Saturday, 28 November 2009

bear with me...

i swear sometime soon i'm going to have some insightful analysis of my own rather than just my splurgy emo response to what i see and hear. but in the meantime i just want to share what inspires me so hard, and gives me hope in the face of this kind of hideous drivel.


one that's sticking in my head...

"if you saw what they did to me, you wouldn't like it. they cut out my clitoris and stitched it up, it was the worst thing. i don't like to have sex."

this woman and i are around the same age. she has two children. she is wanting to get out of the city because of domestic violence, and because her husband's family want to 'circumcise' her daughter. she knows exactly what that would involve.

these past weeks i've been discovering new kinds of sex, new depths of sex. i've been shedding big pieces of socialised shame, feeling how to inhabit and love my body, how to love sex. in fact i was off in a reverie when this woman knocked on the door of the drop-in. i look her in the eye and try to keep still as she talks. i feel my privilege like vertigo, the edge of a chasm between us. the privilege of being enabled to feel that my body is my own. a few weeks ago i would have had a smaller understanding of what has been stolen from her. today this change in me is raw and new and i don't know how to comprehend this difference between us, the meaning of it, what change needs to happen so that every woman, child, queer, man, person feels that their body is their own. i guess now is not the time. i have a job to do.

she and her children got out of the city. perhaps her daughter will stay safe and her body intact. perhaps she'll grow up feeling that her body is her own. perhaps the woman will feel that herself someday.

more info about female genital cutting.

Monday, 23 November 2009

too personal

ach, i've been neglecting this blog even though everything's swirling round my head as much as ever. trauma, abuse and relationships ending seem to be affecting me in ways too close to home to blog about just now. writing here was starting to help a lot, drawing out themes, categorising things so it's not such a messy heap of painful stuff. you can start to be less overwhelmed if you get scary things in some kind of order, right?

i'm totally noticing what happens if i don't prioritise support for myself though. like, one of the points of this blog was to figure out how to be a healthy supporter, and i'm feeling a bit unhealthy now. noticing this is a start, but acting on it would be better.

hey, though, on a random note, i found out about Activist Trauma Support who seem super cool to me and have brilliantly-worded resources to download. it's so hard to persuade people (myself included) to take a break from this kind of work, and they put the case so well.

i fully intend to make space in my life for more time writing here cos it's good for me. back soon.