Trigger up: Touch me again and I’ll fucking kill you.

05/25/2011

Hello, reader. This post contains potentially triggering subject matter. All names have been changed.

Minutes before the last time he laid a hand on me, I was sitting around the campfire at a party. Yves told a ghost story from her days as a Girl Scout, then we started to go around the circle, talking about our worst fears.

I don’t remember any one else’s fear but mine: “I’m afraid of being raped again.” and I told the story of almost getting stuck in Spanaway on a bike trip (mechanical troubles) where I was ready to take three buses to Oly just because I felt so. fucking. unsafe., much to the puzzlement of my heterosexual traveling companion, The Manarchist. The one who would later assault me. The one who only a few weeks after that trip came within less than an inch of raping me, after berating me for hours until I was too shut down and exhausted to even utter the word “no,” or make the motion of pushing his giantesse off of me.

“Touch me again and I’ll fucking kill you.” Some times I hear or read a phrase somewhere and it sticks to my brain, keeps surfacing until I find the right place for it. Days like this I want to spraypaint it on his house after sugaring his gas tank.

Funny thing is how little I really want to kill any one. I’m just tired of intrusion, that’s all. Tired of dreaming about him, that red and white striped shirt, about the way that thick hands that once so joyfully fucked me could come from a place of violence. swing, swing, miss, you’re out. Yell. I yelled: How dare you?! How dare you hit me! How dare you?! and he backed away. Get out of my house. Get. out. of my. house. It took two grown men who make their living wrangling drunks to get him out of my house, but it was my rage that caught him off guard, mid-swing.

Later I found the bruise on my wrist where I fell after he tried to kick my feet out from under me. Reese calls falling in love having one’s feet kicked out from under them, but this was never love, or at least not romantic love. Sexual solidarity, political comradeship, fucking, but not love, not ever that kind of love.

Nobody told me this, but I will tell you. There is deep violation in assault, yes, but for me the greatest violation is that I let this person close to me. I saw them cross other boundaries once, twice, more–but I thought myself inviolable and so I set myself in harm’s way.

Because I am forgiving. Because I am kind and loving, even with people I hardly know. Because I want to believe the best of people, especially people who claim to be my political allies in the fight, the good fight.

But from this day forward I will call the red flags as I see them. Accountability is a tool, an essential part of working to overcome oppression–and those who resist accountability are not doing their work, they are simply furthering the violence that hierarchies enact every day.

Oh, but if you touch me again without my permission? I won’t just kill you, I will fucking crucify you on the principles you so proudly boast of.

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2 Responses to “Trigger up: Touch me again and I’ll fucking kill you.”

  1. […] The thing that happened didn’t physically injure me in any way other than a couple of small bruises and aggravating a pre-existing injury in my shoulder, but it fucked up my life in so many ways that would be impossible to quantify. I left my home (and with it my chosen family) because while they were supportive, I couldn’t find safe space there–every corner held a new piece of my trauma. I struck out in search of a new space and new friendships, both of which have had their own strengths and follies. I’m still re-building relationships that broke down under the stress, and praising my fucking lucky stars for those that strengthened in the fire. I am grateful for my collective, who rallied round me immediately and supported and backed up the boundaries that I set, despite the fact that _____ had far more experience in the work that we do, as well as a longer history (and more ties) within the radical community. I don’t know if I would have survived that period of time if not for the safe haven of my then-lover’s couch, who put up with me crying myself to sleep on it more times than I could possibly count. Although I have often felt very isolated through this experience, my network of support is incredibly strong. My friends and other community members agreed to hold ___ accountable for his behavior, rather than brushing it off as another drunken “incident”. But they also didn’t abandon ___, he has had access to the support that he needs to address his behavior and make real changes in his life. And he has respected the boundaries that I set after the assault, without question, something many abusers do not do. […]

  2. […] me, at least) sometimes accompanies surviving violence, and so I responded to the call with a few pieces. One of the organizers responded enthusiastically and said they’d be glad to have me perform, […]

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