I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood. That the speaking profits me, beyond any other effect.
—Audre Lorde, from “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action” (1997).
My name is Elle, and I am a trans woman survivor of sexual abuse. That isn’t all that I am, of course.
I am currently taking a break from school. I was double majoring in English (writing focus) and Women & Gender Studies. For now, however, I am taking time to focus on my healing process. In my spare time, I play video games, read comic books, and discover new music. I am a poet and writer of 10+ years; you will occasionally see some of my writing on this blog.
My life has been a mess of ups and downs— I have survived poverty, racism, two suicide attempts, being a sexual outsider, major depression, an eating disorder, being transgendered, having a disability, and lots of other things. Out of all of that, however, I have learned important two lessons:
1) That silence will never get you anywhere, and
2) That love is very real, but there are lots of forces, lots of people, that don’t want you to find it.
I write this blog out of love— the love I have for all of the other survivors of sexual abuse and sexual violence that I know, love for all of the people who will be abused in the future, and all of the people who have lost their lives or their sanity because our society lacks safe spaces for us.
This project is a work of love for myself, too— a love that I can still find and still give, despite being abused. I write this because giving and receiving love is not always so easy, especially for a survivor of sexual abuse.
I write this blog because not all survivors (especially those people in other countries, or other centers of oppression) have the ability to do so.
I write this because silence is the greatest enemy we will ever face, and the only way to defeat it is to speak out.
Here are my rules and stipulations for this blog— some for myself, and some for you.
In condensed form: I will not mince words, and I won’t put up with bullshit. This blog is a safe space, and I expect everyone who participates in any dialogue here to respect that. I also plan on continuing this project until the day I die.
In long form:
- I will never stop writing this blog. I will never abandon this issue. Ever.
- I will write as honestly and openly about my sexual abuse/abuse as possible, because there are people out there who cannot or do not have the privilege to do so.
- I may change the names of people for their privacy and protection.
- I will not use this blog as a space for a one-sided, soapbox conversation. Comments will always be on, although moderated. If you disagree with me or there is something that you don’t understand, please ask me.
- You are definitely free to ask questions, debate me, argue with me, etc. But I reserve the right to block your comments if they are abusive or render this space unsafe for other people.
- This blog will always be publicly available, no matter what happens. I will not, under any circumstances, remove or delete this blog, make it private, or attempt to hide it.
- Although I will not hide this blog, I still reserve the right to choose when and with whom I share it, of course.
- I willfully disregard how this blog affects any abusers or people who support abuse or rape culture. This includes people in my life. This blog is about my experience, not anyone else’s. If people are hurt or have problems reading this, it’s their issue, not mine. I was the one who was abused— not them.
- I will attempt to make this blog as accessible as possible for people, sexually abused or not, while still bringing in the ideas and concepts I learn in my Women/Gender/Queer studies career.
- Because this blog is about my experience, it will probably differ in some ways from the experience(s) of others. I hope, however, that I can help other people feel less alone. If your experience was different, please feel free to share with us. The more people who speak out, the greater our chances of survival.
- I will update this blog whenever I feel like it. I have no obligation to update this on a regular basis, especially given the difficult subject matter. There will probably be times when I don’t post for several days or even weeks. Again, however, I will never abandon this space.
- There are two widgets on this page— one that tracks visitors and their country of origin, and another that tracks the number of visits to this page. Neither of these keeps any personally-identifiable information. Your identity is completely anonymous unless you choose to divulge it in a space such as my Ask box or in the comments. I will never reveal who follows this blog. In such an event where you need me to remove any of your personal information, just leave a message and I will take it down within a day or two. I cannot, however, remove messages that were posted anonymously, as there is no way to know for sure who the real poster is/was.
- I expect you to respect the personal space and wishes of other people on this site. I ask that you do not “out” people in any form or fashion— we are all on different paths to healing, and not all of them follow the same steps. Other people may take longer than others, and that is okay.
- If this blog or the writing on this blog ever becomes monetized in any form (ads, books, etc), all proceeds will go first to cover the cost of publication, and then to a relevant, non-profit organization or deserving individual. This blog will never make blood money— that is, it will not be wasted on indulgences and similar things.
- There is now a donation button at the bottom of this blog— this goes to me directly, to support my own healing process and journey. I promise that any money from it will be used wisely.
- This blog, and all of the writing on this blog (unless otherwise made clear as authored by someone else), is licensed under Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution, No Derivs, which means that you may copy and share anything on this site freely, so long as you attribute the original source, and as long as you do not make any changes. Large quotes are fine, but alterations beyond basic grammar, typos, etc should be asked about. For further permission, please use my Ask or Formspring.
- You are welcome to share any parts of this site freely with other people in a personal, one-on-one or teaching capacity. This includes quotes, snippets, etc., as long as they are reasonably contextualized and linked back to here.