By Kendra Holliday | April 22, 2016
If you know me at all, you know that I have a mentally ill mother, and a mentally ill daughter.
Yes, genetics can be a bitch.
As a result, I’m constantly sandwiched between my past and my future.
If the timing features one of them having a meltdown, it can feel like a stressful seesaw, but if the timing features both of them freaking out simultaneously, it can feel crushing.
Today, I set out to have a happy-go-lucky day of self care – I took time off from seeing clients so I could enjoy the beautiful spring weather – read, write, go shopping, take walks, and nap.
Relax and rejuvenate.
But a couple days ago, I had a bad phone call with my mom. Among other things, she has borderline personality disorder. I’m not sure what that means exactly,
but I do know that serial killer Aileen Wuornos had it, and it means you have to walk on eggshells with the afflicted person and kiss their ass, or else you will pay dearly for it – they will instantly turn on you and become vicious.
I talk to my mom on the phone a few times a week, and I usually play along and kiss her ass, murmuring sympathetic responses to her litany of complaints about how cruel everyone is to her.
This time, I didn’t feel like it. She whined about what a victim she was, after bragging about slamming the door on her social worker and stealing money from my dad, and when I asked her what she wanted me to do about her pathetic plight, she got angry and insulted me. I hung up on her.
Today, my daughter got a letter in the mail from her crazy grandma. It included this picture of me, along with a taunting message in my mother’s spidery script:
This was your mother at age 21, before she met your father.
My daughter was confused, but I immediately knew the intent.
This picture was taken right after I was raped. She sent it deliberately in order to hurt me again. The first time, a man stuck his cock in me because he wanted to. This time, mom mom stuck a memory knife in me because she wanted to. Both times, I was penetrated without my consent.
The day this photo was taken was over twenty years ago. I was working at a nursing home with a nice guy named Pasqual. He was from Cameroon, and was attending Maryville University for a nursing degree. He lived with a host family. He had dark skin and a moon face, and a thick French accent.
I had just moved into a trailer home in Jefferson County with another guy in nursing school, and he was proving to be a creepy asshole who assumed I should pay him rent AND put out, which wasn’t what I had in mind when I moved in, so I was anxious to find another living arrangement.
Pasqual told me he knew of a house for rent, and offered to take me there to see it. I was eager to check it out – it was a real house and in a better location.
As soon as he unlocked the door, I got a weird vibe – it was cold and dark. We wandered around, and I wasn’t feeling it. Finally, we got to the last bedroom, and he cornered me. I was completely taken by surprise – we hadn’t flirted or dated at all, and suddenly he was pushing me down on the bed and shoving my dress up.
I pushed against him and struggled and said no, but he kept push push pushing, and he had his way with me. He was so strong, and I was so weak and frozen. He just pinned me down and shoved my hippie dress up and stuck his cock in my dry pussy and fucked me. I wasn’t into it at all, and that didn’t matter to him. No kissing or foreplay, strictly mechanical and masturbatory.
When he was done, I collected myself and shakily went to my car. As soon as I slammed the door, I sobbed hysterically. What the fuck just happened? Did I ask for that? Was I stupid for trusting him? I thought he was a friend.
I pulled myself together and went to my next appointment – I had plans to meet my mom at Northwest Plaza. I went through the motions – we had lunch and took pictures in a photo booth. I hung my faux leopard print coat up as a backdrop (I later lost that coat at a truck stop on a road trip a few years later.)
My mom had no idea I had just been traumatized – I acted like it was an ordinary afternoon. Weeks later, I told her about it, and she was surprised. But she held on to the ugly story for over twenty years, and waited for the right time to spring it on me again. So calculated.
You can see how shell shocked and dazed I was by my haunted eyes and grim expression. Here, let me show you again:
This type of assault is SO common – they say one in four women and one in six men are raped or assaulted, but I think it’s more common than that. And more often than not, it’s a friend or family member who is the perpetrator.
Not many people admit to being raped, and even fewer people admit to raping. In fact, when I confronted the guy about it later, he acted perplexed.
Have YOU been raped? Have YOU raped?
Human nature is so astonishing.
On top of all this, a few years ago, university researchers put a call out for participants for a study on rape survivors and PTSD. I responded and was interviewed, but was rejected for not being traumatized enough for their research purposes.
Maybe now I am eligible?
Pffft, no. I just got triggered is all. A victim is someone who allows their past to dictate their current actions. A survivor is someone who takes their past and builds off of it in order to become stronger.
Don’t let your past drag you down. YOU are in charge.
Take time to process, but don’t dwell for too long. Learn from your past, and move forward.
— Kendra Holliday (@TBK365) April 23, 2016