Nothing Changes on New Year’s Day

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New Year’s Eve. Again. My least favourite holiday of the year. Over the past few years I’ve started spending NYE alone. And I like it that way.

For me NYE just brings up this flood of feelings from my whole life, what I’ve done, what I’ve been through, where I’ve been and it becomes overwhelming because I want the incoming year to be a better year (doesn’t everyone?) but nostalgia and I do not get along. I’m going to be painfully honest here, blunt and definitely to the point. Every NYE is when I wonder if I will finally kill myself in the coming year. Dark, I know, but it’s how my brain works. And even though I try hard to think of the good things, for some reason, NYE doesn’t cooperate.

An influx of memories for me is like a form of torture. Constantly remembering and reliving a horror story. A few horror stories really. So on NYE my mind likes to remind me of the bad things I’ve seen. Through years of rape, torture, psychological torment to moving forward, finding some good people and pushing myself through school to prove I wasn’t as stupid as he brainwashed me to think I was. To moving on to grad school and being happy because it meant I was the only one in my family with an education and we grew up pretty poor. How I got through school is a blur and not because I spent it partying but because my PTSD was at it’s full height. I had a seriously confidence boost some where along the way. After grad school I had a HUGE influx of self esteem and confidence. My motto became “Face Your Fear and Do It Anyway”. Even if I shook, I faced my fears. And because of that attitude I managed to get to do work that a lot of others would kill to do. I got to travel and meet people and hang out with famous people and best of all I got to work with teens and young adults and THAT is my favourite thing in the world. Then came more abuse and mistreatment. Which sent my self esteem and confidence plummeting as thoughts of “I was never meant to be happy.” “I deserve to be treated this way.” “I am not like everyone else, I don’t get to be happy.” Everything and anything that could make me realize that this happiness was bound to fail came to mind.  Because of it my self esteem fell, my confidence shattered and people dragged me through the mud and worst of all, I lost a lot of the teens and young adults I was working with. Some of them stuck by me but due to the nature of what I was doing and who I was working for, many of them stayed on that side of things. I had pretty much everything I loved torn apart. I hid for a while. It isn’t hard to think you don’t deserve anything good because you were basically raised being told “You’re fat, ugly and no one will ever love you.” “You’re stupid and worthless.” These things play over and over in my head when I’m having a particularly bad day and usually that means NYE. You cannot turn this off. If you’ve been through something similar, you know, you cannot predict when this playback will hit your mind and you cannot just turn it off. It is a lengthy process of trying to find the right way to cope with it when it does happen.

I am pretty sure there is some PTSD from that time I thought I had found my happiness. I know there is because my self esteem and confidence are still at an all time low and it fucking sucks. I went from having no self esteem to feeling like I could do anything to dropping down to absolutely no self confidence and a constant state of self deprecation, self hate. It’s been hard to get out of that and after 8 years of trying, I know I’m doing a little better but every day is still a struggle to get up and function knowing I’m not happy at all with my life anymore. One thing I do try to do that is becoming increasingly harder for me financially is that I try to plan to travel a few times during each year so on NYE I like to think about where I want to go. I am a traveller and travelling is my heart. It keeps me sane. So of course that is slowly dwindling because, as his voice likes to repeat in my head, “You don’t deserve to be happy.”

So on NYE all of this comes back and makes me question if the next year will be better or if it will get worse. And before anyone says it, thinking about the good things in my life is hard for me on NYE which is why I like to spend it alone. I just fucking hate nostalgia and looking back because most of the memories my friends have or people who know me have are nothing like the memories and feelings I have to look back on even though maybe we spent a lot of that time together. I love my friends because I know I’d have killed myself a long time ago if not for them. They are my family. Maybe one day I can spend NYE with them but for now it’s me, myself and I as usual.

For those of you who get it, I am sorry that you have to go through this too. For those of you who have never experienced these things, I envy you. Hopefully everyone can have a good New Year though because we ALL deserve it.

Words Will Hurt, Words Will Save

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I’d say a very large portion, if not the most damaging, part of my abusive and torture filled childhood was the psychological abuse brought about by the way words were used, how I was spoken to. I am sure many people can relate to how important words are and how they are used can change your perception of yourself when you are only young and just getting that grip on who you are. I’d like to share it.

The Long Legacy of Childhood Verbal Abuse

With a mouth full of teeth, you ate all your friends, and you broke every heart thinking every heart mends…

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WARNING: This piece of writing may contain discussion on abuse, rape, sex, ptsd, depression and also may use harsh language.

So much on my mind lately and I’m tired of being angry. And there are always those people who say “cheer up” or “don’t be so angry” as if it is so easy to just turn it off. That’s something that has bothered me since I have been able to contemplate life and people. Why do people assume we are all the same? I know, it’s easier to do that than to accept differences, I get that but I don’t accept it. Accepting it would mean that I approve of it. And I don’t.

In all of the years since I escaped by abuse, my torture, my hell, I have travelled and met so many people. Different kinds of people. One of the things that I have always been is curious about everyone and their lives and how they perceive things. Probably too curious for my own good really. It has taught me a lot of things about myself but the biggest lesson I’ve learned from getting to know so many people is that as different as we are, as different as all of our experiences are we are all so very very similar. As humans we are limited but our limits are unlimited. And that does actually make sense. (Despite me sitting here and thinking too hard about it.)

There aren’t a lot of things I won’t tell someone about me. I have been told for so long that I am too open and I think that might be true but I also don’t know any other way to be. People have said all kinds of shit about me, around me, to me, to others about me…and I’ve always said that people either love me or hate me, there is no in between. I’m okay with that. But the thing that people do the most is tell me how to feel, what to think, what to do…blah blah blah. We all do this at some point, I know.

In the beginning, maybe even when I still had to exist in the house with that monster, I know I was not the nicest person. I was a good person, just not a very nice one. I talked down to my friends, I treated them like they were stupid, I said horrible things. I know this was for years. Why I kept my friends for so long has always been a mystery to me. When you are feeling as trapped, confused, sad, hurt and everything else as I was, showing raw emotion is the hardest thing in the world. So hard. I remember saying things to friends and hearing myself and knowing what I was saying wasn’t nice but it still came out. And I couldn’t apologize. I couldn’t stop myself. It was always people that I cared a lot about and it was honestly the way I showed them that I cared. I was just mean. I was insecure, scared and confused. I would do anything for people I cared about but still, I wasn’t very nice.

I worked on this, I really did. I started to recognize when I was about to start treating someone like this and do my best not to but it doesn’t always work. I say “doesn’t” because I know I can still get like that if I am not feeling well emotionally.

“So when are you getting married?” or as the years go by, “When are you going to start having kids?”. The assumption we are all the same or all going to do the same things. At certain points I assumed I had to do some of these things and then eventually it started to weigh on me when I didn’t. I know that it’s common for many people to feel that way from societal pressure. I’ve never been comfortable being treated like a typical girl or what is expected of a girl. Then shit happens and you have all of these pressures put on you but emotionally you’re fucked up from the shit that happened so even if you did want to do any of these things that are expected of you by society, you feel sick when you think about them.

I had relationships. A lot of them really, I mean for someone who struggled so much with understanding what I was feeling. But then I wanted to travel, I wanted to go to University, I wanted to do things. I know some people, they can do it all but me, no. Emotionally I had to decide where I was putting most of my energy and eventually I decided that it had to be invested in me, not in meeting someone or getting married or having kids. Those were things that would happen if they happened. Not things I needed to make happen. So I stopped trying to always been in a relationship and I did so.much.stuff! I mean I have done ten times more in my lifetime so far than I ever dreamed I would do. Literally dreamed. I have lived dreams.  I couldn’t have done that if I’d focused on being in a relationship or having kids. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to be in a relationship. I would LOVE to meet someone and be comfortable and share all of these things with them but it hasn’t happened and I’m not sorry that I haven’t put my dreams on hold just so people wouldn’t question me about who I am.

And as you get older they do question. “Are you married? Do you have kids? What does your boyfriend think of this? I bet your husband doesn’t like this.” So many assumptions. I never really wanted to get married. I know now, I definitely don’t want to get married. So thankfully I never followed that expectation, right?

I wanted kids, yes. Then I ended up at a point where I kind of knew I would always be an at risk pregnancy so having kids was something I had to realize I probably would never do. No, that wasn’t easy. I have spent and still spend time feeling sad that I never had kids. I would’ve been a great fucking mom. I love kids so I think I might even come off as a bit creepy with how much I love everyone else’s kids. Actually I love young people in general…babies to teenagers…to young adults. They are so awesome!

The boyfriend/husband questions…those are my favourites because those just irritate me. Asking me if I have a boyfriend/husband assumes that I am straight. Which is rude. Also assuming that I should have one is rude. That has always bothered me because after what I went through the last thing I ever wanted was to need a man. BUT then I get the assumptions that because I don’t always have a boyfriend or I’ve never been married I must be a lesbian. So because I decided to think about me and what I wanted to do instead of doing what was expected of me, I am somehow an anomaly in the world of women to the “normies”.

That brings me to this, yes, I would love to be in a relationship. Most times I am not jealous of my friends but every so often I have a tinge of jealousy because sometimes yes it would be nice to have someone to do things with. I sometimes wish I’d had a few weeks of just slutting it up because I am a human and I get horny too. I just never did that. I was too busy doing other things. Would I give up all of the fucking amazing things I’ve done with my life or that I am still going to do with my life just so I could have some sex and a relationship? No. I get lonely in all of the ways a human can get lonely but I need me more than I need anyone and if I stopped doing what I want and started to focus on meeting someone or getting laid, I’d be miserable. Does that make sense? If not, I’m not surprised because not too many people have ever really understood me but luckily, enough people have loved me anyway. I haven’t given up on having a relationship.

I am in no way, shape or form judging anyone who has focused on a relationship or given things up to have kids, etc. No way. I fully respect everyone’s choices. I fully understand how different we all are. We are all similar but all very different. It’s kind of cool really. Or maybe I just think too much.

Sharing an important issue

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Ione Wells touches on some very important issues to me. One of those is the idea of dealing with your own assault by writing (or whatever healthy outlet you use) and knowing that it is not only helping you but may also help others. It helps others to see that it is okay to be upset, that there are others who have experienced what you have and that you don’t have to be ashamed of what happened to you.

Give it a watch, it’s super interesting…

 

Ione Wells: How we talk about sexual assault online

PS: When you see someone discussing sexual assault try leaving a positive comment for them because that could help with a bad day. Every piece of love counts.

“I don’t ask…”

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Trigger Warning: This article contains discussion on Donald Trump, which is bad enough but to make matters worse, it discusses rape culture. So it might upset some. Read with caution.

So they did it. They managed to get a known sexual predator into office. I spent the better part of yesterday crying between trying to get rid of a three day migraine and I’ll tell you that the migraine is easier to deal with than the fact that a sexual predator is moving into the White House.

So far, anyone I know who did vote for him (and I don’t know who I know who did), hasn’t had the guts to come forward and actually address any questions I have asked. Which is interesting for people who seem so gung ho to have this idiot in office. Okay so he is not a smart person, he can’t be trusted to say things because he has the mentality of a ten year old (and most ten year olds are smarter than him really), he has no experience in politics, has filed for bankruptcy like four times so he’s a terrible business man, racist, homophobic, sexist…blah blah blah, I mean I can almost see WHY you would want this guy in charge of the country. He sounds like a really upstanding guy that should be trusted with foreign policy, our future, war issues, the nations’s finances, etc. Good going! All this aside though and suppose he does managed to pull a 180, which I doubt, and manage to do some good for the country? People keep saying this to me, “Well he might really do some things that surprise us, who knows?”

Really? Really? You think that matters to me? You think that matters to those of us who have been raped or assaulted? The man is a sexual predator. I don’t care if he makes us all millionaires, he should not be excused into a position of power! That is so fucking ridiculous I can’t even believe people are just excusing it. It sickens me. That alone is reason he should not have been allowed to even run. If this happened to be Obama he would’ve been tarred and feathered because he isn’t a fucking white guy. This country is far more racist than I thought and that much has been proven to me in a big way. I knew it before but this is huge. This is a president we are talking about. I mean what the fuck kind of role model is this guy? He isn’t. He’s a disgusting, immoral and ignorant sexual predator…racist scum who should not be allowed to hold office anywhere.

If you need a reminder about what he is like aside from the rape and sexual assault accusations (including the one where a woman was taking him to court for raping her at 13 and she ended up dropping the suit because of threats. Shocking, isn’t it?) Trump and rape culture

My stomach turns when I see these cartoons that are out there depicting him in sexual situations because they all suggest rape. It’s offensive to think anyone would think this was okay in any way. I spent election night having flashbacks to my stepfather laughing at me. He always laughed at me when I got upset about something or if I tried to do something and it didn’t work. He laughed at me if I got upset when he groped at me. Laughed, in my face. So all night I saw him laughing at me. I spent the night feeling like I was back in that house with him and all of that sick in the stomach, anger, frustration and fear just as real as they were back then. Now though, it is being caused by half of the country who decided that what happened to me is nothing. What is happening right now to someone else, somewhere…means nothing. What will continue to happen because of this man, means nothing. He has encouraged bullying, racism, sexism. Encouraged it. So I wonder how many people have been assaulted or raped by men who think this guy is great? How many wives or girlfriends have had to deal with an abusive man who finds this guy funny because he talks like that and justifies the abuser/rapists actions and attitude? Will it be funny when it is one of his supporter’s daughters? Or wait, will they just tell her to shut up and deal with it. Get over it? Probably, because I can’t imagine that anyone who would vote for this trash would be a good parent in the first place.

Shame on America.

On Trump and Sexual Assault Survivors

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*WARNING: This blog will contain discussion about sexual assault, rape, Donald Trump. So if any of these things may cause anxiety and/or flashbacks, PTSD triggers, etc. Please read with caution.*

Donald Trump has said a lot of really stupid things, we already know this, but I am not here to talk about this. As a survivor of rape, I want to discuss just what this means to me and perhaps many survivors in this country who have fought to see justice. The newscasts, the commentary and even the quotes from Trump himself have all been somewhat triggering to me. Many of us have seen our perpetrators, rapists, etc get away with what they’ve done to us. This isn’t something that happens and you get over it. It’s a lifetime struggle and not only do many (most) of us struggle with having to live with what happened to us, we have to live with the fact that the person who did these things to us is still out there unpunished. We see this everyday.

To see a sexual predator be hailed, held up and given the opportunity to lead a country, to gain power, is a serious kick in the teeth and a sign that this country has not moved forward in dealing with these individuals. It is a sign to me, personally, that what I went through for 10 years means nothing to those who support him and especially, my own government. I’m going to say this, and I don’t care if there are people who will tell me I am wrong, but if this was Obama he would’ve been removed by now. If this was not a white man, they would use the words ‘rape’ more often than ‘assault’. They would revel in dragging him through the mud. But that isn’t the case here. No, instead this man, who has been accused, sued, and proven to be sexist and disrespectful to women is being heralded by half of this country as the perfect man to run this country. It makes me sick. I have no doubt that there are women who support this man who have been raped themselves and for whatever reason, they refuse to realize what this means. I feel sorry for them and can only assume they never got the help they needed or even accepted what they had been through.

His supporters will make excuse after excuse for him. And that tells me that these people do not mind having a rapist for a president. What if Hillary had sexually assaulted someone? Do you really think she would have this many supporters? No, there would be a witch trial against her. Instead, we are more concerned about a woman who used the wrong email than we are about a man who has been accused, on multiple occasions of sexually assaulting women, not to mention being caught on tape making extremely sexist remarks, groping a woman and then using excuse after excuse to try to validate his sick remarks. This is a country that has a long way to go if we want to see women treated like human beings and survivors to get the respect and justice they deserve. This is sad, disgusting, infuriating and embarrassing.

I worry for the safety of survivors who will have to cope with this should he be elected. The depression, set backs, flashbacks, PTSD all flooding back at the thought of having someone like this lead the country. I worry that it will cause many people to feel even more hopeless than they might already, maybe want to hurt themselves. This doesn’t just apply to female survivors but male and trans survivors as well. To support a man like this, sexual predator, is to tell these people, us, that what we went through means nothing and that sexual predators are not accountable for their actions. It is a bitter pill to swallow for me and one that is causing me great anxiety, sadness and hopelessness. It hurts. I don’t know if I have friends who support this man, but if I do, that hurts even more.

This is my worst nightmare. This brings back memories of people telling me to “get over it” or “he didn’t do anything you didn’t let him do” or “well you’re not around him anymore so why worry?”. This country does not feel like a safe place. I don’t feel safe, even more so than before.

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“You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” — from an interview with Esquire, 1991

“Women have one of the great acts of all time. The smart ones act very feminine and needy, but inside they are real killers. The person who came up with the expression ‘the weaker sex’ was either very naive or had to be kidding. I have seen women manipulate men with just a twitch of their eye — or perhaps another body part.” — Trump: The Art of the Comeback, 1997

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“My favorite part [of ‘Pulp Fiction’] is when Sam has his gun out in the diner and he tells the guy to tell his girlfriend to shut up. Tell that bitch to be cool. Say: ‘Bitch be cool.’ I love those lines.” — TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald, 2005

“I did try and f— her,” Trump tells Bush in reference to a married woman, while acknowledging he was unsuccessful. “I moved on her like a b—- but I couldn’t get there,” Trump says.

“I don’t even wait.” Trump says. “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything — grab them by the p—-.”

 

The Things That Stop You Dreaming

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After every bad thing. After you’ve been through what you are sure is the worst thing you could’ve possibly ever been through, something else happens that sends you plummeting towards that place. That place came from somewhere, I think. I believe I was hardwired for depression/anxiety but for me that place is deep, dark and scarier than any horror film could ever be. It wasn’t there before my childhood abuses but once it was in place it never went away. You like to think once you’re raped or abused that it won’t happen again or that nothing will ever hurt you that way again but that just simply isn’t true. Because when that happened (for me, over and over for ten years) it created that place. It’s a void where there are no feelings, emotions, no love, no warmth, no love, there is nothing. All you want to do is curl up and go away, usually for me that meant I wanted to die. I’m sure it might be a different place for everyone but I think it is all just a horrible place to be regardless.

So you grow up and you learn to cope with how this event or these events will make you feel for the rest of your life but you just don’t think anything like that can happen again. Then you do things that you never thought you’d do. You’re flying high on the fact that you overcame something you never saw yourself getting out of and here you are making a life and being awesome. Then you get a chance to do something that anyone would pay a lot of money for. I mean this is something that doesn’t come along for everyone and you get to be the one who gets that opportunity so of course you take it! Who wouldn’t?! And it involves people that you admire and look up to. People who have inspired you to do a lot of what you are doing in your life. This is perfect.

But it isn’t. You get there and start doing this stuff and meeting great people, becoming a part of a circle and doing all of the amazing stuff you wanted to do but still there are bad people among them. People who will mistreat you, abuse you and yes, assault you. When you get the nerve to finally leave you go and you exhale because you can get back to being happy with yourself again but that isn’t so easy. All of those same feelings from your childhood come rushing back and you become overwhelmed and confused and you feel like you’re 8 years old again. How could you let this happen? That is what you start asking yourself. As if it is your fault that some people don’t know how to behave. Like it’s your fault they backed you into a corner because they knew just what you had or didn’t have.

But you do get away and that makes some people angry. You were a part of something huge and a lot of people liked it that way, including you for a little while. It was great! Then you leave and you can’t tell everyone why because it’s personal and painful and really it isn’t something you wear on a tshirt. Some people understand, they get it but then there are those who have no idea and they become hateful and bitter as if you just up and abandoned them or, and this is the most likely part, they never cared that you were there in the first place, you were just another link to where they wanted to be and now you’ve broken that. So now you’re worthless to them and now they can be angry and say things, untrue things, mean things, horrible things. They set out to destroy anything you’re trying to do to build yourself back up or even hang onto any slight inkling of who you were. It’s a vicious cycle because no one will believe anything bad about the very person or people that you once provided them a link to. No, not them, they are perfect and could never hurt anyone and they would never be friends with people who can hurt someone. No way!

So now not only do you have to get through all of the feelings and nightmares and fears and the experiences that caused you to leave and sink to that same low you were in after the first time you were abused, but it has all just tripled. You have been destroyed publicly and now you have to hide. You have to dismantle everything you built up that meant anything to you and go away in order to get through it. These people who did everything they could to destroy you succeeded, for a while at least. At least until you could get up and start over. AGAIN!

So you come back, you’re feeling better about yourself and your life after a lot recovery time. You tiptoe back for fear they will find you. You actually change your name and move but the Internet doesn’t care about that so every so often you get a message or something from someone who still wants to hurl that hate at you for whatever reason but mostly because they have no life or feel powerless in some way but now you can handle it. At least better than before. But…it’s all still out there thanks to technology, computers, the Internet. Nothing goes away so every so often when you’re in a good mood or feeling particularly free something shows up. A picture, a song, a phrase, a person’s name…and boom, it’s back. That sick pit in your stomach and the 8 year old is there in the back of your mind trying to claw her way to the front but now you’re smarter, wiser to this thing.

Shut the fuck up!

And she does. Not always. You’re not a rock, you have feelings and emotions, maybe too much but you have low moments but you are so much better for the experiences because now you’ve learned even more how to see yourself as better than all what has happened to you. You take from each experience, each disappointment, hurt and destruction and you learn and you move forward and smile for having had the good parts. And there were good parts to your experiences in life even though bad things did happen but you still had good times and now you can look back at those with less anger and hatred and bitterness and smile because you did cool shit and you survived the dark side too.

Because you’re awesome. You are fucking amazing. You are stronger than any of that shit they throw at you. Dreams can come true and they can also fall apart and turn into nightmares but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep dreaming.

Illigetimi non carborundum

Don’t let the bastards grind you down.

 

Tack för kaffet jag är glad att vara här

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Translation: Thanks for the coffee, I am happy to be here

TRIGGER WARNING as usual.

I remember the first time I wondered what the word ‘virgin’ meant. It was on a school bus, I was 12 and a girl approached me (and I think I’ve mentioned her previously). She was the one who was also raped by my stepfather only her mother was also involved and actually gave her to him to do that. After going on about how she knows he does this to me blah blah blah and her rant about “do you like it?”; the whole thing making me sick, of course. At one point she said, “I bet you’re still or a virgin, or you were.” I remember crying, a lot. Being confused, upset and embarrassed. I remember all day wanting to go home and I can’t recall if maybe I did find a way to get out of school that day. Generally home was safe for me in the daytime because he wasn’t home.

At home that night I was in my room, which is where I spent most of my time growing up, it hit me that she said this word ‘virgin’. All I could think of was the Virgin Mary and then I thought that was just her name. I never really understood why it was her name. I did not want to ask my mum. I assumed it was something I shouldn’t talk to her about because that girl mentioned it. I didn’t tell her about the girl because I was upset and embarrassed. So I know I asked friends and they told me “It’s someone who never had sex.” I’m pretty sure I blushed and didn’t want to talk about it anymore. Then came more confusion. Was I a virgin? What made me one? Did it have to be sex that I wanted. It was pathetic that I knew about sex from the age of 7 anyway but at 12 I was getting even more confused now. Did what was happening to me mean I wasn’t a virgin? And what does that make me then? The girl kept saying I was a ‘slut’ now which was another word I didn’t know and really didn’t want to know. But I kept thinking that if I’m not a virgin anymore does that mean I’m a slut, whatever that meant?

My whole life since that point has had me wondering why being a virgin is such a bad thing? If it meant having sex when you wanted to then that meant I was one until I was 18 but if it meant otherwise, well then I was a bad person according to the way the world seemed around me. I didn’t understand why it was bad. It took me so many years, many years to realize it isn’t a bad thing. No matter what age you are. And it can mean whatever you want it to mean but if you aren’t one it definitely does not mean you are a bad person. That took me even longer to realize. Not that I haven’t made my fair share of virgin jokes in my life. We do shit like that. We’re so jaded to how the world around us acts, reacts and expects.

The slut thing though? Here is something fucked up that I am sure is why I was so confused about that word. My stepfather’s mother had subscriptions to just about every single rag mag that existed. I never could figure out why. Still can’t. But I would go through them when we went to her house. Scrawled over every woman in those magazines was the word SLUT, underlined, capital letters. I would see this and think, “My god this is horrible. I don’t want to be whatever this is.” As I got older I figured out what this was and I also realized that my stepfather’s mother was just fucked up in the head from whatever life she had and by things like that, I figured it was a pretty shitty life. I still find it disturbing that she did that to the the magazines when she got them in the mail. I mean did she subscribe just so she could label all of these actresses and more importantly, women, sluts? What a scary person. I chalk it up to, yes her shitty upbringing that I know she probably undoubtedly had, but also Catholicism. She was hardcore and well we all know how creepy certain Catholics and religious freaks can be. Horrorshow creepy. She was like that. I could tell you so many other stories about her Catholic horror but that isn’t really relevant to anything other than it showed me how much I never wanted to be Catholic.

I don’t know what I think I was or when…was I a virgin, a slut or both? Was it possible to be both somehow? Didn’t matter, I was just happy to live through it all and come out knowing that these words were both not important in relation to me or anyone I knew. I didn’t care who was a virgin or a slut and it still doesn’t matter. I make my sarcastic remarks, yes, I’ll admit, but when it came to me I gave up on those words. Fuck it. I was just happy I managed to stay alive. Everything else was secondary.

Unapologetic Apathy

It took me up to the age of 34 maybe, to really feel like I could do anything, even though I had already done so much. When you grow up, from the age of 7 years old,  being told you’re fat, ugly, stupid and no one will ever love you and all you’re worth is as a hole for a guy and that is all you will ever be? Those words stay in your head, they repeat themselves over and over and over every single time you try to accomplish something. And for years they always knocked me back down.

For some reason a few years back I got this overwhelming feeling that I could do anything. It came after a depression, a bad one. One where I couldn’t get out of bed and really wanted to die. I think at that time I started to look at what I had accomplished even up to that point and somehow it clicked, I’ve always done what I wanted, I’ve accomplished a lot. These recordings from the past that loop through my brain have clouded my vision. They still do and always will but somehow I just went full steam ahead at that point, travelled, did work I wanted to be doing, loved loved loved the work I was doing but it was all short lived. All it took was one person I was working with, one sexist, ignorant, rude and insensitive person to trigger a total spiral. Not only did I spiral mentally but also socially. He has spent the better part of a month calling me names, making comments that were so similar to what my stepfather used that emotionally it became too much. The point where I knew I had to get out was when one day I had forgotten to do something or maybe I did something the wrong way (keeping in mind that up to this point I had been doing EVERYTHING on my own in that office because he was drunk or high from the time he woke up until very very late at night) and he looked at me and laughed and said, “You’d be worthless if you didn’t have a vagina.”

THIS man worked with young girls. I was there to work with them but he had constant contact with them, was constantly engaged in activities with them but when he wasn’t in front of them or their parents this is who he was. He told me behind the scenes that he didn’t care about the little “dykes” and that he just wanted their money. I couldn’t stay there. I felt horrible to bail on these kids but emotionally I was falling apart hearing someone talk like that. So I got out. But then things spiraled socially because so much of my life and work was online and with these kids and teens that they felt abandoned, even though I had had countless discussions with them about why I had to leave. These (a lot of them) kids took me down. Tore apart my name, my website where I promoted bands, artists, etc and did interviews, I was ruined in terms of ever doing my writing again. At least under that moniker. This whole thing caused me to have a nervous breakdown, take everything I had off of the Internet and withdraw completely. It took me a few years to be able to even think I could do much of anything again. At least anything I wanted to do.

I got brave again and ended up doing some work for some horror film activities that a director was starting up. It was great, the people were great and it was fun but emotionally I started to feel bad again as if I was anticipating some sort of disaster. I didn’t trust anyone because I assumed they were about to call me something or tell me I’m useless. And this time, like before, I suddenly had friends I never knew I had. (They just wanted to be near whatever or whoever I was working with) Once again that made me anxious because I waited for these people to go out and try to ruin my name because I assume that is what people will do to me. I ended up quitting because I couldn’t take the pressure I was putting on myself.

And again I find myself in a position where the situation is very different yet similar in terms of social media. There are people out there with no boundaries or emotions whose sole purpose is to destroy or watch others fall apart. I can’t go through it again. I think that maybe after coming from what I’ve come from and having a moment where I let my guard down and it fell apart I should just not bother to put myself out there. I can trace all of this back and know exactly why my brain immediately tells me “don’t do it” but my heart always tells me I can handle it this time but me…I’m nice to everyone even when they aren’t nice to me. In the end they always win. He wins, he wins, they win…the bad guy always wins in my story. I go hide and they get to go on being what they are.

When someone is raped, abused, tortured, physically, mentally, etc it never goes away. All of it, it’s still there for the rest of their lives. Sometimes they can overcome little things here and there and depending on the person maybe manage to get beyond the residual torment enough to really get out there but for some of us, we just feel like we’re better off hiding because we can’t trust anyone. Ever.