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Kiota Writes Her Bio 2007-07-31

I am slowing acquiring entries that Anna wrote.  This one was transcribed by silverplate88  & passed on to me.  This is Anna's bio that she wrote right before leaving Holland to come to America for college.


KIOTA writes her bio 2007-07-31   01315h   posting from the Netherlands    
                                                                                                                                                                                                      

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I’m going to make this public, for now.  As good an intro post as any.

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.

Triggering for abuse, depression, SI, ED, suicide, and more.

I grew up in a fairly normal household … okay, not totally normal, I grew up in the West Bank and my mom was an alcoholic till I was seven … but I was pretty happy as a kid, there wasn’t any abuse at home, I loved my parents and siblings, had friends, did well in school, etc.

When I was nine I slept over at my best friend’s house quite a bit.  I didn’t know it at the time but her father was molesting her and all of her sisters.  He molested me as well.  As far as I know it was a one-time incident .. it was night and I guess I tried to dismiss it as a dream or something.  I couldn’t deal with that knowledge, I was only nine and didn’t even think that maybe he’d done it to her as well.  I felt like I had to protect her.  So I didn’t tell anyone.  And eventually I made myself “forget” it.

I started getting depressed around then.

I started cutting myself when I was 12 … by the time I was 14, it was really bad.  No graphic details, but … it was really, really bad. I kept a journal online and my friends there urged me to tell my parents.  Eventually, I did.

I saw a couple shrinks, had a little nervous breakdown, was hospitalized.

That was possibly the worst experience of my life.  Worse than the previous abuse.  Worse than future abuse.  It’s still hard to talk about it.  There weren’t many things there that were … overtly abusive, but it was a horrible place and there was *minor* abuse, mostly emotional stuff.  Mainly it was just … being totally alone with extremely intense depression, with nothing to distract myself.  It was four months of pure hell.

While I was there, I also realized that I was a lost cause.  I don’t remember anyone saying it to my face … but it was pretty obvious many of the doctors thought that.  They were rather frequently shocked by me and didn’t make much of a secret of it.  The head psychiatrist called me “the rebel” to my face and told me I’d have to stay there at least a year.  Everyone believed that if I was released, I’d be dead within the week.

My parents went to the top psychiatrists in the country, and … well, my prognosis was really bad.  I‘d been depressed five years with no apparent cause.  Sexual abuse was suspected (due to the nature of the SI mostly, but I was pretty much a textbook example of a victim of sexual abuse,) but I denied it.  I wasn’t talking.  My cutting also became even more severe and I began to develop an eating disorder as well (ironically enough, the only people who noticed were the other patients.  The staff, on the other hand, sometimes denied us food as punishment for not setting the table.)

Basically, everyone thought it was rather hopeless.  Including me.  I was sleeping over eighteen hours a day, surviving off ridiculously sweet tea and the occasional yoghurt, not participating in anything nor talking, etc., etc.

After three and a half months of being in that place (i.e., three and a half months of being constantly literally suicidal,) about a year of being extremely depressed, and five years since being molested, I tried to kill myself. I nearly died.  The only reason I am able to write this right now is because one of the other patients walked in on me dying, and saw me and screamed.  Yeah, one of the other patients.  Not the staff, even though they knew I was suicidal (they were the ones who left me unsupervised for three hours.)  Lovely.

Obviously, they brought me back.  A week later, my parents took me out AMA because they also hated the place and had managed to find me a therapist who would take me as a patient  (yeah, it took four months – as I said, no one wanted to take on someone hopeless who’d last only a week.)

I’d dropped out of school at that point.  I left the hospital in January of 2004.  Till the next November, my week consisted of working on a therapeutic farm (shoveling horse shit = therapy!!  Seriously though it did help.)  And seeing my therapist 5 – 6 times a week.  I also began taking antidepressants.  I improved a little.  I attempted suicide a couple more times, ended up in the hospital twice --- once for a suicide attempt, once because of my ED, though at the time I didn’t tell my parents that was what was causing my fainting attacks.  But all in all I was improving, albeit slowly.

I was also starting to remember what had happened to me when I was nine.  Little bits of the puzzle fitting back together.  Why I was so scared of men.  Why I was scared of being raped – why I EXPECTED to be raped.  Why I randomly had a panic attack because I thought a staff member was going to rape me while I was tied down.  Why the SI was the way it was –all sorts of little stuff adding up and suddenly making sense.

Aaaaand I turned 15, and the shit hit the fan and I turned back into a trainwreck.

I used to hitchhike a lot.  It was pretty normal.  Everyone did it. 

Anyway, one day I hitchhiked with this guy.  He asked for my number. I thought…
I don’t really remember what I thought.  I was (and still am, in a sad sort of way,) painfully naïve.  I knew there was bad in the world, knew it really well.  But I always conveniently “forgot” it.  Always wanted to believe that people really ARE good and that if my gut tells me something’s wrong … I’m just overreacting.  I did that a lot --- minimized stuff.

Anyway, I gave him my number.  He was like … I dunno.  Loads older than me.  I thought … I don’t know what I thought.  That maybe he just wanted to chat.  I didn’t know how to say no, anyway.  It would’ve been “rude”.

Later he called me and it just so happened that I needed a ride to Jerusalem, so I hitched with him again.

No details or else this will be twenty posts, but he raped me.

Four days later, I was raped again.  By a different guy.

Couple months later, I was molested on a crowded bus.

Little while later, I was raped again.

I turned 16.

The SI was better at that point.  I was cutting very severely, but less frequently.  I had other problems at that point.

I was looking for men to hurt me.

Doesn’t matter how I found them, but I did.  I’d meet them.  They knew I was sixteen.  And lesbian (yeah, forgot to mention that, I came out when I was fourteen.)  And that I’d been raped.  And that I was doing this to hurt myself.  I made sure they knew all that.  I called it “consensual rape”.  I don’t know what I’d call it now.  Not rape, but abuse.

I don’t remember how many times.  Don’t care to count. 

I wanted to run away.  From everything.  From my family, from friends, from therapy.  Just get away from it all and become some anonymous, drug-addicted teen hooker on the streets.  Anonymous.   Someone no one would care about.  I could live for the moment only.  I came very very close to doing that.  Only didn’t because it would hurt my family.

I became a teen hooker anyway.  Sometimes guys picked me up on the street and didn’t pay me.  More often, I arranged a meeting and they paid me.  Knowing I was sixteen and didn’t want it and all.  Some of them were kind of sadistic.  Okay, pretty much all of them were sadistic, except maybe one or two who just wanted to get laid and didn’t care who the girl was.

I started smoking.  Still do.  Will probably go have a smoke after writing this.  I didn’t get into drugs though.  Not because I was strong or anything like that.  I just didn’t get offered drugs very often.

So from November of 2004 until February of 2006, that was my life.  I gave up on fighting them.  Didn’t care enough.  I wanted so desperately to run away and give up.  I wanted to be trapped in it.  I didn’t want a choice.  I wanted someone to get me hooked on drugs.  I wanted someone to hurt me and force me into that life so finally, finally I didn’t have to fight any longer because I wouldn’t even have that choice.

My ED also got kind of bad.  I was bulimic for awhile.  Then … well, not anorexia, but symptoms of it, the dangerous sort of symptoms that lead to death.  SI, as I said, was far less frequent, but …. When I did cut, it was severe.  I wasn’t really worried about either one of them because I was far more likely to be murdered by getting in a car with the wrong guy, meeting the wrong john.

I don’t know why I stopped.  It just … it got too much, after awhile.  I couldn’t give up completely because of my family.  I couldn’t run away, I couldn’t do that to them.  So I had to keep hiding, I couldn’t completely fall … so I was still sane enough to get scared.

What pushed me over the edge was a taxi driver.  He took advantage of me and had sex with me. He told me he loved me. He made me … say that I loved him.  And say that I wanted it.  No one had ever made me say that stuff before.  And it was so humiliating, so shameful.  Far more than the other times. 

I told my Mom.  Not everything, but enough.  That I’d been raped more than once (she only knew about one time.)  That I was whoring. 

After that, I stopped.

A lot’s happened since then.

The main thing was, I fell in love with my best friend.  My male best friend.  Yeah, despite being lesbian.  I dunno.  I’d known him for years, online, and I fell in love.  Funny how that happens.  I’m sitting on his bed right now. I think if it wasn’t for him, I would’ve gone back to whoring.  Or just being promiscuous.  The main thing is, I have a reason now.  For a long time, he was the ONLY reason. Now….I like to think I wouldn’t go back to it anyway.

I’ve been assaulted and raped a few times since.  For the first time, raped by someone I thought was a friend.  I was last assaulted about a month ago.  But I’m alright.  Learning how to say No.  Actually fighting back, for a change.

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 less 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.  Yeah, I’m still depressed and I’m still on medication.  But 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 living on my own, and I know I can.  I’m going to study 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’ll be seeing a shrink in the fall … but I’m not right now, and I’m doing alright.  I recently cut my meds from 15mg to 10mg.  I cut not long ago, but that’s not my life anymore.  I can actually get through the day without thinking about it once.  It’s no longer something I have to do – I can survive without it.

I don’t have to be emaciated to feel good about myself.  I don’t think I deserve to be raped.  I have people I can trust … and for once .. they’re not the only reason I’m living.  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.  People have given up on me. I’ve given up on me.  People have said to my face that they don’t think I’m going to make it.  That if I didn’t kill myself someone else would do it and a week later my body would be found in some gutter.  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.  I once thought there was no chance in hell I’d ever want to live.  To live not because I felt obligated to live, not because I was scared to die, not because I didn’t want to hurt my family, but because I actually WANT to live.  And yet I do.

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

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Ki’s LJ entry transcribed on June 8, 2008 by Brad

Comments

a few expansions from Silverplate88/Brad co-Mod

We're about five years past Otter's original post of Ki's bio, want to add some material:

AMA = against medical advice.

Ki never was clear about how she was installed in Eitanim in the first place. It was Sept 2003, she was fourteen, she didn't put HERSELF in there. Eitanim is a locked psychiatric/detention facility, or was then, some beds were used by police to hold suspects before their court appearances. Later the Med Director of Eitanim was convicted of patient abuse and imprisoned himself, his principal staffers were all fired.

Ki wrote her bio at a very happy time in her life, she had met and befriended several kids from Portugal and Belgium, and she got permission several times to fly out of Israel to NW Europe to visit them. Her main friend was Ruud, whom she was lovers with, both emotionally and sexually, despite identifying as Lesbian. The group of them had gone camping at RoomPot, a multi-location resort company offering a series of campsites in NL featuring cabins and bungalows, all sorts of sleeping arrangements possible w/multiple bedrooms for rent usually by the week. This was in July 2007, and sadly it would work out to be the last time any of them would see Ki living.

Ki had moved to her mom's dad's home in Northern Idaho, USA, late in 2006, to start classes at Northern Idaho Community College. Her grandfather had retired before then, Ki had a number of cousins in Texas, USA.

She finished up her work at NICC in Spring 2007, had been accepted to The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington state, also in America, member of the Class of 2011.

That last summer she traveled back home to Israel and went on the "camping" trip in Europe.

Both her Idaho time and the camping time were fertile photographic times for her, she produced some lasting creative work.

Her months at Evergreen from September 2007 to 13 April 2008 were rollercoastery, to say the least. The positive side, the crests, the tops of the ride, were that (1) she was awarded a tuition grant and fifteen courses' worth of credit - 45 hours - to do creative writing / photography projects --- one of her pieces they were astonished at was her writing based on her abuse at Eitanim related to the experiences of a 20th-century Russian poetess; (2) she began dialogues with Aperture Foundation, the mega-important worldwide exhibitor and publisher of photography in New York and internationally --- dialogues about choosing work from her photo portfolios to participate in a New York exhibit of 'new and emerging' photo artists, the fact that she was both a citizen of the USA (born in Highland Park, Texas) and of Israel (grew up in Efrata, West Bank, Israel) --- interested the editors at Aperture a lot; (3) on her last afternoon she gave permission for one of her photos of her sister Becky to be rendered as an acrylic painting, done by an artist/exhibitor, to be toured in America as part of an exhibition in Fall 2008 (it was;) and (4) she had been accepted onto a national team of twenty college photo artists which would travel to Cambodia in June-July 2008 to work with abandoned children in an orphanage and, she wrote, "document human rights abuses in Cambodia" thru her photo essays --- earning college credit that Fall of 2008, and for an exhibit in our gallery in my home theatre in Austin, Texas, THE VORTEX.

These crests, and the depths, were all to come, as of July 2007. Quickly, as it turned out, over those last eight months...