Sunday, January 2, 2011

Reduced to a box.

I knew it was coming, I just didn't know when. Over the past month I have repeatedly expressed my dissatisfaction with The Rape Crisis Center. They fired the third consecutive Men's group leader, it was stated that The United Way cut their yearly funding based on the idea of supporting a same-sex group (be that true or not, it was what was told to us by our supposedly leader) and after almost a year with no contact, it was time to express my opinion which ultimately led to the severing of ties. I received an email that asked for me to take part in the yearly "Jeans for Justice", an event in which artists from around the community give jeans they have designed and/or decorated in some way to fit the theme of sexual assault survival.

This is the first time The Rape Crisis Center had contacted me in almost a year, and my first reaction was, how dare you reduce me to that of an artist, I am a survivor, not someone to profit from and to have around only when it's convenient to you. The Men's group i was a part of never once received any monetary gain, and we were not even allowed a budget for food during our over hour-long sessions, yet our female counterparts were given ipods as "presents"- where is the balance in that? I vented myself in a response to the email and I received a letter in the mail no less than three days later stating that I had been "terminated" from the Rape Crisis Center and that "we had unfinished business" in the form of my "clothing" being sent to me. I say 'clothing' meaning the outfit I wore the night I was assaulted. I was given a time line in which I had to come pick up my outfit or it would be mailed to me it was very official and very cold-hearted. Today at about 12:50pm, FedEx dropped off a plain brown box, containing nothing more or less than that outfit, it sat inside-perfectly folded like a present.

I sit and I think of all the times I requested to go to raleigh to speak out for male survivors, the many times I was invited to speak at events outside of the state, the times I asked for posters or some sort of publication to be made to advertise our group and how each and every request was denied funding. I sit and think of how I was asked to not speak or even attend the Take Back the Night Rally at Lenoir Rhyne College because "my situation is controversial and they are a religious college"...just a few of the examples of how these people in positions of power, that are making a career out of helping others are ultimately doing NOTHING more and hindering them for personal gain. I enjoyed hearing about your vacation S.B. (victim advocate), the thought of you on a tropical adventure while I was sitting at home banging my head against the wall, scrubbing my genitals raw at the thought of what I went through really eased my soul. I have to believe that this was not all fruitless, that someday, somewhere someone who can point out the way to me, will find these and they will be the source I need to cite in this journey I still feel I need to take in my recovery and my redemption. I want nothing more than to make sure the male, the female,the adult,the child that comes after me, as a victim of sexual assault,abuse,incest, rape...never goes through what I have. I want to make their path a yellow brick road, padded, if just slightly, by a trail I have helped make for them.

I click my ruby-red slippers three times...

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