I so wish I could give you a hug and comfort you as a Papa could. This made me weep for you, as the Papa of four girls.
I sat and spoke with my own girl, and I’ll write as though you’re her a bit. I hope it’s not presumptuous of me to do so. I’d hug you, wipe your tears, wipe my own, and struggle with it.
“Sweetheart, you need to be in a place of safety, and not worry about Mama, me, or your sister right now. You’re hurt and this is a place where you’ll get hurt again. You are exactly right to stay away and I’d hope you do. You may just get hurt in another way, with new wounds that would bleed and cripple you. Love yourself. Stay away if you need to.
You need to just retreat to a place of safety for your own sake, and not worry about anyone else. You know that man raped you. I’m glad you have the strength to say “I can’t.” And If you can’t state a reason, that’s alright. It just means you’re not ready to face that a sister you love is marrying someone you know to be a monster.
That is what love looks like.
Love wouldn’t let you sit at a celebration where a traditional line is "Should anyone here present know of any reason that this couple should not be joined in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace?" A God who loves wouldn’t ask it of you, a man representing God should hope you’d speak as loudly as possible, with the angels themselves shouting AMEN, - and I would honor you for not giving even the smallest hint of approval that might be shown even by your presence at the wedding, much less the strength required to accuse your monster.”
Selfishly, as a Papa, I’d be devastated to learn that my daughter had been raped by her sister’s fiancé. It would affect my relationship with that daughter who knowingly married the man, and I’d disown the man completely. It would affect the relationship with my grandchildren, not because I’d love them less, but because I’d draw my own line where he’d not step foot at my gatherings or in my home. If he’d be there, I wouldn’t. And it wouldn’t be because of my actions, but because of his own. And though I’d not blame you for not saying anything, I’d always hold in my heart the wish I’d known and been able to make my own choices instead of feeling violated by my son-in-law and my daughter, who knowingly proceeded while leaving me in the dark. That would be hard to deal with.
As a Papa, I’d want to know before the wedding that you’d not attend and why. But I’d also understand why you didn’t say anything. Going to "celebrate" the union of anyone to a man who raped you isn't something someone who loved you would rightly ask of you, no matter whether they believe you or not. If I found out after the fact that one of my daughter's husbands was my other daughter's rapist, and I'd celebrated the union, it would make me feel grief beyond measure.
Obviously this is my heartfelt opinion. I've always been a "people person" who gets what makes other's tick. I don't feel you're overreacting. You can decide not to go without demanding people "choose sides.” But if a rape happened, it’s also not wrong that you ask for sides to be chosen and speak out without fear. Yes, it would be a source of family trouble – but not trouble YOU created.
When I learned of my daughter's rape more than four years after it happened, a lot of my grief was that she'd been so isolated, so alone, and paid so great a price. In her personal grief she turned towards things that harmed her. She is brilliant, and lost her way in her academic career because of the inability to live her life with the clarity she'd had before it happened. He stole more than a couple of minutes of pain and agony, inflicted more than degradation and despair. We cried together, and it helped her to heal to know that Papa didn't blame her or think her "dirty."
Today she’s married to a wonderful man who helped her to heal. We all were there for her when she came for help, and love her without condition. And were you mine, I’d love you, too.