This is now Cameron’s name.
Sometimes you need to hang on to someone else’s hope, someone else’s peace and sanity while yours is under siege. Do it. Courage, hope, faith, sanity, peace… they all come and go. Borrow them from someone else’s supply until your own comes back in.
I call this piece “The Pill Perspective.”
For those of us who suffer from an invisible disease or illness,
sometimes it’s hard to visually show others what we go through.
We may look okay on the outside,
but inside were full of pain,
and usually a lot of pills.
This piece represents all the failed medications,
all the misguided medical advice,
all the pills that we’ve swallowed to no avail,
all the pills we swallowed that made us sick,
or made us want to kill ourselves.
Who those are don’t suffer from an illness,
i hope this can give you a new way to look at what we go through.
Artists note: Please don’t suggest medications to me,
because we they will turn them into art projects when they fail to help.
Trigger warning for talk of sexual assault, rape culture, etc.
Me at Take Back the Night, Oregon State University, 4/17/2013
I’m not sure how to put into words what Take Back the Night means to me. Leaving the march yesterday, I felt courage and strength that I haven’t felt in over a year when it was taken away from me on a summer night by someone who will go unpunished.
I am another tally mark, another statistic for the books on the realities of sexual assault. And I too have been failed by this society that is so blinded by rape culture that the truth cannot be seen.
Those I consider my friends asked if I remember it ‘right’, if I maybe was just too drunk and confused. They wanted to know if I had flirted with him earlier in the night. Eventually they didn’t ask anything at all, wanting it to be gone from their minds when it was the only thing that filled mine. My boyfriend found out months later and our relationship quickly shattered into a million little pieces. He didn’t know how, or frankly want to, deal with the baggage. The police questioned what I was wearing and how much I had to drink. They forgot about my case, calling me months later with no progress made.
And I began to blame myself. I lived with the shadow of sexual assault over my head for seconds, minutes, days, weeks, months.
Now, it’s been over a year. My life is forever changed by that night, but undeniably a part of who i’ve become. I am now a Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Peer Educator on my campus. I work to change the dialogue surrounding this issue. I work to educate my peers on what sexual violence looks like, and how it can be prevented. I believe that one act of sexual violence is one too many, and if my work can prevent even one act — then my job has been done.
That is why I set out to plan Take Back the Night. I wanted to educate my peers on the realities of sexual assault and empower them to feel safe in our community.
I didn’t know that looking out into the crowd of survivors and allies marching silently with their candles would make me feel so strong. I didn’t know that hearing everyone chant in unison through the streets would make me feel so liberated. I spent so much time after that night last summer feeling alone — but with a crowd of allies uniting together behind me, I finally felt the shadow looming over me break away. I finally had courage and strength that was taken away over a year ago. Last night, I reclaimed the night, but I also reclaimed myself.
I feel so strongly that sexual assault is an issue that affects everyone, whether you experience it or not. It is an issue that needs to be talked about in order for the culture to change, and because of that I broke my silence. I will continue to educate. I will continue to talk about it. I will continue to work towards ending sexual violence because one act is one too many.
First off…I’m bawling after reading this, because it’s like the original poster crawled inside my brain & these words are what came out.
Nobody should have stories like the one told above, but I hear them over & over & over. So many people are too scared to speak, because they know what may happen if they do. I only started talking about ‘it’ after I met & got support from some simply amazing human beings. (And yes, at least half of said human beings are people I met here in the world of Tumblr.) And I’ve gotta agree, that moment when you realize you’re not totally alone in a very special, shameful part of hell, something changes.
I talk about the things I talk about even when they are heavy/difficult because I always hope that somewhere, somehow it helps a person see they’re not all alone in their fight. And even if it only helps one person, it’s worth it.