Saturday, June 03, 2006

Confusing Questions:

I've started advertising for the fundraiser and retreat center. (The fundraiser just being a small, starter kind to begin prepping for the big Farm-Aid type in the future.)

I don't know if it's really going to happen, like I've mentioned before, but I've put it out there to everyone I do and don't know via another anonymous site (but including photos of myself). So this is my experience and this is what I'm doing to help other survivors.

I posted the below message on my other site asking them to join my volunteer group:

May 29, 2006
7:42 PM

I think I might have "invited" you guys already, I don't know... but I created a volunteer group for anyone/everyone that can help me with this stuff. I hope you guys are all in, even if I haven't seen you in forever. And if it has been years, then at least now you know why... just trying to get my life back somehow... and it sure as hell doesn't happen overnight.

The group name: ---

... so please join if you can help. And if you're a band, I hope you'll join in hopes of playing at the event mentioned below...

Thinking about having a big concert here in -- . There is tons of room to make a lot of stuff happen. And I hope you don't mind the location, considering its right across the beach... I know, tough, isn't it?

Not this year, though - thinking Sept. . 07, the first weekend after school starts in the fall. Students will be back in town and this will be a great way to start the school year... lots of music and events to raise $$ and awareness for this. (I plan to sell "admission" tickets to raise funds. I cant remember if --- is free or not, but similar to that, but bigger and better... I hope...)

Maybe I'm just sending everyone on a wild goose chase with this shit... or maybe I'm just trying to force some kind of greater purpose onto why I was raped. But whatever the case, if I can make it happen, then that would be really fucking great. If I cant make it happen, then fuck it - I at least tried, didn't I?? As far as im concerned, I've got nothing more to lose...

So, my rambling aside, hope you can help, everyone...

Much Love
xo

PS - On a lighter note, I spent the day at the beach today and got sunburned. (I know, since when the hell do I get sunburned??!) So now I'm brown and red. Does that make me medium-rare? Damn...



A random guy contacted me to volunteer. We initially emailed once or twice about him helping me with getting a little website started up. But he's the same one I became a little weirded out by and don't want help from anymore. He emailed me the below questions regarding my rape. I'm confused. I don't plan on responding, but they are questions I've been asking myself ever since I "exposed" my rape to everyone.

I really don't think that these people, my friends included who now know I was raped, understand how this experience changes every little ounce of your being. It fucks up how you perceive the world and your place in it, how you relate to everyone, how you communicate to friends and strangers...

I picked up my pot again last night - was getting too weirded out by how exposed I am now. Just needed to smoke and think...

And last night, while I was baked again, I started to realize (and maybe I've mentioned this before) that maybe I'm advertising to do all of this only as a way to finally not hide from my rape anymore. Maybe I can't even make any of this happen. Maybe I should just delete that site and go on with life as usual - as if nothing is wrong, as if I'm totally & completely content, as if I am a normal human living any old life.

But that's not how I really feel...

I REALLY feel like I HAVE to do all of this for some unexplainable reason, and I will make it happen. I don't know... or maybe I AM just using this as an excuse to "shout" out my experience so I'm not hiding anymore...

Anyhow, here are his questions. I am so confused with what the point is to any of this. I don't care if people even know anymore. There are millions of girls and women who are hiding this inside of them, like me. I am just confused with why I feel so pulled into doing all of this... and scared and knowing that I AM doing all of this... Every since the moment I was raped, lying there knowing what just happened - and also knowing I could never tell anyone - I knew I would do whatever it took so other survivors didn't have to survive alone... like me.

There is no worse feeling that feeling like you are just broken pieces all alone in a world of matching wholes.

From the random guy who wants to help:

Jun 3, 2006
2:40 AM
Subject: RE: Need your help

Sunburns! Nice work. Summer is here! I think I already have one of the hallmarks of the days of sun and beach fun: an aberrant blonde eyebrow or two, this from a three day weekend of basking about by the catamarans on the beach. Ah, how I remember the college years... blonde streaks in my hair, sun bleached eyebrows, emblems of indolence... but those days are gone, fallen into the past, a Shangrila of youth. But while still on the subject, have you ever been to Baja? Your trips to the islands were probably the same, but coming back from Baja, which equals a multitude of days out in the open sun, I remember how my arms turned a shade of blonde... blonde arm hairs. Fun! Someday again...

Anywho, perhaps this is rude, and apologies if it is, but I wish to probe you some with questions. It's partly because of what I studied in school, but more just wanting to understand people (which is probably why I studied what I did). So you were raped. You're very open about it, which is good. An ex-girlfriend of mine had herpies, and she was just in denial/repress mode about the whole thing. Not in that she didn't tell me beforehand, which to her credit was an incredibly mature and brave thing to do, but just in that she didn't study or want to understand what herpies was... and what it wasn't. She supressed it. The dirt bag guy that gave it to her didn't tell her he had it beforehand. That's f'n dirty. I didn't think it was healthy for her to not be able to talk about it much; she was actually annoyed when I researched it (having an obvious vested interest in wanting to know more), and spoke to her of it. I think it ate away at her some...

You seem to have taken the opposite tact in such deeply affecting matters which perhaps also carry a social taboo to some, being completely open to what happened to you. I personally am abhorrent that rape exists in the world, it's just a disgusting sort of person who would do it, someone who obviously is damaged inside, and think it's great that you are so open about it. I've only known one other person who confided to being raped to me, and she didn't even tell her sister about it. I'm sure it's terrible to know just how many girls it's happened to...

My questions to you are more on why you are being so outspoken about it, why you are trying to form your own groups about it. Is this you just acting out on yourself, or have you talked to a therapist about all of this (for god's sake I hope so! I've seen one about much more trivial matters... and learned something)? Is therapy playing a part in what you are doing? There are a lot of rape awareness groups out there already, I imagine, I'm just wondering why you are doing your own thing...

My second question to you had to do with you you phrased your last bulletin. You said you were just trying find greater purpose into 'why you were raped.' Why? Do you think there is really a why? A 'why' connotates that you think things happen for a reason, that you were raped for a reason, that there is a greater power at work here and that this was a pre-ordained event... that it was meant to be. Personally, I think that's crap. This is of course all based on very little knowledge of you, only some pictures and writing samples, but I'm guessing what happened to you was not a 'personal' thing, it wasn't because of who you are. I think it was some sick-fuck who raped you, period. No rhyme or reason, no purpose, just male animalistic sexual drive (which all men, and women have... we are just animals) that was completely unrestrained by the bonds of civilized society. A deviant. Basically, a dirt bag. It wasn't a personal thing against you, it was just a thing. Your writings almost make it sound as if your identity is centered around a 'rape survivor.' Something tells me you are considerably more than this... that this isn't the source of who you are.

Again, apologies if I'm just being completely out of line here, but I feel you being so open makes it ok for me to be so as well. Maybe this is one of the 'good things' about such an impersonal place such as -- !

Ok, that's it for now. I hope you have a terrific weekend! And I'm totally available if you ever need help/advice on web related stuff.

Off to slumber land...


Not really sure how to react/respond to this. Those are the same questions I've been asking myself for so long now. I'm afraid I can't answer them... so then what the fuck am I really doing with all of this?

Do I really center my identity around being a "rape survivor"? If I haven't known any other life, then isn't this my only identity thus far?

I'm so completely and utterly confused...

Going to take a shower, smoke a bowl and go the beach... just need to be left alone to think... or not think at all, for that matter...

12 Comments:

Blogger albert said...

What's up ml?

6/03/2006 2:45 PM  
Blogger jumpinginpuddles said...

because soemtimes ML when you have had no power or its been taken away, you use your pain to reverse it to give you more power. basically what you are doing is taking the power back and you are doing it publically, full kudos to you for doing that.

6/03/2006 3:45 PM  
Blogger Marj aka Thriver said...

ML: so glad to hear that you're gonna "go for it" with the fundraiser idea. I am definitely going to do the retreat center (like I said, I've already got 40 acres purchased) and SurvivorAid (I still write down some planning ideas here and there) some day, but right now--with my son's therapy schedule the way it is--I'm just not in the position to start a non-profit.

What I am going to do right now is organize a blog carnival to stop abuse. Visit my blog and tell me what you think. Want to be part of it? Any ideas? (All you have to do is submit a link to a blog post you've already written--EASY!)

As far as the questions go, I think it's personal AND social. I agree about taking your power back AND it's also about raising awareness and erasing stigma. All good reasons, in my book. You go, girl! (sorry so long--see ya!)

6/04/2006 1:59 PM  
Blogger survivor said...

not able to comment right now but wanted to let you know I've been here...

6/09/2006 4:38 AM  
Blogger misneach said...

I couldn't actually read the guy's letter after he compared rape to getting herpes. I think it's such a hard thing to deal with that you wouldn't want to share it with people close to you, and the anonymity of the internet can help to get out some of the pent up pain that you are carrying.

Someone very close to me was raped at a young age, and it sent her into a terrible spiral for years after. She will never be the same as she was before it happened, and all that the rest of us can try to do is help her to continue to regain her inner strength.

I think the worst part could be the fact that it would make someone feel reluctant to trust again. We all like to believe that those around us are good people, and to trust in their intentions and in the inherent goodness of people, but there are times in life when things happen that can shake our belief structure to the core.

I hope that you can also regain your strength, and perhaps someday the pain will go away enough where you can share the things you share here with the people that are close to you (who may not know much about it yet). I hope for the best for you.

6/11/2006 2:35 PM  
Blogger survivor said...

Trust your gut ML...

Keep yourself safe.

6/15/2006 8:58 AM  
Blogger Scarlett_demon said...

Hi there. I hope my commenting here isn't too overly random! I have followed the link from marj's blog to here.

I'd like to, if I may, offer my response to the questions this guy asked? Answering from the point of view of as if *I* was being asked them, if that makes sense.

You are right, people who haven't experienced rape or abuse don't understand how it affects every last part of your existence.

And to address the questions (I apologise for the length!):

Quote - "So you were raped. You're very open about it, which is good. An ex-girlfriend of mine had herpies, and she was just in denial/repress mode about the whole thing. Not in that she didn't tell me beforehand, which to her credit was an incredibly mature and brave thing to do, but just in that she didn't study or want to understand what herpies was... and what it wasn't. She supressed it. The dirt bag guy that gave it to her didn't tell her he had it beforehand. That's f'n dirty. I didn't think it was healthy for her to not be able to talk about it much; she was actually annoyed when I researched it (having an obvious vested interest in wanting to know more), and spoke to her of it. I think it ate away at her some..."

Ok so I understand the analogy you are using here, (that it is unhealthy not to talk about negative things/experiences/influences in your life) but firstly I must say that likening having herpes to being raped is quite an offensive comparison to use, you may as well say 'oh you got hit by a bus? I understand; I had a pram wheel run over my toe once'.
Secondly, yes it can be unhealthy not to talk about negative things, but being pushed to talk before you are ready is also very unhealthy. To be able to talk about something you need to have reached a state in your mind where you can
a) Acknowledge that this happened
b) Acknowledge that it affects you
c) Trust someone/somewhere/yourself enough to talk about it.

People choose all sorts of ways to talk one they are ready, blogging is one of them.
It strikes me that your girlfriend would have been annoyed at you researching and trying to talk about her herpes because she was not yet comfortable with accepting that she had it and was affected by it. Your pushing the matter would have upset her further and made her feel backed into a corner. People have to be ready to discuss/deal with things, it simply can't be forced upon them.

Quote - "You seem to have taken the opposite tact in such deeply affecting matters which perhaps also carry a social taboo to some, being completely open to what happened to you. I personally am abhorrent that rape exists in the world, it's just a disgusting sort of person who would do it, someone who obviously is damaged inside, and think it's great that you are so open about it. I've only known one other person who confided to being raped to me, and she didn't even tell her sister about it. I'm sure it's terrible to know just how many girls it's happened to...

You are correct that someone who rapes is disgusting and has something wrong inside, but your words do convey that you buy into the belief that rape is something that only strangers lurking in dark alleys do. The majority or rapists are known in some way to the victim, and most rapes occur in the victims home or the home of someone she knows. Rapists are sick in the head in my view, but the majority of them are 'nice' 'normal' guys. The guy who delivers your mail each morning, your next door neighbour who mows your lawn for you at weekends, the guy who holds the shop door open for you. You get my drift? The common mental picture of the rapist is very very wrong, and is only condusive to our societies insistence upon denying that rape happens.
You may have only had one person confide in you about being raped, but I can garuantee that you will know many women who have been raped, assaulted or abused. The author of this blog is not alone, nor is she in some way peculier because she has chosen to speak out about her experiences. She has been able to overcome in her own way the stigma, the shame, the self-blame, that being raped leaves you with. This is indeed a good thing! But by no means an easy thing, or something that makes her unusual. Our society has this very outdated view that rape survivors in some way must have deserved to be raped, and as such are shamed and must hide what happened. Yes rape does leave you feeling shame amongst other things, but this shame is misplaced. The shame is on the person who committed the rape, realistically the survivor has nothing to be ashamed about. Therefore there is no reason whatsoever that a rape survivor should not speak out openly and honestly about their rape.

Quote - "My second question to you had to do with you you phrased your last bulletin. You said you were just trying find greater purpose into 'why you were raped.' Why? Do you think there is really a why? A 'why' connotates that you think things happen for a reason, that you were raped for a reason, that there is a greater power at work here and that this was a pre-ordained event."

It is incredibly hard to accept that something so awful as rape happens, and it is even harder to accept that it has happened to you. Personally I don't tend to view things this way, but I can certainly understand how someone may. We as humans are always striving to understand why things happen, you could take for example our never ending 'why are we here' quest. Asking that question and offering yourself answers is the most natural reaction in the world, and is a way of accepting and dealing with a trauma.

Quote - "I'm guessing what happened to you was not a 'personal' thing, it wasn't because of who you are. I think it was some sick-fuck who raped you, period. No rhyme or reason, no purpose, just male animalistic sexual drive (which all men, and women have... we are just animals) that was completely unrestrained by the bonds of civilized society. A deviant. Basically, a dirt bag. It wasn't a personal thing against you, it was just a thing."

This question again shows that you seem to buy into the idea that rapists are all sick strangers in alleys with knives, and also to the notion that men cannot control their sex drives. ALL men CAN control themselves sexually, and saying otherwise is just excusing the rapist's actions. There is NO excuse for rape, period.
It is quite presumptious of you to assume that rape is never a personal thing. Infact I would say it is quite wrong of you to assume this. Rape is not about sex. It is about power, humiliation and control. If it was really about sex then why doesn't the rapist just hire a prostitute, or get a girlfriend and have consensual sex in that or some other way? Rape is about taking the most intimate thing by force, many if not all rapists get off on the control and power aspect of this.
I can only speak for myself, but in addition to these things, when I was raped it was most certainly personal. It was a fucked up way of punishing me for leaving my boyfriend and getting with someone else. You can't just assume rapists are sex crazed strangers who pick random women off the street.

-------

End of rant! Sorry that was so long, I just felt very compelled to address these questions as they are such common questions and convey such widely held mis-beliefs about rape.

Best wishes to you

6/18/2006 11:30 AM  
Blogger Scarlett_demon said...

Sorry, missed a comment I wanted to respond to on that:

Quote: "Your writings almost make it sound as if your identity is centered around a 'rape survivor.' Something tells me you are considerably more than this... that this isn't the source of who you are."

I can only speak for myself here, not the blog author to who you directed these questions, but yes, my identity is centred around being a rape survivor. It's hard to explain, but rape is something that destroys you, wipes you out, takes your very being and shits all over it. Personally I am just starting to really accept that *I* was raped, and I have come survived it, physically and just about emotionally. I am not the person I was or that I would have been had I not been raped. I am a whole new person. I have emerged very different to who I was and who I would have become. So yes, being a rape survivor is integral to my existence. I did not choose this path, but I can only do the best with what I have, so this is what I try to do. I survive, I continue to learn how to accept what happened, and I am just starting to work out exactly who I am.

6/18/2006 11:48 AM  
Blogger misneach said...

There you are! I went to your site to see how things were a small while ago and it was all of a sudden 2 posts long and in Japanese. Blog Poachers are about!

I love that you can be so honest and open about your life, I really hope that you can find strength somewhere within...

7/14/2006 8:57 PM  
Blogger Whitedoves Nest said...

Thanks for linking in my blog/site to your site. You brought some much needed joy. Raising awareness is a much needed thing.....hope all goes well.

Whitedove
www.whitedovesnest.com

7/14/2006 9:32 PM  
Blogger Dreaming again said...

there are groups ..and maybe your group will help that one person who isn't helped by the groups already in existance.

that guy has problems. His tone was confrontational and judgmental ...put him behind you ...

*hugs*

7/15/2006 5:46 PM  
Blogger ssoosay.com said...

hi :), I've never wrote a comment before...this is my first...your blog really took me by surprise...i can't imagine the pain you must feel...couldn't read the guys letter after the herpes thing too...sounded a bit of a nut...think i can't give any help...but i've listened to you...hope that's ok...I am trying to use my blog as a scrapbook for things that inspire me...maybe that might be nice in this one too...just seems to be something that helps me when i feel down...sorry if this is random :)

7/16/2006 2:10 PM  

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