Monday, October 31, 2016

Just a sign

I have written this letter in my head a couple of hundred times, while walking, while driving, while sitting, napping, working... I have not been able to put my finger on the reason for my  almost constant anxiety, my fear that something awful is going to happen, has happened, will happen. I find terrible moments from my past popping up to plague me, things I thought I was over and done with...and then I read a word that explained it all. Retraumatization. That's what I have been experiencing,that's what has been happening in my head, that 's what has caused my stomach to flip with fear and cause me to catch my breath as my heart rate rises.Re-traumatized. That's what I am.
That's why I feel the hands reaching around behind me to grab my breasts, the frightening and painful clutch of my crotch by a stranger in a crowd, the yellow glow of parking lights on the worst night of my life.

When I drive around what I felt was a peaceful neighbor hood, I see signs that I have been living in a bubble, with a misguided belief that my neighbors are people who would be appalled if they knew about the things that have happened to me, that they would condemn and vilify the criminals who have assaulted me, first as a young girl of 13 years, then at 17, and finally the year I turned 18. Still a child.
 But I see the signs now and I feel that my kindly neighbors would blame me, or make excuses for the perpetrator of these horrible acts. They would defend or excuse the actions.They would say " Oh that was so long ago, people change, he didn't mean it/do it,she's making it up".
 I see those signs and I feel again the  gut wrenching horror of being raped and knowing that I
can not tell anyone,that some how it was my fault;that the bakery owner who grabbed the breasts of a thirteen year old  felt that he had the right to assault her;that the stranger in the crowd thought it was funny  and fun to grab a girl by her genitals. I see those signs and I feel that those people would condone such actions, are condoning those actions.
Retraumatized many times a day while driving around making my deliveries. When I read the word, and the article that explained this phenomenon and realized that I was not alone, that there are many of us feeling the same way, reliving our nightmares, I was relieved. And saddened. Because of the signs I see every day that show me that people don't care about girls like me. That they believe in the monster whose name is on those signs.
Trump.
.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Peg,
I don't know what to say other than that my thoughts are with you. That you have to relive this teams is sad and wrong. I live in the bluest of the blue states where not one county voted for him. Yet people are afraid.
We will stand together against hate and bigotry and evil.

Jeff

peg said...

Hello Jeff, Thank you for responding. I have been invited to move to Massachusetts by a few of my Cape Cod friends and while it is a tempting offer, it is not doable right now....grandchildren, hearts of my heart, how could I leave them?

The day after the election debacle I was numb and speechless in my disbelief. The day after that was when I had the physical/mental reaction...PTSD struck with a vengeance and I shook and cried for the better part of the day....I felt a visceral fear that left me weak and feeling victimized all over again. I cried in anguish to my sister 'they've elected my rapist'. Greg came to get me from my shop as I could not drive, and brought me home, to the comfort of his arms, doggie love from my boys, and my warm bed. I slept until the following day and awoke feeling strong and determined and angry. I will not waste another day allowing fear to take over. I have spent every day in close contact with like-minded people, I have pledged an hour a day to emailing/phone-calling every member of the house and senate on a specific issue. So far, I have covered the ACA, anti-racism, and now support for Lindsay Graham and his call for an investigation into Russia's interference with the election. I don't know how effective my calling/emailing is but it is something that I can do each day to feel that I am working to keep evil at bay. I don't want to feel helpless or hopeless. As you say, we must stand together against this abomination that is our government with all of it's hateful, racist fearmongering. I'm in.
Warmly,
Peg

Anonymous said...

Peg,
How ironic I picked today to check in on you and you posted not that long ago.

I'm a big believer in small things adding plus action beats inaction or apathy, eny day. If you are calling / emailing, imagine how many others are doing the same. Elected officials do pay attention when people speak up.

I don't know what will happen next but a sleeping giant has been woken up. It will take that giant a while to get coordinated but I believe that once it does, it will be a force to be reconded with. Know that you are not alone.

Be well, happy thanksgiving.

Jeff

Anonymous said...

Peg,
How ironic I picked today to check in on you and you posted not that long ago.

I'm a big believer in small things adding plus action beats inaction or apathy, eny day. If you are calling / emailing, imagine how many others are doing the same. Elected officials do pay attention when people speak up.

I don't know what will happen next but a sleeping giant has been woken up. It will take that giant a while to get coordinated but I believe that once it does, it will be a force to be reconded with. Know that you are not alone.

Be well, happy thanksgiving.

Jeff