A Burn Book

I tried a lot of different methods of releasing my anger and howling frustration during the time after police became involved. This was 8 months after the woman assigned to sort of be my ‘buddy’, my go-to person at work, witnessed and verbally participated in repeated sexual assaults against me by a colleague and refused to help me when I came to her about the stalking behaviour. Time and time again.

I found this extremely hard to process. That she had ‘egged him on’ and made jokes as I swore, SAID NO and fought him off me. That she immediately said he was ‘not getting it at home’ when I said he made me very uncomfortable and was inappropriate. That in her police statement she referred to me as a cock-tease and suggested I brought it upon myself by being confident. She has a daughter a year or two younger than me. I couldn’t grasp that she could immediately dismiss what had happened to me and how wrong her actions were; as a mother, as a female, as a senior staff member, as a decent human being.

Honestly, I wanted to kill her.

I struggle with this still. This is a major factor in my inability to interact, trust, engage these days. The utter shame, the fear, the betrayal. I’m not safe anywhere, am I? How can I be? I can’t even trust another woman in such a situation.

To get the anger out I bought a red exercise book (to signify the anger, the purpose of it) and sometimes wrote down some really raw thoughts in it. These days the exact thoughts aren’t always explicitly in my head as I fight the anxiety and helplessness that strangles me. I get confused, feel stupid for still feeling so vulnerable and hurt. But I just read some words out of the red book about her and I realise that my feelings make perfect sense. Thank god I DON’T think of the origins of my angst every day…I’d been in much worse shape.

In the interests of psychology (or psychiatry, your choice), I thought I’d share a little bit. Why? Because it’s how I felt. How I feel. It’s uncomfortable to feel such dark, violent thoughts. That’s not me. I’m a bit of a tree-hugging hippy, class clown type. I was. I try to be now. Sometimes the old me sneaks a moment and I think, what the hell is this feeling?. Then I remember. It’s happiness. How sad that it has been foreign to me since this all happened. Putting the dark thoughts out there into cyberspace feels like I am releasing some of the darkness, like fetid balloons of grief. I let them go here tonight and I feel lighter. Thank you for being there as I let some more of this go. Anywhere but inside me. Away!

Excerpt One

You blame me because you don’t want to feel responsible
It is easier to lay it all at my feet
Than admit, personally and professionally, you behaved so heinously
Time is slow
But I will make you face yourself
And it will hurt
You will never recover
But I will
Soar like an eagle
My conscience clear

Excerpt Two

I have drawn her tombstone with regard to her being dead to me from now on (was trying to draw a line, end her power)

Excerpt Three

Some day you will ache like I ache (lyrics from a song by Courtney Love)

Then my scribble…

I want you to feel the pain
The fright
Unable to sleep
Fear and trepidation
Trust no one
Violation and trespass
Exposure
Shame
I wish you were stripped bare like I was
Exposed like I was

I would take your eyes so you couldn’t see what was coming next
Because you refuse to see the truth

I would take your ears
Because you ignored my cries
Mocked my struggle
Denied my voice

I would take your brain, leaving only memories you don’t want
Be stuck with flashbacks that scare and trick you
I want you to feel how it feels to be trapped in such a scary place in your own head
I would take your arms and legs
So you cannot defend yourself from anything
You are never free
You are vulnerable and helpless

I would expose you
Humiliating you
Like you have done to me

Excerpt Four

You are a liar
I tell the truth

You ignore the struggling
I am a loud voice for myself and others, always have been

You say NO means YES
I know different

You are scared of being found out
But I will be free soon

You are guilty
I am innocent

You are worried about your reputation
Mine is shot in these circles due to you, but I will look after myself and try again, rebuild

You bring sadness and lies
I bring love and laughter. I care. I matter

You will keep getting weaker as you wait to be found out
I will only get stronger the more I speak out

You twist the truth, repeat your lies
I don’t need to, the truth is in me

You will frown, worry, watch over your shoulder
I will one day smile and triumph
I will overcome

My thoughts on these things now? As I read them I can hear the force with which I meant every word. It was like a vow. I WILL SURVIVE. Now I hear a bit of hopeful desperation in the words, like, ‘but I will be free soon. Please?’

But I think writing down my raw thoughts and feelings about her helped a lot. Certainly a case of ‘better out than in’ for the sake of my health. I would like to hear from anyone else who has ever felt such a darkness, the ‘other side’ of our human nature. Or have you written/created/painted etc these or similar feelings to let them out? I’m on the lookout for another outlet… X

2 thoughts on “A Burn Book

  1. i’m inspired by how you’re using expression to embody your rage at that betrayal. when i experience a recurrence like that i definitely take to writing … even if i’m just writing crazy letters addressed to no one.

  2. Pingback: the common roots of anguish, angst, anxiety, anger, and arrogance « power of language blog: partnering with reality by JR Fibonacci

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