You are not alone. Together we can de-stigmatize speaking out about our experiences with sexual harassment, assault, and more.
Learning How to Enjoy Sex again
I had dealt with being a victim of rape so many times, that after a while I put walls up, refusing to let anybody get near me, even females. Sex was bad, dirty, always violent and whether that person loved me or not, I started to perceive all sex as assault. I couldn't bring myself to see any sexual relationship as loving or fun anymore, because every time I did, I got hurt, and here I want to reinforce that I was raped by both men and women which caused my fear to double, and for many years, I cut both out of my life, wanting to be alone for the rest of my life so that I didn't end up used as some female adult dirt-bag.
A Glass of Merlot
It all started with a glass of merlot… I was actually looking forward to tonight. My first date in four years since my husband of 25 years had died unexpectedly from a heart attack while at work. I was a little nervous as it was our first meeting, but then, we had been communicating via text and email and then phone for the past month so I felt I knew him pretty well already. Yes, we met on one of those dating apps which I’m a little embarrassed to admit. Having married my high school sweetheart and had a wonderful marriage for 25 years, I never thought I’d be out there dating again, let alone looking online to meet my potential next great love. To say I was apprehensive about online dating would be an understatement but in today’s electronic age and with the new COVID pandemic guidelines in place, how else are you supposed to meet somebody? So, despite my apprehensive, my loneliness took me out of my comfort zone and I decided to give it a shot.
I was Sexually Assaulted.. Shouting My Story to the World
There is something important I need to address. Throughout the last couple of years I have noticed that people have been using their platforms to speak their truths on sexual assault in the industry (#METOO), work place, homes, etc. I’ve always considered myself a courageous, confident, outspoken women, except for when it’s come to this topic and my personal life.
He Destroyed My Home.
I am writing the following story because I want to let go of something that has made a deep impact in my life. Organizing my endlessly scattered thoughts works best for me when I write them out, so here it goes. It is no secret that I often speak my mind, but I suck at communicating about the really, really, deep things that torment me. I have gotten better but every day is still a struggle. Just to sort of set the stage, I will start off by saying that I am diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type 1 and Adult Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. My story of my experience plays a particularly important role in my mental health. It diminished my ability to communicate, to heal, to be strong and courageous for myself. It turned my entire world turned dark. I have been described as unpredictable, out of control, impossible to manage and crazy. I have been told that I am a monster, and my life is worthless. I have been told that I destroy everything I touch. I conditioned myself to shrink for others, to not upset or defy them. I stayed quiet and bottled everything inside. I smiled and said, “it’s okay”, when really, I just wanted to scream and beg for someone to make the pain stop. I accepted toxicity into my life because I believed that it is what I deserved. Every single person I have ever met knows a completely different version of me. The versions of myself constantly change, as is life. And as a result, I am a variation of factors. Yet, there are only 3 people who know me entirely. Every single secret. Every single insecurity, down to the last detail. Every single emotion, mood swing and trigger. Every single thought and opinion. Every single amount of excruciating emotional and mental pain. Every single trauma. Everything that has damaged me. These 3 people's influence on my decision to finally share my story with the world will be mentioned in my following story. I had held a secret inside of me for 7 years, one that I thought I would never be able to face. I denied it all these years, repressing it so far that I eventually did not think about it at all. All it took for me to finally accept the truth was seeing a stranger’s face in a bar, increasing self-awareness and the compassion, and understanding of very 3 important people. I have finally realized how important I am, not in a cocky way, but in the way that I matter. My story matters, my healing matters, my life truly does matter. I am not staying quiet about who I am and why I am the way I am anymore. And because of this moment of clarity, I am ready to speak about something that happened to me when I was 18. Something that I tried so hard to forget, but ultimately could not escape. This is my story about the night someone stole what was mine.
Not all Men but All Women
TRIGGER WARNING OF SEXUAL ASSAULT: Especially on Tiktok, I have been seeing the news about Sarah Everard and what happened to her. If you don't know, according to the NY times, Sarah Everard was a young woman who was raped and murdered by a police officer in the UK. You can read further about the story here: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/17/world/europe/sarah-everard-uk.html
Short Film Reviews: Women's History Month
Since #MeToo went viral in 2017 (eleven years after activist Tarana Burke founded the movement), it can't be denied that it brought massive changes to the entertainment industry and society as a whole. Serial sex predators were exposed, abuses of power against women were brought to light, and a culture of sexism that was once tolerated and accepted was called out for what it was. And while there's still plenty of work to be done, society has definitely made great strides toward gender equality in the past years. So in celebration of Women's History Month, I'll be taking a look at a few short films created by female filmmakers. With an evenly split selection of films from Short of the Week and Omeleto (my go-to sources for short films), let's begin!
Pepe Le Pew Is the Mascot of Sexual Harassment: A Retrospective on Growing up With Rape and Consent Culture in 80s Pop Culture
Anyone familiar with Pepe Le Pew from the Looney Tunes cartoon menagerie will get the same image in their head. A male skunk merrily bouncing towards a terrified female black cat who had the misfortune of somehow getting a white stripe painted along her back. The premise: Pepe thinks she is a female skunk now, which apparently makes it okay to relentlessly harass her, despite the most desperate of refusals and uber-clear non-verbal cues from the cat. Each episode is the same: Pepe nonchalantly stalks her for the whole show, flirting with a French accent, tries to hold her against her will and kiss her, while the cat scrambles out of his arms time and time again, scrambling for sanctuary from her insistent, clueless pursuer. It doesn't help that Pepe is a stinky skunk whose scent wilts flowers as he walks by. Occasionally, the cat will retaliate by laying in wait around a corner with a large mallet, or maybe perhaps rig up an Acme anvil to drop on Pepe’s head. Even after being smashed in the head by the cat, Pepe doesn’t get it. He smiles and says in his thick faux French tones, “flirt.”
#MeToo: Bossy Business
The Verbal: January 2021 “Your eyelashes are big today” quips the Leader to the newly appointed female junior analyst in his department.
Patriarchy found me
Patriarchy found me. Maybe because it was Christmas Day, maybe because it was the Christmas carols I heard on my Spotify list, but I found myself drinking a glass of wine and wondering how I ended up alone on this day. It wasn't because of the lack of other options or because of the Coronovirus. It was because of the fact that I am an inconvenient woman and because patriarchy is evil and it sucks. Over the last two days, I realized that two men from my alma mater had taken advantage of me on two separate occasions when I was inebriated after consuming alcohol with them and I was not able to give consent.
As she laid there cold and numb fighting the moon to close her eyes. Feeling the hay, mold into her back, as she is thrusted up and down, not taking her eyes off the moon, in hopes the moon could save her or the tree, maybe one star, just one. Her eyes swelled up like fountains about to overflow, as the tears fell down the side of her face they left a cold trail to her ears and further down to her throat. She felt a piece of her soul breaking, spirit leaving. Her innocence ripped from her chest down to underwear. Not comprehending what was happening but very much felt the hate, the evil of what was being done to her. She could not fight it, the power of evil was far too great. So she chose the moon, glared at it as her memories of running through the fields and picking flowers faded, smelling vanilla through the house as her mom had a cake coming out of the oven, all the things that brought her joy emptied, her smile gone. The thrusting stops, she hears the barn door open and close. It's cold and wet between her legs as if she wet herself, she could not feel a thing she couldn't even move. She felt as if an elephant had been on her crushing her, leaving her there to die. Her heart is thumping out of her chest, her breathing is slowing down. She looks to the beautiful moon and the silent night sky, the stars become blurry as it all blends together and fills with darkness. She falls into a sleep.
How she saved me.
This story of my own personal experience is just that, personal. I am happy for my first time talking (or rather writing) about this is my first. And I am happy to be sharing my experience of one of the most kindest thing my mother did for me in my adulthood. Speaking from my own experience as a mother, when a mother bathes her child it is more than just a tub and some water. It is a ceremony of devotion and love. It is a form of therapy and a moment of peace. Filled with laughter and smiles and song, when a mother bathes her child it is the most precious thing in the world.
Do You Hate Me for Not Pressing Charges?
Dear fellow survivors, There’s no question about it — it was aggravated sexual assault. It was pre-meditated. The exact categorization of the assault is probably attempted rape.