“When the solid ground is falling down underneath my feet; between the black skies and my red eyes, I can barely see….” — Eye of the Storm
I woke today in anguish. Heart and soul and body. My shoulder is wrenching in pain. It remembers. On this day, twelve years ago, it was twisted from its socket as it was pulled behind me by one of two rapists.
By the rapist who got out of prison this weekend after serving 3.5 years—not for my rape, as he was pled down to only one count of conspiracy to commit rape. Like so many survivors before me and after me, I have not experienced justice. But I have experienced silence.
Silence of the detective whose job it was to fight for me—and instead scoffed so she didn’t have to do that very job. I vividly remember the echoing silence in the room as she ordered me to strip so she could take pictures of the scars on my chest from the bite marks—etches in my skin she did not believe were present. My heart raced and pounded, but my ears felt the bleeding of silence.
The intensity of not knowing I had a choice still boils in my soul today. The transformation of her face burned into my eyes as the etching on my skin came to light under the flash of the camera and the closing of a file. Silence.
There was silence from the county prosecutor as a plea deal was slid across the table. Silence as the pen sliced the night and the deal was signed. Voices, void of noise, racked with agony, unheard, faded into the forgotten darkness. Silence.
My mind recalls the silence of waking up in the bathroom—covered in bruises, bite marks, feces, and urine—alone, naked, confused, broken.
I remember my own silence in shame and “knowing” I shouldn’t have gone to the bathroom alone. I feel the vacancy of silence that I thought was an empty parking lot. And I am aware of culture’s silence as the victim collapses beneath the debt of blame and shame—none of which are owed by her, by me.
The silence of our world spins as rape jokes are held as acceptable on some tables and on others the phrase “you should be over this by now” limits the parties to one.
I’m aware of the silence AND of the rattling it is feeling in its bones. #MeToo fired synapses into the twitching and sleeping giant, shaking it awake. But the world in which it is rising, where it is launching into the battle—is still silent.
The “Sound of Silence” is heavy:
“Fools, said I, you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence…”
We have a choice to be different. We can rise as this giant and break the silence surrounding us. We can replace it with the echo of our warrior cries and bring with us life and hope. And when silence falls, we can build in its wake a future where it is merely a memory.
#KickAtDarkness #RiseUp #SoundOfSilence #HealAz #EndIt #NoMore #MeToo