I just want to say, this is the most achingly beautiful piece of art I've seen on this site. I've thought so for a while, but I never said anything because I don't have any experience with this situation, and goodness knows it's a delicate subject.
A very convoluted German philosopher would have us believe that the only way to understand something is to understand it's exact opposite, and to effectively create it by negating it with its opposite. The figments of our social blobs we call friends have a hard time understanding the finite, and I like to think it's because we all have some childish need to shrug off dark ideas with the shimmering belief that it simply couldn't be. I fully understand the fathomable, the finite, and the real, because I understand their opposites too well for my own good: the infinite, the unreal, the unfathomable -- ultimately, madness. It really helps to be able to stretch your mind as far as one statement can go.
I bring this up because it's so fucking complex, just like people, and just like the latter statement. Tell someone flatly something horrifying that had happened to you; the human mind stumbles and twirls through its own short-lived madness looking for a response. Perhaps you're not being serious; perhaps this is an elaborate method to embarrass you. Maybe if they're your close friend, they'll have trouble believing that the living being before them has suffered, or maybe they already figured. If they don't know you very well, is it really their problem; are we not all given to an unfair propensity to be cruelly cynical; incredulous, distrusting? Goddamnit, all this fucking THINKING again, when we simply aren't built as creatures to deal so openly, so EASILY with these ideas.
When I stub my toe, I punch the damn table that wronged me and move on -- maybe even giggle about it later with friends. But when a plot like "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" -- originally dubbed "Men Who Hate Women," by its author, by the way -- plays itself out in real life, acknowledging it as a tangible fact -- an unavoidable occurence -- is one big mouthful of indigestion. There's no fucking WAY someone's going to fully appreciate that entire event and its consequences, its implications, without a flinch or a shiver or a twitch of the eye: shock. Disbelief is a gag reflex, it will vomit up whatever can't be digested. Yes, it's lazy, but there is an unimaginably intricate system of credulous naivete built up in the average monkey these days; one either takes comfort in utter cynicism, or in ignorance of corrosive side of the human experience. Even if they're not one of these cliches, the average person will STILL puke up what you tell them because it's just too damn scary to think anything that dark could play itself out under their watch... with REAL people, and to them. The digestion of the above mood takes time and reorganizing; isn't my toe so much easier to deal with? And so they treat it as such.
But they're not really worth mentioning, so let's move on. I wouldn't full well know what to do if you outright told me about this, and most people won't. Discomfort, awkwardness, fear, nervousness -- an apt and average response: " Well shit, WHAT DO I DO?!!" Some lighten the mood, some offer hugs, and I prefer hugs. So many people out there want to make it better, cure it. So a foolhardy proclamation of "revenge," or some therapist's number, or even the ragged, tattered cliche that "it's okay now." Even worse: "I'm sorry;" oh great, pity -- and self-referred, too, dumbass! Although these things are better than ignoring you or calling you a slut dismissively, can we really make this all better? I've known 4 rape and sexual abuse victims in my life, and I've never found a way to instantly comfort them. And cliches just don't help. The best I could do was keep my head and not flip out; like any conversational minefield, trauma takes the goddamn cake. In some cases my hugs work, other times a good sit-down and chat does, other times just sitting back and letting them talk helps. If someone's spilling the jet black oil of festering personal trauma out onto the plate of conversation, is it NOT sane to think perhaps you could be a help by letting them feel comfortable? If you think it isn't easy, you're right, but it ain't much easier to do the spilling. Either way, you determine the strength of people in crucial moments like these, so if they're not cut out to deal with a topic like this, well, g'night and g'luck. Cue curt smile and wave.
In case you haven't noticed, these responses are numerous, the complexity of the situation unfathomable, and the sum total of potential reasoning for each just as goddamn confusing. It's a lot of thinking, a lot of useless thinking, because it, like always, boils right on down to the simple facts: can they help and do they help, can they stomach this and will they, do you feel believed and do you feel trusted?
I'm not going to tell you all men are evil and I'm not going to tell you I'm amazed such things can happen in the world. Why? Well, because those are oversimplifications, and because statistics tell us, here in the U.S. that a good 80% of women will be intensely sexually harassed and/or raped in their lifetimes, and that only 10-20 percent will speak out as of 2010. Statistics twist and filter things, but they need something to already be bloated just enough to do so. Point being, rape is still an atrocity, as for sexual harassment, stalking, and all its subsequent humiliations, but it can make you feel so goddamn alone. You're not, and not only are you not alone, but there are probably an uncanny number of people who can relate. If anyone makes you feel alone, do let them know, viciously, and remember the good 6 billion other people scouring the earth that still have the chance to bridge that gap.
I'll be honest, I love the sweet shit out of you. If you lived here, I would hug you every day because of this love. No, this is a political statement, it just means that on the people scale you'd be one of the closest I've ever had. I am literally insane, and you understand me -- and that. That alone is a miracle, but the level in which we understand one another is an even more touching factoid. I enjoy your intellectual company, and I enjoy your art. In all the above, I'm sure I'm not alone, so take comfort: you're loved, enjoyed, and appreciated. Why didn't you get this on Valentine's Da -- BECAUSE I'M MORE FUCKING ORIGINAL THAN THAT AS STATED BEFORE, SEE? xD
I say this because it's true, and because I'm glad to see you're letting this out somehow. I know this cancerous memory isn't something that just fades from conscious reverberation, so I expect you to vent. I'm not going to feed you bullshit just so I can slip out of dark territory, that's just cowardly or lazy, and neither one fits me well in this context (I'm lazy in other, more productive, ways). So you go ahead and show openly whatever you need, whatever you want, or whatever you're feeling, because I'm not going to stray away from it. I'm going to give you another essay, and another big chowder to read through and digest because I know you'll read it, hopefully take some comfort and thought from it, and respond. You're a profound individual, and a beautiful mind with just as lovely a body. I know life's a lengthy, chaotic walk, but let me know if you need a quick piggyback ride: it's a silly-cute reprieve from the attrition. :]
One more goddamn thing before I close up here:
*This is my personal bubble: everything that comes through is recorded and scrutinized*
Well, the bubble has detected bullshit on the greater scale. I'm more than fucking sick to my stomach of people, namely men, who play the self-deprecating card that "all men are lusting pigs" or "hogs" or "gluttons" or "evil" in the attempt to either appear the opposite, or relate to women. Talk about stooping, not only is that a cheap way to generalize a good half of one's species, but hundreds of thousands do it, so it's no longer very original. It's almost as if rather than threading out a complex emotional topic, these lazy pricks just lump an entire sex into one big ball and then distract the conversation with its flaming corpse: "Oh look at this big evil flaming ball, aren't men just evil. I'm a good person! Moving on... ;D " Pathetic, and it's just the same unproductive contribution as telling a drummer he's "not doing it right." How about some fucking specificity, tangible human comfort, or at least something to chew thoroughly that I HAVEN'T HEARD HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF TIMES THIS MONTH, EH? Fucking people...
This was originally a tangent I wrote mid-essay, but figured it would fit better as an afterthought stapled to the end of this one. Grade leniently, eh teach? xD
Okay, I sleep now, and in case you didn't get it the first time:
Wow that was very interesting to read if you didn't mind me doing so~ especially what you said about understanding somethings opposite to compare what you want to understand about the other opposite itself. This is a little personal, but I have been abused before when I was younger, though not sexually...I dont want to get into to much detail about it on the internet haha, but that as well as other things in my life when I was younger and growing up affected me deeply, even to today. Though I've grown so much farther, I still am dealing with a more mild (but at times still severe) depression, even with all the support I have it takes time to heal. I've only ever opened up with one person in my life about what happened to me though, about what happened and how it affected me..my boyfriend and love. I imagine its very difficult to listen to something so tragic and shocking, and I open up to him whenever I feel I need to about it. However he and I both know, he can never truly understand... nor would I want him to feel or understand such pain.
I've tried talking to other people about it, but some people I know just can't take or understand what I've been through...I figure they may be better off not knowing...I struggle thinking maybe I should say, but if its in the past why does it matter in the present? And why would I need to tell everyone about it if I have someone to talk to.. Anyways I guess I'm very lucky to have someone so close that I can open myself up to, who understands the best he can without judgement and always with love.
Well I didnt mean for this to get so personal haha, but I guess I just wanted to let you know how I could relate. P:
Some people just cant understand the depth of one's pain, mostly because they haven't experienced it - but also because they are afraid to think it is possible. People think "That's sad.." "I'm sorry.." "well its over now...simply move on", but anything that scars someone so deeply, it changes them. It is not a conscious thing that is lost or simply forgotten in the chaotic abyss of one's more conscious mind. No,something like this is made impossible to forget, it is drilled right into one's subconscious mind, the fear, anxiety, and other emotions with it. Memories that do this to someone took time to affect them, and will take time to grow above them. I believe its impossible to forget something like that, but with time you can change your perception of what happens, its a painful proccess but in the end one has to accept what happens, and not trap it inside.
Anyways I hope you don't mind my input on the subject, I appreciate yours greatly, made me feel good knowing there's someone out there who can understand and relate, for real you seem to have great understanding of this kind of topic, have you ever studied philosophy or anything like that? Or is this all personal experience?
I can't imagine how long that took you to write haha, I'm quite ready to crash into my bed now xD I hope you can give some of your own input back to me, but I wanted to let you know as well I'm not expecting you to, I just read your wall of a comment and felt an urge to express my connection with what you wrote~ Though I'd love to hear what you think! (:
Also I just wanted to share my thoughts with other people who could relate, seeing how kapanihan expresses her pain in her art so freely made me feel confident enough to say all this, I hope what I said could be useful to someone out there