Friday, April 12, 2013

A Funky Place (NOT Erotic)


WARNING:
This post is NOT about ANYTHING sexy, erotic or uplifting.  

I am in an odd mental place.  It's been a rough week.  Of course, it can't just be one thing, it has to be a series of things which have happened this week.  Many of which have been rough.  But this is one that I was trying to work through and decided to write my way through my thoughts.  Please bare with me.

I was listening to a story on NPR about Date-Rape.  The woman on was discussing her own situation where she had been date-raped.  Part of her story included the fact that even though she thought she was yelling for the person to stop, what she realized was that she was silent and only after a long time, began to vocalize at a whisper.  She said that this is a common thing, vocal paralysis in great stress or trauma.  She also said that as soon as it was over, she could tell that she was beginning to block the event out.  She only knew the details of what had happened because she wrote about it in her journal.  Another expert came on and was discussing how she goes to groups and talks to kids and parents about boundaries, sex and date rape.  She said that she has been in the room where a boy and his parents are being confronted with an allegation of date-rape (on the boys’ part.)  At times, the boy is genuinely shocked and dismayed and upset that he has hurt someone.   She said that there are many boys that don’t understand that they are going past a girls boundaries…especially if the experience is one of  their first sexual encounters or if they are very young.  If the girl isn’t forthcoming with her consent or if she isn’t “loud and proud” about her boundaries being crossed, then he may not be clear headed enough or astute enough to make that mental leap.  That boys need to learn to have clear consent and girls need to be clear about their boundaries.

OK

So for me, my assault was a LONG time ago.  But I had an OMG moment while listening to this show.  Does the boy who assaulted me, know what he was doing?  Did he know he was crossing a line?  Does it matter if he knew?  So in the shower this morning, I was thinking.  Does it matter to me?  Well, kinda.  I villainized him - in my mind.  He willfully and knowingly hurt me.  Pushed me.  Violated me.  But did he knowingly do that?  I will never know.  Did I say no loud enough for him to get that across the fog of hormones?  I don’t know.  Does it make what happened my fault.  No.  I know I didn’t cause it.  But it bothers me.  I don’t know what to do with this information and lack of clarity.  I don’t know if there is anything really to do with it, but it has put me in an odd mental place.

On the other side, it was gratifying to hear how normal it was for people to block out such experiences.  That is exactly what I did….until it was triggered.  I knew it had happened…but the specifics I chose not to recall or relive.  After being triggered, and the trauma of naming the experience as rape or assault and the sexual distress of being in that position again, this time consensually, but trying to have the same sexual experience was really difficult. It was worked through at the time with an insane amount of support from my boyfriend.  Sadly, periodically, after something triggers that emotional place, I work through my issues … again.  I am the most fortunate person to have a loving, supportive husband (that same previous boyfriend) who both understands me and works with me and helps and protects me.  But damn, it sucks to go back to that mentally uneasy place.  I hate that I can’t just be over it…forever.  It’s not fair and it sucks.

On a whole other side, I realize that boundaries, of a sexual nature, are things that really should be discussed with our children.  I haven’t done that with mine, yet.  They’re coming up to the age that it really should occur sometime.  I also wonder if I should talk to them about my unfortunate experience.  I know you learn from other’s mistakes, but I haven’t shared this experience with ANYONE in my family – other than my husband.  Is it something that I want my children to know?  What if other’s find out.  Why would that matter?  Well, I don’t really want to go there with my parents.  I don’t want to have those conversations.  We don’t have the same beliefs of what constitutes rape and when no means no and girls asking for it…you get the point.  I just don’t want to go there.  But, It’s part of my life.  I don’t know.

So here I sit.  Uneasy.  Sad.  Questioning.  In a funky place.

20 comments:

  1. Surrounding you with love, healing and light. sometimes these tragedies in our lives serve to teach us something important--even something as small as learning about how to help our own daughters or sons navigate teen sex, or about how to open to someone after trauma, or about how to love with your whole heart and be vulnerable (which you do and are) even though you've experienced something that hurt you.

    You are working through this beautifully in your own perfect way. Sending you hugs.

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    1. Being vulnerable can be so tricky for me. Thank you so much for your support and kind words!!!

      hugs,
      fiona

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  2. fiona,

    I feel your pain. I cannot imagine the feeling of being violated, I am sure it is awful beyond words.

    I have three grown sons. I taught them to be respectful of females by my words and actions. I do not believe that you need to relive the pain of your past experience with your children. Your guidance will probably be enough to lead them in the right direction.

    Hug,
    joey

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    1. I sure hope you are right joey. Thanks for your support!

      hugs,
      fiona

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  3. Hello,
    I have a fourteen year old son. I have not shared my own experience with him, but after reading that you are considering it, I am as well. But that thought sends me into a panic. And yet I think I need to, especially since I just had the conversation of porn and electronic devices, the objectification of women through porn (my husband sank lower in his chair as well when I got to that point,) and that a woman's first experience with sex is NOTHING like a man's and porn does not acknowledge that. I then proceeded to outline in detail what I would find acceptable for him to view (and they both sank lower still). We did not talk about sexual boundaries, but I think we should, not that any girl in her right mind would look twice at him just yet. He is still "under construction" and has a long way to go before a fourteen year old girl would even consider giving him the time of day. But I don't want to miss the window of opportunity.

    I will be looking for that NPR podcast. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment. It REALLY meant a lot. I have a son about the same age. I appreciate your story. Navigating this parenting and sex-ed portion especially, is so darned difficult. I SO WANT THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL!!

      Like I said though, I am sooo appreciative of your comment!

      hugs,
      fiona

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  4. I see where you are coming from with, did the boy know what he was doing was wrong? I had a bad experience with a cousin who was older than I but not grown enough to get the repercussion of what he was doing to my sister and I.

    I did come to terms with it when that same question came to mind with me. Right there I chose to no longer be the victim and realized that he probably did not know that what he did affected me in such a way. It was a healing A-ha moment for me, a moment in which I could set free the bodage he had over me. The power became mine once again, the power I gave to him was gone. With that I was able to forgive, to let go.

    I hope you can find that same freedom, it is empowering to let go. It is not an easy journey but one well worth the taking.

    And Yes, we should teach our children well when it comes to sex, boundaries and No meaning No. Never to soon.

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    1. Thank you so much Anna May! Thank you for sharing about your experience as well. That is so helpful! Freedom comes in pieces and healing does to. It's not something that I struggle with all the time, but periodically.

      Hugs,
      fiona

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  5. I can't imagine being in a different place from my mom on when no means no (always, unless you've previously worked out that red or purple or ouchpainstopNOW means no).

    I speak with my child about boundaries constantly - for himself, and for others. He's in a place right now where he wants to cling on to you, even after you've asked him to stop, and I'm trying to get him to understand that when someone tells you to stop doing something that involves their own body, you stop. Always.

    It's harder to get across than I would have thought.

    These are the hard questions; kudos to you for wrestling with them.

    I'm really sorry about the rough week.

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    1. Ya, I know...not so fabulous on the different thoughts front! Boundaries are difficult, especially for kids. It's ongoing. They seem to have them, then don't sometimes. Hmmm...

      Thanks for your support, always!!

      hugs!

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  6. I'm sorry about your difficult week. You know your family, your children, your parents, I'm sure you will continue to do what is best for you and them. Dealing with a trauma is a very personal issue and I think it is important to make sure you do what is right for you and not be pressurised into thinking there is a right or wrong way to deal with it. With our children, we can only hope they will listen and learn from us.
    hugs to you.

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    1. Thank you so much DF. I hope, desperately HOPE that mine will learn from Sir and I. PLEASE!!

      Hugs,
      fiona

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  7. So sorry you had to go through this. Thanks for sharing though, and adding more perspective as I work my way through my experience.

    "even though she thought she was yelling for the person to stop, what she realized was that she was silent"

    yes. At first i couldn't, my mouth was covered. then i could have tried to stop it but just screamed on the inside.

    He clearly knew this was wrong in the legal sense, he's an adult, I'm a child. But did he think i wanted it? I carry so much guilt over it. i put myself in that very wrong situation willingly. Little girls shouldn't play grown up games they don't know the rules of. Or did he plan and know exactly what he was going to do?

    I don't know how to move on. It's been blocked out so hard for a very very long time. I really don't know exactly what happened anymore. A dear friend was brutally attacked a few years ago and we're kind of talking it through together.

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    1. Thank you so much for your response chickadee. Really! Thank you! I blocked it out - like I swear - so quickly. It was insane. I know it was my only way of coping. Figuring it all out, was....IS....painful, difficult, depressing, but freeing and helps to make me whole again. Talking to someone is so incredibly helpful. Having support, someone to bounce things off of, someone to help you know that you are not alone, you are not the only one, your feelings aren't strange or inappropriate. KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE. We ALL feel these feelings, think these thoughts, have these emotions. Healing is a long, slow but amazing process.

      You are ALWAYS welcome to e-mail me if you want, SirQsmlb@gmail.com

      Hugs,
      fiona

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  8. I'm so sorry you had a bad week, {{{{HUGS}}}}

    Good luck deciding how much, if anything to share with the kids. I for one have never shared my story with my children, or anyone else other than Musicman for that matter. I've taught them a lot about recognizing and avoiding abuse, but I could never tell them what happened to me. It's a very individual thing and you will figure out what and when to speak to them :)

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    1. Ya, you of all people KNOW bad weeks inside and out. I feel bad complaining when you've had it much worse. But I appreciate the hugs - A LOT!

      In terms of the kids, I think this is something Sir and I will discuss soon. It's something we have to figure out together.

      Hugs,
      fiona

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  9. When i read this, i can really feel your pain and confusion. i'm sorry you're having to sort through all this AGAIN ~ believe me, i know how you feel. i think we heal in spirals, so sometimes it feels like we're backtracking, but i think eventually all the hard work pays off.

    Of course you are the only one who can decide what to tell your children and when to do it. For what it's worth, a rule of thumb that's worked well for me is not to disclose things to ~ well, to people you have power over ~ when you're struggling with the issues yourself. Sharing the information you think they need about sex and boundaries and so on, of course. But if you're going to share your own painful experience, it's often more helpful if you've resolved your own feelings about it ahead of time.

    Sending hugs, fiona, if you feel like hugs, and healing energy and warmth for sure.

    sofia

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    1. AH-HA moment!!! YOU ARE SO RIGHT!!! I couldn't understand why it seems to rear it's ugly head. But it is kind of like a spiral. My low is never so low again, and my comfort level is higher after I work it through. I love that! Thank you soooo much. You must be pretty smart =)

      I always feel like hugs sofia...so thank you!!!

      Hugs,
      fiona

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  10. I can totally understand the vocal paralysis. I think that's so scary, like suffocating or drowning. I never thought about the boys/men not realizing they were hurting someone, not realizing they were going beyond boundaries. I have two daughters and they are definitely learning things younger and younger. I think we have a good relationship but really, you don't know how much they don't tell you, right? I do try to be very open with them and have always told them about the 'you can say no' piece.

    Although I've not been assaulted like this, my husband and I have talked about a past experience I had (when I was 16) and how awful it had been. He was actually the one to say when they're old enough, you should think about sharing that with them. Maybe it will help them to say no when I couldn't.

    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Ya, I had never thought about the other side...what they were thinking and what his motivation was or knowledge about what he was doing to me. It was shocking! I try to have good lines of communication with my children, try desperately. But you're right, you never really know for sure. Oh the stress of parenting. I want my crystal ball, damn-it!

      Hugs,
      fiona

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Thank you very much for sharing your comments. This blogland world has become so much more meaningful because of the conversations that y'all have with me through comments...REALLY!

I appreciate them all and will endeavor to answer EVERY comment if at all possible!

THANK YOU
-fiona