Blank

I was an empty canvas, I had finally started to paint.

At long last I’d found courage to take up the task,

And I did slowly learn to create.

 
Bit by bit, I shed the scales of fear, but I had only just begun.

A toe, just tipped in the water, years of hiding to be undone.

 
I might have been so beautiful, but you broke into my place.

And I never can stop asking “what else might have been built within my space?”

 
And so, a toe pulled back, hiding  again in fear.

Burrowing ever so deeper to find some safety, even still, after all these years.

 
And yes, I am enraged when I let my fear be known

How else should I expect to feel, when my life has never been my own?

 
You held a fragile piece of what just might have been,

And with a mighty force you shattered it, brought the creation to an end.

 
And so I stand here, a painting I cannot complete.

At times I want to take up the brush, but my will’s become so weak.

 

… A brush here, a dab there… still I paint the best I can…

With hope one day this painting can still reveal exactly who I am.

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Holy shit the WHY

Even if nothing else in this song made sense, WHY is perfection.  There are no other words.  Which is good, ’cause I’m still short on them.  Just holy shit, the WHY.  (Flaw- Fall Into This)

“Fall Into This”

Torn away from all that matters
And led by the wrong intentions
I know it wouldn’t be too easy, not yet
To go somewhere I’m afraid of
It’s made of…

Thoughts I’m receiving, making me say
That I know I’ll just be there once again
Lord I’m lost and then I’m tossed
Thoughts I’m receiving, making me say
That I know I’ll just be there once again
No…

Wrong, nothing really matters
If I was gone, would it make you any sadder?
I feel half as good as normal, you know
To steal – what to steal – what’s already taken
Here I go again…

Thoughts I’m receiving, making me say
That I know I’ll just be there once again
Lord I’m lost and then I’m tossed
Thoughts I’m receiving, making me say
That I know I’ll just be there once again

I think you know,
That you did this to me
I think you know,
That you did this to me
I think you know…
That you did this to me, you did this to me!

Why?!
You did this to me, I just want to know
Why?!
You did this to me
And it starts

God I’m losing sleep again
God I’m losing sleep again
And I feel my way
Thank you for making me talk
God I’m losing sleep again
God I’m losing sleep
And I failed, I think you know

Eff (it’s that day again)

All of these things…

So I’m heading out of town again to see the doctor and get another scope of my illeostomy to see if it is doing better.  I know already it’s not.  I’ve been throwing up more often, just randomly, and my stoma is still pretty raw and bleeding.

However, this morning I lay in bed thinking of so many things… the sad, the awful, the traumatic… the lonely, the losses of so many precious things… but also of the triumphant and the beautiful.

I like who I am- even if I am a beautiful mess.  And all that pain… well it’s part of who I am.  But so is all that beauty and wonder and color.  I forget so often… but this song reminded me.

(AWOLNATION “I Am”)

And here it is…

Ok.  So I’m starting to experience that wave of anxiety that comes from sharing personal stuff with basically everyone you grew up with and knew you before “the incident”.  Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t regret doing it.  I’m glad I did it and I’ve had some great responses from people.  And CC – you’ve sent a ton of people my way, so thank you!  I figure at least 20 people did actually contact their state reps, possibly more did and just didn’t comment- which is totally cool!  I do feel like it was worth it and I do feel like it made a difference.  And whether people took any action or not, I feel I helped bring awareness to a cause that needs awareness!  I’m just finally getting hit and overwhelmed with just how many people actually saw that post on facebook.

See, I’m not super facebook savvy… I tagged a lot of people- the ones who already knew what had happened and had been supportive through that time in my life or were still in my life, and a few who I knew didn’t know, but I knew were the type of people who would take action if I asked them to.  What I didn’t realize is that tagging people makes it show up in their newsfeed so everyone they are friends with sees it as well.  AND everyone I tagged had to put up with notifications everytime someone liked it or commented, etc.  And it’s not that I’m not ok with all those extra people seeing it… I mean, I invited people to share it when I posted it… but like, I have 135 “friends” on facebook.  So I figured that many plus a few more were probably going to see it and eventually word would probably get around the old neighborhood like things do, but it didn’t occur to me that sooooo many people were going to see it all at once.  I mean, I have one friend who actually has nearly 1,000 friends on facebook.  And THAT number is really overwhelming right now.  Kinda putting a whole new spin on the question of, do I go to the HS reunion this summer or NOT?  dfa;skfj;asjdf;lsj fa;it

(sorry, keyboard vomit…)

Again, no regrets…. just the inevitable anxiety.  Yikes.  It’s OK.

I just blew up my facebook account…

well ok.  maybe not really.  I don’t know.  But it felt really important to me to say something all day long.  So I did.  I have LARGELY kept personal stuff off of facebook, because i kind of hate facebook.  And I have a lot of old friends, a few new friends, who don’t know about some of what has happened in my life.  Not necessarily because I don’t want them to… it’s just… you know… you don’t go around talking about that stuff everywhere, right?

Well, I just posted the following :

2 days ago I shared a link and I appreciate anyone who read it and took the time to contact their rep. But if you are anything like ME, you probably read it, liked it and moved on. I’m guilty of this all the time. But since initially sharing this, I watched the 2 hr congressional hearing the article links to. And I feel pressed to share something I never thought I would share on facebook, of all places. I feel I need to explain why this is important to me personally and ask again for you to take just a moment to contact your reps.

17 years and 29 days ago, I was assaulted in my home by a masked intruder who held a knife to me and threatened my life. I firmly believed that was my last night on this earth, but I lived. Before he left, he promised that he would
come back and kill me if I went to the police. I believed him.

The brain does a thing sometimes, and at this point, most of the details are fuzzy. But thanks to an amazing aunt and uncle who were able to be there when my parents could not, I went to the ER and reported the crime to the police anyway. I do remember I spent about 8 hours in the ER that night. A good portion of that time was spent on an examination table as my body became a crime scene. Again, about the only thing I remember about this was my aunt holding my hand, keeping eye contact, and giving me her love and support.

I was lucky, which is a weird thing to say after the preceding sentences, but my case moved quickly. Good law enforcement, a good prosecutor, and kind of a dumb perpetrator who didn’t cover his tracks well. They convinced him to plead guilty and he received a sentence of 10 years to life. It took less than 2 months for him to end up behind bars. He is still there, and hopefully he spends the rest of his life there.

But I know too many people who still don’t know who assaulted them. There is no tracking system for the backlog of rape kits still waiting to be processed. Estimates are anywhere from 100,000 to 400,000 kits in backlog. MANY have sat on a shelf well past the statute of limitations to even prosecute the perpetrator. If you know the statistics involving sexual assault, you know there is an average of almost 300,00 victims a year and 68% of assaults are not reported to the police. So for the small percentage of people who submit to lying on that table and being examined head to toe for hours after the most
traumatic experience of their life, it is absolutely DEVASTATING to me to think that that evidence then just sits forgotten on a shelf. We submit to that examination because getting that criminal behind bars is the only way we will feel safe again. We do it because we are told and convinced that this will keep the perpetrator from hurting anyone else. But when the evidence goes unprocessed, we don’t get either of those things. Just another traumatic memory and the message that what happened to us didn’t matter.

During the hearing, they tell many stories. One of a 13 yr old girl, assaulted at home in her bed. It was 20 years before her rape kit was processed and the perpetrator identified, again past the statue of limitations, the ability to prosecute gone. I only had to wait about a week before they had a suspect and a taped confession. But if I was still waiting, 17 years later, I’m honestly not sure I’d be here today. I know I wouldn’t feel ANYthing close to safe, ever. Having him in prision, has given a little of that safety back to me.

Turns out it was a neighbor, in the apartment below me. Someone who had always been nice and friendly. Someone I considered safe. Back then, I could not believe that this kind of thing could ever happen to me. I think most of us
try to convince ourselves of this. But the truth is that more awareness and education is some of the best protection we can have and the best way to create change. For years I have wanted to somehow be an advocate for this cause but
didn’t know how to do it without overtaxing myself physically or emotionally. But sharing a little of my story in the hopes that it will convince you to take just a couple of minutes to click this link https://rainn.org/public-policy/rainn-action-center and copy and paste a letter or tweet to your representative would help me in my hopes to be an advocate for change.

And please, feel free to share this. I hold my story close, not because I don’t feel I can talk about it, but because I don’t think people want to hear it. But in this case, I just couldn’t get rid of the feeling that this was the time for me to share something personal in the hopes of making a difference. Most likely, someone else you know has a similar story and might also be touched to know that you care about this issue.

So now I’ll get off whatever soapbox I may be standing on and just ask… please take the time to make a difference. Thanks and love.

In testimony to the Senate today, RAINN’s president called on policymakers to address the ‪#‎rapekitbacklog‬: “By not conducting DNA testing on evidence from open rape cases, we’re denying justice to hundreds of thousands of rape survivors while leaving communities at risk from serial predators,” said President Scott Berkowitz. “The rape kit backlog plays a big role in this state of affairs.” http://ow.ly/NdeC4

=-=-=-=-

So yeah.  A lot of thought and conversation with a close friend went into it.  I feel like it came from a healthy place and I don’t regret doing it.  I really really hope people respond to it.  But yeah, have to admit… there’s a little bit of anxiety about “crossing the streams” and sharing something that I have only written about here on a public forum.  But it feels right.  And if you’re reading this?  Maybe you could also click on that link and contact your representative, too.

All the feels (have I used this subject title before? hmmm….)

I feel like I’ve been a terrible friend here online, so I’m sorry.  I love all of you who I have talked with here online.  Those of you who have shared such personal pieces of yourself… I feel like you deserve more from me, especially when you have given me so much by reading and support me!  I know you know I’m doing the best I can right now, but I still feel the need to acknowledge it.  Just a week and a half ago, I got introduced to some really great stuff by CC and Alex over at https://ccchanel41.wordpress.com/  (Refractory Ramblings from the Darkside).  Both things have totally gone into my coping strategies toolbox.

First, Bo Burnham and “What.” is the most genius things I’ve seen in a while.  Laughter and truth all in one.  https://youtu.be/ejc5zic4q2A  His show is free on Youtube and Netflix.  It’s totally NSFW but watch when you can because it’s brilliant and I’ve watched it like 5 times in the last 8 days, hahah.  I feel bad for the people (who are too too many) I can’t share it with because of content.  They are missing something awesome.

Second?  Amanda Palmer.  How did I not know this woman existed???  In the hours I haven’t been watching Bo Burnham, she’s been playing 24/7.  I love music of all kinds.  I communicate and find places where my feelings exist in music very often, but there are only a few who just bring the feels with every word.  Even when I don’t know what she’s referring to, the emotion is still there and it’s just wrapped itself around my heart!  I can’t even describe it.  I could share any number of her songs here, but the one that’s really gotten too me the last few days is “Trout Heart Replica.”

At first, the lyrics that caught me were:

And killing things is not so hard
It’s hurting that’s the hardest part
And when the wizard gets to me
I’m asking for a smaller heart

And then one day…

And the butcher stops and winds his watch and lays their lives down on the block
He raises up his hatchet and the big hand strikes a compromise
Wait, we’ll trade you
Wait
Please just one more day
And then we’ll go with no complaining
No complaining
No complaining
No complaining

And holy shit.  I remembered that feeling.  The “butcher” holding me down with a knife, and all I could think was Wait… Just one more day…Please just one more day.  And now the whole song takes even more meaning and a new feeling and I just keep listening to it.

I’m not the fish anymore, right now.  But….

they’re cutting
And they’re cutting
And I think that I know
And they’re gutting
And they’re gutting
And I think that I know
And it’s beating
Look, it’s beating
And I don’t want to know
And it’s beating
Look, it’s still beating
God, I don’t want to know

And killing things is not so hard
It’s hurting that’s the hardest part
And when the wizard gets to me
I’m asking for a smaller heart
And if he tells me “no”
I’ll hold my breath until I hit the floor
Eventually I’m know I’m doomed
To get what I am asking for…

I’ve never been able to put such accurate words to the way I feel.  Smaller heart?  YES PLEASE.  THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

So much about this song!

dwfeels

So I actually have a lot of life stuff to write about… but I keep avoiding it, so I’m starting easy today.  Maybe I will try again tomorrow to write about what’s been up.  ‘Cause this brain needs to dump.  Room is very scarce for anything else.

Hope you love Bo and Amanda as much as I do now.  And as much as I love you all.

#AlwaysKeepFighting  (yes, I will keep using this hashtag on posts because its something I am desperately taking to heart and I need the constant reminder myself.)

“Always Keep Fighting” « TWLOHA

Older post, but one I needed to read tonight.  No joke, the day he started the tshirt campaign, those words literally kept me going.  Clinging to them again tonight.

Jared Padalecki Explains What Inspires Him to “Always Keep Fighting” « TWLOHA.

Hey Jupiter

Small step… write about one thing…

 

I’ve been listening to Tori’s “Boys for Pele” a lot lately.  It’s kinda always been a special one for me, though not easy to put into words why.  But it’s a cd I got shortly after the rape.  I wasn’t feeling a whole lot of anything then and what I was wasn’t great.  Something about this music though hit me in an emotional way most music hadn’t, and in a way that not much at that time really was.  I don’t understand about half the lyrics, but there is so much emotion that comes through in the music, it doesn’t even matter.

Kind of funny then, to read the wiki on this album (the whole page is rather interesting…):

“Two underlying currents run through Boys for Pele: exploring the role of women in both patriarchal religion and relationships. Amos had previously written songs in a religious and/or theological context (“Crucify” from Little Earthquakes (1992), “God” from Under the Pink), but her viewpoint takes a particularly feminist slant on this album. “The feminine part of God has been circumcised out of all religions… God (is) a patriarchal force, a very masculine energy, with the feminine having been subservient, either being the mother, the lover, the virgin, but never the equal, never to have the whole.”[15] “Muhammad My Friend”, the eighth track on the album, best represents this aspect of the album’s theme with the line, “It’s time to tell the world/We both know it was a girl back in Bethlehem…

…The album’s cover is a photo of Amos holding a large rifle, sitting in a rocking chair on the porch of an old wooden building. One of her legs is out of her pants and flung over the side of the chair. A snake coils around the chair and a large rooster hangs from the roof of the porch. The image is a nod to her song “Me and a Gun,” which appears on the album Little Earthquakes and recounts a rape she sustained. “Well, it’s [the cover of the album] a reference to Me and a Gun, a song I wrote that was on Little Earthquakes. And the idea that there’s a dead cock on my right and a live snake on my left. And the idea is that death and life… creation… what it’s taken me to get here with men, and I don’t want to be angry anymore. And you turn it over and you put the gun down, but I’m not pretending what it’s taken to get me here. But no more resentment.” [Live105 San Francisco (radio) – February 7, 1996] It was taken by Cindy Palmano in October 1995 in New Orleans.[21]

The first song from the album I ever heard and still a favorite:

 

“Hey Jupiter”

No one’s picking up the phone
Guess it’s me and me
And this little masochist
She’s ready to confess
All the things that I never thought
That she could feel

Hey Jupiter
Nothing’s been the same
So are you gay?
Are you blue?
Thought we both could use a friend
To run to
And I thought I wouldn’t have to be with you
Something new

Sometimes I breathe you in
And I know that you know
And sometimes you take a swim
Found your writing on my wall
You left my heart soaking wet
Boy your boots can leave a mess

Hey Jupiter
Nothing’s been the same
So are you gay?
Are you blue?
Thought we both could use a friend
To run to
And I thought you wouldn’t have to keep
With me
Hiding

Thought I knew myself so well
All the dolls I had
Took my leather off the shelf
Your apocalypse was fab
For a girl who couldn’t choose between
The shower or the bath

And I thought I wouldn’t have to be
With you
A magazine

No one’s picking up the phone
Guess it’s clear he’s gone
And this little masochist
Is lifting up her dress
Guess I thought I could never feel
The things I feel

Hey Jupiter
Nothing’s been the same
So are you gay?
Are you blue?
Thought we both could use a friend
To run to

Hey Jupiter
Nothing’s been the same
So are you safe?
Now we’re through?
Thought we both could use a friend
To run to
Hey Jupiter

These Precious Things

These precious things
Let them bleed
Let them wash away
These precious things
Let them break
Let them wash away
These these precious things
Let them bleed now
Let them wash away
These these precious things
Let them break their hold over me

(Tori Amos- Precious Things)

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