People are often surprised when victims of abuse, especially those of us who were victims of abuse in childhood, go on to replicate abuse, sometimes as victims and other times as aggressors, in future relationships. As though it’s easy to create a positive image from a negative one.
It’s not that simple. When all you’ve known is fuckery, you don’t know what a healthy relationship looks like. You don’t know what healthy interactions are, you don’t know where healthy boundaries are set, and you don’t know what respecting healthy boundaries looks like. Unlearning those habits takes time and conscious effort, and we fail more often than we succeed. Are we bad people for continuing the cycle of abuse when we know nothing else?
University is when I started admitting to myself, then to others, the things that have happened to me. In China, I’ve begun processing the pain. Now I’m looking for a place to begin healing.
I wonder if that is the underlying drive of my move to Australia. During that one week in January, I met two Aussie boys who in very different ways catalyzed reflections on my life, articulation of my pain, and what I hope are the beginnings of my healing process. One mentioned “When your long-term partner disappears on you—that sort of stuff changes you when it happens. How did it change you?” The other showed me kindness, nurturing, and affection I had been told and shown that I didn’t deserve. How it would resonate caught me off-guard. The first spoke of the fear of being vulnerable and exposed; the second revealed to me how deeply that fear was rooted in me. After that week, I went back to my family and realized there were still too many raw nerve endings. Healing would never happen in proximity to them.
I came to China hoping to reconnect to my roots and strengthen my sense of self, and I did. I also discovered how deep the wounds run and where they lie. Since I know their location and depth, I can start stitching them up. I know what I hope for when I move to Australia, but only the gods know what will come to be.
J.S. Bach - Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins and Orchestra (performed by Itzhak Perlman and Isaac Stern)
Holy shit, two of the best violinists ever playing Bach’s Double Concerto. I hated playing this piece as a kid but I love it now. It still boggles my mind that Bach composed his pieces for cathedral settings with lots of echo, knowing that the sounds and melodies would layer and in effect create eight or nine melodies.
A 2010 survey reported by Sky News revealed 46 per cent of men aged 18 to 25 do not consider it rape if a man continues to penetrate a woman after she has changed her mind. Last week a survey conducted by Rape Crisis and Reveal magazine showed a third of women do not believe a rape to have taken place if an alleged victim did not fight back. It’s only eight years since a poll by Amnesty International suggested 8 per cent people believe a woman to be totally - that’s totally - responsible for rape if she’s had many sexual partners. The truth is, an alarming number of people are very comfortable indeed with the idea of rape in certain circumstances. Like George Galloway, they merely see it as “bad sexual etiquette.” Rape doesn’t horrify them, not a bit; rape accusations do.
ugh the words denigrate, gypped, and jew (as in to “jew someone down in price”) are just some of the words that horrible and racist in their root (or just flat out racist in use) so please don’t use them in your writing
Wooooah I didn’t know that about “denigrate” wtf.
Good to know.
I’ve had an influx of people coming to me asking for mental health advice. I’m happy to be here for y’all, but do realize that I am not a trained mental health professional. I haven’t had the necessary training needed to prevent me from projecting my memories and issues onto y’all. I’m still dealing with my shit. Thankfully I survived running through the gamut of unhealthy coping strategies to land on the healthy coping strategies I have now, like writing and exercise.
Therapists don’t fix you. They point you in the direction of where you should be heading in order to help yourself. They catalyze the epiphanies you need about your life so you can make sense of things and move on. They provide you with the tools to set up proper support systems. They remind you that it’s okay to feel what you’re feeling and that it’s important to feel what you’re feeling without holding on and judging. I’ve been through enough unhelpful therapists to know what helpful ones are like, but that doesn’t mean I know how to catalyze reactions without become entangled in them.
Related to how real my class privileges are—people love a good Cinderella story so long as they know, for sure, that it has a happy ending. They like rooting for the underdog so long as they know that underdog is going to make it. Pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps stories are inspiring so long as they’re not at the beginning.
I lied to my parents about my employment in Australia and why I’m going—they think I found a job that pays well—and of course now they’re offering to pay for the plane ticket. To them, I’m going to make money so it’s okay. They’re not making a fruitless investment; this investment will pay itself back. The people I’ve talked to through my friends’ and alma mater’s networks are all willing to help me because they’ve seen my resume or heard about me, and they sense my drive. I’m somehow worthy of help, even though I’m already starting from a pretty lofty spot. That’s the sort of oppressive ideology we’ve internalized to keep the world spinning the way it does. Of course those who need lofty connections are the ones without said connections or the ability to procure the sympathy of those with the connections.
I’ve been busy working my contacts and networking for Australia, and gods is the class privilege real. It doesn’t matter where I came from in my childhood; all people see is the schooling brand and they recognize me as a fellow elite bitch, whether from the same school or from the same tier of schools. Because of that, they are willing to bend over backwards to show me around or put me in touch with other people.
Anonymous asked: did you ever want to kill your dad while he was asleep? I always said to myself that I would kill my parents if they went too far.
No. I always dreamed of running away and escaping. I’m an internalizer, not an externalizer. I will always hurt myself first