Marriage Bed

7 05 2014

Through the velvet darkness
Camels and cheap beer on my tongue,
Bring me back to pain
I turn my head but you grabbed me back

 

The weight of your fat body I once loved
Now grotesque
Crushes my breath
Vice around my throat
I’m forced to swallow

 

The warm coat of black velvet washes over me
I know I’m not safe,
But here, ignorance is bliss

The struggle and agony inside my body
Lifts the curtain

 

I see my hands bound;
A knot at every eight
The dearest brown scarf
Tiny woven diamond bulls eyes
A thousand tiny eyes
Witness my torture

A thousand tiny eyes
Know the truth
No black velvet to shield them
They saw all
Every tear, every plea

 

The darkness took hold his eyes
That were once so full of life.
Making me believe in evil.

 

A thousand tiny eyes
Stare stone silent shaming
A whimper comes forth
Why are you doing this?

Because, I love you.

 





Embodiment and leaving the house

20 11 2012

I finally figured out what it is I’m trying to talk about with my art. I’m trying to deal with the fact that I forever have to live in the setting, the vessel of which my most horrible memories took place.

As a rape survivor, I can’t leave this body. Unless I disassociate. But disassociating also is part of the reason I was raped in the second case. The defense mechanism, became the downfall. It happens all the time in nature. The creature freezes in order to not be seen, unaware that the predator is already engaged. Anyway, even if disassociating hadn’t betrayed me, its no way to go about living.

I’ve decided to undergo some other types of therapy, to see if I can perhaps recover the thing that first taught me to disassociate. So that I can finally deal with it, and really learn how to help that part of myself, best. EMDR and Hypnosis, or one or the other, or together, I dunno, but I’m going to find out about them, soon. I have my first appointment with this woman Tuesday. Its cool, she’s smart, she was one of the leaders of the group that I did last spring and summer.

She was also the first person to use the word abuse, when I described my father. Actually I guess she was the second. The first was the towering and broad shouldered co-worker of my father I was sent to talk to, instead of going to a real psychologist. She had this list, of red flags, signs that you were in an unhealthy relationship. A lot of those things on that list described things my dad did. I think all of them were verbal, certainly most.  But now that I think of it I don’t think she did use that word, abuse. Just “unhealthy relationship”

Maybe she can hypnotize me into thinking that leaving the house on my days off in order to do things like, attend a meeting with my psychiatrist, do laundry, or go grocery shopping isn’t so scary.

So with these two new therapies, I hope that I can better learn how to deal with being within my body, and present. I read some things in that masturbation was supposed to help survivors be more comfortable with their bodies. I don’t think that I have a problem being in my body and feeling the pleasure that comes with masturbation, or sex, I think I have a problem being in my body when it comes to feeling the emotions I am or am not having with sex.

Sex, emotions, and relationships are all very different things to me, that possibly have a kind of ven diagram thing happening, but emotion is barely in either of the two, especially when sex enters into the relationship. It seems that the more sexual I am with a person, the further I want to pull away from them emotionally. Until recently. There was one person who was able to break that cycle of mine, and now I realize the benefit of not being so detached.

Anyway I think I was going to mostly write about my art practice…

I think that my work fluctuates between the state of disassociating, victim, survivor, and aggressor. In some works, only one state is showcased or portratited if you will., in others they are battling, in this confused and violated rawness. The strange thing was when I was doing my work last semester, the phrase that has stuck out in my head the most, is “Your anger, is clear.” I thought the work had moved greatly beyond just anger. I don’t know if that’s true.  The gender reduction monsters are my way of talking about society’s way of making rape jokes, and pointing out how narrow definitions, or stereotypes, castrate, and dehumanize people. But they also point out the absurdity and ridiculous nature of this entire political conversation of redefining rape. The fact that, that is even an option, to qualify rape, as legitimate, or forceful, is unfathomable.  The only thing that is worse is if they were to demand the rapist marry the victim/survivor, that and actually stoning the victim.  By turning women and men into these monsters I hope I have created a kind of comedic relief in talking about something that’s horrible and doesn’t make any sense.

By using the skins, or carcass paintings, I hope that I understand my victimized state. By turning myself into a gender reduction monster I hope that I have a better understanding of what I see the male gaze as. Maybe the carcass paintings are the skins of the gender reduction monsters, maybe by merging myself with them, or falling into them, or embracing them, I am reaching out to the victim, the disassociating self, and trying to hold on to it and comfort it, expressing the fluid nature of victim/survivor identity. By tearing paper, and collaging with it, and then white washing it, to me it reminds me of what happened when I told my mother and father. That hazy memory, but more how they look at me so different now but never really talk about why.  How my father doesn’t really look me in the eye anymore.

But the general distress and labor that goes into each work, is as Merleau-Ponty puts it, a birth. And the result is a body, each work is its own body, and its own kind of expression of self, of myself.  Pointing back at me, looking at me, calling out wanting… to be healed, to be whole, to be human again. Embodiment or at least the struggle with it, is a human one. And rape is the ultimate dehumanization. For what is a human with out a body?  And how do I live in and love that body after what happened inside? That is the question that I am looking at, and since I’m a painter, that’s the kind of things I make.

I think I may have just stumbled upon about a half way done artist statement there. Awesome.

 





Gross feelings.

21 10 2012

I talked to the ada… and its him.Its Him and I see his face when I close my eyes, and then I try to think about AB instead, and I realize that I love and miss him.

Maybe more than I realized.

I look at myself in the mirror and barely recognize the aged creature before me. I have aged at least 5 years and probably more within a week.  This whole news has obviously consumed me more than I was willing to admit.

I don’t know how to do this. I feel alone and powerless against my raging subconscious.

All I really want is a hug. From AB specifically. But from any safe person would be nice really.

I really don’t want this to rule my life, but right now I’m so raw and torn up inside….I don’t know if I have the capacity to focus and  just go on, just yet.

But that’s exactly all I want to do; go on with my life. In both instances.

I don’t want to be bothered by the shitbag that raped me two years ago.

And I really don’t want to be in love with AB anymore. And I keep thinking that I’m like sooo totally over that, but that just isn’t the case.

I spent so much time confiding in him now I feel as though I have no one. Here. In Boston.

But I also confided in C I could turn to her. I could turn to her and seek her out. But Isn’t it too much for one person? I Just want to be safe and hugged.





Closure?

15 10 2012

***TRIGGER WARNING***

 

I got some weird news on Friday. It’s not really bad news, but just triggering. My best friend found an article about a French African native that was convicted of raping and stalking women from 2007-2010. The article had a photo. She had no idea that I was actually on my way out of work to head to my counselor, but I’m very glad that I was. As I rode over, I tried to remain as calm as possible, but my breathing was heavy, and I’m unsure how fast I was pedaling  and I know I did some maneuvers that weren’t that wise.  By the time I got down to meet my counselor I could barely breathe, let alone talk, but after taking off all my outer layers I was able to tell him what was going on.

I told him I had to know, that there was a photo in the article, and I needed to know. It was him.  I dropped my phone, and I knew it was him. I became 80% sure it was him. The stranger that raped me in June 2010. The one that I didn’t understand, the one where I started disassociating before it even was happening. As soon as he touched me, taking my hand, I started to fade, and become a shell.

I completely lost it for a few minutes. I felt as though it was happening all over only this time I knew what was going on and I didn’t see the mountain top. I didn’t know what to do but my therapist was able to remind me that I was safe, that it wasn’t happening now.  He was able to help me calm down, and call a friend to meet me after counseling.

He’s in prison. For twenty years. 19 now. But I’m not going to count that down. I’ve read several articles about the whole thing, and I’m now 90-95% sure that it is him. Nothing mentioned how tall he is. That’s the only detail that I feel like I need to really confirm it with myself. I know that there’s no tacking on to his sentence. But I recognize the shape of his mouth, the shape of his head, and he made this one face, when some one was talking during the world cup. The things that he said in the article, and the description of the actions. If its not him, there is a strong uncanny resemblance. I don’t know what this means for me. I don’t really know if this will bring closure really. My dad said that I should celebrate. But so far its just made everything present again.

To me this just tells me even more, that you don’t really get over being raped, you just learn how to carry it, and eventually the strength you gain makes it seem small and far away. One day I will be able to carry this again in such a way that it won’t be so painful.

“We must imagine Sisyphus, happy.”

I’ve contacted two reporters, the associated press, and the NYC DA office, I’m trying not to obsess, but I feel like if I know either way then I’ll be able to go on and bo back to not being a raw ptsd nerve.

I have work today so that will help. I wish I could listen to music in my head phones at work, I feel like I’m going to be hearing his voice all day with out that. I haven’t started with the nightmares or hallucinations, so I’m not going to worry too much.

I’m just going to listen to some angry/sad girl music, and I’ll be okay. I’ll probably watch Pride and Prejudice a million times, too.





Evaluation

20 03 2012

Light dances on the windowsill, waking me. Sleep does not leave me quietly.  Laying there the silent battle in my head debating the day, the life, the work, causes my head to throb.  My jaw aches from my anxious grinding. Opening my mouth I hear, but don’t really feel the light click of my mandible popping back into place.  I’ve turned my alarm off perhaps ten times, and wondered why I woke up at least eight. I can’t tell whether an hour or five minutes has passed.  Finally I find myself standing before my coffee grinder not remembering getting out of bed.

I’m on the T and people surround me, I look at the clock on my phone and realize I’m going to be late, I can barely breathe.  I’m at home standing at the doorway holding the knob in my hand. How long have I been standing here? What time is it? My stomach, aches, lurches, and I shake.  My backpack feels as if I had filled it with bricks. I sit it down, look through the veil of the white curtain out onto the road, I need to be on, and try to turn the doorknob. My fingers flow gently over the cool brass warming it, and I try to turn, but can’t seem to remember how. Suddenly the heat of the knob is scorching, my hand flees the knob as to avoid being burned.  I check the dead bolt, then go lay back down.

The studio calls me, and my head screams at me to move, get up, get out, go do, go make, but my heart reminds me of the endless talk, that takes and beats the life out of what I love, and some one hands me the stake, “We’re merely deconstructing what it means to paint, what it means to make art, what it means to be an artist,” Some how deconstruction got confused with destruction, and I can not participate in the naive massacre.

When I do make it up to the studio, its like staring at an empty mirror, not recognizing who or where I am. I try grounding techniques, but that only seems to send me flying further away, or deeper down. My shell walks above me, and I am trapped below looking up through murky waters, reaching, reaching, reaching, for the surface but never making it up for air.

I was not always this way? I cannot honestly affirm yes or no. I know myself as a disconnected thing searching for the self and knowing the outside other. For most it seems that they know the other exists because of the self, but for me it is reversed, my greatest other is myself.

When I am fully present I remember everything and feel everything that was. Those horrible moments that lead me to this state of fractured self. I try to make work about it, because that’s what I want to do more than anything. But when the reflection is empty, how can the hero kill the gorgon?

Pills oh the pills, the hope filled oblongs of promises: sanity, clarity, and health.  But only one will work, only one is the right match, and thousands of suitors sit before me and shout, “Eat Me!”. Like Alice I reach and take, with the trust or sheer curiosity that this one, this one will work, this one will help. I sit on the couch and spew out and the back and forth helps relieve some pressure, but mostly I still feel as though I treading water waiting to remember how to swim.

In the fall it was attack, attack, attack, always on the offense, but with the winter I grew weary and weak. Sick with exhaustion from the battle and trying to cull the screaming wellspring of anger that was inside of me, and missing my target every time.  Reviewing and seeing all my work together was helpful, made me realize how being up on the rack for too, long can weaken one’s muscles. The words I used were filled with uncertainty and confusion, and spoken with a quietness coming from insecurity and doubt rather than humility. I did not want to speak so much as I wanted to listen to what those I respected had to say about what they saw, what they were experiencing.

The monsters inside of me battle. One: the monster creator. The other: the monster unnamed. The creator had been loosing this winter, tired from the constant thrashing and hunting of the unnamed. But now, now, new light has come and I see, the monster creator sees, that hunting for that which is unnamed has no reward, there is too much to do, too much to make.  That which is unnamed does not need me nor a creator to name it, let that monster find its own name, let it be, let it be unknown.





Booty Call

2 03 2012

I’m sorry for not updating… like ever. Please forgive me.

I think I’ve come to the comfortable conclusion, that booty calls are my friend. I like the idea of hanging out with a person, ever so often, just to meet my carnal needs. Because, quite frankly I can’t handle much else.

Every time I start opening up…. lets just say things end quickly. Sometimes its me, sometimes its him.

I like the honesty of saying… I like having sex with you, can’t really do/afford much else right now, so want to fuck here and there?

In the past week I’ve had sex with three different people. Each experience was pleasant. And honestly I think increasingly with each one.

Would I be cool with screwing these three people ever so often? Sure. Do I want to get to know them beyond that. Yes, but mostly because I find them interesting, not because of some strange spark in the pit of my stomach.

My counselor said that I have a very blasé kind of attitude towards dating. And he’s right. I’m extremely indifferent. I feel nothing for these men. I think that they’re interesting, and I have fun with them, but when I stop and analyze my feelings… they just aren’t there. Do I want to keep fucking them? Sure. But more because I focus so much better when I get laid.

I don’t really focus very well at all when I’m left to my own devices. I end up masturbating for hours on end… Having a partner, really allows for more of a resolution. A kind of… Okay now time for something else.

Is this what polyamory is? Maybe, but I think its further from the Ethical Slut, and more towards….just something else.

Am I acting out of character? No, I don’t think so. I think in some respects I’m still redefining my character from when I was raped, and from being divorced.

I told one of the guys about my past. Rapes, hospital…you know the whole schtick. But I don’t feel closer to this person. I may never see him again. I don’t know.

Will I see the guy I saw last night again? I don’t know…. And I don’t know if I care. He has a Michael Fassbender quality to him, and I wanted to fuck him. Now I have, and I still want to, but do I need to? No.

The other day I put my kegel cisor in for the whole day. Just to see how that’d go. I think that was a mistake. I mean I didn’t damage myself, but lets just say there might be such a thing as too tight of a pussy.

 

I just think that maybe I should cool it with the kegels for a minute.

I stopped taking my medicine because it made me sick. And then once I spaced out the dosage, I realized I had become increasingly numb, and a bit suicidal, so no more Effexor. I feel much better, actually….feeling.

I think its also part of the reason that I was having a really hard time in the studio. Like…the medication made me see the absurdity, and frivolity of what I do, and then all my head would tell me is what an asshole I was for adding to the junk in the world. Make me feel guilty for the need to create.  Sooo… fuck that.

With out making art, I am a miserable cunt of a person. It is life to me.  It is my oxygen. I know all my life feeds my work. Lately, due to the nature of my work… sex definitely does.

 





Thank you

1 02 2012

http://pervocracy.blogspot.com/2010/10/people-you-meet-when-you-write-about.html#comment-form

I just want to say thank you, to Holly from Pervocracy, because, she has helped me understand  so much about my own rape experiences and my sex life.

 

I don’t think that it won’t ever not be hard when I identify so closely with something written about rape.

I’ve been talking about my parents a lot in therapy. That hasn’t been easy. Mostly about my mother most recently.

I keep having all these weird sex dreams. I guess they aren’t that weird, I mean I’m not dreaming about fucking any relatives, so that’s good. But its like every one I come in contact with on a regular basis…I’ve probably have had a really awkward sex dream about them… Luckily its only been with people in my generation. Mostly other people in my program, men and women, and orgies.

BUT its like every one is a virgin. So its all super awkward. And then usually some one unwanted shows up, too.

I’ve noticed that every time I think of him, outside of therapy, I skip over whatever jolt of instant memory I had that involved him, its like I’m trying to erase what happened….all of it, any thing involving him. Like I’m tricking myself into thinking that if I ignore triggers enough he’ll cease to exist.

That can’t be healthy.





Late Start

18 11 2011

Got a late start yesterday, but early by comparison to plenty of recent past days. Sure I was two hours late to my three hour class, but I got there. And that was an accomplishment in and of it self.

“You’re strong”

I don’t feel strong.

“You really are. Its understandable that you’re angry, you’ve had several people treat you really horribly.”

These are the words from my therapist. I freaked out because I gave him my, “Summit Abyss” entry and he told me that I should go to BAARC which I should, but at first I felt like I was being rejected by my counselor. Like he was basically telling me that I was too fucked up for him to handle. He didn’t know what to say to me any more.

This was not the case. While he might feel inadequate as the only source of therapy, he really just meant that I needed more than he alone could give. And he made that very clear.  Which was wonderful because my last counselor I had, the Jesusy one, after I was like “I was raped by my husband (the one we did marriage counseling with back in the day), oh and that stranger…” he was like, “Whelp, that sucks…go here!”

Not, actually but that is what it felt like.

I have a pyscho-pharmacology appointment with BIT on Tuesday,  I keep telling myself It will work out. And one day I won’t need medication. One day I’ll have the self discipline to maintain my mental health.

I am working towards that day.

Everything. Will. Be. Okay.





Summit Abyss

26 10 2011

I know I’ve talked about this on here. But I guess I’m trying to understand my disassociation more.  *trigger warning*

****

I first saw the mountain peak inside a men’s stall in a marble bathroom. There was to be a gala that night right outside the outer door.

 ***************************************************************************

Excuse me, excuse me ma’am?

I turned to my right on the corner of some Manhattan street on my way to the Natural History Museum and I saw before me stood a tall and broad shouldered shadow.

Yes, I answer.

Are you Italian? Asks the shadow with a heavy African French accent.

I’m sorry?

Your necklace is Italian, so I thought you might be.

Oh, no I’m not, but yes, the necklace, I got it in Venice.

Are you going this way? He gestures forward and finally the sun is not behind him so I can get a clearer look at his face. I nodded. And walked even with his pace. He mentioned his name, it started with an H, but sounded like a U, damn French.  A journalist based out of DC. He had an Umbrella in his hand, and he was excited to go and watch part of the world cup.

What are you doing?

Well, I was mostly just killing time, taking photos, walking around till later when I’m supposed to meet up with a graduate student who’s going to Columbia and offered to talk to me about the program. But that’s not for a couple of hours, why?

Would you like to come with me? I’m going to the Samsung store to watch the next match.

We were in front of the Natural History Museum, and I had planned on going in and wandering about. I stared at the ancient trees, the massive museum, and then back at the stranger. He seemed interesting, and he had offered for me to go with him to a public place.

My stomach growled and I was reminded of how broke I was. In hopes of perhaps a coffee, or cookie, I agreed to join him.  While walking the several blocks to our destination he spoke of how he frequently went back and forth between the city and the district. He was from Paris, and wanted me to go with him to the gala he must attend that night.

I looked down at my raggedy, stained converse, the only shoes I had with me in the city.

I don’t have anything to wear, I’m sorry. Plus, I’m here visiting a friend, so I wouldn’t be able to go even if I did have the proper attire.

Don’t you know that in New York you have to ready for anything?

************************************************************************

The match was over and my coffee cup was empty. No lunch though so my stomach still growled. I checked my phone for the time, and remarked how it had been nice to meet him and it was kind of him to buy me the coffee, but that I needed to be heading back toward Columbia, soon.

First, let me show you something.  He took my hand, and led me up an escalator, down a hallway, then there was a doorman, he showed a card, and we were let into some secret part of the building.

We walked down a spiral staircase with pink carpet and I started seeing Crystal chandeliers and my thought was, that this room was more expensive than my entire existence.

The View is very good. Said the stranger.

The closer I got to the window the more and more excited I was, but the height also made me nervous. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up as I looked out into the city. How beautiful it was! New York, in all her glory.

The man took my hand again, and said, I have one more thing to show you.

I really need to be going…

I promise it won’t take long.

We went around a wall he was leading me. My mind had gone blank, and though my breathing was even, I couldn’t feel my heart beat.

Why are we going into the bathroom? I asked.

He laughed.

*****

 There was nothing alarming about him. His features were striking I suppose, handsome, sure. I had met many a stranger, male, female, who had been friendly enough we held conversations, sometimes talked for hours. Nothing really in my past gave reason for the hair on the back of my neck to stand on end when I looked at this man. French Allgiers. He was French Allgeiers. Of course I’m just guessing. But his relations were definitely African.

 *****

None of the doors creaked. There was no one around. The walls were maroon and the stalls made up of a golden marble or alabaster.

Not even the stall doors creaked.

He took my backpack off, and the camera from around my neck. I looked up at him, What are we doing?

He kissed me.

I kissed him back.

But then as if I was a paperweight he swept me to the opposite wall. I gasped.  My breath increased. He kissed my neck.

I breathed in and I could feel the cold of mountain snow. My chest was even tightened from thin air. It was so beautiful, so high. The air was so thin, my vision was blurry, dizzy even here and there. I would start to spin.

Tears, dreadful stinging tears coming out of my eyes and I’m in the stall begging the stranger, please, please, no! Stop! Don’t do this, No!

ARRETTE!

He looked at me, his shirt open. Did I open it?  I don’t remember.  My dress was at my waist and he had been pawing at my bra.

His pants open, too.

His large long fingers cup my face and wipe my tears.  The way he crouches down is not like a predator, but more like when the hero kisses the heroine in all the John Hughes films.

I just want to see them, that is all! I have to see them, he says. It’s okay, nothing to cry about. He picked me up and put me on the Handicap rail.  The tears stopped. My breath quickened.

He grabbed my hands pinned me against the wall, then reached into his pants and made his desires clear. He pushed himself inside me and when I looked up, I saw myself though no mirror was on the ceiling, tears running down my face and great pain rushing through my body,

I turn my head, feeling a cold blast and through a snow flurry I see a distant object. The mountain peak again.  I stood there mid air, snow blowing all around me. And I was calm, as long as I kept my eyes on the summit -I was calm. The purples, the blues, the chilling air…I breathed in slowly, a thousand icicles stung my lungs, but it was okay. I was okay, there was no fear.

Something inside my body betrays my will and I’m launched back into the marble stall.

My nerve endings respond like needles on fire, stabbing me. But then, the cruelest thing of all, my body betrayed me and a flash of pleasure came over me.  Not even a millisecond. But my back arched, my toes curled and maybe even a hint of a moan came forth from my lips. There was something that was still inside of me telling me that I had to be sure to prove that I was good.

The same instant my heart leapt into my throat and I was able to push, with my feet. I pushed him off.

No more, s’il tous plait!!

No more.

I choke back tears.

Yes, that is good for now. Says the shadow.  We shall finish later.

A deep pain is inside of me, worse than my first time. I grab some toilet paper and wipe. Blood, brightest of bright reds, blood.  I quickly dress, and say that I must leave.

He takes my hand again, and gives me directions on the fastest way back.

I can’t remember if I looked him in the eye, hugged him, or if we said good-bye the French way.

.

As I turned on my heels and started to walk away I heard him say…You were so, good.