Wednesday, August 06, 2014

So many times, over the last several months, I’ve wondered, “what if the shoe was on the other foot?” What if the tribunal member had been the victim of a violent crime, and had to experience the VOCAT process like a normal person? Would it force change? Would victims finally get a voice in a timely manner, instead of waiting months and months?

 

For 16, almost 17, months, I have patiently waited. I have done as requested, provided more evidence and paperwork, and attended a directions hearing when told to. I have waited and I have hoped and I have struggled through this time, knowing that it would be a long process, but still … I did not expect to be waiting for a decision, an outcome, over 500 days later. It is now at the point where I do not see an end to this, and although I have always been an optimistic person, I have honestly lost hope, and that is crushing to me.

 

To be a victim of a violent crime throws your world upside down. I could sit all day and list all the ways in which my life has changed since I was raped, and I wouldn’t run out of things to tell you. I do not recognise the person I was before the rape, and I do not ever think that I will be that person again. The changes in my life, in me, have been enormous. This has affected my work, my personal life, my drive, my ambition, my sleeping habits and my entire experience as a person.


I missed (and continue to miss) a lot of work as a victim of crime. I attend counselling at CASA, meaning that once a week, or once a fortnight, I miss a half day of work. After the rape originally, I missed work to attend doctors’ appointments, physiotherapy and I have had a lot of sick days due to stress and illness caused by the rape and the after effects of it.

 

I look at our system, and I think that even though I’m struggling terribly financially, I know I am “lucky”. I would hate to be the victim of a crime who is unable to work, and who has no means of supporting themselves financially. This VOCAT system is broken. Can you imagine having nothing to live on for months and months while VOCAT decide your future? Financially, the rape destroyed me. A lot of the work I missed was unpaid. I went from being someone who always paid bills before they were due, and never missed a loan or insurance payment to someone who constantly struggles. Every bill I have is paid well after its due date. I cannot have emergencies, as I cannot afford them. I know there are millions of Australians out there who have the same experience with money, but to me, this is new and another after effect of the rape. I have lost control in yet another area of my life, and it is devastating.

 

I would love for a VOCAT member to actually put themselves in the shoes of a victim. To realise how overwhelming and upsetting the system is to someone who is already distressed and fragile. I do not know how much longer I can hold on, and to feel so utterly and completely helpless is just awful. The VOCAT system is full of unknowns, with no timeline for resolution and it’s not right to put someone who has already experienced something so traumatic and upsetting through another experience that can also be described using those same words – traumatic and upsetting. VOCAT needs a better process, whether that be setting timelines so victims know what they can reasonably expect, or creating a way for victims to be heard as efficiently as possible

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Tonight, I'm so tired.
I can't stop crying, and I think I'm just overwhelmed and exhausted.
There is still no resolution to the Victims of Crime stuff. I am still waiting.
I feel like there's no hope, like there will never be an end to this.
It's no fair. It's not right.
I'm tired of struggling. I'm tired of waiting.
Today I walked to work, and tomorrow I'll walk to work. It will take me an hour and a half, but at least I won't be using my car, and I won't be using any petrol.
I can't go out with friends on Saturday night, because even though it's only to cost $30, I don't even have that.
I can't do this much longer. I feel like I'm just barely hanging on, and I'm going to fall any second.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sometimes ...

Sometimes I miss the girl I was before the rape.
Sometimes I can hardly remember what that girl was like.
Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be anything close to that girl again.
Sometimes I wonder what the hell I did to deserve this.


Sunday, July 06, 2014

Fighting ...

Sometimes, I get tired of fighting.
Sometimes, I just want to sit down and give up, because I feel like I've had my fair share ... and then some.
Sometimes, I wonder how I've made it this far, after everything that's been thrown at me.
Sometimes, I think I'm such a badass motherfucker because I've survived and I've kept going, even after all the damn obstacles that have been thrown in my path.
 
But sometimes, like tonight, it's just all to much. It's overwhelming, and I feel like I have to fight for everything lately. Why do I have to fight so fucking hard?
 
My state has a Victims of Crime Assistance program. You can apply for compensation for lost wages, which occurred as a result of the crime. I have missed a lot of work since the rape. For counselling mainly, with a few doctors appointments as well. All that time was unpaid. The amount of money is substantial - well over $5000. I put my claim in last March. It has been 16 months, and we are still waiting for the claim to be heard. The first lawyer who handled the case caused delay after delay. In March of this year, I changed to another lawyer. The first one either could not or would not provide my file to the new lawyer, further delaying my case. Three and a half weeks ago, I had to go see a psychologist to have a report written stating that I need to attend counselling. The psychologist stated it would take two weeks for the report to be written and submitted to the court. We are still waiting.
 
I don't understand why it's all so fucking hard. It's all so fucking complicated, and I'm so fucking tired of it. I've had enough. I just want it to be done. It has been two years since my rape, and I feel like this whole process is keeping the wound open. I cannot heal because this is so unfinished.
 
I have to constantly remind the lawyer to chase things up. Why do I have to do that? I feel like it's more fighting that I have to do. I'm just so tired of it all.
 
I had to move house 6 weeks ago. After the rent went up at my old place, I couldn't afford to stay any longer. So I packed up my life and moved to a new, cheaper house. It's older, nowhere near as nice as my old place, but that's okay. I loved the fact that it had a garage so I could walk to work (my work is in walking distance, it's ridiculously close) and hide my car in the garage. I HATE that my rapist knows my car. I HATE that he could figure out I'd moved, just by seeing my car at the new place. Unfortunately, what I didn't realise was that the garage is unusable. It's jammed/broken. So now I have no choice but to park my car out on the street. I've taken to parking a few houses away. Even though the chances of my rapist finding me/stalking me again are pretty slim, it's still a big fear that I have, and I feel a tiny bit safer having taken some small precautions.
 
I did of course ring the real estate and ask them to have a look at the garage, and then a week later I called them and asked them to have a look at the lock on my back door which has jammed ... And neither of those things have been done. It's been four weeks since the requests, and nothing ... I don't have any fight left in me to get them to do the maintenance that should be done. I just can't keep fighting, I need to pick my battles.
 
Work has also been one constant battle after another. My company took over another company 18 months ago. Some of those people at the company we took over are STILL fighting change and refusing to do things the way our company wants us to do them. It's resulted in me starting work at 6:30 some mornings, finishing late, and doing other peoples work because they just don't feel like doing it. I'm so tired of it! I'm pissed off. I watch these people who "choose" what they want to do, and just ignore everything else. How is that fair? Sure, leave the shitty jobs for everyone else, why the hell not? Again, I've given up fighting. I have tried and tried. I even went to HR, which is a HUGE step for me, because I hate conflict and upsetting people. Our HR manager tried to sort something out ... But the opposition she faced was obviously too much, so she just gave up. So I'll just go to work, do my shit, and come home. No overtime, no doing work that isn't mine, no going out of my way to help people who don't give a shit about me or won't help me.

Anyway, this is just the cheeriest little update ever, isn't it? I guess it's just loose change, which has been floating around in my head for the last few weeks, and I need to get it out. I'm hoping against hope that the psychologists report will go in this week and the Victims of Crime people can finally decide whether or not I'm entitled to lost wages. I'm hoping that the real estate will actually get back to me and fix my frigging door and garage. I'm hoping that I can stop fighting for every damn thing and just start living and laughing again.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

So.

I think I am depressed.
It’s a funk I’ve fallen into, and I can’t get out of it.

I don’t know how to shake it.

I’m tired all the time. I feel down all the time.

I don’t know how to fix this.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Struggling ...


Sometimes its so hard.

It’s so fucking hard to remain positive, to keep going when everything is so fucking discouraging.

It’s so hard to pick yourself up time and time again; knowing that you’re just going to get knocked over again, because that’s the way the world is going for you at the moment.

Financially, the rape has killed me. I have missed, and continue to miss, a lot of work because of what happened. When I had a housemate, I had someone to help share the load. Now that she is gone, and I’m alone, I have no one to help out. I really don’t want to get another housemate in, simply because there are nights where I have nightmares, there are nights when I feel so upset about what happened all I can do is cry. Who wants someone to see them like that? There are days when I get home from work, and I just want to be alone. I can’t handle having anyone near me.

Today, I got notice that my rent is being increased. $20 a fortnight. Doesn’t sound like much until you realise that I just got paid yesterday, and I have $16 left in the bank to last me the fortnight. I don’t know how I’m going to make it work. I either have to stop going to counselling – every week I miss four hours work on a Monday to attend counselling, so I’m missing a full day at work every fortnight, all unpaid – and manage without that release of talking to my counsellor, or I have to figure out some other way to make things work.

I’m so fucking exhausted. I’ve had enough of trying to figure everything out, of having to deal with everything on my own. Of having to find a solution to every single fucking problem that comes at me.

I hate being negative. I’m always an optimist. I’m always a positive person. I roll with the punches. I’ve done it this whole time, and everything that has been thrown at me, I’ve taken it in stride, and just kept moving. But now ... I don’t know how much longer I can do it. I feel like I’m reaching the end of my rope. I can’t handle much more. I need something to hold on to, something positive, something helpful or happy to keep me going.

Because tonight, I’m really struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

So.

A couple of weeks back, I went to a free legal centre to get some advice on reopening my case, and getting the police to review their decision. The lawyer I spoke to was awesome. She was really helpful, and even though I felt a little like she tried to talk me out of asking them to review the case, I think she was just trying to ensure I really understood what I would be in for if we were successful in getting the police to press charges.

Anyway. Since then, it's been a rough couple of weeks. We lost one of our people at work, unexpectedly. She passed away in her sleep, at only 43 years old. She is - was - one of the most beautiful people I know. She was so content with her life, even though it wasn't perfect. She was quiet, but always quick to laugh and have a joke. She had OCD, and led a very regimented life, but she was so happy within herself. She didn't give a damn what anyone thought of her. The same day, one of our guys was taken away in an ambulance with a suspected heart attack. He spent some time in hospital, and although they couldn't figure out what was wrong, he has been released and they're sure it was something other than a heart attack.

In the middle of all that, I missed a call from the lawyer. She was ringing to tell me that she'd spoken to the police, and they strongly advised against reviewing the case because they didn't think there was much point. She didn't give the reasons why - I had to ring to make an appointment for tomorrow (Friday 14th) to find out why.

I always said that I didn't care if the review went nowhere. At least I'd tried, right? No stone unturned. I didn't want to have any regrets. I could deal with the answer either way, and I'd be okay.

But I won't lie ... When I heard the voicemail from the lawyer, saying that there didn't seem to much point in pursuing it, I wanted to cry. The disappointment was crushing. Again. Been there, done that, didn't expect to do it again. Sometimes I hate being an optimist. It friggin stinks.

So I guess I'll head to this appointment tomorrow, and see what the lawyer has to say. I'm sure you'll hear from me again tomorrow night ... One way or the other :)

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

If you had asked me, even just six weeks ago, if I loved my job, if it made me really happy, I would have said yes.

Of course, I had things I disliked. Sometimes the attitudes of some of the people I work with drive me crazy at times. Of course, I had days where I couldn't wait to leave, or when I didn't even want to go to work.

But most of the time, I felt like the luckiest person in the world. A good job, that was 90% fun.

Now ... Now, I hate it/ HATE it. I feel anxious when I'm going to work. I feel sick with fear while I'm at work.

Will today be the day I lose my job? Will today be the day I do something else that's insignificant and upset the boss?

I hate this. I hate it so very much.

Friday, February 28, 2014


As of tomorrow, I’m looking for a new job.

I’m no longer happy where I am. Two weeks ago, I was given a first and final warning for something that I don’t believe warranted a first AND final warning.

After almost six years, I get one warning?

I feel as if my job is constantly in jeopardy. I did not see the warning coming. I know the big boss has been unhappy with me because I have had a bit of time off recently (all rape-related – court, counselling, etc). I think the fact that I was meant to be leaving this year to go to uni in Shepp has also pissed him off.

I just feel like they no longer want me there – or at least, he doesn’t.

It’s not the fun, great, team-oriented place to work that it used to be. Almost everyone there is stressed, unhappy, and wants to leave.

I can’t wait for them to take my job. It’s not worth the risk to me. So now that final exams are over, I will start looking elsewhere.  

It’s so disappointing. I really thought that I would be with the same company until I got my degree and moved on, happily and with no hard feelings.

Now I want to get out as quickly as possible. To find my happiness again, to feel safe and secure and to ensure that I can keep the house and keep the dogs fed.

I guess we’ll see what happens. In the meantime, I’ll keep my head down and try not to upset anyone or lose my job while I’m looking for something else.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Stupidly optimistic ...

Sometimes I think we get what we deserve.
Not in terms of tragedies or horrible things.
But when we don't stand up for ourselves,
When we let someone walk all over us,
We show them it's okay to do that.
It's okay to treat us like crap, because hell, it's not as if we're going to stand up and say, "Hey, don't do that!"

I've been seeing a new guy.
He is really, really lovely.
Funny, and smart, and he challenges me like crazy.
But twice since Monday, and three times in the last seven days, we've had plans, and he has either cancelled or just hasn't shown up.
Last week, he was coming around after cricket training.
He didn't show.
Tuesday, he was coming around after work.
He didn't show.
Tonight, he was coming around after work.
I sent him a text just before 5 to tell him that I'm home.
Then, and only then, does he decide to tell me he's a few hours away and won't be home until after 9.

I keep wondering, "what have I done??" 
I just want a decent guy. 
One who makes plans, and keeps them. 
One who makes time for me, and understands that I have to make time for him, because I have work and uni. 
I don't want someone who is there all the time. I don't need that. 
I don't need to be attached to someone 24 hours a day. 
I just want someone to hang out with. Have a few laughs, some fun. 

Don't I deserve someone who won't cancel on me at the last minute? 
Someone who won't just disappear, then reappear the next day when it suits him? 

I'm patient. 
Sometimes I'm too patient for my own good. 
I'll give you a second, third and fourth chance. 
Even when it's obvious to everyone else around me that you don't deserve it. 

But tonight, I can't help but wonder ...
Is this when I put my foot down? 
Does he deserve another chance? 
Should I be standing up for myself and saying, 
"Hell no. You don't get to treat me like this. There for whenever you happen to be free." 

Either you make time for me - and you follow through and show up when you're going to - or you lose me. 

  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sometimes I'm amazed at how far I've come in the last 19 months.
Sometimes I feel like I've been through the worst of it, and I'm coming out the other side.
I made it. I'm a survivor.
And then sometimes, life hands me a reality check, and I realise that I'm nowhere close to coming out the other side. I haven't really dealt with this.
I've still got so far to go.

Sometimes I can't believe the changes in me, when I look at the person I was before the rape, and the person that I am now.
Some of the changes are pretty obvious. I'm less trusting. I'm more fearful. I have nightmares, flashbacks. I suffer from anxiety now, and can't handle huge crowds. Sometimes even small crowds are too much if I'm having a bad day.
Other changes are not so obvious. I'm angrier, inside. I'm more bitter. I'm quicker to judge people. I get annoyed faster. My patience used to be almost endless. Not anymore. I've gained a lot of weight. I eat for ... Comfort? I eat because I don't care enough to take care of myself sometimes.

Late last year, the police told me they didn't have enough to press charges.
That it was my word against his, with not much evidence to back me up.
I knew what the outcome would be when I made my statement to police to start the investigation.
I always knew they'd find it almost impossible to get enough to charge him.
But still, I went ahead.
It was never about getting him charged. It was never about having the case go before a jury.
It was about standing up and saying, "What you did was wrong. I should not have let you get away with it. I'm telling someone, and I'm making my voice heard, and maybe, just maybe that will be enough to stop you ever doing it again."

There was a part of me that wanted to cause him hell.
That wanted vengeance.
That wanted to put him through something, anything.
It was nothing compared to the nightmare I went through, but I knew they wouldn't charge him, so it was all I'd get.

And then they called me, and they said, "Sorry. We can't charge him."
And I went to pieces.
I fell apart.
I knew it was coming, I knew they'd find it incredibly difficult to get enough, but there was the tiniest part of me that kept thinking, "He did something really fucking awful. He did something so horrible, so traumatic to me that they HAVE to find a way to make him pay. They'll find something, and they'll be able to charge him. He will pay. He will pay for raping me, for making me think he was going to kill me. He will pay for turning my whole life upside down, and inside out."

But they couldn't do it. There wasn't a piece of evidence that made them go, "Aha! We can charge the prick!"
So once again, I picked myself up, and put myself back together.
I gathered my courage, and tried to move on.
I took comfort from the fact that they told me that he was ringing the police station constantly.
Trying to find out what was happening with the investigation.
Whether he would be charged.
Ringing the station, all the time.
"What's happening? Are you going to press charges?"
(Guilty conscience, anyone?)
That was my comfort. That was all I was going to get.
So I grabbed it with both hands, knowing the truth about it.
Knowing that every dog has it's day. He'll get his.
One day, he'll pay.

And I thought, that that was it.
That I had my closure, and I could move on.
I knew the outcome.
I had tried to fight, but it wasn't enough.
The regrets haunted me.
Why didn't I go forward sooner?
Why didn't I keep the evidence of the stalking, the terror that he'd put me through?
How many times could I second-guess myself?
How many times could I think the same thoughts, over and over?
How many times could I think about the same regrets, over and over?
It was done. Finished.
He was going to get away with it.
That was on me. That was my fault.

And then, last week, I had to go to court.
For something that's sort of related.
And the Magistrate.
The lovely Magistrate.
Looked me right in the eye, and asked me to stand.
So he could speak directly to me.
Because he had something important to say, you see.
He told me that he had read the entire police brief.
He read my statement.
What happened to me.
He read the interview they did with the rapist.
He read through all the statements they took to support my story.
All the investigation the police did.
The medical records.
The reports.
And he had the most curious look on his face, as he told me,
"They made a mistake. I do not understand why they didn't charge him. In my view, they had enough."
He made sure he still had my full attention, and he continued,
"They had more that enough, to charge him. To take it before a court"

I wanted to ask him what he saw.
What was in that file?
What did you see, Sir? What did you see that made you feel that way?

He suggested to me that I ask my lawyer to contact the Office of Public prosecutions, and ask them to review the case.
That they can override the police decision, if they agree with him.
They can have charges laid.

So now I have to wonder ...
Is it worth reopening the wound?
Is there any point to taking a chance?
Risking the disappointment when they tell me they still don't have enough to charge him?
I had made my peace. I took their decision not to press charges, and I made my peace with it.
it was difficult.
It broke my heart, and crushed my spirit.
But then, I got up again, and kept moving.
Can I do that again?

Or, what if they agree?
What if they say, "yes, we can charge him."
"The police made an error."
Can I face a trial?
Do I have the strength?
Can I tell the world what he did to me?
Can I take the humiliation, the hurt that I know a trial will bring?
Am I strong enough?

I've already picked up the pieces so many times.
One day, I'm going to break.
And I won't be able to put myself back together.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Maybe it is time to move. 

This whole time, I have been so proud of myself because I felt like I wouldn't let him push me out of my house. Like I'd survived the worst he could do to me, and then said to him, "fuck you. You won't force me from my own house, the one place in the world that's meant to be completely safe for me." 

But lately ... Lately I'm reminded every where I look that he's still around. That even though I might not see him, he's still there. Still hanging around, meaning that I get constant reminders of what happened. Like tiny little shocks, over and over. And at some point, you think the shock will lessen, that you will get used to it and it won't affect you anymore ... But it hasn't happened like that. It still hurts every single time. It still makes me flash back, every single time. It still shocks me, upsets me and puts me ten steps backwards, every single time. 

And I'm getting so, so tired of it. 

Maybe it's time to move. 

Saturday, June 08, 2013


I wonder if you know.

Do you know who he is? What he is? This person that you're apparently engaged to … Do you know what kind of person he is? Deep down inside? Do you know what he's done?

Do you know that almost one year ago, he held me down and raped me, so brutally that I bled? That when I told him he had made me bleed, he simply laughed … Do you know that?

I wonder what he's told you. Has he told you that it was consensual? Maybe he told you that I wanted it, that I changed my mind afterwards?

Maybe he's told you it was nothing.

It wasn't "nothing". It wasn't consensual. I was begging him to stop. I cried and I begged, while it felt like he was ripping me apart.

I wonder if he's told you that I'm just trying to ruin his life. That I'm just trying to cause trouble.

I'm not. I could care less about him. I just want him to pay for what he did.

Because he knows. Deep down, whether he admits it or not, he knows what he did. He won't tell you that he raped me … But that's what happened. And he knows it. And so do I.

I wonder if you know.

I wonder if you'll find out the hard way what kind of person he is.


Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Home sweet home ...

Just a couple of photos from our lightning fast QLD trip ... Did the Mary cairns Cross Rainforest walk and visited the Glasshouse Mountains. It never ceases to amaze me how beautiful Queensland is. 
Sad to be home and back to reality, but aldo nice to be in my own bed. 

Monday, June 03, 2013

Stronger ...

You didn't think that I'd come back
I'd come back swinging
You try to break me, but you see
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
What doesn't kill you makes a fighter
Tonight, I write from Brisbane. I arrived this afternoon for a flying visit with a mate. We're catching up with another friend we went to high school with. 
After a beautiful really late lunch/very early dinner at the gorgeous Breakkie Creek Hotel, we headed back to E's, where we have spent the night watching DVDs and having a great laugh. So relaxing! 

Tomorrow we're heading to the Glasshouse Mountains, then we head home mid-afternoon. A mini-break was so needed. I feel much lighter for getting away from life, even if it is only a brief break. 

Tomorrow night, it's back to the real world, with the worries and stresses that come with that. Until then, I'm not thinking about any worries, any anxieties. I'm going to relax and enjoy each moment of this break from reality, in a place where the sun shines and I can laugh easily. 

Sweet dreams, one and all. 

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Happy birthday to me.

This time one year ago, I was just hours away from 29. Things were looking good. I had a plan for finishing uni, then starting again to do teaching. I had a happy and healthy family. I was looking forward to a four week holiday just a couple of months down the track.

Less than four weeks later, my entire life was turned upside down and every single part of my life was changed after I was raped. 

So many times over the last eleven and a half months, I've fought to keep going. I had days where all I wanted to do was walk out in front of traffic. Days where taking it day by day was too much, I had to take it hour by hour, sometimes even 10 minutes at a time. Days where I felt so broken, so raw, so depserately disconnected from the world.

Days where I doubted I'd ever be anything close to the person I used to be.

it was the most horrific year of my life. That night ... I thought he was going to kill me. That night was hell on earth, and I lived through it.

I lived through it. That thought has kept me going, even in my darkest moments. The hardest part is over. I lived through the horror of what he did to me. I lived through it, even though he tried his hardest to break me. To intimidate me.

I know I will never be the person I was before the rape again. That girl, she is gone forever. He has changed and impacted every single part of my life.

But I am stronger. I am stronger now than I've ever been. I might falter some days. I might fall apart sometimes. But, inside me, I am stronger. I really do believe that I'm coming out the other side. I'm walking back into life. I'm making plans again. I hope to have uni finished by the end of this year, ready to do teaching at La Trobe next year. My plans took a detour, but I'm getting there.

Happy birthday to me. Watch me rock 30. This will be my year. And no rapist, no bastard coward will get in my way. Happy birthday indeed.

 
  

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Uh ... Welcome to 2013?!

I can't believe I haven't written anything this year.

(I know, I know, Megs. I'm sorry)

I've been thinking about doing a post all week ... But we're heading to exams (next week) so stress levels are high.

Maybe later this week :)

P.s. I just have one thing to say about the teenage girl who racially abused Adam Goodes last night - disgraceful. Should be ashamed of herself. I'm glad they booted her out of the stadium. We need to stand up to racism.

Monday, December 17, 2012

I am exhausted tonight.
 
I'm back to not sleeping very well, for some reason. I'm not really sure what's going on.
 
The nightmares are much better, most nights I can sleep with *only* a nightlight, as opposed to sleeping with the bedroom light on ...
 
But the last few nights have not been great. I think I'm averaging about four hours sleep, interrupted.
 
I'm hanging out for the Christmas break. My office shuts down for a week and a half, and I cannot wait.
 
To have no responsibilities, to have no workload, to have a desperately needed break ... I can't wait. Mostly, though, I cannot wait for 2012 to be over. Done. Gone. Time to start fresh for 2013, and leave the horror that was this year behind.
 
I'm slightly disappointed in 2013 already, though. I thought I would be graduating, I thought my degree would be finished in Feb 2013 ... But it wasn't to be, obviously. One of my final subjects I cannot take until June next year ... So I cannot graduate until 2014.
 
Disappointing, but I guess everything happens for a reason. Maybe the reason I'm not able to graduate is because there are bigger, better, more important things waiting for me in 2013. I can't help thinking that maybe this is a sign - maybe the reason I can't graduate/shouldn't graduate is because I'll have bigger things to worry about - like a rape trial ... ?
 
I really should try to get some sleep - I don't know how successful I'll be, but I've got a feeling that tomorrow - like the rest of this week at work - is going to be incredibly busy and stressful, and turning up having only had a couple of hours sleep is probably not a good idea.  
 
 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Random thoughts.


The last few months have been the most difficult that I have ever experienced.

 
I would honestly struggle to find the words to explain what I've experienced and how everything that I've been through has made me feel, and affected me, which is unusual for me, because even though I'm not a big talker, I can always find the words to express myself when I write ... Not this time though.


This time, while I could theoretically use a thousand words to describe the emotions of my recent experiences, it would still not really tell anyone what has happened, how I've reacted, or what I've felt. Emotions are raw. So much rawer than words can ever be. Not everything in life can be described, despite the fact that everything you experience in life can be described by the emotions you were feeling at that time.


Rape is such a simple word, but loaded with meaning. To those who have experienced this violent act,it can be a struggle to say this little word, especially when trying to describe what has happened. Personally, it was not a word that I could say, write, look at or even think in those first few weeks. To have another reminder, to have to use the word when talking about myself, was too painful, far too painful.


I have been called strong, I have been called courageous, I have been called brave, I have been called amazing, I have been called "warrior woman", I have been called a voice for other women, just because I decided to report what happened to me. While it was not an easy decision, while it was the most difficult thing I have done in my life, the truth is that I am not brave. I am not strong. I am not courageous. I am scared. I am weak. I am nothing but my worst moments, I am only really as strong as I am on my weakest days. I have times when I feel like I am strong, I am capable, I can take whatever is thrown at me ... But until I can say that the good moments outweigh the bad, then I am not strong. I am not okay.


While the reaction that I have had to reporting my rape to the police has been positive - by the few people in my life that know, anyway - I cannot help that feel so unbearably sad that it's notable and unusual that I have reported it. All the statistics say that rape is one of the most under reported crimes in the world. Estimates vary, but anywhere from 50 - 90% (or more) of rapes and sexual assaults are never reported. One book I read recently said that in Australia, it's estimated that only ONE percent of rapes are reported. One percent! One in every one hundred people who are raped report it. One percent. How did it get to this? Why do victims feel as though they cannot or should not report it? What stops those other 99 people from reporting the horrific act committed against them?


As a victim, I can think of several reasons off the top of my head without even trying – fear – fear of judgement, fear of the offender, fear of consequences following the reporting, fear that grips you so hard it feels like you can’t breathe. Fear of humiliation. Feelings of shame, embarrassment, anger, sadness, anxiety. Being unable to handle going through what happened, step by step, minute detail by minute detail.


Every victim has a different story. Every victim has a different experience. Every victim has a different reaction. Every victim has a different ending to their story. Something in our justice system needs desperately to change so that reporting a rape is not seen as brave, or unusual. It needs to be seen as the norm. As something that's expected. Something in our justice system needs to change so that every victim gets justice through the criminal system. Victims need more support, easier access to better services and help to get their lives back in order. Every victim deserves a happy ending to their story. Every victim deserves to find the happiness that they lost when they were raped.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

“Do you know how there are moments when the world moves so slowly you can feel your bones shifting, your mind tumbling? When you think that no matter what happens to you for the rest of your life, you will remember every last detail of that one minute forever?”
Jodi Picoult, Nineteen Minutes
“She knew all sorts of four letter words now; they just weren't the ones that most people considered foul language.
Love.
Help.
Rape.
Stop.
Then.”



Jodi Picoult, The Tenth Circle
“I'd still thought that everything I thought about that night - the shame, the fear - would fade in time. But that hadn't happened. Instead, the things that I remembered, these little details, seemed to grow stronger, to the point where I could feel their weight in my chest.”

Sarah Dessen, Just Listen
 
 
“Rape is a crime against sleep and memory; it's after image imprints itself like an irreversible negative from the camera obscure of dreams. Though their bodies would heal, their souls had sustained a damage beyond compensation” 
 
 
 
“I just want to sleep. A coma would be nice. Or amnesia. Anything, just to get rid of this, these thoughts, whispers in my mind. Did he rape my head, too?” 
 
 
 
“Now, should we treat women as independent agents, responsible for themselves? Of course. But being responsible has nothing to do with being raped. Women don’t get raped because they were drinking or took drugs. Women do not get raped because they weren’t careful enough. Women get raped because someone raped them.” 
 
 

The Tenth Cirle

"The thing that most people didn't understand ... Was that a rape victim and a victim of a fatal accident were both gone, forever. The difference was that the rape victim still had to go through the motions of being alive."

- Jodie Picoult.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tonight ...

I'm in a funk. 
Tonight, I can't find happiness in the world. 
Tonight, I just don't care. 
I have two exams to study for, and three assignments to do, but I just can't be bothered. 
I'm so unhappy. 
I feel so broken, so fucked up, so sad. 

I know he only has as much power as I give him, but it doesn't feel that way tonight. 
Tonight it feels like he's taken so much from me, so much that I'll never get back. 
I will never be the same person I was before he raped me. 
Tonight, it feels like he's taken my education on top of everything else he took from me that night. 
And I should fight, I should try to fight this funk, this sadness ... 
But I can't. 
I just don't care. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Total honesty ....

Letter written to a friend tonight, that I think sums up where I am at now ...
 
 
Hi B****,
Your point of view - if it happened to someone I love, how would I feel? Would I want her to blame herself - is the way I think when I am thinking rationally. If someone had done something similar to one of my nieces, I'd want to rip his balls off and stab him. I would be so angry at the bastard who hurt her. I would be doing every thing in my power to show her that women get raped because men rape them. Not because they drink, or because they wear short skirts, or because they aren't "careful". Women get raped because some men are bastards, and all the shame and blame and guilt lies with the rapist.
But knowing that, and believing that are two completely different things after you've been raped. On my rational days, I know it's all on him. His fault. Nothing I did caused it. I didn't drink, get high, dress provocatively, I didn't "ask for it" - but even if I had, it still would not have been ok for him to do what he did. On my rational days, I know I have nothing to be ashamed of, that I was raped because he raped me and that was not my fault, in any way.
But there are days, or nights when the doubt creeps in. I met him last year when he did some work on my house, and re-met him in June this year on a dating site. On my bad days I think that if I wasn't so pathetic, if I had more self respect for myself, if I wasn't so desperate I would not have gotten myself in that situation. If I wasn't so willing to be used, knowing full well that he probably just wanted to use me for sex. My fault. My fault for being a pushover. For not having a backbone. For being a doormat. For not having any self respect for myself. I got what I deserved. That's what I think on a bad day. And I know thinking like that gives him the power, thinking like that means that he wins - but sometimes I can't help it.
I didn't report it at the time. He was angry when he raped me. It was the first time that I'd seen that side of him, and I was terrified of making him angry again by reporting it. I was so, so frightened. He also sort of started stalking me - showing up at my work, at my house late at night ... It was scary. I thought if I ignored it, ignored him, I could forget what happened. But it doesn't work like that.
So about four weeks ago, I started to think about reporting it. I know nothing will probably come of it - it's my word against his. But mud sticks. It'll get around. Oh, did you hear? Corey was interviewed about a rape. So I don't particularly care if it doesn't go to court. I spent three god-awful hours telling my story, giving my statement. And i lived through it. And by doing that, it's going to cause a tiny fraction of hell for him, because they will interview him. It will be nothing compared to the pain and hell I've been through, but hopefully his life is made a little uncomfortable because I had the courage to stand up.
On my strong days, I can cope well. I feel like I can face whatever is thrown at me. On my strong days, I know none of this is on me. Not my fault, not deserved in any way. On my strong days, I feel like I’m the winner. I’m the winner because I’m a goddamn survivor and he’s a pathetic little nothing. On my strong days I realise how strong I really am. I survived the horror of that night. I lived through what he did to me. On my strong days I can smile and feel like I’m finally getting my spark back. After the rape, my sister almost broke my heart when she told me that I’d lost my spark. It made me cry and cry. On my strong days, I feel like I might be finding that spark again. I know I will never be the same person I was before, but that’s ok. On my strong days, I know I’ll get through this.
On my strong days, like today, I can talk. I can talk about it, knowing that takes the power away from it, from what was done to me, knowing that by talking I’m taking away the shame and the stigma, and I’m showing my strength, my courage. On my strong days, I’m a survivor. On my weak days, on my bad days, I’m a victim.
Today’s a good day. Today I do feel strong, which is why I’m talking so much (sorry!). But I still have a lot of bad days, bad nights, Anxiety. Flashbacks. Nightmares. Panic attacks. Night terrors. Some nights I have to sleep with the light on! 29 and sleeping with the light on. Bit sad, really! I’m better than I was. So much better. Last night was bad, but it was the first bad night I’ve had for a while. The day after a bad night, I have to force myself to feel strong. I have to force myself to talk, to take the shame and blame away from me. I have to force myself to say, I am not ashamed. I will take a stand. It’s not always easy. But fuck him. He’s already taken so much from me, He doesn’t get any more. He doesn’t get anything else.
As for your comment in the first email from today - god I have probably just completely fucked up writing to you :( - not even close. Your beauty and humor and personality and passion shine through in your writing. Thank you so very much for writing to me, and for taking the time to listen. Thank you for your kind words, your style of writing, and again, for listening.
As for whether he is still stalking me – no, he’s not. I work in a male dominated work place, and I have told a few of the guys I work closely with in case he comes in again, but since I went on holidays August/September, he seems to have lost interest. He turned up at my place on a Saturday night (at 10:30 p.m,) just before I went on holidays, wanting to “talk”. That’s when I realised how pathetic he is. It was like he was fucking with my mind, just trying to get a reaction from me. The fact that I was able to stay strong and not give in – not show any reaction, any anger, any weakness – I think that’s why he lost interest.
Coincidentally, maybe ironically, I was walking to work last Thursday morning, after I spent three and a half hours going through every detail of that awful night the night before at the Police station, and he drove past me, twice. My legs went really shaky, my brain was screaming danger, and I felt like I was going to throw up, but then I started to smile. He doesn’t know they’re coming for him. He thinks I’m too much of a doormat, that he got away with it. Nothing about his life was changed that night, where as every single part of my life was changed. I let him get away with that. I let him hurt me, and I stood there and let him get away with it. The things that he did, that I flash back to twenty or thirty times a day, are things that he probably does not even think about. He probably doesn’t even think about how he hurt me, made me bleed, made me beg and cry and scream for him to stop. It’s not constantly in his mind.
But soon it will be. And like I said, maybe it won’t go anywhere, maybe it won’t lead to court, but somewhere along the line, somehow, he will pay. He will get what’s coming to him. He’ll get what he deserves.
Ok, so very sorry this is so long! Will talk again soon.  

Monday, November 05, 2012

New camera ...

So, while on holidays in beautiful, sunny Queensland, I visited the Great Barrier Reef. Had an incredible, amazing day, saw some incredible, amazing things ... And while snorkelling, dropped my camera, and could not find it again. Gone. Bright pink, waterproof, spent 45+ minutes looking for it with my two nephews ... And it was gone.
So, I cried. And then I mourned. And mourned some more.
Until, finally, last week, I purchased a new camera. It's not waterproof, but it is So. Damn. Cool.
I''ve been playing around with it for the last week since I purchased it ... So, here are some photos!








 
"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along."

Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I think ...

That I am ready to report what happened to me to the Police.

I'm terrified, so terrified, but I have never felt stronger.

Maybe it won't go anywhere, maybe nothing will come from it, maybe it'll just cause more hurt for no gain ... But I have to take the risk. I want him to be held accountable for what he did to me.

I am terrified. But I know I can do this.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Currently on holidays in gorgeous, sunny Queensland ...

Home in a couple of weeks ... Until then, some of the best photos from my trip so far ...
 
Josephine Falls

                                                 Millaa Millaa Falls



                                                        Lake Eacham


                                                   Mission Beach


                                                   Mission Beach


                                                Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walk