Saturday, January 27, 2018

How society teaches us that sympathy towards victims is conditional

'You were very young and inexperienced', my psychiatrist said, after I'd told him someone had made me feel guilty for the sexual violence I'd experienced at the hands of my partner. He said it to help me. At that moment, I didn't know why this remark bothered me. Now that I've figured it out, I see things much more clearly. In a society where victims constantly get blamed, it's seen as a positive response when someone implies you may have responded in the wrong way, but that you're forgiven. However, this indirectly contributes to the idea that victims share the blame for the violence inflicted on them. This has to change.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Depression: When you look your best, but feel your worst

‘You look like you’re doing okay’. Those were the words of my psychiatrist, after I’d just told him I had had an awful two weeks and mentioned my antidepressants still weren’t working. I didn’t know how to respond. I remember being confused, because how could I look okay when I felt so depressed? Why was he minimizing how awful I’d been feeling? Only after I’d arrived home, did I start to understand why he’d said it. It was the way I’d presented myself, with the clothes, jewelry and makeup I was wearing. And yes, maybe it was confusing to him, because normally I look quite different. For one, I stopped wearing makeup around a year ago. But that day, I felt especially vulnerable and I wanted to look ‘put together’. And it worked. I could hardly blame the guy for falling for it. On the other hand, shouldn’t he have known better?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Short Story: Mask

I walk out the front door, but before I close it behind me, I stop and turn around. I gaze in the direction of my living room, and after a moment of deliberation, I decide to go back inside. I move towards my coffee table and when I stand in front of it, I grab the mask lying on it. I look at it with admiration. This is one of my finest works, if I may say so myself. I've been perfecting it ever since I was a small child.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

How gettting diagnosed helped me

I remember exactly where I was when my previous therapist sent me information about a Post-traumatic stress disorder. I was at a train station and read the information immediately. After that, I started crying. I recognized a lot and for the first time in nine years, I thought, so I do have it. Although things suddenly made a lot of sense, which was nice, I did feel a kind of heaviness coming over me. My biggest coping mechanism is denial and minimization. For years I told myself: 'I may have some symptoms related to PTSD or depression, but not enough. I’m making a big deal out of nothing'. Letting go of this thought pattern isn’t easy, but now that I have been officially diagnosed with both, I do feel acknowledged and this gives me some peace. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

I'll never be able to 'get over it'

People have told me I shouldn't keep talking and writing about my past as a survivor. That by doing so, I keep holding on to it. I'm 'playing the victim' too much and I'm not letting it go and moving on. But they see this all wrong. I write and talk about my experiences because I can't let it go. Not when I can still see the impact my past has on my present day life. I wouldn't want anything more than to be able to keep the past in the past. I've had so many instances in which I thought; 'I've finally reached the finish line. Now I've done this, talked about that, accepted this part of it, I can let it go. Now I can move on.' And sometimes it does feel like that's the case. But it keeps coming back. It keeps affecting me; how I feel, how I react to things and what choices I make.  

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Today I'm 18 Again

Written by: Fenna Vlekke

Today I'm 18 again. I know I've been on this earth for 28 years now, but it doesn't feel like it. Today I need help. Because, even though I'm not in a dangerous situation anymore, my 18-year old self doesn't know that. So I'm at work, or walking down the street, or cooking, but I'm constantly busy suppressing the need to ask for someone to help me. Not because I'm sad and I want people to comfort me, also not because of memories resurfacing. I want to ask for help because I need someone to save me. At the same time, I know I don't need saving. I see potential saviours all around me. But I can't do anything with it.

Friday, April 29, 2016

About Our Survivors' Blog

There is a lot of secrecy surrounding rape, sexual assault and domestic violence. People would rather not talk about them. But if these subjects stay hidden, perpetrators will keep having a lot of power over victims. Because nobody should feel ashamed about having been vicitmised, and because their story should be told, the blog The Unspoken Spoken - Survivors' Blog was created. In hopes of helping other survivors, and making it easier for people to talk about these subjects. Speaking out is truly liberating and by talking about it, we're taking our power back.