So trigger warning to begin with. The following will contain mentions of sexual assault and politics. If you don’t wish to read about that, you know what to do.
I haven’t written here for a really long time but what with all that’s going on lately I’ve completely lost my goddamn mind. I can’t focus at work. I find myself crying at random times during the day. I’ve gotten snippier. I’ve lost my faith in humanity and I think it’s finally pushed me to the point where I either need to get this off my chest or tear into a thousand pieces.
Anyone who’s ever been sexually assaulted knows these feelings. You know the horror I felt when I heard Dr. Ford’s testimony. You know the wrench in the gut when you heard the orange menace mock her. You know the utter sickness when I heard coworkers making jokes about . And you also know the terror every time someone asks why didn’t she report it sooner?
That last is what haunts me every day. I’ve never reported any of my own experiences. The first time it happened I was far too young to understand that it should be reported. The second time I was a teen, thought it wasn’t serious enough to be reported, and didn’t think anyone would believe me. The third time I was trying to get a guy out of my life. I just wanted him gone. If I reported it would have given him further reason to harass me.
There are a myriad of reasons why a person doesn’t report. Most of it stems from fear. Fear of what people will say about us. Fear of what we’ll have to go through legally, emotionally, reliving that awful experience over and over; justifying ourselves to nonbelievers, trying to catch our breath in the bathroom after the thousandth time someone tells us it wasn’t bad enough and we should try to forgive and move on.
Forgiveness can be great in the right context but you also absolutely have to right not to forgive. This also comes with caveats: if you forgive then people assume you’re fine now and everything can go back to normal. That’s not how this works. If you don’t forgive, people assume you are a cold-hearted bitch. Again, not how this works. (Also, um, no, I’m never going to be hunky-dory with the guy(s) who assaulted me so stop asking me.)
Maybe this has been done to death but it bears repeating. If you had told me years ago a known sexual predator would be the president and that he’d appoint another known sexual predator to the supreme court I would have said you were delusional. This can’t be real, right? These types of super villains only exist in comic books, right?
I’ve cried nearly every day for two weeks straight. I’m a fucking mess.
I know that there are good things out there. I know. But right now I don’t believe in a goddamn thing.
I’m taking solace in graphic novels (Saga, Labyrinth Coronation, & anything by Gaiman), Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes, and a lot of alcohol.
I’m trying to hold on until it gets better. It has to get better, eventually… right?
As always, if anyone needs an ear I will listen without judgement, without trying to “fix” you. I know I’m not alone. Neither are you.