January 2018 – Rat_Girl

“Oprah kissing Weinstein” and the purity politics of surviving

What it took me years to realize was that these people are our partners, our friends, our parents, our co workers, our bosses, our heroes, our acquaintances. They are all of those things, AND then on a dime, with one decision, they can simultaneously become our abusers. And they don’t cease to be all the other things they are and were just because now they are also rapists. And it is no small feat to suddenly have to unpack it. And a lot of survivors don’t unpack it. I didn’t. For a decade I just put that box in my basement and went “That’s a whole mess I can’t take on and survive.” And I swallowed hard and I decided I would be a “cool chick”, the option he gave me for how to forget the abuse, and move past it.

Understand that we get NO rewards for speaking out and EVERY reward for swallowing that razor blade and soldiering forward.

To start.

Trauma steals the story from us. But it does not steal us from the truth.

It’s hard to even put the story together at first—what they did, why, how it started, when it started. Who you were when it happened and how it came to be. What did you do or say? What did you think? What did you try? When did it get this bad, go this far, slip out of our control. Maybe it was never in our control. That’s a lesson that took me years to come to. Maybe for all my control, all my strength, all my feminism and all my bravado, the reason it happened was because I couldn’t control someone else, and they decided to do it. What kind of story is that? Not one I can tell the way I wanted to tell it.