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Archive for the ‘MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCACY’ Category

#StigmaKills – The Sexual Predator/Victim Edition….

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http://www.suicidepreventionhotline.org 1800-273-8255
http://www.befrienders.org

What I’m about to have to say, is bad enough…It’s actually tragic…

The current social climate I have to say it in, is ALMOST as bad.

In multiple ways, for multiple reasons. Let me explain…

Very, very, very carefully.

Because the nature of the activism that I do, is usually suicide prevention, oriented, while I blog about all things mental health, including rape and sexual harassment (especially this year!!!), I had worried and wondered when, not if, someone either an accuser or the accused would die as a result of this, either in the form of murder or suicide.

Well, let me clarify that. I’m already know that people have gotten murdered for raping someone else’s loved one, people have died in domestic rape and assault situations both victims and perpetrators and people who have been accused and or convicted or people who’ve been violently raped have died by suicide.

And maybe somebody has already died this year (either a victim or a perpetrator) but it’s been buried in the news, we are constantly bombarded with, even for someone like me, who’s rarely on social media and on limited platforms.

I hate to say this, as it’s of personal nature and it’s honestly NOT meant to be self serving and it can be potentially hazardous to someone’s emotional health, if I don’t choose my words carefully AND if someone doesn’t read them just as carefully.

I’ve already discussed about my own rape in 1996, talking about it in greater detail than I would’ve already liked (as I really would’ve not liked to have to talk about it at all) and I made my peace with it, in my own ways, a LONG time ago.

Only going public about it, in hopes to help others.

I would NEVER want to hinder the progress that the #MeToo movement has made, which was WAY long overdue, nor they or anyone is to blame for the nature of this particular blog, and that I need to make CRYSTAL clear.

But I’ve had to relive my rape way more in 2017, than I ever did in 1996, when it actually happened.

Over and Over again. Due to the nature of social media.

Okay, I can live with that.  And not die from it, either. And I’m not being glib.

But I’m only saying this, while the #MeToo movement was SO necessary, I can’t be the only one, where I’m glad that it’s occurred, but it’s also been a trigger, that I can be okay with, but be sensitive to the fact or just aware, that while those of us, who’ve had to survive trauma like that, want all stories to be told, but it’s causing some of us to have to relive traumatic events, over and over again, as a result.

I’ve done all the soul searching in my case, where other than it being a VERY traumatic life event, it hasn’t played into any kind of self destructive behavior, like it can for other victims of rape and physical assault, as I had the same vices going out of my rape, that I did going into it, that’s the only reason why I’m mentioning it, in this particular blog.

And again, I’m trying to choose my words carefully.

As I strongly believe everyone’s (victims) stories need to be told. And while my blogs, won’t ever lead to a national dialogue (which to me, is kind of scary to me, as I really have no desire to go “viral”) it does help people talk about things that are strongly stigmatized, which is my goal, even if it’s private or helps them get the help they need.

HOWEVER, as I said in a MAJOR blog that I wrote about Harvey Weinstein and victims of rape and sexual harassment, there needs to be a dialogue on how we can best all help ALL people.

Including the predators themselves. Whether it’s in prevention or rehabilitation initiatives, for those who ARE willing to get help.

IF you do the math, most women know another women, if not a man, who’s been a victim of sexual harassment and/or rape.

In my case, where I am an activist who deals with body diversity issues and while I’m not a a clinically trained professional, I’m already fully aware of that both people of weight and anorexics, it stems from trauma caused by rape, assault and harassment, regardless of gender, socio-economics, in every age group, relationship (i.e. familial,professional or stranger) and in every religion.

So, if most, if not all of us know, someone who’s been a victim of these crimes, we obviously know someone who’s possibly done this.

Even if we DO NOT know, that they’ve actually done this.

Or sometimes people do know someone who’s done this, that they love now, who has this in their past (or present), and they can’t tell due to stigma, nor can offenders talk about what they might have done in the past, that could currently come back to haunt both them and their victims.

And that could be a deterrent on why they don’t seek professional help, either for preventative or rehabilitation purposes, due to the potential consequences.

And I’m not even going to elaborate in detail, the conversations we aren’t having about those who are victims and predators, not in the public eye, where more discussion is needed to help eliminate if not reduce rape, assault and harassment, for those who don’t have anything to lose, like the people of power, who are celebrities, as well as that there needs to be more discussion on the fact that assault victims aren’t always women abused by men. Females can be predators of either gender, and at any age.

But the above paragraph, is another in blog in itself.

I was already thinking about the potential for both victims and perpetrators might already be prone to the potential of suicide, in the last couple of months and ironically had wondered this, as this morning, when I got a phone call from a friend.

My friend had a friend, someone I had met briefly, a few years ago, for like 2 minutes.

While my friend and I had talked about unusual behavior of this friend (i.e. no-show on a job of over 2 decades) a few days ago, I was extremely  concerned.

My friend had found out today, that their friend had died last week, due to suicide, due to concerns of a past sexual assault allegation, allegedly.

Now, I’m going way out of my way to protect everyone’s identity, as they didn’t ask for me to write this blog.

I’m only writing it, because now I know someone who’s died this year, from a perp perspective and I’m sure he’s not the only one who has contemplated or will do this.

But, because  I have a serious responsibility as an activist, to not only have a voice for those who don’t have one, but to make sure I don’t cause further harm, in this case, with this topic, to those who’ve been victims of a sexual harassment or rape, too.

We need to talk about this.

We need to have support services in place. That serve and help EVERYONE.

That it hurts people, whether you care about this, based upon whether or not you like or care about the outcome of the victim and/or of the accused and/or perpetrator of these crimes.

We can’t continue to try people in the court of social media, especially in cases for people who either are victims that come forward or perpetrators who are terrified of something like this going public, so they commit suicide because they can’t or they actually DO NOT see another way out.

I’m not saying that those who’ve committed sexual harassment or rape, shouldn’t have consequences, like people in power, who are in the public eye, or any perpetrator,like we’ve seen, such as losing their careers.

Or that they shouldn’t face further consequences, in a court of law.

But it shouldn’t be okay, that people are okay with someone dying for a grope, they did a long time ago, and felt so much shame, that they would rather die, than face their family, when being scared that it was going to come out, either.

And again, it bears repeating,  I’m NOT trying to do, in any way, any kind of sexual harassment and/or rape victim shaming, which I find repugnant.

But there’s a very good reason that sexual harassment and even more heinously, the crime of  rape, usually doesn’t come with the death penalty.

We need to talk about this more so that more people, even if they aren’t so innocent, don’t die as a result, while remaining respectful to their victims.

(I do need to say, when talking about the above, I’m not talking about predators/perpetrators  who have no remorse for crimes they commit and/or who are violent and/or habitual offenders, but it’s not for me, as an activist, to say what they are due as a punishment, either)

Otherwise, there are going to be more families, blindsided, like this particular family, who now has to deal with the aftermath of a loved one who tried and convicted himself and then killed himself.

And there will be also sadly, victims of rape and sexual assault, who due to the nature of social media bullying having to be buried, too.

Note: Please ask for clarification, if one is a victim of sexual harassment or rape, before making any negative assumptions about this blog.

Also, comments that are not constructive in nature, will NOT be posted.

IMPORTANT Addendum: There are things I need to say, a little over 36 hours after publishing this blog, that I can’t go back in, without “muddying” it, even more.

One thing that I’ve tried to make clear not just in my activism in talking about rape and sexual harassment, but other mental health issues, is about the possibility, if it’s possible, with initiatives and open dialogue for PREVENTION.

Prevention of suicide. Prevention of rape and sexual harassment, as it applies to this blog.

As we have taught kids, from the time they are young,  how to describe and identify a “a good touch” versus a “a bad touch”.

But we haven’t done nearly enough in both kids and adults is talk about more means on how to prevent in the first place, so it doesn’t start at home, doesn’t  end up in schools or on the grounds, in a park, places of worship and in the workplace, to name a few.

I knew when I wrote this, it’s too soon to discuss this, though even though a couple of hours ago, a Kentucky congressman died due to suicide among allegations of molestation of a minor child.

And while I feel sad for the family and friends of both the victim and the congressman, as well as more victims that will come out and truthfully, more accused and/or perpetrators might die, so I stand by what I say, there is something else I have to say, that I would’ve rather not.

Most of my blogs, sometimes talk about the issues I’ve been up against, because I’m limited in what I can say about those I love the most.

But because it has relevance, I’m hoping that I will be forgiven, but I want it understood from the victim perspective, I get the enormous amount of damage and pain this topic causes victims.

My 14 1/2 year old daughter has been a victim of sexual harassment, groping by a peer and bullying.

And while I was a suburban kid, while I was bullied anywhere I went at her age, by words, I could take the bus, to lets say, where I live now, in Downtown Minneapolis, because then it was fun and less physically unsafe thing to do for an unaccompanied teenage minor, like it is now.

While my daughter lives in a upscale neighborhood though and she can be trusted, we live in a society, that many cannot be trusted and for that reason,she is very RARELY left or allowed to be alone, in a public setting, because of what she’s been through, as it applies to the bullying and harassment.

So if there was any doubt from a victim’s perspective of my not being extremely sensitive and empathetic, I hope there isn’t now, because I don’t think of just my daughter and son, I think everyone who’s been a victim.

 

 

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another day, another massacre….

Important Disclaimer: PLEASE, if anyone you know, is capable of hurting themselves and/or has the potential to hurt or kill themselves or others, PLEASE seek immediate emergency assistance from law enforcement and/or medical/mental health professionals. IF you’re not sure, but just suspect someone is capable of causing harm to another/many, contact local emergency authorities i.e 911, who have staff that are properly trained in these potential crises to engage EMS/Crisis Intervention Teams and various Law Enforcement department/agencies,  if necessary…

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http://www.nami.org
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org  1-800-273-9255
http://www.211.info
http://www.befrienders.org

“Babe, I shot the kids'”…

I wasn’t going to talk or blog about  the above quote or tragedy, when a few days ago, a young mother in Texas, fatally shot her 2 daughters.

I wasn’t going to blog about the NYC terrorist attack, on Halloween.

Not because they don’t matter. All these tragic multiple fatalities whether they origin from human or other natural disasters, they ALL matter.

But here I go again, or more like here we go again, as a society, not even a month has gone by, not even a week has gone by, another tragic massacre occurred today, where a man shot and killed over 26 people and another 20+ were wounded, in a church, in a small town outside of San Antonio, Texas.

Is this just going to be our new normal? Not just nationally but globally? People will be randomly massacred, in their workplaces, schools, social gatherings, hospitals and places of worship to name of few, with NO end in sight?

I’m heartbroken for the victims and survivors of all these tragedies. I’m heartbroken for those who have to worry that it’s becoming a more clear and present danger that more innocent people will die, including those we love and ourselves, that this will become an epidemic.

I, obviously,  lack the qualifications necessary to take this on, other than hoping to start a dialogue by blogging about these tragedies and I don’t have it in me, to address each and every single one of them, even though they matter to me, like they matter to so many and they really should matter to everyone.

But the one thing that I actually CAN do and hopefully by saying what I have, when discussing repeatedly about mental health/domestic terror  issues that cause fatalities in others, is to be very CLEAR that we cannot become numb or apathetic, because it’s too scary to have to think about it happening to so many innocent lives being lost for so many different reasons.

Because it’s too scary to think, that the reality is, it’s becoming more apparent that this could happen to someone we love, where they are murdered in a massacre of any kind.

Or in a domestic situation. Or due to road rage. Or the many reasons that factor into these tragedies, that seem like they are not within the realm of our control.

Apathy can work wonders when hatred leads to hateful words that harm others.

Apathy cannot help, when it comes to hatred that causes someone to ACT in a manner that causes harm or death.

My sympathies and prayers go out to all the victims and their families and friends so tragically effected by all these tragedies and the tragic massacre that took place, today at First Baptist.

Note: At the time this blog is being published, the mass murderer/domestic terrorist, has just been identified, although his motives are unknown.

I’m kindly asking, if a dialogue should take place, as a result of this blog, I realize that he used guns to commit this horrific tragedy, but I choose to identify him a different way, not just the “Texas Church Shooter”.

As I believe that it’s getting people NO WHERE, where if the only dialogue people are capable are having is ONLY based upon gun control when it comes to these heinous acts.

And instead of talking about the victims, people are digitally verbally eviscerating one another based upon weapons and too much attention is placed on the murderers, and NOT the victims themselves or the need to talk about WHY people are commiting these tragedies versus HOW, let alone on prevention, IF they are preventable.

So if that’s the only type of dialogue people choose to have with this blog, please do so, somewhere else. Thanks.

Editorial note: Blog published on 11-5-2017

 

How MANY more people have to DIE, before we have MAJOR Mental Health initiatives in place?

It’s been a quiet weekend, on purpose.

For the type of activism that I do, for the sake of my well being, I don’t read the news very much, on weekends.

I just happened to check out People.com, about 10 minutes ago, when I saw the headline, that a young beautiful, brilliant and kind woman died, when another even younger person, a 12 year old child, tried to commit suicide, yesterday.

The 22 year old Maryland woman, her name was Marisa Harris, died in Virginia, yesterday, when a 12 year old boy jumped off an overpass and landed on her vehicle and the young boy is listed in critical condition with life threatening injuries.

Marisa, according the People.com and The Washington Post article, was getting her masters in clinical counseling, who loved working with children, at the time of her death.

Her heartbroken family could sadly see the irony in that.

I decided to write yet another blog, about this issue, because we can’t as a society become numb to this.

A young woman, who had already enriched so many people’s lives and could’ve saved countless  other people’s lives, was robbed at such a young age, of living life to the fullest because a young 12 year old boy, couldn’t see the value in his own life.

I wish there was more I could do, to not only bring attention to the seriousness and the acute need to have more comprehensive mental health initiatives funded by government, in schools (from the time children are young), to the workplace and in facilities and in the media, to help people from the time they are young, until they are very old.

To give all human beings, the opportunity to get help when in crisis, as well to try and  prevent traumas that can play into crisis and for evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation for any human being who’s at risk of taking their own life, as well as other lives.

My thoughts and prayers are with both the families and friends of Marisa Harris and with the young 12 year old boy, where I hope that he should survive, but I can’t even imagine what both families are now facing.

No one should have to know of that and none of us should wait any longer before advocating for more comprehensive awareness and treatment options for those who are at risk of their mental health issues being fatal to them or another person/people.

Rest In Peace, Marisa………………

Note: I didn’t think it was fitting, to put in the body of the blog, about the young father who was tragically killed, a few weeks ago, when teens through a rock on an overpass. I think it’s noteworthy, even though they are two separate tragedies.

One innocent person died as a result of a youth, not realizing the consequences of their actions, could hurt another person. The other was by teens that should’ve been old enough to know that their actions could result in a fatality, and just didn’t care what the potential consequences could be, in their victim.

Also note, due to the nature of THIS particular blog, I didn’t put my normal disclaimer of people seeking acute clinically trained help, when in an acute mental health crisis, as in this case, it wouldn’t have helped.

Editorial note/update: Blog was written and published on 10-29-2017.

“Why didn’t you fight back?!?” #MeToo #WhyIDidntFightBack

Sigh…

I really didn’t want to write this blog. I figured my last blog, I’d do the topic justice regarding rape and sexual harassment and why people don’t come forward to report sexual harassment and rape, regardless of socio-economics, gender and ages of the perpetrators, among many other factors.

I figured I’d do what I can, to help others and then be able to walk away.

Shortly after I published my blog, the ONLY hateful thing I got about what I wrote, was someone, insinuating that it would’ve been “unlikely” for me to be a rape victim and asking me to define, what I  “defined”  as rape.

Which relcutantly I did, by additionally adding a clarification, on my last blog. It wasn’t to help myself. It was with great trepidation, as I explained that both my parents and my children are on the internet, including my teenage daughter, who has NO idea that this has happened to me. And NO ONE had known all the details, the VERY little I’ve talked about this both in my personal life and the little I’ve brought up, as an a activist/blogger.

I’ve seen though enough misguided dialogue on social media and the media in general,that I will explain a few things about how not only is it insensitive at best, but at worst, it re-victimizes victims of rape and sexual harassment when it’s questioned and debated ad nauseum, why they don’t fight back.

Let alone say anything at all, and maybe this will add necessary feedback to what’s needed in the dialogue of prevention of rape and sexual harassment, as well as making it a safer society for victims to come forward.

When I was raped in January of 1996, I didn’t fight back, because while I was very heavy, my rapist had 40 lbs on me and also had said he wouldn’t hurt me if I didn’t.

He also had an established career in the MILITARY (I’m not demonizing his profession in any way, other than it was why I didn’t feel it would’ve been worth the risk to fight back).

I had a young child, to think of. Who then, I couldn’t be his mother, if I was DEAD. I didn’t trust the fact he said he wouldn’t hurt me physically, because for one, he already had and while I was seriously violated physically and emotionally, I at least didn’t increase my odds, of unrecoverable physical injury or death, which I’m not blaming those who do fight back and seriously hurt, if not killed, (of course,if it prevents rape and assault, I’m grateful that was that person’s result)  it’s just my mindset at the time, was I had to survive this and go on with my life, in hopes that I could at least walk away from this.

I’ve seen since my experience in the mental health system, people though who are 90 lbs be able to beat the crap out of someone’s a foot taller and 100 lbs more than them, due to RAGE.

So all I have to add at this point, while the dialogue that’s happening is SO necessary, be VERY careful on what people say either clearly or insinuate, of why others should’ve fought back or that if they were in that situation that they would’ve, is extremely HARMFUL.

For more than one reason, as I’ve tried to highlight.

I can’t speak for everyone who’s been a victim and/or would rather consider themselves just a survivor of rape and sexual harassment, of why they didn’t fight back and or what their triggers going forward, are.  I can only speak for myself. Only they can tell you their stories and hopefully they will be listened to, with sensitivity and their physical and emotional safety, going forward.

But I’d ask, for those who’ve NOT experienced any type of rape, physical assault or harassment, aren’t a clinically trained professional and/or law enforcement professional who hasn’t worked with victims, of choosing words carefully when you question any aspect of an assault, no matter what the circumstances ARE.

Especially, especially, ESPECIALLY, when it comes to “Why didn’t you fight back?!?!”

Note: I’m pubishing this blog, with great tredpidation, in hopes it helps others. I do the activism that I do, to help other people. I’m not saying I’m better or worse than anyone, in my case, where with my disability sets, I don’t monetize anything that I do, nor do I crave being in the spotlight in any way.

I feel strongly enough, that it’s worth for me to try to help others by chiming in this dialogue, to risk attention, this way. I’m only doing so, because I truly believe it can help other people.

I’m also making it clear, with like most of my blogs, any comment that’s not constructive and respectful, will NOT be published. Thanks!!!

Edit/Additional Note: When I created #WhyIDidntFightBack, it was to open the door of giving victims/survivors a means of telling their stories, not being able to forecast of how many people will read this blog.

The horrible messages that society and the media SHOULD NOT be promoting, when discussing Harvey Weinstein, rapists, rape victims, assault and sexual harassment….

http://www.rainn.org

Trigger Warnings: If you or someone you know is in danger of hurting someone else, please seek acute medical/mental health treatment and or contact law enforcement. If you’ve been a victim of rape or sexual harassment know that in addition to the links above, that there are multiple avenues of support for people to get support and recover from the trauma physically and mentally that this can cause, if in acute need, please get acute help from a professional, in an appropriate setting. The same could be said, though if it happened a long time ago and have decided to get support, now.

Goddamn it!!!

I didn’t want to  have to write this blog. I thought for how much discussion about rape and sexual harassment was being discussed by public figures I adore, I wouldn’t have to say the following, below.

That someone I’d adore who’s in the public eye,would bring this up, but sadly that hasn’t been the case, so here we go…

I like most people (and being an activist who tries to remove stigma) has been horrified like most decent people, when it came out that Harvey Weinstein, a powerful Hollywood mogul had raped, sexually assaulted and harassed multiple women for decades, both actresses, female reporters and other women have now come forward.

Since the story broke, it’s leading to a very necessary dialogue we have to have as a society regarding rape and sexual harassment, both in the workplace and out of it.

It’s easy to go for the jugular, or in this case, above and below Harvey Weinstein’s  neck, as far as making derogatory statements that are justified about what he did, but also what he looks like.

And that is the REASON for this blog. In seeing in the media the jokes about his looks and his weight, sends a HORRIBLE multi-complex message, to perpetrators and victims alike, that while his money and power was something that allowed him to get away with despicable crimes he perpetuated on his victims,for decades. And if the looks and fat shaming of a rapist, if that reasoning for hate on rapists or murderers existed, exclusive to that population, ALONE, I probably wouldn’t lose much sleep at night, but it isn’t and that mindset hurts millions of innocent people regardless of their size.

Let me explain.

As it  sends a very misguided and dangerous message that only not attractive men are perps in these horrible crimes but that only conventionally attractive or beautiful women can ONLY be victims.

Rape and sexual harassment can have victims of both women and men. That isn’t being questioned. It shouldn’t be perpetuated in any form that someone who is not considered by society’s stringent standards of beauty, that people who aren’t considered conventionally attractive aren’t victims.

We saw this exemplified last year, when women spoke out against Donald Trump, who had said to the effect of “Look at her, like I’d even want that?!?!”.

I’m in no way wanting to change the good that’s coming out of the national dialogue about rape and sexual harassment both in the workplace and outside of it.

It just needs to be expanded on and it needs to include that we have to have to establish and educate that both rapists and their victims can be of all ages, all genders and all shapes, sizes, personal and professional relationships and within consideration of what’s considered attractive and in all socio-economic backrounds.

That we need to educate people on how to get help for their predatory violent behavior and have resources in place for that, in helps for prevention.

We have to have more resources and a safer and evolved society that realizes that there are victims of all ages, genders, races, religions and shapes and sizes.

And to start this education, from the time people are young.

I remember when I was 25, as a young mother participating in Early Childhood Family Education, that we once watched a video, about “Stranger Danger” of how to teach our children that you cannot go by the way someone looks, to determine whether or not is a danger. I really wish something like that existed now, where it’s more needed than ever.

When I was raped, at the age of 26,  I didn’t say anything because I was fat single mother of 1 and my rapist was someone who was considered attractive, as well as accomplished.

I didn’t think anyone would believe me and in my life, other than a blog or two, where I only started mentioning it, was because a rape victim, who was victimized repeated at a young age by her brother, had gone viral.

I only personally healed from that, unconventionally, because I spared myself further trauma by NOT talking about it. Because I could chalk up my rapist as an asshole, as in my case, he didn’t know anything but my name and my phone number. I couldn’t have beared to put what I went through out there to the  people who I care about and risk whatever unsupportive thing they may have had to say about it.

And that’s AWFUL, as it applies to me. And I can’t be the only person who’s had to have that mindset.

I feel obviously then, heartbreakingly awful for the victims of any rape, incest, physical assault and sexual harassment. I think that the bravery of Harvey Weinstein’s victims or anyone who comes forward is commendable, but also and his victims stories and his heinous actions, have to be the start of a much more comprehensive dialogue on rape and rape victims, where ALL victims of rape,incest  and sexual harassment can safely tell their experiences and have the opportunity for support and healing.

But we can’t make inroads of prevention of rape,incest  and sexual harassment without more resources for discussing openly on the complex multi-faceted why people rape and sexual harass without blaming their victims and to have treatment options before they ever offend. That perpetrators and victims are of all ages, genders, sexual preference, races, religion, socio-economics, individual perceptions of attractiveness and shapes and sizes.

Note: I have both as an activist and a personal investment in the reasons that played in the need for me to write this blog. If you want to find out how much hate there is, towards unconventional people who are victims of rape and physical assault, try looking for a meme, like I did, before writing this blog.

It’s a bunch of hateful bullshit that makes mockery of the idea of rape in people who aren’t considered conventionally attractive fat or thin. That’s hurtful to any human being who’s been violated physically and/or emotionally with rape and harassment and it hurts everyone.

Additional Note/Clarification/Edited after receiving anonymous hate:

I didn’t realize I had to spell out what happened to me, personally, of what I define as rape. I normally don’t do this, because not only do I have parents on the internet, so are my children.

I met someone unfortunately in their home, on 1/1/1996, a blind date, that was supposed to lead to going out to lunch. I realized the very second, I walked into that man’s home, that I made a mistake, it was a gut instinct and said I had a headache and needed to go home. He forcefully  grabbed by the arm and said I wasn’t going anywhere. I said please no, but I didn’t fight him, because he said he wouldn’t hurt me if I gave him what he wanted and kept  quiet.

So the specifics of my rape was forceful vaginal and anal penetration that led to bleeding and oral that led to gagging that I held back my vomit, to not further upset him. Did he beat me up or cause any further injury other than when he grabbed my arm and then physically violated me, that way? NO. When he was done, he said I could go and I left.

I couldn’t cry or show being upset, right after it happened,  either, when I left, because I had to pick up my 2 1/2 year old son, who was being babysat by my parents. I couldn’t cry or be upset, when I got home, because I didn’t want to upset my son. I went to work the next day and went on with my life. I was NOT okay, for the first 6 months afterwards, but I couldn’t show it.

This is what I mean when and why people are afraid go forward with their stories about rape and sexual assault. IF a woman is attractive, she’s asking for it. Or there’s many other consequences such as the victims of Harvey Weinstein, have showed why those women didn’t say anything.

If she’s not considered attractive and deemed unfuckable, by most people, it’s not believable an attractive accomplished man would do that. And if both attractive people and people who aren’t considered attractive, they get blamed should they press charges, if the charges stick and they are put on trial, right along with the people who commit these crimes. And it’s worse now that victims get tried in the court of social media.

Unless people are more evolved and understand the dynamics of rape and sexual harassment. It’s about humiliation. It’s about power, regardless of socio-economics. Rapists and sexual harassers can be parents, they can be children of any age, they can be family members, spouses and significant others, they can be doctors, teachers, fellow students, friends, police officers, members of the clergy of any religion, among many other populations.

I guess if someone felt the need to question in a derogatory way, I hope they only chose me. I hope they realize the harm, because it wasn’t asked in an innocent way, that I don’t choose to talk about the specifics of it normally, the little I do now, as an activist who works with people who have PTSD issues as a result of both childhood and adult trauma, because it isn’t helpful to either myself or who I’m trying to help as I don’t want people in medical and mental health crisis, to have to worry about me, as well as what I said about my parents and my kids being on the internet.

So whoever felt that need to do that, congratulations for not being a rapist or someone who’s capable of violent crime.

You still are an asshole that could work on your regard and trying to have empathy or at least apathy, for human beings, because if you can’t be part of the solution, don’t try to make people’s problems worse for them!!!

Another HORRIBLE point that I wish I didn’t have to make, when talking about reducing MURDER/S and gun control….

Important Note: PLEASE, if you or anyone you know, is in any danger of causing harm or fatality, to themselves or others, please seek emergency acute intervention with clinical professionals and law enforcement, right away….

Sigh…

I’m honestly NOT trying to be a jerk, when it comes to the topic of gun control and reducing the murder rate.

It happened to be after this week in feeling heartbroken about the Las Vegas massacre and the many other tragic things going on in the world, I’ve been trying to avoid the news, this weekend.

Unfortunately and horrifically, I just happened to catch a local news story today, where a man in Minneapolis, tried on Friday night to set an apartment building on fire, with the intention of everyone in the building, to be murdered that way.

His exact words were to a witness of him pouring accelerant in the hallways was “I’m about to set this building on fire, y’all better get out because everyone is going to die”.

One innocent person did actually die, in his attempt to jump out of the building, to escape.

And many people were successfully rescued, due to efforts by our amazing Minneapolis Fire Department and Minneapolis Police Department (which I’ve written other blogs in hopes of trying to honor and thank our MPD, MFD, other first responders and Minneapolis 911 operators, not saying that self serving but out of gratitude for what they do for us, locally) where multiple units were involved.

Even though those residents sadly lost most of their belongings and currently their housing, which the Red Cross is helping with the victims. I haven’t been able to find out what happened to the person who tragically died and/or his survivors, at the time of writing and publishing this blog.

Right before starting this blog, I was able to check the record of the murderous arsonist.

He had 2 traffic incidences, in the last 2 1/2 years.

But the bigger deal, that goes along with the point I’m trying to make, is that he also had a felony in 2014 , from a drug related charge that prohibited him from being able to possess a firearm, whether or not he tried to buy one, illegally, no one knows.

This fire happened to occur only 7 blocks from where I live.

It also happens to be, that Mother’s Day weekend in 2015, I had a neighbor in my building, who I didn’t know, pack her stuff, moved it out of her apartment and then set her apartment on fire.

In that case, no one was injured. While extensive damage was done to her unit and the units next to it, it didn’t render my building uninhabitable like it did to the apartment building that was affected this weekend.

I had a heartbreaking conversation, a day or two after, with one of my neighbors who did lose most of his stuff in that fire. He had lost a child, in a previous residence, in addition to most of his belongings, due to a different fire, so he was able to have a much better attitude than most of us who were not affected, given losing a child.

A few days ago, a woman set her 4 year old on fire, killing him in Wisconsin.

This could go on. But it can’t go on. We have to have the dialogue and more resources for prevention of these tragedies.

While all these tragedies involve people who are seriously mentally ill (but please read my last blog by lumping the majority of the mentally ill, with murderers), there is a separation, in addition to the amount of life that’s been lost, that goes beyond MOTIVE.

The difference between the man who set the apartment building on fire and the man who committed the massacre in Las Vegas, the difference was/is MONEY.

This cannot continue to be the norm. We can’t become numb and indifferent, just because we are bombarded by countless tragedies like these, everyday.

Again, I’m not saying let’s not make this about gun control, as it is a major issue and I believe in much stricter gun control. I’ve in my almost 48 years have never touched a gun and I would never own one, because I already know that  I’m NOT even capable of shooting someone in self defense (although I admit, I think I’d be capable if I had to, to shoot someone else, in protection of someone I love, if that was an issue, but it’s not).

My NOT owning a gun, has nothing to do with the fact I have diagnosed mental health issues that’s on record. Because I don’t have a desire to own a firearm, I haven’t even tried to see if I’m eligible for one.

The man who committed the Las Vegas massacre, didn’t have record of mental health issues, though and neither did the man who set that apartment building on fire on Friday, near where I live (at least in Minnesota, where I checked his civil and criminal record).

PLEASE, if we don’t have the dialogue we need to have, as well as comprehensive initiatives to try to find out if these can be prevented, because as I’ve said before, innocent people not just in America, but globally are horrifically murdered, be it one person or almost 5 dozen, by multiple means, not just including guns, we don’t have a chance in reducing these horrible tragedies, that keep going on, over and over again.

Don’t wait until it effects someone you love and care about, we all have to do our part, make our concerned voices heard, in trying to at least do something for prevention.

Please don’t wait until it actually hits home, to say or take action for prevention of all these senseless murders.

Note: Any constructive difference of opinion, I welcome. Any potentially mean or hateful comments will NOT published. Thanks…

Additional note: Edits that I thought took place, prior to publishing blog, didn’t, that did effect very little but important context, that I was trying to make.

I apologize for that.

A gentle but not subtle reminder, in regards of massacres with guns and the mentally ill…

I’m not looking for pity, with what I’m about to say.

I like most people, who was horrified, in regards to the tragic massacre in Las Vegas and felt compelled to act in someway, however small.

After my last blog, I decided to decompress, by watching You Tube.

And I’m honestly not trying to say anything mean, towards Jimmy Kimmel, who I adore for many reasons.

I don’t believe like most people, that any citizen should have ANY access to an automatic weapon. I agreed with almost everything Jimmy Kimmel said in his 10-2-2017 monologue, that I just finished watching, but he was not as careful as he should have been, in trying to make a point about gun control laws and the mentally ill.

And I’m not calling him specifically out, given again, I don’t believe he meant to hurt anyone, only to help. And he’s not the only one. But he is the only one I’ve paid more attention to, than others.

The only reason why I feel compelled, in hopes of trying to bring attention and awareness for mass murders/and/or suicides, over and over again, because of the sanctity and highest regard of human life, that I have.

The only true lack of disregard for anyone’s life, that I have EVER had, is my own.

I wear a hairshirt, for free, on the internet, because my mental health issues, while only potentially fatal to me, did have consequences on the ones I love the most. Which I’ve repeated over and over again, in hopes to help other people.

Not to mention of what I’ve tried to do, with my loved ones who were effected, of them knowing that I never meant to cause them sadness and I never meant to be negligable in any way, to my children who I love the most.

But, PLEASE, I am begging of people, do NOT taint people who have mental illness with someone who had no record but spent the last minutes of his life as a mentally deranged domestic terrorist, killing 59 innocent people and wounding over 500 innocent people.

Most mentally ill people are likely to be a target of a violent crime, than to perpetuate one.

It becomes dangerous, to innocent people, when people don’t choose their words as carefully as they should. I can understand and not be angry when hosts like Jimmy Kimmel make impassioned pleas, in hopes to save people’s lives.

I’m trying as a disabled activist that, too. Save lives, that is. And I have, which I hate to keep repeating, as it’s not meant to be self-serving.

But when people have a large audience and a lot of influence, if they aren’t super careful in how they choose their words, it can cause irrerprable damage to an innocent majority of people, who would never cause harm in another.

Even though it’s not meant, intentionally.

I’ve said it before, and I’ve said it VERY CAREFULLY. Anyone who is capable of causing violent if not fatal harm, to one person, let alone commit a massacre, IS mentally ill.

But it can’t be said enough, I guess, that it must be differentiated that MANY people who live and/or suffer from mental illness, do NOT pose a safety threat to anyone and even accidently promoting that kind of stigma, could cause terrible harm if not be fatal, to someone, just because they have diagnosed mental illness, that doesn’t pose a safety threat to anyone.

Both actions and words, are of the utmost importance when trying to combat violent crime. Please choose with great care, both actions and words.

They both matter, more than hopefully, you’ll ever have to know, if this has not effected someone.

Thank you.

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