[content warning: suicide ideation, sexual assault, emotional abuse, street harassment, online abuse]
If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know a bit about me and the things I face dealing with a great deal of violence online (some in response to this blog existing; some in response to me existing), from anti-Blackness/racism/sexism etc. and misogynoiristic trolling to the rape threats, death threats, doxxing threats and now even libel. However, what you may not know is this violence is mirrored offline as well, and not solely via microaggressive harassment in public space or the gendered/sexual violence that is street harassment—which I’ve experienced for 23 years as of this month—but in terms of violence because of where I live.
I live in the city I grew up in again, and it is difficult to live in; a place about 25K below average family income in the U.S. But it’s also difficult because I don’t live alone (when I used to pre-recession; alone is the only way I can live, from what I’ve experienced) and I don’t feel safe because of dealing with a great deal of emotional abuse, from having doors purposely left open and me waking up in a panic as a survivor of sexual assault, to people in the home while I am asleep and waking up in a panic again. I wake up in panic perhaps 6 out of 7 days a week and I already have Anxiety and PTSD. And my depression is back.
I do not get good sleep ever unless physically somewhere else, whether a recent pleasant staycation that I wrote about, to an even more recent emergency survivalcation that I took because that day (this past Wednesday) it was either run or suicide. It was. I deal with invasion of space, lack of privacy and no sense of safety whatsoever. There is no peace. Ever. I then leave this place daily to be street harassed from being demanded to smile despite carrying around all of this emotional weight on my back to being verbally or even physically assaulted and threatened during street harassment. Then I return to this place for more emotional abuse. Or I turn on social media mostly to be abused online (though a few kind people I interact with online as well).
There’s other factors that are too painful to discuss, but basically it’s like domestic violence (though it’s not “intimate partner violence,” it can still be emotional abuse in a non-romantic domestic situation) and I’m at the point where I thought I could wait to save and move but I’m not sure I’ll be alive long enough to do so. Further, because I am not the “rock” right now among some people who know me offline, they are further abusing me because how dare I not be a “mammy” to feel their pain and solve all their problems (which mirrors much of my online experience). I am only entitled to their ”love” as long as I coddle them and the moment I am not healthy enough to do so, I am immediately and vociferously betrayed. (Please believe that violence as emotional abuse exists outside of romantic or sexual romantic relationships.)
I know safety is mostly an illusion, especially as a Black woman, believe me. But even so, space, privacy, a security system and a slightly better neighborhood would go a long way. I’m not necessarily trying to buy “happiness” (as I wrote about in detail before) but I am trying to move by the time I return from out of state on August 8th. (Another escape trip because I have to try to be somewhere safe and happy for as many days as possible.) I’m not sure I can manage to remain on Earth much past that date in the current residential/city situation that I am in, on top of dealing with online abuse and public harassment including street harassment. I need at least one space to just “be” and a small safer place with alarm would help. A new space, enough $ for mental health care and extended break from social media after the first two happen would help me live.
I was gonna make GoFundMe but as I wrote about before, I don’t want to risk the attention (if you know me, you know I find hypervisibility to be very violent most of the time) and then deal with the threats I dealt with 8 months ago when I raised money for my brother after he was violently attacked. I know so many people think Black people and Black women in particular deserve violence and harm, (I mean, everyone is socialized to think so; it’s something we unlearn) so it doesn’t make sense to make an official fundraiser so that people see an amount collected and then decide I’m not “worth” that amount and then harm me or harm anyone who chooses to donate.
Instead, I will use my PayPal button on my blog and if you’re interested in helping me move, it’s greatly appreciated. Obviously I’ll have to raise a few thousand to add to what I have to move because as a freelancer who isn’t at an abusive but deemed “stable” corporate job anymore, as I was pre-recession before I was laid off, I have to put more money up front and there’s no “lease specials” and such for someone in my situation. I need enough to pay several months up front and some super inexpensive and simple furniture. Hopefully this problem, which yes, is solvable by money (not that all problems are; this one is; safer place to live and new mental health care require money), will be resolved by the date I need it to be.
*DONATE to support my move to safety and health*
I just want to be able to sleep at night. And be away from some abusive people. And have this happen sooner than later. That’s all. Trying to stay alive I guess; last straw I guess. Other than this I feel very…done. I don’t know.
If you are able to help, thank you. Means a lot. It’s really life or death. If it wasn’t, I would not have written this. In fact, I’m always very open on my blog but I still hid most of this particular situation away.
(And if you don’t want to help, don’t believe me, don’t care, or think I deserve harm, that’s fine—it doesn’t surprise me—but please keep that to yourself or keep that on your own blog; thanks. Just asking that any dissent or violence be kept away from this one post.)