MeToo

TW: Rape, sexual assault, domestic violence!

The #MeToo Hastag goes around and I want to speak up what I went through too. Because it’s not only women who get raped. Everybody can be a victim of sexual assault; regardless of gender!

A while ago I wrote a short story like post in german about this. (Autobiografische Kurzgeschichte (Teil 1)Autobiografische Kurzgeschichte Part 2Autobiografische Kurzgeschichte 3) Now I want to try to do it in english again.

I was 17 and had my first boyfriend. He invited me to his friends home. We were alone there. He started to kiss me and touch me but I told him that I didn’t want to sleep with him. He got more pushy and suddenly grabbed me, rolled me over on my belly and pressed my head in a pillow. I couldn’t breathe, scream or fight. His whole weight was on me. All I could do was lay there and wait until he finished. When I went back home, my legs were shaking. I was confused. It was my first time sex and I didn’t know if it was normal to feel like I did. Disgusted, scared, used. Later I talked with my friend and cousins about it. But they only told me that “Every woman has to go through it.” “Sex is only for men.” “First time is always awful.”
Until I talked with a rape survivor, I didn’t even realised what has happened. Because of what I was told. “Every woman has to go through it. It’s normal.”

Because I’ve been told that “it will get better if you make more experiences”, I kept being with him. I even married this man. I was young and naive.
One night he came home drunk. I was sleeping and sedated from my pain medication and antidepressants. When he first touched me, I didn’t really wake up. I thought I was dreaming. But when he got on top of me, I realised it wasn’t a dream. My brain was foggy but I tried to push him off me. But he just held my arms over my head while he raped me. Again I only could wait until he finished. Gladly I was so sedated that I kept passing out during the assault. The next morning I wasn’t even sure if this really had happened, but I could feel it from my vagina.

He tried to rape me one more time but this time I could fight back. I got myself free off his arms and escaped to the living room. He followed me, grabbed me and told me that I “owe him sex” and that he “can use me whenever he wants” because I was “his wife”. I fought with him so he slapped me into my face. But so I finally could get free and threw something at him before I grabbed my keys and left the apartment. I was only seconds in front of the door when I remembered a friend of my friend who lived just 2 doors down. I got there quickly, scared, he would follow me. I ringed this friend out of bed at 3am and he gave me a shocked look when he saw the mess that I was. After I told him what happened, he wanted to go over and beat him but I stopped him. I was just glad that he didn’t know where I was and that I was safe there for the moment.

I have never spoken about this. Only with a close friend and my therapist. My family doesn’t know what happened, and as I said, I myself only realised it was rape after I talked with a rape survivor. All the years I thought “it wasn’t real rape”, “we were a couple”, “he didn’t use force”. Rape comes in many shapes. If you say “No!” but a man goes on, it’s rape! If you are unconscious and he uses your shape, it’s rape! Even if he’s your boyfriend or husband. We must break our silence so other victims can realise if they got raped. I don’t want anybody to suffer for 15 years like I did because I thought “that doesn’t count”.

There are some other stories but I haven’t worked them through myself yet, so I will share them later.

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Behindertenfeindlichkeit bei öffentlichen Behörden

Gestern bekam ich mal wieder Post. Besser gesagt, meine Mutter bekam Post für mich. Ist leider nicht das erste und einzige Mal, dass Behörden Post an mich gerichtet zu meiner Mutter schicken anstatt zu mir.
Ja, ich bin autistisch und habe Pflegegrad 1. Das heißt jedoch nicht das ich meine Post nicht selbst annehmen und öffnen kann!
Einmal hatte ich mich beschwert, bei der Pflegekasse. Antwort war, sie müssen das so machen da meine Mutter als Pflegeperson eingetragen ist. WTF?! Ich lebe allein, in meiner eigenen Wohnung, habe ein eigenes Konto und auch einen Briefkasten. Wenn wer was von mir will, sollen sie mich direkt anschreiben!
Leider ist diese Art Behinderfeindlichkeit, und andere, alltäglich bei Behörden. Als ich noch undiagnostiziert war und noch keine Rente bezog, also noch zum Jobcenter musste, bin ich auf viel Unverständnis gestossen. Bei Terminen benötige ich oft eine Begleitperson. Zur kommunikativen Unterstützung aber auch zur Beruhigung, da diese Termine oft sehr stressend sind. Sehr oft ist es passiert, dass ich im Gespräch völlig ignoriert wurde, und nur mit meiner Mutter gesprochen wurde. Oder ich war aufgrund von Stress temporär mutistisch (nicht-verbal) und wurde schon unverschämt angesprochen, ich solle doch selbst was sagen, man würde nicht mit meiner Begleitperson reden. Wenn Mutti versuchte zu erklären, dass das nicht ginge weil ich (damals noch) Sozialphobie habe, wurde ihr das Wort abgeschnitten. “Das kann ihr Kind selbst sagen! Es ist doch erwachsen!” Liebe Behöreden, Behinderungen sind nicht immer sichtbar! Wenn ein Mensch eine Begleitperson dabei hat, wird es einen Grund haben! Zeigen Sie doch mal Verständnis und fragen freundlich(!) nach!

Gerade auch wegen der Sachen mit der Autismus-Assistenz, habe ich festgestellt, dass viele Menschen ein verzerrtes Bild von Behinderung haben. Für viele gilt nur All or Nothing. Benötigt ein behinderter Mensch Unterstützung in einigen Bereichen des Alltags, gehen die meisten Menschen davon aus, dass dies für alle Bereiche des Lebens gilt. Behinderung ist nicht schwarz-weiß.
Mir wurde schon Objektivität abgesprochen. “Was Sie möchten, muss nicht das sein was Sie brauchen!” Diesen Satz empfand ich sehr übergriffig! Wie soll ein nicht-behinderter Mensch, der mich nur aus Akten kennt, wissen was für Hilfen ich benötige und welche nicht?! Ich weiß sehr gut, was ich brauche! Und das ist nicht eine “autismusspezifische Förderung”. Ich komme sehr gut im Leben klar, danke. Leider merke ich immer wieder wie Behörden davon ausgehen, nur weil ich Hilfe bei Terminkoordination und Absprachen (telefonisch, mündlich) von meiner Mutter bekomme, ich nicht selbstständig leben kann und werde schon fast als unmündig hingestellt. Mir wurde schon von diesen Personen geraten mir einen gesetzlichen Betreuer zu holen. “Man muss ja an die Zukunft denken!” Oder man hat mir nahe gelegt in ein Heim zu ziehen. “Da haben Sie gleich Betreuung mit dabei!” Sehr übergriffig, Mündigkeit absprechend, behindertenfeindlich.

Ich kann verstehen warum viele behinderte Menschen sich allein mit Familie und Bekannten durchkämpfen anstelle sich an Behörden zu wenden. Weil man menschenunwürdig behandelt wird.

Future dreams

Future dreams

Since I was a little kid, I wanted to learn finnish and move to Helsinki. I couldn’t come far with those dreams yet, because of my chronic illness. It will get hard for me over there, and I’m not sure if I even can do it.
I was looking online for some courses and found one that only would be 2 times a week for 2 hours, 8 weeks long. This is the shortest I could find. But still I’m not sure if I’m able to take them. Two times for two hours seems not much, but for me as a chronic ill person, it is very hard. Usually when I had one appointment a day, like doctors or just grocery shopping, I’m so exhausted I need 2 hours sleep right after and at least one day off to recover.
I can imagine how hard this will get in Helsinki. Especially if I won’t get support there for the daily life things that I have here, like doing the household. I really don’t know how to solve this problem to make my dream come true. I only have one friend who lives in Helsinki, but he has a super busy job and we’re not that close that I could ask him for the support I need :/

The other, bigger dream is, to move to Helsinki. I would have a better life there than I have here. I’d get more pension and would also apply for social help. That’s what I got on Kela (finnish social insurance institution) Requirement: having a permanent home in Finland. For the guarantee pension I would need to have lived at least 3 years in Finland. And there comes my problem. From my invalid pension I can’t afford to pay rent for an apartment there. When I move to Helsinki, I won’t apply for german social help anymore so I would have only my invalid pension. I don’t know yet how Kela can help there, if they would help me. I will ask my finnish friends soon but also will go to Kela when I’m back in Helsinki to ask personally for what help I apply and if my benefits I have here (severely disabled ID card, nursing degree) will be recognized in Finland as well or if I would have to go through this all again.
Anyway, I will work for my dream!

Oh and about the service dog (Crowdfunding), if I get him until then, he will come with me of course. I’m going to need him there! 😉

Music and friends

Some people seem to think that you can’t befriend musicians. I don’t know why they think so. I’ve been friends with musicians since my 20s. When I got into the local punk scene, I’ve met some interesting people, some of them were musicians. They had their band and played gigs. They weren’t really famous but enough in the scene to tour parts of Germany.
When I first met them and started to hang out with them, I felt like I have found my kind of people. I hang around in bars with them, backstage, we talked about music and songwriting. Some nights we were sitting together discussing about lyrics and we helped each other find a solution that would work with a song or a poem. I was home.
The only thing that bothered me was when they confessed me that they had a crush on me. I was seeing them as brothers but they only saw my shell.
Once my girl friend came to me totally excited she told me how the bassist from ‘Loco’ (a local punk band) had a crush on me. I was like “Uhm I know?” She kept on telling me how cool this was that a musician liked me! I didn’t get why this was considered to be special. I knew the guy well. He was a friend and my neighbor.
Being a musician was never something special to me. I don’t mean that I give a shit about their job or that I don’t respect them. I just can’t get why being a musician was considered to be so more special than any other job.
I enjoyed being friends with musicians because I love creative people. Creative people are most often very interesting people.
During my life it seemed as if I was a “rockstar-magnet”. Somehow I always ended up being friends with or becoming the romantic partner of a musician. Every time I was out in bars, some dude would come to me and try to hit on me. Many, many musicians I told that I wasn’t interested. Because I never was interested in that kind of relationship. So it was very resfreshing when in a hot summer night I met a rockstar who treated me like a dear friend. I just got to know about him and his band the day before from a friend, so I just started talking with him about his musician life. We talked about songwriting and tour life, and he recommend a band to me that he was friends with. It was a very nice experience. On both sides. Because it felt like he was happy to finally meet someone who wasn’t going all crazy fangirling about his person. We were just two strangers who shared the love for music.
This fangirly stuff was never my cup of tea. When fangirls put “their stars” on a high podest and praise them like they were gods. Or even worse: when they reduce them and see them only as a sex object and keep telling this to them through social media. This makes me nauseous.
When my Instagram, that is now private, was public, I had some fangirlies follow me who liked the same band as I do. Once I posted a photo of a t-shirt that was given to me by the drummer of our fav band, and she immediately was freaking out over it. “Omg, that is so cool! He gave this to you as a gift? Do you know him personally?” Girl, calm down. I was just at an event, where he and his collague were giving merchandise away. It was just a small ‘Thank you’ from him for the work I do on a fanpage dedicated to him. Nothing special.
Some other incidents happened so I got more and more reserved and almost never mentioned him. Fans always turned it into a weird direction. One girl asked me in a private message “What kind of relationship” I had to him. Or accused me I would “boast” with him being my friend. If people think this, it’s your perspective. Because I don’t put him on a high podest, I treat him as the acquaintance he is. I know that I’m not a close friend, best friend, brother or whatever. But I do know that we are friends. Because he told me and shows me every time we meet.
If you make your favourite musicians into some kind of god, don’t wonder if they see you just as a fangirl rather than a friend that they can trust.

Friendship: It’s not about the amount of time spent together,
but about the quality one shared together. – LJ Meindl

In an older post I talked already about  How I define friendship. That it’s not important to speak daily and see each other at least once a week. When you are friends with musicians this isn’t also possible. They are mostly busy, working on new music, recordings, touring. I have friends that I haven’t spoken for over 6 months but once in a while one of us reaches out to the other and just be like “Hey! How have you been?” and we just start talking where we stopped last time. I love that!

Déjà-vu?

Tonight I wanna talk about something that keeps me busy for 20 years. It started after I died when I was 12. First it only happened when I was dreaming in sleep. I dreamed of an place I’ve never been before. I walked down the streets, saw the street names, the colours of the building. Soon there came voices in my dreams. I passed by strangers who were talking in a foreign language, but somehow I understood them.
One dream was very clear. I was sitting on the ground, on a carpet in front of a carmine. Behind me was a table with a bench that went around the corner. Young people were sitting on them, talking in this language I actually didn’t know. It were two guys and two girls. One guy had chin-long dark hair, one woman was blonde. The others I don’t remmeber well. The dark haired guy came over to me, asked me something and I replied in this foreign language. Then I woke up.
I can’t tell the gender I had in the dream, nor where I was at. Just from the language I could tell, it was Finland.
I have thought much about this, because those dreams happened for a very long time. They felt like memories. Which is impossible because I didn’t know those people nor the language.
When I researched more about Helsinki, I once came over photo that made me feel recognition. I knew this street and the houses shown on the photo! I had seen them in my dreams.
It gave me a very odd feeling when I travelled to Helsinki. Just when I had left the airport, a feeling of “You’ve been here before.” flooded me. I walked through the streets and found the street from my dream. I stood there a while, staring at the houses that made me feel like I should know them. But nothing happened.
Also this language. Every time I hear finnish, it gives me the feeling “You should be able to understand. You know this language.”
Honestly, it often gives me a feeling like I got amnesia and forgot who I am. Forgot things about me I actually should know about.
Learning the language now, gets frustrating. I recognize words and have the feeling, it should make sense. I just have to concentrate enough and I will understand. Again.
I don’t know about you, and you can call me crazy now, but I do believe in earlier lives. That we don’t live only once. And I have the strong feeling that in one of my earlier lives, I was a Finn.

Next time, I go to Helsinki, I will explore a bit more. Go to Suomenlinna and other places I wanted to visit but haven’t made it yet. Let’s see if it gives me a memory feeling again.

The many faces of gender dysphoria

This beautiful article by Sam Dylan Finch (Let’s Queer Things Up!) has opened my eyes! All my life I thought that I wasn’t dysphoric, until now. Gender dysphoria was for me, this is how I got told, that you know you’re transgender and you feel a strong denying or disgust towards your body, but also you know what your body should look like. But Sam beautifully describes it’s so much more!

For a long time, I couldn’t place why — I just felt ugly.

And not just in the insecure way, but in the something-is-so-wrong-but-I-can’t-place-what way.

Yes! All my life I felt ugly. Especially in my childhood this feeling was very strong. I assumed it was because of me being very tall and due to my tumour disease, severe underweight. But the feeling lasted until my adult years. Even after I’ve had let myself persuate into becoming more feminine and people telling me how “beautiful” and how much I “look like a model”, I still felt ugly and very uncomfortable.

When I look at old pictures of myself, though, I start to understand. For one, it doesn’t even look like me.

It wasn’t that I was ugly, so much as I didn’t look like myself. But not even knowing what “transgender” meant, I didn’t have a point of reference to understand my feelings at the time.

It doesn’t look like me. This feeling I can relate to very much! Every time someone wanted to take pictures of me, I was hiding. And if they got a snap of me, I looked at it and thought “That doesn’t look like me.” But since I didn’t understand what was behind this feeling, not knowing that transgender people existed, I couldn’t tell what me should have looked like.

There’s this narrative around transness, that we all knew immediately that we were meant to transition, meant to live in a different body, that the gender we were assigned is not the gender we actually are. For many of us, however, that’s simply not our story.

Oh yes! Although I had a sense of that I wasn’t a girl, I couldn’t believe myself. It is very hard, almost impossible, to realize this if your whole life, from when you were a toddler, every adult around you tells you that you are your assigned gender.
So I came to conclusion that I was just a very odd cis girl.
I remember a situation when I was around 12, I was talking with my cousin about how much I disliked my name, that it didn’t feel like my name, that I didn’t feel like it represents me. Her response was, that she didn’t like her name either because it was complicated to spell and that every person dislikes their name and you will get used to it.
That’s not the same.
Or different situations when I tried to communicate what I disliked on my body because it feels wrong. “Every woman dislikes something on her body. That’s normal!”
For many years my actual gender dysphoria was dismissed as “normal woman feeling about their body” (can’t find more accurate words at the moment).
That’s the reason I needed 30 years of my life to get that I was transgender.

I was drawn to short hair, and after cutting it, I felt euphoric in a way I couldn’t deny.

I had my hair short as a kid, so I cut it short again after I got rid of my toxic ex-boyfriend. At first I felt shocked and sad because it was so really short. Although I always loved having short hair, in the beginning it felt bad.
All my life I learnt how a girl was supposed to be, was pressured into feminity, so I was shocked when my hair looked “too short”. Girls were supposed to have long hair, to be feminine and I was never like that. It was what I was supposed to be, what everybody around me, assumed me to be. To break out of this toxic stereotype and genderroles was damn hard and a long journey.
My transition started odd. Already before my inner coming out, I switched between masculine and feminine presentation. I liked being masculine more but I was supposed to be feminine because I was a girl. So I first came out as genderfluid. But the masculine days came often and more often, so I started to explore my identity more deeply. It was a long hard road to the thought “What do YOU want?” and not listen what I was supposed to be.

I can’t really remember when, how, I got to know about transgender people but I do remember it were only sterotype stories: Always being boyish, liking “manly hobbies”, liking girls, dressing masculine-> coming out as trans man.
That wasn’t me. I didn’t like “manly things” like cars and sports. I wasn’t interested in girls. So I thought, “I can’t be trans. I’m just a weird girl.”
Only when I was 30 I got to know about different transgender experiences, and about nonbinary people. Though when I realized that I was trans, I came out as binary trans man. I didn’t know that being nonbinary was an option, and that it was possible to live so.