This article or section, or pages it links to, contains information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors.
The doorbell rang.
It was a solicitor. Asking for funds for albino children in Zimbabwe.
And when I pointed out how we didn’t have extra funds until the fall when our oldest goes to school, he wanted to say, “Just two things.”
One, albino children considered magical so they are hunted down and their bones are sold on the black market as medicine like rhino horns.
And two, and this is the thing that got me – that made me say, “Fuck it, I’ve got to help.” two is that since they’re magical, sex with them imbues others with strength and the younger the child, the stronger the strength.
I closed the door.
I self soothed.
I screamed mentally at this kid. He couldn’t have been more than twenty-something. Who had no idea how his words affected me.
Then two days later I was at dinner when I was offered another white wine spritzer. The bartender didn’t know how to make it so I kept ordering it separate – a white wine and a tonic – but the waitress, a friend, knew how to make it, so she offered to mix it before she brought it out.
And she joked.
Are you worried I’ll put a little something extra in there? A date drug? A little love you long time?
I knew she had no idea how her words affected me.
I laughed awkwardly and stuffed my face, trying to jerk the traumatized brain back to normalcy.
It worked for a bit.
But then I got on the bus later that same night. And I didn’t have enough money on my pass. And I didn’t have any cash on me. And for the first time EVER, the bus driver took pity and let me on the bus. For free.
Understand that this NEVER HAPPENS in the Netherlands.
And that act of kindness undid me.
On the bus ride home, I cried.
When I got home, I told P everything.
Everything was that much worse because it was late at night and I had a few drinks and it’s at the end of an intense week, but still…
I’m just so fucking tired of being sick. Of being just fine thank you very much and then being triggered into exhaustion.
Of going back to the doctor AGAIN.
I’m sick of therapy. Sick of struggling. Of recovery.
I’m ready for tomorrow. For people to realize that words have impact.
That interactions matter.
I’m hopeful that at least one person will read this and NOT make that joke. Will find another way to inspire people to donate to their cause.
I’m hopeful people will learn to think before they speak.