Election Night Triggers

As I write this, it is 12:37 on November 9. The nation is still biting their nails awaiting the decision of the 2016 Presidential election. It is looking more and more like Donald Trump will be our next president. By morning, this may somehow be different, but I am going to publish this now before we know.

I do not know how this election season has been for other rape and abuse survivors, but it has been awful for me. I have been in a near constant state of trigger for months. Donald Trump has so many personality traits that take me right back to the behavior of Mark, my abuser and rapist. His flippant “jokes” that he laughs off as sarcasm. His threatening attitude toward everyone. His quick-tempered anger. His actual threats of violence. His demeaning treatment of women. His habit of hurling personal insults at people who disagree with him. His superficial charm that sucks some people in.

I was particularly triggered by the comments that were broadcast about Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe. I saw a video of him at the gym, watching Ms. Machado working out, laughing at her and saying how she “loves to eat”. This is how Mark acted toward me. Insulting and putting me down for superficial physical attributes, but doing so in a laughing manner so that he could always fall back on the “I was just joking. Why can’t you take a joke?” remark.

Then came the “locker room talk” incident. I can’t even go into that. It got so that simply hearing the phrase “locker room banter” set my heart racing and gave me that feeling in the pit of my stomach. Here was a man who might soon be president, bragging openly about committing sexual assault. And it was on TV every night, every day, over and over and over. If I turned off the TV, it was on Facebook. If I turned off Facebook, it came up in conversation with colleagues. I absolutely could not escape it. This was the worst.

Almost as bad was the way people have been talking with each other. The vitriol and anger that has been out there, on both sides, made my heart hurt. The open racism, the open misogyny…from people I thought were friends, and from family members. It’s like the nation has turned into the Jerry Springer show and suddenly everyone feels it is OK to say anything. Because Trump does.

I thought that, one way or another, it would all be over today. I woke up with a huge knot in my stomach. I burst into tears for no real reason this morning. But I went through my day. I went to work. I voted. And I made it through.

But how will I be able to handle four years of seeing this man on TV every single day? What will he say? What will he tweet? Who will he hurt? More importantly, what will we as an American people turn into? For me, it is like my rapist has come out of the depths of my past and is now in complete power over me. This is the most triggered I have been in years.

I have been trying to find refuge in my family, a big bowl of ice cream, pictures of kittens, videos of dancing baby goats, and now in my writing.

Am I the only one who is experiencing this? I heard that RAINN experienced a big upsurge in calls to the hotline after the “locker room” incident. I wonder if this is still true.

Hold tight if you are feeling like me. Know that I am sending you virtual hugs and keeping you in my thoughts. We shall see what the morning brings, my friends.

Isn’t it the truth?

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The Hunting Ground

CNN is airing the documentary, “The Hunting Ground” tonight at 8:00. It’s about sexual assault on college campuses. I am about to watch it. I’ll let you know my thoughts afterward.

Who Knew?

It turns out that I am a better human being than I may have thought.  Here is a revelation that I found out this past week:

I do not actually wish my rapist dead.

Good to know! Yay, me! More

People You May Know

What do you do when your rapist shows up on your Facebook feed?  Thankfully, mine is not on Facebook.  But his friends are.  His coworkers.  A mutual friend once told me, “Mark says hi! He asks how you are doing?”  That was one of the most triggering things anyone has ever said  to me.  It reminded me that he was still out there, living his life, going to work, chatting with friends.  People were his friends. People who didn’t know what he was.

This video is is very powerful.  Watch with care.  The poet’s bravery shines through.

The accompanying article tells his story.

Survival Looks Good on You

I saw this on Facebook this morning and I really liked it.  Let us all hope that one day we can wear our survival gracefully.  Thank you all for surviving and standing with me as I try.  I am standing with all of you. Have a great week everyone!

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A Roller Coaster of Emotions

Happiness, terror, sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, relief, a bit of nausea…that sums up my weekend.  Coupled by quite a bit of excitement and disappointment.

photo credit: Ben Hodgson via photopin cc

photo credit: Ben Hodgson via photopin cc

No, I did not ride the newest coaster at Cedar Point (although I would really love to do that!) I got together all of my courage and I told my mother about my rape.  After 32 years. More

Chicago Bound! (Probably!)

Well, Mr. OneWoman gave the financial go ahead to my Chicago trip.  Apparently there is indeed enough money in the bank to finance a short trip!  I am very excited to go see the Monument Quilt when it stops in Chicago next week.  I think it will be an extremely emotional trip, but one I need to take.

There is one very large snag in the plan. More

The Monument Quilt

Summer, as always, is rushing by and the back-to-school feeling is calling to me. I am trying hard to resist it, but it’s getting stronger! I am hoping to get in one last hurrah before the school bell rings.

The Monument Quilt

This popped up on my Facebook feed the other day, and it’s been gnawing at me. Things that gnaw at me like this usually force me into action. My brain is very annoying that way. More on this in a minute.

The Monument Quilt is a project that allows rape survivors to share their stories on quilt squares to be displayed outdoors for people to read. The quilt is touring More

You Don’t Have to Try

This has been floating around Facebook, so many of you have probably already seen it.  But it is definitely worth viewing.

As women, we are continually given messages–both spoken and tacit–that we need to be better.  More beautiful.  Thinner.  Perfect.  Our hair should shine, our smiles should be bright, our makeup flawless.  All while we have 2.5 perfect children, get a master’s degree, and run our own business.

Yep, no problem.  I can do that!

I know amazing, talented, bright women who refuse to leave the house unless they are made up perfectly, their hair done, and dressed for success.  This is to go to the grocery store.

I called my mother recently to see More

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