Anger.

I am so angry, so fucking angry. Every time I think I get it under control, it is there again. Everything is winding me up, even the children. Things I would normally find mildly irritating, have me incandescent with rage. A red mist I cannot see through, a grip on my chest, so tight I can barely breathe.

I hurt, all over, I am overwhelmed by memories. I want it all to go, to fucking leave me alone. Maybe it’s the anniversaries, the toll of this month, or the knowledge that I have therapy tomorrow- where I know it will all come out. I don’t know, but I want to hit something, or break something.. do something.

I HATE them, I HATE him, I HATE every single person who caused this- and it wasn’t just one. So many people did nothing, so many turned a blind eye, so many who just didn’t fucking care, because they couldn’t and probably still can’t see past themselves. I hope I am never that selfish, I never, ever want to be like them.

Perhaps they think I didn’t matter, just a teen girl- I should have expected it right? WRONG.  I wish I could say that it has changed since then, I wish what I went through was an isolated case, not an epidemic, which it seems to be. We live in a close minded, selfish, judgmental society. The media have a lot to answer for. The BBC continue to report on cases of child abuse, using the phrase “Child Sex Abuse”

STOP CALLING IT SEX ABUSE

It has nothing to do with sex. All those people who failed me… they told themselves I was off the rails, they told themselves I’d fallen for an older man and then they shamed me for “sleeping” with him. I didn’t! What he did was abuse. It was rape. It was not sex. For goodness sake, when will these attitudes change? I can’t do this, I can’t live with this. I cannot live in a world so fucked up it blames victims of abuse and rape. Where’s the exit? Because I wanna leave until this changes.

It’s too hard, too painful and it is feeding the shame I am desperately trying to rid myself of. It leaves me carrying secrets that are too heavy for one person to bear. It leaves me terrified to share with those who are supposed to care. I cannot report, I cannot tell people, I cannot seek justice. I will be looking over my shoulder for the rest of my life (or at least his), unable to return to my home town, always being careful who knows where I live. Paranoid and terrified. His fault, their fault. Not my fault.

And it’s not just me, every other survivor I have crossed paths with has similar to say. The victim of Ched Evans for example, she had to change her name, she had to leave her home town, she will have to suffer for the rest of her life. He has been convicted of rape, yet still people think he’s innocent. How is this OK? She has her rapist convicted and still she is blamed. What hope is there for the rest of us?

We are living in a mans world and I am fucking sick of it.

 

 

 

I hate feeling this out of control, it triggers me, it feels so unlike me. I see “him” when I feel angry, what he looked like when angry and it just makes things worse…

 

 

 

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Rape and (in)justice.

 

I find I’m barely reading the news lately and I feel better for it. I felt guilty at first, I don’t want to bury my head in the sand and pretend the pain and suffering does not exist, but I think I’m OK with protecting myself for now. My husband keeps telling me that it’s important to take care of yourself first.  On a plane, in the event of low cabin pressure, they always tell you to put your own mask, before helping others. And I think that’s fitting here, it’s better to get well first to enable me to help others in future.

However, I can’t miss news stories completely, I catch bits and pieces on the radio and people I know (particularly at work), talk about the news a lot. Lately, there’s been another famous actor in the news, accused (and now found not guilty) of sexual abuse / rape charges. I do not know the specifics because I have deliberately kept away from them. But it was talked about at work this week and I found it very difficult not to get drawn in.

Perhaps it’s just me, but I find these stories so personal. It’s not the not guilty verdict so much, it’s more the reactions of society after. The “those women should be outed and shamed and then put in prison” and then lots of victim blaming, women hating statements. I particularly hate the phrase “cry rape” that’s thrown around every time a rape case makes it into the media. You wouldn’t say “he cried mugging” or “he cried assault,” you just wouldn’t.

 

I try hard to detach, but I just cannot. I won’t get to see my abuser pay for what he did to me. He won’t be put away for all those years of abuse. Even if my case made it to court (which it wouldn’t) why would I bother, when my sexual history would be dragged into the court room to be used against me? And where I would be called a liar at every turn? Why would I put myself through a system where I would automatically be thought of as a the liar? Instead of proving “his” guilt, I would be proving I was the victim. What kind of system is that?

 

I really wish I could have seen my T yesterday, so I could have talked this (and other things) through with him. So I could tell him how much this hurts and what a blow it feels to me. He would nod in understanding and let me rant and rave. And it would be safe and controlled with him so I wouldn’t have to be careful with my words (like I am trying to be here, considering the high profile case).

I ache so much right now and this is yet another thing I have to contain.

Objectified.

So in general, I drive a lot, I don’t like to walk far without my husband with me. I struggle with people walking behind me, I feel nervous and vulnerable around lots of people and similarly feel nervous when I’m on my own plus various other reasons I won’t go into right now… I just prefer to drive, it makes me feel safer.

Anyway, today due to a car issue, I had to walk with my toddler (in his pushchair) to pick up my boy from school. It’s about a 15 minute walk, (longer on the way back with slow, tired and moany child) and I have two routes I can take. The shorter one is down a footpath and under a railway bridge and is in general fairly quiet. Alternatively, I can walk along a main road, with lots of traffic, this road goes past a small Industrial Estate. I chose number 1, because in my experience taking the main road means unwanted attention from men, in particular the van and lorry drivers going to and from the Industrial Estate.

Unfortunately, I was the only one using the path on the way to the school and one of two families using it on the way back from school. I felt nervous and vulnerable and as a result I was less able to ground myself when I was hit by intrusive memories that were triggered by my surroundings (which I am so not going into right now).

To make matters worse, on the way back from school, just before reaching the footpath, a man in his van decided to beep his horn at me as he went past. I was jumpy as it was, but that was enough to trigger hyper vigilance.

It makes me so angry, I’ve put up with this kind of thing since I was 13 years old, local bin men would “wolf whistle” at me in my school uniform, I’d walk to town to meet friends and various men in cars/ vans would beep their horns. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m under no illusion that I’m “all that” it’s just what some men seem to do to women. What do they get from yelling out their car window or beeping their horn? As if yelling “Alright darling” and making me jump, is somehow suddenly going to make me want them. I wonder how these men would feel if they knew some other man was doing the same to their wife/ daughter/ sister etc. I wonder if they realise how intimidating they are being? Did this man today have any clue that he scared me? Would he stop doing it if he had a clue of the effect of his actions?

Over the years,  I’ve had unwanted attention all over (I am not going into all of that right now); in night clubs, to the point of groping / “minor” sexual assault, which happened so often, my friends and I considered it the norm. It was just expected and even accepted as a part of nightclubbing. I’ve regularly experienced men beeping their horns at me or leaning out their windows yelling something or other. While I don’t like it, it is something I expect now, which is one of the reasons that I struggle to go out alone right now.

I doubt I speak for all women, but I am not sure I’ve met any that find it anything but offensive. It is not a compliment, I don’t find it flattering, I am not dressing to impress, I am not existing for men to stare at me. I am not here for some random guys gratification, I am merely living my life; as in the case today, I was just doing the school run with my two small children. Wearing a dress (which is recent progress for me (YAY!)- insecurities have kept me from wearing them in summer for years), was in no way permission to leer at me. I wasn’t asking to be ogled at. I felt intimidated, I was made to feel uncomfortable in what I was wearing, I was made to vulnerable alone with my children, more so than I already felt.

All I wanted to do was collect my child from school and walk home in peace (at least as peaceful as you can get with two small children). Wearing a dress, and walking alongside a road, does not give permission for men to scare me, because that’s exactly what this man did and countless others have done before him. I am sick and tired of being objectified by men.