Small-Town Elitist

April 19, 2009

I really ought to write up a comment policy (why I appreciate the Survivor Blogosphere).

**Please note, this post may trigger!**

I had wanted to lighten things up a bit after my last post, with a fun crafting post where I would show one of my favorite personal pieces that I have made.

But as soon as I log in, I see an ugly reminder in the spam filter of why it can be hard to be a blogger in the Survivor Blogosphere while you are actively healing from sexual violence.

The comment was a spam comment filled with links to pornography, and it was a reply to my survivor story of what I went through, no less.

I used to blog at Blessed Fearscapes mostly about the subject of sexual violence while I was actively working on my healing, and I can tell you that there are spammers with absolutely no shame. When I wrote about incest issues, someone would try to post a comment filled with incest videos. The spam filter’s collection would pile up with spam comments for medications, and vile pornographic videos with many different kinds of sexual violence and mistreatment.

Vulnerable survivor bloggers can be emotionally affected by such posts. I know that when I posted at Blessed Fearscapes, that sort of crap could ruin my day. I hate to break to this idiot commenter, but this survivor blogger is in such an advanced state of healing that she simply deleted his detestable comment.

I think it takes a lot of courage for survivors to blog, and to tell their stories, knowing that there are people like this out there. My kudos and thanks to all of you out there! 🙂

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April 17, 2009

In Solidarity With the Shakers: A response to the Survivor Thread.

***Please note that this post may trigger!***

I too have survived multiple sexual assaults, abuse, and disrespect over the years.

I recently discovered the Shakesville blog for myself. Recently a very powerful post and thread was started, the Survivor Thread. Melissa of Shakesville asked the thread’s readers to tell their personal stories of sexual violence, with a gentle attention given to getting survivors of multiple hurts opening up and feeling free to share the magnitiude of what has happened to them.

Here’s some of what Melissa had to say:

And many of us who are survivors of repeat assaults will not speak of it; many of us will pick the “worst” one and talk about that in threads on assault, as if it’s the only one. We do this for many reasons: We might feel embarrassed by being repeatedly victimized, as if it’s indicative of a character flaw within ourselves; we might have trouble discussing multiple assaults without undermining what tenuous feeling of safety we have; we might have faced reactions of incredulity from people with whom we shared this information and thought we could trust; we might have been called liars or hysterics—accusations born of the silence about sexual assault.

I may post there soon to tell my story there personally, but for now, I will try and tell a shorter version (snapshots of my life, if you will) of my story. I tend to be long-winded, but I will try not to write a novel!

My first hurt was as a toddler. For a few months a “friend of the family” had access to me as a 2 and 3 year old. I am reluctant to call that experience rape with certainty. But my mother at that time took to examining me for signs of abuse, and at one point after one such visit she discovered me bleeding in my diaper. So while I was extremely young and can’t completely know what happened to me, the evidence is strong in support of rape. 😦 On my 4th birthday, we moved to another part of the state, and I never saw him again.

My second hurt, while not sexual abuse, was a violent physical assault at the hands of my father when I was 8 years old. He was drunk, and suffocated me to unconsiousness one horrible summer afternoon.

My third hurts lasted a long five years, and began when I was 9. We visited my great-aunt and great-uncle and their side of the family regularly. It was then my great-uncle began forcibly kissing me and touching me when he could get away with it. It stopped when I was 14 and refused to continue going to their home.

My fourth hurt happened when I was 11. I was in my backyard, playing with a black kitten named Leo, when a man in the house across the street whistled for my attention from his window. When I looked up, he was masturbating.

My fifth hurt happened was I was 15. I was in one of those teenage “sort of” relationships that was abusive. It consisted of unwanted touching, and physical cruelties, like being strangled from behing with a rope, or having the point of a safety pin pushed into the soft skin of my hand.

My sixth hurt happened on May 28, 1999, when I was 17 years old, and 2 weeks before my high school graduation. I was walking to a bus stop with a friend after school when I was chased, caught, and sexually abused on a busy street (with useless onlookers) by five or six guys. My eyes were closed for much of the assault. I didn’t want to face what was happening, and I was just screaming for help and trying to get away, so I don’t know the exact number of assailants I had that day. The exact number of attackers is irrelevant, however. One attempted rapist is one attempted rapist too many already.

My seventh hurt occurred when I was 20 years old, and I can’t speak of it.

My eight hurt began when I was 23. I have been stalked off and on since that point in time, by a man I thought I could trust. He sent sexually abusive messages to me, and eventually I learned he’d been accused of sexually abusive acts before, and also during the stalking.

My ninth hurt happened when I was 25. I was in a relationship with a man who I thought was kind and gentle. He had even protected me from previous abusers. But when I could not make love with him, he became coercive and intimidating. What little sense of safety I had was lost. And my inability to trust or feel safe with men began to rear its head again.

Those are the major things that happened to me. There were a lot of other little things, like getting my butt grabbed at junior high when I didn’t want to be touched, or getting my butt grabbed at a flea market at age 12 by a middle aged man who smirked the most disgusting smirk when I looked up to see who in the crowd was molesting me…

But I wanted to end this post in the following way: Yes, a lot of horrible things happened to me, yes I’ve lived a broken and desolate life, yes I have been legally disabled for a while partly due to PTSD. But my life is a happy one now. I’ve been a strong survivor for a long time now, but I am transitioning into the life of a thriver. So anyone at Shakesville, or anyone reading this who has been through these things, if life seems impossible to deal with, I understand. But it can and does get better. That’s my hope for all of you.

April 9, 2009

Ok, so I’m a disorganized jumble of thoughts at the moment…

And that’s perfectly fine I suppose; I don’t have a lengthy original expository post planned just yet.

I’ve been away from blogging for about two months, as you can see. Life has gotten busier, and though I am settling into a routine, I’m not sure where blogging fits in just yet (and I really ought to find it a place).

Mostly I’ve been caught up with four pets, two of which are special needs pooches; planning a backyard tent “studio” to have a peaceful and private place to get through my jewelry making workload, planning a garden to add to the atmosphere of my “studio,” and preparing for my jewelry’s big boutique debut, coming in the summer. 🙂

The other thing I wanted to write about is to let you all know (if you don’t read Crooks and Liars) to check out the chat that C & L did with Congressman Barney Frank.

Unfortunately there wasn’t time for Congressman Frank to answer my question about predatory payday loans and a potential interest rate hike, but that’s understandable; Congressman Frank was very gracious and answered as many questions as he could, and I believe everyone could benefit from reading the answers he was able to get to.

And kudos to C & L for hosting the chat! 🙂

The other th

February 3, 2009

Are Neo-Confederates to blame for Republican obstructionism?

Ah, it’s time for another collection of linkage. Enjoy!

A writer suggestions that people who don’t realize that the CSA lost the Civil War are to blame for Republican obstructionism. I’m not totally sure what to think, so I’ll leave you to your own conclusions! h/t to Crooks and Liars commenters.

HuffPo reports that Congressman Barney Frank has ordered the banking CEOs that were bailed out to testify before Congress and get a good yelling at.

This Yahoo article explains the different kinds of jobs that can be created by President Obama’s stimulus package. Once again, h/t to Crooks and Liars commenters. 🙂

From Crooks and Liars, a report on Michelle Bernard suggesting that women shouldn’t worry about pay equity.

Check out Project Censored’s Top Censored Stories of 2009. Brought to you by the rocking commenters at C & L! 😉

Womanist Musings has a post on a transgendered woman who was discriminated against by a nightclub based on her transgendered status.

Good on a judge! Abyss2hope writes about a judge who was uninterested in rapist’s excuse that his crime “was not that bad.”

Season of the Bitch shares thoughts on what roles liberal and progressive bloggers should play in cleaning up the mess our country is in.

There can never be enough snark when it comes to Dick Armey’s dickish comment to Joan Walsh on Hardball the other day. Feministe provides us with more snark, plus the actual video of Armey making a dick-sgrace of himself.

From RH Reality Check, women’s health advocacy groups react to the Obama Administration caving on contraception in the stimulus package.

MOMocrats write about why the Republicans are freaking out over labor secretary nominee Hilda Solis.

And last, but not least, Natalia Antonova deconstructions the comments being made about Ali Campoverdi, former pinup model turned White House employee by so-called progressives.

That’s it for now, no craftiness until tomorrow, when I will be doing an entire post on why I choose to get crafty! 🙂

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