Thursday, March 5, 2009

011. Secret

I sent in a secret to Post Secret this morning. I wonder if I'll see it in print?

This is going to be a short post. Things have been going well, but I have been a bit stressed and focused on work. How are you all doing? Tell me something fun you did this week so I can envy you. :D

Sunday, February 22, 2009

010. Moving up and moving on

It's been a while, hasn't it? I have been very busy and vaguely stressed with work and training.

Work has been going well. I go in each morning, do my creative thing, and come home at night. The new roommates are fantastic, and we have been getting along quite well. Jerri is very quiet and shy, but pleasant; Leslie is funny and happy. We each do our part, and things have been going smoothly.

I've started volunteering on weekends at the local rape crisis center. I am enjoying it. It's tough, but I feel like I am helping people. I am glad these programs exist, and I hope people can find them.

So, it finally happened: I ran into Catherine on the street. I was at the bus stop waiting to head home when a little blond thing passed me. I almost didn't recognize her (she looked very pale). We made eye contact, and I know I must have looked strangely at her as I tried to place her face. Part of me wanted to call out to her, but she sped off so quickly in a huff.

Sometimes, I wonder what she thinks about all that happened. Is she ever sorry? Was she ever hurt by him? Did she feel like she was betrayed by me?

I guess I will never really know.

There is a happy hour this week for alums that I'd like to go to with Lane. I hope I can convince her to go: she has her own issues with Jay and Catherine following an ill-conceived friendship with benefits.

You know, I got a comment on this blog recently about moving on. I think about that a lot--I feel like I should have just moved on by now. Unfortunately, it's not that simple. There aren't too many nightmares anymore, but the flashbacks continue. Anything can trigger them: the smell of a certain cologne, booze, the face of a man wearing glasses or a voice. Soldiers suffer from PTSD well into old age, and so do rape survivors.

We deal with flashbacks and the triggers in our own ways over time. Some survivors compartmentalize: the break their story into little boxes and store them away in the attic of their mind, taking them out only when appropriate, like old photo albums. Other survivors talk incessantly about the rape, they seek out potential triggers, read books, watch movies. Survivors may ping pong from one extreme to another over weeks and over years--healing can take a lifetime, and there are many, many ways to cope, none of them wrong and none of them right.

Think of it like this: every survivor has a toolbox filled with hammers and nails and glue and wood. You can take those tools and build something beautiful, like a birdhouse or art. You can also take that hammer and smash in someone's skull, most likely your own (figuratively speaking). Surviving is figuring out what to do with those tools, and you will very likely smash your thumb a few times before hitting that nail just right.

I am not going to give you the information about my local crisis center, but I strongly, strongly urge everyone to visit the national resource at least once in the near future:

Saturday, January 24, 2009

009. Unlocked

The guy who lives in the basement picked the lock, thank goodness. Little old lady then tried to blame the guy who stayed here last night as locking the door, which was a little odd. It was ultimately my fault for shutting the door, so I am not sure if she was being a little passive aggressive, publicly blaming him when, really, if we needed to call a locksmith, I would be the one responsible for shelling out the $50.

I still cannot wait to get out of here, though. I am praying, praying that I get along with the girls I am moving in with. They seem very nice, they are my age, and the house is gorgeous. I am looking forward to it.

Actually, I need to start packing. I already packed a few items into boxes, but I need to take apart my shelves and pack up the clothes I won't be wearing for the next week or so. Maybe I'll get on that tonight.

008. Locked

Ugh, I managed to lock myself out of the bathroom.

I cannot wait to get out of this place. It was nice for a while, but I can no longer deal with the 80 thermostat, the cockroaches that don't sing, and the house in questionable condition.

There is a latch on the inside of the bathroom door (this is the only bathroom in the main part of the house, btw) because the regular doorknob doesn't shut. Or, didn't.

So, silly me, when I shut the door behind me I didn't check the doorknob to make sure it wasn't set in the lock position and when it, in some sort of miracle, closed all the way, it got stuck.

Now, being that this house is ancient and in questionable condition, there is no little hole on the knob for just this kind of situation, nor are there screws for taking apart the doorknob completely. Nope, we are stuck.

And because this house is falling apart, the door is out of alignment it it is not an easy task to use a credit car the slip between the door and frame.

I tried picking the lock with a pair of hairpins to no avail, and meanwhile, little old lady ignored my calls to see if she had a key. She didn't btw, which I find quite silly as we should have a key to every lock in this house.

I doubt the landlord has one either, as little old lady informed me that this happened to her and the landlord had to have her husband use a ladder to climb into little old lady's room through a window.

Ughhhhhhh get me out of this house, please.

Monday, January 12, 2009

007. Small Victories

I feel like I overate tonight. In fact, I am sure I did.

But I have not thrown up. Go me. :)

006. This is what I think about every day

Trigger warning.

Ugh. I unblocked Catherine the other day because I thought: You know, it's been a while, I think she has grown, and frankly, I don't want to see these names on my block list.

Of course, then my other friend pops up in my notifications and I see she has been tagged in an album. Oh! I think, I'll go see her photos!

Who owns this album? None other than Catherine. And who is in the premiere photo? THE MAN WHO FUCKING RAPED ME.

On the one hand, I do not want that bitch to even marginally dictate my account. On the other, I want to punch her IN THE FACE.

I want to scream to the world: This is my identity! This is my story! I was raped!

And I want to see her break down and cry because it suddenly hits her: Oh, shit, I abandoned my best friend when she was most vulnerable because I had a crush on the man she accused and chose to believe his bullshit than trust the girl who was my friend for three years and had no reason to lie to me.

What a fucking wake-up call, eh?

I don't need her approval, I just don't want to have to worry about what i do and where I go.

Why is it fair that I will never, never trust people again.

I will always worry, "when do I have to tell them the truth?"

That's what I think now when I meet people: "Can I tell them I was raped? How would they react?"

I wonder, "Will I ever need to tell this person? What if I break down in their presence?"

"Can I get fired for breaking down because I was triggered by an image?"

"What if i run into him today?"

"What if I run into her?"

I play out in my head what I would do in these situations--I create lavish fantasies in which i am strong and nonchalant and she is a psycho and all-of-a-sudden everyone in the room realizes, "Wow! Leigh is an incredible, strong woman! I can't believe these assholes are allowed to exist! Kill the ogres!"

Yes, there are pitchforks involved in some of these fantasies.

I dreamed about her last night, too. I dreamed about meeting her an an inaugural ball, and she was avoiding me, and I confronted her, and I found out that he raped her too. So, now I am wondering...maybe he did, and maybe she doesn't know because he was her first time and she didn't really want him, but he was so persuasive, and there was so much alcohol, and she's not like that whore Leighann who cries rape and goes to the police and tries to get everyone to sympathize with her so she can ruin some poor guys life. No, she's not like Leighann at all.

It's just...not right. I want people to know it's not right. The way I think and process the world around me is forever changed because one man decided he was entitled to a piece of my drunken ass and instead of responsibly realizing, "Hey, she is waaaaay to drunk--fuck, she is drooling vomit! I should get her some water and make sure she isn't suffering from alcohol poisoning--shit, she is, I need to get her to the fucking hospital!" he thought, "I'm'a get me some pussy tonight and teach this bitch a lesson!"

Fuck him. And fuck Catherine. I know what happened, and I know I am not a liar, and I know that I am fucking amazing for still being alive, let alone working a good job in an amazing city.

So, Fuck Him, and fuck any asshole who thinks it's okay to have sex with someone unable to give consent. I don't care how you rationalize it: It's rape.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

005. Survive

Wow! The past two days have been absolutely insane.

Thursday morning, I woke up to find that little old ladies drunken fool of a friend had made a mess of the bathroom. Not only was the sink still clogged, he had gotten sick all over the floor and toilet. There was no way I was using the bathroom at all, so I had to brush my teeth and wash my face in the kitchen. I felt so sketchy going into work, but what can you do? Co-worker Kaitlyn said I should have taken a shower at the office (our desks are right by the shower and wellness rooms for the building)--I could even have gotten towels from the lobby. Maybe next time, or maybe not, haha.

Once I got in, Lane tells me in the panicked voice "You have to find Heidi RIGHT NOW." I think, Jesus, did I do something wrong on a report? Fortunately, Heidi was not nearly as panicked, but still stressed: Big Boss had made last minute changes to a document he needed printed and bound in 20 minutes. Not happening. Boss J had Heidi and I in the mail room trying to pull this together. Fortunately, we got about half of them done that Supervisor J could take with her to the client. Heidi and i finished up the rest about 45 minutes later and headed downstairs to catch a cab.

We grabbed the cab and were on our way to the client when we hit immense traffic. Apparently, a bridge had been shut down, and the city was a mess. About 15 minutes into the ride that should have taken five, Heidi had to hop out and run back to the office (we were only three blocks away). I made the rest of the trip on my own and eventually got to the client's building in one piece.

I felt absolutely terrible for not tipping the driver, but I was using company money and had to account for every penny with a receipt.

Anyway, I got into the clients building, got my visitor pass, and headed up to their floor. At reception, I told the administrative assistant that I was here with my company and needed to drop off a set of documents for the training session. After some complexity, he tracked down conference and pointed me in the direction of the room.

And then volunteered to show me halfway.

And then said he would just take me to the room.

As we reached the door, I tried to peek through the glass to see if I could grab either Big Boss or Supervisor J's attention. I started to say to the Administrative Assistant: "Let me try to get their attention first; I don't want to interrupt Big Boss."

I got about halfway through when the Administrative Assistant barged into the room, interrupting the training session. I thought Big Boss was going to shoot me with lasers from his eyes, but he must have saw the abject horror on my face, because he returned to the clients (who hadn't noticed me at all). I casually placed the documents on a table in the back and slinked out of the room as fast as i could. Administrative Assistant was already on his merry way back to his desk.

I got back downstairs, hailed a cab and headed back to the office. This time, the cab cost about half as much (weird), but when we stopped and I paid in exact change, the cabbie asked about his tip. I said, "I'm sorry, I can't tip you, I am using company money and I don't have any extra. But I will call you company to let them know you were great."

"What? What did I do wrong?"

"No, I will call them to compliment you. You were a great driver, but I don't have any money to tip you."

In retrospect, he was kind of an ass about it, and I don't feel bad that I forgot his name and ended up not calling his company anyway. Who EXPECTS a tip and asks for it like he is entitled? Not cool. Even when I worked in food service and didn't get a tip from a pain-in-the-ass customer, I never ASKED where it was. I just prepared their food in the back so they could wonder if I did anything to it. Hehe.

Anyway, once I got back in to the office, I was swamped with work for the rest of the day and throughout Friday. I got pulled on about four different projects, and i got the work done, but they don't pay me enough for my sheer amount of awesome.

Although Boss Boss did pull me aside to let me know that I did an amazing job this week, and they couldn't have done it without me. I know it sounds completely saccharine when I repeat it, but Boss Boss means it when he says it. He did his time as an underling, and I know he is rooting for Heidi and I to get our promotions.

Today, I cleaned and tried to track down the two rolls of toilet paper that have mysteriously disappeared (I have a feeling they are in the bin of junk underneath a pile of plastic bags). I also checked out a few apartments, and I am pretty confident about finding a place for February.

Now I am chilling, doing laundry, and watching Survivorman. For an old guy, survivorman is pretty cute.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

004. Orange you glad?

I have never been so disapointed to find out the little old lady was home. Boo. I like her and all, but I reaaaally want to cook something to eat in the kitchen, and then bring it up to my room and enjoy it, but I know if I do she will 1) want to talk, 2) ask if things are sorted out with my "friend's apartment" and 3) see me take food up to my room.

Little old lady won't stop me from taking food up to my room, and she really is sweet, but she has dropped heavy hints that she thinks it's weird.

Me? I think it is a unique and exciting way to avoid conversations and questions about my life.

I know that little old lady is just a little lonely some evenings, and fortunuately tonight she has a friend over (young, quirky homosexual black man), and together they are singing.

Anyway, today is kind of a dreary day, and I am starving. I might order in. I have to see how I am doing as far as my budget goes (I just spent forty dollars paying for a parking ticket, blegh!).

Oh! I have an orange I grabbed from work today. I can have that. Yum!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

03. New Year

My New year was kind of lame this year. Co-worker James*invited me over to his girlfriends place for NYE, which was too sweet, but I ended up getting sick that evening after dinner (pizza, yum!), so I spent the rest of the night in with Carson and Sam Adams.

Jay used to say, "alcohol makes everything feel better! It'll kill whatever's wrong with you." I don't know if that is always true, but my throat could handle a cold drink.

Unfortunately, the sore throat got worse by Thursday, and I spent the next four days drinking hot tea, watching Comcast On Demand and sleeping through coughing fits. Ugh, it was miserable. I canceled my Saturday apartment search (can't deal with little old lady, crazy landlord and the roaches, even with the great location, huge space, and cheap rent!); I'll start again this weekend. I already have a couple of promising leads with great location + sane roommates in my age range - singing cockroaches.

If only the ones in my kitchen sang. Okay, the cockroach issue really isn't all that bad. I set up motels, the the number of visible pests has dropped considerably. The one or so straglers meet their untimely end under the great majesty of my mighty papertowel and a can of scrubbing bubbles.

Although, I have started to think I am building up some horrible karma that will result in my own reincarnation into a cockroach that dies Cube-style from a bathroom cleaning product burning through my exo-skeleton. I hope I am building up some positive counter-karma with my obsessive need to "free" other bugs I find and let house spiders chill in their webs.

Anyway, by Monday I was feeling much better, even though I sounded like Froggy from the Lil' Rascals whenever I talked. Monday was pretty uneventful at work, too. My job basically consists of reading blogs, researching bloggers and telling clients how they can best reach bloggers and improve their online presences. It's pretty awesome.

Today, we got started on a new project for one of our clients, and I drafted a couple of documents in preparation for a new initiative launch. Compliments from Bossman were to be had when I sent them over, which was surprising and very, very nice. Hopefully, I can keep the good work up and score a permenant position by the end of this period. We'll see.

The year has been good so far, and I have high hopes.

* Oh, hey, I change names when I write about people. I try to be consistent, but you'll get the idea. :)

Friday, January 2, 2009

02. On Anonymity

Leighann isn’t my name, and neither is Lawrence. I stole Leighann from a friend I was once cruel to, and Lawrence belongs to the boy I first kissed. Together, the name sounds like it could be mine, and I like it as much. I missed the anonymity that this name gave me, and so I will be writing as Leighann here.

That said, everything I say here is true save for names and locations. This blog exists for me to write about my life, my work and my goals. I have quite a bit of baggage to rummage through, and I intend to use this blog to help me sort it out.

I am sure the technologically advanced among you will be able to track down my identity or city, but I ask that you respect my privacy. In “real” life, I am a professional who works for a fairly well-known company. My coworkers, and even many of my friends, are not aware of my rape or my less-than-flattering history. While I have been fortunate to meet many people who have supported me despite my past, or because of it, I speak from first-hand experience when I say not all the world is so understanding.

In some ways, I am a coward, but it is my decision to be a coward. It is important to me that I retain control over my story and my experiences, and it is important that you know me as Leighann.

I apologize for any confusion I may cause to the real Leighann Lawrences out there.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

01. Resolution

I resolve to write more. I miss writing, and I will make every effort to blog every day and at least once a week.

I resolve to get my finances in order. My first order of business is itemizing my budget and figuring out where my money goes each month.

I resolve to control my eating. I am an emotional eater. I am bulimic. I will not give in to temptation, but I will no longer punish my self when I do slip up.

I resolve to help others, whether it is through volunteer work or simply being a listening ear.

I resolve to forgive myself. I will allow others to get close to me again, and I will continue to grow as a person.