Monday, December 17, 2012

I am exhausted tonight.
I'm back to not sleeping very well, for some reason. I'm not really sure what's going on.
The nightmares are much better, most nights I can sleep with *only* a nightlight, as opposed to sleeping with the bedroom light on ...
But the last few nights have not been great. I think I'm averaging about four hours sleep, interrupted.
I'm hanging out for the Christmas break. My office shuts down for a week and a half, and I cannot wait.
To have no responsibilities, to have no workload, to have a desperately needed break ... I can't wait. Mostly, though, I cannot wait for 2012 to be over. Done. Gone. Time to start fresh for 2013, and leave the horror that was this year behind.
I'm slightly disappointed in 2013 already, though. I thought I would be graduating, I thought my degree would be finished in Feb 2013 ... But it wasn't to be, obviously. One of my final subjects I cannot take until June next year ... So I cannot graduate until 2014.
Disappointing, but I guess everything happens for a reason. Maybe the reason I'm not able to graduate is because there are bigger, better, more important things waiting for me in 2013. I can't help thinking that maybe this is a sign - maybe the reason I can't graduate/shouldn't graduate is because I'll have bigger things to worry about - like a rape trial ... ?
I really should try to get some sleep - I don't know how successful I'll be, but I've got a feeling that tomorrow - like the rest of this week at work - is going to be incredibly busy and stressful, and turning up having only had a couple of hours sleep is probably not a good idea.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Random thoughts.

The last few months have been the most difficult that I have ever experienced.

I would honestly struggle to find the words to explain what I've experienced and how everything that I've been through has made me feel, and affected me, which is unusual for me, because even though I'm not a big talker, I can always find the words to express myself when I write ... Not this time though.

This time, while I could theoretically use a thousand words to describe the emotions of my recent experiences, it would still not really tell anyone what has happened, how I've reacted, or what I've felt. Emotions are raw. So much rawer than words can ever be. Not everything in life can be described, despite the fact that everything you experience in life can be described by the emotions you were feeling at that time.

Rape is such a simple word, but loaded with meaning. To those who have experienced this violent act,it can be a struggle to say this little word, especially when trying to describe what has happened. Personally, it was not a word that I could say, write, look at or even think in those first few weeks. To have another reminder, to have to use the word when talking about myself, was too painful, far too painful.

I have been called strong, I have been called courageous, I have been called brave, I have been called amazing, I have been called "warrior woman", I have been called a voice for other women, just because I decided to report what happened to me. While it was not an easy decision, while it was the most difficult thing I have done in my life, the truth is that I am not brave. I am not strong. I am not courageous. I am scared. I am weak. I am nothing but my worst moments, I am only really as strong as I am on my weakest days. I have times when I feel like I am strong, I am capable, I can take whatever is thrown at me ... But until I can say that the good moments outweigh the bad, then I am not strong. I am not okay.

While the reaction that I have had to reporting my rape to the police has been positive - by the few people in my life that know, anyway - I cannot help that feel so unbearably sad that it's notable and unusual that I have reported it. All the statistics say that rape is one of the most under reported crimes in the world. Estimates vary, but anywhere from 50 - 90% (or more) of rapes and sexual assaults are never reported. One book I read recently said that in Australia, it's estimated that only ONE percent of rapes are reported. One percent! One in every one hundred people who are raped report it. One percent. How did it get to this? Why do victims feel as though they cannot or should not report it? What stops those other 99 people from reporting the horrific act committed against them?

As a victim, I can think of several reasons off the top of my head without even trying – fear – fear of judgement, fear of the offender, fear of consequences following the reporting, fear that grips you so hard it feels like you can’t breathe. Fear of humiliation. Feelings of shame, embarrassment, anger, sadness, anxiety. Being unable to handle going through what happened, step by step, minute detail by minute detail.

Every victim has a different story. Every victim has a different experience. Every victim has a different reaction. Every victim has a different ending to their story. Something in our justice system needs desperately to change so that reporting a rape is not seen as brave, or unusual. It needs to be seen as the norm. As something that's expected. Something in our justice system needs to change so that every victim gets justice through the criminal system. Victims need more support, easier access to better services and help to get their lives back in order. Every victim deserves a happy ending to their story. Every victim deserves to find the happiness that they lost when they were raped.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

“Do you know how there are moments when the world moves so slowly you can feel your bones shifting, your mind tumbling? When you think that no matter what happens to you for the rest of your life, you will remember every last detail of that one minute forever?”
Jodi Picoult, Nineteen Minutes
“She knew all sorts of four letter words now; they just weren't the ones that most people considered foul language.

Jodi Picoult, The Tenth Circle
“I'd still thought that everything I thought about that night - the shame, the fear - would fade in time. But that hadn't happened. Instead, the things that I remembered, these little details, seemed to grow stronger, to the point where I could feel their weight in my chest.”

Sarah Dessen, Just Listen
“Rape is a crime against sleep and memory; it's after image imprints itself like an irreversible negative from the camera obscure of dreams. Though their bodies would heal, their souls had sustained a damage beyond compensation” 
“I just want to sleep. A coma would be nice. Or amnesia. Anything, just to get rid of this, these thoughts, whispers in my mind. Did he rape my head, too?” 
“Now, should we treat women as independent agents, responsible for themselves? Of course. But being responsible has nothing to do with being raped. Women don’t get raped because they were drinking or took drugs. Women do not get raped because they weren’t careful enough. Women get raped because someone raped them.” 

The Tenth Cirle

"The thing that most people didn't understand ... Was that a rape victim and a victim of a fatal accident were both gone, forever. The difference was that the rape victim still had to go through the motions of being alive."

- Jodie Picoult.