Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Moved beyond words

I just found this blog - Sophie in the Moonlight, and it is one which I would not describe as beautiful, or well written, or any such mundane adjective. There is only one way to respond to it, and that is by reading it, and getting others to read it. That is the only way I can pay homage to what this lady has shared -

"Rape is being caught on the Oakland Bridge, or the Nimitz Freeway during the Loma Prieta earthquake. One second you are on your way home to your family, or your cat, or the gym, and the next second you are being violently shaken by a force whose strength and magnitude you could not begin to fathom until that moment when you are afraid for your very life and you know that the force that has you could care less if you survive or not. The violent thrusting of the earth's mantles are unaware that your soul hangs in the balance, but you are in shock with your awareness.

Rape is a rug burn on your cheek from a blue carpeted bath mat.

Rape is never-ending. Once it starts, time stops. If you survive it and are not murdered, the rape is only a blink away from re-occurring in totality, time-free moment to time-free moment, all over again in your head.

Rape means that there are some physical spaces in which you can never set foot ever ever again, and some places you can enter on a good day, but you know you can't blink, you can't close your eyes for a millionth of a second or you will PTSD yourself into a heart attack.

Rape robs you of feeling safe in your own skin, because your own skin knows that it once was not safe.

Rape can be found in the definition of Major Trust Issues.

Rape is suddenly finding that your insides are now your outsides, yet there are no replacement insides. Only hollowness and a searing pain with a profuse bleeding that cannot be quickly cauterized.

Rape creates a new person inside of you, someone whom you have never met and aren't really sure you want to know all that well, but whom you must acknowledge, because to ignore her is to ensure the peril of your sanity.

Rape instills a constant hyper-vigilance against it happening again. The hyper-vigilance can cause the feeling of being raped even when one is not....

Rape is not good."

Go read the rest of this post (it is an old post), and then the rest of the blog. Please.

Having read this, do you have any words to share? Would you like to talk, or would you prefer, in the face of this raw vulnerable honesty, to be alone with your thoughts? I, for one, want to be silent, just now...


Sophie in the Moonlight said...


"Rape and Armadillos" was one of the most difficult, soul-wrenching posts I've ever written. At the same time, when read from start to finish, it is the story of how a little girl survived the rug burn on her cheek from the blue carpeted bath mat and went on to become an armadillo - the ultimate survivor. It is my story. I wrote it and was amazed at all of the creative ways I coped and compartmentalized the atrocities until I was a grown up who could handle the challenges the little girl could not.

It is also the story of what one-third of all women are forced to experience. ONE-THIRD. The number is an abomination. ONE-TENTH of all boys are also forced and violated. This number, too, is an abomination. Yet, even though so many of us have gone through an infinite number of variations on the ultimate violation, finding the words to convey the experience is near impossible. It changes one so much that even language becomes a stranger not to be trusted with our vulnerabilities.

I am honored that my words have touched you. I've received much feedback from this post & each time I am honored to have been able to offer the gift of words to explain the inconceivable and the gift of understanding to my sisters all around the world. We are not what was done to us, no matter how many times or how many ways. (Mine went on for over two years.) We are women and our spirits cannot be broken as long as we can hide some bit of ourselves away from our attackers. That's where the turtle comes to do her job. She hides a bit of our soul away and the armadillo brings it out later to marvel at the beauty and strength within us - our survival, our armadillo spirit, our womanhood.

Namaste, Sister.


Swati said...

Sophie, I am honoured to have you here. And I do so apologize - I never realized that you had read this and commented, because the comment moderation was turned off.