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on a happier note

I wrote this for a new section called "Recovery Stories" on the site that I mod. Kind of decided to write it on a whim. Haven't edited it or anything. So, this is what you get raw from my mind at three AM. ... I'd like to end this on a happier note... wheee Ki's all better, had a rough life but she's totally happy now and living it up and hasn't cut in years and couldn't care how much she weighs and if a guy hits on her, she tells him to fuck off.

But that's not how life is.

Things are never perfect.

They are a hell of a lot better though... I can actually get out of bed. I can function. I don't want to kill myself. I'm going to college in September -- ... I'm going to be a social worker... help kids who're like I was, kids living on the streets, whoring, trying to leave it all behind, thinking there's no way anyone in the world truly loves them. ... I don't think I deserve to be raped... I'm actually living for me. Because life's kind of fun, once you get used to it.

My point is, I've been through a lot of shit. I've lost friends because they couldn't stand to watch me slowly kill myself. But I did survive. And it was worth it. There is good in the world, and there is beauty in the world.

So. Hang on. It is worth it in the end.

:Ki, these are excerpts from her posting on 31 July 2007, writing from her bedroom with her boyfriend Ruud, in Holland

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Brad/Silverplate88:
The memory suddenly comes back that --- some nine months later than this entry --- Ki would forlornly post that "there must be some words that can save me" and where are they, who could speak them to her? She would then be coming quickly to the end of her mortal life. Well, there they are right here, and they have come from her own heart, and by then she couldn't hear them anymore, and that is all pretty poignant.

But we can hear them still.

And, because Ki had been so active on TeenHelp as a counselor (and here with many of us), and because she and Ruud had started their relationship webcamming and "sexting" one another across Israel to Holland, and because she got into more than one flamewar on LJ about looking at posted images (what did they see really?), --- because of all this, she would have been intensely interested in this next stuff and surely would have expressed her opinions, in close to the same words as these:

"...the experience that teenage girls have when they privately "sext" with their boyfriends and then their boyfriends share the photos with the world; research shows that girls have a very difficult time recovering from this, and can find themselves dealing with depression, drug abuse, ED's, and suicide."

(To be accurate, I need to say that Ruud was never guilty of this BUTBUT Ki had gone through a parallel experience some time before, as a member of the avidGamers site, when she had entrusted four topless photos of herself to an avidGamer girlfriend, who promptly broke Ki's trust and posted them publicly, forcing Ki to complain bitterly --- which got her no support at all from other avidGamers who called her "stupid" to trust someone with such photos in the first place (Ki had been twelve or thirteen.)

this is "a painful invasion. It's not always about contact. And it doesn't necessarily involve nudity. What it involves is a man or boy thinking of a girl's body as his to watch, measure, glare at, comment on, photograph, or share, independent of the woman's desires. It's the idea that a view of a woman's body belongs to someone other than the woman/girl herself."

The article title is "Looking can be Abuse" and the full ref is at the end of my post.

Another ref mirroring Ki is #Iammorethanadistraction campaign which responds to these attacks upon girls for wearing "provocative" clothing, as Ruud later complained about Ki (see previous post), and out of the campaign has come a sarcastic play called SLUT developed by the eight 18-year-old members of The Arts Effect All-Girl Theater Company in New York, which might be only of local interest -- except they've gone on a national tour in America with it. Recalls Ki's participation in drama class before she dropped out of school (she appeared in a play onstage at least once.)

We also need to note that the environments are not exactly identical -- some of the article references have to do with Orthodox Jewish practices and Ki is about as far from Orthodox Judaism as she is from the planet Jupiter (in her last weeks she wrote with interest about Reform Judaism and Wicca and consulted me on the splinter-group of Islam called Sufism, founded by the Persian Poet Rumi in the 1200's, heavily involving dance movements).

What we have with all of this is Kiota's aggressive championing of women's / girls' rights, privacy of your own body in your own time, and the hope of the light of change. "It IS worth it..."

Which, again, is all Kiota. It was then, on 31 July 2007, and right now at nine minutes to one in the morning on Wednesday 27 January 2016, as I finish this up.

Shalom from Brad

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references: http://www.lilith.org/articles/looking-can-be-abuse
http://www.lilith.org/blog/2015/05/voyeurism-and-the-yeshiva-girl

also referred to: article in Lilith "Teen Girls Challenge Sexist School Dress Codes"

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