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Fri Sep 28, 2018, 02:54 PM

I didn't know this week would have this effect on me. Can anyone relate?

Last edited Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:37 PM - Edit history (1)

I was at an industry conference yesterday so missed seeing any of the testimony live; nevertheless, Iím finding that today Iím trying to process why I feel traumatized. Please bear with me as I try to articulate how I feel.

Earlier this week, my brother and I were arguing over Dr. Fordís accusations and I told him, ďYou donít understand. I KNOW this guy (figuratively, not literally)Ē. Seeing Kavanaugh rage and throw tantrums yesterday while he was being questioned only confirmed it: I KNOW this guy (again, figuratively, not literally) and I have been trying to overcome him my whole life.

Yesterday, suddenly, the memories all came flooding back: the boys in kindergarten who frequently cornered me and pulled my pants down, the old man down the street who starting exposing himself to me when I was 9 years old and who once shoved several pages ripped from Hustler magazine into my little hands, the man who was trying to touch me while staring at my chest when I was 13, the boyfriend who threatened to rape me - it goes on and on and on. I have been followed, chased, shouted at, threatened with rape, dismemberment and murder, been hit, been cornered, been grabbed, been choked. The thing is, though, that I never thought Iíd been affected by any of it. I thought none of it had left a mark on me. Until yesterday. Yesterday, the whole weight of my life fell on me.

I kept finding myself crying intermittently all day yesterday; last night I couldnít sleep because I felt like I was suffocating. Today, I feel sick to my stomach and completely, utterly exhausted. It feels like I have spent all of my 48 years trying to live and succeed and raise a happy family while having all the Kavanaughs of the world around my neck trying to weigh me down, trying to make me fail, to make me give up, to make me shut up.

In one day, Iíve gone from a person who saw herself as untouchable to one who realizes she has been deeply damaged.

I donít know what to do with this revelation, but I do know one thing: while my anger feels impotent, Kavanaughís does not. Kavanaughís rage has objective power in the real world. While I will use mine to protest and vote, as I always do, he will use his to re-shape the very laws of this country. My anger can only have power if it is multiplied by millions of others who have had enough, who refuse to carry their burdens and their silence and their shame and their trauma alone anymore. Come November, I hope we will all remember this week.

Thanks for listening.

ETA: I'm overwhelmed by the responses to this post and the kindness in them. Thank you all so much. To all those who have courageously posted of their own abuse: please know I hear you, I believe you and I stand with you. To those still struggling to come forward, I understand and hope you know I stand with you, too. Please stay strong, everyone, and be kind to yourselves!

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Reply I didn't know this week would have this effect on me. Can anyone relate? (Original post)
TeapotInATempest Sep 2018 OP
hlthe2b Sep 2018 #1
mr_lebowski Sep 2018 #2
rzemanfl Sep 2018 #5
canetoad Sep 2018 #54
Lochloosa Sep 2018 #12
philly_bob Sep 2018 #16
TeapotInATempest Sep 2018 #17
wryter2000 Sep 2018 #87
Beartracks Sep 2018 #165
geardaddy Sep 2018 #62
wryter2000 Sep 2018 #83
wryter2000 Sep 2018 #84
TeapotInATempest Sep 2018 #93
Amaryllis Sep 2018 #135
KY_EnviroGuy Sep 2018 #142
wryter2000 Sep 2018 #155
KY_EnviroGuy Sep 2018 #156
bettyellen Sep 2018 #3
TeapotInATempest Sep 2018 #27
bettyellen Sep 2018 #32
True Blue American Sep 2018 #82
Fresh_Start Sep 2018 #4
True Blue American Sep 2018 #88
Haggis for Breakfast Sep 2018 #122
True Blue American Sep 2018 #152
alwaysinasnit Sep 2018 #6
Solly Mack Sep 2018 #7
TeapotInATempest Sep 2018 #30
Solly Mack Sep 2018 #38
Haggis for Breakfast Sep 2018 #123
Solly Mack Sep 2018 #124
Haggis for Breakfast Sep 2018 #136
True Blue American Sep 2018 #154
fierywoman Sep 2018 #8
TeapotInATempest Sep 2018 #34
fierywoman Sep 2018 #48
Squinch Sep 2018 #9
TeapotInATempest Sep 2018 #19
MontanaMama Sep 2018 #10
TeapotInATempest Sep 2018 #21
nolabear Sep 2018 #11
TeapotInATempest Sep 2018 #22
Laurian Sep 2018 #13
Ohiogal Sep 2018 #14
TeapotInATempest Sep 2018 #23
Ohiogal Sep 2018 #26
Paladin Sep 2018 #15
byronius Sep 2018 #18
TeapotInATempest Sep 2018 #24
ismnotwasm Sep 2018 #20
TeapotInATempest Sep 2018 #25
kimmylavin Sep 2018 #28
TeapotInATempest Sep 2018 #37
kimmylavin Sep 2018 #99
KSNY Sep 2018 #29
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haele Sep 2018 #31
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procon Sep 2018 #33
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canetoad Sep 2018 #52
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lark Sep 2018 #55
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Dave Starsky Sep 2018 #57
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volstork Sep 2018 #100
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MountCleaners Sep 2018 #116
recentevents Sep 2018 #117
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Marthe48 Sep 2018 #118
camartinwv Sep 2018 #121
pnwmom Sep 2018 #125
Sparkly Sep 2018 #127
joanbarnes Sep 2018 #129
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malthaussen Sep 2018 #158
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catrose Sep 2018 #134
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Daphne08 Sep 2018 #166
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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 02:54 PM

1. It has, in a single word, been DEVASTATING

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 02:56 PM

2. On behalf of my gender, I'm sorry ...

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #2)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 02:57 PM

5. +1. n/t

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Response to rzemanfl (Reply #5)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:53 PM

54. You

And the guy above you have nothing to apologise for. You are both decent guys who conduct themselves appropriately here on DU, which is the only place I know you from. The gesture is appreciated but not necessary.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #2)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:04 PM

12. +2

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Response to Lochloosa (Reply #12)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:10 PM

16. +3

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #2)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:13 PM

17. Thank you.

But the men who apologize for this kind of behavior are never the ones who perpetrate it. Be kind to yourself.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Reply #17)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:29 PM

87. What you said.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Reply #17)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 05:57 PM

165. I apologized once...

... to an acquaintance who had suffered abuse from her first husband, speaking "on behalf of all men." She actually got rather snippy with me. Granted, I was going and naive and spoke from an inexperienced sense of chivalry, but it certainly wasn't the reaction i expected.



===========

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #2)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:03 PM

62. +1

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #2)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:27 PM

83. That's good of you

The reality is that the huge numbers of men are like you and would never harm someone less powerful simply because it's fun. And you have to remember that many women buy into the "she was asking for it" and "why would you want to ruin his life?" crap.

We need to change the way the whole culture deals with this sort of emotional and physical violence. I think we've made progress in that direction in the past two days. If Kavanaugh is denied "his" place on the bench, I'll know we've made progress.

In any case, this woman (and rape survivor) thanks you and all the men like you.

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Response to wryter2000 (Reply #83)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:28 PM

84. I've been totally distracted

Unable to work. I spend all my time searching on DU for evidence that Kavanaugh won't get what his privilege has guaranteed him.

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Response to wryter2000 (Reply #84)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:38 PM

93. I'd like to see a chart

of American office workers' productivity this week.

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Response to wryter2000 (Reply #83)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 08:37 PM

135. Women buying into rape culture: When i was about 16, my mom and I saw a woman who was

dressed very scantily, and my mom said women who dress like that deserve to be raped. I said, no one deserves to be raped. Even at 16 (I'm 70 now), I knew that was distorted thinking.

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Response to wryter2000 (Reply #83)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 10:41 PM

142. Thanks for expressing that so eloquently.

As a 70YO man who was raised in the country to respect women to the letter (and taught that in church), I also am appalled at the extent of recent revelations. That clearly demonstrates how much of this emotional and physical violence has been kept hidden.

That said, even with my good raisin', I never realized how important it is to be conscious of the emotional impact of all my actions on others until I was deeply involved in a alcohol recovery program in my early 40s and looked back at many events in my life. That process shook me to my core. I never forced myself on any woman in any way, but I sure as hell left a few crying at my departure and that can leave deep emotional scars.

I seriously believe we are failing most of our youth by not teaching them simple elementary psychology beginning at an early age so they learn to carefully look at both the emotional and physical effects of their daily actions. That process requires humble reflection. Unfortunately, in our materialistic/capitalistic world today, too many parents are stone cold to the need for teaching this in the home.

It also wouldn't hurt to have a similar programs in workplaces. We tend to only look at financial and physical effects of improper actions and that needs to stop. Learning to be sensitive to other's emotions can temper even the worst of our primitive impulses.

.........

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Reply #142)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 09:48 AM

155. Well put

Itís called empathy, and I doubt people like Kavanagh will ever learn it.

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Response to wryter2000 (Reply #155)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 09:57 AM

156. Yes, empathy accompanied by action! n/t

......... .........

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 02:56 PM

3. So many women are or have been experiencing this since 2016 and yeah....

 

Itís weird that so many guys donít get it. I could barely sleep the night before the hearing. I stared a thread asking for hugs.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #3)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:24 PM

27. Please accept my hugs.



And thank you for starting that thread - I'm sorry I missed it.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Reply #27)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:28 PM

32. Accepted. And it was lovely seeing the support shared and raw honesty of

 

Many of the posters who wanted an outlet to rant.
Iím sure conservatives would laugh at it, also sure I couldnít give AF that they do.

https://www.democraticunderground.com/100211190037

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #3)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:27 PM

82. I could not sleep last night.

I feel so terrible about what Kavanaugh, Trump and the old men who were pushing this have done.

I have been in a state of anxiety for 2 years, getting worse each day. I feel so sorry for the women who are assaulted, degraded and treated badly. I hope this breaks the dam for women.

There are too many men out there that feel the same way. We are lucky to have them.
Most are Democrats!

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 02:57 PM

4. same here in terms of being devastated

unfortunately I already knew I was damaged...and this is reviving all the pain

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Response to Fresh_Start (Reply #4)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:30 PM

88. You are not damaged

You are a brave surviver.

The so and soí who did this are damaged beyond repair.

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Response to Fresh_Start (Reply #4)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 06:10 PM

122. I think this has re-traumatized women all over this country.

I'd be willing to wager that the mental health community would concur.

You cannot unring a bell, anymore than you can forget a soul-shattering event like sexual assault.

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Response to Haggis for Breakfast (Reply #122)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 05:09 AM

152. Calls to the Abuse hotline have increased

209%. This week has really been traumatic, especially bad for survivers but at this point it seems most women are thinking about indignities they have has to deal with over the years just because of hateful npmen who think they are superior.

I am getting phone calls from women who are so outraged at these vicious old men in the Senate who refuse to listen to anyone.

My phone was ringing when Jeff Flake made his announcement. If they still vote for Kav after his performance Thursday you can guarantee all hell will brak lose at the Voting booths.

I am getting my absentee ballot so I can go help serve refreshments from my Church at the Poll I worked at for several years.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 02:57 PM

6. Wow! I tip my hat to you. I am in total solidarity.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:00 PM

7. I can relate.

I'm angry. Incredibly angry.

I resent having to be the one that relives the trauma while my attacker goes about life as if it's all in the past.

I've been lashing out. If anyone noticed or felt it - my bad?

I'm done apologizing. Been done with that a long time ago.







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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #7)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:28 PM

30. Yes, like some expert said on some show

It wasn't traumatic for Kavanaugh, so why would he remember it?

They never have to carry the weight of what they've done.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Reply #30)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:34 PM

38. Exactly right.

They skip off into the sunset.

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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #7)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 06:16 PM

123. Dear Solly Mack

Some of us have been paying attention. You captured mine days ago with some of your posts.

It is beyond unfair that people have been damaged and those responsible are permitted to walk freely among us, unteathered from accountability. What makes it worse for some is that those people who were supposed to protect them failed miserably to do the one most important job of every parent. And they denied it/lied about it, even when the evidence was right in front of their faces the whole time.

That kind of betrayal never sleeps.

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Response to Haggis for Breakfast (Reply #123)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 06:28 PM

124. Thank you, Haggis for Breakfast

For your compassion and understanding.

It never sleeps. That is so very true.

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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #124)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 08:51 PM

136. I would give you the biggest hug right now.

We could both use one.

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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #7)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 05:12 AM

154. You have no reason to apologize. Speak out loud and clear

Just like the 2 women in the elevator and all the Protesters. Do not shut up for one minute. Shame them.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:02 PM

8. Welcome to the club.

Now we can begin to cut those (unconscious) cords that have bound us for all these years.
Never in my lifetime (now 67) did I ever think the Berlin Wall would fall. But we woke up one day and it was being torn down by the very people it had tried to contain. I'm aware that I'm probably the biggest Pollyanna on this site -- so be it -- but "where there's life there's hope."

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Response to fierywoman (Reply #8)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:29 PM

34. I have literally lived my life by that saying.

Catholic upbringing, you know? But sometimes you just get so damn tired.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Reply #34)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:43 PM

48. Yup. I know the tiredness. Rest, nap, recuperate --

what was McCain's saying? : March or die. (No, not a great McCain fan. But his words struck me.)

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:03 PM

9. This is perfectly stated. I have been feeling as if I am carrying rocks around

in my chest.

I keep going back to the devastation of learning that men who I thought were friends had engaged in one of those disgusting "trains" on an unconscious woman in my Jesuit college. Too close, too close. And at this remove, forty years later, I still feel like throwing up when I think about this incident. But I was only someone who knew it happened. I was only someone who could think, "There but for the grace of God go I." And like you, I was only someone who went through the "run of the mill" traumas that are just part of growing up female in America. The rape threats, the need by random men to debase me, to make themselves feel worthy by making me feel frightened or demeaned or insignificant.

I CANNOT imagine what those women who were direct victims of the kind of behavior Kavanaugh perpetrated - this kind of rampant behavior - are feeling this week. I wish they could know how much I want to bolster them, support them, let them know what amazing people they are to have survived such a thing.

I also just HATE these entitled pasty evil assholes who are trying to take our dignity and who are trying to ruin our country. I will NEVER forgive this. I will NEVER forget this.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #9)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:15 PM

19. Yes, I feel exactly this way too.

Thank you for sharing and I'm so sorry you understand.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:03 PM

10. With you 100%.

I have nothing to add because you have described how I feel with crystal clarity. I'm glad I'm alone in the office today...I'm so sick and sad. I'm also burning mad.

I'm sorry for the terrible experiences you've had. I've been down some very similar roads. I too am doing my best to hold my head high, raise a happy healthy son and do my part to resist. Thank you for your OP.

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #10)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:16 PM

21. I'm sorry you feel that way, too.

Please keep resisting.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:04 PM

11. Take heart. All these things are true.

The things that happened to you happened, as they did to so many of us. But so did all those wonderful things youíve done and the wonderful people youíve known and even made!

All the things youíre hearing about the ways memories are stored and retrieved, and the emotional weight that they carry, are smart. Thatís what youíre in the middle of. First, the need to be untouchable and then the fear of the collapse of that protection. Itís how you handled memories. And itís changing. That change is a miserable thing to go through, but it has the potential to help you grow rather than freeze you in an untouchable, but perhaps less potent, state.

This sounds far more easy and Pollyanna than it is. The medium is hard. But I appreciate and support what youíre going through.

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Response to nolabear (Reply #11)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:17 PM

22. Thanks you for the kind words; you've made me cry again

But in a good way this time.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:05 PM

13. Absolutely. I avoided watching the proceedings, but caught occasional updates

on social media. By the end of the day, I was exhausted but unable to get to sleep until well after midnight. Still today, ugly memories keep churning.

Sorry that I donít have any advice on how to navigate these times. For me, Iíve tried to stay busy with mundane everyday chores that, while boring, keep my mind occupied.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:07 PM

14. You aren't alone.

I have been re-living the experience I had in junior high school where 4 big boys cornered me and groped me under my skirt. And laughed at me when I tried to break free. When, in high school, the boys would stand under the stairwell and hoot and holler looking up your dress. (and we were not allowed to wear pants). The way they would brush up against you in the hallway during class change. The way they would stare at your chest. It's just all coming back and I hate it with a passion.

I told my husband, out of all the heinously damaging things Trump has done to this country, this one really affects me the most so far. A rapist on the Supreme Court, ruling on what women can do with their bodies. It's like a cruel joke and we women are all at their mercy.

It helps to know there are many of us out there and that we vote. Hugs all around ....

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Response to Ohiogal (Reply #14)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:18 PM

23. Ugh, I'm sorry that happened to you.

And, yes, a rapist on the Supreme Court. It feels like such a deliberate slap in the face.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Reply #23)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:22 PM

26. I guess you could say we have a rapist in the White House, too

I am so sick of these old sour faced white men ruling our lives!

Thank you for your compassion and sharing.....

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:08 PM

15. Well stated. Thank you. (nt)

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:14 PM

18. Woke up yesterday morning to find my wife crying in the living room.

And I spent the rest of the day struggling to contain my absolute rage.

I do not believe I can speak to one of Kavanaugh's excusers. I cannot. It will immediately escalate and end badly for both of us.

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Response to byronius (Reply #18)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:19 PM

24. You're clearly a good ally; thank you

We need good men like you more than you can know.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:15 PM

20. I need to keep repeating this

I am absolutely furious. I am a fully engaged feminist. I have been dealing with my emotions about sexual assault and the lack of consequences for rapists and the fucked up patriarchy for a long while. Iíve been told, on this very board, no less, that there was no such thing as rape culture. That rape statistics were exaggerated. That women shouldnít be out at night if they didnít want to be raped. That women shouldnít get drunk. There was even touted a school of thought in evolutionary psychology claiming rape as adaptive behavior.

There have been many, many battles, both on-line and off it.

BUT I also want to speak up for my husband, who also suffered childhood sexual abuse, and is also now suffering. He looked at Kavanaugh and said, ďI canít tell you how I know, but I KNOW he did it, I KNOWó-there is no doubt in his mind. He didnít sleep last night. He hurts. He is also furious. He also feels impotent in his anger.

To all the victims. We hear, and we believe.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #20)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:22 PM

25. Please hug your husband for me.

Yes, we hear and believe and we want justice.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:24 PM

28. Yes.

I keep running the gamut of emotions.
Bad memories keep coming up.
I canít sleep - Iím so restless I just stay awake until Iím exhausted.
Then I have to get up and take care of my 4-year-old daughter, and I just weep for her.
My goddamn SKIN hurts.

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Response to kimmylavin (Reply #28)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:33 PM

37. Yes, this is how I feel!

Give your little girl some hugs from me and take heart - maybe, just maybe, this moment is like lancing a boil. We shall see.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Reply #37)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:57 PM

99. Will do, and thank you.

Yes, perfect metaphor.
Get rid of all the gross stuff, heal up, and keep a scar to warn us in the future.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:26 PM

29. Yes, this resonates...but glad that you are not shutting up

I have been in touch with my rage for a while, but the spectacle of white male privilege and upper-class power that we saw yesterday was truly disturbing.

The Republicans, during Kavanaugh's testimony, even went as far as "shutting up" Ms. Mitchell when Kavanaugh began to lose his cool under her questioning. This amounted to them putting their figurative hand over her mouth because she did not "perform" as they expected for the boys. They felt entitled to use Ms. Mitchell and discard her when they no longer felt a need for her. This bears a very disturbing parallel to what young Kavanaugh tried to do with 15 year-old Christine Blasey while Mark Judge looked on.

Dr. Blasey Ford, although she spoke in a soft voice, must have been feeling some of the same rage that you, I and others feel.

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Response to KSNY (Reply #29)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:35 PM

39. THIS.

"The Republicans, during Kavanaugh's testimony, even went as far as "shutting up" Ms. Mitchell when Kavanaugh began to lose his cool under her questioning. This amounted to them putting their figurative hand over her mouth because she did not "perform" as they expected for the boys."

They will act this way to women on their own side, too. Republican women need to wise up.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:28 PM

31. It is upsetting for me, also.

And I was pretty lucky growing up. There were a couple friends who were being abused, looking back, but there was still that culture of sexualization of young girls that meant you always had to be ready to fight, to work twice as hard as the boys in your cadre if you wanted to be more than a product that would eventually be bought by some "nice young man" who was going to take care of you in return for being his living doll, maid, and the nanny for any kids you both might have.

Just the obvious implication that no matter how smart, successful, or important a woman might be, she's still a disposable object to men in positions of authority. That there's an expectation that an over-priviledged dick like Kavanagh "deserves" respect and a position just for having male genitalia and belonging to the right country clubs.

Yes, it's upsetting and it stings.

Haele

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Response to haele (Reply #31)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:37 PM

40. I agree with every word.

Someone on this board recently said not all misogyny is hatred of women, because they just don't think highly enough of us to hate us. We're just part of the scenery, like furniture.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:29 PM

33. {{Hugs}} From a fellow survivor. I stand with you in complete solidarity. nt

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:30 PM

35. I can relate. Something happened to me at a party, too, decades ago.

I never told anyone. I haven't told anyone even as of today. So I can relate to you and Ford. Reporting these things wasn't something you did. I would have been blamed...and I would have agreed! That's how bad it was.

I feel like being female isn't valued at all. Nothing will stop an assaulter from rising to the highest levels, because we just don't matter.

We just don't matter. That's what I keep thinking.

What must it be like, to have people believe everything you say, like almost any male is believed? I can't imagine. What must it be like to be paid decently? I was underpaid for most of my work life. I can't imagine. It's so unfair. It's wrong.

I just don't know. I'm so depressed over it all.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #35)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:39 PM

42. Hugs to you.

I've never told anyone, either, and it never seemed to matter because I wasn't raped, you know? And, anyway, it all felt like my fault somehow.

I'm sorry you're depressed; please take care of yourself.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Reply #42)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:48 PM

50. Hugs back atcha. Yes, I felt like it was my fault. I shouldn't have been there...

shouldn't have been drunk. My fault. I WAS raped. No one there knew it, except for the guy. "My fault."

But you know what? I didn't take it as hard as Dr. Ford took her experience. Maybe because I was a few years older. She was only 15, after all.


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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:32 PM

36. An event popped to the front of my memory this week.

It happened 50 or more years ago, but it's impossible to forget. I think I'm lucky because I never felt any severe emotional damage, but I did take some satisfaction when I googled the name of the attacker and found out he was dead. This morning it occurred to me that the brain must have a "shitty memory file" and this week sure triggered it to open up for millions of people.

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Response to Vinca (Reply #36)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:41 PM

46. Am I a bad person for laughing

about you taking satisfaction in him being dead?

I always felt I was lucky, too, which is why these new feelings are so strange to me, you know?

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Reply #46)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:07 PM

63. No. You aren't a bad person for laughing. Several times over the past few days, I have wished

some of those old GOP prune-faced white men on the Senate Judiciary Committee would drop dead of a heart attack. And I seriously wish that Mitch McConnell would too.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Reply #46)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:12 PM

69. Without laughter, we might as well be dead.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:39 PM

41. Same here

I've been crying off and on for two days. I had no idea I would react so viscerally to her honesty and to his entitled bluster. Opened every tiny little wound and exposed it to the air.

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Response to ColoradoBlue (Reply #41)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:42 PM

47. Right?

It's been so strange for me, too, to respond like this.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:40 PM

43. I hear you. WE hear you. And we stand with you.

It started for me the week of the Access Hollywood tapes before the 2016 "election," and has been building ever since. This past week, I feel like it is all rising and pouring out of me.

Thank you for sharing your story. You are NOT alone. There are millions of us.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:40 PM

44. I can't imagine...

...what it would be like to watch my abuser testifying under oath in front of millions of people that what he did to me never happened.

Get out the vote.

Get in their faces.

Don't let these horrid daily scandals (ESPECIALLY this one) lull us into a stupor, by the sheer enormity of it.

Our REPUBLIC is at stake.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:40 PM

45. same here. I feel like I am living in a country that puts its women in a place

where we are just servants, not citizens. We are to be used and abused at the will of men. I guess this is a version of reality we don't always see. We believe our fathers, husbands and sons love us, but then we get a taste of reality. to look at the bright side, my son says that the Y chromosome will be gone in 10 thousand years or so.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:45 PM

49. I'm so sorry for your pain

This event has deeply affected more people, especially women, than any I can recall. I'm not sure what the outcome will be, but I hope some good comes of it, for you as well as all of us.

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Response to CanonRay (Reply #49)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:50 PM

53. Thanks for the kind words.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:48 PM

51. I won't go into why, but Dr. Ford's testimony affected me very much. I sat there and cried as I

listened to her. It brought back some memories that I thought I had dealt with and moved on from. But I guess not so much. Dr. Ford is obviously such a good person and I admire her so much and that actually makes me feel more at peace with my experience from many many years ago. And now I am sitting here having a hard time hitting the "post my reply" button. But I am going to because that doesn't really take much courage on my part, does it? I cannot even imagine how difficult it was and how much courage it took for Dr. Ford to do what she has done.

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Response to skylucy (Reply #51)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:56 PM

56. Her courage amazes me.

She was so obviously terrified; I felt so protective of her, you know?

I'm glad you posted your reply. Sometimes it's the small acts we find the courage to do that give us the courage to do larger things that we need to do, if that makes sense.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Reply #56)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:25 PM

79. Yes. I wanted to reach into the television and hug her. Thank you for understanding my trepidation

about posting. Your encouraging words mean a lot to me, Tempest.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:50 PM

52. I've been unable to post here

Or watch anything Kav. related, although I've read everything here on DU. You may think I have no horse in this race, being in Australia but from where I sit, there is an existential battle happening over a great part of the globe to hold back the marching forces of authoritarianism and male patriarchy.

Anyone who thinks Women's Lib ended in the 60s or 70s and is not relevant today is blind and misinformed. Men like Kavanaugh always have and always will, worm their ways into positions of power and women are the first to suffer. The US is led by a tin-pot, demented dictator who encourages this behaviour because it's part of his makeup too. I really suffer for what the US and the world is going through right now.

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Response to canetoad (Reply #52)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:59 PM

58. You do have a horse in the race; this is a worldwide fight.

And I want to apologize on behalf of America for unleashing this idiot upon the world, even though I don't know how to stop the madness.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Reply #58)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:02 PM

60. No need to apologise

But thank you anyway. There's plenty of blame to be laid but none of it at the feet of those who voted Hillary.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:55 PM

55. Wow, thank you, I thought it was just me.

I watched all of Dr. Fords' testimony yesterday and was so inspired by her honesty, intelligence and bravery. Then he came on and was a screaming idiot, lying with just about every breath, filibustering the Dems so they couldn't ask their questions, and showing he's totally temperamentally unfit. Then repugs took that performance, because it was a total con, and cheered him for showing he has a horrible temperament, cheered his bullying lying scheming - all in the quest for permanent dominance of the USA. I've been so depressed that males are going to grow up thinking it's perfectly ok to assault women, especially if you are white and rich. Conversely I've been so grieving for all the extra women who will be raped or assaulted, because the Senate showed they didn't matter one bit. I've been grieving for our country because the russian repug rapist want him in on a case that I have heard will allow drumpf to pardon himself (hope I got that part wrong) and others who he couldn't now pardon. Abortion is the side show, protecting drumpf is the reason he's being installed. All day today I have been lethargic and totally depressed by this horrible disaster. Haven't watched the news at all, I just couldn't. One time I tried, but Lindsey Treason Graham was holding court about dastardly dems and I turned it right off feeling sick at my stomach. I just hope enough women will finally realize the utter hatred and contempt the Russian Repug Rapists have for them and vote Dem down the line.

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Response to lark (Reply #55)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:01 PM

59. Yeah, it's just despicable.

They're giving themselves a get out of jail free card, and they're doing it by climbing over the bodies of their victims.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 03:58 PM

57. My wife and I revisited the horrors this week.

As a survivor of such abuse and as someone who loves them.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:02 PM

61. YES. SO MUCH YES.

I'm also 48 years old and listened to almost all of the testimony yesterday. I didn't realize how much Dr. Ford had affected me until I was making dinner and recapping the testimony to my husband, who hadn't been able to catch any of it. When I told him about her answer to the "What do you remember most?" question -- "The laughter. The uproarious laughter of two good friends having fun at my expense." -- I got choked up and couldn't go on. Something that happened to me when I was 8 years old came roaring back. It was a relatively benign incident among a bunch of third graders, and one I had thought about and dismissed many times over the years. But I hadn't remembered the laughter, and suddenly I did...and suddenly I couldn't breathe.

I tossed and turned all night. When I got up this morning I decided to go for a run, and while my body was working my mind was just spinning and churning up everything I felt when that thing happened, and every way it's affected me since then. Suddenly I could see with awful clarity the seed that was sown that day and the weed that took root and grew. My reactions to other incidents that happened to me as a pre-teen and a teenager and a young adult made so much more sense, and while I am glad for the epiphany I am also devastated by it. This thing reaches into every part of my life, right up to my adult relationships and my relationship with my husband of 21 years and the way I parented our only child, and how it even affected her.

It's a terrible feeling. I keep reliving that incident over and over. I've been crying on and off all day and when I try to explain why, I just can't.

Anyway, thanks for saying everything you said, and thank you to all the other commenters. I empathize 100%. And yes, I will be seeking counseling after the weekend.
LW

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Response to LWilliams (Reply #61)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:08 PM

65. Thank YOU!

The sudden feeling that you can't breathe, the seed that was planted that explains later events, the inability to express WHY you're crying...THANK YOU for sharing that. We've been knocked off-balance, haven't we?

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Reply #65)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:17 PM

72. Totally.

I am so glad my daughter is at university in Europe and living there with her boyfriend, who is a wonderful young man. I know she's had some traumatic experiences in her young life as well, and I'm grateful she isn't here to experience this firsthand.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:08 PM

64. You're not alone, Teapot

I think Dr. Ford's riveting testimony and Judge Kavanaugh's theatrics affected the majority of women if not in the same specifics, certainly in the sense that:

We've All Been There . . .

in some sense, either experiencing or witnessing the humiliation, the abuse and the sense that we as women are not entitled to agency over our own bodies, our well-being and/or our lives. And you're so right, the experience yesterday dredged up personal memories. I recalled an incident in college that I had long ago buried, an incident of being roughed up and then subsequently humiliated every time this young man saw me on the street. Because I refused his drunken, crass attack in the backseat of a car.

Yeah, I had put that incident away and it bubbled right up yesterday.

We've all been there in some way. You are so-o-o not alone.

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Response to peggysue2 (Reply #64)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:10 PM

66. We've all been there, yes.

So if they could stop calling us liars, that'd be nice wouldn't it?

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Reply #66)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:18 PM

74. Yes, it would

My sister was not believed when she accused our next door neighbor of fondling her as a child. In fact, our parents were scandalized by the later accusations, said she was crazy.

But that was then. This is now. Women really are pushing back en masse. And that's a very good thing because it's the only way things will truly change.

Take care of yourself and remember: you're not alone. You have millions of Sisters out there. And we're pissed!

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:11 PM

67. You are not alone.

At first I didn't want to watch the hearing because at age 80, I have to watch my high blood pressure. Then I turned on the TV and became mesmerized by Dr. Ford's painful testimony and found myself remembering all the times that I had to deal with sexual harassment of one kind or another.

But what really set me off was Kavanaugh's bullying so typical of a misogynist flaunting his power. No, I didn't sleep much last night either. Now I am beyond angry. Eight of my 10 grandchildren are eligible to vote and they had all better vote straight Democrat in November or when I die I'll come back to haunt them.

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Response to BarbD (Reply #67)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:17 PM

71. Yep, he came across like a bully with an over-developed sense of entitlement.

And please do watch your blood pressure! We want you alive and kicking.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:12 PM

68. Millions of women have been violently triggered this week, or, as I pointed out...

Millions of us were triggered by Trump's behavior during the presidential campaign, and then he got elected.

There should be no doubt in your mind, Teapot, that you are among sisters (and brothers) here, and we understand exactly what you mean.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #68)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:18 PM

75. I do know, thanks!

That's why I felt safe to post here.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:16 PM

70. I, too, started crying. The man who assaulted me when I was 19 years old was killed in a

motorcycle accident the day after the assault. I repressed the memory, relieved that he could never come back and hurt me again. It "came" to me a year ago when my beautiful granddaughter was going off to college as a freshman. I called my daughter and she assured me that Sarah had had extensive rape avoidance training. She goes with a group of friends when she goes out, drinks alcohol, etc.

Isn't it sad that we have to do this?

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #70)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:22 PM

76. It's terribly sad. And ridiculous in a so-called "civilized" society

that we should have to.

I'm so sorry that memories of your assault got dredged back up. Sometimes it feels like we can never escape our pasts.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Reply #76)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:29 PM

86. I shared my story with a dear friend who, as a result, had his own moment of recalled memory

of his own assault at age 10 by several older boys. He has since also told his two grown daughters of the attack and they were very supportive of him.

I cannot tell my grown children about this. My husband, always supportive, was of course horrified that I had endured this and wrapped his arms around me and held me as I cried.

These memories are what I have been living with.

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #86)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:43 PM

95. I'm so sorry.

I'm glad your husband is supportive.

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #70)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:39 PM

119. Yes, sad too, that African-Americans have to have "the talk"

with their sons and daughters about "how to behave among whites". Women make up 51% of the population while AAs are just 10%. But all can be victimized in the blink of an eye. And sadly, all too many never get justice.

Where, oh where, is the humanity?????

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #70)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 09:54 PM

139. My guy is dead too.

Last edited Wed Oct 3, 2018, 09:10 AM - Edit history (1)

I grew up in a neighborhood where everyone knew each other and which was considered a safe place for children to play freely outside.

When I was five, my mom took me to visit a relative nearby. While they were talking and distracted, I wandered off to the yard next door.

The only person home at the time was the 18 year old son. He took me into the house and sexually assaulted me. It all happened very quickly, and had it not been for my mother's calling my name, things would have been much worse. The only reason he let me go is because he would have been found out. I ran out and told my mom what happened, but I never found out how she and my dad handled it. Actually, I'm not sure she ever told my dad -- God knows what he would have done.

While growing up I would see this grotesque creature now and then, and he terrified me. I would look away, or cross the street to avoid him. When I turned 18, I found out he was in some kind of fight, and died from internal injuries. I immediately felt a huge burden lifted from me, an immense relief, even happiness. I was also stunned I could be glad for someone dying, but I understood it was the only way I would be free of the fear he could somehow hurt me again.

I am a grown woman with adult children now, older and wiser. I wish the bastard was still alive, because if he was, I would like to confront him for what he did to me and for the ugliness he brought into a my life. I am filled with anger about it, and I carry that anger as a shield for myself and for any other person victimized by people like him. They say not to hang on to anger, but I think it's healthy to move from feeling like a victim and facing the accuser. I am so proud of Dr. Ford.


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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:18 PM

73. Thank you for writing this.

I'm also going through what you're going through. This shit has a way of haunting you throughout your life.

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Response to Sugar Smack (Reply #73)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:24 PM

78. Yep. It doesn't seem right that we have to carry it with us.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Reply #78)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 06:59 PM

128. I just read this piece to one of my best friends

over the phone. She'd been telling me she was feeling skin-crawly, sick to her stomach today; we'd watched the proceedings together yesterday. I'd seen my brother in Kavanaugh, b/c he's always been an entitled bully- abusive, dishonest and spiteful. And a true misogynist. Yelling, throwing shit & having red-faced temper tantrums when he didn't get his way. And all the other, later incarnations of that behavior in the working world. I feel for everyone here on this thread. Thanks again.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:22 PM

77. You are most definitely not alone and I really don't know any female who...

canít relate to the shaking inner rage we have about the multitudes of abuses small and large that just being a female in a male entitled society have brought upon us over our lives.

Yes, we KNOW Kavanaugh.

I, like millions, have my own list of traumatic memories that I still keep well hidden. Different ďtriggersĒ bring them slamming back to me. Never truly forgotten.

So, if there is anything positive about our collective survivals, it is the immense strength we can share. Because we are a helluva lot stronger than we give ourselves credit for and the world is now, continually realizing that power.

You are strong.



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Response to Guilded Lilly (Reply #77)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:26 PM

81. Imagine our collective strength

if we can find our will to right the wrongs being done!

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Reply #81)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:31 PM

90. Empowering well beyond our fear.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:25 PM

80. I think you have ...

PTSD! Please get some professional help! You have nothing to be sorry for! I just hope you get better! Hang in there!

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Response to kooth (Reply #80)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:31 PM

89. Thanks Kooth.

I'll be ok, though. When I get my balance back, I'll get angry again and try to figure out how to fight what's happening to our country. For me, action's the best medicine.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:29 PM

85. I just increased my anti-depressant.

I have also had to stop watching political TV for a while, although I still read DU and a few other online sources. Sure am glad I got my puppy. My doggos help me take my mind off all the negative stuff. Rescuing that pup was great timing.

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Response to Laffy Kat (Reply #85)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:33 PM

91. I've found periodic news breaks are really important.

And my cats. Lucky you with a puppy!

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:36 PM

92. When I listen to MSNBC my wife asks if my Parkinson's is getting worse

I don't have Parkinson's.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:41 PM

94. I have found myself "triggered" too ...

I didnít realize how badly my two incidents damaged me, either. This week has been brutal.

Any other ladies also feeling guilt? I keep reading a lot of othersí stories and Iím amazed how many women have been through just violent and brutal rapes sometimes by loved ones. And they are building such strong beautiful lives. Mine was assault by a doctor but I donít equate it with a violent rape and I almost feel guilty being triggered. Does that make any sense?

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Response to Blue_playwright (Reply #94)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:45 PM

96. I have a feeling guilt is not uncommon.

I'll leave it to people who know more about such things than I do, but women do always seem to feel guilty for something, don't we?

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Reply #96)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:54 PM

98. I don't feel guilty and never did. But today I felt nauseated and couldn't eat.

I threw up what little was in my stomach (really just white wine). I think the nausea and vomiting is a result of my recovered memory of the attack. This has happened before and I don't want to involve my general practitioner in this. I take Bonine and try to cope.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 04:51 PM

97. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for sharing TeapotInATempest.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:03 PM

100. Thank you

for sharing this; it must be so difficult to do so. Your words and testimony are so powerful, and I stand in solidarity with you.

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Response to volstork (Reply #100)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:04 PM

101. Thank you!

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:05 PM

102. I can relate. I've been incandescent with fury for days now

and I'm figuring out why. I've never been raped or subjected to the sort of gross abuse that Kavanaugh's accusers described, but I'm finally realizing that you don't have to even be touched to have been violated as a woman. I've had guys expose themselves on a couple of occasions - once while I was waiting for a bus, another time when I was just walking through downtown on my way to work one morning. I caught a guy looking up my skirt through the shelves at a public library. A man I worked with tried to talk me into taking off my top while we were together in his office. The father of the kids I was babysitting for when I was about 15 started hitting on me one night when the couple came home, giving me some creepy line about how "pretty" I was and offering to walk me home (we lived across the street). None of these men laid a hand on me, but these experiences were so creepy and disturbing that I remember them vividly, decades later. They were much more repellent than the occasional drunken pass at a college party.

And I think the reason I was, and am, so disturbed was that each of these men looked at me not as a human being at all but as just a sex toy for their fantasies. Just a c***, if you'll excuse that word - but I think that's the only word that sufficiently expresses how degrading that sort of behavior is. WTF is wrong with a man who thinks it's OK to treat other people as if they were nothing but meat? And when these things happen, women, especially young ones, almost always feel like it's their fault for being just a c***. The men did the dirty thing but you're the one who ends up feeling dirty. They just walk away, happy to have their sexual arousal taken care of.

I hate to think how terrible it must have been for Dr. Ford at that party, and for years afterwards, and then to be treated like non-human meat again by representatives of her government.

Yes, I'm pissed off, beyond words. For all of us.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #102)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:09 PM

106. Right, you never have to be touched to be violated.

And we are violated so very often, especially when young.

Reading your post just filled me with a rage I needed to feel right now. Thank you for posting it.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:05 PM

103. I believe that part of the devastation

is that this farce only proves that the scummy guys are still in charge. I have voted against these guys all my life. But they keep winning because they get the scummy man vote and the vote of men who don't get it. Then they get women votes. Lots of them. It is very frustrating. I cannot see how any one of those old men can expect to be reelected - but they do expect to get reelected and they do get reelected.

Let's see on November 6 if women will vote for themselves instead of the scummy men.

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Response to Jakes Progress (Reply #103)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:13 PM

107. They are still in charge.

They're like cockroaches and would probably survive a nuclear war.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Reply #107)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 06:42 PM

126. All you gotta do

is stop feeding them. It's the slobs who keep leaving their votes on the counter.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:08 PM

104. I can relate utterly and totally.

Those adverbs may be redundant, but I don't care. I cannot emphasize enough how much the last few weeks have impacted me. I too was in a conference from 8:00 - 6:00 yesterday and didn't get to see it live. It's brought so much to the surface, I'm sickened.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:08 PM

105. I am so triggered, I'm sick to my stomach.

I am nervous and anxious and if he is confirmed, I don't know what emotions are going to come up.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:13 PM

108. Welcome to the #MeToo movement

There are millions of us and we help each other. I was raped when I was six years old and have had the same crap happen to me that you describe.

Talk about it. I wrote in a journal that was never meant to be read later, even by me, and I destroyed them when I finished each one. When you do that itís not difficult to be brutally honest about how you feel.

But do deal with it. Crying over it once is not enough. Youíll also be quite shocked at how angry you get. Write it all down and talk about it.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:20 PM

109. With you my sister!

One day at a time we resist and advance!

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:23 PM

110. K&R




MeToo....

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:25 PM

111. This week seems to be unearthing the suppressed memories of assault, ...

... sexual and otherwise, in many of us.

I salute those brave enough to bring them to light.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:26 PM

112. I've found myself crying intermittently as well. I've been having overwhelming feelings of being a

second-class citizen as a female in this country. Even more so than when Trump became President. I felt it on some level back then, but I took some solace in the fact that he could be voted out in a few years coupled with the women's march after his inauguration that gave me a real sense of hope and strength.

But recently, when I see this sexual predator getting ready to be appointed to the highest court in the land for a LIFETIME appointment, and the dismissive and completely demeaning way Republicans in Congress have handled it, and the horrible comments I read on social media, and the various things the talking heads or their guests are saying on the television, it's just really hitting me hard. It's on such blatant display right now. They're all but saying the exact words that what happens to us doesn't matter. I don't even think it's that they don't believe Dr. Ford or the others, I think it's that they literally just don't care either way. It's just something in their way.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:28 PM

113. K & R

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:28 PM

114. I woke up today feeling as hollow, disoriented, and defeated as I did the morning of

November 9, 2016. I've been relatively fortunate in my life to have not been physically sexually assaulted aside from some relatively minor unwanted groping, but I have been harassed, had vile things said to and about me, and other things I don't need to get into here. I, too, thought the memories were successfully tucked away and dealt with, but watching that nauseating spectacle yesterday brought all the shame and humiliation bubbling up to the surface and I feel like shit. I can't imagine what women who weren't as fortunate as me are handling this. I just feel icky.

I feel like I'm on a fast train to hell and the brakes just gave way.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:32 PM

115. Yes. I keep thinking of

pianos falling on certain people, and things like that.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:33 PM

116. Yes.

Just the sickening spectacle of all of those old white boys defending their "brother", who went to the "right schools" and was in the "right" frat.

Reminds me of the time my perp was at my brother's wedding. My brother didn't invite him, I think his wife did. She doesn't know. They're all still friends with this rapist. Another proud product of Catholic schooling, like Kavanaugh.



I thought I could handle it, but it just seemed clear to me that Kavanaugh was lying. He was so full of himself. I recognize the emotions: "bitch, how could you do this to ME???"

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:33 PM

117. I noticed the word shame missing from your post

 

GOOD!!!! Many women feel shame at being objectified, assaulted or raped. We shouldn't. We did NOTHING wrong, we don't deserve those things.
Now we come together, unafraid to speak our truth, and empower ourselves.

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Response to recentevents (Reply #117)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:40 PM

120. I've spent enough time feeling shame.

Never again - I was not the one at fault.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:33 PM

118. I think about the boys and men who assaulted me

over the years. I'm grateful my Mom protected me from my brother until I was old enough to understand what he was trying to do to me. I'm glad I was strong enough to fight off the 2 physical assaults. I'm glad that when boys or men said filthy things to me, that I was able to be the adult and say no in such a way to indecent proposals that the boy or man backed off.

The thing I see about myself is a kind of disbelief that so many guys, even guys who supposedly loved me, crossed the line. I don't forget things that happened, but there is a distance between me and those events.

I believe that if we victims stay silent, we are only protecting the misguided people who attack us. I think talking, opening the dam is going to hurt a lot, but then we will heal. The people who take what they want know they are doing wrong, but they count on our silence to keep on victimizing us. Let's remember our best weapon is speaking the truth. It'll be like sunlight on a vampire.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:58 PM

121. I am sorry that you are triggered

I am too. But I realize that things are changing in a good way. My life has been very damaged by my rape. I have received a lot of counseling but I knew coming out the other end it I was scarred for life. I have still found peace and happiness in spite of the limitations to my life experience.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 06:39 PM

125. "Yesterday, the whole weight of my life fell on me."

You have spoken for so many women, TeapotInATempest, and in such a beautifully descriptive way.

I hope you will consider offering this as an OpEd somewhere, like the NYTimes or the WAPost. You could touch that many more readers with your words.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts here! I hope the positive and caring responses you've been getting will help lighten the burden you've been carrying.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 06:53 PM

127. Absolutely.

It's likely that most women over a certain age (?) share experiences of harassment, abuse, assault, and/or rape. At one point, it was DAILY -- walking down the street, at least five times per block. Not to mention at work.

It's been an exhausting week, but at least we know the SILENCE is coming to an end. We're saying it now. We're realizing how many of us have experienced it. And if 30% of us (at LEAST) have experienced it, men can't keep denying that it happens.

Right there with you, Teapot. Thanks for posting!!!

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 07:33 PM

129. You nailed it Tempest, I agree. Many of KNOW this guy!

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 07:50 PM

130. I am speechless

Please accept my total and complete support

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 08:23 PM

131. I was so triggered last night, I wrote this

It was supposed to be fun
The night...
The anticipation was exhilarating
My slightly shaking hand
applying mascara
And makeup and bra clasp and dress
How do I look?
Nervous and happy
I go out
In the dark...
When did the mood change?
How long did they know
While I remained clueless
And now...
I will never forget
The screaming in my head
Or did I actually scream?
I donít know
Memories are flashes
of pink balloons
And bazooka gum
Groping sneering laughing
A bucket full of ice cold water
thrown across my body
ďCímon it was just a jokeĒ
I hear the blood
throbbing in my ears
My face hot and flushed
My body shivering
I turn to leave
Alone
Shaking
As they chuckle and
pat each other on the back
ďLet her go.Ē

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Response to FourScore (Reply #131)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 10:24 AM

158. +1



-- Mal

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 08:29 PM

132. I have never been physically attacked/assaulted.

And for that I am grateful.

But I was deeply, viscerally triggered by Kavanaugh's angry, emotional bullying yesterday. My husband was a pathological narcissist and an alcoholic. I married him in college and was subjected to emotional battering for twenty years. For so many years I told myself if I would only try harder, he would be happy. Not understanding that he was happiest making me miserable.

This affected my children, too. Our oldest son was emotionally and sometimes physically abused by him. That son married a woman who emotionally battered him. Our younger son just fled a deeply abusive marriage; floods of tears and deep pain followed. Our daughter was deeply triggered this week as well for experiences that have come to the forefront of her memory. She is a UUA minister, and therefore the caretaker/counselor of the wounded people in her parish. So, so much pain.

It was Kavanaugh's manner and expressions that affected me most. I spent so many years wondering what my husband would be furious about that day, and what he might do that moment. A knot in my stomach every day. And when Kavanaugh contorted his face and yelled and showed evidence of alcohol abuse...... well, it has been unspeakable.

Broken lives, broken hearts, seared hippocampus. World without end, amen.

How did such a monster get so close to this position of power?

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 08:32 PM

133. Working with a good therapist does wonders. I"ve found that different things will trigger me at

different times in my life, and then i need to do more therapy. It's like peeling layers of an onion. And yes, this week has definitely stirred things up.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 08:32 PM

134. OH YEEEEEESSSSSSSSS

Exactly like that, even the "no big deals" have rushed back and overwhelmed me until I'm an oozing puddle on the floor. I'm trying to check out for the weekend because I'm on a hair trigger flame out, and of course us women can't ever break down. It's not done. Oh to have been born a prep school boy!

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 09:35 PM

137. Oh, yes. Absolutely. I've never been sexually assaulted. But I was physically abused.

And there's not much difference between the two from a PTSD standpoint. My abuser was a man who so closely physically resembles my former domestic partner and abuser, that it brought back so many emotions and memories that I was disconsolate last night. Thank god for my dear husband now. He's been traveling, but called me last night to talk about what Dr. Ford's testimony and his own galvanized attention to her time on the Senate floor and his feelings about that brought about in him and with the family members he was with at the time. I told him I couldn't even watch that shit weasel afterword deny, deny, deny what she'd said. And I'm grateful I wasn't watching him. I would have curled up into the ball I curled up into after I had to flee (for my very life) one of my former monster partner's violence I did back in the day for about the run of three or four days. I've never been so despondent in my life and, physically, I suffered as well.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 09:37 PM

138. Kavanaugh is my ex-husband

who was a mean drunk. He's the teenage boy who exposed himself to me. He's the guy who literally chased me around my desk at work and would never leave me alone.

The idea of having him on the Supreme Court is abhorrent. I pray the FBI finds the truth.

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Response to radical noodle (Reply #138)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 10:55 AM

159. My ex husband was also a mean drunk - I left because I felt he could accidentally kill me

Man I relate to it all - I was also literally chased around a large desk on an interview for a job. I've had multiple bosses who thought it was their right to just grab and grope. Unfortunately it goes on and on......... on a first date with a guy when I was 20 (I didn't really know him but my cousin introduced him as someone she went to high school with) I ended up in the woods, pinned down, with him on top of me telling me he would not have sex with me unless I consented, but if I didn't consent we would be in the woods all night. Sick stuff. However, my experiences are mild compared to some of my friends.

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Response to womanofthehills (Reply #159)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 08:25 PM

167. There are so many women with these experiences

It's easy to think one is alone until everyone starts to talk about it. I'm glad we both escaped from the mean drunks.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 10:05 PM

140. Fuck this week

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 10:20 PM

141. #MeToo

All sorts of buried memories have come flooding back to me this week. I'm sad and I'm angry.

You said it so much more eloquently than I could. Thank you. I hear you, I believe you and I can relate.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 10:44 PM

143. My List

Last edited Wed Oct 3, 2018, 09:14 AM - Edit history (1)

I was five when I was sexually assaulted by an 18 year old neighbor.

I was 15 when I had my first job in a drug store and was harassed daily by an older man who worked in the next department. He was gross, and made me feel gross for attracting his attention. I still feel the disgust viscerally.

I was 17 when my sister (22) and I were chased through a wooded area by three men. Saved by two other people who happened to be walking in the area. They would have raped us.

I was 21 when I was followed by a man at night while walking home in a quiet neighborhood. Luckily I had a 2 x 4 I was carrying home for a college project I was building. Terrified, I turned around and waited for him to reach me, and face to face, I threatened him with it. My adrenaline was through the roof. Miraculously, he turned around and walked away. I was so afraid I didn't sleep all night.

I was 22 when I crashed at a college classmates house after a final exam a group of us had crammed for days for. I woke up with his hands on me and told him to stop. He did, but he kept at it again and again, just wouldn't take no for an answer. Finally I screamed at him and he did stop. I never spoke with him after that. I guess I felt somehow responsible, because even though I did nothing, I felt disgusting. It's irrational I know, but there it is.

In my twenties, at a job I was so excited to have, my team's project manager, lewd, creepy, set his sights on me. I ignored him as best as I could until he started resenting me for not responding to his advances and became belligerent and rude. For the first time I really understood what a difficult position working women were in. I was not seen for my abilities and would not advance there no matter how hard I worked, unless I complied. It was discouraging to say the least.

That event was pivotal for me, because after that job, I became a freelancer. Not stable and not steady, but I didn't have to deal with this kind of thing anymore.

Thank you for starting this thread and for sharing your experience. I think it's one of the most sincere and heartfelt threads I've seen on DU.


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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 10:50 PM

144. K&R

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 11:21 PM

145. Thank you

You brought tears to my eyes , as every woman can understand what you articulated very well. Thank you

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 11:32 PM

146. New here again

I'm not one for forums, yet here I am again since Bush II. I don't know where to begin again, but here I am wondering what I can help do to right this ship.

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Response to Jersey in OKC (Reply #146)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 11:55 PM

147. Welcome back

When, who were you before? Yeah, it's a mess, Trump-world

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #147)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 01:23 AM

148. Robnok

I'm Rob Lopez. I only chimed in a few times. Always read DU, though.

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #147)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 01:59 AM

149. Here We Go Again

I posted this YouTube link to family back in 2000 to not worry. I truly believe our nation can beat this. It's just this time it takes everybody.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 04:24 AM

150. Dr. Ford

didn't trigger me because I could be her.

What triggered me was asshole's anger, his tears, his whining about everything being so bad for him. WTF? He reminded me of my ex husband that wanted to use me as a punching bag for his misery and I said, "not me, not now, not ever." We were only married a few years and in the first month of our marriage, he smacked me hard across the face and I left him for a week before he cried and promised to behave. I'll never forget that feeling of disgust that he could manipulate me like that.

That was over 20 yrs ago. I was single for 13 yrs before I allowed anyone to get that close to me again.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 04:31 AM

151. I felt physically sick yesterday.

So much affected me. I think one of the things that made me most ill was to see someone like Lindsey Graham, who I thought had a modicum of respectability, show what he was really like. It was sickening to see female Senators so disrespected.

I had my own terrible experiences from childhood on up. Sometimes I wonder if there is a woman alive who hasn't undergone this type of stress.

Encouraging thing was to watch the way Senator Whitehouse and others fought for us! Democrats have some fantastic people in the Senare.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 05:11 AM

153. Just beyond furious and feeling hopeless

What happened to me was pretty mild compared to most. I was a college freshman and had to see a professor in his office. As I was leaving he reached behind me and groped my breasts. I was so shocked I just walked away. To this day the only person who knows is my husband. The professor went on to become a department head and got many awards over the years and loads of accolades at his recent retirement. He is very well known and highly regarded in the musicians/music teachers community in this area.
And if Iíd said anything to the dean, in the 70s? ďOh heís just handsyĒ ďYour fault for wearing a tight sweater.Ē ďYouíre just upset because your grade wasnít so good, loser.Ē
But mainly Iím furious for the way we are ALL treated. No matter your accomplishments or abilities, we are judged first and foremost on our appearance. We are invisible and less than nothing if you are older like me. We are livestock. And now a privileged frat boy with contempt for us is going to help 4 other MEN decide that we donít have power over our own bodies.
I have been researching if there is any real movement towards overthrowing the government, because with them entrenched on SCOTUS there is NOTHING we can do to stop them from taking away all the rights that women, minorities and workers have gained over the past 100 years. Even voting will not help.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 10:01 AM

157. YES!!!!!

Totally!

Said it all, over here:

https://www.democraticunderground.com/100211192511

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 11:15 AM

160. It made me so, so angry.

Iím sorry so many women have had these experiences. I personally have not, but it still pisses me off on their behalf.

There is a certain class of white men, and maybe also white women, that I absolutely despise. And it is the white country-club, fraternity/sorority types. They are, without a doubt, responsible for most of the evil in this country. The men treat women, even women of their own social group, as NOBODIES. Because they are nobodies to them, they can treat them any way they choose and not suffer the consequences. And, of course, they have historically treated people of color even worse.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 02:05 PM

161. K&R We need to continue expressing our emotions.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 02:21 PM

162. Me too.

I hear you and so many of my "Me Too" friends. I am 72 and have been listening to many for many years.

What I heard yesterday was very different. I heard US Senator Flake not only say something but also did something no one else would. Thanks.

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Response to recovering_democrat (Reply #162)

Mon Oct 1, 2018, 12:41 AM

168. Welcome to DU, recovering_democrat!

I can't hep but suspect that those two HEROIC women, Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher, who buttonholed Jeff Flake in the elevator, and forced him to face them, had a big impact. "LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME when I'm speaking to you!" I'll never forget that video clip as long as I live. They overpowered and dominated him and it was a thing of the GREATEST beauty!

I think for him it was tantamount to being smacked across the face with the proverbial 2x4.

If he REALLY wants to do good, he'll put his politics aside, and vote the correct way on Kavanaugh - a big unflinching "NO." Otherwise, any of this attempt at "peacemaking" by you is 100% worthless. Back it up with your BACKBONE, Flake. You have nothing to lose at this point because you've already given up your Senate job and you're on your way out of the fray. DO SOMETHING for America, instead of your abominable party's short-sighted power-mad sexist-as-hell ideology. DO SOMETHING THAT ACTUALLY MEANS SOMETHING, Senator Flake.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 02:56 PM

163. I'm so sorry you had those experiences

It seems way too common and it shouldn't be. I suppose I'm lucky that I've never had any thing like that happen to me.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 03:30 PM

164. I've been in bed for two days

I had the day off yesterday, so I stayed in bed and watched the hearings on my DVR. I haven't been motivated to do anything. I just watch MSNBC and CNN all day. What galls me is how these elite people vouch for his character and, with no credentials presented, expect us to take them at their word. The American people, if they have any sense or any ability at all to judge character, can see for themselves that he is hiding something. He lied repeatedly, dodged, and was unbelievably smug and disrespectful toward the Democrats. I can only hope that the majority of people see what I saw and it backfires terribly.

It's deeply disturbing that we might have a rapist on the Supreme Court. Those women who confronted Flake were right - it essentially means that women don't have the same rights as men.

The Republicans are utterly unable to sense the trauma they have unleashed. People are saying they can't sleep. They're calling the support hotlines. I doubled up on my anti-depressants.

If Brett Kavanaugh had any feelings for anyone but himself, he'd spare us this national trauma and withdraw. I'm a citizen as much as your prep school friends and when you speak on tv, you're addressing me as well. People are flooding hotlines and he goes on tv and cries for himself. Many, if not most of us have had bigger tragedies in their lives. If that doesn't make him guilty, I don't know what does.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 06:06 PM

166. I understand completely

because I've had several experiences similar to yours.

I've been talking with my husband about them (one experience I've never told anybody), and he apologized to me for all the creeps in the world.

He's been a godsend.

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2018, 03:12 AM

169. It's been a horrible week for me

This whole thing has been awful, I cried for Dr. Ford and myself being I was sexually assaulted twice. I been crying for no reason uncontrollably all week I feel alot dispair inside me. I say to anyone who thinks you can't remember anything over 30 years is such BS, cause I remember everything I wish I didnt. The fallout from this as a man I feel dirty and ashamed for over 30 years and with many failed relationships. It has ruined my life. Iam a survivor of sexual assault

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Response to TeapotInATempest (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2018, 07:23 AM

170. thank you for your courage...

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