Monday, November 2, 2015

Who Am I?

Who am I?
Ever since I got pregnant, my identity has changed. First, I was a happy yet scared yet miserable pregnant woman, who despite the misery that pregnancy caused me, loved that little baby inside of me with all my heart. After the "12 week mark," (what a joke) I made an announcement to the world that I was expecting.
Four weeks later, I was a screaming woman lying on a table as they performed an ultrasound and told me that my baby had died. Then I was a surgical patient as they scraped my deceased child from my womb.
Then I was a bereaved mother, whose grief had consumed her. And for the past 8 months, has consumed me. I read every single book I could find on miscarriage, stillbirth, grief, you name it, I read it. All in an attempt to understand this new role in my life. The mother to the proverbial angel baby.
Now I've become a woman consumed with trying to conceive. Such frustration I bear every month, as I chart my temperatures, check my cervical mucus and positioning, pee on ovulation predictor strips, trying to pinpoint the exact moment when conception is most likely. Only to be crushed 2 weeks later when my period arrives. I don't understand, when we got pregnant with Quinn we weren't even trying, we had only quit using birth control a month before. (And so HELP ME GOD if ANYONE suggests "You're trying to hard," "It'll happen when it's supposed to happen," or the wonderful wisdom of "just take a vacation with your husband, that'll do the trick!" I will punch you in the face!)
Basically, my whole last year I've been consumed with motherhood and all the joyous and not so joyous and downright tragic aspects of it.
But I'm tired of playing this role. Yes, it will always be a part of me, and yes, I will have good days and bad, but I just want to feel like myself again. But I feel I've forgotten how. I know I'll never be the person that I was before, and I wouldn't want to be. Though my baby died, he showed me I was capable of a deeper love than I ever imagined. But I'd like to know how to integrate these experiences into a life worth living, where I feel like there's more to my identity than just this.
I will always love you, Quinn, and I'm grateful that I've begun to be able to feel your presence, and that you're in a good place, my little adventurer, soaring through the clouds and zipping through the stars, seeing the Kyomizu-dera in Japan, the great barrier reef, the Sarengeti, all all the beauty this world has to offer. I love you more than words could ever express. But I need to be more than just your mommy now. I feel your presence is giving me permission to do so.
So I begin.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A mother's guilt

Dear Quinn,

I know it's been a long time. It's just been too painful, all of these memories I have.

I'm doing EMDR on some of those memories. You see, I have this extreme guilt that I somehow killed you because of the things I did while pregnant, things that most women either don't do or don't admit to doing. Do you blame me, little Quinn? Did I cause you to die?

Do you blame me for that week right before you died where I broke down and smoked cigarettes again?

Do you blame me for staying on my psych meds?

Do you blame me for my erratic sleep schedule, caused by my bipolar disorder, that caused me to stay up all night sometimes? I worry big time that this one could've been the culprit, because I know whenever I didn't get sleep that it would raise my blood pressure, and I know for a fact that medically this harms the baby. Oh Quinn, did I cause your death, did my bipolar disorder cause you to die?

Or what about when my morning sickness was so bad that I smoked pot a couple of times? I'm ashamed to admit it--NO ONE admits to using medicinal marijuana during pregnancy, so I'm really throwing myself to the wolves with this one. But I was just so absolutely miserable, and the meds my doctor gave me weren't helping, whereas the pot did. And it was only a couple of times. I just don't know.

Or did I hurt you by sleeping on my stomach? I've always been a stomach sleeper, and I remember asking the midwife if I needed to stop now or if my body would let me know when it was time, and she said my body would let me know, but I remember towards the end there feeling this pressure in my belly--maybe that was the time to stop, and I was harming you?

There's so many more, but I feel like I've said too much already, the guilt is eating me alive.

I love you and miss you with all my heart.


Monday, March 2, 2015

The D&E and afterwards

Sunday evening, the anesthesiologist called. He went over my medical history (mostly clear, except for an extensive psychiatric history), and I was instructed nothing to eat or drink past midnight, except a sip of water the next morning to take my medications.

Monday morning came, and I woke up at 8 a.m. to put the Cytotec pills up my vagina. The Cytotec was to help dilate my cervix. Graciously, I fell back asleep until noon, when I got ready to go to the hospital. I was to check in at 12:30 for my 2:30 surgery.

Damian drove us to the hospital, I advised him to bring his schoolbooks with him to study while he waited, though I don't know how much studying he was able to get done. During the drive, Damian put The National on for us to listen to. On a good day, The National makes me feel somber, but for today, it was the perfect backdrop for the heartache I was experiencing. 

I checked in with Surgery Check-In, and the woman put a name band on my wrist. Upstairs we went to the 5th floor--the same floor I had all my prenatal appts on--and I grabbed the phone from the wall to let them know that I was there. They said someone would be out to get me shortly. 

Damian and I had a seat in the waiting area, and someone came and talked to me for a minute, though about what, I do not remember. Still in so much shock. Either she or another person came and led me back, while Damian was to wait.

I was shown my "stall," and given a gown to change into. No underwear, socks, or bra, just the gown. The nurse chatted with me a little bit about nursing stuff. She tried to get an IV, but blew the first one. "It's the nurse curse!" she said. She then started an IV in my right hand. In the meantime, a young girl came up from the lab to draw my blood. 12 tubes total, most to be sent out for testing. 

Another nurse came and introduced herself. I could tell she was trying to hold back tears, which made me feel better, knowing that someone appreciated the sorrow of the situation. She gave me a miniature baby blanket and cap, explaining that they don't like any of their mothers to leave empty-handed. She said I could take them into the OR if I wanted. 

They brought Damian in for a little bit. They asked us what we wanted done with the remains. We chose to have the hospital take care of them, and we were told our baby would be buried at Littleton Cemetery. It felt so nice to know that there would be a place we could go to visit our baby. 

The nurse was giving me a bag of Lactated Ringers, as well as an IV antibiotic. 

The nurse anesthetist came by to introduce himself, and the anesthesiologist introduced himself in person. Many people asked me when was the last time I had any food or drink. The anesthesiologist explained that they would be intubating me, because given how far along my pregnancy was, sometimes the uterus can push up on the stomach, and they wanted to make sure I didn't aspirate. 

Dr. Adelberg came in. She talked about pain, but I don't remember much else besides that. 

The girl from the lab came back up, turns out there were 2 more labs that needed to be collected, so my blood had to be drawn again. Make that 14 tubes total. 

I remember crying off and on throughout all the rigamarole of various people introducing themselves to me and asking me questions. 

Finally, it was time to go to the OR. Clutching the bundle holding the baby blanket and cap in my hand, I was wheeled into the OR on a gurney. It was so cold in the OR. I hopped down from the gurney and up onto the operating table. I remember my hand hurting as I was moving due to the IV. I didn't want to mess up the IV, so I moved as gingerly as I could. On the operating table, clutching the bundle in my left hand, they strapped my left arm down. The anesthesiologist started giving me the anesthesia, so I was already out before they finished strapping down my right arm. 

The next thing I remember, I'm waking up in PACU. I felt a huge gush from between my legs. I had to go to the bathroom, probably due to all the IV fluids they gave me. I was instructed that I could wipe, but not to flush, because the nurse needed to see it. I went pee, and when I stood up I looked inside the toilet bowl, and nearly passed out from all of the blood. The nurse told me everything looked great, no clots. She then proceeded to give me the worst pair of disposable mesh panties with a gigantic pad. I crawled back up onto my gurney, as I struggled to come to completely. I asked when I could go home. They said I needed to eat and drink something first. I asked when I could see Damian. They said they'd go get him. 

They moved me back to my original "stall" that I started in at the beginning of the day, and I voraciously wolfed down on some peanut butter ritz crackers. Damian came in. I never thought I'd be so happy to see him in my life. I changed back into my clothes, and I was taken down in a wheelchair while Damian got the car. 

I got in the car, and started crying immediately. Tears of sorrow, yet also tears of relief. Just so glad to have it done with. I was no longer pregnant with either a live or dead baby. My body could begin to heal and return to normal.

On the way home, we stopped at the pharmacy to pick up my pain meds. They know me quite well at this pharmacy, as I seem to have to stop there at least every week to pick up this psych med or that psych med. The pharmacy tech looked at my belly and asked "Oh, are you pregnant?"

Crestfallen, I said "Not anymore. I miscarried and had to have surgery today, that's why I'm picking up Percocet." The look on his face, his jaw dropped...

I didn't need the Percocet. Not for physical pain, anyway. Surprisingly, there was very little. Still, I took my 6 Percocet because they helped me with my emotional pain. 

Something that was only just beginning... 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Quinn, I love you, and I miss you.

"She's convinced she could hold back a glacier
but she couldn't keep Baby alive" - Tori Amos

Dear Quinn,

I am so, so, so, so, so, so, sorry.

You lived in my womb for 14 weeks and 3 days. I did not know you had died until 15 weeks, 6 days, on Friday, February 6th, 2015.

I was so shocked. It was just a routine appointment. They went through everything, and at the end they tried to find your heartbeat with the doppler. No luck. Then they used "R2D2" (the very old ultrasound machine in the exam room). "Come on, I thought I heard you!" the midwife said in frustration. So they took me back to the high-tech ultrasound room. I hopped up on the bed, excited to see my baby on the big screen. You appeared, and I was so elated. "I can see its spine!" I proclaimed, because it was not visible during the last ultrasound done at 12 weeks. The sonographer said "Yes Rhiannon, but here's it's heart....I'm so sorry, it's not beating."

"What?!? What do you mean it's not beating?!? This can't be! What's going on?" I scrambled up in the bed, my belly still covered with gel, half-naked yet feeling utterly exposed. Tears started following immediately as I began sobbing and wailing.

The lights were dim. They always are in that ultrasound room, but I felt grateful for the darkness at that time.

An eery silence. Kris, the midwife, brought me tissues. The student NP stood silently towards the back, her hands respectfully clasped in front of her.

"We'll get Dr. Adelberg."

In the meantime, I call my work, tell them I've lost my baby, and I can't work today. I call Damian, tell him we've lost the baby, and please come pick me up. I was in such shock I could barely remember the phone numbers.

Dr. Adelberg comes in, and I immediately wail "it's the medications I'm on!"

She says no, if that were the case, this would've happened much sooner.

I ask her "So what do we do now?"

She tells me my options, that in time my body might expel it, but it's quite large--YOU were large--and that there's a procedure called a D&E.

I tell her "Just tell me what to do, I can't make a decision right now."

She recommended the D&E.

While we're waiting for Damian to arrive, they take me to another room. This is not an exam room, there's no machines or table to sit on. This looks more like a break room, with a recliner. More dim lighting.

Damian shows up, and Dr. Adelberg talks to us, though about what, I can't really remember. So much shock. She called it a "missed abortion," because my body gave no indicators that anything was wrong.

There was room on the operating room schedule for Monday, February 9th, 2015, and that is when I was to have my D&E.

All weekend long I felt so uncomfortable, disturbed, even, to know that my baby was in my body, but it was not alive. I was carrying a dead baby. I just wanted it out of me. At the same time, I did not want to have the D&E. I've never had surgery before, and being a former victim of sexual assault, I was uncomfortable with the idea of a bunch of strangers sticking implements up inside of me. Implements that would suction and scrape your poor little remains from my uterus.

Damian and I took several walks around the lake. The weather was perfect--idyllic, even. And each time we walked, I saw families with strollers, and my emotions would well up. We clung tightly to each other, each of us needing each other more than we've ever needed each other before.

(to be continued)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pregnant and Bipolar

I'm pregnant. 13 weeks, 5 days. Only 26 weeks, 2 days to go.

I would not wish being bipolar and pregnant on anyone. Which is not to say I would try to dissuade anyone who is bipolar from becoming pregnant, as I ultimately do view this child as a gift. I knew I was bipolar, and I knew it would complicate my pregnancy, but I just had no idea just how much.

I've made the decision to stay on my meds (I know, boo! hiss! such a bad mother! etc.). Which would be fine and dandy, except pregnancy messes with the body (other than, you know, that whole growing belly thing), so we're playing hell trying to get my lithium levels in the therapeutic range. And it looks like that'll be the case the duration of the pregnancy. Which kind of makes me feel like, What's the point then? Why put my baby at risk if we might not even be able to get the meds at the right working levels, anyway? But still, I can't give up. This time of year is just too hard on me. This pregnancy is just too hard on me.

But still, I persevere. I'm told that I'm a fighter, that I'm strong. I know it to be true intellectually, maybe one day I'll know it to be true in my heart.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I currently weigh 128.0. This time last year, I weighed 108.2 pounds. 0.4 pounds medically underweight. I've decided tonight that I want to get back down to that. Because I'm going to have few opportunities left in my life to be that underweight again. In a year we want to try to have a baby, which means as soon as we start trying I'm going to have to eat healthy, like really healthy. And then once I get pregnant, who knows how that will go. I hope and pray I'll be one of those pregnant women who's all bump, but knowing my lard ass's history with food, I will gain 100 pounds. And then, of course, I can't be underweight once I have the kid. I need to provide a good example for my children, especially if I have a girl.

So underweight, NOW, it is.

36 Hours to Midnight

So, I've been doing this fucked up thing lately. My normal schedule is to get up a few hours early, so that I can play Diablo III before I have to go to work. This settles me, and prepares me for my work day. I feel a great rage if I oversleep and don't get to play before work. Part of getting up early is also having the time to get enough coffee and cigarettes in me, so I'm sure this plays a part, too.

But things have become so stressful at work that sometimes I say "Fuck it" and decide I'm not going to sleep that night. (Tonight.) I take extra of my stimulant (which I am only still prescribed because I haven't told my psychiatrist that I no longer have a night job--I'm kind of addicted to it), and I stay up, and yep, I play Diablo. For like 10 hours straight. Because lately it's taken that amount of playing to offset the stress for the next day. Which, of course, ends up biting me in the ass after I've been awake for, oh, let's say, 24 hours. And realizing, shit, I have 8 hours to go. Then I crash as soon as I get home, and sleep for 12 hours. Sometimes I don't even get my charting done for the day (because the changes in our charting are part of what's so stressful), so then I end up having to get up early the next day to do my charting, anyway. It becomes this vicious cycle.

But sometimes I just have to do it.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Weighty Matters

So I hit that goal. 108.6, which puts me officially underweight. I said I'd stop once I get here, but I must admit, I kind of want to see if I can hit 100. Such a nice, even number.

I'm tossing around the idea with a photographer friend of mine of doing a personal photoshoot, highlighting my anorexia. Usually he does "sexy/flirty" photoshoots, but this one would be more artistic and visceral. Show my bones, show my lose skin. Do some "sexy" pictures to, to juxtapose how society fetishizes thinness, while I'm struggling on the inside.

Monday, November 12, 2012

But I am perfectly happy in my marriage

In an alternate universe, we would've been married and had kids by now.

I will always wonder about you, and not understand why the stars didn't line up right for us.

Friday, November 2, 2012


So I posted on Facebook that I haven't purged in 4.5 months. While this is true, this is by no means an indication that my eating disorder is going away. I've been restricting like crazy. I lost 7 pounds last month. This is helped by the fact that I'm prescribed a stimulant for my Shift Work Sleep Disorder. While I sometimes take it as indicated, I'll fully admit to abusing it. It makes it so I have no appetite, and I pee like crazy, so I pee out a ton of water weight. The problem is that it's not working as well as it used to. So when I see my psychiatrist on Tuesday, I'm going to ask if we can switch to a different one. A friend of mine thinks I should tell my psychiatrist that my eating disorder is getting worse, but I'm getting entrenched. I have no intention of stopping right now.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Quit fucking breathing!

I remember I was 10 years old. It was a winter's day in Arco, Idaho, the hellhole I grew up in until I was 12. My mom had already gone to work, tasking me with waking my oldest brother up for school. He was so hard to wake up, and he threw the truck keys at me and told me to start it. But I was 10, had never been behind the wheel of a vehicle before, and was scared. I told him, and he got really angry with me. 5 minutes later, he was scraping the frost off the windshield, barely getting any of it off. It was cold, 20 degrees, so normally people let the engine heat up so the windows can defrost. Not Bill. Bill, Chris, and I piled into the truck, and instantly, the windows started fogging. Bill screamed at us "Quit fucking breathing, you fat fucks!"

And I tried my hardest to hold my breath. 

Do you know what it's like to be made to feel that you are a worthless human being for having the audacity to breathe? 

I do.

Monday, December 28, 2009

All for a whopping 18 dollars.

It felt like a car crash, except I had no exoskeleton of a car surrounding my body to protect me from the other cars. The cars that I was being pushed in front of as he bodychecked me into the street.

I did not see it coming. I did not know what was happening, except that he was pulling on my purse, and I held on for dear life. Screaming, yelling, thrashing like a fish as he dragged me on the ground and my knee and hip grated against the cold, dirty asphalt of winter. But if I'm the fish, how come I had the bait? My bait, my purse, I was so desperate to hang on to.


I am, ultimately, proud and empowered by my actions. In the past when someone has attacked me, my fight-or-flight had a systematic malfunction, and my best defense was to play dead, as it were. Not this time. I fought, and fought, and fought. Two years of what I wanted to say to my last attacker flooded out of me like venomous bile as I yelled NO over and over again, telling him in variable and no uncertain words what a piece of shit he was, screaming FUCK YOU, you pathetic motherfucker! I couldn't even recall all the things that I said or what they meant, only that I was full of rage.

After he let go of my purse, which felt like an eternity, I actually contemplated the idea of chasing after him and beating on him as best I could. I didn't do it, because I didn't want to put my purse within grabbing distance of him again, but had it just been a "regular" physical assault, I very well may have done just that.

Because you see, this girl? This 5'4," 120 pound blonde girl wearing a pink coat and carrying a purse over her arm? She's not so defenseless as you believed. She's much stronger than you thought, and you must have shit your fucking pants as she struggled, fought, and won against your pathetic ass. Now it's time for YOUR "flight" to kick in, asshole.

And yet...despite the empowerment, the fact that I "won," I still keep having flashbacks, and I feel so afraid of someone trying to mug me again. I was walking with a friend to my car the other night, and I literally jumped 2 feet in the air as a guy ran past me. "Sorry, didn't mean to scare you!" he said. I said "That's okay." I feel sorry for the good guys in the world. The ones who don't prey on women, yet have to deal with the consequences of what the bad guys have done.

It's kind of...funny. In a way. Before my sexual assault, I was a Good Little White Girl who was scared of the proverbial stranger who would jump out of the bushes and rape me on a dark night in the big bad city. After my rape, which was perpetrated by one of the closest people in the world to me, I lost that fear of strangers. I had no fear of the streets at night. It was those I knew that I had to be afraid of, not those that I didn't, right? And now? Afraid of strangers again. It seems my thoughts and emotions from the sexual assault are morphing and bleeding with the physical assault from the mugging, and I don't know which way is up right now.

I may have won, but that doesn't mean I wasn't afraid. I just didn't care. The thoughts still ran through my head: What if I get hit by a car? What if I hit my head on the street and have a head injury? What if he has a weapon?

....what if I die?

But if these thoughts had guided my actions, I would've quickly and easily given up my purse, as that would've put my chances of survival at much better odds. No, survival wasn't what was driving me. It was the fight, it was standing up for myself.

And if I died, I was going to go down swinging.

My knee still hurts. The scrapes and bruises are gone now, at least the visible ones. I don't know if it bruised beneath the patella, or if perhaps the impact chipped off a piece of the bone or what. It doesn't feel like ligamental injury...I don't know.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Roman Motherfucking Polanski

(cross-posted from my livejournal.)

This whole Roman Polanski thing is appalling. Not only because of what he did 30 years ago, what he ADMITTED to doing 30 years ago, and fleeing the country so as not to have the face the punishment for what he admitted to doing.

No, what's more appalling to me is just how many people in Hollywood are supporting him, SIGNING A PETITION in his support, and denying what he did. Denying something that he himself already confessed to doing!

So he made some good movies, get the fuck over it! Michael Jackson had some good songs, he was still a child molester! Kobe Bryant is an excellent basketball player, and yes, he's still a fucking rapist!

Whoopi Goldberg stating that what happened wasn't "rape-rape" just perpetuates this cultural myth about what rape is. If rape isn't drugging and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl who said no several times, then I don't know what is. Maybe Whoopi can define "rape-rape" for us. I'd like to hear that definition.

What angers me is that I can do my part to not support certain things that perpetuate rape culture. I can not watch The View (like I would, anyway), or watch any more Whoopi Goldberg movies. I can refuse to watch any Lakers basketball games. I can not buy Michael Jackson albums. I can boycott movies like "Last House on the Left" and "Observe and Report," both of which perpetuate rape culture and use rape as entertainment in their won distinct ways.

But this list of Hollywood and foreign-film heavyweights that are supporting him? Some of my favorite actors and directors are on there. Can I boycott all of Hollywood? Should I?

Erika Abrams, Fatih Akin, Yves Alberty, Stephane Allagnon, Woody Allen, Pedro Almodovar, Gianni Amelio, Wes Anderson, Michel Andrieu, Roger Andrieux, Jean-Jacques Annaud, Tomas Arana, Frédéric Aranzueque-Arrieta, Alexandre Arcady, Fanny Ardant, Asia Argento, Marie-Hélène Arnau, Darren Aronofsky, Olivier Assayas, Alexander Astruc, Gabriel Auer, Zdzicho Augustyniak, Alexandre Babel, Vladimir Bagrianski, Lubomila Bakardi, Fausto Nicolás Balbi, Eleonor Baldwin, Jean-François Balmer, Alberto Barbera Museo nazionale de Torino, Luc Barnier, Christophe Barratier, Ernest Barteldes, Carmen Bartl, Pascal Batigne, Anne Baudry, Juan Antonio Bayona, Xavier Beauvois, Liria Begeja, Matthieu Béguelin, Gilles Behat, Jean-Jacques Beineix, Marco Bellochio, Yannick Bellon, Florence Bellone, Monica Bellucci, Véra Belmont, Jacqueline Belon, Jean-Marc Benguigui, Djamel Bennecib, Luc Béraud, Jacob Berger, Alain Berliner, Gael Garcia Bernal, Pascal Berney, Xavier Berry, Bernardo Bertolucci, Giuseppe Bertolucci, Jean-Marie Besset, Marlène Bisson, Arnstein Bjørkly, Lucien Blacher, Virginie Blanc-Brude Bard, Jean-Marc Bloch, Léa Bloch, Catherine Boissière, Anne-Sylvie Bonaud, Olivier Bonnet, Thierry Boscheron, Renata Bosco, Freddy Bossy, Patrick Bouchitey, Cédric Bouchoucha, Paul Boujenah, Frédéric Bourboulon, Katia Boutin, Ian Brady, Jacques Bral, Sophie Bramly, Paulo Branco, Patrick Braoudé, Guila Braoudé, Edwin Brienen, Adrien Brody, Isabelle Broué, Max Brun, Merima Bruncevic, Anne Burki, André Buytaers, Emilie Buzyn, Anthony Byrne, Marco Cacioppo, Gerald Calderon, Monica Cannizzaro, Peggy Carajopoulou-Vavali, John Carchietta, Christian Carion, Henning Carlsen, Jean-Michel Carré, Esteban Carvajal Alegria, Lionel Cassan, Bryan Cassiday, Miss Catadler, Mathieu Celary, Teco Celio, Muriel Cerf, Dabiel Chabannes, Thierry Chabert, Chagi, Jean-Yves Chalangeas, Daniel Champagnon, Christophe Champclaux, Georges Chappedelaine , Fabienne Chauveau, Claire Chazal, Patrice Chéreau, Brigitte Chesneau, Michel Chevalier, Mishka Cheyko, Catherine Chiono, Catherine Chouchan, Elie Chouraqui, Elie Chouraqui, Souleymane Cissé, Jean- Pierre Clech, Henri Codenie, Robert Cohen, Catherine Colassin, Suzanne Colonna, Jean-Paul Commin, Anne Consigny, Alain Cophignon, Alain Corneau, Jérôme Cornuau, Guy Courtecuisse, Miguel Courtois, Antoine Courtray, Guillaume Cousin, Morgan Crestel, Rudyard Cretenet, Dominique Crevecoeur, Penelope Cruz, Alfonso Cuaron, Estelle Cywje, Frédéric Damien, Sophie Danon, Olivier Dard, Luc et Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Isabelle Dassonville, Bruno de Almeida, Bruno de Almeida, Marion de Blaÿ, François de Lamothe, Hervé de Luze, Artus de Penguern, Valérie de Saint-Do, Virginie De Wilde, Olivier Debert, Viviane Decuypere, Guillermo del Toro, Benoît Delmas, Michel Deloore, Jonathan Demme, Nicolaine den Breejen, Ruud den Dryver, Louisa Dent, Edwin Dervaux, Dante Desarthe, Romain Desbiens, Sophie Deschamps, Thomas Desjonquères, Alexandre Desplat, Chris Devi, Rosalinde et Michel Deville, Guillaume D'Ham, Christelle Didier, Kathrin DiPaola, Claire Dixsaut, Julien Doger, Xavier Dolan, Ariel Dorfman, Jean Douchet, Jean Douchet, Fabrice du Welz, Marina Duarte Nunes Ferreira, Danièle Dubroux, Marc Dufrenois, François Duhamel, Sissi Duparc, Jean Dusaussoy, Georges Dybman, Daniel Edinger, Arne Eickenberg, Yaniv Elani, Gerónimo Elortegui, Gerónimo Elortegui, Elrem, Sam Enoch, Peter Lucas Erixon, Ernest, Ann Eyckmans, Jacques Fansten, Joël Farges, Gianluca Farinelli (Cinémathèque de de Bologne), Etienne Faure, Maud et Romain Ferrari, Michel Ferry, Jean Teddy Filippe, Aurélie Fiorentino, Alan Fischer, Martine Fitoussi, Sebastian Fleischhacker, Joy Fleury., Michael Flynn, Hugues Fontenoy, Harrison Ford, Scott Foundas, Werner Fraai, Jean-Robert Franco, Stephen Frears, Marion Frelat, Thierry Frémaux, Marc Freycon, Nadine Fruchard, Sam Gabarski, Jean Francois Gaillard, René Gainville, Sara Gandolfi, Matteo Garone, Louis Garrel, Yves Gasser, Tony Gatlif, Catherine Gaudin-Montalto, Jean-Marc Gauthier, Costa Gavras, Nathalie Geiser, Lizi Gelber, Isabelle Gély, Jean-Marc Ghanassia, Whoopi Goldberg, Alain Gil, Véronique Gillet, Terry Gilliam, Christian Gion, François Girault, Stéphane Gizard, Nelson Gonzalez, Carlos Miguel Bernardo González, Christophe Goumand, Michel Gras, Eric Gravereau, Martin Gregus, Thierry Grizard, Philippe Gruss, Florent Guézengar, Marc Guidoni, Marta Gutowska, Mikael Håfström, Ronald Harwood, Dimitri Haulet, Geert Heirbaut, Buck Henry, Nicole Herbaut de Lamothe, David Heyman, Laurent Heynemann, Joshua Highfield , Dominique Hollier, Isabelle Hontebeyrie, Frédéric Horiszny, Robert Hossein, Jean-Loup Hubert, Wendy Hudson, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Jeremy Irons, Gilles Jacob, Eric et Veronique et Nicolas Jacquelin, Just Jaeckin, Thomas Jahn, Olivia Janik, Jean-Baptiste Jay, Anne Jeandet, Marie Jergan, Alain Jessua, Renate Jett, Sébastien Jimenez, Arthur Joffé, Pierre Jolivet, Kent Jones (World Cinema Foundation), Neil Jordan, Peter Josy, Alexandra Julen, Paola Jullian, Roger Kahane, Pierre Kalfon, Elisabeth Kalinowski, Reena Kanji, Nelly Kaplan, Wong Kar Waï, Nicolas Kermel, Darius Khondji, Ladislas Kijno, Muriel Kintziger, Richard Klebinder, Jonathan Klein, Harmony Korinne, Jan Kounen, Chantal Krakowski, Sylvia Kristel, Diane Kurys, Elzbieta Kusak-Majchrzak, Emir Kusturica, Irene Kuznetzova, Jean Labadie, Eliane Lacroux, Eric Lagesse, Michel Laigle, Stéphane Lam, John Landis, Claude Lanzmann, David Lanzmann, André Larquié, Pauline Larrieu, Jacques et Françoise Lassalle, Marc Latil, Carole Laure, Christine Laurent-Blixen, Pierre Laville, Emilien Lazaron, Eric Le Roy, Pierre Le Scouarnec, Fábio Leal, Vinciane Lecocq, Patrice Leconte, Linda Lefebvre, Béatrice Lefoulon, Delphine Legros, Claude Lelouch, Ann Lemonnier, Julieta Lencina, Alain Lenglet, Gérard Lenne, Les Nanaqui, Larry Levine, Charlotte Levy, Lorraine Lévy, Pierre et Renée Lhomme, Katarzyna Lipinska, Jean-Claude Irving Longin, Marceline Loridan-Ivens, Michael Louis Wells, Boris Loundine, Rachel Lowenstein, Catalina Lozano, Hugo Luczyc-Wyhowski, Flore Luquet, Laurence Lustyk, David Lynch, Bania Madjbar, Krzysztof Majchrzak, Laurent Malet, Tim Malieckal, Guy Malugani, Erling Mandelmann, Michael Mann, Yvon Marciano, François Margolin, Jean-Pierre Marois, Tonie Marshall, Alain Martin, Sandrine Martin, Danielle Martinetti, Florent Martinez, Didier Martiny, Mario Martone, Thierry Mathelin, Christine Mathis, Esmeralda Mattei, Nicolas Mauvernay, Yannick Mazet, Christopher, Spencer et Claire Mc Andrew, Natalie Mei, Guillermo Menaldi, Sam Mendes, Mathieu Mercier, Muriel Mercier, Frédéric Mermoud, Laura Metaxa, Allison Michel, Radu Mihaileanu, Jean-Louis Milesi, Claude Miller, Lionel Miniato, Nelly Moaligou, Jean - Marc Modeste , Mario Monicelli, Jeanne Moreau, Frédéric Moreau, Sarah Moreau-Flament, Gael Morel, Omayra Muñiz Fernández, Stephanie Murat, Christian Mvogo Mbarga, Anna N.Levine, Charles Nemes, Juliette Nicolas-Donnard, Sandra Nicolier, Rachel Noël, Rui Nogueira, Olivier Nolin, Alejandra Norambuena Skira, Fabrice Nordmann, Fabrice O. Joubert, Marc Obéron, Michel Ocelot, David Ogando, Mariana Oliveira Santos, Szentgyörgyi Ottó, Martine Pagès, Eric Pape, Abner Pastoll, Alexander Payne, Nicola Pecorini, Richard Pena (Directeur Festival de NY), Lindsey Pence, Olivier Père, Suzana Peric, Jacques Perrin, Cesare Petrillo, Thomas Pibarot, Michel Piccoli, Arnaud Pierrichon, Stéphane Pietri, Anne Pigeon Bormans, Samuel Pinon, Claude Pinoteau, Michele Placido, Sabrina Poidevin, Agnès Catherine Poirier, Natalie Portman, Jean-Yves Potel, Stéphane Pozderec, Harry Prenger, Jean et Marie Prévost, Gilbert Primet, Marie-Hélène Raby, Philippe Radault, Tristan Rain, Florence Raphaël, Florence Raphel, Jean-Paul Rappeneau, Joseph Rassam, Rolandas Rastauskas, Brett Ratner, Raphael Rebibo, Carol Reid, Jo Reymen, Laurence Reymond, Yasmina Reza, Christiane Rhein, Jacques Richard, Dominique Robert, Margarita Robski, Jean-Jacques Rochut, Christian Rogler, Yannick Rolandeau, Paul Rondags, Avital Ronell, Frank Roozendaal, Graciela Rosato, Elisabeth Roudinesco, Kontochristopoulou Roula, Laurence Roulet, Joshua Rout, Paolo Roversi, Isabelle Ruh, Martin Ruhe, Sonia Rykiel, Anita S. Chang, Esteban S. Goffin, JOAQUÍN Sabina, Marc Saffar, Ludivine Sagnier, Gabriela Salazar Scherman, Walter Salles, Jean-Paul Salomé, Jean-Frédéric Samie, Marc Sandberg, Léo Scalpel, Jerry Schatzberg, Richard Schlesinger, Daniel Schmidt, Georg Schmithüsen, Julian Schnabel, Pierre Schoendoerffer, Barbet Schroeder, J. Neil Schulman, Pierre Schumacher, Pierre-Alexandre Schwab, Ettore Scola, Luis Gustavo Sconza Zaratin Soares, Martin Scorsese, Kristen Scott Thomas, Carole Scotta, Steven Sedgwick, Andrea Sedlackova, Frank Segier, Michèle Seguin-Sirhugue, Guy Seligmann, Elis Semczuk, Lorenzo Semple Jr, Julien Seri, Joël Séria, Catherine Sermet, Ken Seton-Vyhnal, Sophie Sharkov, Boris Shlafer, Antoine Silber, Pierre Silvant, Charlotte Silvera, Noel Simsolo, Christophe Sirodeau, Abderrahmane Sissako, Beatrice Sisul , Petter Skavlan, Steven Soderbergh, Marcin Sokolowski, Loïc Sorel, Paolo Sorrentino, Vassilis Sourapas, Roch Stephanik, Karen Stetler, Denise Stieglitz, Guillaume Stirn, Bernard Stora, Gérard Stum, Jean-Marc Surcin, Tilda Swinton, Piotrek Szymanek, Jean-Charles Tacchella, Radovan Tadic, Mickael Tanguy, Danis Tanovic, Bertrand Tavernier, André Techiné, Cécile Telerman, Harold Alvarado Tenorio, Marie-Ange Terrier, Alain Terzian, Christian Texier, Jean-Paul Thaens, Valentine Theret, Virginie Thévenet, Pascal Thomas, Jeremy Thomas, Marc Thomas Charley, Cyril Thurston, Giuseppe Tornatore, Serge Toubiana, Daniel Treichler, Nadine Trintignant, Julie Turcas, Mitja Tušek, Tom Tykwer, Alexandre Tylski, Stephen Ujlaki, José Antonio Valdés Peña, Jaques Vallotton, Phil van der Linden, Betrand van Effenterre, Leopold van Genechten, Christophe van Rompaey, Dorna van Rouveroy, Elbert van Strien, Vangelis, Alessio Vannetti, Lucília Verdelho da Costa, Christian Verdu, Jean-Pierre Vergne, Sarah Vermande, Julien Veyret, Francesco Vezzoli, Régine Vial, Vivien Villani, Marc Villemain, Jean-François Villemer, Daria Vinault, Verde Visconti, Diane Von Furstenburg, Alain Vorimore, Thomas Vossart, Gilles Walusinski, Eric Watton, Monika Weibel, Dominique Welinski, Wim Wenders, Andy Whittaker, Anaïse Wittmann, A Wolanin, Margot Wolfs, Peter Woltil, Arnaud Xainte, Steve Yeo, Paule Zajdermann, Christian Zeender, Terry Zwigoff.

And this is just the list at the time of this entry. And I bolded just the ones I recognized off the top of my head. You may recognize more. Seriously? Holy. Jesus. Fuck. No wonder rape victims don't come forward: Because no one believes them. No one takes it seriously. No one wants to believe that someone they know could possibly have done something so horrible, EVEN WHEN THAT PERSON HAS ADMITTED TO IT.

And the precious few who have been willing to speak out against the petition?:

Kirstie Alley. Allison Anders. Alison Arngrim. Patricia Arquette. Roseanne Barr. Luc Besson. Carrie Brownstein. Beth Chamberlin. Noel Clarke. Paul Cornell. Michael Cudlitz. Lexa Doig. Jesse Eisenberg. Even Ensler. Darren Ewing. Neil Gaiman. Martin Gero. Melissa Gilbert. Christopher Gorham. Javier Grillo-Marxuach. Greg Grunberg. Hart Hanson. Jewel. Jimmy Kimmel. Lisa Kudrow. John Legend. Robert Llewellyn. Bill Maher. Joshua Malina. Denis McGrath. Dennis Miller. Tom Morello. Mo Rocca. Chris Rock. Michael Seitzman. Sherri Shepherd. Kevin Smith. Jon Stewart. Alison Sweeney. Bo Zenga.

Notice anything about that list though? Very few of them are Big Name Hollywood types. So maybe more of the A-list and B-list are supporting his extradition, but are afraid to speak out. That saddens me just as much, that not only do victims have to live in fear, but people who support victims have to live in fear of being blacklisted for standing up for what is right.

Hollywood. Just a microcosm for rape culture in the world at large.

Mel Gibson goes on an anti-Semitic tirade and few people in Hollywood spoke up for him. Michael Richards goes off on black people and lost virtually everyone's respect. So basically, the message's not okay to be racist, but it is okay to be a rapist. Gotcha.

I feel sick to my stomach. Oh, I know, don't tell me: I just need to Get Over It.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

This is not comparing apples to oranges, this is comparing apples to apples.

I suppose I haven't had much to say in here lately because I've been doing pretty well with my recovery. Something my therapist said to be about a month ago was that "sometimes thoughts are just thoughts. We think they always have to mean something or that they are who we are." So we end up getting stuck in this cycle of having the thoughts, then thinking about what the thoughts mean, then thinking about what those conclusions mean. And it was like a light turned on for me, and I felt like I could relax. You see, these thoughts I was having, I always thought were something that I needed to deal with, and if I didn't deal with them (i.e. think about what they meant), then it meant I wasn't making progress, because I was obviously in some form of denial if I wasn't thinking about these thoughts.

Phew! Are you as tired from reading that as I was from, er, thinking that? Like a fucking hampster on a wheel.

And what was so beautiful about this revelation is that it meant that these intrusive thoughts started to happen less and less! By accepting that the thought was just a thought, and not trying to figure out where it fitted in the grand fucking scheme of Recovery, I was able to fully accept the thoughts. Because when we're constantly examining something, we haven't (and we won't) fully accept it. It's like going to the grocery store: You know precisely what you want, but if you stand there holding the apple and looking it over, comparing it to the next apple, and the next, and the next, know you want an apple, and you know you'll get an apple, but in the meantime, you're still standing in the fucking store.

And this is more than one apple. This is many apples. How many, I don't know, but I do know that I'll know exactly when it's time to leave the store, and when it's time to go back.

Not to say that last night I didn't get the wind knocked out of me as I was trying to fall asleep, and something triggered that shocking realization of Holy Shit this really happened, and this is how it felt, this was the sequence, the smells, the closet door and the sheets and the bedside table and the curtain over my door and yes, where did that come from?

I guess sometimes there's a few decoys in the fruit bowl.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Criminal Suits vs. Civil Suits

Posting this link is mostly for my own posterity, but the people over at Yes Means Yes have nicely broken it down exactly why a victim would choose to file a civil suit versus a criminal suit when it comes to sexual assault. So for anyone who thinks that victims who settle out of court, specifically when it comes to celebrity cases, are just golddiggers and extortionists, please do read.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Small victories

I was drawn. Desperately searching for the aisle in the store that would house those plates of steel that would make me feel alright. Debating with myself as I frantically searched and navigated my way through the food aisles that were giving me enough trouble of their own.

"If they cost less than $5, I can get them."

I found them. They cost significantly less than $5.00. In fact, they were only 89 cents. I picked them up, feeling the searing pain in my hand just from holding the package in my fingers. That pain hurt, and it throbbed.

I want the blood, but just not the pain.

I put the package back. In the end, it was as much out of convenience as anything. If I got the blades, I would end up telling my therapist about it on Thursday. He would then be obligated to ensure that they are no longer in my possession. Last time that happened, my then-therapist called Scott, and that was a big fucking mess that brought on a huge fight between me and my best friend. Making me feel like ensuring my safety was a burden. That I, myself, was a burden.

Besides, then my therapist would end up asking me all these questions that I hate, questions like: "What are you going to do to prevent yourself from buying more blades?" "How do I know that I do not need to be worried about your safety?" As much as I love therapy, sometimes it drives me crazy being asked the same questions over and over again, and giving the answers that I 'know' I'm supposed to give.

That right there, is the hardest part. Making yourself give the answers that are true instead of the answers you know they want to hear. Which is exactly why I would tell Casey about the blades in the first place. Otherwise...what's the point? Why waste his time and mine, not to mention my money?

Honesty is painful.

And as I drove home from the grocery store, knowing that I should feel proud of myself for not having purchased those blades, it just felt hollow. Not only did I not feel proud, but I felt the weight of the world pressed down on my shoulders, as I slumped in my seat.

Why does doing the right thing have to be so goddamn hard? the end...I know that I have to deal with this shit, for real, and not bleed or purge or drink it away.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Every once in a while I'm able to stop. and breathe. and feel peace. Going outside after the last strands of sunlight have faded, turning the sky dusky. A grey cloud arching across the sky, with lighter grey rings around it. Even if it's not a silver lining, it'll do for now.

And if I stop--for a moment--and truly live in that moment...I am okay. Not thinking about what happened, not worried about how broke I am, not thinking about how I need want to lose weight. Just being.

It doesn't happen as often as I would like.

I've been connecting with people a bit more lately, which is relieving. I am revitalized by the love of those who care for me, and those that I care for deeply. It makes me feel like everything's okay, that I am okay, that I can get through this and be a regular human being again, instead of a Human Being That This Happened To.

On the 4th, my neighbors had this huge party. They are a couple around my parents' age. As I was talking to the man, I kept feeling this sick feeling. His face looked exactly like Rich's face, if Rich was 15-20 years older than he is, and his face wasn't so round. Same small, fucked up teeth, squat nose, beedy eyes and weak chin. I had to keep reminding myself this is not him, this is not him, this is your neighbor, he is a nice guy, this is not him. It was disconcerting, but so...irrelevant? I mean...silly. Stupid. It's one of those things where I have to force myself to stop and ask myself how much am I making this event and this person who did this to me the center of my life? At one point in time, it deserved to be the center. It was the epicenter. But it's not anymore, and I keep telling my brain that. But just because it's not the epicenter anymore doesn't mean that I'm not still feeling the aftershocks. Sometimes they're smaller and smaller...and then sometimes there's another miniature earthquake, like when I saw him 2 weeks ago. It wasn't The Big Earthquake, but a quake, nonetheless.

Quake. Quack. Quack, quack. Lame Duck. Onward, ho!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

I remember you proudly proclaiming that you were a narcissist.

"Men afflicted with Narcissistic Personality Disorders expect to be admired by women and coveted by other men. Expectations of admiration may include physical affection and sexual activity. Rejections of amorous advances are viewed as unacceptable and incongruent with the individual's ego. Rejection may result in anger, degrading insults, and nonconsensual sexual contact. In serious situations, the victim may be raped. The disordered person believes that he is entitled to the sexual contact and, when not consensually provided, may force it." -Duane L. Dobbert, "Halting the Sexual Predator Among Us: Preventing Attack, Rape, and Lust Homicide"

36% of sexual offenders meet the criteria of having NPD. I remember you always joking about how you wanted to make a t-shirt that said "I'm an arrogant, self-loathing narcissist." Too funny, eh? I knew it to be true, even then. I just didn't know that it would manifest in this ultimate crime against me. I knew you couldn't accept the fact that I had no romantic inclinations toward you, but once I made it evident that you hadn't a snowball's chance in hell of being with me, you became so vindictive. Passive-aggressive, cold, resentful.

"Their grandiose sense of self-importance, their conviction that they are in the right, and their unwillingness to respect the needs of others may explain why they have an increased risk of committing sexual offences which might be understood as vindictive rage in response to personal insults and as an almost obsessive desire to make sexual conquests without recognizing and respecting the feelings and needs of potential partners." - Dudeck, M., Spitzer, C., Stopsack, M., Freyberger, H., & Barnow, S. (2007, December). Forensic inpatient male sexual offenders: The impact of personality disorder and childhood sexual abuse. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, 18(4), 494-506.

Personal insult. It is truly fucked up that someone, your best friend, diplomatically indicating that she had no feelings for you would be taken as such a great offense that you felt that you had to get back at her--at me--by overpowering me.

I did nothing to you. Nothing deserving this. You truly are a fucked up man, and I hope you get the help you need. It's just too bad that this help will come too late to have saved me from the trauma you inflicted upon me.

I understand this all...abstractly. Logically, from a psychological perspective. Yet somehow, this understanding doesn't take any of the pain away. And sadly, I doubt that the despicable act that you committed did much to relieve your feelings of worthlessness, did it?

"A person who commits rape has performed inappropriate sexual conduct in less serious behaviors before the rape." -Dobbert

Less serious behaviours. Like unexpectedly groping me on a dancefloor as your girlfriend was passed out drunk on a couch in the club. Like barging in on me changing in my bedroom, with the feeble excuse that you were wanting to show me your new jeans. I should've known this would happen, why did I not see the signs?

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Broken Girl

My therapist tells me that I need to lean on others for support right now, after dealing with the retraumatization of seeing my rapist. It's so hard though. It's hard for me to put myself out there, to reach out, because no one says anything anymore. No one knows what TO say. Everyone is sick of talking about it. I'M sick of talking about it. So I sit, alone with these thoughts and this pain. Which in turn further isolates me.

I just want these thoughts to go away. They're constantly churning through my brain. Y'know that statistic that says that humans think about sex every 6 minutes or something like that? Well, sex has been replaced by my assault, and the ante has been upped to every 3 minutes. It. Never. Goes. Away.

I just want some tool that will make it stop. Some magical psychological tool that will work to free my brain of this. Because this is no way to live.

I had such high hopes in the beginning of my recovery. Now? Now I don't see anything ever changing. I feel like I'm unraveling.

I worry that this is how people will always see me. The Girl That Was Raped. I worry that I'm pushing myself into that role. I worry that talking about it more furthers that concept of me. So I don't talk about it. But it's always in my head.

So what do I do? Oh, I'm supposed to talk about it. To people who either a) don't care, b) don't know what to say. I understand, you want it to go away. You don't want to think that this really happens, certainly not to people you care about. You don't want to think that this is such a traumatizing event that your friend will be forever tortured by.

I'm sorry to shatter your wishes. Mine were shattered, too.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I found myself sitting in the shower last night, with a knife. A serrated one. I didn't cut. Not really, anyway. It takes so much more effort with a knife, with a serrated blade...if I had razors in this house, this would be a different story. Instead of one pathetic half inch long mark that could actually pass for a cat scratch, I'd...well...I'd have the same fucking thing on my arm that I do right now. What's the difference between 63 ugly, fat scars, and 100 of them?

I found myself sitting in the shower last night, with a knife. In my vagina. I certainly didn't cut there, either. But it did scare the shit out of me.

I really just wanted to feel something. I wanted to get drunk, I wanted to eat, I wanted to binge and purge, I wanted to not eat, I wanted to swallow all of the pills that I've been hoarding over the past year.

Sad thing is, the biggest thing that stopped me from slicing the shit out of myself or taking every little pharmaceutical that I had was that one of my best friends is visiting me tomorrow. I can't be put on a 72 hour hold while he's supposed to be here, that wouldn't be very...polite, now would it?

No one knows what to say. They all change the subject. No one cares, they think that if they ignore it, they can push it away. All they end up doing is ignoring me, and pushing me away. Further and further, back into the hole.

Holed up, alone. This is where I belong.