Maybe this is fiction, for all you know. I call it finxion and it’s founded in the facts of my lifetime. It would be nice to say it never happened and leave it to settle as if it were only fiction. But only if it never had really happened! Then it would seem intrusive and disrespectful of victims to just make stuff up for the sake of creating fictional work. But the world is full of writers and artists who seem to have no moral or ethical boundaries and for whom everyone and everything is fair game. The social mobility ladder is always full of snakes. Girls especially often make the rules up as they go along, play dirty, get nasty and winning one over on the opponent is all that really seems to matter them. Not all girls. Maybe not even most girls. But if you’d been to school in England in the last forty-five or more years, you’re probably well aware of these problems around spiteful oneupmanship-types and they are mostly seeming to be girls.
In real life, I cannot believe people can be so criminally cruel and carry on as if in being so cruel they are somehow being kind and acting on your best interest! THEY HAD NO DAMNED RIGHT! But as if so-called friends and so-called family would allow these things to happen since these dreadful events. As if nobody would help you understand from their point of view how these things came about. As if people in jobs would be so criminally negligent. As if police would manipulate evidence. As if the CPS would prosecute people for sexual offences without victim interview. As if anyone could have such things happen in England in the 21st century and the victims to be devastated and then for one or more of us to be left to just suffer and work things out on their own with no support and no help. As if.
There was a summer’s afternoon a few years ago now when I saw you in the street as my bus passed you. If I hadn’t been on my way to take your daughter home to her mother I might have got off that bus. I wanted to buy you food and a cup of tea and talk things over, try and make some sense of things. I wondered… a lot of things really. I wanted to get off that bus, have this impossible but necessary conversation. I wanted to know if we could take legal action somehow to set the record straight. Government and public services, those in authority, they never set the set record straight. Lies are set in stone.
You were sitting on the Jobcentreplus (welfare building) steps. You wore your hood up and your face was so thin I wondered you’d just been released from prison. I knew you’d been in prison because your kids told me when they visited you there with their mother. She used to go on a bus or a train with a lady who’s kids went to my kids’ school. It never occurred to me to ask anyone WHY were you in prison.
I was forever feeling the backstabbing of sharp and spiteful tongues, gaggling geese, hen-pecking – probably those same upstanding community members who helped those things along – reward minded individuals, culprits and false witnesses. The believables. We were all just worthless, downcast, underclass who’d never play those games. Even after all, your kids, their mother, your family and friends and our neighbours, they never talked in spite like others around – I hope they stayed supportive of you. They still seemed to care about me as a neighbour. Cautiously.They knew. And I’d bet they tried, but no-one would believe them. Or maybe because it was complicated and blame would lay in the wrong time and place, no-one could say. Maybe you weren’t the only one taking unfair blames.
Put up, shut up and take the fall?
If I could have got off the bus that day, I could have asked you, why did you go to prison?
It’s an odd thing, not being able to find out if someone was prosecuted for the time they had non-consentual sex with you. Sex offender’s legislation means that type of information is confidential and the victim can’t make any enquiry on that basis. In this kind of instance, the victim has no confidentiality. Essentially, nor does the offender . Even when the victim hasn’t been able to speak to anyone about this offence, others have spread the news far and wide. Hot gossip.
The trouble is, in England, justice is a bogus notion. Corrupt police/CPS would scoff and say that type of commissioned rape is no crime! What is it then? Arts based research ensuring bias for their resultant findings in the same way scientific research seems to practise? In my lifetime, here especially, and especially since policing was “modernised”, I’ve seen how our community policing is just as bad or worse as anything anyone has to say about other countries injustices and corruptions. People in the UK go to prison for petty offences based on the corrupt practices of bullshit back-chambers information often founded in false witness reports, hearsay evidence, manipulation and revenge campaigns.
This is a difficult conversation to have. It must be difficult for you too. Maybe even moreso given that you were maybe further victimised after being as much a victim as I was. How can it be possible that you could go to prison for your offence against me without my knowledge? That can’t have happened? That would be another abuse of us both while we were both already victims!
Yet I remember all those disappearing acts while I was ill and so traumatised and my excuse of a husband was being cajoled by his drug-fuelled meddling peddling girlfriend. He also seemed to be talking to my doctor. About me? I’ve not been allowed my medical information to check accuracy and enable correction of false information either. My husband was a victim making poor decisions. His friend was an interfering bitch, too full of herself and with no respect or consideration for anyone else. Making herself feel important. “Helping him”. Taking advantage. She gives socially-responsible drug users a bad name. My elderly father-in-law might have become a victim too, though I was only told it was an ulcer bursting caused blood all over their bathroom floor and walls that same summer. Maybe that’s all it was. Coincidences happen. It was the only thing that kept my husband and I together, because I wanted to leave after all this but had no money and nowhere to go and then my father-in-law almost died and we just ended up eventually getting back to nowhere near our previous selves but holding the family together. Unlike yours that was broken apart.
So, I’m rewriting history here. Taking a risk, as per the writing101Ei suggestion. I hadn’t made any notes to work from. I have now. I wrote a poem influenced by them – as a victim of non-consensual sex that could maybe be coined rape but wasn’t forceful. It’s complex. It was a long time ago. So, I wrote my poem and the rapist is a dirty word.
For more than the little revealed and expressed here, I risk offending other women. As another woman. As a domestic violence survivor, an abuse survivor, a rape survivor – unless I conform to the consensus of acceptable expression and only opine those things that fit the template of an imposed accepted social norm. That is how I perceive the reactions of other women might be – based on experience of the catty branch of bitching at the equality agenda while furthering discrimination. We are all surviving something or things from our individual and collective pasts. No-one should tell you that what you feel is wrong or that natural emotions and emotional reaction is your “mental health problem” or assume to know what’s best for you as if they feel they are somehow better placed to judge than you are for yourself. That’s a sign of their superiority complex. That is how equality campaigning in the name of feminism appears to me, a campaign by women with a superiority complex, guilty of employing the very methods they are denouncing as sexist.
Another day, we’re just gonna have that conversation where i do all the talking and can only imagine what you might say in between. I’m not gonna give you room to talk, not here. One day maybe you’ll use your own voice to fill those gaps. It might not be safe for you to speak out.It might not be safe for me either. It depends how that stupid occurrence happened.
Who wanted that to happen? Who set it up? Was it set up? Seems like it had to be. It’s just too crazy. Someone gave you drugs and convinced you to do that while you were off your head. My husband insisted on getting off his lazy arse that evening to make me a cup of tea. We had company. Tea lady was my duty but I took a rest – when I said ‘yes please’ from where I lay on the floor in my makeshift bed, you’d walked into my darkened room. I thought I’d heard my husband’s voice, he was bringing more tea – I wasn’t fully aware. I was crying myself to sleep – “Wassup Colette, d’you want some more of this?” so I said “yes please”. I woke in the morning and only realised then. That was not my husband. He was told soon enough what had happened but never had the decency to correct his first wrong answer. When I’d said to him, first thing that Sunday morning, “Was that you last night?” he had said “Of course it was!” The traumatic months and years following these events caused suppression of memories while holding my family together. And to an extent yours too, while those of us left behind picking up the pieces of our shattered lives remained as good neighbours, but never talking about it.
It was just over seven years before I realised for sure that voice in my living-room that evening was you. Several years later since, this is my right, to write it.