This year I had scheduled to take today off of work. Unfortunately I ended up missing two days of work for being sick and was not able to take the day off because we were really busy here at work. Today I have been trying very hard not to feel this feeling and these feelings. Today I have tried very very hard not to let the past ruin the day and not to let myself see that day again over and over again in my head.
See the thing is, even though it has been 18 years today, I can still remember exactly what I was wearing, what we had for dinner, all of the events leading up to and following what happened. And I cannot shake it.
Today I am listening to Tori Amos and knowing that I am not alone. I am trying very hard to not cry today. Today is really hard for me.
I am sorry to everyone for not being here and for not posting like I had intended. I have been having a hard time with this day coming and now with it being here and I really think that I can go back to being better after this.
Silent All These Years makes me think of my childhood….and what happened….and those feelings I cannot shake….
I have officially booked the room for the first three support group meetings!!! My business cards should be arriving soon. I also ordered post cards to post around town. I am really feeling like this is finally really coming together. I am nervous but really excited. I cannot wait for the meetings to begin. My husband keeps saying that I am going to end up as someone with a lot of influence. Whether I do or not this feels like such important work. I just wish that I had more time to devote to it!
This is copied from the Huffington Post site. This article was not written by me. This was written by the brilliant Ms. Eve Ensler. I read this and had to share it with you guys. I am over it too. I agree with the OCCUPYRAPE part. Countdown to Vday 2013. I will be sharing this with my support group when it gets started. We are getting closer to that time!
I am over rape.
I am over rape culture, rape mentality, rape pages on Facebook.
I am over the thousands of people who signed those pages with their real names without shame.
I am over people demanding their right to rape pages, and calling it freedom of speech or justifying it as a joke.
I am over people not understanding that rape is not a joke and I am over being told I don’t have a sense of humor, and women don’t have a sense of humor, when most women I know (and I know a lot) are really fucking funny. We just don’t think that uninvited penises up our anus, or our vagina is a laugh riot.
I am over how long it seems to take anyone to ever respond to rape. I am over Facebook taking weeks to take down rape pages.
I am over the hundreds of thousands of women in Congo still waiting for the rapes to end and the rapists to be held accountable.
I am over the thousands of women in Bosnia, Burma, Pakistan, South Africa, Guatemala, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Afghanistan, Libya, you name a place, still waiting for justice.
I am over rape happening in broad daylight.
I am over the 207 clinics in Ecuador supported by the government that are capturing, raping, and torturing lesbians to make them straight.
I am over one in three women in the U.S military (Happy Veterans Day!) getting raped by their so-called “comrades.”
I am over the forces that deny women who have been raped the right to have an abortion.
And I’m over CNBC debate host Maria Bartiromo getting booed when she asked him about it. She was booed, not Herman Cain.
Which reminds me, I am so over the students at Penn State who protested the justice system instead of the alleged rapist pedophile of at least 8 boys, or his boss Joe Paterno, who did nothing to protect those children after knowing what was happening to them.
I am over rape victims becoming re-raped when they go public.
I am over starving Somalian women being raped at the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, and I am over women getting raped at Occupy Wall Street and being quiet about it because they were protecting a movement which is fighting to end the pillaging and raping of the economy and the earth, as if the rape of their bodies was something separate.
I am over women still being silent about rape, because they are made to believe it’s their fault or they did something to make it happen.
I am over violence against women not being a #1 international priority when one out of three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime — the destruction and muting and undermining of women is the destruction of life itself. No women, no future, duh.
I am over this rape culture where the privileged with political and physical and economic might, take what and who they want, when they want it, as much as they want, any time they want it. I am over the endless resurrection of the careers of rapists and sexual exploiters — film directors, world leaders, corporate executives, movie stars, athletes — while the lives of the women they violated are permanently destroyed, often forcing them to live in social and emotional exile.
I am over the passivity of good men. Where the hell are you? You live with us, make love with us, father us, befriend us, brother us, get nurtured and mothered and eternally supported by us, so why aren’t you standing with us? Why aren’t you driven to the point of madness and action by the rape and humiliation of us?
I am over years and years of being over rape.
And thinking about rape every day of my life since I was 5-years-old.
And getting sick from rape, and depressed from rape, and enraged by rape.
And reading my insanely crowded inbox of rape horror stories every hour of every single day.
I am over being polite about rape.
It’s been too long now, we have been too understanding.
We need to OCCUPYRAPE in every school, park, radio, TV station, household, office, factory, refugee camp, military base, back room, night club, alleyway, courtroom, UN office. We need people to truly try and imagine — once and for all — what it feels like to have your body invaded, your mind splintered, your soul shattered.
We need to let our rage and our compassion connect us so we can change the paradigm of global rape.
There are approximately one billion women on the planet who have been violated.
ONE BILLION WOMEN.
The time is now.
Prepare for the escalation.
Today it begins, moving toward February 14, 2013, when one billion women will rise to end rape.
Because we are over it.
Now don’t get me wrong….I do not feel this way now. I have in the past, though. Randomly, out of the blue, I would just start feeling like everyone was talking about me. Like they were all out to get me into some sort of trouble.
I know what you are thinking (see still a bit paranoid)…You are thinking “This chick has lost her mind!”
What you might not realize is that I am not alone. As a survivor of a crime perpetrated by someone that was a friend/aquaintance/love/partner it is not uncommon. I have found, through talking with other survivors, that we do tend to have a bit of paranoia going on. Some would even say “A healthy dose of paranoia keeps you safe.” But when is it too much?
I, personally, have had times when I felt like I could lock myself away from the entire world because I couldn’t trust anyone. I know that this is not a healthy dose of paranoia…this is more like OD’ing on paranoia.
I would like to invite you all to open this discussion up. I would like to have an open dialogue with you, my readers, to know your thoughts on this and share my own. I feel that it is important to openly communicate on this one. I think we could learn alot from each other.
Love and light,
Well I am glad that you asked. I am actually feeling pretty good. I am sorry I have not posted a lot lately. Things have been CRAZY busy. The month of October usually is. I finally finished my son’s blanket (which is fracking awesome!). I have started saying Frack a lot instead of Fuck in an effort to curb the cursing. I have gotten put on new medications which will hopefully take care of my lower regions medical woes and get me back to feeling better. I am going onto a new med which should facilitate weight loss (YAY!) and the world seems to be looking up.
I have been doing a lot of house cleaning the past few days. I spent 4 hours on laundry last night folding, hanging up, putting away, washing, drying….blah. I have been doing dishes more regularly and making myself be up and moving around cooking and whatnot when I get home so that I don’t get as stiff.
I am still looking to start that support group. Any ideas on flyers or posters? I am going to a retreat with my hubby next month for survivors (our anniversary weekend) and am hoping to get some good information there.
I did miss my cultural sensitivity training from INCASA. I had to go to the dentist. Actually, the first time in 13 years. Pretty good though. Only 3 cavities. I knew I had periodontal disease but we are getting that treated and working towards keeping my teeth in my mouth where they belong. So far so good. I am glad I finally decided to go. I don’t know why I was so scared to.
Anyways, I am going to try to get on here more to post about relevant topics to this blog. I just wanted you to all know that I did not forget about you. I appreciate each and every one of you. I keep getting more and more subscribers and followers on twitter. I feel blessed to be doing something that can help make a difference, even if only to one person.
Please give me ideas for posts. If you would like to see me write about something, let me know. You can either leave it in a comment here or email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to write about every topic I get. I will also give credit to the requestor.
Thank you all for reading my blog. Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for letting me be there for you.
Love and light,
P.S. I have recently realized that somehow after all that has come before in my life, my rose colored glasses do seem to be pretty much still intact. Some small cracks and some days I cannot find them, but for the most part I win.
Like I remember that the night that Chaun raped me I was wearing a pair of navy blue stirrup pants and a grey Georgetown Bulldogs sweatshirt. I don’t know why I remember that…but I do….
Does anyone else out there have minor insignificant details that they remember when other things just seem to be lost to you?
My husband has had many questions for me about the past and about recovery. He has never been sexually assaulted and I am very thankful that he does not have the ability to understand what I have been through.
Sometimes he does take things too far. Case in point: I posted the Rapist Checklist. He read it. He then sat around glum and upset for hours. I finally got him to tell me that the reason he was upset was that he felt like a rapist after reading that. He told me that he did not feel like he could talk to me about sex. He told me that he did not agree with many of the things that are listed in that checklist.
I did explain to him that he can always talk to me about his feelings and about sex. I had to explain to him that asking me for sex was not the same as pressuring. I had to explain to him that by pressure, it means coercion. Coercion is rape. When someone says no and you coerce them by wearing them down and possibly using physical means to threaten and coerce them, then you are committing rape. When you are laying in bed with your wife and you are snuggling and rubbing on her leg with consent and ask her once and she says she is not really in the mood and then in the same loving way ask again later, it is not rape. It is hard to define that line for him. It is hard to define that line for me. Sometimes I have flashbacks at times when he is being loving and gentle and it blurs that for me. I try really hard not to let that happen.
As an affirmation for me, and for him, I have to tell you this. My husband is a kind, gentle and loving man. He would never strike me in anger and he would never force me to do something I do not want to do. Sometimes he can be persistent but not to the point of coercion and when I say “No” firmly he knows I mean “No” and he takes it at face value.
I feel very lucky to have him. Having been through the things that I have been through, I don’t know how he puts up with me. I have so many hang ups and so many issues. I try really hard not to let them get the best of me. I try really hard not to let the flashbacks and the triggers ruin our sex life (even though sometimes it seems like we don’t have much of one because I am always in pain…) He is supportive even when it makes him uncomfortable. He supports my upcoming work with INCASA. He supports my working with the blog and with the therapist. He wants to learn more and more so he can help too. I love my husband. I love my life with my husband. I couldn’t have asked for a better man to help me through all of this.
You know how you sometimes reach a point where you know that something transitional is happening? Where you feel like something big is coming that will make it all worth it? Like you just KNOW that everything will be ok all of the sudden?
I am at one of those places. I don’t know how I got here….I think that writing this blog and getting/giving support has been a major part of it. I think that starting counseling has been part of it too. I also think that contacting INCASA and looking to get involved there is going to be a big part of it too.
I don’t know exactly what is going to happen but I know that it is going to be great. I have this feeling that I am just waiting for this amazing thing to happen.
Another blog entry by someone perpetuating the rape culture and acting to normalize what tears lives apart:
I doubt that they will approve my comment so I have posted it here:
“How horrible of you to say such a thing. Do you have no concept of what rape is? You should be ashamed of yourself. It is people like you who normalize the word rape so much that it has lost all its meaning. Survivors of rape are criticized because “it isn’t that bad” or “its not the worst kind of rape, but it should be” is listed under a picture of a vandalized bicycle. Do you have any idea what it feels like to have someone, either stranger or worse yet someone you know and trusted, take away your life in one life shattering moment? To have someone force themselves into your body while you plead with them to stop and you pray for it to end or to just let you die? Posts like this are what makes people in the world think that rape is not such a bad thing. After all, it was just a bike that was vandalized. Seriously, you should think before you type. You should use other words. You should not contribute to the rape culture and the normalization of a serious crime. You probably will not approve this comment. You will probably laugh it off and not approve. That is fine. I am publishing it and a link to your picture on my blog. I will let others know that you are perpetuating the rape culture that hurts so very many victims and survivors of rape and sexual assault. You must be proud.”
Now maybe I am just too sensitive….but as a survivor this greatly offended me. What kind of horrible person says that their bike being vandalized is the worst type of rape out there. What kind of monster would think that what happened to a bike is more important than what I have been through, what you have been through, what millions of women all over the world have been through???????
I read a blog today in which the author kept referring to people who have been through rape or sexual assault as victims. Normally I just let it go and think of this as the terminology of someone who doesn’t understand. However, this time the person who was writing was doing the writing to try to show what life is like for a victim after the fact. I commented on this explaining that to call someone who has been through this horrible ordeal a victim, just serves to re-enforce that they are a victim instead of empowering them to be a survivor.
Having said this, I want to ask you all. Do you take issue with the word victim? Have you gotten to the point where you know you are a survivor? Do you feel that calling us victims is a bad thing that re-enforces that we are victims or that it is just a word that means nothing? I am asking you because I want to know your thoughts.
Personally I loathe the word victim. That was a part of my life where I let what had happened to me cloud my world, rule my ability to love and ruin my ability to be in a safe, happy and healthy relationship. That is why I named this blog VictimNoMore. Because I have moved past being a victim into the realm of survivor and I am much happier here.