It’s with heavy heart that I feel like posting this tonight, but I need an outlet that will make a change. I received a call from a friend asking for me to help—there was a girl we know who was attacked and raped tonight and she thinks, even from the moment it happened, that it’s her fault. I don’t ask for your sympathy and neither does she, but all things standing, I need to say something.
Rape is not a choice. Rape is not ok. Rape is not a qualifier of existence. Rape is nothing but one human violating another.
I’m going to get personal.
This is what I try to look like daily. In all honesty, this was a very good hair day for me.
This photo reflects what I make you think I look like even though i have two kids, two dogs and a husband that I swear works against me on a daily basis. I promise you, this is good filter Heather. It’s not wake up in the morning, Heather.
And this photo, is what I looked like during the last week of May. This. No makeup, face swollen and pale from crying for days. Beat up, bleeding and upsetting.
This is a picture I’ve sent to this many people: my mother, my sister, and a few best friends. Until now, it’s gone no where else, except the police, because I didn’t want people to think of me like this. Beaten, broken, rock bottom. I didn’t want anyone to see me like this.
I’ve changed my mind.
Look at me. Look hard. Don’t stop looking.
I was assaulted.
Two men tried to rape me.
I made it home ok.
I am still alive.
And that’s what you need to know.
I live my every day to entertain. I tell you stories about my kids ruining me. I tell you stories about my husband testing my every belief in the world. I tell you about missing my father, about suicide, about dependency, about loss, about love, and I hope I tell you about optimism and finding your way. I tell you about hating my job, loving my job. I tell you about gross things, sad things, happy things, all of the things.
But. On the quiet days, I am all of you. I am all of the things that maybe you never thought about me. I am things so vulnerable that I don’t want to speak because I want and need your love. I am broken, I am violated, I am scared and I am a god damned train wreck.
But what I am not? I am not a woman that will stand for violence. I am not a woman that that will accept apologies for reducing me to something I don’t believe in. I am a woman who deserves and commands respect, love, friendship and I will fight for the same for any woman who cannot do so for herself.
So this is the last rape I’ll hear of in my community. This is the last one that I won’t help avoid and fight against. I have all the time in the world and all the fight in the world to stop this shit from happening. I will not tolerate the abuse and mistreatment of women, not my women, not my village, not on my watch. Not ever again.
It happened to me. I will not let it keep happening to women around me.