I’ve been feeling a little off these past few days. Some of it is a lingering cold, and now the fun of allergies since spring is really (maybe, hopefully) coming to northern Wisconsin.
But there’s also a feeling of vulnerability with having my story out there in the world, out of my hands where others can read it, and analyze it, and criticise it without consulting me. That’s something every survivor who tells their story faces – letting go of control of their story; and if there’s one thing all the survivors I know hate it’s not being in control because once, when we were raped, we had no control. It’s a scary thing, and at least to me, a necessary thing, but it does leave me feeling like a turtle without a shell sometimes.
And then there’s the sense that I’m not doing enough. If I don’t post here every day, I’m letting my survivor sisters and brothers down. If I don’t speak up about every case of rape and sexual assault that comes across my news feed, I’m not doing enough to advocate for change. If I let a joke go by, or don’t correct someone’s language, or … it goes on and on, the sense that there is never enough I can do.
So I’m going to go and do some painting, and watch “Iron Jawed Angels” about the women’s suffrage movement (most appropriate today because President Obama announced a national women’s equality monument at Belmont-Paul House … if you don’t know about it, please go look up Alice Paul, and Alva Belmont, and Inez Milholland, and Ida Wells, and so many more).
I’m going to leave you with two pictures that sum up my current mood. The first is an unknown man I found on the internet. I know this might be tiring to some of you who aren’t survivors, but this is my every day…
And this is a reminder to myself, and to every other survivor out there…we matter, our stories, our lives, our fears, our hopes all matter, and we are worth the “trouble” we cause the world by speaking up.