I feel alone.

The imposed silence sears holes into my ears.

It is a matter of convenience to forget me, for “social workers” and “medical professionals” to manhandle me.

I am a survivor of sexual violence and all of my former closest friends ignore me, never call, don’t text, give the silent treatment.

This is why survivors don’t come forward.

Walls of silence, denial, neglect, scapegoating and the endless mental mutilation that their intersection signifies, trauma that whelms like a collective displacement of guilt that is so mindnumbingly abusive, horrific, and barbaric that no one wants to talk about it.

No one wants to get caught pretending not to be complicit.

How now, can they take my side after watching abuse happen for so long?

It is far too much effort to feign disbelief, to pretend to care, to work through this gaffe, this moral confusion, what amounts to such a colossal amount of emotional and intellectual laziness.

I feel alone.

The fact that implicitly so many gain pleasure by turning a blind eye, ignoring my pain, by embracing their privilege and status while enforcing prejudice, silence, and losing sight of my personhood.

Trauma does not mean you can pretend I don’t exist.

It should not cause you to place me in a different caste.

I should not be punished for the guilt, the sins, and the crimes of others, but what is new.

What is new?

I see what you publish, The Establishment, The Huffington Post, xojane, etc and it is not better than my writing.

I know you are just trying to make a buck, generate buzz, hype, and clicks.

Well, let’s just say I am unwilling to sacrifice my soul.

I see you, jackasses, I see so many of you I can’t even count you. Not on my fingers, not on my toes, there are so many of you I don’t want to count your complicit-in-abuse asses.

So much abuse is hidden.

Prejudice enforces it.

I am convinced that such word games themselves exist to enable the abuse, to hide it, and to de-legitimize victims every way possible.

And that is how the dominant discourse consolidates itself, by mocking, putting down, violently bullying, by discriminating against its victims, and by persecuting them, by invalidating them and neutralizing their voices, it silences victims of prejudice, discrimination, and abuse, and marginalizes them beyond the perception of the public.

So much silence. Looking the other way. Displacing the blame and the shame.

No more.

I am at a loss as to why this happened to me.

I do not understand the behavior of others.

From my own silence and fear and reticence, I know that the topic of sexual trauma is hard to talk about.

As a country, I see that we have pulled up our sleeves, and started to have conversations on how to advocate for people of color.

I feel it is unfair that we do not have this conversation on behalf of survivors of sexual violence.

The most any of my friends have done recently is enforce social distance by recommending therapy or homeless shelters, both of which seem to miss the point.

I have suffered enough without friends treating me like a leper, a homeless person (I have never been one), a fallen woman, or as if I don’t exist at all.

adding insult to injustice adding insult to injustice adding insult to injustice adding insult to injustice adding insult to injustice adding insult to injustice adding insult to injustice adding insult to injustice adding insult to injustice adding insult to injustice adding insult to injustice adding insult to injustice

What the fuck is wrong with the world?

Has nobody any decency anymore? Let’s talk about the problem instead of displacing the blame.

I want us to weed out the lies you keep telling yourselves and others, that make you complicit. I want us to nip that misogyny in the bud so that our sisters, our wives, our mothers, and our friends are not persecuted by men who feel entitled to sex, by those who intend to get away with their abuses and crimes.

The way things are is unjust.

Any woman coming forward knows that her privacy, her career, her good standing in society, her social status, her life and most of all her economic security are all at risk.

Do you know how hard women had to fight for even the most basic of rights? That some women still don’t have any?

That in spite of the women’s movement, strides forward, indepdendent bank accounts, women’s workers rights, women are still raped, stalked, traficked, economically and emotionally abused, that millions if not billions of women are still exploited and many still do not have basic rights?

The old world is still with us, we have not broken with it and the law protects rich men and their property: that’s who it was made for and by.

It is my honest feeling that the law does not protect women, nor does it protect survivors.

The social costs are too great, there is no way for a survivor to “cut their losses,” after the rupture and trauma, plus the stigma, prejudice and almost certain re-traumatization that will continue indefinitely, mean that a survivor can never go back to “normal,” and if rapists have carte blanche and feel they can get away with their assaults, sexual, emotional, and moral, they will make you know it.

And their abuse will be enforced by others along with the prejudice, the ressentiment, and the hatred that produces such violence in the first place.

I am not gonna play the fool and pretend that none of this is immoral, that everyone is off the hook, or that the silent treatment is appropriate behavior when one is aware of abuse, even though that is what I am asked to do daily, as if even I, a survivor have to be complicit in the misogynistic expectation that victims should take it in silence.

Some have in fact instructed me to dumb it down or to pretend like everything is ok and lose the existential tenor of my daily existence.

“I think you are scaring everyone away,” one former friend who went on an intensive character assassination campaign insisted.

Are Americans cowards? Perverts? Immoral plebes? Are they not capable of having a serious conversation about right and wrong?

Are they just that depraved?

Or are we all so demoralized that it feels impossible to confront how essentially ingrained, how monolithic and intrinsic misogyny is to our value systems and how deeply it defines and defies “culture.”

That we are not knee-deep or neck-deep, but psyche deep in it.

As Americans, there are so many lies that so many of us once thought were true. So many historical realities of oppression, of disenfranchisement, economic abuse, suppression, marginalization.

And evil, lots of it. Genocide, murder, slavery, racism, the list goes on, and on, and on.

But let’s not be complicit. Please.

If I have one thing to ask of you, just one, it is this, please don’t be complicit anymore.

If you see something, say something, do something, stay close to the side of the victim, not the abuser.

Do not make a mockery, do not do not do not enforce abuse with prejudice, do not hide it with misogynistic slurs. Don’t.

Do not put the victim on trial.

Can you imagine what it is like to internalize disbelief, victim-blaming, pop psychology, and so much misogyny? How much it fucks with a woman’s head?

Can you imagine how many women never come forward, for the above reasons and so many others related to trauma and the prevalance of sexual abuse in our society?

Can you imagine how psychically painful to live between the two extremes, that both are hell, a violation of one’s most inner self & privacy?

How intellectually impossible it is to redress such a traumatic setback, so serious a trespass?

Can you imagine? Try to imagine.

Start listening to women, stop invalidating them. Don’t be a misogynist.

And stop being silent and allowing others to do the same.

Stop cowering in front of the television set.

Start having conversations, start confronting your fears, start talking about difficult things and encourage others to do the same.

This will open up possibilities and spaces, it will inspire courage that is so urgently needed, and help everyone to process this collective trauma.

My heart tells me that these conversations and the spaces and possibilities created by them will give us morale, and also at least in part stop the trend of demoralization we have witnessed through the financial crisis, economies of war, the election of Trump, and the elevation of the rogue male to celebrity status in all the arts.

We are all impacted by these collective sources of trauma and there is no shame in that, the only shame is being complicit in abuse, on the side of abusers, prejudiced and enforcing and hiding the abuse and projecting the guilt and the shame.

Also please put some thought into the fact that the responsibility of telling you why the silent treatment (and many others) is neither an acceptable nor a moral response should not be falling on my shoulders.

Please understand that the trauma itself is already too much to bear and has kept me from functioning at certain times, and that the silent treatment has really caused me to lose faith in the human race, because it is disloyal and faithless.

Should the moral onus of this situation really be placed on me, the survivor of the trauma?

Is the burden of your complicit-in-abuse sins really mine to bear?

No it is not.

It is all yours.