TIDE OF ANXIETY PART 1!

panic-attack5“You educate a man; you educate an individual. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.” (Brigham Young)

Education has always been my lifeline. It has always taken precedence over everything else in my life because it determined my value. This premise is very fallacious because human beings are multi-faceted entities thus an individual’s value cannot be summed up by one facet. This may seem very obvious to some of you, but this is something that I’ve only come to understand recently. As you can imagine, the acknowledgment of this fact would have saved me a great deal of time, pain and energy, but then again what is life, if not a learning experience? 

July 2009 marked the beginning of my self-hatred and the gradual breakdown of my buoyancy. A Tet offensive had begun, and my spirit and soul were collateral damage. My quintessential being was crumbling by the minute.

Kenya has been described as the cradle of mankind but for me, it was the cradle of tokoloshes for many, many years.

My room was filled with darkness and tokoloshes. I tried to distract myself by watching some episodes of a TV show on my laptop, but it was barely making a dent in the darkness, let alone saving me from myself. I was so preoccupied with the release of my first semester results that I was working myself into a cycle of severe anxiety attacks. My chest was stiff, my heart was palpitating, my blood vessels were constricted, my vision was blurry, actually it was almost obsolete, my whole body was shaking and I was sweating profusely. The battle was between my mind and my mind. The winner would control my body, outer perception, self-worth and resilience.

Any depressed individual can tell you that depression and self-loathing are synonymous. You spend half the time alienating yourself from society and the other half, trying to run away from your mind. Your pride tells you not to infect others with your disease but your heart longs for someone’s loving embrace. Depression as you can imagine is an uphill battle, now couple it with severe anxiety, and you have the perfect death cocktail.

The battle had begun. Oxygen was on the offense and had congregated in my nasal cavity. The first military advancement was unsuccessful; to be honest it put the Bay of Pigs fiasco to shame. A new offensive had to be launched to save my body from utter annihilation. Oxygen launched a ballistic missile down my pharynx into my airways. My ribs held a steady line of defense, they remained constricted and heavy. As the missile worked its way down my respiratory system, a shadow of excruciating pain covered my body. At this point, any normal person would have passed out. As the missile reached its target, pits of fire ran down my trachea. My trachea was set ablaze and the inferno was so strong, it sent electric vibrations down my spine that resembled the exhaust pipe vibration of a McLaren Mp4-12C. Although my anxiety attack only lasted a couple of minutes, it felt like I was under attack for a day or two.

For those of you that have never had an anxiety attack, let’s try a little exercise. Take a very deep breathe, hold it and pinch your nose (Please do not do this for too long, as you’ll harm yourself). Now close your eyes and imagine you are being forced to fight Manny Pacquiao in a boxing arena filled with thousands of people. You’ve never fought anyone before, so you’re not only an amateur, you’re an amateur whose about to get your ass whooped. Adrenaline has your heart palpitating, your chest is tight and your mind is being suffocated with detestable and violent thoughts. The crowd starts hurling insults at you, the room goes dark and those insults start floating in front of your eyes. You start yelling back, trying to defend yourself but the harder you protest, the louder they get and the more breathless you become. Now Pacquiao represents your biggest fear and the crowd is your mind. Anxiety attacks are trigger by different things for different people, the severity and duration of the attack depends on how quickly you’re able to counter your negative thoughts and control your breathing. Individuals who’ve had anxiety attacks can tell you, it truly is mind over matter!

panic-thoughts

If you had or have been having anxiety attacks please seek medical attention.

As you can imagine, I barely slept the night before the release of the results. I only fell asleep at half past two am. I was infected by one nightmare until half past eight in the morning. I dream’t that I had to go to my department to obtain my results, which had been published on the notice board. As I stepped out of the elevator, I was immediately surrounded by every single UCT students and lecturer. They all heckled and laughed at me, as my transcript was full of DPR’s. They told me I was a failure; I would never amount to anything and my lack of intelligent was the reason I got raped. Now obviously, none of those students knew my grades, neither did they know I had been raped. In addition, I knew I had bombed that semester, but there was a huge delusional part of me, that was praying for a miracle. I hadn’t managed to write any of my assignments, let alone hand them in. This meant I wasn’t allowed to write my exams; but I was still holding onto the delusion that managed to pass all my exams.

As I said above, July 2009 marked the destruction of my self-worth, what I did not tell you is, it also distorted my perception of reality. The minute I saw my results in black and white, I began to think of myself as a failure, and therefore began to behave as one. I had been captured by the formidable tide of self-doubt and I was directing my own requiem.

TOKOLOSHE CRADLE (read with caution, as content is intense, especially if your a rape victim or individual panic/anxiety)

tokoloshe

[1]

From the moment I landed at Jomo Kenyatta International airport (JKIA), I knew I was in my rapist’s home turf. Although Kenya was also my home turf, it did not hold the same level of protection for me as it did for my rapist. My rapist was safe here. He couldn’t be tried here; he had family and associates here, who probably knew about this. I am certain that the little prick, bragged about deflowering me. I’m sure in his sick, twisted head he values that act like he would an international award. I know what you’re thinking; you’re thinking I also had the above support system. Some of my family and friends also lived here, but they only served as a metaphoric support system. In order for them to offer their support, they would need to know what happened to me, which they didn’t. So like Edmund Burke said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” In this case, the only thing necessary for him to triumph was for me to say nothing!

That said, six years down the line the irony present itself. Now when I land at JKIA and walk around my country, I strut around with the pride of a mother. I gave birth to my renaissance and expelled my pain. Now with every step I take and every move I make, I exude greatness and embrace the endless possibilities ahead of me. The irony is, the louder I roar, the smaller your influence becomes!

I’m no longer afraid of being the wretch of the earth; rather I choose to be the flame that enlightens the masses!

There’s a powerful serenity that is engraved in most people’s familial home; the serenity is not intertwined in the structure of the house but in the enchantment of familial warmth, protection and support. A home is a home because of the memories made in it, and my familial home was founded in all the above; and above all this house was structurally sound to withhold any attack from my rapist and his supporters.  Herein lies my safe place, my true safe haven.

As I walked around the day after my arrival, 10th June 2009, I felt debilitating grieve. It was the first time I really felt the loss of my father. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve felt that the loss from the moment he took his last breath on this earth, but I never, ever, let myself really grieve. I mean really grieve! But that moment as I stared at our old family portrait in the living room, I couldn’t help but wonder if my life would have been different if he was still alive. I couldn’t help but wonder if his presence would have prevented my rape. I mean maybe I’d have chosen a different path, a different and safer country to study in, or better yet, I’d have known better and therefore never trusted my rapist or let him into my dome room. For the very first time in my life, I really resented my father for leaving me and I really hated my Lord from taking him away from me. At that very moment I missed the warmth and protection of my father more than ever; that was the very moment that I understood what it meant to be surrounded by people and feel very alone. I cannot emphasize this enough, any traumatic event that is not dealt with gives the victim an unexplainable amount of pain that leads to irrational fears and isolation. The more you isolate yourself the further away you get from reality.

My reality had become one of irrational phobias, hyper tension and hibernation. My room and familial home was the only place where I sort of felt safe. Unfortunately, I’m using the word safe very loosely. The first night I spent in my own bed, right opposite my mum’s room and right next to my sister’s room, was the best night of my life. I may not have slept for eight hours or even six hours straight, but for the first time in months, I had, had real deep sleep. No nightmare, well one, but it wasn’t that scary; very mildly horrific. According to sleep specialist, deep sleep stage is the stage where the body repairs and regrows tissues, builds bone and muscle, and strengthens the immune system. So clearly, deep sleep is a very important part of sleep. The next few mornings I felt so fresh and energetic. Unfortunately, this was very short lived, as the next week; I started having night visit from tokoloshe, at least I thought it was tokoloshe[2].

Every night I went to my room, I watched any and all series that could cuddle me to sleep, but this time instead of being able to clear my head from everything and forget about my issues, all I could see were these dark, evil beings in my presence and I could feel them as they attempted to come closer towards me. It’s like being encircled by iniquity. A malevolent energy that surrounds you during your darkest time and ignites all your senses on fire.

My Tokoloshe resembled my rapist to a tee. He had his dark chocolate complexion, with dark black spots and pimples all over his forehead, and this perverted smug look in his eyes. People say that eyes are the window of the soul. Well this soul, was pure evil.  Peeking into his eyes was like looking into the soul of the devil itself. In addition, every time tokoloshe was around my sense of smell was heighten. The whole room was reeking of expensive cologne that was meant to epitomize wealth and intense masculinity, but instead it felt like tokoloshe was overcompensating for something. I no longer laid in the comfort of my laptop, I now cuddled with my own version of Tokoloshe.

I want you to close your eyes, and for a few seconds recollect the fear you used to feel when you were a child and you believed there monsters in your room. I want you to focus intently on the fear, don’t rationalize it, just let it engulf you completely. Now imagine your lying in bed, surrounded by all your favourite toys, your blankie and night light. Your bed is surrounded by these figures that only have an upper body and float around the room, like a white feather would float towards the sun. All these figures look like the person you fear most, and everywhere you turn you see them. The light night light that was left on for you to keep away evil becomes your worst enemy; because instead of scaring those evil figures away it illuminates their vice a million times over. It’s an evil that cannot be described accurately but you can definitely feel it, in core part of your being. Now, imagine feeling that way every day of your life. That’s how a rape victim feels. A rape victim has an innate fear that convinces them that they will never escape their rapist, or the shame they feel, or ever overcome their pain. A rape sees their rapists everywhere they go. He’s in their home, car, office, supermarket, and church; all because his image is tattooed into their mind’s eye. A place where you can neither physically get to, nor  erase. It’s like your stalker is using your own body against you.

Looking back now and looking how far I have come. I can only cite my recovery to my God, family, friends and an awesome medical team.

I will keep saying this to yah. If you know anyone that has been raped or if you yourself have been raped, please seek help and find the courage to speak out. Silence only protects him and creates a ridiculous amount of fear and shame in your soul; and you are not the one who should be ashamed it your rapist. THEY ARE THE ONES IN THE WRONG NOT YOU!!

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[1] https://giordanopoloni.wordpress.com/- image of tokoloshe

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tikoloshe

Kenyan Turf. (read with caution, as content is intense, especially if your a rape victim or individual panic/anxiety)

JKIA

We’ve all seen the posters or heard the catchphrases used to describe home. Some read home sweet home, or home is where the heart is, or a home is where hopes and dreams are built! In the past these phrases not only reflected my emotions towards my family home but they mirrored my feelings towards my motherland. Kenya was my cradle, my hope, safe place and my love. It was the place I’d learnt to walk, ride a bike, read and write, relate to nature and be whole. Kenya runs through my veins and is engraved in my heart! But in June 2009, it was the fountain of hell that my rapist ruled!

I arrived in my homeland at 7:30 pm on the 9th of June. Everything felt and looked different. There was a morose dusk that surrounded the Nairobi air. The morose dusk made my homeland foreign, the people seemed very friendly and happy, which made me very suspicious of them. I was certain these weren’t the same people I knew and loved, these were not my people, but my rapist’s people; this was a fact I had to digest and remember from now on. As I finished clearing immigration and walked out of the departure terminal, I saw all these bright faces staring at me. In reality they were there to meet their loved ones, but in my reality they were there to subdue me and complete my destruction. My heart started racing, my palms were sweating and my breaths were short and difficult to swallow. The panic attack was about to commence, if I couldn’t get my rationality in order. Oh Lord! Where is mum? Where is my protection? As my fears were raining terror on me, my mum was walking towards me. I spotted her and felt a sigh of relief. She hugged me and welcomed me home. There is something so precious and pure about a mother’s touch or rather any parent’s embrace. Her embrace felt like a soft touch over my heart, her voice was a calming force, my nerves were now as calm as a saint’s paradise. I was home! I was safe!

A few days had passed and home seemed to be a minor solace. On the forty winks frontier, home had added two extra hours, so rather than sleeping two hours a night, I was sleeping four hours. This was a grave improvement. Although, I still could not sleep without my laptop playing movies, and my night terrors were still severe, and I had very little bladder control; I still felt that my nights were better. In addition, rather than my nightmares being a replay of my rape, the nightmares were now about being attacked by my rapist in my childhood room, and this time my sister and mum were there to defend me and defeat him.

That said, I completely refused to leave the house and I had fits of tears. Most people believe and some therapists will tell you, that crying is healthy, as it acts as a form of release. I totally agree with this assertion, but for a patients suffering from untreated PTSD and depression, tears aren’t a form of release, but a smoldering branding of your anguish and torture. The harder you weep, the harder the pain beats you down! In all honestly, the only thing that could release me from my agony, was the death of my rapist. His death was not going to be short and painless; his demise was to be painful and very fulfilling. I imagined burning the hands he used to hold and stretch my legs apart with battery acid. Then I’d water board him until he explained to me why he raped me. I didn’t want an apology because I knew that wouldn’t mend my hymen, I wanted an explanation to prove to me that I wasn’t to blame. After getting my confession, I’d use a sharp and scorching tiny knife to cut off his boy parts, one ball at a time. As you can see, I wanted transference of my pain. Unfortunately, no matter how hard I wished evil thoughts on my rapist, the fact of the matter was he was living his life contentedly, and marinating in the affection of his EASOC followers. So for those of you who’ve been raped or experienced a traumatic event, your anger, pain, sorrow, and grieve are very justified. Anyone who tries to tell you any different has no right to define your emotions. However, VIOLENCE IS NOT THE ANSWER, VIOLENCE WILL NOT ERASE, NOR WILL IT ALLEVIATE YOUR PAIN! THE ONLY WAY TO BEAT YOUR TRAUMA IS TO WALK RIGHT THROUGH IT. ACKNOWLEDGE IT, FEEL IT AND BEAT IT! I really wish someone had reiterated this to me over and over again!

Anyway back to the story, like I said above, I completely refused to leave the house voluntarily. I was certain that anytime I tried to leave the house, my rapist would find me and rape me again. In Cape Town, I could walk out of my prison because I knew he had relocated to Nairobi, but in Nairobi, I could not risk such heroics. Unfortunately because my family did not know what was going on with me, I had to carry on like I was normal. Normal is a very subjective and expensive commodity, but rather than admit my shame, I chose to pay the price and sacrifice the little energy I had. This is how my mum and sister got me out of the house; and each time we went to the grocery store, or out for lunch, I was on high alert and my heart would thump like a repetitive alarm system. Going to church was the hardest thing because church was now a battlefield rather than I place where I found tranquility and truth. God’s presence was terrifying because I was convinced I would spontaneously combust. This irrational fear was supported by my catholic upbringing. Catholic’s, especially priests and nuns, have a very effective way of putting the fear of God in you, especially when you’re young. When I was catholic I thought God was angry and unforgiving, like he was in the Old Testament. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that the Old and New Testament form the entirety of the Christian doctrine, but God is not an angry divinity that delights in punishing his children, instead he is merciful and forgiving, and longs to know his children. Unfortunately in 2009 and a few years after, I was disinterested in his love or attention.  I was livid and ashamed, not to mention, positive God did not love me anymore. I mean how could he love me like he did before? I was soiled now.  I believed that God thought of me, the way I had been forced to think of myself. I hated myself and I was sure God did too. So without my spiritual father and a family in the dark, who was going to protect me from my rapists? Who was going to slay my monsters and unchain me from my suffering? These thoughts intensified my pain and tears. They kept me on my toes and took away any hope I had. So even though my family was near, I was still in the wilderness alone. This was emphasized the day that my uncle came to visit.

My Uncle has been one of my father figures since my dad died. Even though my mum excelled in being mum and dad, having my uncle and brothers around ensured I had brilliant male influences. My uncle was the first person to take me to Mombasa, he was the first Kenyan male to challenge and sharpen my political and social opinions. Basically he is not only a male figure in my life; he is also someone I can always lean on. So when I moved to the Cape it was agreed that I would meet him for lunch every time I was in Nairobi, which to be honest was most vacations; unfortunately June 2009 was going to be the hardest meet up with him. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was about 10 o’clock, I was in my room as usual watching a movie or TV series, when I started hearing voices. My first thought was that my mum was having a random guest, but the closer I listened, the more I recognized the voice. It was my beloved uncle. I was super excited for a few seconds, until my irrationality kicked in. Within 5- 15 seconds I had gone from happy to absolute fear. My first thoughts were:

“How I’m going to hide the truth from him? Can I trust him? Do I trust him enough to tell him the truth? What if I told him the true and he disowned me and blamed me?”

Before I had the chance to formulate an intelligent strategy I was being called to the living room. I hugged my uncle and tried my hardest to avoid eye contact. Eventually my nerves calmed down, my heart rate reduced and everything was fine. Unfortunately, mum needed to leave. My first question, was, is she seriously going to leave me alone with my him? Yes, I know what you’re thinking, of course she was, this was her brother who had done nothing but love and protect me since I was born. But believe me when fear rules your life, facts become friction and delusion becomes fact. Until today, I cannot remember if my uncle and I went out for lunch. All I remember is the utter trepidation I felt. The hammering that my heart did and the abundant stomach cramps I had. As I’m writing this, I can see how ridiculous my fears towards my uncle were but at that time no amount of fact could have overpower my fears. Looking back, I really wish I had, had the courage to tell my family sooner about my rape, as they’re support has been nothing but paramount to my recovery.

If you’ve been raped or experienced any form of trauma, I cannot emphasize the importance of support enough. You need to confide in someone. Leaning on the right people or person in your time of need, doesn’t make you weak; it only guarantees your recovery and lightens your load! Sometimes the only way to slay your darkness is by allow others to join your battlefield.

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Awake, The Tormentor Part 2! (read with caution, as content is intense, especially if your a rape victim or individual panic/anxiety)

Woman victim behind glass

(copyrights huffingtonpost-cpap-ptsd-nightmares)

 

Awake was just another state of enslaving myself.

The brain can either be a powerful ally or foe. In my case, it was a foe.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find rest while sleeping, because that’s when I replayed of my rape. The less I slept, the more fatigued I was and the more intense my delusion and paranoia became; and the further away my tripolar opposites became. The only thing that could help me was having peace of mind, but peace meant the beginning of my renaissance, and a renaissance is impossible without death. Death and birth are classic oxymoron, they both relay on each other and they both contradict each other. This chapter marks the inauguration of my insanity and depression!

Depression is defined as: “an illness that can serious impair all aspects of a person life, including personal relationships, performances at work and personal enjoyment of leisure activities.”(Lundbeck)

Depression gets complicated to detect and diagnose, because every single person will have a different set of symptoms and react to the presence of these symptoms differently[1]. In my opinion, the above definition of depression is too simplistic and doesn’t serve this disease justice. I’ve struggled with depression since 2009 and I can tell you, it can alter everything you hold dear in life. It kills every ounce of hope you ever possessed. Ithemba liyaphilisa (Hope causes one to live). A person deprived of hope, is a walking corpse, thus I describe depression as lifelessness. It’s not a death without resurrection, as its curable, but as long depression exists, you’re lifeless. My depression was a lifeless addiction to morbid darkness.

After the EASOC meeting, I didn’t leave my room for about two weeks. The more I isolated myself, the more paranoid I got. In an effort to assist me to study and get out of my room, Vuyo enlisted me to go to the computer lab. I think she was hoping that a change of environment plus the vision of other students getting on with their assignments would inspire me to do the same. Honestly, it took everything I had to get out of bed and look sensible enough to hide my secret. Unfortunately, this meant getting into the shower and engaging in the cleansing ritual. For an equivalent of two weeks or so, I had not taken a shower, brushed my teeth or washed my face. I was dead inside and had no intention of appearing any different. Anyway, due to the high regard I have for Vuyo, I gathered all my strength and energy and prepared myself for the task ahead. Now I’m sure you’re wondering why I didn’t seek additional medical assistance. Well, as far as I was concerned, I was fine. I was taking my trauma in stride, acting gracefully and appropriately in front of my peers and doing my best to survive. Besides, the number one concern was who was going to believe me? So rather than incur the added burden of rejection, I decided to bare my cross alone!

Secondly, I knew for a fact I wasn’t depressed, because depression was not in my vocabulary. It was a word that described insane people. Those filthy individuals I saw as a child roaming the streets aimlessly with natty dreadlocks, tattered coal covered clothing and frantically singing or speaking to themselves. THAT WAS NOT ME! THAT WAS DEFINITELY NOT ME! Hahahahahaha. Believe me; the wit behind this utterance was going to reveal itself soon, very, very soon.

So as Vuyo and I trekked our way from middle to upper campus, we spoke and laughed. About what you ask? I genuinely do not recall. I honestly, do not think I was paying enough attention to adequately engage, let alone remember that conversation, my main role in this production, was to play a convincing Maryanne.

However, I recall how precious the crisp fresh air was to me, how gorgeous the ruby field appeared and how interesting my fellow students looked as we passed them by. They looked so care free; they had perfect complexions and wrinkle free faces. Their smiles were bright and brilliant white. These individuals fascinated me, because they represented the me I had lost!

Upon arrival to the lab, my biggest fear of being gawked at was realised. People knew, they could read the writing on my forehead and were taking the piss out of me. My heart began to race faster than the Hennessey Venom. My nerves were palpitating like they were engrossed in a marathon race with Paul Tergat and my body had the shakes like this was its penultimate mission in life. So in an attempt to capture some ounce of control and support from my fellow human being, I asked Vuyo:

“why the hell people are staring at me?”

 And of course I couldn’t whisper my question, I had to ask piercingly. Vuyo laughed and said:

“It’s because you’re singing at full volume. You broke into song the minute we touched down in the computer lab. You’ve been passionately singing a gospel song and smiling wildly!”

I was utterly shocked and devastated. My glass ceiling was shattered! I could see tiny fragments of my sanity lying on the floor for everyone to see. My gig was up. The curtains had come down and everyone was on their feet, giving me a standing ovation.

“Wooohoooo! She’s done it; she’s unmasked the phantom of her sanity. Bravo! Bravo!”

After my last performance, you can imagine that my next appearances were few and far apart. I only left my room to buy groceries, mind you, I don’t know why I bothered, I rarely ate let alone cooked. I also only left to try and salvage my grades for the semester, but honestly there was no hope, I had not done any assignments after my rape and quite honestly the more I tried to think analytically, the more my insanity would appear. In addition, when I tried to seek advice from one of the student advisor about the possibility of erasing this semester from my academic record to save my average, her response was:

“Maryanne, this university has rules that everyone has to abide by. The university is not here to bend rules for you and work around your problems. Yes, it’s sad that you got raped but it’s your responsibility to fulfil your end of the deal and for us to do the same!”

So I gave up trying on the academic frontier. Eventually my fatigue and my nightmares took a hold of me and I remained in a state of essential unconsciousness until the day of my disappearance.

It’s the 9th of June, the day I’m departing back to my homeland. My flight to Johannesburg is at 10:50am, which means I have to be at the airport by 9:50am. Alas, I woke up to a startling sound of a man’s voice at the end of the line. My phones ringtone echoed in the mist of my nightmare. Death had become somewhat of a recurring comfort in my dreams, so when my phone rang that morning, for a few seconds, it just bounce me back and forth into a limbo with my consciousness and unconsciousness. After about five seconds, I answered the phone like a lethargic robot and got the proverbial slap in the face from my male cab driver. He was informing me that he was on his way, and would be at my residence in twenty to thirty minutes. I leapt into action and got ready. Until this day, I have no idea how I did it, but I finished packing the remainder of my stuff and showered in under thirty minutes…

The drive to the airport and the first flight was uneventful. When I arrived at Johannesburg I was worn-out and it showed. So I found a safe and quiet place to sit and wait to board my flight. The idea was to try and relax and mentally prepare myself for being at home. Home was no longer my safe haven; it was the country I shared with my rapist. Regrettably, my brain had other plans, other than relaxation. I started panicking about my suitcase and trying to remember whether I needed to check my bags in again, then I thought they had left my luggage behind. I stood up so quickly and started rushing around to the other side of the airport. Then half way there, I realised I had checked my bags in straight to Nairobi. So I ran back to international departures, found an isolated and safe place to sit. But before I could relax I was running again going to check on my luggage. I played this cat and mouse game until I completely burnt myself out. I had nothing else to give. I slouched back into the bench and shut out the rest of the world. I was unable to hear, smell or feel anything. I was numb and happy. While I dimed down my senses, I missed the fact that a random male person had come to sit next to me, and I missed the boarding call for my flight. Thank the Lord for that stranger, because he not only helped by pulling me back to reality, he helped me check in and clear immigrations. I didn’t know it then, but my God in heaven was certainly looking out for me and had never forsaken me. He had been infront me all the way and was anointing my steps throughout my trauma.

The Lord is faithful and his love endures always!

In hindsight, I really wish I had been honest with my family, close friends and doctor about my struggles because they would have reminded me of God’s love and kept me anchored to reality!

I need you reading this to remember, Joy will always come in the morning and God is always there for you. All you have to do is trust him and ask him to comfort you. Recovery from any trauma, is difficult and long but believe me, it’s possible. You just need the right therapist, support group and doctor. God loves you! God loves you and WILL NEVER FORESACK YOU.

This song has gotten me through difficult times, hope it does the same for you.

Uyangithanda

 


[1] For further information on depression, visit, www.lundbeck.com.

 

DENIAL!

denial

Denial is the mother of all fuck ups. It is like a vortex that sucks you in and engulfs you in a circle of confusion and mirage. The problem with denial is that it lives outside the realm of reality and truth. So as powerful as this vortex may seem, its end is imminent.

Denial and I conversed, and we agreed I should keep quiet and live in an oasis of pretense. Yes, I had told Vuyo, A and Dr Cornell, but as soon as I re-entered my four wall dungeon, I enslaved myself with untruth. I signed a deceitful treaty with denial to secure my peace. The treaty required me to keep up appearances, weep in the confines of my prison and never face reality. This seemed like a very small price to pay in order to retain my sanity. Ironically, silence, pretense, and psychological denial were the very things that destroyed my sanity. They drove me into a land of delusion. I now lived in a dichotomous world of impossibility, where denial fought the truth. Truth reigned in my sub-conscious, while my conscious mind was governed by denial.

The first thing that suffered from my treaty was sleep. In order for any person to sleep, their mind has to be relaxed or in a state of partial Zen. Your thoughts have to be gentle and at the back of your mind. My mind was in a constant state of reflection; it roared like a Ford Mustang and raced across the track like a Buggatti Veyron. Gentle thoughts were non-existent in my mind, both my conscious and unconscious mind were riddled by deep and dark images. Every time I closed my eyes I saw his face and the act of rape that he had committed. Then those seven insulting words rang simultaneously like a cacophony between the piano and harpsichord. Since I had so graciously chosen to honor my Kikuyu roots and suffer in silence, I signed slumber’s arrest warrant and welcomed American motion pictures into my bed. As long as my laptop played movies or series, my sanity could escape into a monarchy of fantasy. Motion pictures kept my nightmares a bay, but unfortunately no amount of TV could stop me from sleeping, especially not after being prescribed sedatives. I cannot recall the nightmares I sustained in the first month, but I do recollect they revolved around death, being attacked, abandonment issues, and ghastly shadows.

My rapist was my first enemy and sleep became his vicious accomplice. After being raped sleep or any form of unconsciousness serves as a cruel form of punishment. It becomes a channel to replay your rape over and over again. It does not serve as a way to rest the mind but it serves as an effective method of torture. Imagine being detained in a dark, isolated room filled with huge screens and high definition sound. Each time you attempt to close your eyes and rest, you’re pumped with shots of adrenaline and forced to keep watching. That is what rape victims endure every time they fall sleep.

For me, my laptop became my companion and defense Major General. He was there for me through thick and thin, he heard me cry and comforted me, he protected me from my own negativity and nightmares by making me laugh and illuminating my room at night. The irony of course being that my laptop personified a male being. The very gender that had violated me was the very gender that I trusted to protect me. This is how effective the patriarchal system could be. My laptop replaced my friends and personified the human companion I needed. The scariest thing for me was darkness, especially when I could not sleep.  I did not want to draw attention to myself by switching on the light and leaving it on, so my laptop acted as my convert defense against darkness and intrusion. The fears I had as a little girl had resurfaced and been amplified to a different height. Instead of just being afraid of external monsters with unrealistic peripheral features, I was now also petrified of the ogre that lay within. The Ogre that lived within wasn’t time conscious he attacked at any time, day or night, because his darkness did not relied on nightfall but rather relied on self-criticism, self-hatred, self-alienation, shame, guilt and any negative emotion that could overpower positive reinforcements. So as much as my journey has been long and full of error, I’d be amiss not to advice you seek medical attention if you feel any of the above feelings, because ignoring your trauma will not make it go away but it will rather length the healing process and cause psychological harm.

My academic performance was the second thing to sustain irreparable mutilation.  Now as much as I would like to sit here and tell you I was an A* student, I’d only be lying. However my grades were above average, and most importantly I loved and understood everything my lecturers taught. All my life I had keenly followed current events. So imagine my delight when I not only got to study these political events, but I also got to analyze the theories, philosophies, economic and social factors that catalyzed these events.  In those days not even death itself could stop me from attending those lectures but as soon as I was raped nothing could get me out of bed. I mean really, I could barely motivate myself to shower; now I not only had to cleanse myself but I had to concentrate and act like Middle Eastern policies would be enough to fix my current realities? Funny thing was, I was desperately seeking any form of escape, and even though my studies could have offered me that escape, they required much more energy than my body possessed. Sadly, I lacked the basic energy needed to be honest with myself; therefore the graduate future I had worked so hard to secure, was now hemorrhaging from shrapnel wounds it would incur for next few months. Those few months would destroy my academic future for what feels like forever.

A leave of absence could have prevented the wounds that my grades suffered but this solution came with its own complications. A leave of absent required me to tell my family what had been done to me, and quite honestly I was so petrified of telling them that I chose to deal with this alone, in a foreign country.

Secondly, a leave of absence meant I would be doing nothing else but trauma therapy and for therapy to even begin I’d have to be cognizant with my rape and I wasn’t planning to do that, as I had signed a treaty with denial. So as long as my inability to face reality was in play, my academic future would continue to loom over my head and my new obsession would take effect.

Here is what I’ve learnt so far.

  • A rape victim cannot recover from rape alone, asking for help does not make you weak, neither does admitting to yourself and others that you got raped.
  • Denying any trauma’s existence whether it is rape, car accident, emotional or physical abuse does not solve the problem, if anything it makes the problem worse and harder to deal with. Seek any form of medical attention. If you are in Kenya, go to your nearest clinic and ask them to direct you to the nearest therapist. If you live in Nairobi specifically, go to Nairobi Women’s hospital and they will assist.

If you live in South Africa or London or USA contact rape crisis center.

  • Escapism whether with technology, alcohol or drugs also only amplifies the problem and makes it worse. Long term escapism and denial has real psychological effects whether it is depression, deep dissociation behavior, alienation and loss of touch from reality.
  • Lastly, without proper cognitive health everything can seem and prove to be impossible. Negativity, self-loathing, self-criticism, only act as barriers of success and opportunities. So ask for support and care from positive people, and set aside any pride or shame that may try and deter you from asking for assistance.
  • Yes, you are the captain of your ship, but every captain has crew members that support him through his or her journey!

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Hours after my rape.

Walter De La Mare in the Return said; “God has mercifully ordered that the brain works slowly; first the blow, hours afterwards the bruise.”[1]

Hours after my rape[2], my brain was not only bruised but haemorrhaging from the massive trauma it had incurred. I was experiencing paranoia, hysteria, and confusion. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I had just been violated in my dorm room, by someone I had thought of as a friend. I know now, that I was suffering from acute stress disorder (ACD), but at the time I thought I was losing my mind.

ACD is a medical condition that develops during or shortly after a trauma. ACD manifests itself through behavioural changes that affect you for at least a month, after which, it develops into post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). [3]

                                        …

I spent the better part of the evening in Vuyo’s room trying to calm down and process what had just happened. As soon as I could, I dimmed down my hysteria and tried to explain to her what had happened. You would think repeating a traumatic event that had just occurred a few hours before would be a simple task, but it wasn’t. My memory was full of gaps, thus I could only recollect bits and pieces. How was it possible to remember some parts of my rape and at the same time forget others? I thought to myself.  As soon as I was done talking, Vuyo gave me her two cents. She was certain that the short EASOC boy had taken advantage of me and I had done nothing to warrant his sexual advances. A part of me agreed with her but, another part refused to believe that a guy I had trusted could have raped me. I slowly drifted into my own train of thought and decided to piece together what had taken place.

I remember letting him into my room. I was rather emotional and my state of mind was not the best. I told him about my day and what had been upsetting me, this immediately triggered a wave of emotions and tears. He offered to cheer me up and downloaded a movie called Amelie. I hated the movie as it made me rather uncomfortable but I chose to remain silent about my discomfort. The next thing I remember was him on top of me and this initiated an out of body experience. I watched him violated me but couldn’t do anything to stop him. I replayed the assault over and over in my mind but I couldn’t fill in the gaps; and the harder I tried, the more frustrated I became and the more unanswered questions I got. For instance, How did he get on top of me? I thought.

Did he push me down or was I already lying down and then he decided to take advantage of me?

Does lying down next to the opposite sex constitute non-verbal consent?

Is cheering up a synonym for sex?

Did he really penetrate my vagina and break my hymen?

If he did, wouldn’t I have felt it?

Shouldn’t I have felt excruciating pain?

I’m I going to get pregnant now?

Did he infect me with an STD?

Why the fuck couldn’t he have used a condom?

Better yet, why the fuck couldn’t he have paid someone to have sex with him if he was so desperate?

In the midst of my inquisition, I realised I had left my airtime in his car. I jolted back into cognitive consciousness and yelled out; “He has my airtime.” I imagine if you were an outsider watching this, it must have looked like I had gone into V-fib and some unseen spirited had compressed life back into me, all in the while alarming my friend with my erratic behaviour. I watched Vuyo for a few minutes then repeated my earlier allegation.

“He has my airtime, he has my fucking airtime”.

“Airtime? What are you talking about?” Vuyo said.

“I bought airtime together with the morning after pill. I didn’t want to look like a whore in front of everyone so I decided to buy two twelve Rand vouchers, to conceal the real reason I was at that shop. ”

In hindsight, I can see how erratic and illogical I was behaving but at the time the only thing I wanted was not to be judged as a whore and a worthless being.

trauma and aftermath

[1]http://amandlaawethu.org/misbeloved/memoirs-of-a-rape-victim-my-rape/

MY RAPE PART TWO

[2]

[3]

Awake, The Tormentor!

(copyrights huffingtonpost-cpap-ptsd-nightmares)

(copyrights huffingtonpost-cpap-ptsd-nightmares)

Awake, The Tormentor! is inspired by the agony I experienced and sometimes still experience when im awake. In the previous post I wrote about my treaty with denial, this was part of the first stage of my’ healing’/ coping process. Denial was my first line of defence. It was a response to the state of being awake, I’ve written in the past how sleep was a difficult/ an impossible task after being raped, well, being awake was its own form of torture!

Awake, the Tormentor, won the battle because he managed to separate my soul, spirit and body from each other. He intertwined them into opposing whirlpools, corrupted and convinced them to work as tripolar opposites. In the rare occasions I left my dungeon, whether to go to Vuyo’s room, the grocery store, upper campus or wherever, I left as three forms. My empty shell of a body, walked along side my spirit and soul; and they existed as phantoms. To the naked spectators I seemed whole and conventional, but in actual fact, the being before them was a corpse, with the affliction of my rapist gestating in my womb! My rapist had many abettors and Awake had joined his employ!

I hadn’t left my dungeon for over two weeks and to be honest, if I had it my way I would have stayed in there forever. The level of torture in there was alpine. It was the very territory where I had been violated but it was also the only place where I could protect myself from further violation. My room in Woolsack was both my cage, and my deserted island away from testosterone annexation. Salvation was very limited, so any source I attained had to be held onto. The irony of this situation was the very person that could save and heal me, I hid from! I was certain that God had deserted me, the minute he let someone assault me. Not to mention, I had always thought of God as male, so asking me to trust another male, especially, the very male being that had created such a monster as my rapist, was really overstepping all bounds of my logical centre. Unfortunately for me, no woman can be island; just because I suffered a traumatic event didn’t mean that the world had stopped spinning. So duty called and I had to attend an East African Society meeting (EASOC). The problem was, the organizing committee, also know as the Comm, had 5 guys in it. These guys had become like family, we laughed and made inner jokes together, we also went through ridiculous challenges and came out on top. These guys had taught me how to relax and take life as it came, as they would say, ‘its never that serious!’ Unfortunately for me, it had become that serious and nothing could save me from my demons….

It had been over two weeks since I had seen the EASOC comm, but I was dreading it. It’s almost as though I was carrying my rape as a cross, where my audience, was the one and only male race. My judge and jury were male and from the African continent, where patriarchy was hailed because it uplifted their sexist beliefs and culture. I only had three females as my potential allies, but we were up against a couple hundred men (as the EASOC meeting was held in male residence in UCT, known as Kopano). The problem was I was too afraid to confess my rape, so I bore my cross alone. As I walked to Kopano from Woolsack, my spirit and soul phantoms secured my alleyway. Each time a male walked passed me, I envisioned my soul and spirit being entrapped and that male charging towards me like a Springbok player at the ruby world cup finals. My fate seemed sealed and my body was failing to cope with reality. My heart was pulsating harder than the African drum, my legs had become stiffer than Table Mountain and my chest had tightened into a ball of fire. I was gasping for air and my ear drums felt like they had exploded. My gasps were so loud and hard. It felt like a Rwandan gorilla was banging on my chest and trying to reclaim his territory. I tried to seat down but my knees wouldn’t bend, and I’d be out in the open without any camouflage, so I ran! I ran to the entrance of Woolsack and hide myself in a little corner and tried to calm myself down. I began to count out loud but it sounded like a radio comm had reacted with a cellphone and I all I wanted was for it to stop. I need you to stop, I said. I commanded my heart, chest, legs, and tears to stop but they wouldn’t heed my call, so I retreated to my sad position and let the panic attack pass, on its own. The bright side was, I was late, so they wouldn’t be any time to hug anyone,

“YAY! I thought, NO PHYSICAL CONTACT WITH THE BOYS!!”

My attack finally stopped and I began my journey again. Same formation, spirit and soul led the way and my corpse followed. I arrived at Kopano and tried to write my details in the sign in book. My hands were numb and so was the rest of my body. I couldn’t take my eyes off the guy giving me instructions. I honestly wanted to shit my pants.

“ALL AROUND ME WERE MALES!!! ALL MALES!! RUN BITCH! RUN!! NO WAIT, WE HAVE TO FACE OUR DEMONS SOMETIMES, STAY STRONG MARYANNE KAMUNYA, STAY STRONG!!”

These are words I told myself. Unfortunately,  my heart started palpitating again so I wrote my details down as quickly and neatly as I could and blended into the wall and walked away. Throughout my ‘normal’ absence at Kopano my mind’s eye, soul and spirit held my cover! As I approached the meeting room, I noticed the boys hanging out outside, I quickly looked around and couldn’t see any of my allies.

SHIT!!! I CANT DO THIS, THEY WILL ATTACK ME!

Suddenly it dawned on me, all my male friends had now become a thing of the past; men WERE NOT to be trusted, especially Kenyan men. I propelled myself forward as my soul and spirit were urging me to turn back. The irony of this whole situation was, as I was shuddersome of being around the boys, they seemed happy to see me. So one after the other they hugged me and throughout those hugs I checked out and escaped my body completely.

If they were to have me, they would have the empty shell that they called my body but they would never break or have my spirit again!

This dear brothers and sisters is what rape does to a victim, it alienates us from the ones we love and turns our minds against us!

[Maryanne Kamunya] and [misbeloved], [2014]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Maryanne Kamunya] and [misbeloved] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Gukira ni Guthurana!

Hey beloveds, before you this post, please make sure you’ve read the previous post. You can find it on this URL: http://amandlaawethu.org/misbeloved/memoirs-of-a-rape-victim-weeping-melody/

silence

Silence is a rape victims enemy. It forces us to endure ounces of shame while protecting the very person who should be tormented by their actions. Inner thunderstorms become our daily bread.

Gukira ni Guthurana

The literal translation of my title is, not to talking is to hate! Ironically, victims tend to remain silent about their trauma because for most rape victims silence becomes golden. Their need to remain silent is driven by fear. Victims fear being judged, accused and disowned because society teaches us that we must have done something to encourage our rape. The truth is, though, no amount of rape culture can justify rape.

In addition, the silence only protects your rapist and denies you the opportunity to get the physical and psychological support you require.

It may sound hypocritical of me to ask other rape victims to speak up because I did not have the strength or courage to speak up, but I’m speaking up now and this blog is my medium. Since I started blogging, my courage has multiplied ten-fold and peace flows like a river. I will not pretend that this blog has been my only source of healing, I’ve attended and I’m still attending therapy, I found the perfect support system (which is family and real friends), and I’ve educated myself as much as possible about rape, rape trauma syndrome and depression. I would highly encourage other rape victims to attend therapy, find a support system, and read up on rape, as knowledge has really proven to be a source of power.

Lastly, there has been enormous contestation about my title Memoirs of a rape victim. The word victim is contested because everyone wants to refer to you as a rape survivor, your therapist, friends, family and any other individual close to you. I totally agree that you are a survivor, every minute that you choose to push forward; you demonstrate colossal strength, a strength that we ourselves cannot explain. Here’s the thing, though, I referred to us as rape victims because we were victimised. I cannot condone the use of the words rape survivor because it grosses over the process it takes for any rape victim to survive. Just summoning up enough strength to get away from your attacker and get yourself to safety, or the act of phoning a friend to ask for help, or the strength it takes to utter the words please help me I was just raped, or the strength it takes to compose yourself as the doctor probes your vagina during a rape exam, or the strength it takes to stomach rejection by ‘friends’, family members or a complete stranger because their knowledge of the rapist trumps your trauma. That ladies and gents these are but fragments of the journey a rape victim has to endure in order to survive! WE CHOSE TO SURVIVE BECAUSE IT WAS OUR ONLY LIFELINE!

My survival instinct did not kick in until it was forced to, my first instinct was to seek comfort from one of my closest friends (this is wayyyyyy before I succumbed to my weeping melody). Immediately after being violated, I was taken to the pharmacy next to Pick and Pay Rondebosch, Cape Town. I use the word taken because contesting the rapist’s statement to go and get the pill was too frightening. While at Rondebosch, I saw a male acquaintance, a fellow Kenyan who lived nearby. I tried to rush towards him and ask for his assistance, but at the corner of my eye, I saw my rapist approaching. He had left me for a short while to go park his car. The second I spotted the short, tiny excuse for a boy, my lips forced themselves shut and my feet stuck to the ground.

In the pharmacy, I whispered across the counter and asked for the morning after pill, my rapist stood right next to me. The minute the pharmacist heard my request, my head bowed down in absolute shame. Thoughts rushed through my head like rapid fire, and every thought I had, revolved around the shame I felt. Mind you, my only hope for assistance seemed to lie in the male species. Rondebosch was crawling with men of all shapes and sizes; even the bloody pharmacist was male. My fear grew bigger and stronger. I was certain the minute I tried to ask for help, all these men would stand in accord and devour me. I never understood why people accredited the brain as the most powerful organ, until that very moment, for every possible scenario to ask for help, resulted in irrational thoughts that obstructed my ability to speak up.

I got back to my residence and my subconscious mind sought out a safe haven for me, and my body followed suit. I walked through the quad of my residence in the rain and landed at the doorstep of my little sister. Every step I took in the rain was reflected in the darkened skies, the black clouds mirrored my insides. I knocked on the door of the sweetest, loveliest, intelligent woman that God had ever created. Vuyo opened the door with a big smile on her face but was shattered by my demeanour. I was laughing hysterically, as my brain was sending out signals of opaque madness. With every speck of laughter, an ounce of sanity dissolved and madness sunk in. Vuyo asked me what was wrong and I said “sex, I just had sex! Wait! No, I didn’t. Wait no I did.”

Muhahahahahaha!

The disbelief on her face spoke volumes. She ushered me into her room and I told her what had just happened. Every word that came out of my mouth was a blade that slit my tongue. The minute I uttered the last word, Vuyo said to me, you were raped, he took full advantage of you. She attempted to call him and give him a piece of her mind, but his phone was off. The next day we found out through Facebook the miniature ‘man’ was on his way back to Nairobi. The rape was his final offering to me.  The knowledge that the little bastard had left the country, did not make me feel any better, it disempowered me further. The act of leaving was the biggest showmanship of cowardice! I shook my head in

The knowledge that the little bastard had left the country, did not make me feel any better, it disempowered me further. The act of leaving was the biggest showmanship of cowardice! I shook my head in denial because the truth was too painful to bear, let alone hear out loud. It was confirmed that I was just violated and for some reason, that fact only sank in after Vuyo uttered those very words………

In a state of denial, I stared at my bed sheet. The bright white spots of his semen, that struck out against my royal purple sheets, cheerfully mocked me. The semen stared back at me like it held sovereign power and authority over me, IT WAS THE KING AND I WAS THE SLAVE. I stared at that sheet for at least an hour or more, although to me, it felt like a century! While staring, my brain was sketching a mental picture of my future. It took ages even though the sketch was just a sinister, black hole behind Satan’s leer! I dug a microscopic hole inside the sketch and found the strength to go cleanse myself. I glanced at my bottle of Dettol, and it shone like a glimmering light of hope. My corpse escaped from my four-walled prison, of my dorm room, and barricaded itself in the bathroom….

It is in the soul of humanity that you will find co-captains to help steer your ship! Long live the grace of compassion.

 

P.s please feel free to leave your comments, although any form of destructive negativity will not be tolerated!

©misbeloved/mwk.

Weeping Melody.

WEEPING MELODY

When a person is raped, there is a severe battle for their psychological and physiological health. Rape is about power. The rapist has to show his victim that he holds power over them and their surroundings. The power is both physical and psychological. Throughout the rape and even after, as long as the rapist is still in the vicinity, they attempt to belittle the victim through verbal and physical abuse.

For me, the power statement was “we need to go get the pill!” The word WE insinuates that my rapist and I were one, like we made the decision together, like I had a choice in whether or not to engage in sexual activity, that I allowed him not to use a condom or any form of protection, that my biggest concern was getting pregnant not STIs or STDs or the psychological trauma I had incurred. The word “we” was an admission of guilt and an assertion of his so called authority. He was saying to me I will not leave you until I am certain that I have been absolved of all responsibility. Pregnancy for him was the embodiment of evidence, it would force him to admit his guilt and take responsibility.

I need rape victims everywhere to understand, whether or not he admits that he violated  you, does not negate the fact that he committed a violent crime against you! It doesn’t matter how many times he attempts to convince you that you gave him consent or how many times he tries to justify his actions, he raped you and knows what he did!

It doesn’t matter whether you let him into your space, if you were wearing “inappropriate clothing” or your demeanour was ‘seductive’, if you did not give him formal or informal consent, he raped you!

Lastly, it doesn’t matter how many people falsify your testament or how many people deny the truth. Their denial of the truth does not pardon his actions, and neither does it obliterate your experience….

THE MOST IMPORTANT ADVICE I CAN GIVE YOU, IS TO DEPEND ON YOUR FAITH IN GOD AND IN YOURSELF. AVOID NEGATIVE AND IGNORANT PEOPLE, AS NEGATIVITY, IS A VIRUS THAT DISSOLVES THE SOUL! FIND A SUPPORT SYSTEM AND HOLD ONTO THEM LIKE A LIFELINE!

After he raped me, every cell and fibre of my being felt eroded with his manure. I felt so filthy, soiled and sullied. When a Christian baby or adult is baptised, they tell you that you are absolved of all sin; baptism is the expunging of all your past sin and the original sin, Rape is the act of smearing the rapist’s sin onto the victim’s body and mind. Therefore, all I wanted to do was to vindicate myself of his sin and renew my purity. The minute I could, I cleansed myself.

Those of you who know me, know I have a serious addition to Dettol, the smell and its properties just soothe my soul because nothing makes me happier than a germ-free environment.

So naturally, I took my big bottle of Dettol and barricaded myself inside the bathroom. I ran the hot water, placed the Dettol on the ground, laid my back against the wall as I attempted to squat and hold onto my sanity. The minute I realised my blockade was impenetrable and indestructible, my weeping melody began. The harder the water fell against my body, the more venomous the tears felt against my cheeks. The tears were a reflection of the bleeding soul and spirit that lay within. My veins felt like they were drenched in an undeniable realisation, the realisation that rape had become my reality. From this day on I bore the face of a rape victim! 

That was my weeping melody, a melody that could not be erased by water, Dettol, screaming, tears or hypnosis. The melody was strong and full of discords. It was a destructive melody that rang the mantra of the devil. This melody did not aim to uplift, it aimed to annihilate my body, soul and mind. The harder I tried to fight it, the harder it fought to burst my eardrums and shred every ounce of my body. Funny thing  was, the weeping melody laid within. It had been placed within me by my rapist. I may not have been carrying his human spurn but I was definitely baking his weeping melody in my womb. The clarity of this composer’s intent rang loud throughout my body and held my brain as an undeserving captive. I tried to liberate myself by scrubbing myself free. I started by pouring the Dettol throughout my body. I promise you if I could, I would have poured the Dettol on my face and ingested it so as to cleanse my insides and silence my weeping melody. The sad thing is, the harder I tried to wipe out my rapist’s essence, the harder it stuck to me like glue, and the harder it corrupted my neurones.

I’m sure some of you are wondering why in all my efforts to cleanse my body and mind, I hadn’t reached out for God’s salvation. As far as I was concerned, I lived in a godless world. The only hope for my salvation lay in the bottle of Dettol if Dettol could not save me, nothing else could. You must understand, all my life I had tried to see the best in people. I lived in a world created by the most high, and everything in that world had a purpose and a beautiful essence. When that short asshole raped me, he opened my child’s eye to the grave evils of this world. This battle was not just about my split hymen, it was about the loss of my innocent perspective. Prior to my violation, I viewed the world through a child’s eye. Yes, I was a female adult, but no amount of experience could bust my bubble, pun intended. Trust me, until someone shakes the very core of your being, your innocence remains unharmed. The second that it is shaken, nothing looks the same ever again. Not only do you feel alienated from the world, but you are reborn into an errant and aberrant world.

Weeping melody was the corruption of my innocence, the innocence of my body and mind. I wept for both my physical and psychological health. The physical health refers to the annihilation of my hymen, the violation of my thighs, legs and any other body part that was stained by his touch. You see, I couldn’t touch my own body, without having flashbacks of him touching and violating me. The image of his desecration was tattooed into my mind’s eye; so the ritual of cleaning myself was not helpful at all. Every drop of soap that fell in the name of purification, was a constant reminder of my affliction. The harder I scrubbed, the deeper my affliction ran.

The mental turmoil I had, only increased the weeping melody. My mind was racing between acceptance of what had just happened and complete denial, for fear of losing my sanity. I tried to justify his behaviour by finding fault in my conduct, by convincing myself that I had done something to deserve this. Maybe it was the fact that I had allowed him to comfort me, maybe my demeanour, while he was comforting me, was seductive and I did not know it. I tried really hard to understand his cerebral process, but the harder I tried to find an excuse for his conduct the fasted I marred myself. The saddest part of being raped is how quickly the victim bears the shame. The moment he pulled his penis out of my vagina, I bore his shame. With every thrust, the shame was intensified and engraved onto my soul. The shame did not come because I did not fight him or scream, but because I found a way to mirror the stigma of the world onto myself. I convinced myself that no one would believe me, so I chose to keep silent. Not because I couldn’t find the strength to fight him legally but because the shame overpowered me.

Here’s the truth, you cannot bear the shame of your rapist, because you did not violate him or yourself, he violated you! Thus no one else but your rapist should bear shame and fault for his crime against.

Secondly, it is not for you as the victim/ survivor to prove your innocence to your family, friends, his family or his friends, because your innocence is not proven by his admission of guilt, your innocence is affirmed by itself. So try not to focus on people who don’t believe, as they have made a conscious decision to add to rape culture, rather than fight it. That’s a reflection of them and does not diminish the truth!

Lastly, remember that God the almighty also hates the crime of rape. We see this in Deuteronomy 22:25-30, the punishment befalls on the perpetrator, not the victim. Romans 13 also speaks to the above. So in reality, there is no need to feel ashamed, discouraged, suicidal, or depressed because the Lord our God loves you very dearly. That does not mean that your feelings are invalid, they are extremely valid and understandable feelings to have. So call onto Yahweh, Jehovah, Lord,  Allah, Jesu, or Yesu. He is a mighty God who will NEVER FORSAKE YOU OR DEDUCT HIS LOVE FOR YOU! YOU BEING RAPED WAS NOT AND WILL NEVER BE YOUR FAULT! TAKE COMFORT IN THAT FACT AND REMEMBER HUMAN VALIDATION IS WORTHLESS, WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS THAT YOU ARE STRONG AND BELOVED SURVIVOR!

 

 

 There is peace in acceptance and strength in your survivor! Strive to heal and the Lord will steer your ship! © misbeloved/MWK.

MY RAPE PART TWO

consent2

Please find the first part of my rape here: http://amandlaawethu.org/misbeloved/memoirs-of-a-rape-victim-my-rape/

Part Two of my rape

Despite my inability to hold back my tears, I thank God I’ve never been able to cry loudly. You know what I’m talking about, some people cry really loudly, there’s absolutely nothing with it, but that’s just not me. The minute I began to cry, he moved closer to me and began to try and comfort me. He hugged me and said:

“Don’t do that, think about it this way, your problems aren’t that serious, there are people out there that are dying of hunger.”

He hugged me, and then he tried to kiss me. I got upset and asked him seriously? Looking back now, it was at that moment that I should have thrown him out. I should have physically gotten up and opened the door and demanded him to leave. I can’t tell you why I didn’t do that, all I remember is feeling very tired and weak. I don’t mean fatigued like from crying, I mean I was physically and emotionally drained. The next thing I knew, he was on top of me. I can’t tell you how he got me to lie on my back, or how he managed to get the better of me, but he did.

I felt his hands holding my thighs; it felt like a shovel of hot coal was being pushed against my thighs. I tried to get up, I tried to push him away, well it felt like I tried, but alas my hip had failed me. I remember thinking, I did this. I told him how to plant his flag on me. When I opened up about my hip replacement surgery, I told him the precise nature of my problem, I told him about my limited range of motion, and with my own mouth, I had signed my own death warrant. The minute he got a hold of my legs, he had the power and he knew it. He knew that as long as he held onto them, I couldn’t kick him or fight him. Like a moth flying towards the light, the demise of my virginity was nigh.

He held onto to my right hip very tightly and forced it to move into the correct position. In those days, my hip was very stiff, so the position he was forcing it to be in, would be natural for many of you, but for me, it was aberrant and extremely painful. Let me try and paint a picture of how intense that pain was, imagine you sprain your ankle, then as you trying to recover someone comes along and forces your ankle into an unnatural position. You try to free yourself from their grasp, but the more you try, the more pressure that’s placed on your ankle, and therefore, the more excruciating pain you feel; that’s the pain I was experiencing. Then couple that pain, with the image of a rapist on top of you grinding away at my hymen. I couldn’t see him properly, as I said earlier he is significantly shorter than me, but I did see his head popping up.

The minute he put his penis inside my vagina, my whole body went numb and into shock. I lost all feeling and completely detached my spirit and soul from my body. I had an out of body experience.  I watched each and every second of him violating me. I lied there, motionless, unable to fend off this predator, all I could see were tears streaming down my cheek. I saw the tears but I couldn’t feel them. Those tears symbolised my power as a human being diminished.

My spirit tried to awaken my physical form. It began to scream at its body:

Scream bitch! Scream! I tried to move my lips but they wouldn’t cooperate. I then yelled at my body, fight him, move him, do something, don’t just lie there. I tried to gain the strength I needed to fight him, my soul tried to gain entry back into my body, but another spirit had already conquered my corpse. His demon spirit had occupied my flesh and there was nothing I could do to stop him.

With every motion, my body got benumbed. My soul became heavier and my body became lighter. In those moments he violated me, I felt my spirit die and my faith disperse.  After he was done, he said:

“we need to  get you the pill.”

This git hadn’t even bothered to protect himself!!! There were fucking condom dispensers all over this residence!!! Those words ‘we need to go get the pill’ kept ringing in my soul all night and for nights to come. Those words symbolised the death of my virginity, my innocence and my rights as a human being. 

That ladies and gents, was how I was introduced to adulthood. This was also the beginning of my rape trauma syndrome!

For those of you (because believe me I know from my experience, you do exist) that believe I deserved this because I let him into my room or think because I did not scream or fight I gave him informal consent. Well here’s what I have to say to you,  sex requires informed, verbal and not coerced consent from each sexual partner. If your partner is too young, that’s rape, if your partner is unclear about your intentions, that’s rape, if your partner is incapacitated or and of unsound mind, that’s rape. Basically, if your partner cannot willingly and free say yes to sex, DO NOT DO IT, THAT IS RAPE!

Sex for me meant, the intertwinement of two bodies and souls.  It is not a mindless activity that one party decides consent on behalf of another, neither is it a right for any boy! (yes boy, because no man forces himself onto any person!! It doesn’t increase your masculinity it only diminishes it).

For those of you that believe that I just got confused after giving formal consent (Because I’ve had two female law students say that to me). It never ceases to amaze me how educated, ignorant idiots like you, continues to roam the earth. Anyway my response to such individuals is:

“Rape is a violent crime in which a person commits a sexual act without formal or informal consent. Consent: to agree to something, give permission or say ‘yes’ when you understand what is being asked of you and when you are not forced or deceived into giving consent.” (Rape Crisis Cape Town trust, 1992:-4-6).

Now, my understanding of formal consent is when a person willingly indicates verbally that they wish to have sex with you. Informal consent is a physical indication of consent through open and positive response to sexual advances. NOW I MUST EMPHASIS ANY PERSON CAN CHANGE THEIR MIND AND REFUSE YOUR ADVANCES AT ANY TIME. No person has the authority to steer you ship/ destiny without your consent!!

In addition, most rapes are committed by people you know, that makes it violating, hurtful, confusing and evil.

Now, I thank God that my battle was a mental battle and I wasn’t harmed badly physically. Unfortunately, because I did not know better, I cleaned myself and discarded away the evident as soon as I could.

I need you to understand that every fibre of my being had been engrossed in my rapist bile. My vision was blurry and I was suffering from inner turmoil. Even the sweet, sweet smell of Dettol couldn’t cleanse my soul, mind, spirit or body; as far as I was concerned I was a walking corpse!

AFTER BEING RAPED, YOUR FIRST PRIORITY IS TO GET YOURSELF TO SAFETY. Once you are in a safe place, try and call a friend, loved one or family member, or a helpline and IMMEDIATELY SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION! THE FIRST 72 HOURS ARE CRUCIAL!

Lastly, I didn’t get the opportunity to file charges, due to various reasons. However, that does not mean that you can’t do so. Please feel free to check out this link: http://amandlaawethu.org/misbeloved/memoirs-of-a-rape-victim-my-rape/

This will inform you on exactly what to do if you are raped.

In conclusion, I’m really hoping and praying that this blog post helps someone out there.

At the Rape Crisis Centre in Cape Town, my therapist used to tell me,  DON’T HIDE, SPEAK OUT!

I SAY SPEAK OUT AND BREAK FREE! For God is your father, and he alone knows your heart. Let no one persecute you, as they too will lay down in front of our father!

 

 

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