Sunday, January 27, 2008

I Chose Him

I sent this email to a dear friend of mine. I'm posting it here because as I began my reply to her, my writing took off on its own, telling her about my second rape. She cares for sick and elderly people. One of the residents at her facility is a 3x sex offender, has Hodgkin's Disease, and has touched her inappropriately. I adore her. We have an incredible connection based solely on what we've survived, always being there for one another, helping each other through our "crazy" phases, always reassuring the other that we are OKAY... having the utmost faith in one another... in our continued survival, amazing strength and beautiful lives...

January 24, 2008 - 10:59 pm

Holy shit, seriously??!! Damn, this IS a huge fucking test. Sucks... Life has a cruel sense of humor sometimes...

If I was in your shoes, in the same situation, doing that line of work, working with this person, having been through everything I've been through, and being so much bigger, better and stronger in the end - here and now, after it all... having survived every single fucked up thing I've experienced, and you've experienced... I would KNOW that I could handle this, too. Here's a story...

I was raped again in November. Just writing that right now makes me cry. Tears trying to push out of my tired eyes, but I won't let them. Not anymore. Because I'm not sad. I'm mad. And I'm strong. FUCK, I'm strong... can't believe everything I've survived... and everything I continue to survive...

Something hit me the other day... something about this guy, a friend, who raped me... something about the way he acted, the things he said, made me feel weird. But not in a scared way, in a "How many screws are loose in your head?" kind of way. Knowing that something just wasn't right with him... But still... I moved forward, tested the waters... invited him over one drunken night... and... well, you know. I was freaking out. Couldn't believe this could be happening all over again, JUST when I get my life back... what fucked up timing, right? It happened on November 10th, exactly one week before my birthday - which also marked the anniversary of my first rape...

So, now I've survived two rapes, among other things. And then I see him in town. Confronted him. His answer: I take full responsibility... just before he freaked out and denied everything, back peddling all the ways he was right and I was wrong...

And then something clicked... I see a therapist, but not all the time. It's very random - no rhyme or reason to when I see her... I see her when things are good, confusing, bad or just plain whatever... just to check in... talking to her helps me reconnect with a piece of myself... and she asked me a few days ago (I called her for an appt the day I ran into him)... knowing what I know now, having been through everything I have been through with my first rape, and having spent so many years and so much time resolving that part of my life within my heart and soul, knowing - feeling it in my gut - feeling something that just made me stop and think about this guy - what was in me that still allowed myself to not trust that gut feeling? What made me question my own gut?

And I realized she was right... all of his sexual comments, graphic innuendos, etc... it was weird, but I honestly didn't let it phase me... I just chalked him up to being a complete idiot. But... I realized that... as crazy and insane as this may sound... as much as it seems like this world threw yet another wrench in my life... that he didn't chose me... I CHOSE HIM.

Something changed inside of me when I saw him exactly one week ago. Something shifted inside of me. I confronted him, telling him that when you are fucking a girl and she is underneath you, freaking out, trying to push you off of her, it's NOT sex. It's rape... but I chose him. He didn't chose me... I chose him. Somehow, subconsciously knowing deep down that he may very well be capable of this kind of thing, but out of sheer cowardliness and nothing more. I can't explain it, but as shitty as this second rape was, being more scary than my first... I chose him to rape me... not that I chose to be raped again, but... there is something very strange about this entire situation, something very fitting if I look at the big picture of my life... I am not scared of him. I am fired up. I am livid. Angry. Fed up that this sort of thing happens. Whatever little piece I was missing to be one whole person again, he gave that to me. No. I take that back. I took it back from him, the rapist, the violator, the offender. He doesn't know it, but he didn't take anything from me... he gave me exactly what I was missing: the motivation to live my life as one, whole, complete person fighting the fight to the death.

My rambling has a point... try to not be scared of him, as scary as the situation is. It is our history which causes us to act and react in certain situations, especially when they are involving the ones who hurt us the most... those people who hurt us so bad that we know we will never be the same person. And that's just it - you're not the same person that was hurt long ago... you are SOOO much bigger, better and stronger than you know... look at all you've survived thus far... look at your beautiful boys...

Don't let him scare you. He is a coward, now looking to you to help take care of him when he did nothing but hurt others. Instead, study him. Learn from him. TAKE from him as he's taken from everyone else, but I don't mean that in a physical or malicious way... take knowledge from him. Watch him. Talk to him silently... saying the things you always wanted to say but never had the chance back then... this is your chance to confront what you thought you didn't need to confront... the world is giving you an incredible opportunity to get back what you never knew you lost... this incredible little morsel of your heart you never existed, until you befriended your enemy, and let the world make sense all over again. Be strong. Don't be afraid to tell him to NOT touch you. You have that right. It is your birthright... to say no, to tell others what makes you uncomfortable... despite their condition... You are human. Everything you feel is valid. You don't owe anyone anything. And if you chose to not work this patient, then it's okay. He is not deserving of your care anyway. You can only do your very best, and that is all this life is about.

God, I hope all that rambling made some sort of sense... love you lots.. hope this helps... please don't hesitate to send me an email anytime... I'm always here! xoxo

Sunday, January 20, 2008

When Fretting Is In Your DNA: Overcoming the Worry Gene

Wall Street Journal, 01/15/08 Page D1

Worry warts often believe they inherited their tendency to stew from their parents. Biology does play a role, research suggests, but there are things you can do to break the cycle of agonizing.
Researchers at Yale have identified a gene mutation for "rumination" -- the kind of chronic worry in which people obsess over negative thoughts. It's a variation of a gene known as BDNF that's active in the hippocampus, an area of the brain involved in thinking and memory. In a study of 200 mothers and daughters published in the journal Neuroscience Letters last month, the Yale scientists found that those who had been depressed in their youth were more likely to be ruminators and to have this particular variation of BDNF.
The discovery adds to a growing body of evidence that depression involves an inability to control negative thoughts, not just excess emotion, says psychologist Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, one of the Yale investigators. And just because rumination has genetic roots doesn't mean it's inescapable, she says. "People can learn to stop these thought processes and have better emotional health."
Some successful professionals find that worry works for them. Imagining everything that might go wrong, and preparing for it, is known as "defensive pessimism."

"I spend all day thinking of ways to gain an advantage over my adversaries, and I assume they're doing the same thing," says Victor Bushell, a partner at Bushell, Sovak, Ozer & Gulmi LLP. "If that was your job description, wouldn't you be worried?"

Other people use worry as a kind of magical shield -- if they worry that the plane will crash, it won't. It doesn't, ergo, they have to worry on every flight.

Worrying also seems to be part of some people's personalities. "I've been furrowing my forehead forever -- you could pick me out in kindergarten," says Pam Abramson Grisman, who runs a custom-writing business in Mill Valley, Calif. "These days, I worry about my parenting. Prior to that, it was focused completely on the workplace. Prior to that, it was, 'Am I cool enough to live?' "

But worrying is wearying, she says: "It's like chronic pain, and ultimately it doesn't shield you anymore. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Then you have a heart attack."

Chronic worry can, in fact, lead to a variety of health issues, including headaches, gastrointestinal problems, high blood pressure, anxiety and depression, studies have shown. Rumination, which focuses more on past events than future what-ifs, has also been linked to binge eating, binge-drinking and self-harm. Ruminators may be subconsciously trying to stop their harmful thoughts, says Dr. Nolen-Hoeksema. "Disengaging is really, really hard -- you see that in their neural activity and in their behavior," she adds. But studies have shown that doing something distracting for just 10 minutes can break the cycle and help people tackle problems more effectively.

Techniques from cognitive-behavioral therapy can also help worriers stop the kind of thinking that just makes them miserable.

"It's all about finding the balance between productive and unproductive worrying," says psychologist Robert L. Leahy, director of the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy in New York City. "Say to yourself, 'Is this worry leading to a To Do list?' If it doesn't lead to some action on your part today, set it aside."

He suggests literally reserving 20 minutes a day to worry. If you can postpone worrying, you are exercising control over it, rather than letting it control you.

And learn to accept some risks. "Worriers feel a tremendous intolerance for uncertainty. They get the idea that worrying can eliminate it. But you can't prepare for everything," Dr. Leahy adds. He also suggests a simple "exposure" technique: Practice saying or writing whatever you fear most, such as, "the plane is going to crash" or "I'm going to lose my job." "Repeat it over and over again slowly, like a zombie, and the fear will begin to subside," he says. Eventually, "you'll just get bored with it."

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Do you think...

... that everything that happens in our lives is fated to be a part of our life's blueprint? Or do we, somehow, based on the choices we make over time, fall into certain situations and experiences? In other words... do you think we somehow, subconsciously, choose the experiences we go through?

It keeps replaying in my head: "...I don't know what to say. It just seems like such horrible luck..." The truth is, no one knows what to say when unexplainable & unfair things happen. Only when good things happen do we talk about our lives. Wait. That's besides the point. "Horrible luck." I don't know if Life is based on good or bad luck... it's not horrible luck, it's just reality... Life... shit that goes down, shit no one talks about because it IS a horrible, defeating task to discuss the heavy stuff... the shit that almost killed you... the shit that was/is so unbearable to live with that you sometimes WISH it killed you...

I'm trying to understand what the point of everything is right now. What's the point of all this "horrible luck"?? What's the point of being so young and experiencing so much shit? Well... being bigger, better & stronger than most out there is a huge advantage... but does one, single, tiny little person have to constantly be tested in order to earn her god damn courage badge?

I don't get it. I do... but I don't. This past week has been fucking crazy. And today was one of the craziest days of my life. I just don't understand what's going on sometimes... I mean, come on... seriously?? Does Life really have this cruel of a sense of humor?

I'm curious... thinking aloud... confused... can't sleep... the day's events replaying in my head...


Can't believe my life is what it is.

Really? Again? You're putting me through all this again? I don't understand why. And with what happenend on Friday night... this is just plain ridiculous. I thought I had that situation under control, chalking it up to... convincing myself that it was all in my head, just like last time. But no. Why would I knowingly avoid something that took me to ten years to accept the first time around? Haven't I learned anything? What kind of advocate would I be if I did not handle this right away?

Friday's events are a huge slap in my face. "Take care of your shit, Missing Link. Handle it right this time. Do something. Fear is unforgiving." Be grateful she is okay, alive and well. Be grateful he is not on the streets. Be grateful he admitted what he did today. Be grateful for: "I take full responsbility." Just before he turned around and denied everything. My last words: "You fucked up real bad. Leave me alone for good. Go to hell."


Just seeing that word cuts my insides to shreds. Saying it sends a knife piercing through my heart. SEXUAL ASSAULT is softer, smoother... it rolls of the tongue a little easier... it's Rape, only sugarcoated.

Open your eyes. Talk. Share. Discuss. Educate. Prevent. Survive.

I cannot, for the life of me, understand WHY this issue is still so hush-hush. I can't understand. I never will. I don't want to. I just want it to stop. All of it. Forever. It's impossible, I know. This is the one thing I do know for sure... to rid this world of all crime is humanly impossible, but fuck you, I'm going to try. And so should you.

I'm drifting off into crazyland confusion now... unsure how I really feel about much these days... only knowing the handful of good souls I know I can trust. The rest? Well, the rest... it's all a god damn, fucked up crapshoot.

The game's the same, it's the rules that've changed. And rules were meant to be broken.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Raped Again...

Needed to get this out, but will share more later... when I have the time and headspace...

I was raped again in November. And a dear, close friend of mine was assaulted (she fought him off, thank God), on January 12, 2008 at 2:00 am.

Unsure how I feel about everything right now... trying to drown myself in work in the meantime, but... believe me, I am FIRED UP to make a fucking difference in this FUCKED UP and UNFAIR world.

I'm okay, and so is my friend... life is just a bit of a roller coaster again... one day at a time... one step at a time...

I hope all my readers are doing well :)

I will share more as soon as my heart allows...

Much Love
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