It happened this morning. I’d felt it coming on for a couple weeks, it the chaos of Kavanaugh. It’s built slowly for a couple years, after we elected "I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything."
I had the meltdown.
I wasn’t sure if it would manifest itself in more screaming (the way I used to yell into the walls in my basement on Walts) or if I need to break something (the way I slammed plates so hard into the floor, there were cuts in the linoleum in the brownstone kitchen).
This morning, with the background noise of Bret’s nomination, I found myself recounting the story of the second man who raped me. Of being proud of myself for yelling, “F*ck you,” and spitting at him as he recounted the list of my friends who were prettier than me who he’d rather be on top of at that moment.
He knew exactly what he did. He pushed me out of the truck, rolled down the window before he pulled away, and asked, “So am I gonna pick up a rape charge tomorrow?”
I’ll never forget his smirk as he said that. It’s the smirk that encapsulates ownership and power. It’s the one that takes away healthcare and says we’ll just push through the little hiccups.
1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed, 2.8% attempted).
About 3% of American men—or 1 in 33—have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
From 2009-2013, Child Protective Services agencies substantiated, or found strong evidence to indicate that, 63,000 children a year were victims of sexual abuse.
A majority of child victims are 12-17. Of victims under the age of 18: 34% of victims of sexual assault and rape are under age 12, and 66% of victims of sexual assault and rape are age 12-17.
Someone you know is on the verge of a meltdown right now. I was lucky. I was with someone who loves me and believes me. I don’t know what would have happened if he wasn’t there.
It terrifies me how remarkably ordinary my experiences are.
My point is, be kind. It shouldn’t take this hyper-triggered situation for me to say that, but be kind. Check in on each other. Maybe this is the high water mark for rape culture. I don’t know, but I hope.