So, Where Are We Now?
Yesterday afternoon, I tuned into the historic Kavanaugh hearings. First up was Dr. Christine Blasey Ford then Judge Kavanaugh. In the back of my mind, I knew it probably wasn’t the best thing for my mental health to be watching their testimonies and hearing questions or even praise thrown at either one of them.
I had no idea what part of the hearings would throw me if any. I just wasn’t sure. But hours after the live coverage ended, I was sure I was having a panic attack on the sidewalk. A trigger is an internal struggle, sometimes it explodes in a second and other times it will build throughout any amount of time. Throughout the day, an open wound will collect irritants, eventually we won’t be able to take it anymore and a Band Aid won’t help.
I felt alone again. I hadn’t grappled with this pain for months now. Grabbing at my chest, letting my heart know that I’m here,feeling everything, I’m alive and I hate it. I hate that I am living with a monster in me, I am being destroyed from the inside out. I know, however, I can withstand the pain. I’m built to handle this but sometimes I do doubt myself.
That’s what happens when women don’t help other women.
I’ve come to terms with men not believing me, they think I’m exaggerating or that it didn’t happen. Nothing will be good enough for them to truly understand what survivors deal with on a daily basis. What I felt and saw yesterday was a wave of love and support. It was overwhelming at times. On the other hand, there were some sad, angry and aggressive voices. It’s a different heartbreak when one of your own doesn’t believe you. Some women, yesterday, were angry that any woman would come forward 30 years after the fact, that women should report immediately. They were scared for their sons, that they might be falsely accused one day.
Let me break this down real quick;
Our brains do not recall every moment of every day regardless of it’s significance. Do you know anyone that can tell you a detailed account of their wedding day, rise to rest? I do not think so. Our brains encode ‘central details’, moments that usually evoke a strong emotional response. “Many who have been sexually assaulted don’t remember whether certain things were done to their body because, at that point, they were focused on the perpetrator’s cold eyes, or traffic sounds on the street below. That tells us nothing about the reliability of the details they do recall, and nothing about their credibility.” Like everyone else, memories decay over time or become more abstract. However, memories revolving high stress or emotional situations involving their encoded central details, will not become distorted like other memories do.
After an assault, sexual or otherwise, the survivor will not come forward due to feelings of shame, denial, depression and it’s also just fucking hard. Acknowledging that this happened to me breaks my heart but to talk about it too? Oh. My. God. Though my family and other loved ones know about my assault, they do not know the details and they never will. Only my doctors know. To talk about something so painful, that requires you to be completely vulnerable and to a stranger (even if it is the cops) is excruciating.
Raise your sons correctly so you don’t have to worry about them being accused. Idiot. I’ve known oh-so many men. Some are really nice, I’d go as far to say that most men, most people are really great. Some, on the other hand, are assholes but they didn’t touch me and I wouldn’t dare say they did if it didn’t happen. One man violated me and I have to live with that for the rest of my life, he doesn’t. He doesn’t have worry about explaining this pain to future partners. He’s probably doing just fine right now while more often than not, I want life to be over. Raise your kids to listen.
“She was a sympathetic witness…” I hold my breath waiting for the “but”. Dr. Ford was and is always more than a witness. Her efforts will not be abandoned and ignored in conversations that label her only as a witness. She didn’t do something for herself, she did it for us. It saddens me when other women do not see that. I speak out for you, Dr. Ford speaks for you, Rose McGowan speaks for you, RBG speaks for you. This issue isn’t one of political party but rather one of integrity and character. We all have to understand that no one, absolutely no one, wants to make money from this, no one wants to become famous for this, no one is comfortable recounting their assault, harassment or violation on live television. No one wants this.
Believe me. Believe them. Believe us.
Has much changed since Anita Hill’s testimony? Probably not, in regards to whether Kavanaugh will get this job. But here we are and I still have some hope. If these allegations came out before October 2017, would there have even been a hearing? Probably not. We’re being heard but maybe we aren’t being listened to, yet.
Turn off the news, I promise it can wait. Feel your heartbeat and let your lungs fill and let yourself be okay with being alive right now. I am tired, I know you are too. But I really, really, really think that we can do this.
Helpful links below;
How to be a Good Partner for Someone Who’s Been Assaulted
Why Does Sexual Assault Happen
Being an Ally
Understanding Male Entitlement and Priviledge