When dead Sims haunt your dreams…

As a last ditch of the thinned veil, I’ve had one more set of crazy dreams, though this one was more coherent than the others.  It all started when I fell asleep last night while playing the Sims 2, a family of twin sisters who were also witches and possibly of fairy descent.  When I woke up, the other sister was grieving loudly… is that what woke me up?  Maybe.  In true Sim nerd fashion, I freaked out over my broken story line, and closed the game without saving.  That wasn’t enough apparently, as the sisters decided to haunt my dreams…

In the first one, I went to an infomercial kind of show, but when the woman tried to cook something, the blackened old pot burst into flames.  Then the second demonstration, being performed simultaneously by her husband, also burst into flames.  We tried to extinguish the fires, but they were already spreading, so we evacuated the building.  Then, as we’re all standing outside,  We notice that the members of the club upstairs haven’t noticed–the fire isn’t there yet and they think the smoke is part of the club atmosphere.  So I stand on a chair and yell to them, “Fire, get out of the club!!”  They didn’t hear me, so other people joined in until they could here us, and they started to run out.  A few of them were trapped inside in the chaos, so a few of us tried to help them, but then zombies started to come out of the bottom level of the building.  We all ran away (no hope for the clubbies at this point, right?) but we had to go through *another* building to get away.  I opened at least 3 doors with knife-wielding serial killers behind them, and at the last one I had to wrestle the knife away from him because the only other door had a zombie behind it, and while the zombie couldn’t open the door, the serial killer could, so I took his knife, pocketed it, then pushed him out of the way so I could jump out the window.  I woke up after that.

Then when I went back to sleep, I was walking through a field.  The building was far behind me.  There were other survivors behind me and, due to the unwillingness of the firefighters to believe the club-goers since they couldn’t *see* the fire (lol dream logic), the first building with zombies had been ingulfed, containing the zombie outbreak and all proof of its existence.  With that taken care of, my mind simply forgot the second building and its dangers, and so we few survivors (50 or so) were just wandering through the field, distancing ourselves from the still raging fire which the firefighters were now trying to contain but were sure held no survivors inside.  This alone would make a great plot for a video game–escape alive from a building filled with every horror movie villain ever.  But the best plot, oh that was the horror which continued in my second dream.  But I’m not telling you that, because I’m pretty sure that it’ll make a good story plot, once I clean out the silly bits.  Definitely leaving the Rugrats out of it.

I have a slight confession…

========TRIGGER WARNING:  If you are a victim, you already know what this means.  This is my own story, and gets a bit explicit.  Be advised.========

I have a confession, something that most of you do not know about me.  You may have wondered why I am so vocal about victim’s rights, women’s rights, and other issues concerning women’s bodies and relationships.  Maybe you didn’t wonder at all, because it isn’t unusual for a woman to be concerned about those things.  But the thing is, it really does matter to me.  It matters because I am a victim.

I am a victim in more than one way, and by more than one person.  But today I will only tell you about one of them.  He had promised to love me, and yet he had no respect for me.  I did not realize this until it was too late.  But out of all the things he did, the emotional manipulation, the lies, what hurt the most was the one time that he raped me.

Rape.

Yes, I said it, that uncomfortable little word that everyone tries to avoid.  I hope it made you uncomfortable, because it should.  The very thought of rape should make you squirm.  I’m not going to tame my language by using phrases like “he forced/coerced” because they feel slightly more comfortable, not quite so taboo.  He doesn’t deserve that.  He deserves all the discomfort and disapproval you can muster, because he is a rapist.  He is a person willing to control another person by any and all means necessary.  He doesn’t deserve to have you wish that you could think less harshly of him.  He needs to know that what he did was not okay, that it was rape, and that I will not stay silent about it.  Not any more.

Some of you may question this… was she really raped?  What really happened?  I don’t care.  It took me a couple of years to admit to myself that it was rape, even though I was clearly demonstrating the emotional and mental symptoms of it.  I was willing to admit that it felt like rape to me, but was hesitant to label him a rapist.

So what actually happened?  Well, we were lying in bed together.  He put his arms around me and started kissing my neck.  I knew what he wanted, but I didn’t want to.  So I told him so.

“I’m not in the mood right now,” I said.
“I can get you in the mood…” he said.
“But I don’t feel well.”
“I can make you feel better.”
“I doubt that.  I feel nauseous.  Just leave me alone so I can get some rest.”
“Aww… but I’m really horny right now.”
“So go take care of yourself.  I’m not in the mood right now.”
“Please….”
“No.”
“But baby…”
“NO.”

He was still kissing my neck, running his hands over my body.  I really wasn’t feeling it.  I tried to roll away.  He grabbed my wrists and held me down, still kissing my neck.  I said no again, and tried to push him off of me.  He pushed me down harder, not enough to hurt me, but enough to let me know that he wasn’t going to let me go without a “fair chance” at turning me on.  I relented.  I let him kiss me for a bit and tried to get in to it.  It still wasn’t working.  I tried to tell him that it really, really wasn’t working.  I begged him to just let me up, but he refused because he said that I wasn’t trying.  At the time, I didn’t realize that that shouldn’t have mattered.  I wasn’t trying because I didn’t want to, and that should have been enough.  I guess, in a way, I believed him.  I wasn’t really trying to let him turn me on because I was afraid that sex would make my nausea worse and that I’d throw up.  So I sat there, trying to get turned on but still saying no, knowing that I couldn’t physically get him off of me and hoping that he’d eventually let me up if I said no enough times.

After about 20 minutes of this, I finally gave up.  I realized that he wasn’t going to leave me alone until I let him do what I wanted.  So I let him.

“Fine, go ahead,” I said.  Well, I may have given in, but I still wanted him to know that I was pissed about it.  I showed him further by just lying there during the sex, no emotion.  I checked out.  He got frustrated, that hadn’t been what he wanted.  Half way through, he gave up on trying to get me to enjoy it, and finally stopped.  It wasn’t over yet though.  He decided to masturbate, but stayed in the bed and used my body as a plaything to help him out.  (This was the first time he’d masturbated like that with me, but far from the last.)

I almost couldn’t believe that it had happened.  I didn’t know what to do or think.  I knew it was wrong, but I didn’t accept that it was rape, because I’d said yes.  Later on, another controlling fellow I had a relationship with tried to tell me that it wasn’t rape because could have yelled for help, and hoped that someone in the apartment next door had heard me.  I suppose I could have done that, but I didn’t think of it.  I honestly thought that if I just said no enough that he’d get it.  I thought that because I loved him, and he supposedly loved me, and people who love each other also respect each other, and don’t want to hurt each other.  So maybe saying yes wasn’t the absolute last resort, but by that point my will was already broken.  At that point, I wasn’t thinking about self-preservation exactly.  I had no fear that he would physically harm me.  I just wanted it over with so that I could get him to leave me alone.

I never pressed charges, but I did try to talk to him about it once, about a month later.  I asked him why he did it, and told him that I didn’t like it and that it felt like he’d forced me to have sex with him.  He said he didn’t remember it.  I continued to be used as an object during his masturbation, even though I hated that too.  I felt that couples who have a sexual relationship had an obligation to keep each other fulfilled, and if he “needed” my body during masturbation, then it was my duty to give it to him, even if it made me feel uncomfortable and dirty.

I didn’t think what he did was rape, even though I hated him for it.  I started to fight with him at every turn.  Any time he tried to tell me what I thought or how I felt, or insisted to other people that what I said–my own opinions–was not correct, I would argue with him.  I stood up for myself.  I checked out when we had sexual contact of any kind, and sex became less and less frequent until it was practically nonexistent.  Finally, I was willing to admit to myself that our relationship wasn’t working, and I broke things off.  But I still didn’t think it was rape because, at the end, I had said yes.

Later on, I would have relationships with others, but I was still afraid of failure.  I’m sure that’s not any different from anyone who has never been raped.  But worse than that was how it affected my sexual relationships with guys after that.  They just don’t get it.  Some of them accept it and work around it.  Few are truly good at connecting with me on a sexual level.  A few have been really terrible at it, afraid that they would somehow hurt me or something, or that they would accidentally force me to do something.  Those are the ones who leave everything up to me because they’re afraid that any advance they make would be misconstrued.  I really hate that, because it makes me feel like my rape was my fault, or at least that they think it was.  But then there are the ones who don’t let it phase them.  But if any of them tries to hold my hands above my head… I freak out.  I fight against them.  It feels just like it did when *he* did that to me.  Totally kills the mood.  On the other hand, their reactions to it are good indicators of their personality.  If they get pissed because I “ruined the mood”, that’s it.  Obviously, they aren’t very respectful either.  That hasn’t happened often.  Most of them get pissed.  They are angry that someone would do that to me.

I have accepted that my experience has changed me, and that my future experiences will be colored by those of the past.  I am lucky to still enjoy sex, to not be afraid of men, to know that the existence of one grievous offender does not mean that all of them are bad and will hurt me.  I am lucky to still feel that good men exist.  It is weird, though, that my experience has tainted more than just my sex life.  There are times when I hear a song that I like, and it makes me cry because he liked it too.  I’ve been known to avoid listening to music that I enjoy because he also liked it, and to hear it is to be reminded of him.  I feel angry and hateful because of what he did to me, and then I feel more angry because I can’t enjoy life the way I used to, because something will always be there to remind me of what he did.  I hate that I can barely go through life without a reminder, and that I never know just how strongly it will affect me this time.  Will it be a low boiling anger and hate–two emotions that I try to avoid anyway–or will it be an all out despair and sense of hopelessness?  Will I feel like a strong woman who can conquer her past and rise above, or like a weak woman who gave in when she should have stood up for herself?  Will I be grateful that I found my way out and that I am now free to make my own decisions, or will I doubt that I’m capable of making sound decisions?  And if I have a partner, will I be glad to have found someone better, who can truly respect me, or will I worry that I’m blinded and find myself unable to make an emotional connection?

I do often find myself questioning my ability to reason.  I find it hard to connect with people because of the fear of being wrong, and of being wronged again.  I need the utmost of respect from my partner–anything less isn’t good enough to quell the self-doubt.  I am almost certain that it will always be this way.  I suppose I will just have to learn to live with it.  I will need extra care from a devoted partner.  I only hope that I will be worthy of such a partner, that I can be equally devoted.  I hate knowing that anyone who deals with me will be walking through a potential minefield–that anything he says or does could be a trigger.  It makes me feel unstable, and I don’t like it a bit.  I like to live my life by reason, yet my ability to always be reasonable was stolen by unreasonable actions.

After reading this, you might still think that I wasn’t raped because I said yes.  I don’t care.  Rape or not, it still hurt.  The feelings of violation will never go away.  They have tainted my very being.  Rape or not, it was wrong.  No one should violate another person in this manner.  Think about that before you go defending my rapist.  At the end of this, I am just another statistic.  I am one of the 1 in 4 women in the US who have been sexually assaulted.  I am one of the 4 in 4 women in the US living in a culture that justifies rape in many forms because she “had it coming”.  But I will not be a woman who justifies rape in any form, and I will no longer be a victim who stays silenced.

untitled

How do I say the words
I was never supposed to say?
How do I let you know
That my heart has gone astray?

Tethers carefully placed,
Broken by the tempest–
Hearts were never
Made for chains.

Stream of Consciousness (date unknown)

How can one begin to describe a feeling with words?  I feel things first, and sometimes I have trouble communicating those feelings to others.  It can be frustrating to feel that something is wrong, but not be able to explain why.  But when I feel something is right, I don’t feel the need to explain.  I can see that sometimes, the truths need only to be known.  It is up to each of one us to find them on our own.  No amount of explaining can give truth and light in the darkness of someone else.  They will only have the light when they seek it for themselves.

However, when something is wrong, you feel you must communicate it.  It’s our duty to protect others from harm, isn’t it?  The toughest lesson to learn is that there is nothing wrong with the dark.  In fact, it is necessary.  Without the dark, we could not appreciate the light.  Without pain, we could not appreciate pleasure.  Without mistakes, we would not have knowledge.  It is this knowledge which sets us apart.  Having knowledge brings upon us the feeling of responsibility.  Responsibility brings with it guilt.  As humans, we feel a duty to discern the harmful from the good, and to get the most good as possible.  This is where we make the disconnect.  We pick apart the world and stuff it into tiny boxes, in the hopes of bringing clarity and control to the chaos that is existence.  More and more separate we become.  What causes hurt?  What brings pain?  Violence, pestilence, hunger, deception, heartbreak.  Into the “bad” box.  What, then, is good?  What brings us pleasure?  Love, stability, comfort, honesty.  Into the “good” box.  But every coin has two sides.  Often, to reap the “good” rewards, we must first do something bad.  We cannot all live in constant paradise, unless we learn to accept our lot in life.

My Thoughts on Relationships

This is from January 23, 2011, an old post I never finished writing.
=====================================================

Today, a heated argument spontaneously combusted on my Facebook page.  It started with a simple, unintended slight–the sort where the person doesn’t really know that what they said was offensive.  It continued with myself and a few others trying to talk reasonably, but the unintentional pyro just didn’t get it.  Then it exploded into the (quite creative) insult of “your opinion is the equivalent of a fart in a tornado”.  (I may have changed the wording just a little so it would make sense out of context, but that’s what it said!)  At the risk of becoming that bit of flatulence, I’m going to delve a bit into my own thoughts on relationships.

You may be wondering what sort of juicy gossip I’m about to unleash.  I will say only that the original insult was the ridicule of polygamy and similar lifestyles.  So what if Facebook allows people to set their relationship status to “open relationship”?  Would you rather them lie?  But she thought it was gross, and that it was the same as stating that you’re looking for a threesome partner.  I happen to be friends with quite a few people who are in open relationships, and they are quite content with their arrangements.  I felt that her comment was insensitive and so I tried to help her see it, but she pushed on with it.  The final argument (and insult) was delivered by one of my friends who is in an open relationship.

Now I’ve started thinking about it though.  I don’t have any problem at all with open relationships.  Whenever a couple enters in to that sort of thing, they talk about it first, they decide what’s right for them, they agree to this.  It’s rare for someone to agree to an open relationship if they’re not comfortable with it.  The only time I’ve seen it go bad is if it’s more of a friends-with-benefits situation and the ‘couple’ in question never actually talks about it.  The key to a successful open relationship–or any type of relationship–is communication.  Some “open” couples separate love and lust, and save the love for their committed partners.  Others believe in a larger capacity for love than most people can wrap their heads around.  The important thing is that it’s consensual, and the partners are open and honest.

That’s not to say that open relationships are great for everyone, not by any means.  I personally can’t handle the thought of myself in one, but of course, I’m going to be clear from the beginning about what I want.  If a guy doesn’t like that, he can find someone else or lie to me.  Lying to me is not recommended.  Just ask my ex husband.  My point is, everyone has their deal breakers.  It’s best to get it all out in the open from the beginning, so that you and your partner know what to expect, and you don’t get too involved with someone you’re not compatible with.

So what’s the big taboo about open relationships anyway?  With all the stories you hear, you’d think cheating was just rampant.  So why not make it not taboo to have more than one lover?  Why do people so adamantly argue for only one lover?  Many people see marriage as something sacred, God’s plan for one man and one woman.  Yet we have many instances of polygamy in the Bible.  And of course, not everyone is Christian.  It seems obvious that this whole thing comes down to social norms.  Social norms serve an important role in regulation our society, you know, like when they keep us from killing each other or eating people.  Others are just plain dumb and don’t really serve any greater purpose.  When it comes to relationships, I think most of the social norms are just plain dumb.  Society wants to tell people who to love–and that had better be ONE person, of the opposite gender, same race, and within a specific age range.  They want to restrict what CONSENTING ADULTS do together.  (Note:  The emphasis implies that pedophilia is still ruled out.  And by adults, I meant humans.  It is generally understood that children and animals are not truly capable of giving consent.)

What’s so awesome about a relationship with just one person anyway?  But as I ask myself this, I know I could only be with one person at a time.  So what makes me only want to be with one person?  I know I would be jealous if my partner was with someone else, but it’s more than that.  I would not be comfortable with myself being with another person, even if my partner only wanted me.  And in a successful open relationship, I’d assume that jealousy isn’t there.  And isn’t jealousy a little selfish anyway?  I mean, when you think in a jealous way, you start to think of your partner in a possessive way.  For me, jealousy is a little different than most people.  If my partner wants to cheat, that’s his choice. I’m not going to be jealous and worrying about him looking at other people.  But, should he actually flirt with someone, then I will feel jealous.  (Or at least, I guess that’s what you would call it.  Betrayed?  Angry?)  For me, it’s not about the ability to cheat, as the willingness.  So I have no idea how someone in an open relationship would get past that.  It’s not something I think anyone could understand unless they were actually living it.

Earthquakes

Japan has been hit with terrible tragedy from a massive earthquake.  It has caused a tsunami, and radiation from nuclear power plants.  Many people are displaced, injured, or dead.  It will surely affect their economy, and the global economy as well.  No one will be left untouched from this tragedy.

Yet, in America, we are also under threat of similar disaster.  We had the BP oil spill, an avoidable disaster, but devastating nonetheless.  But instead of pushing for cleaner fuel sources, we wagged our finger at BP and started consuming from other companies.  Chevron ruined parts of the rainforest–sometimes intentionally–and yet, a judge in New York decided to put a hold on the judgment by Ecuador, because he said such a judgment could “ruin Chevron’s reputation”.  No, really?  You think?  And elsewhere in the world, folks are using chemicals to drill for natural gas, claiming that it is perfectly safe.  The methods have never been tested.  Anytime anything has gone wrong–for example, contaminated drinking water, or earthquakes–it has been blamed on older wells and outdated methods.  Finally, they have moved to areas that have never been drilled, and the same thing is happening.  Finally, people affected by this are being taken seriously, if only by a few.

I have one friend from Arkansas who I am still in touch with. She has moved to Mobile, and works for Allstate catastrophe. Lately, on FB, she and her friends from AR have been talking about the earthquakes up there. (These started before the dead birds and fish, but haven’t had much news coverage since.) Apparently, the earthquakes seem to be caused by drilling for natural gas. And she said that Allstate has been training people to deal with an earthquake on the fault line, because they expect a major one to happen within the next 5 years. The question is, why is it that no one knows about this, except the “insiders”?  I would think that insurance companies would rather tell their customers about it, so they will be prepared, and the insurance companies won’t have to pay out as much…

Why is all of this going on behind the scenes?  Why is there no public outrage?  When we’ve got a huge natural catastrophe that just happened, it breaks our hearts, and we want to do everything we can to help those people.  Yet, we can’t even get support to prevent unnatural catastrophe from happening in our own back yard.  And, let’s face it… when it is in our country, people seek to blame, rather than be part of the solution.  I was appalled to hear people saying that New Orleans “deserved” what it got from Hurricane Katrina, because of its notoriety as a sinful city.  Well, y’all better save some of that blame for yourselves when the oil companies you worship ruin your land and water.  Of course, I’m sure our government will try to bail everyone out then, too.  And it will probably have a system of repayment just as crooked as the dealings with Chevron and BP too.

 

Chevron:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/18/us-chevron-ecuador-idUSTRE71H4R520110218?feedType=RSS
http://www.businessinsider.com/chevron-may-lose-27-billion-lawsuit-expects-to-pay-nothing-2009-7

Chemical drilling:
http://www.endocrinedisruption.com/chemicals.introduction.php
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/29/natural-gas-drilling-80-c_n_629052.html
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=natural-gas-hydraulic-fracturing-chemicals-wastewater

Arkansas earthquakes:
http://www.wibw.com/nationalnews/headlines/Arkansas_Earthquakes_111815534.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/06/fracking-arkansas-earthquakes_n_831633.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110301/ap_on_re_us/us_arkansas_earthquakes

Roof/Head trauma dream – Feb. 26, 2011

Last night I had a painful dream.  Literally.  It was one of those that was so vivid that you’re nearly living it, but it was not quite real enough for me to not know subconsciously that it was a dream… which is a good thing, because that’s how I was able to come out of it later.

It started with me and Carla working on the roof of my house.  (I don’t know what was wrong with it, I think we were just putting new shingles on.)  At one point, I climbed down carefully, got something, then went back up.  Then I had to go back down again.  I was being careful, and could nearly reach the first step of the ladder.  (The ladder didn’t reach all the way up–yeah, we were breaking safety rules…) Then she opened the roof.  It was on a hinge, not sure why… but the hinge was on the ledge, where I was.  She thought I was already off the roof, but I wasn’t, and by the time I yelled it was too late, and I fell on my back.  I could feel a strong pain in the back of my head.  My back hurt too, but not quite as much.  I was able to stand up, walk around, and move everything.  But my head was hurting pretty bad.  I decided that I needed to go to the doctor for an x-ray on my head and back to make sure everything was alright.

I sat at my house waiting for someone to be able to take me to the hospital.  I was sitting on the couch trying to pay attention to my body, so that I would know if things were getting worse.  My ex-boyfriend walked in and looked at me, then sat down near me on the couch.  (Not next to me, there was space for about 1 1/2 people to sit between us.)  I started feeling sleepy, and I realized that I had been dozing in and out for a little while.  I asked him not to let me fall asleep.  He didn’t say anything.  Then he left.

A short time after that, I started to feel a bit better, so I drove myself to the hospital.  When I got there, they decided x-rays weren’t necessary, because they saw something off in my eyes, so they moved on to the next step.  (I’m pretty sure that if that had happened in real life, they would have done the x-rays regardless… and I have no idea what other tests they might have done.  So, the sequence I’m about to describe pertains only to this dream.  You probably realized that already, but I wanted to tell you, just in case.)  They shaved some spots on my head, then attached some of those round sensor thingies to monitor my brain activity.  I had to sit in a chair while the things were attached.  At one point, they needed someone to do something (not sure what… sit with me?  Something else?  I don’t know.)  I called my friend Becca, and she drove up from Florida to sit with me for about 30 minutes.  Her trip was surprisingly short, as she was at the hospital within minutes of the phone call.  But she couldn’t stay long, so she left and I was alone again.

When the test was over, a nurse came to take me to the woman who could read the results, and take me through the next step if they found anything abnormal.  [Throughout the dream, I had seen signs that the hospital was under renovation.  When I first walked in, they had two front desks.  The one on the left was for people who needed treatment, and the one on the right was for people who needed to be checked out to see if treatment was needed.  I remember I didn’t know which way to go, and the desk on the left was directly in front of the entry doors.  When I asked, they told me I needed to go to the other desk, but I had noticed that the treatment side was really busy and a little chaotic.]  The woman’s office had been recently renovated, and she wasn’t finished with it yet.  There was drywall dust over everything, except for the mirrors on a large wall.  Several more mirrors were on the floor, waiting to have the drywall dust cleaned off and to be hung.  She was cleaning one when we walked in.  The nurse told her that she needed to look over my chart and decide if I needed treatment.  She gave me a scornful look, then said she couldn’t/wouldn’t, because she was still cleaning her office.  She had nowhere to put me.  The nurse reminded her of the old office, which had been kept clean so that she could still see patients.  The look on her face turned extra sour, and she said she’d think about it.  At this point, my head didn’t hurt as badly, but it was still pretty bad, and my back had become more sore, so that I was having trouble walking.  When she refused to look at me, I got so upset that I burst into tears.  That seemed to annoy her more, so she decided to help me.  She still refused to look at the readings from the sensor, so she looked at my head instead.  She put her hands on it, and asked where it hurt the worst.  I told her it was the spot at the middle/top/back of my head.  (I’m not sure how else to describe it.  I’ll have to review my anatomy.)  She started prodding around that area and it hurt.  She said she thought that I would need treatment, but she needed me to calm down so she could ask me more questions and make her final decision.  But I was so upset and in pain, and couldn’t calm myself down.  Then I remembered that this was just a dream, and tried to wake up.  It didn’t happen immediately, but  I did wake myself up.

The strangest part of it all, is that when I woke up, I was crying.  It took a minute for me to calm down enough to stop.  And my back still hurt… but my head was fine.  Even after I stopped crying, and the pain in my back went away, I was still shaking a little bit, sort of restless and jittery.  I woke up around 5:30, but waited didn’t get up until 6:30.  And I didn’t sleep well, I guess, because I’m still tired.