A Special Kind of Hell

60 Days to healing

Why rape jokes are NEVER okay

To all those men who don’t think the rape jokes are a problem:

I get it—you’re a decent guy. I can even believe it. You’ve never raped anybody. You would NEVER rape anybody. You’re upset that all these feminists are trying to accuse you of doing something, or connect you to doing something, that, as far as you’re concerned, you’ve never done and would never condone. 

And they’ve told you about triggers, and PTSD, and how one in six women is a survivor, and you get it. You do. But you can’t let every time someone gets all upset get in the way of you having a good time, right? Especially when it doesn’t mean anything. Rape jokes have never made YOU go out and rape someone. They never would; they never could. You just don’t see how it matters.

I’m going to tell you how it does matter. And I tell you this because I genuinely believe you mean it when you say you don’t want to hurt anybody, and that it’s important to you to do your best to be a decent and good person, and that you don’t see the harm. And I genuinely believe you when you say you would never associate with a rapist and you think rape really is a very bad thing. 

Here is why I refuse to take rape jokes sitting down…

Because 6% of college-aged men, slightly over 1 in 20, will admit to raping someone in anonymous surveys, as long as the word “rape” isn’t used in the description of the act—and that’s the conservative estimate. Other sources double that number (pdf). 

A lot of people accuse feminists of thinking that all men are rapists. That’s not true. But do you know who think all men are rapists?

Rapists do. 

They really do. In psychological study, the profiling, the studies, it comes out again and again. 

Virtually all rapists genuinely believe that all men rape, and other men just keep it hushed up better. And more, these people who really are rapists are constantly reaffirmed in their belief about the rest of mankind being rapists like them by things like rape jokes, that dismiss and normalize the idea of rape

If one in twenty guys (or more) is a real and true rapist, and you have any amount of social activity with other guys like yourself, then it is almost a statistical certainty that one time hanging out with friends and their friends, playing Halo with a bunch of guys online, in a WoW guild, in a pick-up game of basketball, at a bar, or elsewhere, you were talking to a rapist. Not your fault. You can’t tell a rapist apart any better than anyone else can. It’s not like they announce themselves. 

But, here’s the thing. It’s very likely that in some of these interactions with these guys, at some point or another, someone told a rape joke. You, decent guy that you are, understood that they didn’t mean it, and it was just a joke. And so you laughed. 

Or maybe you didn’t laugh. Maybe it just wasn’t a very funny joke. So maybe you just didn’t say anything at all. 

And, decent guy who would never condone rape, who would step in and stop rape if he saw it, who understands that rape is awful and wrong and bad, when you laughed? When you were silent?

That rapist who was in the group with you, that rapist thought that you were on his side. That rapistknew that you were a rapist like him. And he felt validated, and he felt he was among his comrades. 

You. The rapist’s comrade. 

And if that doesn’t make you feel sick to your stomach, if that doesn’t make you want to throw up, if that doesn’t disturb you or bother you or make you feel like maybe you should at least consider not participating in that kind of humor anymore, not abiding it in your presence, not greeting it with silence…

Well, maybe you aren’t as opposed to rapists as you claim.

(Source: mohandasgandhi, via kbutno)

Day 35

about 15 or 16 hours into another nasty migraine, was in and out of the shower all night, still getting sick and can’t stand the light. Still no weird strokey stuff, though, so I think I can deal with going back to having frequent migraines if it’s just normal ones like this and not being freaked out by half my body not working… yay detox working a little? back to the shower, hot water is my best friend right now cause i still can’t take any pain killers.

Day 28

i’ve spent my entire day going back and forth between bed and the hot shower trying to soothe a migraine. All things considered, it’s not a bad one in my world, my body is working, no stroke stuff, just horrible pain in my head, serious light and sound sensitivity and wicked nausea. I made it about 6 hours before I wimped out and took a fioricet from the emergency stash i’d kept, but i got sick before it could even begin to help. Needless to say, I didn’t make it to the dr’s office by 3 to pick up the prescription for my blood work.

and just to add insult to injury, one of my closest friends texted me to say we can no longer be friends or have any contact because his friendship with me is hurting his girlfriend… Of course, I love this guy, he is someone i’ve turned to for advice and just to joke around with countless times, so I didn’t fight him on it because i could never intentionally hurt him just for wanting to make the woman he loves happy, but now i’m crying, and my head is throbbing even worse, I have the screen of my laptop dimmed to nothing and each keystroke sounds like a bomb going off.

Dear Girlfriend, let it be out in the universe that if you screw him over or break his heart, I will find out, and I will punch you in your stupid, insecure face for not only taking away one of my closest friends but then also not treating him the way he deserves to be treated. He’d do anything for you, and he deserves nothing less than all the love, respect, and joy you have to give him.

Day 27 pt 2

The doc finally called back, and tomorrow I get to go pick up a script for a CBC, for those who don’t know what that is, a CBC is a Complete Blood Count. Because of my mysterious bruises, we now need to check what is up with my blood and why it is pooling under my skin instead of staying in the veins where it belongs. and even though it has been helping with the migraines as it’s gotten to the therapeutic level, there is a high chance it has something to do with the topamax, so to be safe, I’m off the drugs until the CBC comes back and we figure out why I’ve started bruising like a week old peach.

Day 27

called the doc yesterday and today and left messages with his secretary about the nosebleeds and bruises, woke up with a huge bruise on my ribs, nice to know that now even my soft and squishy bed is leaving bruises. the fucker still hasn’t called me back and I’m kind of pissed. I mean, seriously, i never had blood issues before he started me on these drugs, and i’m not happy that he is not responding when I call to say I’m having issues with them…

Day 25

I haven’t updated in a while, it almost felt like whining rather than giving insight into the developments of my condition. Alas, 2 weeks have passed and there have been changes, some for the better, some for worse.

For the better: a few days ago I started taking a women’s weight loss supplement with my medication to restart my metabolism, which the topamax had thoroughly murdered, and thank God in heaven, it’s working! I can actually eat without getting sick everywhere, and I am actually hungry as opposed to forcing down food just to have my stomach say Fuck You and reject it. One small meal today and yesterday each, it still seems like it’s terrible, but after nearly a month of not having eaten solid food, I consider this a victory.

For the better: I’ve had 4 migraine-free days this week! I have a 2 day headache going, but my body isn’t all durpy!

For worse: I’m now having several nosebleeds a day, and I am COVERED in dark bruises. I bit my lip and it bled for a good 10 minutes, research says this is a serious side effect of the topamax, so I get to call the doc tomorrow morning and ask WTF to do about it, cause it’s not the only “severe side effect” on the list i’ve been experiencing, it’s just the one that scares me the most.

For worse: I’m on a temporary leave from work until I am medically cleared and back to myself. I hate it, but I can’t fight it. I’m not myself lately, my numbers at work have sucked, of my last 6 shifts, I was sick for 5 of them, I worked through most, but it was bad. So I have no income coming in until I am better.

For worse: lately I can only sleep for more than half an hour to an hour with my guy here with me, as much as I love to have him here, I feel bad, cause I always feel like he doesn’t sleep well at my place. I mean, it takes me hours to fall asleep and I get up or toss and turn, which has to wake him up through the night..

So yeah, we’re almost half way, let’s keep the better list growing and the worse list shrinking, shall we?

35 days to go.

Day 11

The past week has been a total roller coaster. I had a few good days but at the same time, I’ve lost it a few times when the pain got to its worst. Keep getting nosebleeds, dizzy, migraines get nasty. The meds have destroyed my appetite, I haven’t managed to eat solid food and keep it down in over a week. Just gatorade and broth and water. I have yogurt, hopefully I can babystep my way up.

At its worst, the pain has cracked open some old mental wounds I thought I was over, lots of vivid nightmares, half-concious terrors. I have a feeling the next 49 days will consist of trying to heal more than just the physical damage to my brain.

Day 4

I’m quickly learning that my breaking point is not as far away as I’d prayed it was. Spent my entire day curled up in bed feeling sick from a combination of pain and the level of desperation I’m already at to make it stop, just saving up energy to sound okay for phone calls to my mom and grandmom. The things I’ve thought of to try are so out of my normal range of consideration, and I may have lost my number one support here in the states because of one of those things…

If I weren’t living it, it would be almost impossible to believe how quickly living in constant, severe pain can change everything about your life.

56 days to go.

God help me see this through.

Day 2

21 hours of severe migraine pain, right arm not working. The next 58 days will be something else. Luckily I have great people in my life, I was out of gatorade and one of my best friends came by to drive me around to get some so i’d be properly hydrated and hung out a few hours watching tv while I was waiting it out. Finally back to feeling human again, he left, and i figured i’d update.

58 days to go…

Day 1

So, how has this all begun? I’m a 22 year old chicky with a history of severe complex migraines. Complex migraines are the guys that going beyond pain and sensitivity to light and sound and start including neurologically frightening and stroke like symptoms, like un-evenly dilated pupils, hemiplegia [one-sided weakness or paralysis]. My most recent migraine landed me in the ER after I passed out and stopped breathing in front of the friend who was with me, and when i came to nothing was moving, complete quadriplegia, talk about absolute terror.

So, we go through the emergency room, they do their tests, drug me up, I regain motion as the migraine subsides in the wee hours of the following morning, and they send me home. Later that morning, I get a call from the hospital, they found something on my MRI and I need to be seen ASAP, a new brand of terror sinks in. That something? An Aneurysm on my posterior cerebral artery. So, I spent all of tuesday with a neurologist, neurosurgeon, and getting testing. The “good” news, was the aneurysm is very small, too small to remove or embolize at this point, so that’s on a wait and see basis for the rest of my life. woo…

The Migraines are a new story. The new neurologist found that my past doctors had been over-medicating me for the migraines to the point that it had started to render my brain stem septic, cause the dramatic increase in severity of the migraines over the last year and a half.

His plan? Detox and reset my brain.

How? No pain killers, of any kind, no matter how bad my migraine pain gets, for the next 60 days. I am only to soothe the pain with alternative method like compresses and hot showers, and only to take my Topomax, a new prescription that is known to prevent migraines, but will take time to build up to therapeutic levels in my system, approximately 6-8 weeks.

My family Doctor says the neuro knows his stuff and to do as i’m told, but also said when i’m losing my shit and ready to kill innocent puppies because of the amount of pain i’m in with no medical help, I need to call and threaten the neuro, not him. Sad thing is, he’s not far off about where the pain levels launch my sanity to. Really helping my confidence.

It won’t be an easy 60 days, but if the docs are right, at the end of it, I will no longer be 22 with debilitating migraines putting me in the hospital a few times a month, I’ll just be a 22 year old who gets nasty headaches once in a while.

Buckle up and brace yourself if you’re going to ride with me through my own special kind of hell.