Trigger warning for domestic and sexual violence
I want to talk about terror, and terrorism, that is producing fear to get your results, the fear of violence, and the reality of violence to change behavior. Because I am talking about real life, there isn’t a clear narrative with a good ending.
It’s coming up to tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, I could say a lot about the media storm around it, I could talk about how many people remember the date of terrorist attacks which didn’t kill westerns? But there is something closer I want to talk about, something here and now and burnt into my memory, still twisting my emitions around it.
On September 11 2001 I was staying at a friends house, my parents where interstate, but unlike many time when I had stayed at home alone I didn’t, I didn’t because I had recently ended a relationship with a man and I feared that if I stayed in that house he would break in (again) and rape me (again), and with no one around, I feared that wouldn’t be the end of it.
I know september 11 must be hell every year as loved ones morn those who they lost, when the family of firefighters and cleaners and resaeptionists wonder why there relitives where seen as a fair target for Americas sins. My father lost a friend, they where in new york for a conference, the deaths where cruel and senseless, but I flinch for another reason.
I remember being a child fearing for my life because I have left an abusive adult man. Because terrorism is booms and planes flying into buildings, it is also the terrorism small enough to fit into your bedroom, your heart, your cunt and your head.
My story remembers him plying a child who you know is self medicating with alcohol because he wanted sex, and getting sex, after I had begun vomiting.
Of gas lighting, a concept I knew 10 years before I knew the world, when he told me that I was misremembering everything that I should do what he said because I was crazy and my brain didn’t work.
Of silent, and screaming, or never being able to do anything right.
Of when I tried to put my foot down, to stop what I had known from the start was wrong, the threats, his cold dead voice in my room “I will show you what you have made me do” the sound of the ambulance as he was taken to hospital, the knowing, that I was so bad, that I had driven someone to attempt suicide.
So, on this anniversary I have a favor to ask, I want you to tell me that 15 year old that they are not guilty, I want you to tell them that even though they where sexuality active, it was not their fault, even thought they where depressive, it was not their fault. Even though they where precocious it was not their fault, even though they where self medicating with alcohol it was not their fault, because I need to hear it, because I don’t believe any one of those statements completely, I can’t truly believe that what that man did to me was his fault, because I wake up at night shaking with the terror of those memories. And when you have done that, please tell someone who is now 15, because I am sure everything that happened to me is still happening.