That Look They Give You. 

I saw the #metoo posts all over FB this morning, and I when I realized what it was, my heart broke.

I debated on putting up my own post, but I was reluctant. Everytime a female calls out the abuse, they get questioned. Or seen as wanting attention. But I knew I needed to do it. Because the more voices we have calling out this shit, the better our chances to fixing it.

So, here’s my story:

My earliest memory of sexual assault was when I was 10. I was at school, and a boy decided to poke my vagina with a pencil. I’m sitting in class, teacher stepped out, he says ‘This is where a penis goes’ and pokes me. I laughed it off, just like everyone else around me. I was mortified. I didn’t know what to do.

I have been in several situations like this, and I would just laugh it off.

Another significant time was in highschool. I had a guy grab my breast. I slapped him, and he slapped me back. When I told the principal about it, she looked at me like I was lying. She questioned me and looked at camera footage. We weren’t in view of the camera, so therefore she wasn’t going to do anything. This guy was a known troublemaker. I get that I could have been making it up, but she wasn’t even going to question him. Luckily, a friend of mine witnessed the whole thing. The guy was suspended for a couple of days.

Then there were boyfriends. Boyfriends that forced me to do things. Boyfriends that hit me. One, in particular, made me feel like I was the problem. He would cheat on me, and then blame me for it. He would hold me down or against the wall until I would give in to his demands. It was a fucking game to him.

Now, I know what you are thinking. You are giving me that look.

 Why in the name of fuck did I stay? Why did I put up with it?

Part of it was the way I was raised. I saw abuse in my own family. I saw submission. I saw men cheating, and it being acceptable because ‘that’s what men do’. I saw my relationship as normal. I thought that it was as good as it was going to get.
Another part of it was the stigma. Growing up, girls who spoke up about abuse were considered liars. They were just wanting attention. So, I kept my mouth shut.

I have been sexually assaulted at the workplace. Lewd comments have been made to me. Guys that would harass me for my phone number. One guy grabbed my head while I was bending over, and shoved himself in my face. One guy rubbed himself on me while walking pass. Some of them were coworkers. Some of them supervisors.

The sad thing? The situations I have listed isn’t even half of what I have experienced. You feel so dirty when it happens. Or like someone has just exposed your vulnerability. Its one of the worst feelings in the world. You feel like it’s your fault. Because I was told since day one that women who dress a certain way, ask for it. Women who put themselves in dangerous situations, ask for it.

I try not to think about what has happened to me. When I speak about my experiences, it’s hard. Its like showing off a nasty scar. My family doesn’t ask me about it. Not once have they asked me. They think I’m making it up or you just don’t talk about that kind of stuff.

 Fuck that.

It was never my fault. I should have never been slut-shamed for it. I should have never had to put up with guys touching me. I should have never had to deal with an abused boyfriend. I should never have felt pressured into sexual acts. No one should never have to deal with this! We should never feel like we have to protect our bodies 24/7. We aren’t objects. We must stop sexual assault. We must hold people accountable for their actions.

I have to keep telling myself, that I’m strong. This doesn’t define me as a person.

 

 

I’m a strong woman.

 

 

Hear me fucking roar.
-E.

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Roller Coaster Ride

So, I’m in a new place. Just bought my first house. No more noisy neighbors. I now have crazy neighbors, but, hey, at least they are quiet.

 

When they aren’t screaming at me because I parked kind of in front of their house.

….It’s off street parking….

ANYWAY.

On the flip side, I won a Super Nintendo Classic exactly when my neighbors were being crazy.

This kind of describes my fucking week.

I really want just one week. Just one. Where I lay in bed, and do nothing. Just absolutely nothing. That is my dream. Something so simple, and I will never be able to do that.

I have mentioned before I have mini existential crises peppered throughout my days. This is brought on by the fact that I don’t want to waste time. To waste time is to welcome death just a little bit closer. I know it sounds dramatic, but I feel pressured to being productive all the time. I feel like no matter what I do, I never do enough. I will never be enough.

I have had multiple people tell me, including my therapist and doctor, that I need to chill. This stress of needing to do something all the time is effecting me physically. It’s hard for me to grasp that. To relax, to me, is to be lazy. If I sleep until 11 or noon on my days off, I feel horrible.

This is just another facet of my depression. It’s just a different kind of dark, gross, pressure that just crawls in and sticks to mind like a parasite.

I do try to cope with video games and other hobbies that I have, but I’m conditioned to constantly do something. To constantly move. I need to get a grip, I know.

I’m slowly pulling out the roots that have dug deep into my head.

On the other hand, I have a lot more space now. I have my own safe haven. I have a quiet place to write, and hopefully, get some new projects underway.

-E.

You Never Know

So, my days are usually run of the mill; I got to work, come home, have my existential crisis, then clean, play video games, etc. 

Today was run of the mill, but something happened that really hit home.

I live in an apartment and we have a detached garage. There is a small alley to said garage. Today, I was met with several police cars, police tape, and fire trucks. I had no idea what the hell was going on. I just knew I was frustrated that I couldn’t get through the alley to my garage.

Later, we were informed of what had happened. A patient from a mental health facility near by, had walked down the alley, and got into a car. There are several cars that have been totalled that sit behind an auto shop. Right across from my garage. According to our source, the guy ‘blew himself up’. We later gathered that he tried to set himself on fire. From what I know he is in the hospital, and no one else was hurt. 

The guy was suffering from schizophrenia.

I don’t suffer from schizophrenia. I can’t imagine what it’s like. I think I have it bad with depression/anixety, but I really shouldn’t complain.

Hearing this at first didn’t really bother me. I thought it was fucked up, but it didn’t effect me directly.

Until I heard Dillon say something about ashes being back there. To me, it was like a grave. A horrible event happened, and those ashes were proof. 

I don’t want to park in the garage anymore. Hell, I’m moving and I have one more week here; might as well park on the street. I don’t want to walk by it, or anything. Its like a haunted house to me. Just an omen to stay away from. But I can’t help, but wonder what was going on in his head at the time. But more importantly, what could we do to save people like him? 

It’s a sad situation. People with a mental illness have been treated horribly, and only recently things have improved. Hell, this man wouldn’t be treated for his illness, but treated as someone who was demon possessed or some stupid shit. 

I just hope the situation gets better.
-E. 

Something Like Phenomenon

I just got back from a short trip to Chicago to attend Riot Fest. For those who aren’t familiar, it’s a music festival. It’s alternative music that consists of many different elements; from metal to 80s pop. It’s a weird cluster of music.

Which brings out a weird cluster of people.

For the many who don’t know, I used to be an emo kid. I wish I could find a picture in all my emo glory. Anyway, alot of kids at this show where dressed as such. There were a bunch of goth kids, punks, leather, fishnets, and a shit ton of black. 

I really want to know if these people live this kind of lifestyle on a daily basis because I haven’t seen emo hair in ten fucking years. 

It was glorious.

I looked so normal, so out of place. Which I’m not used to. I’m usually the weird one in every social circle I have been a part of. But I have very simple short, brown hair now, and I wore salmon colored shorts with a crotcheted knit top with a bralette. With sandals. And a teale fanny pack.

I looked like an asshole.

Anyway.

This group of people that must live under a rock and only through social media, gathered for their common interest in these bands. 

When Nine Inch Nails started to play that night, there was this invisible connection between everyone. They were so focused on the music, and just letting go to be in the moment. There is a sociological term for this called social conscience. 

I’m definitely paraphrasing from what I’ve learned in college but it’s a shared feeling people get when experiencing something as a whole. 

This phenomenon is what has drived the creation of many different social groups. As I was watching these people, I remembered all the times I saw the seething at church every Sunday. 

Now, I grew up in what people call a ‘holy rollers’ church. Every Sunday, someone would ‘feel’ the holy ghost. This would lead to erratic behavior such as running around, jumping, screaming, etc. This sometimes led to people ‘speaking in tongues’ AKA a ‘heavenly message sent to Earth by God in a heavenly language’s AKA gibberish. Seriously, someone would ‘speaking in tongues’ via holy ghost then someone would interpret the message via holy ghost. 

It was a spectacle to say the least. But the behavior at church and at the music festival was through this shared experience people had. These people believed so much in the music, they were enraptured. Same thing with church. 

‘What the hell does this have to do with mental health?’ you may be asking.

I think it amazes me how people act bases on a shared experience. As an individual, it’s different because no one can justify your behavior. That’s why people can get away with saying a spirit possessed them and made them say gibberish. They has someone to validate their feelings. 

So, when people say you can get over it to me, I get frustrated. I can’t get over my depression with it’s a damn light switch. 

Don’t you think I would if I could? 

But if people experienced depression like I did, there would be validation.

This social gathering experience is beautiful, horrible, and confusing all at once. And I feel like I’ll never be part of that again. Who knows. 

What I could hope for is a chance to be around people who struggle with depression/anxiety and share an experience with them. Maybe then will I feel some validation.
-E.