I am tired of the stories.
Let me make myself clear: I am not tired of survivors sharing their stories. I am tired of abusers making it so that there are stories to share.
I am tired of rape culture. And abuse culture. I am tired of these things making it so I can’t sleep safely, because there isn’t a world fighting against these injustices. I am tired of everyone making it so abusers and rapists get passes, tired of a culture that goes out of its way to ensure that they get the life and support that survivors deserve.
I am tired of nightmares. My nightmares are not one-to-one memories, no. My nightmares are of being raped and then going to my mother to tell her and having her shrug her shoulders, and in her most bored tone say, “oh I know. It’s no big deal” or some variation of that.
Because that’s pretty much what she’s always done to the things that have happened to me.
I am tired of this culture. I am tired of this world. I am sick of feeling afraid, I am sick of all the messages that have taught me to hate myself for what was done against me. I am sick of a family that has taught me that what I go through and what they’ve done to me is meaningless and not even worth their time to remember, to help, to care. I am sick of all the sacrifices I have had to make to nurse these wounds.
This post is not addressed to survivors. This is addressed to everyone else, because you contribute to this fucked up culture.
And so, to everyone else – I’m sick of this. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I am sick of suffering for other people’s crimes.
I am sick of fighting you, yes you, to try and change this fucked up culture.
I am sick of you sending us, your wounded, to fight the battles that were done against us. We’re survivors, that doesn’t make us expendable weapons to be used (again, just in a different way) and destroyed. We’re survivors, that doesn’t mean that it’s our job to fight against the people and culture that hurt us. That’s yours. You’re the ones that reinforce this fucked up rape culture. And I am tired of your silence.
I do all that I can do. Which is mostly to just live, just live, in a culture that would find it much easier for me to be dead. I live, fighting to dismantle every abusive message in my head. I am working my way out of this coffin and I will eat you all alive, if I have to.
Survivors are braver than most of you. But not being a survivor is not an excuse for cowardice.
I am sick and I am tired. And all I want out of life is the ability to fall asleep at night, safe in the knowledge that even if there are adults fucking children in this world, even if there are abusers and rapists out there, that at least, at least, there are enough safe, supportive people standing up against these crimes. But there aren’t. So I can’t, because nowhere is safe. Because you don’t make it safe.
You sleep the sleep of the innocent that you never earned.
And I won’t apologize for the anger and accusations in this post.
It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator. All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing. He appeals to the universal desire to see, hear and speak no evil. The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain. The victim demands action, engagement and remembering.
- Judith Lewis Herman