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

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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.)

Says So on the T-Shirt (Girls Kick Ass)

kill bill    I’ve been trying to work on my Uma Thurman pose this week.  For years I’ve heard all about “finding your power” and such in therapy and the  difference between victim and survivor.  I really thought I was surviving… all these years.  Sure, I had “stuff” but that was just the way it was, right?  The best I could expect.  It was a few weeks ago when I was introduced to the term “pseudo-survivor” – surviving and not thriving; believing you’re a survivor but still feeling powerless.  (I’m probably getting that definition all wrong, but I think it’s true enough in the way that it applied to me.)  It was a bitter dose of truth for me, but I immediately knew it WAS the truth.  I have perfected the art of acting fine and “healthy” while inside I was withering away and carrying enormous pain I had convinced myself was not even there.

So since that day, we’ve been working on power.  My therapist likes to make me stand up and hold this Wonder Woman pose while I talk about the rape.  I HATE it.  It’s extremely uncomfortable to me.  I would much rather curl up on the chair with a nice blanket… possibly in the fetal position.  But I get what he’s doing.  It makes sense.

And here’s the funny thing that happened.  My last blog post, about the rabbit and the wolves?  I went to therapy last week thinking maybe we’d talk about that.  About 5 minutes before I left to go to my appointment, I happened to notice the shirt I was wearing and found it to be an incredibly telling moment.  I wasn’t absolutely sure what it was telling me, but it was definitely something.red revenge  How is it I spent the previous two days feeling like a scared little rabbit, then picked out something like this?  I’ve actually had the shirt a while (from shirt.woot.com, artwork by ramyb), and it’s always been a favorite.  But I knew there was a connection here!  It’s called Red Revenge.  I love it because here is slaying the very wolves that stalk her.  And I love that she’s a sexy woman doing it.  She’s not afraid or ashamed or cowering, and that is DEFINITELY a power pose.

I spent the next hour of therapy talking about power and realizing that I don’t trust my own power, my own instincts.  I’m afraid of them.  And yet, I know I’m A Fucking Powerhouse.  (Sorry Mom, but those are the words.)  I know there is INCREDIBLE power inside of me.  Did I know this before the rape?  Probably not.  Would it have made a difference?  Maybe, if I knew how to trust it.  So I’m trying to trust it.  A quote my therapist printed out a few weeks ago: “Our bodies change our minds… and our minds change our behavior… and our behavior changes our outcomes.  Fake it until you become it.  Tiny tweaks lead to big changes.”  So… that brings us to Uma Thurman in Kill Bill.  And lots of Alias, Dark Angel, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  And posing with the sword I gave my husband for Christmas.  I’m gonna learn how to wield that power.

Totally unrandom video this post:  “Women of the Whedonverse” by MrMorda

I haven’t seen Barbados

*Deeeeeeep Breath*  Ok.  I’ve been avoiding writing about my assault.  I just don’t even know where to start.  It’s been 16 years- nearly half of my life has now been defined by the fallout.  It’s hard to separate the parts of me born of the rape from the parts that were always intrinsically me.  I just can’t remember anymore.  But my anxiety has been getting worse.  Now I have these crazy tremors and my legs and jaw just randomly shake no matter what I’m doing.  It’s getting a lot harder to cope with all this stuff.

I have therapy later today.  I haven’t slept in two days and I feel like it’s time we start talking more about the trauma.  So I pulled out my trauma binder.  In the few years shortly after the rape I participated in a lot of group and individual therapy.  I have this notebook full of my own notes, homework assignments and some cool handouts.  I found this poem and it’s what I want to share:

 
The Rape Poem
by Marge Piercy (This poem first appeared in “Red War Sticks”)
Feminist Alliance Against Rape Newsletter Apr/May 1975

There is no difference between being raped
And being pushed down a flight of cement steps
Except that the wounds also bleed inside.
There is no difference between being raped
And being run over by a truck
Except that afterward men ask if you enjoyed it.
 
There is no difference between being raped
And being bitten by a rattlesnake
Except that people ask if your skirt was short
And why you were out alone anyhow.
 
There is no difference between being raped
And going headfirst through a windshield
Except that afterwards you are afraid
Not of cars
But half the human race.
 
The rapist is your boyfriend’s brother.
He sits beside you in the movies eating popcorn.
Rape fattens on the fantasies of the normal male
Like a maggot in garbage.
 
Fear of rape is a cold wind blowing
All of the time on a woman’s hunched back.
Never to stroll alone on a sand road through pinewoods,
Never to climb a trail across a bald
Without that aluminum in the mouth
When I see a man climbing toward me.
 
Never to open the door to a knock
Without that razor just grazing the throat.
The fear of the dark side of hedges,
The back seat of the car, the empty house
Rattling keys like a snakes warning.
The fear of the smiling man
In whose pocket is a knife
Waiting to glide its shark’s length between my ribs.
In whose fist is locked hatred.
 
All it takes to cast a rapist is to be able to see your
Body as jackhammer, as blowtorch, as adding-machine-gun.
All it takes is hating that body
Your own, your self, your muscle that softens to flab.
 
All it takes is to push what you hate,
What you fear into that soft alien flesh.
To bucket out as invincible as a tank
Armored with treads without senses
To possess and punish in one act, To rip up pleasure, to murder those who dare
Live in the leafy flesh open to love.
 
 

The first half of the poem especially speaks to me.  The wounds on the inside, invisible, invalidated by those who can’t understand.  I debated sharing a video with this post or not, and I think I’m going to link to a live performance of Tori Amos’ “Me and a Gun.”  Just a warning- this song is pretty triggering.  I couldn’t listen to it for years.  But now I watch this video and I see the very real emotion in her eyes and hear it in her voice.  This is a video that can bring me to tears.

 

 

Lyrics in case you’d like to read them:

“Me And A Gun”

5am
Friday morning
Thursday night
Far from sleep
I’m still up and driving
Can’t go home
obviously
So I’ll just change direction
Cause they’ll soon konw where I live
And I wanna live

Got a full tank and some chips
It was me and a gun
And a man on my back
And I sang “holy holy” as he buttoned down his pants
You can laugh
It’s kind of funny things you think
at times like these
Like I haven’t seen Barbados
So I must get out of this

Yes I wore a slinky red thing
Does that mean I should spread
For you, your friends your father, Mr. Ed

Me and a gun
and a man
On my back
But I haven’t seen Barbados
So I must get out of this
Yes I wore a slinky red thing
Does that mean I should spread
For you, your friends your father, Mr. Ed
And I know what this means
Me and Jesus a few years back
Used to hang and he said
“It’s your choice babe just remember
I don’t think you’ll be back in 3 days time
So you choose well”
Tell me what’s right
Is it my right to be on my stomach
of Fred’s Seville

Me and a gun
and a man
On my back
But I haven’t seen Barbados
So I must get out of this

And do you know Carolina
Where the biscuits are soft and sweet
These things go through you head
When there’s a man on your back
And you’re pushed flat on your stomach
It’s not a classic cadillac

Me and a gun
and a man
On my back
But I haven’t seen Barbados
So I must get out of this

Challenge Accepted…!

Wow.  So I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, but kept finding excuses not to get started.  But I’m finally doing it… so yay me!  No more putting it on the shelf of things I “should do”, “would like to do”, “will do”, etc.

So, a little about me and what I’m hoping to accomplish here.  I’m really stuck in life right now.  Emotionally, physically, mentally… just really, really stuck.  Afraid to move.  I can’t keep living like that.  I’ve literally made myself sick, and I’m just tired.  So- it’s time to get creative and try some new things.  This is one of ’em!

I was assaulted in my home nearly 16 years ago.  I say assaulted because that’s usually an easier word, but more specifically, I was raped at knife point by a man in a mask who threatened to kill me if I told anyone.  I will write more about this, but it’s more than I’m ready to get into right now.  Since then, I’ve struggled with anxiety, depression, insomnia, PTSD, and just fear in general.  I kind of thought this would be my big trial in life- the big thing I’d have to work through and overcome.  And it’s been a fairly up and down road for the most part.  I’ve had times where I didn’t function so well, but mostly, I pushed through it all and did what I had to do to get through life.  I figured I was managing it as well as could be expected, I guess. I was tired, pretty much all the time, but didn’t feel like there was much I could do about that.  As long as I made it to work each day, I called it a success!  It took ending up in the hospital to realize that maybe my idea of success was a little off.

I’d been having stomach pain for about 2 years.  It started sort of small, but kept getting worse and worse.  I didn’t exactly ignore it, but I was so sure it was just part of the emotional/physical fallout from the assault.  So I went back to therapy, and tried to address it from a more holistic angle.  I didn’t love my doctor at the time and just didn’t really believe she’d tell me it was anything other than stress anyway.  So I kept putting off seeing an MD.  At the time, I was working as a massage therapist and was surrounded by chiropracters, naturopaths, accupuncturists, etc.  I pursued all these things hoping that in conjunction with therapy my stomach would get better.  BUT that was not to be.  It was good most of my clients couldn’t see my face as I was working, because there were times I was nearly floored by sudden stomach pain and it was all I could do to keep massaging without doubling over.  I started dropping weight REALLY fast.  And pretty soon, I couldn’t get through a single appointment without having to excuse myself to use the restroom…. which was mortifying.  I felt terrible that these people were paying me to have a nice relaxing massage and I had to interrupt- sometimes even wake them up- to tell them I had to run out for a moment.  FORTUNATELY, the majority of my clients had been with me a very long time and knew I hadn’t been feeling well.  Everyone was very understanding and no one seemed to mind much, but I hated how unprofessional I felt.  As things kept getting worse, I finally found a great new doctor, and she immediately sent me to a GI specialist.  A couple of weeks and a colonoscopy later, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis.

I remember leaving the GI’s office that day thinking, “Well, it doesn’t sound that bad.  Take these meds, sounds like things’ll get better and back to normal soon.”  HA.  I had no idea!  Less than a month later, I was in the hospital and thus began the long, long road of IBD.

…I think I’m going to stop the story there for now because if I keep going, this post is going to get rather lengthy, and frankly, the process of setting up this blog for the first time took a lot longer than I expected!  But hopefully I’ve given you an idea about where I’m coming from and what I’ll be writing about.  Trying to work through years of stored up trauma has always been a lot of work.  Trying to navigate a chronic illness on top of that has been exhausting.  So I’ll probably be writing about those things a lot, but you can probably expect to see some other things thrown in the mix.  In general, I’m pretty introverted so I have many things swirling around in my brain that I don’t share a lot in regular conversation.  I love art, science, music, books, tv and movies… I’m sort of a youtube fanvid addict.    I’m a big tv geek and find that TV can be REALLY therapeutic sometimes.  So I’ll probably post about that stuff from time to time.

Truly, this blog is for me.  Obviously, I hope people read it, but most of all, I need to give voice to all this crud I’ve held inside for so long.  And I’d like to think that some of what I have to say might help someone else who is dealing with some of these same things.  It’s always been a comfort to me to find I’m not alone.  So… yeah.  I hope this is the start of an excellent adventure!  Thanks for reading!

 

Image

 

I found this on pinterest.  It’s my current mantra…

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