( ( ( ♡ ) ) )
( ( ( ♡ ) ) )
First you wake in disbelief, then
In sadness and grief and when you wake
For the last time, the forest you’ve been
Looking for will turn out to be
Right in the middle of your chest.
Butterflies and hurricanes | via Tumblr on We Heart It.
Estallaré en mil formas
ya no estarás en la zona de mi alma
y descubriré mil vientos
Y ahora invertido:
Ya no estarás para darme valor
todo se quebró, sin embargo mis ojos
dan al cielo.
The truth is I’ve had enough of not enough and I’ve also had enough of the smug superiority I’ve sometimes inadvertently assumed as a shield against feeling the opposite. The first step has been to raise my awareness. That means noticing these feelings when they arise — both “not enough” and “better than,” which, after all, are just two sides of the same coin. It helps a lot, I’m finding, to simply observe my feelings, rather than getting lost in them, or compelled to share them.
The truth is I’ve had enough of not enough and I’ve also had enough of the smug superiority I’ve sometimes inadvertently assumed as a shield against feeling the opposite.
The first step has been to raise my awareness. That means noticing these feelings when they arise — both “not enough” and “better than,” which, after all, are just two sides of the same coin. It helps a lot, I’m finding, to simply observe my feelings, rather than getting lost in them, or compelled to share them.
"What do you do when your friend says he considers "no" to be an act of foreplay rather than a lack of consent?
One of my former good friends, Matt, truly believed this. He wasn’t joking, nor was he discussing Louis CK’s social commentary on Louie. At the time, I was shocked. Today, however, I know Matt is sadly not alone: A recent study shows that men who have sex without consent do not always consider themselves rapists.
Matt certainly didn’t. He was that guy everyone knew. He worked at the local bar and could go from being a complete stranger to your possible-new-best-friend-whom-you-have-plans-with-tomorrow-night in the time he took to pour your first shot. He was — and still is — the most charming person I have ever met. We talked about everything: politics, classes, where we hoped to be in the future, our distaste for cheap alcohol…everything but Matt’s sex life.
I soon discovered Matt had a routine: He would bring a woman to his apartment, pour her a drink, and take her to his room. She would leave early the next morning, and Matt would never mention it. Aside from a few passing jokes (“There’s no way Matt can keep these girls’ names straight!”) I didn’t really give Matt’s “process” much thought. I had always prided myself on not judging someone for his or her sex life, and I certainly wasn’t against casual sex; one-night stands were par for the course among my friend group. Plus, its not like Matt was having sex with me — or anyone I knew.
During a rough patch in my relationship with my boyfriend, Matt was the one who comforted me; he took me out to breakfast, because nothing cures a heartbreak and a hangover like a bacon-egg-and-cheese. Looking back, it’s moments like that one that hurt the most. He always seemed like one of the good ones.
Then, during our final year of college, Matt started hooking up with more and more girls I actually knew. Some were likely lured by the all-too-common, triple-A formula of college hookups: alcohol, attention, and accessibility. Some were drawn by curiosity: What was the fuss all about? Some genuinely liked Matt. One of my friends slept with him after her long-term relationship ended; afterwards, she said it was the first time she didn’t feel in control while having sex. She couldn’t recall how she went from crying on Matt’s shoulder about her ex to putting her clothes back on.
After talking to her, I started feeling uncomfortable about Matt. I began wondering if all of these hookups were as fun and casual as I had let myself believe. I asked Matt why he slept with my friend; he said it was because she’d looked sad and lonely. At that point, I should have asked him how he had interpreted those emotions as an invitation for sex — but, I didn’t. And, I still regret it.
One night, I awoke to a frantic phone call from yet another one of my close friends who had gone home with Matt. She told me she had kept saying “no,” but Matt wouldn’t slow down. She had been scared and had run away — without even grabbing all of her clothes.
From these women, I started hearing the same, alarming phrase, repeated over and over: “I didn’t even want to sleep with him in the first place.” When I tried to talk to my ex (and Matt’s best friend) about it, he defended Matt. I couldn’t believe the two of us — two people who had previously been having consensual sex — couldn’t even agree what “consent” was.
What can you say to someone who doesn’t understand the word “no” — one of the very first words we learn as kids? When I confronted Matt, he expressed his awful belief that females don’t actually mean it when they say “no.” He insisted he’d always gotten “consent” because he’d never drugged anyone or forced someone into his room. At the time, I was so flabbergasted that I couldn’t even verbalize a definition of consent that took into consideration all of the nuances that come with different (but healthy) sexual relationships. But, I did know that the line between consent and rape went beyond the presence (or lack) of substances or violence.
I felt betrayed. I had always seen “my Matt” as different from “their Matt,” but I could no longer separate his behaviors to make my life easier. There was only one Matt. And, these hookups had crossed a line. Was it a crime? I couldn’t decide. But, it was certainly painful, and in my opinion, wrong. After a couple hours of fighting, Matt and I had nothing left to say. We just weren’t friends anymore.
For Matt and I, life post-friendship has as many shades of gray as our friendship did. We didn’t disappear from each other’s lives. We still have mutual friends. Some of them think Matt did nothing wrong; others have no problem calling him a rapist. In fact, one of my friends lives with him now. When Matt and I see each other, we say “hi” — and then proceed to act like strangers.
I’ll never be friends with Matt again. But, I can’t erase our past friendship any more than I can erase the pain he caused other people I cared about. Anyone could befriend Matt, or a guy like him — and that may be the scariest part of all. It’s too simple to say you would never support or associate with a rapist; maybe you already have.
As a society, we don’t have a clear definition of consent. And, all of the "consent" apps in the world won’t make up for honest conversations. We know that peer influence has the power to prevent rape, and it’s high time we all did a better job of asking questions and speaking out. If I had confronted Matt earlier, would my friends have been spared? Maybe. Maybe not. All I know is that next time, I won’t be a silent bystander. I will speak out — even if the person in question seems like a “good guy.” After all, if we don’t have one definition for “consent,” we don’t have one for “rapist,” either.”
"Kenneth Pope in "Torture", a chapter he wrote for the "Encyclopedia of Women and Gender: Sex Similarities and Differences and the Impact of Society on Gender", quotes Harvard psychiatrist Judith Herman:
'It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator. All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing. He appeals to the universal desire to see, hear, and speak no evil. The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain. The victim demands action, engagement, and remembering.’
But, more often, continued attempts to repress fearful memories result in psychosomatic illnesses (conversion). The victim wishes to forget the torture, to avoid re-experiencing the often life threatening abuse and to shield his human environment from the horrors. In conjunction with the victim’s pervasive distrust, this is frequently interpreted as hypervigilance, or even paranoia. It seems that the victims can’t win. Torture is forever.”
Malignant Self Love.
"Pain is also unsharable in that it is resistant to language… All our interior states of consciousness: emotional, perceptual, cognitive and somatic can be described as having an object in the external world… This affirms our capacity to move beyond the boundaries of our body into the external, sharable world. This is the space in which we interact and communicate with our environment. But when we explore the interior state of physical pain we find that there is no object ‘out there’ – no external, referential content. Pain is not of, or for, anything. Pain is. And it draws us away from the space of interaction, the sharable world, inwards. It draws us into the boundaries of our body."
Spitz referenced in Malignant Self-Love
In a dream you saw a way to survive
I came into this tattoo shop to remind myself that you may always remember what has happened to you, but your body will keep changing. A body can become unfamiliar to someone else’s in time. Here’s where counting becomes comforting: Red blood cells can live up to four months, white blood cells just under a month, skin cells a little over a month and a half. This means progress—my body is now all mine again. I survive my history by making my body new in other ways, too: I change my hair color constantly.
While I’d like this to be a neat narrative where I have gotten over my fears, my anxiety, my triggers, and my nightmares about sex after assault, I haven’t entirely. But I’ve learned that, sometimes, you don’t move on. You move through.
It took me a frustratingly long time to live with the aftermath of my assaults. Sometimes, I still get pulled back into nightmares, but I find comfort in the fact that I woke up. The sun is shining. There are dogs in the park. I woke up. I am not altogether my past. The bruises that bloomed faded away, too. Any body, with time, can be new. And that is a blessing. That is joy. That’s why I decided to permanently ink this quote by Jenny Holzer on my body: to reflect that.
In a dream you saw a way to survive, and you were full of joy.
I’m delirious with pain. I feel fuzzy and light, but I’m awake, and I’m not a ghost—I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive. The difference between this ache and the aches from before: I am safe. I could have told the artist to stop at any time, but I didn’t want to. I decided. I chose to mark my body as my own territory. It’s entirely mine, and though it always was, I know that now, and I blossom, and I bloom. ♦
Way to survive by Arabelle.
Not That Good - Nobunny
(click the above to listen to the song)
i dont want to have a job anymore. i just want to draw all day. going into hybernation in prep for supernova bye bye bye bye