TW: Sexual harassment, coercion, suicide, abuse
Fucking being a survivor, how does it work?
If you knew me about three/four years ago, you would know me as a young undergraduate who was over medicated, who was hospitalized seven times within two years (yes, seven times within two years…still bugged about the hospital bills I can’t pay), who was coerced and threatened by a well-known sexual predator — who posed as a online counselor and tries to get young teens and women who have mental illnesses to be in a sexual relationship with him, and somebody who still believed that people cared about me, but it was MY fault that nobody wanted to be around me. I was just too bratty, and my white “friends” were just WAY too good for me.
See, I didn’t think of myself as a victim of anything. Racism? Oh, PoC overreact to it, but not me! I grew up around GREAT white people who I treated oh so BADLY by accusing them of treating me badly. I was SO over it, and so should all other PoC. Being hospitalized? Well, I just got the wrong meds! So I needed them switched, again. They were prescribed to me as if they were different flavors of Pez. Being sexually coerced by someone who is a known sexual predator? It was my fault for not saying “no” or fighting back when I should have.
And none of the bad things I went through has ANYTHING to do with racism. Nope. Nuh uh. Even though my angelic white friends, the guy who was sexually harassing me, the doctors who misdiagnosed me, and everybody who turned their heads away from me and didn’t see I was hurting were all white. Oh and my white friends? LOVED the n-word. It always made me feel bad hearing it, but freedom of speech, amirite?
I wasn’t a victim. That’s what I was told, anyway, every time I tried to reach out for help. So I stopped reaching out. I was complaining for no reason. If only I was as responsible as all the white people around me. All the racism and abuse I experienced in my hometown and in my family? Nah, I should have grown up and gotten over that by now! I was out of there, so I wasn’t a victim of that! I had to get over myself!
I wasn’t a victim. I was just attempting and threatening suicide for the attention! Such an attention whore I was! And all my attempts failed anyway, so obviously, I just wanted to make people feel bad! I wasn’t REALLY suicidal!
I wasn’t a victim. And white people are good people! So why am I seeing PoC complain about them online? I need to defend them! And why are they complaining about me having lighter skin? They’re obviously jealous! And I’m not a poor little victim like they are! Thank goodness. They had no idea what they were talking about!
I wasn’t a victim. Victims are selfish. Victims are weak. Victims had bad things happen to them that scar them for life, and they are never able to live a good, productive life. Nobody loved victims, so who wants to be one?
I wasn’t a victim.
Only I was.
And when I finally realized that, I lashed out. I lashed out hard. I lashed out repeatedly. I stopped taking medication (so I stopped being so unbalanced), and though I stopped attempting it, I was still suicidal. I somehow managed to get my undergraduate degree, but I couldn’t find a decent job to sustain myself. My white “friends,” I saw, were fucking assholes who were just using me to make themselves look good. They were all queer, but they weren’t as supportive as I was to them when I came out as a lesbian. I noticed how little they cared. I lashed out at them and turned suicidal when I ended my friendship with them. They said nothing. This was about two years ago.
I went to live with my mom. I noticed how my mom never allowed me to have my own feelings, and she always tried to take the spotlight away from me. I experienced more bullshit at home than I ever did before.
I decided I needed to do something. I needed to get out of that environment. I was a victim. I came to terms with that. But I wanted to be a survivor.
So, I applied for graduate school in a city — an environment I’ve never lived in before. Yes, yes, I’m totally the small-town girl who wanted to live in a big city. Not because I thought it would be “better” for me — I wanted to move fully knowing I would still experience bullshit from people. But in a city, at least I had a chance to find some sort of support that wasn’t available to me in my hometown or my small college town. I would have a chance to find someone who understood that I was a victim, not an attention whore. And I would have a chance to formulate my own space. I would have a chance to get away from my environment and do something entirely different.
Somehow, I got into graduate school, and somehow, even though I have always been a good student, I have the highest GPA I’ve ever gotten in school. I have a place to live. I’m still poor, but I’m doing okay by myself. I started seeing a therapist, though I was understandably hesitant. But fortunately, I got an awesome therapist. I’ve recently been evaluated for ADHD, something that was never even considered before, even though it does run in my family and I show the symptoms. I get the results sometime next week. I’m better able to explore my mental and emotional health.
For me, my status of “survivor” didn’t start with a new beginning, even though that’s what it sounds like. It started with an ending. And that’s the key reason why I never got it right before and found myself constantly victimized — I tried to look for new beginnings and a new “me” when actually, I needed to end poisonous relationships, actions, and beliefs I had in my life, and I need to FIND MYSELF, not try to create a new version of myself while keeping all the poison.
I had to stop being friends with people who didn’t care about me. I had to stop being a white-identifying, colorist asshole. I had to stop denying what happened in my past, as horrible as it is. I had to stop defending and making excuses for my mother. I had to stop letting people invade my boundaries. I had to stop thinking I was permanently damaged and hopeless. I had to stop denying my emotions and learn how to identify what they are.
I ended the life I had for 23 years. And then, for the past two years, I’ve been working on building a new one. If you have a brick building that was built wrong, the only way to make things right is to completely tear that building down. But there’s nothing wrong with the foundation — there was nothing wrong with me. And that’s what I’m starting to build up the material on. I’m not fully built yet, but I’m getting there. Houses can take a while to build.
But before, I hurt a lot of people because of poison I ingested. I treated people horribly. And I wouldn’t blame them if they never forgave me. But looking back won’t make things right. The best thing I can do is give apologies if I ran into people I really hurt, and then keep moving forward.
But people who are “hurt” by how I’ve changed over the years and people who’ve hurt me first who got “hurt” by me telling them I won’t take their bullshit anymore? LOL. FUCK. YOU.
FUCK. YOU. I don’t owe you shit.
And sj warriors with privilege who dig up stuff from marginalized people’s past and then lash out on them? FUCK. YOU. TOO.
You probably know nothing about my past, and you’re only proving you really don’t give a flying fuck about marginalized people’s humanity or social justice. All you give a fuck about is looking superior to everybody else.
FUCK. YOU. NOBODY OWES YOU SHIT, AND FOR THE SAKE OF MARGINALIZED PEOPLE EVERYWHERE, YOU NEED TO QUIT SOCIAL JUSTICE.
And I found a lot of people, actually, have been through very similar to what I’ve went through, acted how I acted, and are now surviving as I’m trying to. But sj warriors online and privilege assholes will never quit.
But the only thing we can do is move forward. Fuck the rest.