Up to twenty percent of all men will be raped in their lifetime.
This is his story:
Three days ago, I went out with some friends. We ended up at a local bar where I used to work. Working there meant that I got to know the locals - one in particular, a older man named John.
I always thought he was a cool, chill guy who liked talking to me.
I was wrong.
I went over to say hi to him and he bought me a glass of wine. That's where my memory ends: I can't remember anything until I woke up vomiting in his bed. Then... nothing. Then I woke up in a panic, yelling at him to "take me back to the pub."
It's all snippets and blurs from there.
I'm not entirely sure what happened, but I know I was sore the next day.
My friend told me that when she spoke to me that night, I looked as though I was looking through her. I left my car keys, cellphone and wallet at the bar - which is not like me at all.
While my memory is still in pieces, I've managed to put together that he somehow got me to his car, took me to his house, and raped me.
Being a guy, I feel so ashamed, disgusted, not only about him but about myself, too.
I shouldn't have taken that drink from him. Never have I felt so violated by anything. I've gone to the doctor and I've told my parents; soon I'll be seeing a psychologist.
At the end of the day, I feel like no one is safe - no matter what - that we must be careful.
I will get through this trauma, it will not become my life.
Thanks for reading, The Band.
Sometimes, we at the Band know that part of owning who you are is admitting it to the world.
It's one reason why we at The Band work tirelessly to break down stigmas and find the ties that connect us all, the ties that remind us that we are none of us alone. Please join us in standing tall and proud as we tell the world who we are.
What are you, The Band, The Face Of?
I have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
You wouldn't think so, just by looking at me. Hell, most people in my daily life don't know. Surely you can't tell by looking at my home. It certainly doesn't look like the stereotype tells us it should. (Thank you, Hollywood.)
I have not always had OCD tendencies, I wasn't born this way.
I developed OCD as a coping mechanism for dealing with my untreated anxiety when I was a teenager.
In my family, we don't talk about mental illness. It's not okay to talk about needing help or that something might not be right in your head. I was raised that if the doctor said I had anxiety, well then, I just needed to pull on my big girl panties and deal with it. Having a mental illness meant I was just being a sissy.
So when my doctor did tell me that I had anxiety at the ripe old age of 15, my parents looked at me with exasperation and left me alone. There was no therapy or anti-anxiety medication. I was just supposed to deal.
I tried a number of things that failed before falling into a nasty neurotic spiral. I can't pinpoint exactly how it happened but I can distinctly recall spending an entire weekend deep cleaning my parents' house. I scrubbed the grout in the bathroom with an old toothbrush until my hands were blistered from the bleach. I cleaned the stove inside and out. I even alphabetized and cataloged all of our VHS movies. (We had over 500.)
Of course, no one said anything of my weird behavior. My family turned a blind eye as I tried vainly to exert control over my surroundings.
In hindsight, I know I did it because I desperately needed something I could control. My mind was spinning, reeling, and I was lost. Since I couldn't control my thoughts or the paths they took me down, I cleaned. I organized. I mated all the unmatched socks in our laundry room.
So why doesn't my house look clean and organized now?
A number of reasons, really.
I have RA, which makes deep cleaning difficult. I also have a lot of stuff. Or rather, my fiance and I have a bit more than our one-bedroom apartment should be able to hold.
But mostly, I have a slightly better grasp on my anxiety. I don't have huge tailspins anymore. Well, not often.
When I do? I have a few other coping mechanisms in my arsenal to employ.
I sing. I craft. I write.
But sometimes, I clean.
I am the face of OCD.
I've been battling my anxiety the last week or so.
Between world events and worries close to home, it's been hard for me to be able to find the positive in each day. So I did what I do best when my mind is swirling out of control.
I made a list.
*Organizing my embroidary thread
*Watching the History Channel
*A new book to read, with chocolate to accompany it
*Bright new-to-me purses that will hold all of my things
*Creating craft projects with friends
*Kind words from loved ones at JUST the right moment
All of these things, no matter how big or small, made me smile this last week. And that is the best kind of happy.
What's your Happy?
Don't think you have one? Look harder. Something will make you smile today.
We want to know!
Share it with the world on your blog and then link up below, tweet it out (hashtag #DOHMonday #WithTheBand) or share it on Facebook. Whatever you want to do, do it. Just find a bit of happy in this Monday!
We all do so much for other people. But do we do enough for ourselves?
Let's take a break for ourselves.
How do you take care of yourself, The Band? How do you manage to do the little things when life feels overwhelming?
It’s never quiet. Not for me, anyway. Whether it’s a bustling mall at Christmas, my seemingly quiet office, family meals, or my own mind.
I’m never in pure silence, especially when hit with overwhelming stress and anxiety.
Noise surrounds and engulfs me. The hum of the A/C. The whirring of the computer fan. The squeak of my desk. The voices of coworkers. Buzzing phones. Sniffling. Slamming doors. Coffee cups clinking. The faint sound of music. Cats meowing. Keyboards clacking.
The sounds move through the air and hit me like a wave crashing against the rocks. I try to stand firm, but it takes me out. Always bearing down. Never ceasing.
I always seem to forget what meditation can do for me. When I remember to take a few minutes, I close my eyes and my vision goes dark. But there are flashes of green, red, pink, and copper. The long, deep, steady breathing is calming. Moving into the darkness, the silence overtakes me, shooting through me like an electric current. It’s warm and soothing, not cold and frightening.
Here, I float in glorious silence.
Something awful happened yesterday.
Suddenly looking through my Facebook and Twitter feeds I found out that there had been several explosions at the Boston Marathon.
Explosions. Injuries. Fatalities.
Unfathomable situations to consider.
Social media is incredibly informative. We learn news in the blink of an eye, but just as quickly we can receive misinformation and find ourselves giving out incorrect details because we want to share and we want to help.
Social media can also be terribly triggering when it comes to disasters such as these. Sometimes we cannot handle what is happening in the world. Stories such as this horrible tragedy in Boston trigger dark thoughts for many of us. We get stuck in that mindset and can't push it down.
These are perfectly normal reactions to a tragedy such as this one.
But it's also totally okay to WALK AWAY.
We want to remind you that it is perfectly acceptable and often REQUIRED to walk away from the news stories. YOU are most important here. Yes, it's a horrible thing. Terrible. Emotional. Anxiety-provoking. But you need to know that if you are overwhelmed with the news you do not need to watch it, read it or listen to it.
Don't look for it. You'll hear it all eventually. It's not critical for you to know immediately what is happening.
Nobody will judge you for not participating. Nobody will ask you if you watched the Anderson Cooper show or read the latest AP News information. There will be no quiz here.
Social media IS amazing. But sometimes people just jump feet first without actually thinking or researching. And pictures that do not need to be seen get tossed about. Horrible. What for? Nobody needs to see that. Especially you.
If you are a parent, you are probably protecting your child(ren) from these things. There's no harm in protecting yourself, as well. I would recommend you do it.
I remind you, because I know that in times like these we often forget, that taking care of you is most important here. Avoid triggers. Close the laptop. Take a walk. Play with your kids. Eat something chocolatey. Dance around your living room. Sing your favorite song. Buy yourself a fancy coffee. Cry if you think it will help. But don't hole yourself up with the footage. It's not healthy and it's not necessary. Because we want you to take care of you. We want you to remain safe. And we want to help keep you that way.
If you find yourself looking for answers or resources, please consider reviewing some of these Band Back Together resource pages. And if you need to, reach out. We're here.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Resources
Emotional Shock Resources
We, The Band, keep the people of Boston in our hearts today and in the coming days as they face the aftermath of these horrible events.
Page 1 of 114