sorcyress: Just a picture of my eye (Me-Eye)
Trigger Warning: Rape and emotional abuse talk. Happy anniversary! :p

So I guess I should talk about it.

Ten years ago today, I started dating kSatyr. Officially like, with the whole "will you be my boyfriend/girlfriend" conversation. Things were...already not good in some ways. I don't have good notes from that far back. (I don't have any notes from late August to early December, because that was the hard drive that died and the diary that disappeared and oh I miss it I miss it so.)

I don't think he'd raped me yet, at that point. I know I was already dealing with his whinging, demanding, broken-brained manipulation and emotional abuse. I have no excuse for it, I never have really, except that he had a desperate all-encompassing clinging need which only I could fill, and I was too young to know that's not attractive.

It was years after we broke up before I ever heard the line "don't set yourself on fire to keep other people warm".

I hope he's figured out how to fix himself, in the time since. Goddess knows how much effort I've put into the trick. I'd be surprised if he wasn't willing to put in the same, except this was a man twice my age who acted decades younger than me, so actually, I wouldn't be surprised at all.

I wonder sometimes what narrative he tells himself about how it all went down. I wonder if he knows he raped me --I know it would kill him to hear me say it. Good. Let my truth choke him. I haven't even tried looking at his livejournal since I got Kela --and that's been, gosh, more'n three years.

(After we broke up, he told me I had to defriend him, and that I had to make all my posts friends-locked. I told him I wanted to keep writing publicly, that sometimes I have people reading my journal without accounts of their own (Hi Tailsteak!). He told me if I wouldn't acquiesce, he'd tell my mom how far we'd gotten, you know, sexually.

I called his fucking bluff. And eventually, I did unfriend him. I don't know when he stopped reading my journal. The last time I ever talked to him was in 2011. The last time I ever _will_ talk to him was in 2011.)

A lot of this has already been gone over, exhaustively, in TherapyFilter. Or more exhaustively in BehindtheWalls versions 2.0 and 2.1, and in thousands and thousands of my 750words. I have written _a lot_ about kSatyr, and the damages he left behind.

I don't really feel damaged today. Just tired.

In nine months and ten days, it will be December 2nd. It will be the ten year anniversary of being free from him. (Nevermind the hooks that took another year and more to pull out. Nevermind the four years before I could again hold Emily in my arms. Nevermind the scars on my mind that will never totally go away, because this is always going to be a part of me.). I am planning to celebrate that day. I will let my friends know if they can be a part of it.

Be good to each other. We're all we have in this world.

~Sor
MOOP!

Trigger Warning: Rape and emotional abuse talk. Happy anniversary! :p
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
Thin air's as sweet as water when your body begs to breathe
And so I leave when I must leave, don't weep for love I couldn't save
And all of us who dare to live are brave.

(Neptune, SJ Tucker)

followed by

I want to witness the beauty of your repair
The shape you've grown
For you are made of nebulas and novas and night sky
You're made of memories you bury and live by

(Never Look Away, Vienna Teng)

followed by

We are never ever ever getting back together
(Erm, aforementioned song, Taylor Swift)

And it's a weirdly good night. All three, sung along to as I bike home, nice and loud. Later, I'll listen to to Oasis by Amanda Palmer (And it isn't my fault that the barbarian raped me) and Lisa Carew from Jekyll and Hyde (I am not the weak young thing you're seeking, kSatyr. Someone 17, obedient, and sweet. I am not the protogee to waste your time on, I'm complete.)

Last year was sad and angry. It involved a lot of tears, and making it almost the whole day without remembering. This year, I remembered just after midnight1, and again when I woke up, and while I was too busy most of the day, there was time to think about it a bit on the commute home. While singing along loudly to the music in my ears.

It's been nine years. The Kat who started that relationship was over a third of my life ago. She's a faraway persona now.2

I'm feeling pretty happy tonight. Stable, occupied. Hang on, little spider from nine years ago. It gets worse before it gets better. But it does get better.

~Sor
MOOP!

1: Technically, this is s00j's fault. It's her birthday! Last year, the tipping point was her posting something about her birthday that reminded me of the date and I hadn't really thought of it until then. This year, she posted on twitter just after midnight and YEP, ASSOCIATIONS! But you know, happy birthday SJ and happy birthday Miss Marsha, YAY FOR AWESOME PEOPLE!!!!)

2: SUPER FASCINATING PRONOUN USAGE HERE. I am deeply intrigued, but no, I'm pretty sure I was cis at 17. Mostly cis. cisish. At any rate, I didn't get serious about the agender thing until I was like 23 or 24 and yes, I need to make a serious post about that sometime.
sorcyress: Just a picture of my eye (Me-Eye)
Valentines day is, as I put it to myself, a "Trigger Day" for me. Last year, spending it reading books with mek, went a long way towards helping erase that particular set of memories, but they'll never truly disappear.

I don't at all feel mopey or like writing about My Tragic Abuse Backstory tonight, but I did feel like poking through the archive on 750words, and see if there was anything interesting I had said in the past. And there was! Oh how there was! This was written in 2013, and is not any less true now than it was then1.

***

Trigger warning below cut, sexual/emotionally abusive relationship )

***

I have come so astonishingly far since 2007. I am good for sex, and other things too. There is no _only_ in the sentence.

~Sor
MOOP!

1: You can thank Magus for the fact that I can write this sentence --he was the one who properly sat me down at some point and was all "look, if it's got an e in it, it's chronological, if you're spelling it with an a, you're making a comparison".

2: (current Kat here) Dear Past!Kat, this is brilliant, I'm gonna use it.
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
PreScript: Mindways sent me an email asking if I'm okay --he hasn't heard from me much, and noted I haven't been posting. His email is a good thing --I like reminders that I exist. This is my response. From the start of writing it, I knew it was going here, and not just to him. I talk about sex, and I talk about rape. So, you know. Trigger warning.

'JIC not, are things OK?' )
sorcyress: Just a picture of my eye (Me-Eye)
In most ways, I resemble my mother more than my father. Not just appearancewise1, but in terms of personality, I find it the greatest compliment ever to think I am growing into my mother. We are both loud and exuberant and goofy and while my cult of personality is a lot less trained than hers, gaw-damn if we can't both make people like us3 just by being unrepentantly our own awesome likable selves.

But my father's influence is definitely in there too. And things that come from both of them, like my sense of humour. My weird, goofy, sharp-edged, teasing, ultimately good-natured and really really stupid4 sense of humour. Makes sense! Your family is the often ones you spend the most time with for the first mumbledy years of your life, humour is super cultural, naturally it'd rub off.

So I have my parents sense of humour. And this means there's one more adjective that's worth presenting, and it's the one I want to talk about. My parents sense of humour is dark. Like, "my mother's family were cracking jokes about her mother's death on the drive home from the funeral"5 dark. Meanwhile, my dad and his and his are all doctors, and if any field makes your humour darker, it's medical.

So nothing is sacred. Anything can have a joke made of it. Anything. I have danced on my grandmother's grave. I think she would approve.

Now, even before there was a term for it, we all subscribed to the idea of "punching up" as much as possible. Our humour is gallows-dark, but it's meant as a coping mechanism, a way to deal, a way to laugh at how bullshit ridiculous and hard life can be. I knew how to recognize snark and sarcasm before I even knew what they were. We're mostly not cynical --mom and I especially subscribe to the "it's easier to just have fun" side of things-- but we recognize that the world is deeply and troublingly flawed, and a lot of bad shit just happens sometimes.

Now. With that background out of the way, my point:

Trigger Warning for sexual and emotional abuse, for gallows humour, and for generally being dark and profane )

But if you're the sort of person who'll give me a high-five for a sweet zinger, or sarcastic right back with me, or at the very least, aren't gonna be any more uncomfortable when I talk about this past than if I talked about any other...maybe drop me a line and let me know?

I can't be the only funny freak out here.

~Sor
MOOP!

PostScript: You may have noticed that I have pretty much given up entirely on masking my abuser. Because you know what? They were a fucking asshole to me, and they are almost entirely out of my life, and I don't have to protect them. Someone goes all "but I know who that is and he's my best friend and how dare you accuse" and decides that they don't wanna be friends with me and my "vile lying ways" anymore? Good.

I see no point of directly dragging their name through the mud (and using their wallet name could open me up to all sorts of legal funtimes that I'd rather avoid), but it's been four fucking years since I saw or heard from them last, and I just have no patience for hedging anymore.

So yeah. My stories don't work if I can't comment that they're satyr aligned, and above much else, I am a Storyteller. You want me to tell good stories about you? Don't fucking abuse me, mate.

1: I definitely look like my mom. Every once in a while a photo from Markland will surface where even *I* have that moment of "...but how are there pictures of me if I wasn't alive then?"

If this trend continues...honestly, I'm not particularly bothered. My mom is utterly adorable and has muscles like an ox and I'm all for it. 'bout the only bad is the idea of having bigger boobs2, and that may not even be a concern if I never get preggers.

2: I should make a post sometime about my relationship with my small breasts. It is overwhelmingly positive! I do enjoy admiring extensive cleavage, but not enough to ever want to swap.

3: Good things from NYFaeFest: The gentleman running grounds crew, who said at one point he wanted to take me home, and also routinely described me over the walkie as "anyone need help from someone smart and capable?" *melts*

4: *drops a bag of frozen bananas on the floor, is confused when no one else cracks the fuck up*

5: Well, lots of the family initials make words, like mom was R-A-P and her sister was S-A-P6 and their mom was R-E-P, which isn't really a word, but I guess it doesn't matter since now she's RIP.

6: There is a small chance I am forgetting my aunt's middle name and it's something else. 'sbeen a while since I heard this one.

Annnnnd let's cut the relevant footnotes too, because what's the point of having Trigger Warnings if you only cover half the post. TW: sexual/emotional abuse. )
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
Trigger warning: You know, the usual mix of depression and ferocity that I display when I talk about being a survivor of rape and emotional abuse

I spent much of yesterday trying to eloquent the relationship between s00j's music and my rape scarring1 process. I...didn't really get anywhere. In October of 2009 or so, I wrote briefly that I had to figure out the words to say to thank her for "Go Away Godboy". It's been six years, and I don't think I'm any closer in the process.

If anything, it's worse now. Because now I have Neptune to croon too, and that does seem to be the next logical part of the musical path I've been taking (Oasis and Godboy and Are You Out There and Lucky and Lisa Carew and...2) as I fight my way through this mental mire.

I mean, goddess above, have you read the lyrics?

Time I lost, just fussing over
every little thing you asked for
let myself keep fading,
silver fishes through my skin.
Somewhere I stopped breathing
but I missed the kiss of air
I cut the waves and left you there
and ne'er returned again.


ffff.

Because that was always the problem, wasn't it? The whole point was that I was to do whatever he asked and make him happy and at least one of us would live happily ever after. But then I had to fucking go and ruin it with my petty need for air.

("Thin air's as sweet as water when your body begs to breathe.")

It doesn't really matter what we're using air as a metaphor for here. Independence, respect, freedom, the ability to live my own life and make my own decisions, just a world larger than the place I hated.

(He was so devastatingly upset that I wanted to go to Boston for college. He couldn't see that it wasn't about leaving him, it wasn't about leaving anyone, or anything, or anywhere. It was about flying to a city that feels like Home. And of course, his sadness was always my most pressing problem, gods I try so hard not to succumb to hate, but sometimes I hate that man.)

(Mom never accused me of leaving her.)

***

I believe in multiverses and I am terrified of the one where I never got into Lesley and had to stay in Maryland and he just worked his hooks deeper and deeper into me until I drowned. There is no good path where we are still together. Maybe the best case is that we have children and we just don't fight about how to raise them any more because it's not like my input was ever right.

(Maybe the best case there is the one where I've just left the world, because I know how hurt and damaged I am as me, having escaped, and the idea of being trapped for so much longer in his web of bullshit and pain and accusations is just...I can't. I couldn't. Endurance only sustains so long.)

***

And of course, s00j has to be a clever essayist as well as lyricist. In her liner notes, she says:

"Neptune" is the story of what can happen after you've drowned yourself willingly in someone else's hopes and dreams, and you find that saltwater and shadows no longer sustain you.


hahhahahahhlolsob.

It is a dangerous thing, wanting to make someone happy, and I cannot turn it off. Most people seem to recognize the potential poison and do not ask more of me than I can give. Most people give back enough that it isn't just saltwater and shadows, its proof my energy has created something real, and live, and good.

But damnit, it's been over four years since the Last Time and I have a small purple elephant patterned with jungle animals who says I never have to see him again. The process is treacle-slow, but I am getting him out of my life, piece by fucking damaged piece.

I am back where I belong.

~Sor
MOOP!

1: Here's a thing I don't think I've ever made explicit: I don't generally refer to this process as "healing". To me, "healing" in the present tense implies that I will someday reach the past tense of the word. I won't. I will never be healed of this. Tears I cry and words I write can help, but they can't erase the toll trauma has taken on my mind.

Besides, the crescent mark that curves under my left shoulderblade is far and away one of my favourite features. Why should my mental scars be thought of any less fondly than the physical?

2: Oasis, Amanda Palmer, "And it isn't my fault that the barbarian raped me".
Go Away Godboy, SJ Tucker, "Hail Mary2.1 wise and free, save me from this freak".
Are You Out There, Dar Williams, "And I will write this down and then I will not be alone again".
Lucky2.2, Bif Naked, "How can I ever get over you, when I'd give my life for yours"
Lisa Carew, Jekyll and Hyde, "I am not the sweet young thing you're seeking Simon2.1. Someone seventeen, obedient, and sweet. I am not the protégée to waste your time on, I'm complete."

Neptune, SJ Tucker, "And all of us who dare to lovelive are brave.

2.1: These names are struck through because they are not the names I use. If you want to know, you'll have to convince me to sing for you. Both my replacements scan, of course.

2.2: This is not a song that is about rape or abuse or trauma or anything, at least, not according to the lyrics. But o gods, the ache in it makes my heart sing. Something about it has always seemed broken to me.


Doesn't everyone read their friends page bottoms up? TW for rape and emotional abuse.
sorcyress: Just a picture of my eye (Me-Eye)
Trigger warning: Emotional and sexual abuse.

I just want to get through one fucking anniversary without remembering.

One hour and thirty four fucking minutes, I was so close.

It was like my fucking unconscious was just lying in wait to ruin me, I broke thirty minutes ago, but it was just a regular trigger break, just being hungry and suddenly overwhelmed that I endured1 this terrible awful thing and that it hasn't fully gone away and it will never fully go away.

And that's when my charming brain pipes up. Because fuck having nice things to celebrate today. Fuck the birthdays of people I care about, fuck good anniversaries2, I don't get to have that. February twenty-second is the day that I got together with my fucking awful abusive rapist boyfriend.

And I was only 94 minutes away from forgetting that fact.

I don't think I can be kind to myself today.

***

1: Words are intentional. The Kat who came out of it is very different from the Kat who went in. She's older, and in many ways better, but...

some days I don't think I can say I survived.

2: one of my closest friends is five years cancer free today. yay.
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
They say your skin, your body, your self is replaced every seven years. Give or take, it's hard to tell, and I'm not here to discuss the science of it just now.

I'm here to say that, if we accept that premise as true, this body has never been raped.

And that's important.

~Sor
MOOP!

(But when will my mind be made new? Hopefully never --I'd rather keep the pain than destroy any part of my memories-- but damnit, I want a year when December 2nd (and January 25th, and Valentines Day, and February 22nd, and and and) doesn't hurt.)
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
Trigger Warning: Mentions of emotional, sexual abuse

Six word story:
"You broke me to fix yourself".


holy
fucking
shit

_holy_
_fucking_
_shit_

I didn't know there was a six word version of my relationship with my rapist. And the part that hurts the most is that it _isn't true_ because if it was true, I might've even been able to twist it all so that it was worth it. It doesn't matter that I bled myself dry for them, but it pains me that there wasn't even a benefit to doing so.

It's been...how long? It's been six and a half years since they and I broke up. It's been...hum. February senior year, three years and four months since the last time I saw them.

The longer I survive, the farther I get from the damage. Goddess grant me my scars, they mean I healed.

But I still think some days I'd prefer to not have any scars at all.

~Sor
MOOP!

Trigger Warnings go both ways: emotional, sexual abuse.
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
TW: Rape. Hoo boy, trigger warning

Statistically speaking, one in six women will be raped in her lifetime. This is just the statistic we know; it doesn't account for the fact that right now, reporting rape is a minefield all of its own, and many women choose not to subject themselves to that process. I do not know how many of my friends have been raped. I know that five of them are safe because of me, if you trust statistics. So you know. There's that.

Seanan McGuire, writing here on why her books explicitly do not include rape

Jesus fucking Christ.
Jesus fucking Christ.

"I know that five of them are safe because of me, if you trust statistics."

This is an utterly chilling way to think about it, and it hurts because it doesn't actually work like that. Bone deep ache that maybe it would be worth having been Damaged if it meant one-two-three-four-five others would be safe.

But statistics don't work like that, they're not to be trusted, and sexual assault is not a finite resource. Maybe as few as 1/6th of my female1 have been raped. Maybe as few as 1/3rd have experienced sexual assault. I would be shocked, and happy, to learn that true.

(Happy that "only" 16% of the women in my life have been damaged irrevocably. I heavily suspect it is more.)

"I know that five of them are safe because of me, if you trust statistics."

Sometimes words are too true to easily recover from.

I don't really know where I'm going with this. I'm just reeling, I think.

~Sor
MOOP!

1: FAAB, female-identifying, formerly female-identifying, whatever.
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
TW: Allusions to rapist/sexual abuse

My dreams last night were long and had an impressive narrative, where I (and so many others) were trapped in a prison-slavepen-hunger games potential-space of doom. Most of the dream dealt with me running about, trying to avoid the evil overlord and save everyone.

And then at the end, I had returned home -to my parents home! I walk upstairs to my bedroom, with maybe someone like Veronica at my side, a close friend who I'd rescued, and all I want is to just flop about and relax after my ordeal but no, sitting in my room is my asshole rapist ex.

I raged. I ordered them out of my room, despite their pleas to be heard, despite their bullshit apologies --at one point they were apologizing for something that was awkward between us (they had stood me up on a date?) and I pretty much exploded at them and told them I didn't hate them because they stood me up that one time, I hated them because they had routinely raped and abused me.

I remember in the dream the idea that my parents would come help me kick them out, and I also remember deciding (lucidly?) that no, my parents would wait, and have my back, but I was more than capable of doing my own kicking out.

And that's how it went. The dreams are getting stronger, so am I. I've never said pointblank to my rapist "you raped me" --too much emotional abuse tangling the wound. But if they ever forced their way back into my world, oh, you bet those words'd be out of my mouth, directly after "fuck off" and directly preceding "bye now".

(and to end this post on a nicely dark note, isn't it ironic that the one person I've ever had who most wanted me to think of them every day got their wish?)

~Sor
MOOP!

TW: Allusions to rapist/sexual abuse.
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
Mild trigger warning, cranky mumbling about past abusers.

Rule: My new computer, my beautiful silver new baby, named for a woman who rides horses and swings swords and fights twice as hard to be taken half as seriously, my lovely lovely little laptop, is never going to be navigated to my rapist's livejournal.

Because I've been doing that for seven fucking years, just checking in quietly and subtly every few months, because...all sorts of reasons, I don't know. It's not like they ever update it.

But I am fucking sick that a two letter keystroke on Vera will bring up their url, and I don't ever want to poison Kela like that. So I have this rule now (and I've had this rule, and this isn't the first time I've brought it up, but it's the closest I've come and I hate hate hate that six years after we were done parts of them still have that power over me.)

It's so fucking stupid and laughable and damn near cliche, but if you don't think the ending of Labyrinth isn't powerful as shit, you've never watched me whisper Sarah's monologue. It's not always the right words for the job, but every once in a while...yeah. For my will is as strong as yours (stronger) and my kingdom as great (greater, for I haven't destroyed it like you have your own.) You have no goddamn power over me.

Or my beautiful little electronic love.

~Sor
MOOP!
sorcyress: Hand holding sign reading "I can't believe we still have to protest this crap" (Protest!)
Trigger warning: Like, I am not even subtle in discussing the fact I was raped. Also gross emotional abuse.

Having posted a giant fucking wall of text to the 'Read-The-Sorkin-Manual' tag, I decided to poke my nose into what else was collated in there. In addition to a whole bunch of stuff about introversion that I really need to address, I found a bit where I was talking about my abuse, and mentioned how my abuser had said repeatedly I was "scared of sex".

In the entry, I had about three sentences of a footnote being kinda angry and dude-not-cool. The second I reread that sentence, and remembered that it was a phrasing my abuser used all the time on me, I just had my brain suddenly snap into place, and I am livid.

In which I let off steam, talk about sex, and rip this jackass a new one, because how dare they. )

Trigger warning: rape, emotional abuse.
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
Mild trigger warning for non-graphic mention of rape and survival

I came out as a rape survivor the summer before my third year of college. It was June, and I'd been home for a few weeks, and somehow it all crashed into my head and...I had to know. So I told Magus, who I'd been dating for about a year and a half. In email, because no way was I able to say that face to face, not when I froze for a solid five minutes with my hand hovering over the send button.

He was the first person I ever told, and Tho was the second, and then Brenton and jere7my. Slow, and over the course of several months. I think in the first year after I started being out, I only told maybe ten people.

(It got easier. Two and a half years after I told Marc, I told everyone.)

But man, in that first year, it was the scariest, sharpest, hardest secret I had. I wanted to tell people! Because it hurt, so much, and I was desperate for someone that would hear my pain and know how to make it go away. But if I told people...they'd know I was raped. They'd think less of me, or doubt me, or...

...stop being able to think of me as anything other than "the girl who was raped". I wouldn't be myself anymore. And that was(is) fucking terrifying.1

But one of the nice things about being _weird_ is that my fear has always been tempered by the need to play with it. Why do I act this way, how can I push at this button? And so when one of my professors that fall, a bare four months after I even realized this happened to me, asked for an open ended personal essay, I tossed that in the middle, well padded by frivolous bullshit.

I completely dropped all contact with him, simply because we couldn't have a civil relationship of any sort. Starting last spring, I've begun to come to terms with the fact that I was a victim of sexual assault, just how badly that messed me up, and how I can fix it. I'm still very much in the process of coming out, as it were, that he did such things to me so, I mean, if you're going to keep any part of this private, I'd like it to be this one.


Because what the hell, right? He seems nice enough, and if it turns out he's an ass, I never have to speak to him again after this semester (he was focused on teaching teachers of English, it was the last gen-ed class I had).

And so he collected the essays and then a few classes later, stopped by my desk just before class and gave me a smile and told me that he'd read my essay and thought it was cool that I was into science fiction and that he read lots of it himself. A reference from later in the essay, from a different aspect of myself.

It was exactly what I was looking for. Because to him I wasn't "Kat who was raped" I was "Kat who is diverse but we have this in common".

I don't think I ever told him how much it meant to me, that despite me laying out bare that I was fractured and a freak, queer in so many senses of the world, that he responded to me by treating me like I was normal, usual, just another person in his class. I got no special treatment from this man who knew my deepest secret, when I could count the other people aware on one hand.

So yeah. I should email him and tell him about this. It's the sort of good teacher story that makes me feel hopelessly guilty that I didn't do better in his class.

~Sor
MOOP!

1: I am so much more than my trauma. I am movement and words and creation and passion and service.
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
Trigger Warning: non-graphic post about my abuser (emotional, sexual)

Valentines day was one of the first times I can ever remember being at their house. They had presents for me1 and we hung out some and...

...and.

Second base at least, tender and sweet and exciting at how new. But still so scary and still so shy because exciting is not always enough to overwhelm the sense that this is not who I am meant to be. And I was not old enough to have the vocabulary to say "no".

The holiday's not something I've paid much attention to in the last few years, no one I date really celebrates it so nor do I. And mostly I can get through it okay. Unless my brain makes that damnable connection and remembers that there was a year I celebrated it.

...honesty, Sor. *Until* my brain makes that damnable connection.

I hate this holiday for a completely different reason from the rest of you. And now I have to shove away my memories and put down my dearest Emily, and eat something quick-quick lest I faint and rush off to work, to teach. The world is never so unfair as when it refuses to stop for my pain.

Me.
MOOP!

1: Those are gone now. The only thing I still own from them is the notes. Because never before had someone courted me in words, and never since. Little notes to say "I love you", left on my keyboard or snuck into my pockets, every day it seemed. I cry when I look upon them, but there is no part of this writer's soul that could destroy them. And I don't want you to try either.

Trigger Warning: non-graphic post about my abuser (emotional, sexual)
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
Trigger warning: Sexual assault/abuse

For a long time now -since ninth grade at least, meaning before I was actually abused- I have had a reoccurring dream theme of being molested. Not often, only once every eight or fourteen months. Someone I know (someone I'm friends with) sexually assaults me, and I'm unable to get away.

I wake up from these dreams feeling awful: trapped and scared, powerless, damaged. It's never the exact same situation or the same person, but almost always someone I know well enough to like and trust. It is horrifying on an entirely different level to dream of someone you like fracturing your trust so severely.

It's been a while since I had one of these dreams, but I had one last night (about someone at the dance weekend I was at, to make it all worse). In the dream, they took liberties with me, pawing at my body, roughly groping my ass and breasts. They were taking advantage of being bigger than my dream self to keep me helpless.

And in the dream, I managed to escape to somewhere public, and was actively accusing them to those around us. I was making plans as to how I could arrange my life to never see them again, to never be alone with them again. I was preparing to speak to the authorities. And I _knew_ it was in no way my fault.

It's the first time I've ever woken up from a molestation dream with a sense of empowerment lingering at the back of my mind, rather than sleeze.

I can only pray that future iterations of this dream go the same way. It's a twist ending I can live with.

~Sor
MOOP!

TW: Sexual assault/abuse
sorcyress: xkcd panel with a single character alone at the computer and the text "Some nights, typing *hug* just doesn't cut it." (xkcd hug)
I had an epiphany the other day. A slightly terrifying one.

TRIGGER WARNING: sexual and emotional abuse, rape )

POSTSCRIPT: So, someone pointed out that I made my first post about being an abuse survivor a couple months after I broke up with one of my boyfriends, and they were freaking out about hearing me hanging out casually with that (now-ex)boyfriend. NO! GODS NO!

I do not hang out with my abuser, ever, and the relationship ended long before I ever posted about it. If you do not want to hang out with someone I dated/was involved with because you think they are the one who hurt me, PLEASE ask me first so I can confirm. With this one exception, I am quite friendly with my exes, and really don't want the good ones to get mistaken for the douchey one. Thanks.
sorcyress: Just a picture of my eye (Me-Eye)
Trigger warning: Rape, rape culture, mental, emotional, sexual abuse. The usual.

There's been another swing in rape/abuse/bullshit seeping into my world. Not directly affecting me, thank gods, but this is the way it always goes. There will be periods of quiet, where I don't think about it so much, and then there will be periods of noise, where I am drowned in the fact that holy shit is society toxic.

Periods in which the dominant message to me becomes "yes Sor, you were raped, you were abused, you can scar all you want, but don't you ever fucking dare forget, because as soon as you do, we'll send another steaming heap of reminder into your lap."

Which is just exhausting. I have done so much work on this, more work than almost anything else in my entire life1, and it astounds me sometimes to know how I was and how I am now. I have grown so much, from the crying little girl who said "I...kinda understand completely if you don't want to date the stupid crazy chick." the first time she ever told someone. I am not stupid, I am not crazy, this happened and it wasn't my fault. I've paid my dues and repaired my self-worth and taken all the fucking wounds and turned them into scars.

Shouldn't that be enough?

But of course it's not. Because this is a closet --you can't look at someone and know they were abused-- and because it's a closet, I am going to have to come out of it over and over and over again. Every time I have sex for the rest of my life I am going to do so with the knowledge that I was raped before, and I could be raped again, and what do I do to prevent that?

(Because even though it wasn't my fault I was raped, it is my job to keep from being raped again. Society is goddamn toxic, have I mentioned? The things I say without even thinking, without questioning, because that's just the way things work, it horrifies me. I am someone who has spent a very long time learning a great many things about the rape culture, and being able to note examples when it comes up. And this is still how I talk, like it could possibly be my fault. This is why I think society is all the fucked up.)

At any rate, I don't have anything more useful to say except a couple of quotes:

***

There's been a recent video game trailer that is All! The! Rape! Culture!, and so an excellent writer over at Critical Damage tries to explain to the typical-gamer-dudebros what's wrong with that. Somewhere near the end he says:

Rape shouldn't be a women's issue, it should be a men's issue because we are the ones that keep fucking doing it and keep perpetuating the culture. It's about time we took responsibility for that ourselves.


Does rape happen to non-women? Absolutely. Is fighting the rape culture something everyone should work on? Yes please. Are men (especially white, hetero, abled men) given the most credibility in this fucked up society and therefore the most able to be taken seriously when they complain?

Yes. And that's wrong and awful but doesn't stop being true just because it's wrong and awful. Standing up against the rape culture and against rape jokes and against "lol 'seduction'" and against the ideas that women are objects and violence is sexy is hard. But I bet it's a lot easier if you're not worried that by doing so, you're opening yourself up to more of the same. I wouldn't know.

***

Glancing in my quotes file, I find this, which came from Yet Another Post On Fetlife Talking About Being Raped2:

"We both drove and have to pay the parking meter. In an act of extreme chivalry, he pushes my hand aside to insist he pay for my parking. Nothing says, “Look here, you cunt, I’m a gentleman,” like forcing $2.50 in meter fees on someone."


I have a lot of complicated feelings on presents and independence and owing someone and being owned, and a lot of those feelings currently are "stop that Sor, people want to be nice to you, let them".

But people shouldn't want more of me than I am willing to give them, and if I want to be a stubborn prideful ass and pay for my own damn parking, respect that please.

***

Here we go. Here is the big one. I found this yesterday while trawling the archives of Captain Awkward, which is a fantastic advice blog. I want these words printed on index cards that I can hand to people when they are attempting to make my life difficult, and I want them printed on the ceiling so I can always remind myself that the important thing is not that I was raped but that I survived.

One of the upsides to abuse (really!) is this: Somebody has already done just about the worst fucking thing ever to me. What the hell do you think you have on that? Awkward social gathering? Emotionally manipulative hissy fit? Motherfucker, I’ve been raped, this is not even a drop in my bucket of fuck you.


Empowerment through anger? I'll take it.

***

And in the same thread, there is a comment that just...breaks my heart with how perfect it is.

Before you tell your abuse secret, you are The Only One Ever to Experience This Horrible Thing. And seriously, that is so awful. It’s having a waking-up-crying nightmare going on in the back of your head all the time. With bonus shushing from other people who just want to sleep, not hear about your nightmare.

And then you tell anyway, when you have your own reason to tell. And SO OFTEN the person you tell says, oh hey, you too? Let me share my abuse story with you!

And if I think about that it makes me cry, because WE WERE BABIES and they hurt us.

But on the other hand, each one of us thought we were all alone, and we so are not. Each one of us said “I have to build my own foundations because nobody will let me stand in their house” and then we look around and find we are in an effing CATHEDRAL that we all built.

That’s awesome. And terrible, but awesome too.


Raise your hand if, long before I kept this fact public and in the light (instead of buried deep and secret where my rapist wanted it), I told you I was raped, abused, molested, whatever.

And you said "me too".

Because it was a lot of you, and welcome to the cathedral. It's not perfect, but it means that none of us are alone.

***

Is it whiny and self-indulgent to be posting about it? Oh absolutely. There's not a specific trigger, there's not a specific call to arms, I've just been having a week where I've been more slapped across the fact than usual that I was abused and that can't ever go away. But at the same time, there's a dirty bitter part of me that thinks if I can't escape it, then there's no reason you lucky fucks who haven't gone through this bullshit ought to be free either.

Rape happens. Abuse happens. A lot. It's horrible, it's terrifying, it's fact. I've been raped, and the way I fight the rape culture is by being this amazing transcendent thing despite the fact. How are you going to fight?

~Sor
MOOP!

1: And that makes me angry, because holy shit, what if I could have devoted the time and passion and rage and wordcount to something other than making myself functional? What if I hadn't ever been broken, goddess, do you know how much I've spent on this? I have never been more angry at my rapist than right now, because forget taking away innocence or trust or self-worth, I can repair those, you took time away from me you evil beast, and how can I ever get that back?

2: An acceptable number of these to have read would be "zero, maybe one in extreme unfortunate circumstances". I have read literally dozens, and I'm not even particularly active on Fetlife --this is just my small circle of friends commenting on stories that sometimes I see and click through to.


Trigger warnings go both ways: Rape, rape culture, mental, emotional, sexual abuse. Thanks for reading folks.
sorcyress: Just a picture of my eye (Me-Eye)
Trigger warning: Emotional abuse, possibly touching on sexual abuse.

So, I was once in an emotionally abusive relationship, and it sucked.

One of the things that would happen was that I would upset them, and to make up for it, I would post loving things publicly on the internet. I would declare my love, to them or the world! Because it would make them feel better, it would make them understand that I really did love them, and I didn't mean to hurt them, and I'm very very sorry and I won't fuck up again, and please stop crying, and why am I so awful?

Seriously. If you're in an abusive relationship, do what you can to get the fuck out. I will help.

Now, the emotionally abusive part of the relationship lasted much longer than the relationship did, and so there was this one time when they decided to blackmail me. Either I would friends lock my entire livejournal and remove them from my friendslist (Note: They had already removed *me* from their friendslist --if they wanted to read my journal, they had to _go to the page themselves._ Apparently they weren't capable of not going to my page.) so they wouldn't see any posts about my new relationships, OR, they would tell mom that they and I had been doing some version of fucking.

I did the logical thing, and told mom that they and I had been doing some version of fucking. And that I was telling her specifically so I couldn't be blackmailed with it. I was very angry. Mom was far more understanding than I deserve sometimes.

I already hadn't really been talking about my relationships in my livejournal, because that seemed to be the sort of thing that would cause more drama. But this cemented it --despite not wanting them to control me, I even less wanted them to know that I was dating both the people they had accused me of cheating1 on them with. We were trying to be friends, you understand. I didn't want to hurt them any farther, after already damaging them so much. I am an awful person, you see. Cruel. Incapable of true love. A prude, and because of this, no one would ever want to date me.

1: I believe the closest I have ever come to cheating was when I said something offhand to one of my boys about another, and the first boy expressed confusion/shock in that he hadn't realized me and the latter were as intimate/involved as we were. I then explained the nature of the relationship, and it was all good. Also, that was not with the abusive ex.)

And so it was well over a year before I ever admitted in even the most casual sense that I had a new partner. And I never really put out a lot of squee, and in the time since, I've still not really put out a lot of squee about my partners. Lots of that is just from being older and more mature and not needing to be "OMGEE!" all the time like a giddy high schooler, but some of it is the lessons I have learned. You don't write about the people you are in love with --not just that. You don't do it because it will hurt other people2. You don't do it because it will hurt yourself, later, when you find the references. You don't do it because there is the memory of discomfort, of being forced, and you do not want anything to cross your brain that feels so slimy-wrong.

2: And admittedly, this is still a thing I worry about --if I post squee about one of my partners, must I then post squee about all the others? No. No, that is not how I want my relationships to be. If my loves cannot accept that I still love them, even when I am head-over-heels squeeing over a different love, then that is a problem, and something they and I should work on. So know the rest of you, that I mean no offense with this post, and that I still find you worth adoring.

But there's two ways to keep my brain from feeling slimy-wrong. One of them is to never ever be triggered again, by anything, and that's impossible. The other is to scar over the mental wounds. Wrap them in better memories, in better recollections. When I am triggered, I want to remember not what that one awful person did to me, but what all the lovely people who make me feel safe and special have done since.

So have something I do not do very often: A public, explicit(for I speak often in crypticism and generalities) declaration of love.

Sparr has moved to Boston. To be with me. And it will be weird and strange, and take work and practise and balancing. We will have to find what the right distance is to hold our introvert selves sane, while still being able to be together in a way that I've never had, not really.

I can't stop smiling.

I am in love. And he is in love, and we are in love. And while I've never believed in forever, not even at my youngest and most romantic, this is really good, and has only gotten better in the two years we've been together.

Everything is changing. I love you, Sparr mein leibling, and I look forward to what happens next.

I am no longer in abusive relationships. Things seem better this way.

~Sor
MOOP!

Bi-directional trigger warnings are in this season: Emotional abuse, possibly touching on sexual abuse.
sorcyress: Just a picture of my eye (Me-Eye)
So let's talk about it a little bit. Ain't gonna leave an elephant that big lying around without giving some explanation. I'm cryptic, not cruel.

Trigger warning, sexual and emotional abuse.

And...that's what it is, really. I consider myself to have been abused. The partner in question is kinda damaged, much more than I am. I don't think they consider themself to be an abuser, and that's fair, I guess. But I look back at what was going on, and my skin crawls, because I have so fucking few happy memories from that relationship, and that's not good.

I call the sex stuff rape, but I don't always believe it was "that bad". They never actually had intercourse with me, for instance, despite how badly they wanted to. And, you know...rape is bad. I don't want to be "that girl who was raped". So instead I'm just "that girl whose partner went too far and didn't really listen when she asked them to step back." Which isn't exactly better.

There are things that still make me nervous sexually, long after, because they happen and I Remember. But I'm working on it --no one but me gets to decide what I can enjoy-- and my current partners are both supportive and helpful. (Sparr especially seems to find it a challenge to...not fix me, I'm not _broken_... but help me scar over the damaged parts. I'm grateful for this.)

The emotional stuff was probably worse, but I don't talk about it as much --partly because it's a lot more insidious, and makes me look a lot more pathetic. There were some pretty thorough incompatibilities in our relationship, and they caused my partner to lash out at me, due to insecurity. I wound up having to give them a lot more support than I was ready for or able to.

I don't have very good journaling for a lot of the relationship, so I wonder sometimes if I'm just being crazy, and exaggerating what happened. But then I look over old chatlogs, and find the one where they're yelling at me for spending more time talking to Veronica than them, or the one where they decide to blackmail me, and I'm...reassured, unfortunately. That's not everything they did, or even the worst of it, but it's enough to know that I was absolutely the more sane partner in the relationship (and that simply should not happen with me.)

I've been writing heavily filtered posts about it for a while now --if you want to be on that filter and go read them, feel free to contact me and ask, though I absolutely reserve the right to not let you on and never explain why. Mostly, I've been working on just trying to figure shit out, and learn how to heal. That's a big part of why I went back to therapy a year ago, to try talking to someone for a while. It did help, I think. The other thing that's helped a lot is learning more about rape culture and activism and coming to terms with the fact that there are some shitty toxic narratives that get forced into our throats from day one. I've been doing what little I can to avoid those, when I can.

There's been a lot of waffling about whether or not I was ever going to make a post like this. It's...not a secret that I was raped, abused, whatever word you want to use. Indeed, it's kindof become a thing I make sure new friends know about me, in part because this happens _all the time_. It's horrifying, and I don't want anyone I know to be able to say "I don't know anyone who's been raped" because I expect I am not the only friend you have who has. Closets have always made me grit my teeth, in part because I am charismatic and popular and I want to prove to the world that you can be a functional human being and still be [gay/poly/kinky/queer/survivor/etc]

I don't want anything bad to happen to that partner. We've split, and it's cool, they're out of my life now. They weren't intentionally abusing me, they just...had a shitty life, and it hadn't taught them how to deal with people in a functional manner. I have sympathy for that. Which is all a fancy way of saying, if you know or have suspicions, don't. Don't out them, don't accuse them, just don't. Part of my reluctance to talk about this is that I don't want to drag their name through the mud (which is why there are as few personal details as I can write) and I don't want to fuck up their life any farther --I just want to be completely out of it.

At any rate, a lot of the nerve to actually make this post --which I wanted to make for LAST Coming Out Day, but couldn't find the nerve to speak up-- is due to a recent post by Holly Pervocracy, Survivor. There've been a ton of essays and blog entries that have made it seem a little easier, made it seem like I was less alone. But that one hit me like a ton of bricks, especially the intro. I don't want to say I was raped, it seems so fucking *dramatic*. But it's true. Sometimes dramatic things happen to non-dramatic people.

Anyway, I won't say I'm fixed, but I will say I'm a hell of a lot better then I was. I have written literally thousands of words on this, private and public, since before the relationship ended even. Writing...helps is such an insufficient word. And being loved by people who aren't assholes helps, and knowing people who are from the "yes means yes" school of consent theory helps, and let's face it, time helps. It still hurts, but every year it hurts me a little bit less. Someday maybe it won't hurt at all.

Happy Coming Out Day. Sorry it's such a downer this year.

~just Kat, this time
MOOP!

Trigger warnings go both ways, abuse: sexual and emotional.

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