Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Why I Speak Up...

I’ve had something on my mind lately, and I've been remiss to post it because, well, I don’t know really. Sometimes I feel like folks come here to get a good laugh, and when I throw in a serious post I worry that I'll fuck up the ambiance or whatever the hell I’ve got going on here.

Thing is, my twisted sense of humor arose as a coping mechanism. If I hadn’t been able to say, “Ah, fuck it. I’ll stick around and see what else could possibly go wrong,” I might’ve ingested that bottle of pills oh so many years ago. But I didn’t. Okay, so it also had a little to do with envisioning my family at my funeral and realizing it would tear them apart, but I digress...

I’ve been active with Planned Parenthood lately, in particular supporting the cause of mandating hospitals to inform rape victims of the availability of Emergency Contraception. I’ve spoken at a rally, a press conference that was aired on the news, and to a few reporters here and there about my experience of being raped, impregnated by the rapist, and having an abortion ten years ago. I think it is incredibly important to share my story for several reasons, but here are just a couple.

Firstly, I want any other woman who might be in the throes of a similar experience to know that they are going to be okay. Really, really, really. That’s most important to me. Maybe a little crazy, but okay. I'm a little crazy and a little okay, and it's cool. It's cool, too, to cry a lot or a little. Just do what feels right. That's about all you can do. You are not alone, though it may feel that way.

Which leads me to...

Secondly, rape survivors are left largely on their own to deal with the repercussions of their assault. It’s fucking sad and shouldn't be that way. I remember spending much of my energy worrying what people would think of me if I told them. It’s not like breaking your leg. When you break your leg, you ring up your family, friends, and work and say, “Hey, I broke my fucking leg,” and people send you flowers and cards and you get days or weeks off of work.

When you're raped, at least in my experience, it doesn't go down like that. Especially if it's not 'Stranger Jumping Out of the Bushes' rape. I went to class the next day, and work after that. Everyone thought it best if I carried on as usual. So I did, wanting to make them feel better. I proved that I could still tie my shoes, and take notes about algorithms. Truthfully, though, it would’ve been nice if I could have taken some time to recuperate from a broken spirit. Just because you can't see it or slap a cast on it, doesn't mean it can't be broken or injured, ya know?

Rape is something many survivors suffer in silence because it involves sex, which people feel icky talking about it. But, people need to talk about it to make the stigma go away, and since I feel pretty damn okay most days, I do. I’ve got to honor my funny bone by giving appropriate recognition to just where it came from. Being tough as nails, and knowing that each time I laugh, it proves that the mother fucker who raped me couldn’t take that away. Not forever, anyway.

I have noticed that my serious posts go largely uncommented on. And you know what? That’s okay. Seriously you guys. One of the hardest parts about going public for me has been the response from other women who’ve told me how brave I am and relayed their stories. I usually say, “First of all, I’m no braver than you and second of all, it happened to me, and I still don’t know what to say to you except that it sucks and I’m sorry.” I feel like if I'm standing up in front of 200 people telling my story, I should know the perfect response, but I don't.

I'm only human. As are you all. Well, except for the one or two aliens that might read this, which makes me hope that I'm not a case study for earthling normalcy. If so, we're all fucked. But, to the humans, it's okay to be human, and not know what to say.

So, it's off my chest now. Thank you. I feel better. Hopefully, you are no worse for the wear, which would be the best case scenario for both of us.

26 Leg Humps:

Al said...

Hey Zube, yeah I come here for a laugh, but this is good shit. Keep posting this serious stuff whenever you feel like it and keep telling your story and spreading the word.

You're doing a great thing!!

Zube Girl said...

Al- Seriously, thank you.

Doggie Extraordinaire's Mom said...

Zube Girl,
I faithfully read your posts and laugh my ass off when they're funny, or hug my doggie when they're serious. I read your 100 Things and (don't gag) was so totally moved, it brought salty water drops to my eyelids... don't know what the heck they were!

In this blogworld, people (myself included) try to be funny, try to make political statements, try to do all kinds of things that aren't true to themselves; you stand out from them all as real and genuine -- someone we all would like to know.

Thanks for sharing everything, good and bad, and thanks for being brave enough to stand up for what's right and necessary!

You asked a few posts ago, how people imagine your name is pronounced, and I too thought it was Zoob. In fact, when I read the word Zube, I hear that car commercial in my head (don't remember which one) in which they say, "Zoom, ZOOM, zoom." Only, when I read your blog, I hear, "Zoob, ZOOB, Zoob." :) That's you, Zube Girl! Keep Zooming!

kyknoord said...

"...So I did, wanting them to feel better... That is just so wrong, I hardly know where to begin, but it really cuts to the heart of the matter. Most people don’t want to hear about rape and they definitely don’t want to talk about it. They know it happens, but if they ignore it hard enough, then they don’t have to feel uncomfortable.

Bravo, ZG! Thank God there are strong people like you who are willing to speak up.

LaLa Lisa said...

Ok, I had to come of out lurking to tell you what a kick ass chick you are. And although you may not see it, every time someone shares their personal story of surviving a sexual assault, they help reduce the negative stigma that surrounds the subject. It's sad and outrageous that society still does not treat survivors with the proper care, respect and compassion that they deserve. It's a continuous battle to reclaim your spirit and as such the support should never stop. Rape is rape- stranger or non-stranger assailant. Until the Sex Crimes class that I'm currently taking I didn't realize that more than 80% of rapes are committed by a non-stranger. How is that not on the news all the time? Ok, sorry- I'll be getting off my soap box now. And again, yeah Zube girl for being the brave, great soul that you are and using your experience to help others. You rock!

Nicky said...

Love reading your posts whether they are funny or sad. Just would like to say that you sound like you are coping well and I think it is great that you are trying to help so many others. It takes a strong person to be able to do that! Thanks for the many laughs and the occasional tears.

CC said...

Girl.. YOU ROCK!.. I love your blog.. the funny and the serious, I love them all. Thank you for sharing a part of your life w/ us.

PaintingChef said...

You are SO right about everything. And going through an attack that dreadful with such traumatic repercussions alone is something that is going to make or break you, no middle ground. I know that as well as you do. But you were one of the ones who took it and (wisely) chose to not let it break who you are but rather force it to be part of who you were going to become. And that person is the strong and fiercely hilarious Zube(y) Girl that we love so very much.

You deserve all the happiness that you have in your life now. Lord knows you've suffered enough to get here.

Anduin said...

It's hard to pour out your soul to others, but thank you for doing it. Sexual assault is a horrible crime against a person and it never leaves you. What's worse is that its so hard to talk about because people don't know what to say. Thank you for putting it out there and helping others.

Thankfully you are a strong person and this experience has not weakened you but made you stronger.

Blog ho said...

wow. i had no idea. brave of you. as to what others's of no real consequence. that's my motto. or i try to have that motto.

Cassiopeia said...

I think it's wonderful that you've shared that with us, and it's great to be part of such an important organization (planned parenthood).

Right now there are many woman reading your post, and you've perhaps helped given them courage to do the same.

Debi said...

It's your blog and you can post whatever you want, funny, serious, ugly, bitchy, sappy...whatever...we will still read it! :) I think you are an inspiration to so many women that you don't even know. That's an awesome gift!

Storm said...

hey zube,

funny, you thought you'd get almost no comments...

I've followed your links and read your story. As others have said, you are very brave. I'm sorry for what you have had to experience, yet at the same time, I'm glad there are people like you to help the ones who aren't able to help themselves. Please don't take that wrong... I'm pretty sure you won't.

I enjoy your funny stories, but I come here because your writing is superb. I'd keep coming if you did an entire month worth of serious posts--and I'm positive I wouldn't be alone.

txsm said...

It was really strange reading your post, as I am also a "Survivor" and I just posted my story on my blog the other day. I didn't report mine either, and as you did, I attempted to go on with my daily routines as normal, but it never is. I withdrew away from family and friends for a long time, and even contemplated leaving this world also, but found the strength to get through. I now have the love of a wonderful man and with his help have been able to enjoy sex as it should be. You keep up the great job you're doing for the rest of the "Survivors" and those yet to be.

Zube Girl said...

Okay, I usually like to respond to each and every one of you, and I will.

But, I have to say that I just had the WORST fucking morning ever, which involved driving Zube Boy to a doctor's office an hour away, TWICE between 7 and Noon, because of a broken MRI machine. Then, I finally got to work, and there was no tp in the bathroom.

So, yeah. Bad morning. Then, I see this. I am astounded and honored. For real. Just wow. You've all made my morning better.

And a very special, special thanks to those of you who shared, too.

zazzafooky said...

I love all of your posts, serious and funny and actually the mix is what makes your blog so enjoyable and real! Not everyone can be funny all the time and if they are, well hell, somethings amiss and then I usually get suspicious :-)

junebee said...

I have commented on many of your posts, not just the funny ones. I check your blog nearly every day and if the post of the day is not comical, I read it anyway. I have read about your work with PP, that was soon after I started reading your blog. I believe it had a link to an article about you published in the local media. I thought wow, this is one tough chick.

I remember years (YEARS!) ago when I first moved to FL, I went to a dating service. Not real long thereafter I turned on the TV and on a spot about rape victims, there was one of the chicks that worked at the dating service. My heart was broken for her and inspired by her bravery at the same time. For some reason I haven't thought of that for YEARS until I read this post just now. The feeling is sort of the same for you.

I'm no fair-weather blog-reader!

Zube Girl said...

Librarian Extraordinaire- Gah, those salty water drops! I love and hate them. :-) Thank you for the tremendous compliment. What you see is what you get here, most certainly. I don't blog anything I wouldn't tell anyone in real life.

That's about my only rule here.

Kyknoord- It is sad, but I think a lot of survivors try to make those around them feel better.

Lala Lisa- Whee! Thanks for delurking. :-) I had no idea that such a large percentage of rapes were non-stranger. But, that's probably why you don't hear about them on the news, because victims are a lot less likely to come forward due to feeling guilty or to blame.

Nicky- Thank you. :-) And, I just looove your photos.

CC- I love it when people tell me I rock. It makes me wanna rock out!

PaintingChef- The make or break thing...SO true. Yes it is. Here's to more people making it and not breaking.

Anduin Andorian- It *is* tough to know what to say. I know. It's difficult to even know what you want to hear.

Blog Ho- I try to make that my motto, too. I don't always succeed, but I make a good faith effort.

Cassiopeia- I can only hope that reading this has helped someone. :-)

Debi- Damn straight it's my blog! That's why Zube Boy gets to take my name on it! Thank you.

Storm- You know, I really appreciate the compliment on my writing skillz. Sometimes I worry that I overdo it. I'm always trying to prove to the world that just because I'm a college dropout doesn't mean I'm not a smartypants. :-)

TXSM- Isn't it incredible when you find that someone who loves you no matter what. For me at least, it didn't happen until I started loving myself again. It was a long road up to that point, but when you get there, just, wow.

TJ- You know, that's what I love about your blog. The good and the bad. It does make one seem more real.

Junebee- You are so right. You've been with me from very near the beginning. Thanks so much. :-)

sk said...

All I can say that hasn't been said is that I love you, I love your posts, and I love what you do for other victims.

No MEN in congress should EVER be able to make laws for women's bodies...until they become pregnant.

Mwah...keep on keeping on, sista!

Kjersten said...

You are incredibly strong and I am very greatful that you are willing to share your story for the sake of others. Hearing you talk about it before is one of the reasons your blog stood out.

I haven't been able to tell anyone except my father, therapist and boyfriend. Not enough support from any of them. I convince myself that it's not a big deal until I try to write something like this and I remember.

Anyway, thanks from the bottom of my heart.

Zube Girl said...

SK- Thank you for the encouraging words. Seriously, it's nice to hear.

Kjersten- Love to you, girl. Seriously. Thank *you* from the bottom of my heart.

Thomas said...

At first, I thought your lure was intelligent posting with some eye candy.

Now I can see the eye candy is completely incidental.

Your experience sucks, like suck donkeys and all, and here you are taking it in stride, letting people know not to treat it like an unmentionable stigma.

My sister could have used that help when it happened to her. A few of us knew better, but most acted like if they saw a woman on a bicycle, she was going to break down in tears.

The bastard that did it, that THING (no one with a penis that does that should ever be considered a man,) should be nullified. Other than that, you are still you, albeit with a wretched experience.

Zube Girl said...

Thomas- Thanks. :-) You could say that's why I so appreciate the politics behind your blog. It is incredibly important to me to keep choice a viable option, and I see you're for that, too.

Not to mention the plethora of other political issues on which I happen to see eye to eye with you.

You're sister rocks, I'm sure. There never is enough support. Hopefully someday there will be.

Spider Walk said...

I too have been through something similar and know that each woman walks away with some of the same experiences and some not the same. It is difficult to come up with a blanket condolence when talking to another rape victim.

So, that being said...I am so terribly sorry this has happened to you, and I admire your courage and strength to move forward. Humor is for sure one way to move onward and upward...and that is one area you got covered pretty damn well my friend.



Anonymous said...

hi i just wanted to say i loved your post. I am a rape victim too and is good to there are others out there who passed through it and are healing. I myself have healed as much as i can. Like you said that f@&_ cant take away my smiles. I will show this to my friend who was also raped and needs to break her silence

Anonymous said...

This is the first article of yours that I have read, and all I can say is that you are a wonderful person for sharing your story with no regrets. You have the balls that many people in our society lack. Hell yeah! Your completely correct when you say that it's not something that can be blurted out in public, because there are so many people that don't understand. I have not been in this situation so I as well can not say that I 'understand' what your have been through, but again, you are one of few that will openly speak of this with no shame. You are greatly admired for that. :)


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