Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I feel that we {black women} should write because after all there are a lot of us out here that are hurting and don’t know where to turn and we keep it bottled up.

So I’m still trying to manage being a mother, a woman and a blogger. But I can say that it is getting easier every day
I have been writing about the assaults and rapes in details that way I can finally get it off my chest. The only way I feel I can have peace in my life is to actually tell what happened. It actually really doesn’t matter if anyone reads my blog, I know it’s someone out there who will benefit from me writing my story.

The one that kills me the most was when my innocence was stolen from me by my ex. I was in a relationship {abusive} with him from 16 to 18. It’s something that has changed my life forever. As I look over each assault I see how it has shaped the woman I am today. Although it has caused me a lot of pain and worries, if I had the chance to go back and change a thing, I wouldn’t. And I have never been more proud and honored to say it and truly mean and feel it.

So begins my process of healing…….

I thought I would always be known as the weave queen. I always thought that I would die with a head full of tracks on a permed scalp. I went nowhere without my weave. I had always spent hours perming, flat ironing, sewing, parting, covering up and curling my tracks. Just to look “pretty”. Thinking that all men, especially black, want their women with straight long hair, so I put my mask on and played the part.

When I started going natural it was the summer of 2007, I put no thought into how it made me look. Because I had the preconceived notion that I would be ugly and unattractive without straight hair. I thought I could turn men off. That no one would notice me…that maybe it will prevent me from being assaulted again….it didn’t. Up until a couple weeks ago, I kept it in my head that if I stay unfit, kept the baby weight and wear sweat pants, men wouldn’t notice me. That wearing my natural afro and a new mom shirt would be a complete turn off. Trying to make my self fat and ugly isn’t going to stop the looks, the stares or from being assaulted again. And that was my biggest fear.

In November, I started to lock up my hair. For some reason in my heart I felt like it was the right thing to do for myself. My soul and my mind felt like it was being healed and I could feel my spirit come back to life. I’m starting to feel alive again, like my purpose of being here is starting to show. It’s coming to me now.

My hair has always been my way to represent myself and stages in life. Growing dreadlocks represents my process to healing. Right now, it’s the beginning stages. I know I have to set up the foundation correctly or it won’t grow properly and the progress will be more difficult than what it has to be. This rule also goes with my healing too.

The reality is, my locks aren’t going to look fresh everyday. Some days it will be tangle up and ugly looking and others neatly polished and with clear parts. But it is a growing process that will need a lot of nurturing, intimate care, meticulous work and hours of much needed time. It is worth the effort even though some days it will feel like the tears and pain will never end. I can always look in the mirror and finally smile with my soul.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mama said that some sacrifice comes without permission, that some sacrifice just comes without fair warning.That God can't always protect you from the boogieman so some baby girls will reach the pearly gates and she, she won't be tall enough to turn the handle. Mama said that some men, some men will just be too guilty to claim innocent with Christ. But what did, what did I do?

If you focus on the survivors of child sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment…, it’s NEVER complicated.” ~ Lisa Factora-Borchers

So I’ve been procrastinating for over 2 weeks now about writing this particular entry. It’s taken me that long to contemplate about weather I should even write about this but if I really want to do this healing process and get through to other survivors then the only thing I can do is tell it all, even if I have to cry and break down in the process….

I was 5 years old when I was molested. I first met him on the bus C-7. I can still remember the bus drivers name, an older white woman who was so nice, my father cried on my first day of school. We still tease him about that to this day.

At first he was my friend, we talked and sat on the bus together. There wasn’t that many kids in PM kindergarten who rode my bus, it was many 10 of us so the bus was empty most of the time. The first time it started I had on this dark pink polka dot  skirt with a matching top and pink shoe strings tied around my braids. He put his finger in my anus the first time. I don’t remember how I felt at the time. From then it just kept continuing.

Underneath the saddle on the play ground was when he put his finger in my vagina. After that incident in the classroom we were doing sand art and I had knocked over all the sand. I remember Mrs. Miller grabbing my arm and pulling me into the “circle” yelling at me how I had spilled the sand and that she didn’t have anymore for the other kids and what was she suppose to do now. The next morning my mother was getting me dressed for school and I remember her asking me has anyone been touching you and I said no. Me and him had rode the bus together for the next two years. All I remember is him putting his fingers in my vagina and anus until I finally got away from him in the 3rd grade.

“Come on, I’m not about to let a good man go down” Franco Harris Defense attorney for Joe Paterno.

The Penn State case is what made me tell about what happened to me. I just don’t understand why so many people are still na├»ve to what is going on. Everyone wants to blame the children instead of the adults.

I agree 100% that Joe Paterno should have been fired. I also agree that Mike McQuery SHOULD be fired. Why did McQuery watch Jerry Sandusky molest that little boy in the shower and not stop him? If you saw him touching that child and didn’t go over to grab the child? I understand that he reported it to his superior which was what he was suppose to do but were you thinking about the child? How could you walk away from that little child and just leave him there with that monster?

According to Penn States code of conduct, teachers/coaches only have to report sexual abuse to a higher authority i.e., their supervisor. Legally they are not held responsible after they report it. Now what I’m wondering is because they have this code of conduct ,doesn’t that give the university the free-way to deny that it was every reported? doesn’t it give them the chance to protect the coach? Keeping a good name clean?

People are so caught up with Sandusky and Paterno that they forget about the victims. This grown man has come out and said,” I was showering with a 10-year old boy after hours but we were just horsing around”. Seriously people? And you still deny it? Ummmm……this sounds like Michael Jackson and Never land Ranch in his backyard. What NORMAL adult man has an amusement park in his backyard for kids when he had no kids at the time? Stop being so ignorant and in denial about what’s really happening. OPEN UP YOUR EYES.

“Children who are sexually abused typically will not fully learn the developmental tasks they would otherwise learn during the period when the abuse occurs. Sexual abuse reduces children’s feelings of self-worth, often resulting in self-degradation and difficulty in accepting themselves. The children also lose a sense of their own competence, as the assault comes from a powerful force outside herself.” ****

After I was molested I remember always feeling so ugly and insecure. I cried all the time in school because people wouldn’t play with me. My teachers would send home a note saying I was crying again and my mom telling me to stop being so sensitive, stop being a cry baby.

I’m so happy my daughter is so beautiful and not “ugly” like me. Maybe she wont have to deal with being called ugly and people pretending to be nice to you just to use you. No I know I’m not “ugly” I just don’t feel “pretty”  some days. Being called ugly and fat for so many years does hurt and still to this day makes me teary eyes. My self confidence have gotten stronger over time, I just never realized it would take this long just to acknowledge the problem.

I remember having to go to school after I was molested. Going to PM kindergarten and still having to see him every day was the worst. He was just a year older than me but still twice my size.

I had just started to remember being molested when I was in middle school, 8th grade. Having to ride the bus and sitting behind him because we had assigned seats. That day I told my 2 best friends and having this sickening feeling at the bottom of my stomach when all these feeling came back to me.
It just amazed me so much how I could remember every little detail from when I was 5. From that dark pink skirt set with black polka-dots to the pink shoestring in my cornrowed hair. Its scary how at 5 years old I kept it inside and didn’t tell anyone for over 10 years.

He lived on my street, he still lives in my neighborhood. The molestation went on for over 2 years and I have just started to try to avoid him. I think the part that pissed me off the most is that the adult in the neighborhood knew that he was molesting other children and no one did anything to stop it. He has tried to rape someone I knew and assaulted him on many occasions. 10 years after he molested me, he started molesting one of the my friends little brothers. They were about to jump him and that’s when he moved away for a year but came back..

Years after it happened apparently my mother knew who was molesting me. That has got to be the biggest slap in the face yet. You would think because shed been raped by her brother she’s be more protective of her daughters but that’s just not the case. Is it wrong to me? Personally…..yes.
But I’ve learned to accept that I cant change how other people react to certain situations, I can only control me.

I believe the cycle of abuse begins and ends with the parents. What you say to your children will carry on into the next generation until someone stops it. Having an ignorant “back in my day this never happened” mentality helps no one. We all know about your “Uncle Russell” in the family which no one talks about but keeps inviting around all the kids and steadily ignoring the cries of your children. The rumors going around the family that you purposely try to keep a secrete.

So now at 25 a mother of a 10 month old girl I find myself scared out of my mind. So terrified that some monster will hurt her the way I was hurt. However I am doing everything possible to be as education as much as I can. When my daughter is old enough to understand I will teach her also.

Every time I look into her eyes I see such innocence that it breaks my heart. Knowing that I can’t possible protect her from everything in the world but I can do whatever it talks to keep that innocent look in her eyes until she chooses to give it away.

****Recovering from Rape by Lind E. LedRay, R.N., P.H.D

Sunday, October 30, 2011

People don't ever seem to realize that doing what's right is no guarantee against misfortune.

The area’s historical and contemporary racism might have made the local NAACP feel compelled to take the stance it did, says Lester Spence, an Africana studies and political science professor at Johns Hopkins. This is not the first time the NAACP has advocated for black men accused of sex crimes. The organization came under fire in 2008 for rallying around a group of black teens who gang raped a black woman and forced her to have sex with her 12-year-old son at the Dunbar Village Apartment Complex in South Florida. The NAACP held a rally supporting the accused that included fliers labeling the men “victims.” They were later convicted, and the main assailant received eight life sentences. The state NAACP issued an apology, but the national NAACP stood by its original stance.

There’s a difference between Silsbee and Dunbar Village, however, points out lawyer-turned-blogger Gina McCauley, who led the black feminist critique of the NAACP’s Dunbar Village stance:

[Hillarie], a young White woman, has infrastructure in place to advocate on her behalf, but the majority of the time when the NAACP is running around coddling and defending violent predators, the victims are Black women and girls who don’t have such support.

So on football Sunday I’m in a crappy mood. Its nothing personal just that ladies time and I’m trying to control my own anger as far as my emotions during that time. So I decide to get on the internet and do some researching and blogging just to get some things off my mind I guess.

I come across an article of this high school girl who was raped by a football player. While she was being raped, there were 2 witnesses outside who heard the girl say no and heard what was going on outside of that locked door. So to get the point of things when the case goes to trial the football player and the other young man involved in the rape plead to a lesser charge. They ignored what the witnesses had heard and never took that into account when it came to the victims testimony. She was put into a position to where either she had to cheer for the boy who raped her or get kicked off the cheerleading squad. The whole town had been harassing her and still does to this day.

Now what is with the victim blaming? When is it ever ok to rape a woman? Is it ok to rape a woman because she’s drunk? Is it ok to rape a woman because she’s showing skin? Is it ok to rape a woman because she flirted with you? Is it ok to rape a woman because she agreed to fool around with you but when it comes down to actually having sexual intercourse with you she said no? is it ok to gang rape a 11 year old girl because she “dresses” like she’s 20? Is it ok to rape a mother and then force her to have sex with her 12 year old son? All I want to know is when is it ok?

The funny thing about this is the NAACP. Every single time a black man is accused of rape they come out like flies on a pile of shit. So eager to defend his rights, claiming that they should have the same rights as white men. Now I’m not saying that black men should not have the same rights my problem is you are defending a man who gang raped a mother and forced her to have sex with her son and your issue is not that he did it, that he couldn’t get out on bail……am I the only one who sees a problem with this? I don’t see them flocking out to protect the rights of rape victims no but they will stand up for the black man.

Again with the victim blaming, this has gotten to the point where men accused of rape are now the victims and women turn into being the ones who turned them on/lead them on/knew what they were doing.
Rape(Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence) is the only crime where there is an “Alleged Victim.” You hear it constantly all the time on the news, all you have to do is turn the channel. It is the only crime where the victims behavior is being determined on weather or not the crime actually took place. I’ve said this a million times before, if you get robbed the police don’t come up to you and blame you for having money in your pockets at the time you were robbed. They don’t ask you why you were wearing your diamond necklace or why you had on $300 shoes. Yes they might comment on it but that’s as far as it goes and they move on with the case. No one blames them for having MATERIALISTIC VALUEABLES taken away from them. When a woman is raped, What was she wearing? Was she drinking? Why was she out alone? What was she doing in that neighborhood? Why didn’t she scream for help? Why didn’t she fight back? Did she lead him on? Why did she let him into her house?
People put more empathy when materialistic items are stolen then when a woman’s body is stolen from her. Why does money have a higher value then a woman’s body? Why do materialistic items have more value over a woman’s body? Doesn’t that pissed anyone else off other than me?

We need to stop protecting the perpetrators and helping the victims. Blaming the victims for what was DONE TO THEM doesn’t solve the problem, it only enables them to keep doing it over and over again. Seriously what does protecting them do? Do you knot want other people to know what’s going on behind close doors? Because rape happens its nothing to be ashamed of, the shame comes from those people who like to sweep it under the rug to try and cover it up, to keep a good name clean.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

“I think the black family itself is just so different from the white family. When a black woman is rape, it kind of weakens her as the female part in that family”***

“I think you learn it from watching your mother. Not being taught, just watching. I know my mom, when she would so something and injure herself, she’d say, “Damn.” Then she’d wrap something around it and go back to what she was doing. She’d say, ”Blood coming through there, but got to keep going.”***

“Black women are quick to get up. They may not be ready to stand on two feet, but they do it. You know? They say, “Okay. I need to put this back together. Let me get up.” Say she had this beautiful porcelain vase and say that represents her life and it gets cracked by something like… like a rape. Boom--it splatters everywhere. A black woman would do something like--she would take something like rope and put those pieces back together. It may not be as pretty as the white woman’s vase--taking all that time to put crazy glue on every spot and put it all together real nice and pretty. It may not be pretty but it works just the same. That’s the way we go about putting our lives together. May end up having some kind of little drawback or maybe we have to deal with things like anger and controlling our temper, but we do it. It may not be beautiful, but it gets fixed fast. And it works.”***

Now what my question is does it work? Does it really work to quick fix a problem that big and expect it to work the rest of your life? What is so wrong with taking our time and trying to put the pieces back together again? So what if it takes a long time to individually put each tiny piece back? Wouldn’t that route work out better for us in the long run?

A lot of us take that route of temporarily trying to fix a problem and in the end it always comes back up and bites us in the ass.That vase eventually gets shattered again, even if its by something minor and minuscule.
Those thousands of pieces that were tied together by that rope shatter again.

How many times are we going to wrap a cloth around a broken bone and expect it to heal? Ignoring the pain only allows more time to pass while the anger manifests in your soul. Then you start taking it out on other people. Trying to do your daily, “normal duties” with that mask on your face pretending that nothing is wrong.

Just because we get raped, it does not make us weaker as women, as black women. Because we end up in violent relationships, it does not make us weaker as black women. What another person does to your body is their blame to carry around, not yours. IF you choose to seek help, you are NOT weak. IF you choose not to seek help, you are NOT weak.

Often times we rely on family for advise and how we should handle certain situations. Family IS NOT ALWAYS RIGHT. Just because they are related to you does not make their advice remotely right or even in your best interest. I have experienced this in a negative way. My family chooses to ignore my molestation, my rape, my feelings. They chose to try to keep it in the family, that infamous don’t air dirty laundry tactic that black families are famous for. Hell my father told me not to tell anyone about what happened. When I was raped and he had to come home from work the only thing he kept saying was what am I going to tell my job. Like he was ashamed because I was raped.
Now I find that very hilarious.

I know that families “try to keep your best interest at heart” it does not mean they are going about it the right way. It was always drilled into your head that family should be number one in your life and no one should come before them. THAT’S BULLSHIT to me.

My family only made my healing a more difficult process. Once I finally saw the truth and how they really were that’s when I started to change myself and didn’t care if they liked who I was becoming.
  My families ignorance is their own burden to carry not mine, I cant change anyone else but me. I choose not to be close to them because of that ignorance that was hurting me, that’s my own choice.

I’m not obligated to be involved with them just because we are blood and I think that’s wrong with black families now. When someone is hurting you stay away from them. SOME black families have this no matter how much family is hurting you or what they do to you still be involved with them. No, I don’t believe in that idea. If the victim doesn’t want to be around the person who has hurt them then they shouldn’t be criticized for protecting themselves.

We just need to open our minds and hearts and actually look and understand reality. Accept that black women get raped and its not their fault. Accept that black children get molested by family members and friends and its not their fault. Accept that some black men do rape black women and black men and its NOT the victims fault.

Stop being so ignorant and blaming the victims because you want to protect your family.

A Little Girls White Dress

My white dress has been
Covered in blood.
My beautiful white dress has been
Beaten so much
The back is ripped and its
Seam is torn.
My sparkly white dress is
Smudged whit unearthly prints
And stains that can not be
My innocent white dress was ripped
Apart into pieces and
Carelessly put back together again.
I’ve tried to burn it, drown it
Pour alcohol on it to set on fire
And it still finds its way to the
Front of my closet
Dirty, fire stains, muddy, smeared with
Blood reeking
Of Jack Daniels, holding on by
A thread.
Sitting in front of what use to be
My white dress, I scream, I bellow
And finally I cry.
Realizing the blood, the torn seam
Smudges and pieces were only visible
To me.
The damage I had done to my own
White dress can be fix,
Even if I can get the blood out.
©Golden Rays

***Excerpt from Jacqueline a survivors of rape, the above quoted text was taken from the book “surviving the Silence Black Women’s Stories of Rape” by Charlotte Pierce-Baker

Thursday, October 27, 2011

She's got eyes of innocence, the face of an angel, a personality of a dreamer, and a smile that hides more pain than you can imagine.

        So the past couple of days I’ve been sleeping ok. I haven’t really had any restless nights but I have had nightmares. It was nothing serious though, just petty irrelevant nightmares that really didn’t bother me they were just stupid. Last night I was just kind of irritated, we had the window open to get some fresh air but that didn’t really help me because I was still having hot flashes and I was restless and couldn’t get comfortable so I didn’t fall asleep until about 5:30am.

        When I woke up this morning I felt like total crap. I fed the little one, went to the bathroom then came back and say down on the bed to see if I could relax but I couldn’t. So I jumped in the shower. Like I had felt so dirty, like my vagina was dirty because of the rapes, my vagina started to hurt like the feeling I had after I had been raped so I got in the shower. I did feel a little better but not really. So I put on lotion thinking maybe that would make my body feel better but it didn’t. My skin felt sticky and I had still felt dirty, like there was nothing I could do to get that sticky dirty irritating feeling from off my skin. I had felt so disgusting with my body but I knew what was going on.

        I’m trying to pay more attention to my body and how it reacts to certain situations that way I can pinpoint what’s going on with me and how I can make myself more comfortable and relaxed. I can start to feel when I’m about to have a panic attack or a flashback and usually it helps me to really calm down and handle them without hyperventilating which is good. It is very annoying and embarrassing when my body feels like that sometimes. It feels like my body is betraying me but I know its not. I know that its apart of the healing process which sucks ass but im dealing with it. I’m trying to try out different ways of coping with what’s going on. When my body feels sticky and dirty I usually jump in the shower put lotion on and then baby powder. I know it sounds crazy but the powder does relax me and it does take that sticky feeling away.

      For me personally sometimes I do feel like I’ve been damaged, like there have been parts of me that were taken away that I cant get back and that hurts. Someone took a part of me that no one was suppose to see until I was ready to show them. It feels like I’m not “pure” anymore is the best way to put it. I use to have a really big problem with feeling like “damaged” goods and I’m still working on it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The rain falls because the sky can no longer handle its weight. Just like 'tears' they fall because the heart can no longer handle the pain.

***“Only weak black women would have allowed themselves to be taken advantage of or, conversely, seeking therapy or other advocacy is what weak (or perhaps white) women do.”

I don’t really know how to actually begin but I started this blog over 3 years ago and I just happened to come across it again while I doing a search for black women surviving rape and this was the only thing I found. So I decided to pick back up writing because it does seam to heal my soul.

I was molested when I was 6 for 2 years, at 16 I was in an abusive relationship with my first serious boyfriend, Over a period of 2 years I was raped and beaten, he was 23 and I finally left him when I was 18. At 19 I was raped by a friend, i was assaulted again when I was 21, I was drugged and raped and only remember bits and pieces of it.

I am a 25 year old Survivor

And I’m still struggling with it all. I use to wish that none of that happened to me, I use to cry all the time about why does it keep happening, I actually thought that I was only placed on this earth to be used and abused and that was just something that I had got use to. I was use to being hit and raped and beaten and being called stupid and all the names. I was so use to it that it was the only thing I would expect my partners to treat me as. No one should expect that kind of treatment.

After putting everything on the table and looking over what I had been through I realized that I held everything in. I never cried during any of the attacks, I didn’t cry after the attacks. I put on my face and just held it inside. And it started to slowly kill me. It just hurt me so bad some days I couldn’t breathe. There have been days where I prayed to God that I would die, that I wouldn’t ever wake up because the pain that I held in hurt too much for me to keep living. I have thought about suicide, I have thought about jumping out the window, about crashing my car and hoping no one would find me. I had drank so much trying to die from alcohol poisoning.

Ummmm……it still hurts me, I’m trying now not to keep those feelings inside of me. And its not like I’m holding it in on purpose I just feel like I cant let them go the way I did when a friend raped me. I cried years after he raped me and it felt good. For me crying is my way of letting things go.

I feel like when I cry people think I’m weak. Like for them crying is a sign of weakness and it shouldn’t be done in public, like its something that should be hidden. My ex-husband has even told me why are you crying? Its not going to change anything so why are you doing it? My father told me the same thing. And I think women should be allowed to cry with out people questioning her. Black women should be allowed to show how hurt they are with out having a time limit put on them, with out being looked at as weak. Because that’s how I use to feel, like if I got everything out of my system and let it go and let my body relax and cry and then deal with it I’m a weak woman because I had a break down.

I’m just now starting to realize that breaking down isn’t musically a bad thing. As long as you put yourself back together again then its ok. As long as your not completely drowning in your misery and pain with out a life preserver then its ok. Everyone breaks down in their life, its just apart of being human.
I’m a SURVIVIOR who is still fighting. I’ve survived, I’m allowed to express my emotions the way I feel as long as I’m not hurting myself or anyone else. I should not feel embarrassed or ashamed for the way that I feel. And just because I ask for help, I am NOT weak. And because I cry, I am NOT weak.
Eventually I will go into details about my personal experiences with rape and domestic violence but this is just a stepping stone for me.
Until next time

***Excerpt from “If You Called to Say Yr sorry Call Somebody Else I Don’t Use “Em No More When Prototypes Become Stereotypes That Keep Black Women Silent About Rape by Jly R. Shaffer”***

Monday, October 17, 2011

Silence Kills

I created this blog for black women who have been raped, sexually assaulted, mentally, physically and emotionally abused and dealt with domestic violence. I am a survivor of molestation, domestic violence and rape. Through out my journey I have gotten help and I’m still getting help but it just feels like I am the only one out here. There are so many different sites and blogs out there for rape survivors it’s wonderful. A couple of them I have joined and found them very useful but I also felt like I was missing something. Then one day I went through the members list to see if I could personally connect with someone I could actually talk to and feel comfortable with and I noticed something. I was the only black member on each of those sites. It felt awkward and embarrassing at the same time. I wasn’t embarrassed because of what had happened to me, I was embarrassed because I was the only woman of color there. I felt like I had a target on my head. I have nothing against those sites, they provided wonderful information and resources that I didn’t know existed, but I wanted a place where I felt like I could be comfortable a place like home.

It seems like we as Strong Black Women always find a way of hiding, a way of covering up our hurt, our pain, and our tears. We push things to the back of our closet, lock the door and throw away the key. Later when it sneaks up on us it’s usually too late for us to deal with. We’ve become bitter and angry, and so hurt that we hurt other people that we love just to try to get the pain to stop. And it never works out that way. We need to stop hiding, stop lying to ourselves, and be there for others like us. There’s no reason why I should have to search the internet for black women surviving rape and come across my old blog and a book. That’s ridiculous. There’s too many of us walking around with our heads underground, faking that smile just going through the motions in life.

I know it hurts, I know it feels like you’re going to die and some days you wish you did. Like nothing in the world will ever make it go away like there is no end. There is, we just have to stick together and help each other out.

I’m writing this blog so other black women don’t feel like they are the only ones out there. YOURE NOT ALONE. You don’t have to comment if you don’t want to, you don’t even have to be my friend on here, as long as there are people out there reading it I know I’m doing my job. A lot of the posts on here are from my personal experiences and how I’m feeling and how I’ve dealt with and or tried to deal with my past. I’m a work in progress but I feel like this is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life at this moment.

Speak up, silence kills slowly