Whispers

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My Civic Duty

I am one of the many rape survivors who chose not to report her rapist.  I never went through the process of going to the police, testifying at a trial, and (hopefully) watching my rapist go to jail for his crime.  There are times when I deeply regret that decision.

Yesterday was not one of them.

I was summoned to my local circuit court for jury duty.  Ugh…I know.  Never have I seen an unhappier lot of people parading across the busy streets of my city and marching up the stairs of the courthouse.  At 7:30 in the morning.  Apparently, “well-rested” is not a quality we want in our jurors.

But I didn’t mind this time.  It came at a good time in the school year.  I had no meetings scheduled.  It wasn’t the first/last week of school.  I have a good class that behaves well for substitutes.  It was a sunny day and I had a brand new Louise Penny mystery in tow to while away the hours while I sat trapped in a large room with 250 strangers listening for my name to be called. More

Choosing to Have a Good Day

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It’s been a good day.  It started with a great observation from my principal, which has had me stressed all weekend.  It moved on to some great collaborative work with a colleague of which I’m very proud.  Dinner out with Mr. OneWoman–always delicious!  Ending with a late evening workout and curling up on the couch to watch TV, exhausted, but in a good way.  Very satisfying all around. More

12 Ways to Support a Survivor of Abuse

Some great tips for how to help if a friend or loved one is a survivor. So often, we just don’t know the right things to say.

Purposefully Scarred

Tips for Being a Good Support Person (from The Healing Center, full article linked above):

1. Listen. Listen. Listen.

Try not to interrupt or overreact with your own thoughts and feelings. You may need to process your own reactions with someone to support you too. Most importantly, the survivor needs you to “be there” for her/him. Let them know that you are open to hearing anything they wish to share, and that although it’s painful and upsetting, you are willing to enter those difficult places with them and to receive their words with respect. Ask how you can be of help in the healing process and honor the answer. Acknowledge and validate the survivor’s feelings. If you have feelings of outrage, compassion, pain for their pain, do share them. There is probably nothing more comforting than a genuine human response. Just make sure your feelings don’t overwhelm theirs.

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Owning Our Stories

Owning Our Story

This was a Facebook find today.  I think it’s an amazing statement.  We all have a story.  And many parts of that story are very, very bad for survivors of rape and abuse.  But it’s us.  It is part of who we are.  Too often we push that part of our story down and silence it because it is so very painful.  Bringing it forward and owning that part of ourselves takes great bravery and courage.  And with it comes power.  Power over our rapists.  Power over our past.  Power to change our futures.  There is a lot of wisdom packed into this one short sentence.

Courage

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I apologize for the lazy blogging lately, but I’ve been really sick.  I still want to share any messages of encouragement that I find.  I’ve been chatting with lots of fellow survivors lately, and I’m finding a lot of messages that show their despair and desire to just give up on fighting this fight.  This is to remind all of you that the fight is worth fighting.  Please, please don’t give up.  You’re worth too much to this world.  Listen to that little voice, even if it’s only a whisper, and try again tomorrow!

For the Survivors

Pretty damn smart for such a young guy…listen to his wise words!

Please Don’t Tell Us to Get Over It

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Since I began this journey of writing and sharing my story, I have met many wonderful survivors online.  They are a huge support network for me and I am grateful for every one of them.  The other day, one posted that people she cared about kept telling her that she just “needed to get over it”.  Many of the other survivors spoke up and said that they, too, had received this kind of comment.

I am not sure what people are thinking when they make this kind of statement to a victim of rape and trauma.  They may truly be coming from a place of caring, and simply are expressing their desire to see you feeling better.  But more likely, it comes from a complete lack of understanding of how this event can penetrate you to the core.  It goes down deep in your soul.  It’s not a physical injury that can heal in a matter of weeks or months. More

You’re Beautiful

Yesterday was a particularly rough day.

I’ve been very misty-eyed this whole week dreading the upcoming Father’s Day…my first without a father.  It seems everywhere I look there are ads for “great gifts to get Dad”, which bring me to tears every time.  Then I got some very disappointing news at work and the whole building was in a foul temper.  There were tears in every corner of the school.   (Teacher tears, not students).  The day went from bad to worse.  For whatever reason, my students’ behaviors were exploding all around me (I teach low-income students with behavior disorders, not an easy task on the best of days.  This was not the best of days).  I ended the day with an altercation with an angry parent. More

Quote of the Day

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