I’ve said this before and I’ll point it out again -
Menstruation is caused by change in hormonal levels to stop the creation of a uterine lining and encourage the body to flush the lining out. The body does this by lowering estrogen levels and raising testosterone.
Or, to put it more plainly “That time of the month” is when female hormones most closely resemble male hormones. So if (cis) women aren’t suited to office at “That time of the month” then (cis) men are NEVER suited to office.
If you are a dude and don’t dig the ladies around you at their time of the month, just think! That is you all of the time.
And, on a final note, post-menopausal (cis) women are the most hormonally stable of all human demographics. They have fewer hormonal fluctuations of anyone, meaning older women like Hilary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren would theoretically be among the least likely candidates to make an irrational decision due to hormonal fluctuations, and if we were basing our leadership decisions on hormone levels, then only women over fifty should ever be allowed to hold office.
‘Men get raped and molested,’ should be a whole sentence. If you have to tack on the word ‘too,’ then you’re using the experience of male victims to silence females instead of giving them their own space.
Not sure if I’ve reblogged this before but it always bears repeating.
If the only time you talk about male rape survivors is when you are interrupting women and non-binary people talking about sexual assault statistics and their own experiences, don’t pretend you give a shit about male rape survivors.
You never get over it. But you get to where it doesn’t bother you so much.
We get a lot of asks “does it ever get better?” And you know, it does. It also gets worse. And it stays the same. The ways we feel about our experiences are… varied. I feel better today. Yesterday, I felt worse than I did the day before. That’s what I mean. Even in the space of a day, things can change.
But the thing is… they change. For many of us, over time, things are better more consistently. And that’s a wonderful thing. I can’t tell you how much time. But I do believe that can happen.
As far as the thoughts about having been able to stop it, that you should have fought harder, I’m gonna target something specific because I think it’ll be the most helpful. (If you need something else, please feel free to say so.) In your ask, you said, “I wanna stop feeling like….” And that’s fine, but there’s an important thing to note here: These are not feelings. They are thoughts. It’s not wrong to say the other word, but there’s something good about them being thoughts instead of feelings.
Thoughts can be changed.
So when you have one of those thoughts, you can fight back against it by reframing it in a way that’s more compatible with a positive frame of reference for yourself. For instance, I often think, “I deserved it.” So I’m working on thinking “I was told that I deserved it, but no one deserves to be abused.” Whatever you choose to say to reframe your own thoughts, just make sure that they are absolutely judgment free.
And I’m saying this, and it sounds easy the way I’m saying it. I’m sorry for that. It’s not easy. It’s super super hard. But it can be done. The best way I’ve found personally is to start by spending two weeks noticing every time I have a thought that is not compatible with my recovery. Write it down. Keep a log. And then start immediately saying, “okay, I’ve had that thought again, and I’m going to remind myself that it’s not true.” Then you can say your alternate statement. Once you’ve been doing that for a while, you can switch to just immediately saying the replacement sentence.
The timelines I’ve provided are vague, and they may not work for you. You’re welcome to develop your own of course. I also didn’t offer replacement statements for your thoughts because it’s going to be much more meaningful to you if you can come up with them yourself. That part is tough too, but even just that is a major accomplishment.
While I think this is all good advice from my perspective, in case it’s not what you need or all of what you need right now, I’m just going to say…. Literally nothing that happened falls anywhere on your shoulders. None of this is your fault. None of it. I literally don’t care if you had a running chainsaw in your hand and chose not to use (or were too scared to use it), it is still not your fault. It’s literally so effing far from being your fault.
You did nothing wrong.
Please take care.
This is, in my opinion, one of the toughest things about being a survivor. There is a desperate need to talk about your experience and often nowhere appropriate to talk. It’s not that our non-survivor friends don’t care. It’s more complicated than that, I think. I think it’s a combination of “I don’t know what to say” and “your experiences make me uncomfortable.” And then, of course, that creates a nearly impossible situation for us where we are not getting our needs met and don’t know how to fix it.
I’ve done a few things to address this in my life, and I am gonna share them with you. I can’t guarantee they’ll work for you, but if they don’t, I encourage others (followers, mods) to offer other suggestions.
The first and most important thing I did was make friends with other survivors who are at various stages in their recovery. I know this sounds impossible. And I thought it was for a while, but then I joined tumblr. And I found thousands of us. And I went to a face-to-face peer support group, and I found some more. One thing I’ve noted, too, is that other survivors tend to be more okay with you saying, “I can’t deal with that right now. I’m sorry.” And that… is essential to recovery… friends who are okay with you setting limits.
Another thing I did was find other ways to constantly talk about it. I’m lucky in that I was trained as a writer so blogging about it, writing creatively, that was very easy for me to slip into. You could also make art. You could sing.
I watch movies and TV shows that have this content. (This one you have to be careful with because it can be super damaging if you’re not in the right frame of mind.) In general, I like it because it either shows an average trajectory after rape/abuse, revenge (which I fucking love so hard), or system reacting appropriately (which is not what happened when I reported), and all that gives me satisfaction.
The final thing I do is practice redirecting my thoughts. I don’t do that to please others. I do it because constantly thinking about my dad causes me pain, and I don’t deserve to be in pain. Neither do you. If you know of anything that has been effective at distracting you, I encourage you to put more of that into your life. I use movies. And my chihuahua.
Lastly, a lot of people might encourage you to get new friends. I’m not going to do that. I believe that people have different functions in our lives. I have two BFFs. One knows everything and listens when I need to talk. The other knows everything and brings up Carpenter’s The Fog when I’m upset. Both of these are equally useful. The trick is learning which one you need so that you can call the right person. I make mistakes in this area all the time. I realize I called the wrong person, and I find myself saying, “This is not what I need right now!” It’s okay if that happens. Just keep listening to yourself, and you’ll get it right eventually. But it’s like… I had this therapist… I was moaning about one of my friends not understanding, and she was like, “don’t go to the hardware store for milk,” and that shit blew my mind. Sometimes you need the hardware store. Sometimes you need the market. And it’s cool if it’s not all in the same place.
I should add that it is also possible to talk to your friends about this and explain how you’re feeling. If you think they could be the right kind of support, this might be worth pursuing. I use DEAR MAN when having tough conversations, and I can’t recommend it enough.
I hope some of this was helpful, and I wish you good luck. Take care.