Excuse me while I collect myself.
... is a title of a song on my upcoming album.
It discusses the things that one experiences in regards to sexual assault.
It talks a bit about my personal story (last year I was assaulted by a stranger on a city bus) and discusses some of the desperation one feels in the months that follow.
It has been almost a year since the incident. 1o and a half months to be exact.
I have experienced several things: anger, fear, paranoia, shame, self-blame, blame from others, empowerment, gratitude, strength, weakness, etc. etc.
Tonight I feel angry. I don't need people to try and convince me out of my anger. In society, we have created a weird relationship with anger. We teach kids that anger is wrong and they shouldn't get angry. But anger is a natural human emotion. I'm no expert.... but maybe we should teach kids how to outlet their anger in a healthy manner.
Anger is something that people who have experienced assault/abuse feel in intense ways sometimes. I'm not totally sure why... I'm sure there are many studies that have been done about this that you can read... and I can read... but that is not at the top of my priority list right now.
What's at the top of my priority list in this moment, is to find a way to outlet this anger in a healthy way. In a moment, I'll probably go downstairs and play my piano, maybe scream or sing or write some words that no one will ever hear.
I think what happens most of the time... you can probably read another study about this somewhere.... is that people who have experienced assault/abuse often outlet their anger on themselves.
Another thing that one feels following an incident is shame. Shame wants to be kept a secret. I feel shame regularly about this. Sometimes people's reactions encourage the shame in me.
Is it ok for me to be angry at the person who did this to me? Who felt entitled to me? To talk to me and touch me in whatever way he wanted? Is it ok for me to be angry at the people who were sitting on the bus with me? Who kept their heads down and their eyes on their phones as this person proceeded to make me small?
I don't know if it's ok. Bitterness can kill I think. Not the person that you're bitter at. But you. It can kill you. Or kill a part of you.
I'm going to go and write a song to the person who did this. Most of the time I don't want to think about him. I want to forget. But tonight I can't forget. So I'll look him in the face and tell him what I think. Because for some reason I wasn't able to do that on the day that he assaulted me.
It's strange really. To lose the ability to speak and move. That's why a lot of people blame the victim I think. Because they don't believe that you can actually lose your voice, and your mobility. But I did. On that day. In that moment. It sucked. It's the magic of the brain. It made the decision that that was my best chance of survival. To freeze.
Friends, no one's entitled to you. I pray no one ever makes you feel like they are. And if you know what I'm talking about. If you've experienced something like this... then I look at you with empowerment. Not pity. You have every right to be angry. Just don't be angry at yourself. You did your best.