Author Archive

Silences   Leave a comment

2. Silences

You could hear the silence for miles around
no ticking clocks
no bird calls
no cattle lowing
nor chicken’s cluck
silence only silence
for miles and miles around the sunny afternoon lay buried
in silences’ vale

sighing she lay across her bed
the sun cruised through the window
it warmed her naked flesh
sighing she lay
despondent
how could there be such a day

she had to tell Them
it was too late to go
she heard Their hearts breaking on the stairwell
he sat capping honey
She cried into her hands
the guilt of burdening them

Why did you go there?
Was all he said.
Then he stopped himself and left
They all knew
It wasn’t her fault
She didn’t want this to happen
Had she been a fault?
She questioned herself.

Guilt, shame and silence were the reward
silenced forever in silence’s glade
shrivelling on the inside
stumbling through life
she heard the silence daily
in swathes and swathes and swathes.

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Posted January 25, 2015 by raperelatedptsdsurvivor in Uncategorized

Telling   Leave a comment

1. Telling

I’m going to tell you something you don’t want to hear
You can stop reading now
You can deal with your fear
‘Will i feel sickened?’
‘Will I be depressed?’
‘Will I hate myself or her?’

I’m going to tell you something you don’t want to hear
Slow down your defences
Shut down your fears
Listen, just listen,
Are you all ears?
This won’t hurt you
It won’t hurt me.

I’m going to tell you something you don’t want to hear
Rape happens
Rape happened
It happens every day
Turning your back
Won’t make it go away
It could be you or yours
It happened to me

I’m going to tell you something you don’t want to hear
My tongue is slowly loosening
It has taken years and years
My mouth is opening
My breathe is tight and high
My finger quiver on the keyboard
It’s all by and by

I’m not going to tell you anything you don’t want to hear
The words are stuck inside me
It doesn’t matter now
I’m over it
It’s past
I’m better now
It didn’t happen
Not to me

I’m not telling you what you don’t want to hear
I’m OK
I’m great
It was someone else who died that day
And she isn’t here
Another person
Lost long ago on men’s tribal spear
No I’m not going to tell you anything you don’t want to hear

Posted January 25, 2015 by raperelatedptsdsurvivor in Uncategorized

Talking, walking, working and laughing.   1 comment

It does work. Years of theraphy, blogging, remembering, painting, writing. Spilling it all out helps the healing. It works.

Twenty five years and 4 months ago I was raped at gunpoint by two bandits in Belize.  Its a huge X rated movie that has played in my head for quarter of a century.

Its doesn’t stand alone. My childhood was checkered with abusive episodes.

Whatever your experience you can counter it.

You can spill. You can talk and tell. Write. Paint. Shout. Rave. Let it out. Let it go.

Those who hurt you do not spend a second wondering about what they did.  They don’t care. They have no interest. It does not affect them. So don’t give them the power to live forever in your mind. Eject them. They are history and they are gone.

You are no longer that child. You are no longer a victim. You survived.

I survived.

Now I laugh about The Belizean Alarm Call, being awoken by shotgun yielding thugs.

I laugh about the demise of those who hurt me. Not that I ever punished them. Karma did that all on its own.  They are gone, Tiny little meaningless little people who can never hurt me again.

The world is full of abusive people. My duty is not to become one of them. My duty is to stay away from them. My duty is to make sure i never meet them or their like again,

I am safe now. I have someone really special looking-out for me. Me, Myself, I. Talking, Walking. Working. Laughing.

Posted October 19, 2014 by raperelatedptsdsurvivor in Uncategorized

Race and Rape.   Leave a comment

As a young woman I read Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Audrey Lorde. A clear message emanated from these writers. Black men are perceived to be rapists.  That message became embedded in my thinking.

When I was raped by Black men I felt conflicted about the stereotype.  I went to a Black counsellor and told her that I feared becoming a racist.  She provided me with various exercises to separate my emotional responses to Black men and my core beliefs.

For a long time I didn’t say that the men who raped me were Black.  Memories of my Black sisters’ writing made it feel wrong to do so.

White men rape, this we know. So do Black men, and men of every race, creed and colour.

The electifying shock that my daughter has moved to Harlem was an emotional response.  She is travelling independently, as I was. She stands out, as I did.  She could be victimised because of her colour in that context.

With luck and sanity prevailing I am proud of her. Proud that she does not possess the knee jerk reaction to living in a predominantly Black area that would be the response of a racist. 

I am still disentangling the emotional responses that could push me into racist terrain.  Non of this is easy.

 

 

 

Posted June 4, 2014 by raperelatedptsdsurvivor in Uncategorized

The 4th International Conference on Survivors of Rape: Rape, survivors, policies and Support Systems a European Challenge   Leave a comment

I was excited to receive an invitation to The 4th International Conference on Survivors of Rape: Rape, survivors, policies and Support Systems a European Challenge.

My excitement was quelled when I noticed the ‘on’ in the sentence, my first reading was ‘of’ or ‘for’ Survivors of Rape.  Of course the conference is ‘for’ survivors of rape, but it is not ‘of’ survivors of rape.

It has been a frustration of mine for many years that Rape Crisis offers individual counselling, pivotally important to me and many other survivors, but no network or group support for survivors to speak together.  I have asked individual counsellors why this is the case and I can’t really remember what they replied.  Maybe it was something along the lines, ‘people surviving rape want to keep their experience private’.

If rape survivors are denied a public space, a place in the public realm then our pain will continue to be individualised and privatised. The very reason we need counselling is because we cannot speak publically, our pariah status is reinforced.

Don’t get me wrong, I do understand why our support professionals need to congregate and and how effective they can be in placing the issue on the public arena and on the agenda of policy makers.

What irks me is that community development goals are not applied to the issue, those goals of empowering communities to find their own voice.  I do not speak for a community, I know one or two other women who have been raped but I do not speak for them, I am a single survivor trying to ‘voice’ my experience.

So what is it about rape survivors that we are not a community of interest?  Is it the same for survivors of domestic violence?

What I would ask of our sisters and brothers in the professional and public sphere is – are we to be forever confined to the status of ‘client’?, are we to be to be forever confined to the role of service user? Do we not have a role in the shaping of policy other than that of raw material –  like the politician needs the voter to become elected- is that our place in the rape survival sphere?

If the conference really wants to know what we want, I would argue that what I want is locally based networks of rape surviviors who, if they wish, can organise regional and national fora to influence public policy.  These local fora would be accessible, affordable and survivor led.  That is what I want – if anyone is interested.

ICSOR conference in Lisbon, Portugal   Leave a comment

I have just found out about a conference for survivors in Portugal.

I don’t know how I am going to afford the trip but this is something that I will go to if I can.

It seems like an apt way to celebrate my 25th Anniversary.

 

Posted May 16, 2014 by raperelatedptsdsurvivor in Uncategorized

Anniversary Waltz versus Belizean Alarm Call.   Leave a comment

raperelatedposttraumaticstress

It is 25 years ago on 25th June since I was raped at gunpoint in Belize.

TWENTY FIVE years, i’m shouting.  TWENTY FIVE YEARS……..I will survive.

Almost since it happened I have referred to it as the Belizean Alarm Call…..because they woke us from our sleep, shouting and yielding shotguns.

I wonder where they are now? Those men who stole my body, probably other women’s bodies too.  Are they sleeping soundly? Are they guilt free? My best guess is that they are dead and buried, at times my imagination has done everything possible to annihilate them, you really don’t want to know the nasty video games that go on in my head, lets just say it would break all censorship laws on violence.

Don’t know how I am going to celebrate yet.  I am going to celebrate. BIG TIME.

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Posted May 14, 2014 by raperelatedptsdsurvivor in Uncategorized