35 victims of sexual assault/abuse are on the cover of New York Magazine right now.
When I saw an image of the cover on facebook, I immediately clicked on it, anxious to see what it was. 35 women story-telling the gross abuse they suffered at the hands of Bill Cosby. It’s a picture of 35 regular women, sitting in chairs, in their normal clothes, not trying to be beautiful, not trying to be weak. It hadn’t completely hit me yet what this really meant.
The article begins with helpful background info on the debilitating Bill Cosby epidemic, as well as the fascinating hypothesis that young women, with their loud voices, are giving other women the courage to speak out against their perpetrators.
Then the first victim’s story began. There was something very familiar. I know that state of mind when you wake up, eerily thinking, I just missed something.
I know that dark and psychedelic feeling when you realize that what just happened to you, without your sanction, involves your personal health, diseases and some heavy breather’s gluttony, self-interest, obsession, addiction, habit. The breather stretches you open, doing whatever it wants to your body. I can picture my body morphing into a rag doll, a blow-up babe, more than asleep–unconscious.
The only way to describe it: it feels like you just got raped. (It is what it is). A phrase that usually works to dramatically portray a really bad scenario or emotional upheaval, as in, when I came home and saw that someone had just broken into my house and stolen all my new sh!t. It was like I just freaking got raped, yo.
Abruptly, a queasy sickness and an indecipherable numbness hit you. You get the sweats, puke somewhere, probably on yourself. A muteness comes from the horror of your own stupidity– for letting yourself get fu@ked like this (pun intended). Then there’s the way people look at you with a face that tells you that you can never ever bring that story up ever again; they basically beg you to shut up with their eyes. The most regrettable shame blossoms, flourishing in your own self-punishment, anger and helplessness. You talk the most sh!t about yourself, more than anyone else.
So, why did the Bill Cosby victim’s story feel like a memory? I’ve never met the guy. I recognize the tactics. I’ve seen those same moves being used today (“a product of experience-based research”) [I’m still dysfunctionally attached to the silence, so I make my trauma scientific].
After the first victim’s story, I took a break from reading. Now I’m over here on my blog trying to sort through flurries of thought.
Maybe this is why the Cosby cover is blowing my mind. It’s releasing me from solitary confinement.
I’m so pleased to announce that three of my poems, “Slots,” “Scraping” and “Make a Decision” have been published in Barking Sycamores Literary Magazine Issue 13. Barking Sycamores is dedicated to neurodivergent literature and its craft. I’m so honored to be a part of this project. Barking Sycamores Issue 13
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