#metoo stories chapter 1

It is almost my birthday and my gift to myself is to be able to fully be myself without hiding anything and to live without fear. I wanted to keep my blog full of happy, pretty, and cute things, but life isn't like that.

When I was little, I really wanted to find out how to survive and heal from sexual abuse, but there was nothing. I read almost every book at the public library, maxed out on 8 books per week. Some books were quite difficult and meant for adults, but the librarians allowed me to lend it, since they believed I badly needed them. I learned that you need to find people who experienced the same thing so that you can share the stories and cry together (but every victim kept it a secret and nobody came out for it nor reached out publicly) and real life stories about people, who experienced it and fought hard to still make something of their lives, are very motivating. Just so you know, it is not hopeless and the end of the world. I really love how everyone is sharing their #metoo story nowadays, so that victims no longer feel alone and out in the cold. It could happen to everyone. It is not your fault if it happens to you. There is nothing to feel ashamed of and it can get better. This should be repeated as much as possible in order for change to happen.

Newspapers used to not show pictures and real names of the victims and I think I know why now. It isn't really about shame, but people just react in the most insane ways to your tragedy. In the beginning, they might be really supportive and caring, but the longer they think about it, the more scared they get. It just gets so close to them that it is frightening (it can also happen to them!?) and the abuser looks so normal (anyone can be an abuser!?). If it is true, they would be too scared to leave the house and be paralyzed by fear. That's why it is easier to think that it is the victim's fault (she must have done something to ask for it and if I just avoid doing that, I will be safe). She must be a liar and attention seeker (the most cruel words I heard were: if you don't pay attention to her, it will die down on its own). The victim's presence constantly reminds them that the world can be a chaotic, cruel, and disgusting place, so they will do anything they can to bully the victim to move away and disappear from their sight. I used to think that people were just so evil, but now, I understand that this can be unconscious behavior and they don't really ask themselves why they do this. They don't actively make the decision to look away and pretend to not see anything for example, but the brain does that for them as a protection mechanism. They don't know why, but they feel awful around the victim, so they just want to get rid of that feeling, no matter what. However, I still don't get the part why some men feel the urge to rape the victim. Is it because she is no longer "pristine", so it is okay to violate her more? Virgins are sacred and those who are not, are okay to play around with? Or maybe, it is the same thing as what some of my classmates did, after finding out that I had suicidal thoughts from the continuous torture. Some actually pushed me from the school stairs and in front of an incoming metro train. I got really angry and annoyed by that, as they never pushed hard enough to end my suffering, but they did make me more jumpy (as if hyper-alertness isn't already enough). But I think it is a way to get control over the situation. The constant fear of losing someone they know, any second, is hard to bear, so they put me in a near death situation in that particular moment, and feel the rush of relief that I didn't die. Does that even make sense? So, when you rape the victim yourself, you don't feel the fear that she will be raped by others? Or is it, if you are able to rape her, you obviously don't care enough about her, so the whole rape story won't hurt you? I might never know the answer, as this is again, not a very thought out and conscious decision. So, even if you ask them personally, they don't even know. But is it really not possible to stray away from this peculiar behavior and do the right thing? For some reason, (former) victims do seem to be able to do that.

After sharing some of my thoughts, I want to share some recent #metoo cases. This can be useful for victims (or triggering, be careful!). Also, it is a way to prove the rape culture deniers and #metoo mockers that it is indeed a widespread and big problem that should be addressed.

- South Korean Olympic short track skater, Shim Suk-hee, has accused her coach of extreme beatings (even breaking her fingers!) over a period of 7 years and sexual assaults and rapes, while she was still in high school (Source). She didn't speak up, as the coach threatened her that it would ruin her sports career (It is sad, but that could actually happen in this sick world). The culture of winning over everything else, the power and control of the coaches on every aspect of the lives of the young athletes, and the physical and verbal abuse that is considered normal (absurd and outdated ways to gain total obedience; we are not horses who need to be whipped, before we run), made this able to happen. Those who dare to talk about it and criticize it, are seen as traitors in the group (in my eyes, you are heroes!). Here, you can read about the horrors that can happen in training camps.

- Athletics coach Jerry M. in the Netherlands was able to sexually abuse minors for 35 years. Some of his victims were raped on a weekly basis and even got pregnant (Source). In November 2017, an athlete, who is no longer a minor, spoke up about it (because of #metoo?). There have been several people over the years, who notified the people in charge of his indecent behavior, but nobody did a thing. He was sent away at one place, but was still able to work as a coach elsewhere. Since it takes ages to recover from the damage done to the young victims, most of the crimes have passed the statute of limitations, and many of the more recent victims don't want to press charges, because the wounds are still too fresh. Two victims have actually gathered every tiny bit of strength left in their shattered body and mind and found the courage to go to the police in 2000 and 2009 (source), but they were persuaded - some might experience it as threatened or intimidated - to turn it into a "melding" (a simple note in the system, which will disappear after 5 years or may even get lost).

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