Rape Jokes are not fucking funny. End of.

HUGE big TRIGGER WARNING HERE- I get angry and say the R-word a lot. This post could upset you via the links I have posted, too- if you feel at all triggered, don’t worry about reading them. The safe one is the one about burlesque.

 

People have warned me, through blogs, that I would lose friends over what happened to me. Rape is a word people don’t like to use, but often when they do, it is all in the wrong contexts.

This is what happened today.

Let me set the scene. A friend of mine is a burlesque artist, fire eater, stilt walker and all-round amazing performance artist. She had posted a rant about a certain so-called “feminist” comedienne who had done a piece about burlesque, supposedly both taking the mick and making it “feminist” at the same time. What she was actually doing was making a fool of herself in front of an audience of idiots. Apparently, bashing other women is a “feminist” thing now, too. See it here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/02/25/nadia-kamil-feminist-burlesque_n_4853522.html

The taking the mick out of burlesque part I thought was childish- burlesque IS feminist, and actually pretty difficult to perform. I have worked with a burlesque dancer, and she pulled no punches. She booked her own shows and bought her own rhinestones, and knew that mostly, her audience was couples and women. She is a true businesswoman, has a degree, and has met important political figures. I actually thought the routine this comedienne did would have been helpfully corrected by burlesquers, and she would definitely have been lectured on her lack of feathers or rhinestone. (See here for a much better refutation of the burlesque side than I have just written- https://lililascala.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/feminist-burlesque-dont-make-me-laugh/ )

What actually had me fuming, and feeling sick, was that the comedienne decided that in her routine, there was going to be a tasteless moment involving a true fact about rape. I watched that, and the bile rose in my throat.

So, as I do if something affects me, I posted it to my Facebook page. I was very much aware that I was skirting close to what has actually happened to me, but I knew that most people I know have seen posts about abusive relationships that I have uploaded. I have admitted to my depression there, but not the rape. I don’t know when, or if, I will be strong enough for that, but those closest to me have already guessed or I have told them.

Anyway… We all have those friends who seem to think they cannot be wrong, and they are so intellectual that everyone else is dumb. I had one of these friends- let’s call her Silly for now. Silly has had not the greatest of upbringings, and has used drugs and drink, but is apparently clean and sober and actually living life properly now. She has been obnoxious since her parents split, and always picks arguments for the sake of arguing. I have tried to explain away her behaviour for years- she has been a good friend and she can be very funny- but she has insulted people close to me, and now they won’t speak to her. I have constantly tried to be a good friend to her, by being understanding and supportive, but the fact remains that she can be very offensive. Silly will pick the wrong side of an argument, and she will argue til she is blue in the face to prove it right- I mean, I wouldn’t put it past her to say that torture was right and acceptable just to piss the other person off, and prove how wonderfully intelligent she is.

 

Silly saw the post, and this is exactly what happened.

She wrote something like what are you objecting over with the rape joke? I thought it was a pretty good one and a very true statement.

I saw red, and replied with my view- rape jokes are never funny. People in the audience who had been through this shit would have to face that in an evening of comedy, which is not what they had signed up for. She was still using the piece of information about rape in a sexualised context, so it still meant she didn’t take it seriously. Feminist my ass. For some people, even the word triggers flashbacks. I agree completely with what was on the piece of paper (100% of rapes are the fault of… the rapist)  but to display it in that way was quite frankly disgusting.

I thought she would understand. Why oh why did I think that? Did I not know Silly? Had I not been there as she insulted her way through our mutual friendship group, in the name of intellect?

Silly then came back with the following:

Well yes, even the mention of rape can be triggering (although you don’t know if she included a trigger warning for her show or not), rape jokes, when done tastefully and entertainingly (i.e. not just Daniel Tosh styley) can still be super funny, just like any other joke about a risky triggering subject ( e.g. any violent crime, the holocaust, 9/11 etc) that may have members of the audience who will be upset by it- and in comedy, it seems like either you can make fun of everything or nothing

Also, comedy is a great way for many people for dealing with things like this- by subverting the issue and pointing out how silly the whole of rape culture is- and the more people realise what a ridiculous joke rape culture is- the less people will be buying into it!

Anyway, there’s a whole bunch of articles out there who cover this far more eloquently than I can, like this one: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/can-rape-jokes-be-funny… , but I’ll also leave you with this super funny video- http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded…

www.huffingtonpost.com

 
 
I sat staring at my screen, horrified. What the hell was all that about?! I was so revolted by what Silly had written that I immediately de-friended her.
 
So trauma is fair game now, is it, for cheap-thrills comedians? 9/11 is apparently really funny? How about the Holocaust, does that split your sides? Wow, and I thought me de-friending her was mean.
 
I actually wrote below all that drivel the words, “How could you say that?” before I de-friended her. In fact, I was still so angry I posted a status about it. Within three hours it had seventeen likes already, and I started a conversation with a girl I have recently met who has had bad experiences.
 
Silly had the cheek to send me a stupid beggy-pleady message: why have you de-friended me, I’m confused as to why the rape joke thing offended you, don’t lets waste our friendship over something like an intellectual discussion, I’ll delete all my comments…
 
I haven’t replied. I am still so angry that she has sided with the ‘rape culture’ she thinks she is opposing.
 
It is backwards logic to say that any rape joke is funny. No matter if the joke is flipped on its head to ‘expose the rapist, or societal norms,’ it is not up for you to debate, you silly cow. You have not had this happen to you or you would not be calling it intellectual. Nothing about what I went through was “intellectual”. I live in fear or agony most days. Agoraphobia, phobia of men, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, trauma-induced voices and much more are my fucking bedfellows. I can’t believe that someone who went to the same all girls school as me would have the stupidity to buy into that crap. Our old headmistress, who taught for the first three years of my secondary school life, was a big feminist in the sensible ‘equal rights’ manner. She wanted us to go and fulfill our potentials, and Silly was in the same assembly hall as I when she gave her empowering speeches.
 
The article I read was pure fucking drivel, too. I was so revolted by reading that another “feminist” comedienne thinks that rape jokes are fair game despite the fact that women she knew had been affected by rape. The ‘super funny’ video she posted has just made me retch. I want to get in the shower and scrub til I feel clean. I am SO NOT LAUGHING, I AM FUCKING REVOLTED HERE.
 
WHY is it so hard to get? My experiences ARE NOT A FUCKING JOKE. It’s akin to saying, oh yeah, torture is hilarious, let’s make a joke about thumbscrews and waterboarding. There would hopefully be silence, apart from a few sick fucks, but oh no, when it’s rape it’s hilarious because it’s about sex, of course, and sex is really funny.
 
WRONG. Rape is not about sex. Rape is about pain, torture, power and violation. It is about feeling like a fucking rag doll. It is about having all the trust you once had in someone who claimed to love you torn apart. It is about being reduced to a mere object, used for a cheap thrill.
 
That is why I have lost a friend. I don’t give a fuck about her little guilt trip. Silly, girl, go and grow up and stop pretending to be a fucking rebel. I have had it with your bullshit. Don’t you dare wave your superior intellect in my face and tell me I wasn’t really raped, cause that is where you were going next, isn’t it? Alcohol rapes = no real rape. Partner rapes = no real rape. BULLSHIT, girl.
 
Face up to the fact you lost a friend today because of your shallow intellectual posturing. I have tried, so hard, to explain your bad behaviour away and be forgiving, but I did that with my psychopathic ex FOR NEARLY SIX YEARS, and I sure as hell am not continuing to do it for you. I don’t care if nobody stands up to you: I am doing right now, and you are completely wrong.
 
Stew in that.
 
RAPE IS NOT OPEN FOR YOUR “INTELLECTUAL DISCUSSION” BULLSHIT. YOU WANT INTELLECTUAL? I HOPE IT DOESN’T, BUT CALL ME IF IT HAPPENS TO YOU, AND THEN WE CAN TALK. I will be sympathetic, unlike you undoubtedly would not have been if I had told you about what I had to go through.
 
Sorry, this is a rant, but it had me so angry I wanted to share it with you guys. I don’t feel guilty about dropping her. I actually feel liberated. No more stupidity from a silly little girl who refuses to grow out of the teen rebel phase.
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No Quarter. I am on the move.

I have a few things to talk about, a couple of things to get off my chest. Today seems like a good day- I’m back in London, missing J enormously, and my family, but overall I am feeling ok. Balanced. Happy. At long bloody last!

The journey back here was pretty good- I travelled down with a friend. She drove, I chatted at her from what felt like the wrong side of the car (apparently, I’m too used to American cars now!). I spent the first half of the journey trying to explain to CK what my depression, PTSD (finally, I got told that part of what I have is PTSD, after I don’t know HOW long telling mental health professionals that was what it was) and voice-hearing experiences were all like. She’s a kind, sweet girl, is CK, and she listened well and asked questions.

Before I came back to London, I had the appointment with the psychotherapist that I was dreading. I am now so scarred by psychiatrists and fucking assessments that I was sure this would be another put-down: “Get back in your place, crazy bitch. You’ve already got a diagnosis (lies), why the hell do you need or want help?”

Actually, it turned out to be a little different.

I brought my mum with me- she of the awesomely strong backbone- in case I needed her to back me up. I wanted to get across that my personality is NOT fucking disordered, that I NEED help for the trauma I have suffered, and that I am really quite desperate to get better and not worse.

The receptionist gave me the same bloody forms to fill out, and I filled them back out again with impatience. Seriously, I had done this so many times I was bloody sick to death of the sight of the stupid fucking forms. Mum looked over my shoulder until I got to the difficult bits, and then I turned so my back was to her. She stroked my back and said she was sorry, she was just being nosey. I didn’t mind, it’s just hard to write about voices that want you dead with the mother who still sees you as her baby watching.

When I gave in the forms and was called in, the psychotherapist said to my mum that we would only be half an hour, to which mum said that she would rather come in with me. So with a little bit of further argument, we all went in.

At this point the psychotherapist, M, explained that if therapy was to work for me, I would really have to see her alone. I was still like an abused dog at this point, distrustful and ready to snap, so I told her I understood that but my mum was there to tell M that I truly did need therapy, and to be my backup in case I wasn’t believed. M was shocked, I think, beneath her professional demeanour, by how determined both my mother and I were about me getting help. Also, I think the fact that I told her that so far, I didn’t feel helped or believed must have been a bit of a blow to the gut for her. It’s true, though. J is shocked by how little help I have received, as was his good friend.

We came to an agreement- I would stay alone, and M would listen to me. Mum left, and I felt alone, skeptical, and desperate.

M and I didn’t really talk about the symptoms I was experiencing too much- she wanted to know why I wanted therapy. Why the fuck do they ask these questions of someone who has been asking for therapy for months is beyond me. I did tell her, like I have told many other mental health professionals, that I am desperate for help because I cannot manage my distress. I cannot live life searching the street for a tall, broad-shouldered man with curly hair. I do not want to wake up screaming from my nightmares any longer, nor do I want to lie awake in bed and pray that eventually, I will be able to sleep without seeing images of the assault/s (yeah, I’ve deduced that every time I didn’t want to but I was too frightened to say no was the same) flooding my mind.

I told her how frightened of strange men I am, how much fear floods me if I think I have seen him in the street. I told her how the voices will still tell me I am making this up, and I told her how I hear three of them.

I think I’ve been listened to, because M finally told me she was putting me on the waiting list for therapy. She challenged some of my thought processes, too- the mark of a good therapist, I feel, especially if thee thought processes are irrational or frightening. She told me I would have to be back in my hometown for therapy, and that I might have to wait up to four months for therapy.

So far, so good, ish. At least now I have a chance to heal properly, with help from a professional. I wanted this, and I finally have it.

Moving on from the appointment and its fantastic outcome, I had the most amazing time in America. I know I’ve already written about this before, but I have a head flooded with memories of the calmest, safest three weeks I have lived since becoming depressed again. Certain turns of phrase will have me laughing out loud, certain songs make me shiver or smile or just feel safe. J sent me lots of silly e-cards on Valentines Day, featuring our favourite serial killer, Dexter. Seeing those made me forget the horrible Valentines Day argument with my ex and remember instead the cosy, warm nights we both spent on the couch, curled up together and munching through season after season of the series.

I loved it so much out there that I am already £70 up towards my goal of going back there asap. I have already done two shifts since arriving back in London, and my social anxiety whilst working is minimal because I am so focussed on what I have to do.

So, a mixed bag… but in all, there is a reason I am feeling positive, and that reason is that I can finally stop grasping at straws and reach for my life again.

Is this just me or…..

I was bored today and flicking through posts on Buzzfeed- and this cropped up.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/cyndipop/16-ways-to-tell-youre-in-a-comfortable-relationship

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I endured each and every one of these whilst I was with my ex. I remember feeling unwanted, degraded and stupid a lot of the time when these things happened. I remember wishing to disappear a lot of the time when these things happened to me, especially when I would be trying to have a serious conversation and all he would say is “I love you”, over and over again, interrupting me so I had no chance to finish what I was saying and no choice but to give up my story.

Sometimes, every little thing he did would annoy and frighten me in equal measure. I used to dream about being able to do the housework alone, without him coming in and getting me to work on his stupid essay when the kitchen was a stinking mess. I used to hate how I felt, because surely that meant that he was right about me all along, and that I was a bad girlfriend.

This is of course, wrong. I wasn’t a bad girlfriend. I was trying to fix up my kitchen so that we could prepare food on clean surfaces, or I was trying to explain to him why I believed intellectual idea X was wrong. All he had to do was either help with the kitchen or leave me be, or listen to my point of view. That sort of thing.

Instead, I was completely ignored. As usual.

I have expressed my anger with him before, but it’s these little things that wore me down. These are the things that eventually stop you from saying no; from standing up for yourself; from actually being aware that bad things are on the horizon.

And, of course, just like the stupid article says, after a while it doesn’t matter any more. You’re there because you “love him”.

What a bunch of balls.

That article lists things that stripped me from my ideas, opinions, self-worth and freedom. Some things on that list, he felt about me, and others I felt about him, but that in no way denotes that we were in a “comfortable” relationship.

Unless, of course, your idea of “comfortable” is actually abuse, masquerading happily as a functioning relationship.

Go figure.

Manipulative? Ugh, please, YOU are the manipulative one, Mr Shrink.

I’m once again researching BPD/EUPD and I am once again filled with disgust about it. It is nothing but an ugly sham.

The website I gleaned the link below from purports to be ‘helpful’ to BPD/EUPD sufferers, and the link is supposed to be to get people to ‘think twice’ about calling someone with BPD/EUPD ‘manipulative’ or ‘demanding’. Unfortunately, it’s worded in such a way that it just reinforces these preconceptions.

Take, for instance, this:

Manipulative

Dictionary definition: “To manage or influence skillfully, esp. in an unfair manner: to manipulate people’s feelings”

This is a very harsh comment to make about someone that is using the best skills they have available. Try to imagine what someone with a personality disorder has gone through, and then think about what extremes you would go to protect yourself. Isn’t it true that life is a fight for survival or would it be seen that way through the eyes of someone with a personality disorder?

Now hold it right there, folks. This is cleverly written. I think I was taken in at first glance- I thought that there was another medical professional out there willing to think. Now I’ve re-read it, that isn’t the case. The words ‘the best skills they have available’ makes out that a BPD/EUPD sufferer is literally incapable of normal interaction at all. Moreover, it’s still saying in a roundabout way that sufferers are actually manipulative. Apparently it’s because ‘we are lacking in skills to function normally’.

I call bullshit on that one.

I have said many times I don’t believe it should be recognised as a disorder, but to actually go as far as to say that one of the ‘symptoms’ of this ‘personality disorder’ is manipulation actually blows my mind. To say that if you have suffered so badly from abuse, the only tool left to you is manipulation is utterly demeaning.

I was raped. I was emotionally and sexually abused. I was laughed at, humiliated publicly, and, to cap it all off, I was manipulated.

Now I’m intimate with the horrors of emotional blackmail, so you would think I might be the least bit capable of recognising it in myself. Guess what, shrink- manipulation is a zero here. I have asked countless friends and family members to tell me if I am, and they have said no, not at all. I haven’t seen its ugly claws in me, and I know I would lose so many friends if I really was manipulative. Bullshit.

So I will keep demanding that this archaic, misogynistic diagnosis is ended. It seems to me the epitome of manipulation for a shrink to convince everyone who knows you that you are a horrible bitch who brought this on yourself for having a “disordered personality”. Isn’t that true manipulation?

It feels to me how I used to feel with the ex- like no-one would believe me, like I was a crazy bitch, a drama queen, and I needed to keep my mouth shut.

All you other BPD/EUPD girls out there, I believe you. You are not this label, and you are not manipulative. This label should not have been given to you, and it should not exist.

Come join me in defiance. It’s a really good feeling.

(PS: Sista, I’m talking to you too. I believe you have PTSD, like me. We’re in this together. x)

Diagnosis? Yeah right.

Today was D day. You know, something I had been dreading and looking forward to in equal measure. I have finally had a label slapped on me, and I am SO FUCKING ANGRY right now.

Apparently, I could have ‘Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder’, which is, yes, you’ve guessed it, Borderline Personality Disorder.

Only, the Psychiatrist failed to tell me I apparently have BPD.

Apparently, ‘the label doesn’t matter, just finding out what works for you matters.’

Right now I am so angry I feel sick. Right now I want to scream. What is the POINT in explaining that I need HELP when all that happens is I am given a generalised diagnosis which is given to a lot of young women who also need HELP? What is the fucking point in telling him my ex RAPED ME, ABUSED ME emotionally and then tried to get me back if he wasn’t prepared to think about how that might fit into the picture?!

I’m so fucking done with this shit. I don’t see him again til March. In that time, hopefully Psychology will be in touch with me and my newly-perscribed antipsychotics will be working. That is, if they will.

I am ready to throw in the fucking towel with the NHS. I would accept this label if I believed it fit me. It fucking doesn’t. I don’t have unstable relationships with my family. I don’t have an eating disorder. I don’t get into physical fights or snap at people uncontrollably. I most CERTAINLY don’t use self-harm to get attention, as SEVERAL clinical websites have tried to tell me. Christ, I am so angry.

I thought the session went well. I thought I was listened to. I thought I was getting somewhere. The fact that he DIDN’T FUCKING TELL ME that EPD IS BPD blows my mind. Clearly I am fucking back to square one.

I wasn’t angry like this an hour ago, but since then I’ve done my research and I am so so angry for not having been listened to AGAIN. That’s what I feel. “Oh, she doesn’t fit happily into one diagnosis so let’s shove her in this box and hope she fits.” AGAIN.

WHEN am I going to get practical HELP for this?!?! J, my mum, my auntie, my dad and sister have all helped me FAR FUCKING MORE than any bloody psych. My friends have helped me. All these amazing people I know have held me when I cried, believed me when I told them about the rape, dried my tears, reassured me, taken me out when I needed it… the list goes on. They have HELPED me PRACTICALLY.

The NHS? I can see now I’m being bullshitted to again. I would be more content to accept this “diagnosis” if any of the mental health professionals actually KNEW what was involved in BPD, instead of taking wild and often derogatory guesses. I think it’s another way of saying to all of us diagnosed with this, “Shut up, you know you’re crazy, and nothing you say is true.”

Well I have had enough of that with my ex, thanks. If I am going to be treated this way by the NHS then there is nothing you can say to me that will change my mind. Screw you. I want out of the system if all that is going to happen is that I am treated as a stupid, silly little girl AGAIN by people who are promising to help me.

There isn’t a word for how I feel right now, but I think BETRAYED is the closest I can get to.

Sorry for all the swearing and the rant, but I am so angry and I have no clue what to do with it.