I remember standing by the window in the parlor looking at the evening sky in the Blue Hour. It was the winter of our first year and I loved standing in the empty room watching the colors change before my eyes. I never noticed in L.A. or San Francisco, was I too busy, too young, was it smog? What the hell was I doing in middle of nowhere Minnesotain winter on a farm, broke, bruised, tired and so damned cold. Memories that flash like photographs, still frames of my life that suddenly become a movie in my mind.
That day the snow was different, it looked like whitecaps on the ocean from the wind, the sun had warmed the top then nights froze the waves in place. There was a crust and I’d gone out to walk on it earlier, to feel it crunch and see how far I sank. God how you laughed at me, sinking thigh deep and struggling, the stubborn woman who wouldn’t turn back. Get it while I can, enjoy what I have, this new world and life I chose with you. I’m cold and tired but I have a new world. No, we have it.
Like the nights I had off in summer and fall when the colors soften and change, the birds settle in and the world gets quiet, I waited to watch that unbroken ocean of white. There were so few nights off during the Holidays but this night I had my time and my sights, I’m a watcher and magic is free. Slowly the night turned Indigo, deep, heavy purple-blue and the world was still early, no voices, no birds, no tires on the highway. Finally the yard light came on and I saw it, the ground sparkling everywhere I looked. It was as if someone had thrown millions of diamonds across the acre of lawn. It took my breath away and I stayed standing in the dark room, I didn’t want to look away.
If you haven’t yet read these articles now you can check them out on The Huffington Post
Need a Miracle?
Recently, I found myself on Google doing some “research.” I was having a particularly bad night and typed in the following: “I need a miracle.”
Read the full article here
2011, The Lesson I Learned: Be Proud of Your Failures
Life is difficult sometimes. Is it just me, or is it true that when things feel as if they couldn’t get any worse something (or several somethings) else goes wrong?
Follow the jump to check out the full article
Sexual Assault: Can You Ever Move On?
If your first “sexual” experience is a violent crime, can sex and rape ever be dissociated?
Follow the jump to check out the full article
In Tucson, the avocados are less than a dollar each and much larger than the ones they sell back East, in Connecticut, where I’m from. In New England they charge over three dollars a piece for these puny little shriveled up things. Upon holding one of these so-called avocados in your hand, you will see that it has the texture and appearance of large peach pit. These avocados do not even come close to the firm fresh quality of the avocados sold in Arizona. Avocados are climacentric, therefore commercial growers must pick them off the trees early in order to allow enough travel time for them to make it back East before rotting. This practice also attributes to the stunted, unripened quality obtained from these almost foreign fruits from afar.
When I lived in Tucson I found the most delicious avocados everywhere, even at the local Safeway. I utilized their luscious green flesh to make the most tantalizing guacamole. The recipe is simple. It calls for three avocados, the juice from two limes, a large tomato, a small red onion, and a pinch of kosher salt. I would fill a huge Tupper Ware container with the mixture and eat only guacamole for the following two to three days,depending. I always long for it, but making it the right way is actually a very expensive and complicated four-part recipe.
I received a tweet a reader in regards to my article “Confronting My Rapist.”
In the tweet she stated,
“I read your article about facing your rapist. You are a better woman than me, I couldn’t have acted so politely and diligently.”
I found the tweet to be extremely thought-provoking. Though I responded to my rapist with expletives and warnings to never bother me again, it was through email and not in person. By the sound of my reader’s tweet, when faced with the same scenario, she might’ve kicked the guy’s ass (or at least cussed him out). This thought made me smile, I can’t say I don’t blame her.
When it comes to my situation, I never really thought about vengeance. I was too caught up in hurting myself and messing up my own life because of the pain. Thinking about it now, it might feel good to go to his house, smash the windows of his car, and break everything he owns, but would that solve anything? If I destroyed all his belongings he would still be more reparable than how he left me.
I was surfing the web looking at different statutes of limitations and legalities for rape crimes, when I found an article that proposed a repeal of statutes for certain rape cases in the state of Connecticut. In the article, Governor Jodi Rell is quoted as saying of rape crime, “It is violence of the most personal and devastating kind, as brutal in its own right as murder.”
In the article, Rell points out that rape is not a crime of passion, but rather a violent crime, which is a common misconception for many. The term rapefrom the Latin word Rapere, originally had no sexual connotation, and meant “to seize or take by force.” It simply meant to steal. If you are someone or know someone who has been raped, you can testify that this definition is still applicable to the verb “rape” as we use it today. Because when you are raped, something is taken from you by force.
Justice systems for centuries have considered rape as brutal of a crime as murder. Even in ancient Greece, Rome, and Colonial Times, rape was considered a capital offense within the same category as murder. In the 12th century rape victims’ families were granted the right to carry out the rapists’ brutal and sometimes fatal punishment. In 14th century England, the rape victim was expected to gouge out their rapist’s eyes or castrate him. Today in the United States, current death penalty standards consist mainly for convicted murderers. Modern day rapists typically receive much cushier punishments than their violent predecessors.
Read the rest of the article at The Huffington Post.
How does a caterpillar transform into a butterfly? It doesn’t just happen. There are many steps involved in this transformation, as there are in the journey from victim to survivor.
Going from victim to survivor has to be a conscious choice, because often times as we suffer through “victimhood” we rarely realize we’re doing it. We grow so accustomed to the misery of our victim mentality, we forget that we are making the conscious choice to live life this way.
As a former victim of victim mentality myself, it felt like unfortunate things were always happening to me; that I had the worst luck in the world while the people around me appeared to have it much easier. After being raped, I sulked in my depression, running from one addiction to the next trying to numb the memories and feelings of worthlessness and humiliation. They were hard to numb, and in the sobriety I experienced between substance abuse and eating disorders, I couldn’t handle it when my feelings of being violated came flooding back in.
To move on with your life, you must break away from identifying yourself as a victim and transcend this experience by becoming a survivor. After being sexually assaulted or experiencing any great trauma, consciously processing your thoughts and feelings is not always your first response. More often we are just trying to survive, to live day to day without our pain burdening us to the point of inactivity. I found that running away from my emotions through the use of substances inevitably complicated things. Not only did I have to deal with being raped, but now I had to battle addiction.
"Pearl in Shell" via Blue Eyed Ennis
I recently had an anniversary. About a year ago, I was unable to sleep and up late at night calling anonymous help lines. To even admit this, I am bashful. Who wants to represent the image of a person who has reached the point in their life when calling anonymous help lines in the middle of the is nothing out of the ordinary? I did this for about a week until one night I was connected to a local hotline, not one of those 24-hour hotlines that have someone sitting by the phone around the clock. Nope, the person I spoke to on this particular night had been sleeping and was woken up because it was their night to watch the hotline. For the next few days this counselor, the one I had awoken, relentlessly called me until I agreed to go to the Rape Crisis Center in my area.
Not long after that, I reluctantly showed up at the doorstep of this old house turned office building in the middle of the city ready to talk about what happened to me ten years ago. As I rang the doorbell and waited for security to let me in, I figured that talking to a counselor couldn’t possibly make me feel worse than I already did.