Friday, May 24, 2013

Stuff he said to me.

At Slut walk, I wanted to make a sign. I couldn't bring myself to do it.
I told myself I was past that. I have written about it on my blog, gone to therapy, talked about things with BJ and other friends. I'm done, and I'm just going to this event to help others...

I do want to help other people... and... right now, I have some work I need to do.
Slut walk made me aware of some of the beliefs that are still hanging on. I wanted to make a sign and walk with others, but I wasn't ready. I've been trying to think about how to find that piece of healing... what to do next...

Then I found THIS!!!!
The link above is to a photographer's awesome project. She takes pictures of victims of sexual abuse with a poster of something their abuser said to them.

The worst part about sexual abuse is all of the emotional abuse that comes with it. The way it fucks you over. The shit that you believe. The fight to replace all of that shit with something else... especially when the only world you have ever known has been shaped and filtered by abuse.

I want to do a poster for the website. Abusers say the most fucked up shit. It's the way they keep you quiet. It's the way they protect themselves from the consequences of their actions. It's the way they keep control, so they can keep abusing.

I don't know which quote I would put on a poster, but I'm thinking about the things that he said.
(WARNING! I'm about to list those things. I have no idea how they will affect others. They aren't nice and could be triggering.)

"It wouldn't hurt if you'd just relax."

"I wouldn't have to do this (violently forcing himself on me) if you wouldn't fight me."

"You don't know how lucky you are. No other guy would treat you as good as I do. No other guy would be as kind as I am to you - especially when it comes to sex."

"Women are so disgusting when they get turned on. That's why I hate foreplay. Better to just get in and get it done before they get all wet and gross."

"You are disgusting. It just makes me sick."

"I'm embarrassed by your fat ass. No one should ever have to look at that." (I didn't ask to be naked in front of him... I would have much preferred to keep my clothes on and him out of me.)

"Shut up woman. I'll be done in a second."

"I deserve more respect than this. You are my wife! How dare you make me do it this way!" (referring to "having" to force himself on me, because I wouldn't just lay there. I tried to fight him off. Stupid wife... thinking she has a right to say no every once in a while. MAKING her husband rape her violently... So I apologized to him for making him do that. I became the good wife that let him go at it any time without tears or complaints. It was better that way.)

Eventually, I tried to talk about it. Other people seemed to agree with Larry. A wife is nothing but her husband's property and sex-toy. To be used however and whenever he felt like it.

They said things like:
A woman withholding sex from her husband is just as bad as a man raping a woman.
How could he rape you? You were married.

I'd like to put those things on a poster too.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"Consent isn’t the absence of a “no;” consent is an unequivocal and enthusiastic YES."

Sometimes, I come across things that turn my whole world upside down... sometimes that's a good thing (eventually), but it is confusing and painful until it becomes a good thing.

For instance, a series of blogposts by Shannon Hale.
I wish there could have been someone who could have explained all of this to me fifteen years ago, and I wish that the person I was fifteen years ago could have understood.

The greatest contributor to rape culture
"When we don’t have conversations with kids about sex, we’re telling kids that it’s too bad, dirty, and wrong to even talk about. And when someone is raped, they feel bad, dirty, and wrong, and they think, yeah, that’s what I expected sex to be. And so sometimes, horrifyingly, they conclude that rape and sex must be the same thing."
Umm. Yeah. THIS. I totally thought that what Larry did was sex... It wasn't. But I didn't know any better. How could I? I'd never talked about it. I'd never experimented with my own feelings or my own body. I had NOTHING (except childhood sexual abuse) to relate to, and no one I felt like I could talk to... 

When it hurt, I thought that was normal.
When I felt used and abused, I thought the problem was ME.
When I felt angry, I thought I was selfish for not giving him what he needed.
Everything about sex was confusing... but that's because SEX NEVER HAPPENED. Not one fucking time. (Pun intended.)
"Consent isn’t the absence of a “no;” consent is an unequivocal and enthusiastic YES."
What an amazing, life-altering, mind-blowing idea. Sex means that both people want it, and if both people don't want it, it isn't sex... It's something else.
"Rape is not simply acting upon sexual urges. Rape is about dominance and power and violence and control. The intent of sex is mutual pleasure, and that's never the intent of rape. Let’s be totally clear. Those young men (Steubenville) chose, instead of having sex with a willing girl, to rape an unconscious girl. Who could not participate, could not experience pleasure, could not say yes or admire them or share an intimate moment. Those boys didn’t choose sex. They chose rape. And the experience of rape, for both the girl and the boy, is entirely different than the experience of sex. THEY ARE NOTHING ALIKE. RAPE AND SEX ARE NOT RELATED."
I once wrote a blog post where I talked about how my tears, my pleading for him to stop, my fighting him off as hard as I could (to no avail)... all of that should have been "no" enough. My "no" should have been no enough. But he didn't want someone who LIKED sex. He didn't want a consenting wife... he told me he liked it best when his woman wasn't turned on. He hated it when I fought him, but he also hated his woman participating.

Let's Talk about Consent
"Chuck says, “Consent must be unequivocal it does NOT need enthusiastic...If she implicitly and explicitly makes clear that she's willing to have sex it's not rape no matter how unenthusiastic she may be.” Chuck, this is not the legal definition of consent. It's an extremely wise definition that we'd all be better off to live by and the definition I believe we should be teaching to our children. Wouldn't you rather that your partner was enthusiastic? Why would you want to proceed if she/he wasn't?"
john doe asks, “What if the two parties disagree on what it was? you need to get consent in writing now?”
Yes, do that. If you have to ask, then yes, yes, yes. Sounds like you’re walking a line, and one that can be horrifically devastatingly life changing and even life ending for many a victim. If you’re not sure if she’s consenting, then ask her to sign a consent form, a napkin, your belly--whatever. And then her consent (or non-consent) will be perfectly clear. You’ll protect yourself as well as your partner. Do that. Please. 
Let’s err on the side of clarity, can we? When we have girls and women regularly taking their own lives to escape the horrors of a post-rape life, then clarity is the least we can offer."
"Are we worried that enthusiastic consent is too hard to get? Say a woman says, not tonight, honey. And he gets to kissing her neck and murmuring sweet things and she changes her mind and is all in. Great!
Or say a woman says, not tonight, honey, and he tries his usual moves and she’s not feeling it and still would really rather not. What happens next is very telling about how healthy their relationship is and what kind of a man he is. If she really doesn’t want to, and he doesn’t care because he does, then that’s abuse. That’s unhealthy. And if that sounds like your relationship, you both should get counseling."
 "Is the worry that if a guy wants to has sex and doesn’t hear a clear an enthusiastic yes but goes through it anyway, then she might call rape on him?
Well, 1st, depending on how it happened, it might very well be rape.
And, 2nd, if you’re okay having sex with someone who really doesn’t want to do that with you, then counseling is a good idea. Again, I mean that kindly and sincerely. Sometimes survivors of rape and abuse have a hard time enjoying sex again, and that’s something normal that a partner needs to know and respect, and counseling together is an excellent idea. But if that’s not the case and you just enjoy having sex with someone who isn’t enjoying it with you, then STOP IT AND GET HELP.
And, 3rd, if you’re choosing to sleep with someone who you’re worried might falsely call rape on you, then it’d be a good idea to choose not to sleep with them. Foregoing sex in this instance would be a wiser, better, happier choice for all."

I'd like to say more... but for now, I just feel... suddenly more aware of how fucked up life with him was... And that awareness, while probably good to have, HURTS.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

eating disorders are one of the ways that our brains have to actually keep a person alive.

BJ made this comment on my blog about eating disorders... and I wanted to share this with everyone.

"My experience with eating disorders is primarily with Jen. This battle is complicated to the extreme and would take hours to explain and takes years to recover from. From what I have gleaned, eating disorders are one of the ways that our brains have to actually keep a person alive. An odd twist. A survival technique. One where the body demands the diversion of the brain to allow for pain to be relieved. It's not the source of the pain but a way to mask and hide the underlying torment.

Those battling with eating disorders are battling for their lives. Many don't make it. They die. Those that survive are Heroes in my eyes: Capable of dealing with life's most horrific pains. AMAZING people."

He explained it so perfectly - I wish everyone could understand it like he does. I wish everyone had a friend and a support like I have in him.