Archive | September, 2012

Rape

23 Sep

First year at university, I’m 18. I have my own studio in the City of Kings, Wars, and Champagne. Life is sweet.
This morning, I attended a lecture on the Elizabethan Times.  Our lecturer is so passionate about it. I always enjoy sitting in the theatre and watch her tell us about the Throckmorton plot and all sorts of intrigues about ugly Elizabeth I.
Then I decided to go and walk around the old centre. The facades, the statues, the streets keep reminding us that Kings were crowned in the cathedral. Rheims is stuck in the past.
But it’s time to go back home and get ready for the next lecture. The next bus to Joliot-Curie is in ten minutes.
I’m daydreaming, wondering what would have happened had Francis Throckmorton’s plan to restore the Catholic Church in England succeed. Wandering about how life used to mean so little in the past….
But I feel someone watching me. I look to my right. A short stocky red-haired man is gazing at me. A shiver runs along my spine. I look away.
When the number 13 to Croix Rouge arrives, he gets on the bus after me. “Come on, it’s just a coincidence”, I try to convince myself. “Maybe he’s attending the same lectures. The campus is so huge.
”Have you ever felt a gaze weigh on you? Like a thick heavy wrap. Blinding you.
The next stop is where I live.
I get off.
I don’t need to turn around. I know he’s there.
Quickly I get in the building. The doors of the lift are open. I run in. Press 4. Too late. He’s in too.
Everything goes fast. He says something. I can’t hear. He grabs me. I fight back. The doors open. I jump out. Hands on my breast. Hands between my legs. He throws me against the wall. And I scream. I scream so loud my voice breaks.
So loud the whole ten-storey building must hear me.
So loud he gets a fright and leave.
So loud but nobody comes. Nobody stops eating their lunch to see what is going on.
This wasn’t rape. There was “close contact but no penetration” but my hands are still shaking when I recall this day. I was so stupid … and so lucky!
My stomach is hurting when I think of the 75000 women raped in France alone in 2011.. How many more didn’t report the crime? How many more attempts to break a woman? In South Africa, 175 women are raped every day… How many would help them?

 

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Fear – La Peur

8 Sep

Fear no more the heat o’ the sun; 
Nor the furious winter’s rages, 
Thou thy worldly task hast done, 
Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages; 
Golden lads and girls all must, 
As chimney sweepers come to dust. 
“Fear no more” – William Shakespeare

Since I started this blog, I have received wonderful messages. People I know, people I don’t know, people with or without MS keep telling me how courageous and inspiring I am. It is extremely flattering.! I would to say: keep praising me… I can’t get enough!
But … I am not this strong courageous person you imagine and I apologize if I misled you.  The truth is I AM AFRAID.  Fear has always been beside me, like a faithful shadow. Some people may be followed by Anger, others by Sadness… My companion is Fear.
Fear is like a graceful dancer, wearing different masks. She comes – uninvited – and dances around me. She often comes as Fear of failure and her twin sister Fear of rejection. Sometimes she wears the more discreet mask of Fear of loneliness, or the ambiguous double-sided mask of Fear to love and not to love.  And then Fear to be hurt is never too far. But underneath all these masks there is only one face: Fear to die.
So here I am, in my MS world, caught between a huge shapeless walrus and a multi-faced dancer. Both are very proud and If I ever try to ignore them, they become  stronger. Plus, the stronger my Walrus gets, the stronger Fear becomes too, and vice versa.
I suffered so much from fatigue the first years of my diagnosis. It was horrible., like being nailed down on the floor. You cannot move. Just being is so hard. Everything seems out of reach… But I decided to explore any possible source of energy around me. It’s quite amazing how much energy you can save with an appropriate diet. Mind Power is also amazing and deserves its name…
But like all emotions, Fear is also a source of energy!  Of course we can be transported by love, joy and happiness but the same is true of Fear, Anger or Sadness.  People are able to achieve so much, not always for the benefit of humanity, because of these emotions too.
I wish I were fearless, but Fear, like MS, is part of who I am. It doesn’t define me but certainly influences me.  And I’m not particularly courageous, just an expert in Energy Saving!

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Ne crains pas les rayons du soleil

Ni les rages hivernales

Toi ta tâche est achevée

L’artisanat est révolu, et a pris ses dus

Nos garçons et filles chéris doivent tous

En s’appliquant, venir nettoyer
“Cymbeline”, Shakespeare

Depuis que j’ai commencé ce blog, j’ai reçu de magnifiques messages. Que ce soient des connaissances ou des inconnus, des personnes avec ou sans SEP, tous disent me trouver courageuse et voient en moi une source d’inspiration. Je suis flattée et j’aimerais pouvoir leur dire « Continuez à me couvrir de louanges… ! »
Mais… je ne suis pas cette femme courageuse qu’ils imaginent et je m’excuse si je les ai trompés. En vérité, J’AI PEUR. La Peur a toujours été à mes côtés, telle une ombre fidèle. Certains sont flanqués de la Colère, d’autres de la Tristesse… Ma compagne est la Peur.
La Peur est une danseuse pleine de grâce qui porte différents masques. Elle arrive, à l’improviste, et se met à tournoyer autour de moi. Elle me rend souvent visite déguisée en Peur de l’échec avec sa jumelle la Peur du rejet. Parfois elle porte le masque plus discret de la Peur de la solitude ou le masque ambigu à double face de la Peur d’aimer et de ne pas aimer. La Peur d’être blessée n’est alors jamais très loin. Mais sous tous ces masques se cache seulement un visage, celui de la Peur de mourir.
Me voici donc, dans mon monde la SEP, prise entre une énorme Morse informe et une danseuse aux multiples visages. Toutes les deux sont extrêmement fières et si jamais je tente de les ignorer, elles se fâchent et je ressens alors leur présence.  Plus la Morse devient forte, plus la Peur se fait puissante, et vice versa.
J’ai tellement souffert de la fatigue les premières années de mon diagnostic. C’était horrible. Elle me clouait littéralement au sol. Impossible de bouger. Tout semble hors de portée. J’ai alors décidé d’exploiter toutes les sources d’énergie possibles et imaginables. C’est incroyable l’énergie que l’o peut économiser en suivant un régime approprié.  Le Pouvoir de l’esprit n’est pas moins prodigieux et mérite bien son nom.
Mais comme toutes les émotions, la Peur est également source d’énergie ! Bien sûr, nous sommes transportés par l’Amour, la Joie et le Bonheur mais on peut l’être aussi par la Peur, la Colère ou la Tristesse. Nous sommes aussi capables de réaliser des exploits, certes pas toujours pour le bénéfice de l’humanité, sous l’emprise de ces émotions.
J’aimerais être sans peur, mais la Peur, tout comme la SEP, font partie de moi. Elles ne me définissent pas mais elles m’influencent. Et je ne suis pas particulièrement courageuse, seulement une experte en économies d’énergie !

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