i’m a survivor!

and then there were 18...

the NDA no longer holds, seeing that the contestants were officially announced this week. yes, i am one of the 18 people vying to be the last (wo)man standing in the new series of survivor SA santa carolina. the show starts airing wednesday 20 january, (day after my birthday) on m-net at 7:30pm. wish me luck folks!

i always told you i was a survivor! 😉

pic originally found here.

a dubious anniversary

my phoenix woman image

my phoenix woman image

at 02:45 a.m., on this day in 1992, right here in johannesburg, a man came flying through my door while i was lying sketching  in bed and over the next half hour, proceeded to rape me at knife-point. 

it was the yeoville rapist, at the time, on a spree terrorizing the women in my neighborhood (now in jail due to his fingerprint on the glass of water i handed him). the police had put out a profile saying that he was targeting young white, blonde women. i certainly wasn’t white (the government at the time made sure i was aware of that) and i wasn’t blonde and being a 12 year incest survivor, i certainly didn’t think the universe had this ordeal in mind for me as well. so when the neighbor’s dogs barked all night, i ignored them. when i heard the creaking of the floorboards, i thought that i really should ask my tenants in my duplex next door, to be a little quieter at this time of night. little did i know.

half an hour later when my friend who was staying with me for the week, came home, preventing the threatened encore to my involuntary experience, the guy finally took off over the back wall and any plans for my immediate future came crashing domino-down. the worst violation was not being raped, it was that he stole my sense of immunity, that thing we all need to get through the day, past the horrendous leading news stories, the thing that helps us believe “it won’t happen to me”. once it does, it’s as if you can never let your guard down. every noise you hear is the warning you didn’t heed, every person you see who looks vaguely like the guy, is a threat. the only night i spent alone in the house after that night, was spent walking from the front door to the back, investigating every little rustle. and i was probaby right, because 2 weeks later when i flew to new york to be with the man who would become my husband, he broke into my house again and attacked 2 women who were house-sitting for me.

6 months later i had, even though i didn’t yet know it at the time, moved to the states, gotten married and developed both ovarian cysts and grave’s disease, a hereditary hyper-thyroid condition which i didn’t even know i had, but which can manifest itself after a major trauma. i walked away from my house, my career, my life, my family and friends and i did not come back till i got the role on this soap 3 years ago. i really never envisioned myself coming back to jhb ever again.

it took me years to recover from that night. in fact i don’t know that i will ever be fully “recovered”, but coming back to jhb forced me to stop running and face the demon, acknowledge it and say “namaste”. for many years this day would bite me. i spent at least the first year in bed with the duvet pulled over my head. a measure of my recovery is that i only remembered what day it was as i was driving to work this morning. a far cry from the constricting dread that would overcome me in the weeks leading up to this day in other years.

i drew this around the 1st "anniversary"

i drew this as therapy that first year

 

 

man with a gun (lyrics to a song i wrote)
it was almost 3 a.m.
a quarter to, to be exact
i heard a noise above the music
but i didn't face the facts

then through the door you came
your knifing eyes foretold my pain
and though it wasn't for my life you came
now it will never be the same

it was almost 3 a.m.
a quarter to, to be exact
i heard a noise above the music
but i didn't face the facts

now i never can again
look the same at other men
though they didn't lie me on the floor
to take what they had come there for

even while i hid inside my head
imagining you in pools of red
i remember staring at the carpet
the one i'd chosen from the market

it was almost 3 a.m.
a quarter to, to be exact
i heard a noise above the music
but i didn't face the facts

3.15 you took with you
my feeling of immunity
and in it's stead you left in lieu
hell in perpetuity

it was almost 3 a.m.
a quarter to, to be exact
i heard a noise above the music
but i didn't face the facts

 

 

 

http:phoenixflying.net – my site for survivors 

hostages down the rabbit hole

an item in the news caught my attention this morning and would not let go. i first heard it on the radio as i was driving to work, then when i opened my online e-mail at work, there it was as the main headline.trapped

3 rescued US hostages arrive safely in Texas

Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes and Keith Stansell were in a plane which went down in the columbian jungle and were kidnapped and held for 5 years by FARC, Ingrid Betancourt was kidnapped while campaigning for president and held hostage for 6 and a half years. i don’t really know the details of the story, other than what’s in the article and the snippets i seem to recollect from the occasional news story over the years.

what strikes me and makes my mind boggle, is the thought of anybody being held captive for SIX YEARS! can you imagine 6 years of your life spent at the whim of others? not seeing your family or loved ones, not having any say? (yes, i know jail is the same, but when you go to jail, you’ve generally broken society’s laws).  the stories of natascha kampusch and elizabeth fritzl also freak me the f@#$ out! 24 years in a dungeon?! i’ve realized over the years that i have a rabid reaction to anyone trying to exert control over my actions, so the thought of this sends me into paroxysms of revulsion, frustration and anger. i tumble headlong down a very dark rabbit hole leading to a warped warren of memory. my mind recoils.

maybe being an incest and rape survivor has something to do with this. maybe one can liken 12 years of molestation by someone you trust, as being held hostage.  i’ve been trapped in rooms against my will too many times in my life and i do not wish the experience upon my worst enemy.

or maybe i do. may my stepfather rot under the earth and wonga ndungane rot in jail.

and i wish those rescued hostages a wonderful and extended reconciliation with their loved ones.