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Sun Jul 27, 2014, 06:54 PM

i believe you | it's not your fault

An excellent tumblr.

trigger warning for rape & suicidal ideation

http://ibelieveyouitsnotyourfault.tumblr.com/



A few examples:

Sometimes You Freeze
By Anonymous



Dear Teenager,

I’m about to tell you something that I didn’t know until it happened to me.

A few years ago, I was raped by someone I thought was my friend. Actually, I thought we might date eventually. At the time, I told him I was still nursing a broken heart and wasn’t ready to be with him. Because he supposedly cared about me, I thought this would make him leave me alone. It did not. He thought he could make overpowering me physically into a romantic entanglement. I remember getting a text message from him a couple weeks later asking for my address. He wanted to come pick me up and take me out for a fancy dinner, nice dress for me and suit for him. I had a panic attack under my comforter before being able to tell him no. It took me nearly a year to come to terms with the fact that I’d been raped. I wanted so badly for it to have been a misunderstanding.

I couldn’t remember the details of what happened. I could remember some moments very clearly. But I couldn’t remember saying no, and I couldn’t remember fighting back. I lived with so much guilt because of this. I’m strong and opinionated. I state my wishes clearly. I had had friends who had been victims of violence before, so it’s not like I was unfamiliar with the concept.

But what nobody told me was that our bodies react in different ways to violence. When we feel we are in danger, our instincts take over. Our conscious thoughts fall by the wayside. We may not run away or fight back physically if our bodies decide that freezing is what will be most effective in preserving our physical and mental health. If you’ve ever heard of “playing possum,” that’s when an opossum pretends to be dead so that other animals will leave it alone. Humans do this, too. I remember falling asleep in hopes that he would leave me alone. It worked for a while, so my body made a good call.

If you are violated and you don’t remember why you took certain actions or did certain things, please don’t berate yourself. You were not complicit in your attack. From the moment your attacker made it clear that your wishes about your own body were secondary to his/her wishes, your body was in emergency mode. What it did, it did to protect you. You, your body, were always trying to take care of you and make sure you were alive the next day.

And just because you don’t remember something doesn’t mean you didn’t say or do it. As I started to recover from the attack, I recovered some of my memories. I did fight back—not with my fists, but with my wits. I’d used creative ruses to try to get out of the room, I’d said many different shades of no. When that didn’t stop him, my mind even tried to minimize damage by trying to turn the encounter consensual. I tried to care about him; I tried to want him. I felt so guilty about this after the fact, because I felt like I’d betrayed myself in the moment. But I was just trying to survive until tomorrow. I was trying to stay sane.

If you’re having a hard time putting words to what happened, if you’re afraid to call it by its name, if your reactions were confusing and don’t fit the narrative of what our culture identifies as rape, that doesn’t mean anything. Each attack is different, perpetrated by a different person under different circumstances, and each survivor is different, too. If you don’t hear other people with your story, it probably means that they’ve just been too scared to put words to it yet. I’ve been there.

And I believe you. It’s not your fault.

- Anonymous




It Was Not Nothing
By Jenny Yang


Dear Little Sister,

I was quite young when I realized my own parents weren’t the most emotionally supportive. I wish we didn’t have to be so young to learn that sometimes our own parents can let us down. I knew they loved me, but so many things get in the way of kids getting the love that we need.

Most of these things are totally out of our control. In my case, I was the youngest of our immigrant family. I got better at speaking English and “being American” than the rest of my family. A lot of times, my own parents relied on me to figure out the world, even when I was very young. Sometimes our own parents are not the best place get comfort when we are being mistreated by the world—especially if this is a world that they don’t understand. And sometimes, sadly, grownups just think that our life is so small when we are little and young.

I was the only girl and youngest of three kids. When I was six years old, I was new to the block and finally playing with the neighbor kids on a regular basis. This one day, a boy from the next street over showed up. He was this jagged-toothed, sandy blonde white kid with a mischievous grin.

He interrupted our freeze tag and started making fun of me. I didn’t quite speak enough English after only being in America for less than a year, but I could see that his face was mocking me. Maybe he knew that I didn’t understand his words so he had to make himself perfectly clear.

After laughing at my face for what felt like forever, he reached underneath my flouncy knee-length skirt and flipped it up. My face got hot and all the other kids started laughing and pointing. They saw my underwear and I knew the kid was being mean.

He tried flipping up my skirt again but I ran away just in time. I escaped to my house with hot tears streaming down my face.

As I heard the sound of the screen door slam behind me, I realized I had interrupted my mom who was deep in conversation, speaking Mandarin Chinese with a neighbor lady. I screamed in Chinese, “Mom! The boy down the street. He was laughing at me and he flipped up my skirt.”

While I cried and clutched fists full of my skirt in anger, all I wanted was a hug or an “I’m sorry this happened to you.” But all I got was laughter. Their laughter echoed the sounds of the kids who mocked me just seconds ago.

“Oh, Jenny! Is that all that happened? He flipped up your skirt? Hahaha.” She turned to her friend and shot her a glance that said, “Oh look at this silly girl.” This friend of my mom also started giggling. Grownups can be so mean sometimes.

“Jenny. Don’t worry about it,” my mom insisted. She was about to turn back to her friend to continue their conversation but I stood there and screamed louder. Something was wrong. Harm was done.

“Mom! He just came up to me and flipped up my skirt! Everyone saw my underwear!”

My mom laughed some more.

"Oh, look at my daughter. Isn’t she funny getting so upset? It’s fine. It’s just your underwear. It’s over.”

“But, mom!”

My mom laughed even harder.

“Look how upset you are. Don’t get upset over this. Nothing happened. It’s nothing.”

In Chinese, the words “mei shi” literally translate to “not a big deal” or “not a thing.” No thing. Nothing.

My mother would go on to contradict herself when it came to how I was supposed to carry my own body. When I got just a few years older, she told me to close my legs when I sat down because “a proper girl didn’t show her underwear.” So when is it okay for a girl to show her underwear? Only when a strange boy forces you to show it?

After feeling rejected by my mom, I ran into the bedroom and cried. I knew there was nothing I could do to get the reaction that I wanted. I wanted my mom to understand that what this boy did was not okay.

From that day forward, I vowed in my heart to never wear a skirt again. I learned that to wear a skirt was to be laughed at and to feel vulnerable. That to be a girl was to be weak and ignored. That life was better to be just like my two much older brothers rather than the silly, youngest girl who was never really seen for how I felt and who I was. That this was just the beginning to learning all the ways that life was so unfair to little girls and young women. That our own parents can love us so much and work really hard to clothe and feed us, but that they might not protect and nourish us in very important ways that help us to grow up, and feel whole and safe.

I am here to tell you all of this because it’s okay. I will believe you when somebody mistreats you. I know it matters to you so it matters to me. You know when you are not being treated well. I’m here to tell you that you are right. You do not deserve to be mocked and bullied by anyone. You deserve to have grownups believe you when you say that you were harmed and violated. Your body is yours. What you wear has nothing to do with other people’s bad behavior.

I see what happened to you. I know exactly how you feel. It was not your fault. I believe you.

Love,

Jenny Yang




It Was a Slow Flood
By Leah Williams



Dear teen girl,

I wish I could hold back the floodwaters for you until you could cross safely. I would pull back the tides and restrain all the crashing waves until you felt okay. I wish someone had been able to contain all the waters swelling around me whenever I felt like drowning.

It was a slow flood. It started when I was about nineteen and I was walking home from a film shoot, with my iPod blasting Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It was about five in the morning and I was exhausted. I was living in Brooklyn with my best friend and roommate, and I was walking along 4th Ave towards our apartment, and the streets were empty. It was eerie but peaceful; like the whole world was made just for me to see.

A car slowed down and drove beside me. The tinted window came down and a man said something to me from the inside but I couldn’t hear him over the blare of my music. I walked faster. A moment later, I was being forcefully pulled into the car. There were two men inside. One to hold me down, one to do as he would.

I was a competitive swimmer as a child. I’ve always had very strong legs. I don’t think they were expecting harsh and swift kicks to the head.

I got out and ran. I ducked down a one-way street they couldn’t turn into and I ran until I was safe inside my apartment. I passed out unceremoniously on my bed. Later, when I told the story to my friends, I laughed about it. We all laughed at how ridiculous it was.

Months later I was waiting at a red light when a man pulled up next to me and started masturbating while watching me. I sat there until the light turned green. My heart was pounding and I felt sick. I felt dirty and gross. When I called my friends immediately after, (who, at the time, were all guys) they laughed at me. I eventually laughed too.

A year and a half later I had just moved to Los Angeles and a celebrated painter invited me over to his place for tea. I didn’t know anyone yet or have any friends. I was excited to make a friend, hopefully someone who could help me navigate the waters of a bizarre big new city.

He wanted more than tea. His hand was inside my dress within minutes of me stepping in the door. He kept pleading, pulling at my clothes, and swatting my hands away. I started laughing. I was saying no, and stop, I was saying “Please stop,” but I was laughing so he did too. He ripped my dress. I laughed harder. I forcefully extracted myself and ran home, still laughing. He called me consistently for months afterwards. I saw his paintings all over Hollywood. I saw his picture in the paper, smirking at me from the pages. When we ran into each other, I was polite and deferential. He always wanted to hang out again.

That wasn’t the last time something like that happened to me. There are more stories. I have to separate these memories and string them up innocently, each to each, because when I lay them all out in connection to each other I feel like I am trapped underwater. I feel crushed by something inescapable.

I laugh when I am uncomfortable. I have given a slight smile and a nervous giggle when a predatory man sidles up to me to take his best shot. I have laughed off the unwanted attentions of men who got too close. It took me a very long time to unlearn automatic politeness. It took me a very long time to stop caring about sparing the feelings of men who attacked me.

I know it is exhausting; constantly defending bodily borders. I know that it is complicated; balancing all the things you are supposed to be. I know it’s hard to be the beauty when all you want to do is snarl and be the beast. I know how tiring it can be treading water when all you want to do is let go and drown. I would drink up every ocean if it could protect you from men who pull you into cars or leer at your skirt hems or lure you into their tastefully decorated dens.

After caterpillars wrap themselves up in their cocoons and are comfortably mummified, they liquefy. Everything they are is destroyed before they become butterflies. I just want you to know that despite an insidious undertow trying to tug you down, that you will not drown. Human bodies are 60% water. You are an infinite reservoir, baby, all liquids take the shape of their container. You and me, we’re more than the men who want us to feel small. Nobody can make us feel like the beach flea when we were born to be an arcane and endless sea. I can tell you right now that an unfortunate reality is that the world will only get bigger and badder as you grow older. The monsters lurking in the waves will get harder to slay. The good news is that you get bigger and badder, too, and you will never have to fight them alone if you don’t want to. We will be here for you.

- Leah Williams, age 25



i miss sea's voice. i'm so tired.

17 replies, 2631 views

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Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply i believe you | it's not your fault (Original post)
redqueen Jul 2014 OP
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Jul 2014 #1
BainsBane Jul 2014 #2
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Jul 2014 #3
BainsBane Jul 2014 #4
intaglio Jul 2014 #7
BainsBane Jul 2014 #8
Agschmid Jul 2014 #17
theHandpuppet Jul 2014 #14
progressoid Jul 2014 #6
awoke_in_2003 Jul 2014 #9
BainsBane Jul 2014 #10
awoke_in_2003 Jul 2014 #11
BainsBane Jul 2014 #12
awoke_in_2003 Jul 2014 #13
theHandpuppet Jul 2014 #15
sheshe2 Jul 2014 #16
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Jul 2014 #5

Response to redqueen (Original post)

Sun Jul 27, 2014, 06:59 PM

1. Did she get hidden again already?

I swore I saw her back in the last day or two. Unless, I guess, it was an old thread floating back to the top because of the weird way DU shuffles threads around.

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Response to Erich Bloodaxe BSN (Reply #1)

Sun Jul 27, 2014, 07:34 PM

2. Yes. Here are the results.

On Sat Jul 26, 2014, 10:02 AM an alert was sent on the following post:

link to where i told people what they can/cannot do. you cannot. derailing with this cause you FAIL
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=5293775

REASON FOR ALERT

This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate.

ALERTER'S COMMENTS

Can't people discuss without attacking each other? Is disagreeing "bullshit"? This should be a place for discussion.

JURY RESULTS

A randomly-selected Jury of DU members completed their review of this alert at Sat Jul 26, 2014, 10:16 AM, and voted 5-2 to HIDE IT.

Juror #1 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: No explanation given
Juror #2 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: No explanation given
Juror #3 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: No explanation given
Juror #4 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: No explanation given
Juror #5 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: No explanation given
Juror #6 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: No explanation given
Juror #7 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: No explanation given

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #2)

Sun Jul 27, 2014, 07:38 PM

3. Oh good grief.

5 hides on saying 'bullshit' being too rude? Who are the 'delicate flowers' around this site anyway? I thought it was supposed to be those of us who didn't approve of misogynistic language that were being accused of that...

And, btw, I love the passive-aggressive alert. Claims to be for 'discussion', but works to get posts that offend him hidden so they can't continue to be discussed.

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Response to Erich Bloodaxe BSN (Reply #3)

Sun Jul 27, 2014, 07:39 PM

4. Unreal isn't it?

Imagine if everyone who used the word bullshit had a post hidden? Note not a single comment from the jurors.

Someone was still alerting on her as of this morning. A good citizen sent her the results and expressed dismay.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 27, 2014, 07:49 PM

7. I have started to suspect that there may be some 'bots

as in software logged in to allow multiple chances of jury service. It would not be difficult set up the 'bot, comment until about 100 posts reached or use a randomised K&R comment or a "silent thread" period. The 'bots will always accept jury service and always vote to hide although more complex behaviours would be possible.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #7)

Sun Jul 27, 2014, 07:59 PM

8. Seems like an awful lot of work to go to

I really don't know, but I am suspicious when I see a hide without comments. I posted an ATA asking the admins. to consider making comments obligatory. We'll see if I get a response.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #7)

Sun Jul 27, 2014, 11:19 PM

17. I doubt this.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 27, 2014, 09:01 PM

14. It's targeting.

I can think of no other explanation.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #2)

Sun Jul 27, 2014, 07:49 PM

6. Hide for that?

wtf?

And of course...
Explanation: No explanation given

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #2)

Sun Jul 27, 2014, 08:07 PM

9. what a bunch of BS...

 

that was not hide worthy. Hopefully the admins will realize there is a certain set of people that are determined to pull her off sides.

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #9)

Sun Jul 27, 2014, 08:10 PM

10. Meanwhile, I was actually surprised a post telling me

to "fuck off" was hidden. A friend sent me the results. Only one juror said I deserved it.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #10)

Sun Jul 27, 2014, 08:29 PM

11. The problem with the jury system...

 

is it is hard to keep track of tendencies. When you have a dedicated mod team, who have tools to allow you to easily look at posting records, you can see when a witch hunt (sorry for the use of that term, couldn't think of a better on) is going on. I have no doubt that it is only a handful of people that are purposely trying to get Sea's messages blocked. A juror cannot see this, a moderator could. I was a moderator for a few terms, we knew who sent alerts and that was very helpful sometimes.

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #11)

Sun Jul 27, 2014, 08:31 PM

12. I agree

and witch hunt is the perfect term, particularly considering witch hunts largely targeted women who transgressed social norms.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #12)

Sun Jul 27, 2014, 08:33 PM

13. Well, I hadn't thought of it that way. nt

 

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #2)

Sun Jul 27, 2014, 09:03 PM

15. Just my personal opinion

But if you're going to vote to hide a post, you should at least provide an explanation for your vote. If you can't/won't, recuse yourself for someone who will.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #2)

Sun Jul 27, 2014, 11:16 PM

16. let's chalk up another bogus hide for seabeyond.

ALERTER'S COMMENTS

Can't people discuss without attacking each other? Is disagreeing "bullshit"? This should be a place for discussion.


I seem to remember an Op calling the Obama a POS and was allowed to stand. An OP attacked this President. They attacked this President! So calling our President on DU a piece of shit used car salesman is A Okay with a jury?! Really?!!! Sea said..

link to where i told people what they can/cannot do. you cannot. derailing with this cause you FAIL

in your outrage.

bullshit.

you totally shifted what was being said to bullshit.

fail


Are you kidding me here!?

Sorry Skinner, the jury system is a bit of a joke. We are broken here.

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Sun Jul 27, 2014, 07:43 PM

5. I remember reading an account somewhat similar to the first one before.

A person who was explaining how they basically just froze up, mentally, in shock, unable to say or do anything until it was over, then drastically cut short the visit and made sure they never saw the person ever again, and didn't admit it or talk about it for decades. Only then the recounting of what had happened, and how it had made any sort of real relationships next to impossible for all that time.

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