I Am Not Your Victim

Poem by Sophie Rose // Illustrations by Frizz Kid

A note to the men who find me and decide they could grow to like me

Do not

Take my trauma and make it yours

 

Do not

Tell me my suffering is sexy

Seduce me with a saviour complex

Coo sweet nothings against my open wounds and lick your lips that are stained with my blood and

Murmur trite banalities in my ear

That you found during your Google search “trauma, cliches”

Do not raise your eyebrows and nod your head slowly as you shush me with a variety of sympathy you think is unique, as you distract me with the ocean of understanding you are proud to dump into my lap do not expose yourself like that because I see you

I see the arrogance buried blatantly in the whites of your eyes

I see you making this about you, making me about you

About your tolerance and maturity

Your graciousness and purity

Proof of how deftly you deal with damage

 

Do not
Contort your shoulder blades to pat yourself firmly on the back

For never having raped a girl

Or maybe for thinking you’ve never raped a girl

Do you know what rape actually is

 

Do not

Put a thoughtful gift in my rigid hands and wait there while I open it’s

A jack in the box it’s

Your social know-how

Your ethical barometer

Your feminism

An invasive embrace
Violating my face

My claustrophobic space

Demanding that I thank you for it

You smile graciously as I thank you for it

You’ve done me a favour you think

 

Do not

Ever make the mistake of believing that

A traumatized girl

Will sit by and let you fetishize her trauma

Do not

Talk over me as you

Draft a plan for my improvement

Design a schedule for my remodel

Propose a budget for my worth then tell me don’t worry, no charge, pro bono like

You’re not actually a good person you’re just trying to make me think you are and I can tell, I can tell when you’re trying too hard to make me think you’re not aroused by your own self-importance like

You’re molding me into a project and claiming me like

I am a broken machine for you to fix but

I am a powerhouse

And I am broken, yes

 

I didn’t ask you to fix me

I asked you to see me

 

I may be a victim but I am not your victim

 

Do not

Drape your artificial supremacy over my story and make sure it’s tucked in, covered, all the way round

Lay your conspicuous masculinity on me, but gently

As though conspicuous masculinity has ever solved anything

As though being gentle about it makes it any less toxic

As though it will act as a shield from some danger, some monster, some thing

That already lives in my

Fucking soul

 

Do not

Find out that it happened on Halloween and that my sheets were orange and

Silence me in your arms

Suffocate me with your chest

Let me talk let me talk let my discomfort be more important than yours for a sec let me finish and then let me ask you to hold me because otherwise

I do not

Want to be touched

By you

 

Do not

Hear whispers that he was my friend

That he hit me and bruised me and laughed at me and fell asleep in my bed

And feel sorry for me

Feel sorry, do

Sorry that it happened but

 

Do not

Pity me

 

Do not

Use my truth as an excuse

To be nice to me

To invite me out

To care about me

Invite me because you like me

Or don’t because you don’t

 

Do not

Read about how he forced himself inside me through my tears and my no’s and

Call my “courage” “so” “beautiful”

It’s not beautiful

It’s just me talking

I just talk

Talk about this because I have to because it’s my water and my shelter

Courage is subjective

 

I do it because it’s the only thing that makes any sense because

Doing it for a minute means that’s all that matters

For a minute

Means I feel not alone in this world for a minute

 

Do not

Let my candor

Make you think those who do not speak out have not been hurt

Make you think it’s okay to minimize me to ‘that raped girl’

Make you think that you’re ever allowed to tell my story without asking first

It’s mine
Mine

 

May be a victim. Not your victim.

 

But do not

Pretend that nothing ever happened

Because it did

Everything happened

I think about it every day

Every day about how and why I died

I died

She died

The me before

 

Building a person from scratch

Trying not let the raging helplessness overwhelm that hybrid human girl only half alive

A brain that frightens itself with its own negativity, spite, sadness

Lungs that can’t quite figure out how to keep her breathing

A heart

Overworked

Pounding too hard to keep her okay

She has seen too much

Dark wet endless eyes

 

She flits in and out of this sagging skeleton

I don’t know where she goes

The loneliness aches

The floaty loneliness of the rosy-cheeked ghosts and their echoey laughs

Where does she go

 

The bones and the in-between girl

The oldest, softest bones

The softest, oldest girl

They’re tired, those two

Tired of waking up every day and pretending they’re okay

Tired of putting on a smile amidst raging denial and

Tired of false relief and

Tired of fighting the grief and

Tired of doing it all alone

Do not

Leave me alone

If I ask you to stay

 

Let me mourn me

The me who lived for twenty two years and seven months and twelve days

Let me fumble with the growing pains

Of newpersonhood

Let me heal

Without co-opting my struggle as your next agenda

Without ignoring that I am strong and smart and beautiful and talented and kind and raw

In spite of

And not because of

What I’ve been through

And how I’ve managed

 

I know you may just be trying to help

I don’t mean to be rude

But I’ve spent too long letting other people feel that their healing, that their positive experiences can come at the sake of mine

 

I know

It’s confusing

What to do

I know

 

It’s confusing

But also

It’s not

 

Listen to me

 

Respect me

 

Trust me

 

Be there

If you love me

If you have any love for me

If you think you could love me

If you have ever loved me

Be around
Let me be around for you

Let me love you

 

Listen

 

Care and then ask and then listen

 

I may be a victim

But I am not your victim

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Frizz Kid

Hana. 24. Toronto. But you can just call me Frizz Kid. Freelance artist, writer, human ambassador to the Cat Galaxy, and Lord of the Rings enthusiast. One day I started doodling and I never stopped.

Sophie Rose

A girl trying to make her way in this crazy world (currently Toronto). Her heart is split amongst the lovely people who’ve allowed her into their lives. She’s writing a book about them, and this. If you want to be a part of it, email info@ramonamag.com about this piece and they’ll help get you in touch.

 

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