That difficult second post.

It’s okay to think it, this second post is not quite as good. There’s a lot going against it – no element of surprise for one – and I’m feeling pretty bloody self-conscious; but am trying to get over this. Fear has crippled me and held me back for years, but even I say developing a phobia of the entire internet might just be a step too far.

I’ve been a bit naive about this I suppose. You’ve all called me some wonderful things, and I’ve been attributed more positive characteristics than could possibly fit in one normal sized human, but you did miss out one thing, and that is that I am, as my friend Steph puts it, A BIT OF A DIV. My goal was to write something for me, something that felt and sounded like me when I spend the majority of my days hiding my life experience along with my eyebags. Put it this way, I spend a lot of time standing a foot away from a conversation about that Bieber lad with an, “Eh?” expression on my face.

If 300 people could read my blog, I decided, then that represented my entire year at medical school. Some people there make pretty derogatory or just unhelpfully generalised comments about depression, about other things perceived as non-medical. I don’t want to run them down for this, or hold them to a higher standard than anyone else – their views reflect those in the wider population, and, they’re bloody 19 for Christ’s sake, it’s perfectly reasonable to think their lives just haven’t been affected by any of these experiences. I thought if these people could read a story from one of their own (albeit the grungy old one in the corner) it might help to demystify the whole thing a bit, show the shades of grey between ‘I’m doing fine, thanks’ and ‘I’m completely, searingly, ragingly mental today’.

Well, we’ve covered those 300 I think. The initial response was brilliant, my favourite thing ever, people who I love and respect, not all of whom I’ve actually met, liking what I’d written and being glad that I had. So far, so empowering. The next massive, engulfing, oh-my-god-that’s-thingy-off-the-telly-talking-about-my-rape bit is, well it’s a bit weird really, let’s face it, and not something that sat entirely well with my planned evening of watching Dexter, lounging in my pants. I panicked a bit, smoked a bit, threw up a bit and did a lot of lying on the floor, staring up at the ceiling. At least my coping skills have progressed though, eh? 

Listen to me. Who do I think I am? I sound like Jordan moaning about press intrusion – that’s the div bit I mentioned earlier. Of course I’m grateful, I’m delighted when I can get my head round it but am just generally overwhelmed, last night felt a bit like being licked to death by the most well-intentioned, bounciest puppy imaginable. I’m so glad you read my story. I’m also very happy that you’re following me on Twitter, but I do hope it’s okay that on Twitter, I mention rape, ooh, almost never. I don’t talk about depression a lot either – not only because most of the time I’m feeling really rather splendid; but because Twitter is my fun place, in lieu of actually having all the lovely folk in one pub. I like it for piss-takes, rubbish puns, my mates being all clever and funny with words. This, right here, is where I would prefer the serious stuff to take place.

Which brings me to this – the comments. DID YOU SEE THE COMMENTS? If you haven’t, just look. LOOK AT THEM. This is the best thing, the thing that makes me tremble and do my nervous dance and cry onto my keyboard. Thank you for commenting, thank you for trusting this place to be safe and receptive to your story, thank you for reading something that could have triggered all sorts of terrible things for you and not resenting me for it, thank you for contributing to the growing feeling I have that this is okay to talk about.  I hope more people can talk about it on here, if they want to, I hope we carry on being good for each other.

So we had the big ‘reveal’ post, this is the ‘reaction’ post, I hope there will be more.  In the meantime, I need to go away and revise for my exams – I’m not sure ‘going a bit mad on the internet’ will be accepted as a mitigating circumstance should I fail them.  Please do keep talking to me though, you wonderful, wonderful people – you’ve changed my life. 

 

 

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40 comments
  1. ffolliet said:

    Life goes on. Always will. Glad you feel better about it. I do too.

    • Irregularly Irregular said:

      I’m glad. I’ll always be grateful to you for making me feel very good about a very scary thing.

  2. thescribbl3r said:

    The second post may be difficult but it is no less powerful. I think you have done an amazing thing by putting such private and personal words ‘out there’ on the interwebs. My blog is small and cold and nobody goes there – and that’s totally fine, I’m not ready to have the attention and nor am I as good at articulating my emotions as you so clearly are; it’s just to get the thoughts out of my head so it doesn’t explode.

    I suppose what I want to say (patronising as I worry it sounds) is that I am *so* proud of you. I don’t know you from Adam but you said stuff that was in my head. You described so perfectly what it was like to tell my parents. You said the stuff that I can’t say. And you made me feel that I will be OK. That just because I’m utterly batshit (see what I did there?) right now, there will come a day when I’m not.

    I think you have done an incredible thing and if you need to smoke, lie on the floor and throw up at the enormity of it all, please know that there is nothing at all wrong with that. I’ve followed you on Twitter because, honestly, I think you rock. And it’s fine if you never mention the tough stuff on there, because apart from anything I would like to see how someone can just be silly and normal and carry on with actually living instead of just willing that the pain will stop. So please tweet away about anything and everything and I will keep coming back here for anything else. I really just don’t have the words to express the weight that lifted when I read your first post, and just thinking about it makes me cry – but in a good way. Thank you. You are awesome.

    • Irregularly Irregular said:

      Am I following you? Do me a favour and give me a nudge would you please so I can see who you are, I’ve ignored it a bit over the past few days.

      You couldn’t patronise me if you tried, you’re too well adjusted, even allowing for batshit moments. Thank you for commenting on here and also answering the negative stuff, you write calmly and rationally but make your point in such a strong way people can not fail to listen. You’ve made me feel really good, and I’m ever so grateful xxx

      • thescribbl3r said:

        My tweets are protected so am not sure that you’d see a nudge from me but I’d love it if you followed me. My avatar is a shattered glass heart (yes, I know…) and I’m AugustaMB. Thank you for saying I have made you feel good – it’s an honour to return the favour.

  3. harry said:

    This second post is great. You must be feeling overwhelmed at the response of strangers to your candid account of your experiences. I think a bit of lying under the table, smoking and throwing up sounds entirely reasonable.

    I’ve said I think you’re great already, so I won’t go on and on about it (but I do though…did I mention that? :))… but I think what was so powerful about your post was that although everybody knows that rape happens, and knows what a huge problem it is, we don’t often hear very much about those who have been through it. Hearing a powerful and honest account like yours contributes to what seems to be a growing chorus of voices speaking up and speaking out against rape and the fact that maybe if that happens enough, society will change because of that. Because that is the way that change happens.
    That was slightly ineptly expressed, but I hope it made some kind of sense!

    good luck in your exams xxx

    • Irregularly Irregular said:

      Thank you! I think you’re pretty great too, you’ve been really kind to me on here. It is all a bit mental, and it’s hard when you get the inevitable negative comments as well. They’re pretty much all going straight in the trash can, none of us need that.

      Not ineptly expressed at all! I hope I understand you – my friend said something similar to me. She said she found it odd, she’d known that I’d been raped, but she’d never considered things like how I got home, or what I did the next day. I sometimes think those other details make it harder, but they also make the idea a bit less abstract, a bit more ‘of this world’. Thanks again xxx

  4. harry said:

    oh and I second what someone said above – I understand the blog/twitter distinction too. I followed you on there because you seem like a very cool lady. looking forward to seeing the rubbish puns and funny word stuff xx

    • Irregularly Irregular said:

      Can you say hi again on there so I find you? Ta x

  5. Hannah said:

    Ah Lelo you big vomity twat. have a nice Internet break xxx

    • Irregularly Irregular said:

      *snorts* Keeping me grounded?! Love you xxx

  6. DD said:

    Another great post thanks. I can’t seem to get your story out of my mind since I read it yesterday and have been very moved by other women sharing their experiences too. Its like we just don’t know how to talk about this stuff and we need to be able to. Why is the shame so paralysing? I had what I would call an emotionally(sometimes physically) abusive relationship with a man who I was in a relationship with who happens to also be a £70 an hour psychotherapist! Even as I write I am looking over my shoulder and feel deep down that I must of been to blame for it and that I should pull myself together and move on. I honestly do. But your post is really making me rethink this.
    I enjoy fantasising about one day paying a friend to go and see him as a client(with secret video)and sharing my story as though it were hers!

    • Irregularly Irregular said:

      Hello DD. Ahhh, the revenge fantasy, I know many a person who has these, I think we all do, even if it’s just concerning that woman who pushed in front of us in the queue in Morrison’s (THE BITCH). Concerning sexual abuse, I defy anyone who has experienced it and read or seen The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo not to have had a bit of a Salander moment, even if just because she has really amazing hair

      I’m glad you’re rethinking those feelings of blame, I hope that you can get to the place you need to be. Thank you for commenting, for sharing, I hope you feel like you can keep doing so it if helps. Big hugs, I wish you the very best xxx

  7. great second post – totally understand your desire to keep the twitter/blog things separated. i’m sure i was one of many who followed you on twitter yesterday, but frankly, i did that because your twitter feed made me chuckle. i hope you’ve managed to get off the floor today, and can get your head into revision. good luck in your exams, i’m sure you’ll do marvellously xxx

    • Irregularly Irregular said:

      Thank you Lindsay! I’m off the floor, yet lying on my bed. I call that progress. Now if I can just get dressed, and develop an understanding of the fundamentals of molecular biology in the next hour and a half, we’ll really be getting somewhere xxx

  8. notepadjunkie said:

    You know what, I’m not going to say you’re amazing because you’ve been through something bad and have come out the other side. It sucks (sorry for the inelegant use of language) that you had to go through that, and you are of course an inspiration for dealing with it and writing so candidly about it, but I just want to say how brilliant a writer you are. I mean, you just write wonderfully. Beautiful and bitter sweet while being darkly funny too. God that sounds like I’m trivialising it all but I hope you understand. You have a real talent for communicating honestly while still finding irony and humour in even the most desperate of situations. In terms of the content it’s just SO important that you wrote that first post (and you don’t overuse the word ‘I’!) People need to remember that going through a dreadful time doesn’t brand them victims for life. It’s a hard balance to get – we warn women to take care not to get in that unlicensed cab or to walk home by themselves, while telling them rape would ruin their lives forever. All the imagery we use is of women as lifelong victims forever living in the shadow of their tormentor. Queue ad campaigns with big desperate eyes of a woman who’s been raped, make-up-less, un-brushed hair, lonely with no one to talk to – I’m sorry but we still inadvertently make it look like it’s only a certain type of woman who’s raped. I know I’m generalising, but you wouldn’t see your (rather fucking fabulous) twitter pic on an advert for ‘don’t walk down that dark alley’ because while trying to show rape as damaging we also show that a raped woman is ruined and no one I know who was raped or sexually abused looks like the media’s version of a ‘rape victim’… They’re all out their living their lives, not letting some bastard shape everything they do. In fact I have a friend who won’t tell her boyfriend about being raped when she was younger because she doesn’t want him to make excuses for her behaviour now that she feels she’s dealt with what happened. I’m not sure I could do that but hey, I think she’s incredible for just owning her life.

    When you talk about your ‘why me?’ conundrum that’s something we all relate to no matter how deep the pain or serious the incident – that sense that we could have done something to stop another human being viewing and treating us in a certain way despite knowing there was nothing we could have known or done differently at the time.
    Your post is a great way of reminding people that really fucked up shit happens and yes it hurts, but my God yours is the best advice about just hanging on and trying to give yourself one more day at a time.

    Oh jesus, this is long. So sorry, your writing just really touched me. Please keep writing. I know this is your serious place but I think you could write about bin bags and I’d still want to read it.

    Looking forward to reading more xxx

    • Irregularly Irregular said:

      That’s the next post sorted then – these bin bags I’ve got at the moment are fucking diabolical. I’d like to say thank you for what you wrote – you haven’t trivialised anything at all, if anything it’s really nice to get a compliment like that about something tangible.

      I liked what I’d written and it was important to me that it sounded genuine and as ‘bad shit in a real life’ as possible. Nothing is ever unremittingly miserable, and even in those moments of deep negativity we still do daft things, still laugh, still trip over and I’m glad about it. You’ve made me think about advertising and campaigns in a way I hadn’t before, but as soon as you said those things I knew you were right – it’s the tragic, broken, no-sense-of-self face you see on the posters, not something getting up in your grid with a ‘fuck you, you fucking fuck’ attitude.

      Thanks for commenting, I hope to see you on here again xxx

      • notepadjunkie said:

        I’m sure I shall be! Looking forward to future blogs… will say hi on Twitter! xxx

  9. Del said:

    I followed you on Twitter, because Han kept mentioning you, and your timeline was BRILLIANT. Everyone needs a space for the silly stuff, but it’s good to have another space for the serious stuff.
    You’d mentioned rape counselling before (I think I RT’d it), so I’d guessed it’d happened, and when you said you were dropping a ‘truth bomb’, I had an inkling it might be about that. I thought ‘do I want to read that?’ but I thought ‘no, I *have* to read it’. I’m glad I did.
    You’re pretty amazing, y’know.

    • Irregularly Irregular said:

      Aw Del, thank you so much. Lovely to have so much Twitter support from good eggs xxx

  10. LofRede said:

    Do some blummin study missus – only until Biggest Loser time mind!

    I’m off to read the comments on your last post

    Oh also, you write reet lovely

    I’ll go now

    mwah

    • Irregularly Irregular said:

      That’s it, you keep me on track, ducks xxx

  11. Me said:

    Hello, me again. I’m the one who was raped 14 years ago by my then boyfriend (in case you wanted the context again).

    Being completely honest reading the post did bring up some stuff for me, but it also made me feel less alone the way I felt when my counselor said to me “What you just described is rape and having 17 showers as you did not feel clean is a reaction of someone who was raped”. That took maybe 6 years and one failed suicide attempt to get to.

    • Me said:

      Stupid phone.

      I now feel somehow that all those things did not happen to me. The years of whatever I did seem so far removed from my life now. I don’t talk about it as I don’t want it to start defining me. I want to define me. I don’t want to be seen as a victim or survivor (though I identify a little with the latter tag). I’m a normal person who something really fucking awful happened to. I think you bring that to the table too as you are so much more than this one experience and the aftermath

      • Irregularly Irregular said:

        Hello Me, I remember you just fine.

        I don’t know what to say about this, other than that I’m so sorry if you get upset, I’ve walked out of cinemas or thrown books against the wall because I’ve seen something too close to home somehow, or something has triggered horrible feelings and I’m not sure why. It’s a fine balance between writing the truth and protecting people’s feelings, and perhaps I haven’t done enough of the latter, but I only really knew one way to tell my story.

        If you ever have a freak out or it makes you feel weird, then step away. They’re your comments, and you can always take them away if you like. I want us all to be as comfortable as we can be when we’re discussing something that is anything but.

        I too often feel quite divorced from all the proceedings. I did after I sent this out there for the first time. Then I read it again tonight, and cried buckets. Sometimes it’s everything I am, sometimes it feels as if it’s not part of my life at all. Sounds like that might be another normal reaction. Much love xxx

  12. Very powerful post indeed. Can’t write much because it’s all started triggering a bit but very very good, and just wanted to say I think you’re very brave, and thank you for writing.

    x

    • Irregularly Irregular said:

      You’re incredibly welcome, I’m very grateful for you reading and commenting at all. Look after yourself as best you are able, stay away from here if it makes you feel weird, do whatever makes you feel right. Big hugs and lots of love

  13. suz-lou said:

    Second post not disappointing at all . Just simply showed that while what happened can and sometimes does overshadow everything we are more than just the sum of a rape . We are the women getting bent out of shape because someone took our last pen from our desk (although that might just be me ) . Please keep writing and good luck with your exams

    • Irregularly Irregular said:

      I cannot BEAR people who take my pens. It is the height of rudeness xxx

  14. James said:

    As well as echoing the (deserved) avalanche of congratulations on your bravery, I just wanted to say you really are a very good writer, even if you aren’t trying to be.

  15. Tom said:

    I think you’re inspirational. I wish I’d found the words to talk about my own experience: I don’t mean anonymously/on the internet/wherever, I just mean to anyone. It was 15 years ago next week. Thanks for showing there’s a way forward: it might be time for me to try.

    • Irregularly Irregular said:

      Hi Tom, God the ‘anniversary’ times are hard, I think. If you do talk to someone, I hope you get the response you need. Much love xxx

  16. Thank you again! I think this is a wonderful post too and describes so well all the feelings one can have when what we write suddenly attracts more attention than we expect.

    I’ve started following you on Twitter with the expectation that you are an interesting medical student and I like hearing from people like you. That’s all.

    I am really sorry that you got copied into tweets in a discussion that was sparked by your last post. It was unintenional but I can completely understand why you don’t want to be aware of every single reaction to what you have written- especially in 140chts.

    I look forwards to much more.

    AM

    • Irregularly Irregular said:

      No problems – it’s the nature of Twitter I suppose, we all just chip in on threads and away we go – I understand completely. Look forward to seeing more of you in either place x

  17. catherine said:

    I appreciate your sacred Twitter space, and even moreso your forgiveness for trespassing. Thank you for that, and for being so open and honest and allowing so many people to feel a little less alone. Your second post was as touching.
    After you pass those exams, keep writing.

  18. Sandra said:

    I’m so proud of you

  19. Mima said:

    Wow. Like many many others I followed a link from twitter to your blog, and like everyone else commenting here I felt I couldn’t pass on by without responding. I’m not quite sure what to say, but I hope you know it’s genuine when I, complete stranger that I am, say that I think you are truly inspirational – as a woman and as a survivor of rape both. And I don’t mean that in an empty, cheesy sort of way, but the sort of quiet, wonderful every-day heroics of a woman getting on and refusing to be beaten utterly by something that could easily have done so. You’re truly wonderful. I’ve never had an experience even remotely like yours and yet I know I’ll carry this with me and feel inspired by you – I’m sure your words are/will be a ray of light for people trying to deal with the aftermath of similar experiences.

    And you know, your writing is beautiful, engaging, funny and heartbreaking all at once. Please keep writing! About anything – here or on twitter- we’ll keep reading!
    X

    • Irregularly Irregular said:

      Thank you Mima, that’s really motivating to read, I will do my best to write some more when the feeling hits me xxx

  20. Claire said:

    I cried when I read this. I didn’t report my rape, and this has helped more than any of the advice I have tried to find elsewhere. Thank you.

    • Irregularly Irregular said:

      I hope it has Claire, it’s helped me so much to find there are so many people who understand how I’ve felt, why I’ve done what I’ve done, and why all of those things are okay. I’m sorry you cried, and I hope that you’re doing well. Big hugs xxx

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