I've been sitting on this post, pondering what I wanted to share to explain how completely different I've felt for the last week. A week ago, P and I headed to see Thao & The Get Down Stay Down at the Woodward. It was one of the best shows I've been to, like ever, in my nearly 2 decades of showgoingtos (attendance?)
I was reading a bit more about the album I fell in love with, her most recent release, A Man Alive and it donned on me why I was so attracted to the sort of deep cut, "Meticulous Bird." She wrote about giving survivors of abuse, sexual abuse in specific, a space and anthem and words to scream:
I find the scene of the crime, I take my body back
It hadn't occurred to me that might be why I was so attracted to this song, why I found myself listening on repeat for the last month, and how wonderfully combative it felt. But so that was all I wanted to hear—just that one song. I know, from years of going to shows, it is positively setting oneself up for heartbreak to have your mind and heart so set on hearing that one song, but I didn't care because I needed to hear her play that. She had a fantastic set and came back for the encore and covered Missy Elliot which was amazing and then went into this track.
It was pure magic. For me, something shifted. It's been nearly 2.5 years since I was raped. I didn't even tell Patrick about it until 6 months after it happened. That was followed by an even harder, bumpier, year and a half of therapy and recovery. I went through many phases from denial (I couldn't even use the word rape until Patrick repeated it to me over and over when I referred to what I could only call an "incident"), to anger, to not talking about it, to only talking about it (telling strangers, people I just met because I needed them to see me to tell me I was in fact there and not the ghost I felt like), and after hearing this song, a since of closure and resolve.
For the longest time, it's been about him: the person I trusted and cared about who raped me. It's been all reactionary, all consumed by this one night and this one thing he did to me. It became the defining mark of my identity, there was pre-rape Katrina and post-rape Katrina and this person got to exist as this hyphenating troll ruining my life and nearly ruining my relationship with Patrick. It takes an extraordinary amount of courage, forgiveness, kindness, and love to work through something that painful together. Finally, though, I feel as though I've arrived.
I take my body back I take my body back I take my body back