and Life Goes On.

TW: rape.

So.  I was sexually assaulted by someone I loved a few weeks ago.  The police took it seriously, but it seems they can’t put him in prison because of there being no other witnesses.

It’s a heartbreak and a headfuck to know that he’s out there free to do it again and again and again.  One only hopes that those girls will go to the police too.

After running the gamut from fear to suicidal depression, I try not to think about it.

I hired a psychic to tell me if he was sorry.  “He’s not remotely sorry,” said the psychic, and whether that’s worth anything is another story.

Today I’ve been thinking about the point at which one moves from being a victim to a survivor.  I was raped at the age of 13, and I think it took until I was 19 or 20 for that to stop being a definitive part of my character, and become something had happened, rather than was.  If that were the case again this time, I would be 30 by the time I recovered.

However, there is so much more help available for grown women than for 13-year-old girls (although it’s a terrible indictment of the way we do things).  But four days after it happened this time, I was speaking to the police, being promised that if nothing else, the attacker would be scared out of his mind when the police came for him, and referred to the Independent Domestic Abuse Service.

The ease with which we understand what happened is also important in how we overcome it.  And of course, we have to realise that we will never fully know why it happened, or why it happened to us.  I will probably never see my attacker again, but even if I did, I could look him in the eye and say “Why did you do it?” and still I would have no way of knowing if what he said was true.  I replayed it to myself hundreds of times, trying to grasp what (the actual fuck) had happened – was it an attack made in anger, sexual frustration, a demonstration of power, a reminder of my helplessness?  A simple feeling that his orgasms were the centre of the universe?  I spent weeks chewing these over, until I found an interpretation that sits right in my brain.  As a child, I never found any such interpretation.  That attacker was simply a violent and desperate paedophile – not that I could see that at the time.  At the time I took it very personally, it was a puzzle to be fixed: what had I done to deserve it?

Maybe the survival took so long because I needed the age to see him as a vicious paedophile, rather than a hapless victim drawn into my terrible aura of sexuality.  Hopefully that would mean that this will be a shorter road.

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My Barbie and other animals

I am supposedly at the beginning of a recovery process.  I hope this is true, at the moment I am 10/10 on the pain scale and having trouble breathing.  Anyway, I just came across this little gem and thought I’d share it.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/alisonvingiano/this-normal-barbie-comes-with-cellulite-stretch-marks-acne-a

Looking at the standard Barbie conjured up a medley of childhood memories for me: I remember strongly the affinity I felt with Barbie because I was also blonde, but the uncomfortable difference I felt because I was short and stocky.  I remember arguing with a brunette friend which of us should get to represent herself as the blonde Barbie, her angry insistence that she was blonde.  When we look at three year olds, it is hard for us to imagine that they have this kind of interior life, with an ability to self-critique, but they absolutely do.

That’s why it’s important that Barbie is not the norm.  As much as I hate the idea that there’s a doll out there called a Brat, at least she is an obviously cartoonish shape, not one that little girls can emulate.  What is Barbie if not an idealised aspiration figure?

Apparently the children’s response to this prototype was overwhelmingly positive (of course it was, children don’t deliberately pick out glamorous dolls, they just grow used to them).  Still I don’t hold out much hope for an actual production run of these.  It would take a big corporation to fund them.  Corporations don’t want a doll that satisfies us, they want a doll that always needs a new car, or a new hat or the latest townhouse.  That’s how they make their money.

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Conflicting life things

Two weird things today has brought up:

1. A lot of very theatrical people are fawning over me an awful lot lately. Have I reached the stage where people want to associate with me? It seems far-fetched, but I have a lot of friends who are only around when I’m doing a project.  Today I asked a friend out for coffee and he signed off with “I’d better come out of this with a project.”

= Because that’s what it would take to be worth meeting up?  Because he values my work and wants to work together?

Either way = Undue Pressure.

2. The trajectory of my physical deterioration is quite scary. I swear this time last year I was still walking around and spending days out like a normal person. As of this year I can only be out of bed a few hours a day, as of this month, I randomly start trembling during those hours. Social services are getting involved, equipment is being ordered, housing bands are being considered. As are steroid injections, which are apparently a new treatment for fibro.  I cannot really cope with the side effects of the drugs anymore, I am just so sleepy that I am unable to do basic paperwork that gives me income and a place to live.  It can’t go on like this.  Steroids have the potential side effects of thinning of the skin, easy bruising, weight gain, puffy face, acne, high blood pressure, cataracts and osteoporosis.  It’s got to the point where I am happy to risk these.

The way disbaility changes your relationship with your body is quite striking – it’s liberating to no longer care how fat or acne-ridden you get.  That is, after all this time, something I have that poor Lord Byron never could, being morbidly obsessed with his appearance til he died.

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What post-feminism?

At the risk of being a humourless feminist, I am sick of the marginal and flippant role that lesbians are cast in during LGBTQ media. Pride, an otherwise beautiful film, portrays lesbians as one dimensional trophies in mens groups, and women’s issues as nagging and nit-picking.

How can we call ourselves a community when a film lauded for its progressive message gives more lines to one straight female character than all the queer women combined? This is not so much a rule of media about the LGBTQ+ community, because there are no exceptions to prove it. It’s more of a historical blight.

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“This is Major Tom to Ground Control…”

"This is Major Tom to Ground Control…".

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“This is Major Tom to Ground Control…”

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep on top of things.  I have a lot of stories worth writing (including my recent  12 day stint in a mental hospital) but nothing can fight through the miasmic pain inhabiting my body and brain.  It’s hard to understand.  An illness shouldn’t be able to infect your personality and change who you are – we are meant to regard disabled people as no different than able people aren’t we?  But who I am is (was) based on hard work and indefatigable spirit and the general ability to come up laughing no matter what life threw my way.

Maybe it’s because things used to change.  Experience has taught me that the pain will not go away, maybe that has set my brain into a stagnation that didn’t previously exist.  Maybe I’m simply worn out – when nothing changes, there is no rest from it.

Everything is a struggle, even replying to a text.

Why do we keep blogs?  I’m reaching out into darkness.

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Remember that time I wrote a play so disgustingly graphic in its suicide scene, that seven years later when watching it onstage, I had a massive catatonic fit?  Good times.

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