Tag Archives: family

Caricature

sometimes I dream of my baby teeth –
of rearranging the tiny white mounds into messages
outside his bedroom door

I can almost feel their smoothness against
my palm. it hurts but I
write on, spelling out secrets on the carpet
wiping the blood from my chin

the door, closed,
the lock pressed inward – he is afraid
of the bone. he doesn’t know
what it means

the man leaves me in silence

with my tongue,
probing the sore and weeping craters of
my jaw

with my tongue
held and tied and angry.

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The Rock and the Storm

There was a picture hanging in the main bathroom of my mother’s house – a dark stone, large and rough, surrounded by a roaring sea. Or at least that’s how I see it when I try to conjure it now. I haven’t looked at the photo in some time, preferring instead to imagine that the rock remains fearsome and giant, just as it was when I first heard of it.

The story is loose in my brain with pieces slipping in and out over the years, clicking into place at the strangest of times. I think the details rearrange themselves depending on who’s reconstructing that day on the beach, but key players stay the same: Hawaii, the rock, a sudden wave. My parents stood on the rock until they didn’t, until the ocean had pulled them so far out that my father didn’t think they could make it back. With a memory not quite my own, I can almost taste the sting of salt water against my tongue. The sea had looked calm before they swam out, hadn’t it – had seemed safe and welcoming until it wasn’t. It snatched them from the rock, as if trying to steal them away entirely.

And then there is a lapse in the story, a sudden void, and my parents are on the shore. Exhausted, scared, but alive.

I don’t know which of them decided that they should have a picture of the rock and sea, but it hung in the bathroom for longer than a decade. The picture is gone now. I don’t even know which island they visited or anything else that transpired on that trip. Only that my parents could’ve died, survived, and took a picture of the thing that could’ve killed them. As I prepare for my first trip to the island, I find myself lingering on the story more and more – wondering which details I have wrong and how the story will change after I’ve bathed in the same waters that nearly swallowed our family before it truly began.

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To My Family Who’s Still Voting Trump

It is time we had a chat.

This election is no longer about politics – it is disturbingly personal as we watch a rape-supporting bully claw his way toward the Oval Office.

Trump reminds me of Niko.

You should know who Niko is, right? You’re my family. You know he’s the man who pinned me to his bed when I was 18 years old, who asked me to stay after he finished, who drove past my dorm multiple times in the weeks after as I ignored his countless messages? I still have nightmares about him –  I still wake up crying.

Trump is Niko on a grand stage. I saw a post comparing Trump’s comments about grabbing a woman’s pussy to the Fifty Shades series – and I was disgusted. Absolutely, completely horrified. Fifty Shades is terrible, yes, and it is problematic in terms of BDSM and consent but to set the Republican nominee’s hateful, misogynistic talk of rape and compare it to a fictional narrative?

And make no mistake – he is talking about rape. When someone holds power over another person and the victim feels like they can’t say no, that’s rape. Condoning Trump’s comments is condoning rape. It’s condoning Niko and his hands on every inch of my skin.

Niko told me women deserved to be preyed upon and, just like Trump, he had more money and power than I did. He decided he could do whatever he wanted to me, so he did. And now you want to put a rapist in the White House because, like you said, if women are willing to buy Fifty Shades of Grey, how can we be horrified when a presidential candidate says he’s entitled to rape us?

Following that logic, what did I do to deserve to be assaulted? What book did I read, what website did I visit, that labeled me as ‘rape-able?’ No, really. Feel free to get back to me on that.

I wish you could understand how terrifying this is. To hear your family agree with – and applaud! – a man who sounds eerily close to a rapist. And yes, the only people who are comfortable making ‘jokes’ about rape have either considered or committed rape.

When you justify Trump’s comments, you are justifying Niko’s actions. You are telling me that you do not care about survivors of assault, that you don’t care about me – and you’re telling me you want to give Trump the power to hurt more women. Because, when you think about it, there’s no more powerful position in government than that of the President… and if Trump is comfortable raping women while he’s a floundering businessman, what exactly do you think is going to happen when he’s the leader of the free world?

On election day, you will be asked to make a choice. I would like to remind you who you’re voting against when you vote Trump. You are voting against survivors of assault. You are voting against people with PTSD. You are voting against every minority. You are voting against people with disabilities. You are voting against the LGBT community.

You are voting against me, as a survivor of assault, as a person with PTSD, as a disabled woman. You are voting against my sister and her girlfriend. You are actively voting against your family, your flesh and blood, and for what?

Why would you want to hurt us this way?

 

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On Writing (this blog)

Let’s be honest with each other.

I have a second blog — or rather, this is my second blog, the one I deemed safe for my family and more distant friends. It’s Facebook friendly. I write about assault but provide no details, I explain my brighter thought patterns, I am honest but vague. But if you’ve spent any time with me, you know that I have an annoying habit of saying everything. I’m not so much an open book as I am a magic mirror, rehashing and justifying and pleading as I try to make sense of these stories.

But I wanted to have a space to reach out, if only slightly. To speak in a way that could be comfortably share with almost-strangers and people who have known me since I was small.

My other blog has way more swears and graphic details, more terribly honest stories and accounts of abuse and nights spent crying and days spent thoroughly rutted in depression. But I knew I didn’t want my family to be exposed to that, so instead I revived this one. ‘Krista Takes the World.’ And I think I will, but that’s not the point here. The point is, I created a space because my parents were sad that I wouldn’t share my writing with them and I love my parents. And I’m a sucker for praise because, let’s face it, I require attention to live.

But is it honest to write like this, so selectively, avoiding hot button topics and general themes so that my words are digestible for the public? Is it honest to write and delete posts every week just because I know I don’t want my family’s worried whispers to trail after me? Is it honest or is it cowardly to hide the stories that would put people on edge?

I’m still sorting that out. Especially since my blog became a weird component in me leaving my job — I’ve become painfully aware that, despite my intentions, my writing is up for grabs the moment I publish it. At the same time, I am not presenting my full story if I leave out my mental health issues, my illness, and my disability.

For the most part, you as a reader are here for one of two reasons: you either enjoy me as a person and want to see what my brain’s doing or you enjoy my writing and are pleasantly surprised that I’m also a person. In other words, most of you are here because you know me. If knowing more about me and the struggles I face somehow devalue me in your eyes, I’m not entirely sure I want to know you.

Anyway.

I’m mapping out what I want this space, my space, to become. I’ll continue writing the nitty-gritty elsewhere, but I’m striving to be more honest here too. If I write something that makes you nervous, or worried, or scared, please remember – I am a person first. Talking to me rather than about me shows that you’ve remember I’m a person, too. I share these stories both to remind everyone that we’re not alone in our struggles and to work through everything around me.

So yes, this PTSD-riddled major-depressive-disordered hard-of-hearing ball of anxiety will keep writing and sometimes (oftentimes) the stories will not be pretty. And that’s okay. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to write them, but I’ll try not to mind if you don’t read them. We’ll just keep existing parallel to each other, touching base however makes us both comfortable.

 

Oh, and one last note — even at my darkest, even with my most difficult struggles, I feel so thankful for my life as it is today. My god, this is legions beyond what I ever imagined I would have when I was growing up. This is good, my friends. This is more than I dreamed and I’m still reaching upward. We’re going to be okay.

 

 

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