Dear- well, you know who you are,

I don’t care that people know you’re a rapist.

Because you are one.

I don’t care if people find out about how you abused me. I don’t care if people talk about you behind your back. I don’t care if your life and career get ruined. Not after what happened, and all the shit I’ve had to go through just to try to live and deal with the aftermath of your actions. Trying to find sympathy for you is like trying to find sympathy for a man who brutally murdered someone and doesn’t think it’s fair for him to be stuck in jail his whole life.

You choose to do what you did. Whether long before or in that moment, you made the choice to commit an act of violence towards me. Actions have consequences. You can’t aim a gun at someone and pull the trigger, then expect to be able to take it all back. You just can’t. Even if your mind was impaired, it doesn’t change the outcome or effects of what you’ve done.

You pulled that trigger. There’s no going back. You can’t undo it.

And trust me, I wish you could too.

I have never mentioned your name. My own name is not even connected to this site. I occasionally link my blog to my Twitter, but that’s it. And I hardly know anyone in person on there. The only way you could have found this site is by stalking my Twitter. Which is insane. Your emailed threats of how much I’m “costing” you are ridiculous. I have never gone to the police. I have never told anyone that would cause you harm. I have simply just wanted you out of my life, and desired a safe space to process and work through my feelings.

In fact, I’ve protected you. But now I’m done. I’m still not going to reveal your name- but if people figure out who you are, then fine. I’m not going to feel bad about it or apologize. I’m not going to apologize for what I’ve said. I have the right to voice what happened to me and try to write and work through it. This is my truth. Whether you like the reality of it or not.

You’re the only one incriminating yourself.

Tell me, if my name or your name isn’t connected to these blog posts, how do you know this is about you? How on earth could this cost you anything? What career or life would get ruined by an anonymous blog that never mentions your name?

If the shoe fits, then wear it. You obviously know you are guilty. Your pathetic attempts at a power grab and manipulation aren’t going to work anymore. I went through a lot of therapy after we broke up, and trust me, I see you now for who you really are.

You know what actually creates hardships in normal life functioning? Being raped and abused.

You are free. You face nothing except your own guilt and narcissism. And that’s not my problem.

Hear me loud and clear: This isn’t a threat. I just simply don’t care anymore if people happen to eventually discover who you are.

However, if you refuse to cease trying to contact me- then this is your public warning that I will have no other choice but to go to the authorities.

I’m not actively coming after you in any way, but I’m not going to let you bully me anymore, and I’m not going to stress about people figuring out who you really are, and what you’ve done.

You’re not the victim here. I am. Because of you and your choices and actions.

In fact, you making this all about you like you’re the one hurting, says a lot about you. I don’t feel sorry for you.

As my mother would say: You made your bed. Now you have to sleep in it.

P.S. I haven’t read your “response” post, and I’m never going to. I don’t owe you any more of my time. I don’t owe it to you to speak to you. I don’t owe you anything. Period. Not after what you did. Leave me alone.

Advertisements

Working Through the Complex Feelings I Have For My Abuser

9af88363ca353a9f0f690ed64c1b98d8

I’ve been wrestling with some rather confusing emotions. I have many memories of the emotional, verbal, physical, and sexual violence, but there are also the other memories- the memories that make me smile and remember the beautiful parts of him.

Does this make me stupid?

How could I feel such things towards a man who hurt me so badly?

Much more, how could I have ever have loved this man as deeply as I did? If his treatment towards me means it colors all of him as a monster, how could I not have seen it for so long? He lied, he cheated, he was a gaslighting master. He made me feel ashamed of everything I am, and question my own sanity. He could cut you to pieces with his words and his demeaning tones. He was good at making me feel small. While at a friend’s party and angry, he blurted out some sensitive information about me as revenge and to humiliate me. He would purposely do things to remind me that I didn’t matter. He used my mental illness against me, to make me believe I was unstable and crazy. He slammed me into the kitchen cabinets. He kicked me in the ribcage until it was heavily bruised. He nearly ran me over. He invalidated my past. He demanded and pressured me for sex. He raped me.

But he was also intelligent. He was never boring to talk to. Our walks downtown and at the park still feel like beautiful and happy memories. Blasting music in the car while we drove places. Our first date was to our senior prom. Afterwards, I fell asleep on his chest back at my house while we watched a movie. He could be gentle when he wanted. I loved his smile, and even those two stupid huge front teeth. He could always make me laugh. He was my biggest cheerleader when he wanted to be. When I got my wisdom teeth taken out and got sick from the anesthesia, he took care of me. He held my hair back when I vomited. He’d call or Skype me almost every night while I was away at college. He gave me this giant giraffe stuffed animal when I was especially feeling down one week. He showed up at my door when I lived an hour away, in the pouring rain, after a fight to make it up to me. He would remember the little things about me. He wrote me handwritten letters. He often held my face so tenderly with his hands when he kissed me. He made me feel special.

A lot of these seem to contradict one another. Abuse, I guess, is just complicated. I think I feel I have to hold a black and white view of my abuser, which makes all this especially confusing. Yes, what he did was very wrong. What he did hurts me still in huge ways and I do wish so badly he would have faced some consequences, but I also hold those other memories. I hold both a view of him being a monster and all those terrifying memories, and all those happy memories. They both haunt me.

Am I wrong for feeling all of this?

I feel guilty remembering those good traits. I feel like I can’t write or talk about them at length. Our society sees these things, being an abuser and having some good qualities, as “either, or’s”, instead of “and’s”. If I can remember certain good things about him, how could he have also been abusive? If I write or speak about them, does that make my experiences invalid?

I have a feeling this is why so many people find it hard to believe someone they feel was “such a nice guy” to be capable of rape and/or abuse. We see this everywhere. Maybe it just isn’t that simple. Yes, he could have been a nice guy to you, AND he could have been capable of violence. We are not flat-dimensional creatures. We are complex. The full-picture of the situations too are often complicated. He was also a drug addict, which fueled some of his outbursts. At one point he had drug-induced psychosis. Can I still hold him 100% responsible- and call him a monster- then for what happened during his times of illness?

As fucked up as it sounds, I have all these contrasting feelings and complicated memories existing at once.

It all just feels very confusing.

Falling Apart

I feel like I’m a rag doll, forever falling apart and then sewing myself back together.

broken
Source: Unknown

Why is putting myself back together so difficult, when falling apart is so easy?

How is it that the wall I build for myself- a protection from my past- takes so much time and strength to place each and every brick, and yet it can be demolished in mere seconds by something seemingly small? I go through this world knowing that an article, a few words, a sight, a sound, or even a smell can be the bomb that destroys me once again.

As I’m staring at my broken pieces tonight, all I know to say is that I’m tired. I’m tired of sewing myself back together, of rebuilding. I’m tired of feeling like I’ll never get over this. I’m tired of acting normal and faking smiles.

I pretend to be functional. I get up. I go to work. I say and do what I’m supposed to. I do my best to hold it together in the sight of others, but I long to be home and to finally escape. That’s all I have. Putting on masks and unhealthy coping mechanisms. I become desperate for anything- anything that can take away these feelings even temporarily. It’s because I honestly don’t know what else to do.

I look at these pieces of myself and realize that I don’t even know how to put myself back together anymore.

Abuse and Attachment

image
Artist Unknown

I want to hate you.

I want to hate you so badly.

Because I hate what you did to me.

I hate that when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror after a shower, I want to cry. I hate that I can’t even look at my own body without shame and disgust.

I hate that I’m trapped inside the body you violated.

I hate that I have periods of time where I struggle to eat. I hate the way I often obsess over the fat on my body, and purposefully starve myself in order to gain some control.

I hate that I too often believe that if I could only be smaller, then maybe I’d feel better. I hate that no matter how much weight I lose, it’s never enough for me to feel good about my body again.

I hate that intimacy is such a struggle for me. I hate that you broke that connection. The connection between sex and love. Sex itself became easy. Being submissive and emotionally distant or removed, became easy. But real intimacy- I hate that that is still such a struggle.

I hate that I can’t even separate my self-worth from sex. I hate that because of you, I feel like my sole purpose is to be consumable object. That I’m only worth anything when I’m sexually desired and can please a man.

I hate the way I always feel as if I’m garbage. Damaged goods. That I’m something that’s meant to be used and then thrown away.

I hate the way I hate myself.

I hate that I still can hear your voice- your insults, criticisms, put-downs. The way you’d tear me apart verbally. I hate that you manipulated me. Controlled me.

I hate that you made me ashamed of my interests, my passions, my dreams, the way I looked, my voice- that you made me ashamed to be me. I hate that I had no idea who I even was when I left you.

I hate that I have so many trust issues.

I hate the way I fear losing my fiancé’s love. I hate that I constantly fear I have done something wrong. You trained me too well to take the blame for anything and everything.

I hate the way I’ll have outbursts of tears and anger, when my anxiety and PTSD becomes too much to handle.

I hate the way I push him away.

I hate that because he loves me, this has become his problem too.

I hate that sometimes I will still flinch when my he reaches out to touch me.

I hate how often I fear men. I hate how the voice of an angry man can send me into panic attacks and flashbacks. I hate that I still fear you finding me and hurting me again.

I hate that I hid all those bruises.

I hate that I fear the dark. And not because I fear any sort of demons or ghosts in the dark, but because when the lights go out, I fear a different kind of monster. You.

I hate that I’m terrified to sleep, in fear of waking up to you on top of me again.

I hate that sometimes the nightmares come back.

I hate that I often still question myself, and what more I could have done. What I could have done differently. Even years later. I hate that I still have nights where I blame myself.

I hate the sudden triggers. The panic attacks. The memories.

I hate that I fear how my family would react if they ever knew.

I hate that I’ve kept it secret.

I hate that teachings from the church about sex lead to me to believe that keeping quiet was the better option. That me being raped and abused was more shameful to speak about than the fact that you raped and abused me. I hate that I still feel that shame.

I hate that because of that, I never turned you in.

I hate that you get to live freely and without consequence, while I struggle to pick up the shattered pieces of myself daily.

I hate the fact that I justified your behavior to myself for so long. That I hid the violence and abuse.

I hate that I had to go through years of therapy in order to process and learn that I don’t deserve abuse.

I hate that despite everything else, I still have happy memories with you too. I hate that I’ve missed someone who hurt me so badly.

I hate that the fact that I trusted you.

But most of all, I hate the fact that I loved you.

Recovery is never a straight line.

I have been very silent lately on this blog. Truthfully, it was because I had to rebuild myself before I could publish anything more.

I’m not going to lie, the Standford Rapist (Brock Turner) case broke me.

I watched my social media feeds overflow with the subject. I watched article after article be written and shared. Even though the majority of what I saw in my actual feed was positive support for sexual assault survivors and outrage over the injustice done to the victim, there were those letters that had been written in defense of Turner that surfaced, and the judge’s highly lenient sentence. These things, while I’m happy they are finally getting brought to light, were hard to see overflowing in my newsfeed.

When I read the letters defending the rapist, I was outraged. The victim blaming was sickening. Feelings of hopelessness overwhelmed me. How could people like this still exist? Is there any hope of change?

And when I read the letter written by the victim, which she read aloud to Turner in court, my anger turned to sadness. I sobbed. I saw myself in some of those words too. The scars I have from my own experiences felt ripped open once again.

And I couldn’t escape it off the internet either. At work I overheard some guys taking about it. At first, they seemed rightfully angry over the bogus sentence Turner received. But then their words grew harsh. One man began to list the things that the victim should have- or could have- done in order to “prevent it”. What all girls should be doing to prevent this.

As if I expected or desired the violation of my body. As if what I was wearing branded me as any more of a target. As if being drunk equaled welcoming it to happen. What should girls expect, right?

I had to get up and leave. My stomach and heart felt heavy in my throat, and my lungs were having trouble filling with air. I didn’t know what to do, but I knew I had I get out of there. As I walked, I began to cry. I wanted to hold it back, but as I kept going the crying got harder. I stopped briefly. I found a space on a bench toward the backend of a street, where many people wouldn’t cross and see me. There, my little cries turned into big, ugly sobs. And I couldn’t hold them back. I sat there and had to just let myself cry.

The rest of the day, and the next several after that, were my own private nightmare. And I held it inside, just as I always had done.

image
Januz Miralles (mixed media)

It’s now been a while since all that happened, and I’ve had time to process it. There’s so much I could write about from all the feelings and thoughts I was trying to work through these past weeks. I don’t want to continue the silence. I want to force myself to break it.

Though so much of the conversations will continue to be hard for me and take a large emotional toll upon me, this is still a subject that cannot be just dropped until the next major case of injustice pops up. Its certainly one I cannot continue to ignore in my own life.

So much has happened in the world during my absence. So much tragedy and injustice in so many different issues. There is so much I could write about, and so much on my heart.

I fell back into the trap of silence, but I am working on my escape. I may have fallen, but I am learning to rebuild. Slowly but surely, I am rebuilding, and I am speaking out. I will inevitably have times I fall into the darkness again. Where I will be afraid of my voice again. But I know that healing isn’t going to be a straight line. It may never even end. But to get back up every time I fall, just as I always have, that’s what is important. This time is no different. I am not defeated. I will not be silenced.

To Truly Live

Interviewer: “Do you indulge in any kind of worship?”
Bowie: “Life. I love life very much indeed.”
(1973)

Bowie
David Bowie performing as Ziggy Stardust at Radio City Music Hall in February 1973

This answer has been one that’s stuck with me. It’s beautiful.

For anyone who has read some of the past blog posts on here, you’ll know without me saying that life hasn’t always been something I was glad for. I’ve gone through a lot, overcome a lot, and continue to battle a lot in order to get to where I am today- including mental illness, abuse, and trauma.  There were two points in my life where I can pinpoint being highly suicidal. One of those times I came dangerously close, but luckily, I’m still here. I remember the deep darkness and wanting so badly to make it all end. I remember clearly thinking that life couldn’t ever get better.

But I was wrong.

Depression, as a mental illness, lies and puts the notion in our head that life is pointless and never going to actually get better.

But it does get better.

Had I killed myself at 17 or 19, I wouldn’t be graduating right now from college. The girl who doubted herself so much as a designer is now one of the few among her major that is graduating with a full-time job in her field already secured.

I wouldn’t get to be engaged to the wonderful man I get to call my partner- I wouldn’t get to see and experience our wedding that’s to come, or our future marriage.

It would have hurt so many people. So many of whom I love so much, and I know love me very much. I had all these images in my head of failure and being alone and unloved. And that wasn’t at all how things have turned out.

Life.

Life is precious and beautiful. It can also be painful and a struggle. But it’s worth every minute of living.

Oddly enough, in my reflections of when I felt suicidal, I’ve found a deeper appreciation and need to live life. To actually, really, completely, live and love life.

Just as Bowie beautifully said in that interview.

I want to live my life as an act of spiritual worship. In my case, not to some Christian God, but to myself and the universe we all live in. I want to strive to love life. I don’t want to merely survive or let my darkness consume me- I want to live.

“Sometimes quiet is violent”

Sometimes it just happens.

It’s not even that I’ve had a bad day. I had an okay day. Nothing major went wrong. I got stuff done.

But as I sit here in my room, I’m suddenly consumed with overwhelming emptiness and sadness.

Sometimes the night feels comforting, silent and still. Sometimes that quiet is unsettling. To quote one of my favorite bands: “Sometimes quiet is violent”. It seems uneasy, and full of danger and darkness. I feel as if I am drowning in the dark.

Some nights, depression just shows up unannounced. It’s not even a gentle greeting. She just- appears. Breaks into my soul and engulfs it. She steals all my energy and motivation. She steals my ability to find happiness in the things I would normally enjoy. With her, I feel confined to my bed, and completely lethargic. It’s a painful numbness that fills me. It feels like a giant hole has been placed in my chest.

And I’m not sure how to honestly make it go away.

I guess I’ll just ride it out and hope she leaves in the morning.

Photographer- Paulina Siwiec : Model- Magdalena Przybyła
Photographer: Paulina Siwiec / Model: Magdalena Przybyła