Friday, August 21, 2020

Now, Let's Talk About Rose McGowan, and this Tara Reade and Joe Biden Thing ....

Just an FYI, Rose McGowan has been critical of both Trump and Biden on behalf of women - she has called them both "monsters and frauds" previouslyl.  However ...

To Rose McGowan ...

Look, I believe what happened to you in Hollywood was horrible - clearly, because you're still this angry over it, and overly identifying with people you don't know, THIS much. 
But Honey - look what conclusion you jumped to about Asia Argento and Tony Bourdain, then had to retract and apologize, when you found out legal facts already in place that you weren't aware of. 
Is it possible you couldn't see the situation objectively because of overly identifying with every women that claims sexual assault/harassment? 
We cannot overly identify with every person that makes a sexual harassment/assault claim,  just because they make it - we have to look at the evidence, how credible it is, case by case - male OR female.   
No, you weren't alone, but people are individuals - and we should look at each situation individually, too - neither automatically dismissing it, nor automatically believing it -  until we observe for a while, see all the evidence.. 

Now, as far as the Tara Reade allegation against Joe Biden, the reason I haven't brought this subject up is not because I'm ignoring it or hiding it for Biden, or because I don't believe Tara Reade.

The truth is, I really don't know what to believe - I'm conflicted.

And that is because some of the things Tara has said and done are very consistent with a traumatized victim/survivor of sexual harassment and/or assault - and some of the things she's said and done really - aren't.

Now - her history of not being able to pay her bills as a single mother and living in desperate survival/trauma mode afterwards, needing financial help?  

Sorry, folks - but that IS consistent with a survivor of Domestic Violence. 

However, what is NOT consistent with most of us with DV histories is we typically don't introduce ourselves as DV victims and publicly broadcast it, especially initially.

That is because we're typically still in shame/self-blame mode, as well as fear - fear of not only the abuser, but fear of not being believed - especially if the first person we tried to tell didn't believe us.

Now -  I, too, have a history of both sexual harassment AND domestic violence (having a history of both happening is more common than you think).

We typically don't introduce ourselves to new people like Tara apparently did, like: "Hi, I'm So and So, I'm a Domestic Violence, can you listen to my story/help me?"

That typically just doesn't happen.  

It's not unheard of, a desperate mom trying to feed her kids - but it's not typical.  Maybe on the internet, where it feels more anonymous, but not typically in real life.

Typically, victims are initially too scared to "broadcast" what happened to them, to much of anybody.

In fact, anyone that introduces themselves immediately as a DV or sexual harassment/assault victim. or broadcasts it publicly to everybody, under their own name - especially right after the supposed incident - I'm usually wary of.

That is because in addition to the shame/fear initially preventing victims from publicly broadcasting what happened and asking for help, what is also true is that this "broadcast" method is also often employed by abusers themselves, and stalkers, both male and female.

Abusers and stalkers themselves will often broadcast-claim they are the abuse victim, to try to manipulate people to help them bully/abuse the victim - typically,  retaliating against the victim for leaving them or rejecting them.

It's also a method employed by abusers as pre-emptive "gaslighting" strike, a message saying:  "You have nowhere to go, no one will listen to you, I'm in control of people's perception of you.  You're the toxic one, not me."

So you have to be very careful - neither automatically believing or disbelieving - until you've examined the actual evidence and observed them for a while, to ensure you're truly dealing with a victim and not the abuser/stalker/harasser - male OR female.

Everybody's an individual, and desperate times call for desperate measures - but publicly broadcasting your abuse isn't typical for actual DV or assault victims - especially initially, if you're still truly afraid of the assaulter.

Now -  having said that -  there IS a time where you stop being ashamed and afraid  and are more open about it, and start fighting back, in order to help yourself AND others - but that's done to empower yourself and others.

It is NOT done to get others to help you with money or to attack your alleged abuser for you in some sort of "vigilante justice" attack, online or real life.

(As I said, anyone that does the latter puts up a big red flag to me that they are the abuser/stalker, trying to retaliate on their victim.)

However, we  still don't tend to publicly broadcast it like that unless the subject comes up, especially, in real life, like Tara did - apparently with everybody.

I was ashamed of it and afraid people wouldn't believe me, and the person I told on the net and family member I did tell - didn't.   

In fact, the first person I told was that net person, privately, on the internet, thinking it was safer because she didn't know anyone involved,  She appeared to be supportive and believed me, but she later was twisted and used against me, over 15 minutes of fleeting blog fame (we both had prior blogs) that never really materialized for her, and I never wanted anyway.

In fact, word to the wise - the internet may feel safer to tell your story, but it isn't - you really need to know the person in real life, for a long time, face to face, first.

Also, to any DV victims or sexual harassment/assault victims - do NOT accept unsolicited offers of financial help from strangers - regardless of how small your social support system is or how desperate you are to feed your kids.

I know it's hard to ask for help and admit you're this low, but go to a DV shelter or food pantry before you do that - it's better than taking financial help from a stranger - because money obligates you - even if the other person says it doesn't.

I did that once from someone off the internet, to fix my car to be able to get to work, telling them straight up there was no chance of a relationship with me.  

I didn't ask for it, they just offered, and I refused for several days, but was taking the bus, which wasn't always on time, and I afraid I was going to lose my job.

They said it was to help my daughter, not me, and was a free gift - reciprocation for having been such a good friend to them and helping them.

So I finally accepted it - I wanted to believe them.  

However, when I didn't let that person in my pants later, it got flipped back on me, as manipulating them for money.  

Money obligates you - even if the person says it doesn't and you think it's clear to both parties there's no obligation -  because there IS a chance they are manipulating you, to obligate you.

And if you don't do whatever they want later, who do you think people are going to believe, if they lie about it?

The person with money or you, hm? 

Now, having said that - there was one other person on the net who wired me me money in such a way that they couldn't get it back, on purpose, so I'd have to take it.

I didn't ask - but they were sending it because my moving truck broke down when leaving my husband from Florida.  

So I picked up the money but didn't spend it - I donated it to the local animal shelter in his name - and told him I did so :)

This person WAS genuine - they meant it when they said they were doing it because I'd held their hand over the net during cancer treatment, when they had no one else to talk about the pain in real life, they felt like a burden already and didn't want to complain to their family. 

That one was never flipped back on me, to this day - because he was honest about his intentions and honorable, and so was I :)

But that's a rarity, ladies - most times, unless you're dealing with an official organization trained to deal with this sort of thing - money from strangers ends up like the first story I told - and one that possibly happened to Tara Reade - we just don't know. 

The truth is, it's just not safe to tell untrained strangers your story, anywhere, real life or online :(

Afterwards, during the recession, working two and three jobs and struggling to pay bills, I never came to any member or my family OR friends and asked for a dime, though I really needed help. 

A family friend DID later show up, where I was in Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati, in 2010 and said, "Okay, get in the car.  That's enough living like this.  Families are doubled up and living together, there's hiring freezes at McDonald's, but you still think you can pull yourself up out of this by yourself, during a recession, piecing together several part-time minimum-wage jobs, after trauma, with no help?  " 

She didn't give me money, but a place to stay and food :)

I am still good friends with her to this day, she's my spiritual mom - I just talked to her yesterday, in fact :)

Just a few months before that, I finally humbled myself enough to actually ask for help - 2 churches - which was humiliating. 

One gave me $50 to pay my electric bill, but asked me all kinds of personal questions about why I wasn't married, where was my family - leaving me to feel like I didn't deserve their measly $50.

The other one had no money to give, just support - they just invited me in and gave me encouragement, rides to church - and one of those ride-givers noticed I didn't have a Christmas tree, and gave me a small tree :).

Let me tell you something - giving me rides to church and that small Christmas tree, and their support and encouragement meant so much more to me than that $50 I'd been given from that church charity organization for my utility bill they made me feel like I didn't deserve.

In fact, I ended up tithing a small portion from each paycheck to the church :)

But even still,  no one knew  about my history of domestic violence but the pastor and his administrative assistant.  

Unfortunately, later, some of the congregation heard some rumors  and didn't know what to believe - but the pastor and administrative staff knew the truth.  

In fact, they confirmed the rumors were going around and from what source they came from - but because they knew more of the story, they knew they were lies.

However, I told them I wouldn't be returning, not because of them, but because I was tired of fighting these lies, and I felt I would never escape the false rumors.  

I felt ashamed again, even though I knew they were lies - that I would never get out from under them, regardless of the pastor and people that knew I was telling the truth.  

Plus, I was embarrassed that I wasn't pulling up out of this nosedive as fast as I'd hoped (looking back now, there's no way I could have without help, during a recession).

However, never forget kindness and mercy shown to you when in a dark place, because it is so, so rare.

So I have called that church since, to once again, just thank them again for just being so kind to me, during the toughest time in my life - and to let them know how much better my life is now - and that sometimes, all somebody needs is a little kindness and faith :)

Regardless, if anyone asked me why I left Florida and my family in Lexington, I usually just said, "divorce." 

But if someone pressed in a doubting sort of way, and it was important, like my boss or potential boss, I'd say, "Okay, I was concerned for my safety, and I've never had a very supportive family, that's probably why I married him, to escape, not realizing that treatment was familiar - let's just leave it there, is that okay?"

And it usually was - but then I wasn't pressed very often. 

All of this to say, introducing yourself as a DV victim and publicly broadcasting your history - especially in order to get money etc. - just isn't consistent with the typical DV victim, nor is it safe for them - go to appropriately-trained people instead. 

 I have heard of some true DV victims who have, though, when desperate to feed their kids - but it's not typical. 

But I can even give her a pass for that, because if you are truly in fear for your safety and in survival mode and just trying to make ends meet, you are desperate - so what you do in desperation  may depend on your personality - plus you're broken and still trying to heal.

Also,  typically, your trust for other is impaired afterwards - and her time frame lines up with mine, during a recession, when jobs are scarce.

Especially in this day and age, people will use and twist anything personal that you tell them, especially during a recession, to get your hours or your job.   I saw it happen to dozens of others, during the recession, and it happened a couple of times to me, too, during that time -  and if you're new on the job, and they're not - good luck with people believing you.  

But actually, I don't think all of the people I witnessed that engaged in throwing other people under the bus, during the recession, were "bad people," just desperate.

Again, that's the sort of panicked behavior people might do when they're in survival mode, depending on personality, they tend to feel like "it's either me or them," when in that mode, warranted or not.

Until you live in survival mode yourself, there's no telling what you might do when you are. They probably wouldn't even ordinarily throw people under the bus like that, but it was a recession, people were desperate.

I personally had a perfect chance to throw someone under the bus, offered by HR, as a temp to get their job - but I didn't take it - that's another story - but to this day, I glad I didn't - I couldn't have lived with myself if I had.

And here's another thing that is not unheard of with DV victims, but isn't typical/consistent.

That is, there's no way in hell that I'd even mention my ex-husband OR my old boss to other people as a reference, in real life or social media.

At first, because you're afraid of them - and later, when you're life is better - because most of you still wants to pretend like it didn't happen or you just need to move on and past it. 

Now, back to my point, as I've said, I, too, have a history of both sexual harassment AND domestic violence (having a history of both happening is more common than you think).

So I was a bit surprised that she'd mentioned her alleged assailant so favorably afterwards, almost like a reference for her character. 

However, it's not unheard of - think of high-profile people - like Harvey Weinstein  in Hollywood. 

If you didn't speak favorably of Harvey - even agree to work with him again - that was the end of your career.

For me personally, I didn't even put my sexual harasser on resume or ever mention him again - I was too scared he'd continue to smear me for refusing him.  I was already working a second job, so I put that one down only. 

However, I DO understand some women needing to do that to salvage their careers.

But this next one, I'm scratching my head on. 

Because I understand occasionally checking on social media, to see if justice/karma ever caught up with them and if it things have happened to anyone else, if karma ever caught up with them, yes.

However, liking your accused abuser's stuff on social media, particularly his posts about protecting victims of sexual assault and violence towards women?

That one, I have a hard time justifying - and all I can say is, I've never met a single victim of Domestic Violence or sexual assault/harassment that would ever do that - even if you've forgiven them.

*I am NOT saying she's lying* -  I'm just saying that liking your alleged assaulter's stuff on social media - particularly ABOUT sexual assault against women - just isn't consistent or typical with a domestic violence or sexual assault/harassment victim.

Now, up into this point, I could give her a pass on all of the rest of it - a scared single mom, in untreated trauma and survival mode, financially desperate - handling it just according to her own personality - but that one, I just can't wrap my head around. 

I get checking in, from time to time, to see if karma ever caught up with them, but liking their stuff, especially on the subject of assault on women?

No way in hell, I ever would, and to be honest, I've never met another victim who I felt was truly a victim that would.

But there is a third possibility that no one has brought up, which could make them both be telling the truth.

And that is that Joe is a very touchy-feeling affectionate guy, who stands inches from your face when he speaks to you, male and female.

More than one person has stated it makes them uncomfortable, they're not used to that kind of contact, even calling it creepy.

I honestly don't interpret him that way, but I could be wrong - but I can see why people find it a physical boundary encroachment.

However, I've seen this before from people who have experienced great loss - they not only personally need more connection with others than most people, but they want others to know how important they are and that they know they're cared about, just in case they're not here tomorrow. I get that, that makes sense, given their history.

Regardless, he really should be more respectful of people's personal boundaries, regardless of his intent - because you never know when someone could take it the wrong way or use it against you for oh, say, politics?

Now - we have Tara, with an alleged history of domestic violence, having just left it. She's scared, she's in survival mode and trauma mode, overreacts/startles easily.

I admit myself, having PTSD, especially at first, became triggered easily - sometimes because the person really was like my ex, sometimes they really were not - but something they did was just close enough to trigger/flashback me - but it's extremely important you eventually sort that shit out, or you'll stay stuck there, forever.

So is it possible that Tara Reade, while in that state, just misinterpreted Joe's affectionate ways as something more than it was - right after leaving a domestic violence situation, it may have felt like assault/disrespect of her boundaries?

In fact, in my sexual harassment situation, the opposite was true - in fact, I under-reacted at first because I thought that's what I was doing - "transferring" what had just happened onto my new boss where it didn't belong having recently left my first husband.   I told myself it wasn't real, it was all in my traumatized head.

In fact, it wasn't until a coworker slammed her hand down on the meeting-room table and said to him, "She said back up off her, right now, and she means it! NOW" 

... that is the moment I woke up and I said to myself ...

"OMG, this is NOT just 'my transference," this is NOT trauma trigger - this is really happening, he really is sexual harrassing me and retaliating for even politely rejecting him.  This IS not all in my head and my problem, this is real - and thank God somebody else noticed and stepped in to help."

I never had mentioned I felt that I was being to another soul - but I will forever be grateful to that coworker who woke me up by slamming her hand down on the table and broadcasting the no louder that I was afraid to, for me. 

But the fact is, right after you leave an abusive relationship, you ARE broken and vulnerable. You WILL startle easily and overreact, while in trauma mode. You may even genuinely transfer your ex's crap onto a new person at first.

HOWEVER, what is also true is, that while in that state, vulnerability comes off of you like the smell of blood to sharks in the water - and during that time, your vulnerability rings like a dinner bell to predatory people.

So you have to learn to be aware of both possibilities are possible - thus, it's important to separate out your trauma triggers and transferences first - and if you still feel the same way after doing so - well, it's possible that you really are facing another shark who smelled blood in the water.

So the truth is, I don't know what's true, I wasn't there - but I DO think there's a strong overlooked possibility of misinterpretation/trauma trigger reaction that happened, here.

Make sense?


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