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kiota and the sound of silence

Well, my SpeakOut didn't happen, at least not to the group. It was a silent sound, I had a epiphany, lightbulb-snapping-on moment, whatever. I had learned from the March, tell you about that in a bit.

Looking around, I suddenly realized that this was all about rape *survivors*. Many visibly processing their pain. The word "survivors" is what they had in common. They needed help in living and healing. Kiota was not living anymore, not processing any pain. All those burdens had been lifted. I was trembling. How to talk about one who'd been dodging away from her pain for ten years, been a brilliant and effective LJ and TH counselor, had been suicidal for six years, and had killed herself?

Well, what happens is, you don't. That could damage everyone in the room but me, who's lived with the end for 17 days and nights, and the path for three + years. I suddenly felt the absence of Ki: she was waiting outside on the street beyond the window. I left to join her and hadn't felt this freed since April 12.

If I need further closure, the RCC director personally invited me to come talk; she's compassionate and great and I've worked with her before as an active Advocate.

Before the March I talked with a campus friend from Peru about Ki. Total incomprehension. Taught me again that we are prone, in the first place, to evaluate others in terms of what makes sense in our own lives, what's happened to us. She has come to study all the way up here, work at the coffee bar, make her student visa into permanent US citizenship, has strong family ties back in Peru [they talk all the time], lots of hope for the future. I was talking Greek to someone fluent in Spanish. She could see my grief and offered compassion, but I think a little bewildered at why I felt that way.

As we marched down the quad, snow clouds started bluring the sun and I looked up to see the exact same image as the icon up there. I mean, exact!! This was Ki's first shot at school and she ranted about the weather being shitty. It suddenly was great. A weather bridge.

We all wore big marching signs. We could pick them. Mine said "Silence = Death" and it was a direct thread from 1998 to 2008, imho. We walked down the long hill into town. My marching partner was *Jill, wheeling a baby carriage, not looking very much older than a tenth-grader.

We drew beside some neighbors on their porch, who looked and said, "Silence is death? What the hell does that mean?" Jill muttered, "When it's her kid that gets raped, she'll find out what it means." WOW. Jill turned off at the next corner, it started to rain, time for home.

At the bottom of the hill was 11 miles across the lake waters, and then the Adirondack Mountains beyond. Over there and above the water, gold and bright ambers coming out of the sun, reflecting through the scattered clouds. Ki would have taken wonderful pictures.

And there it was. Jill and gold and clearing storms. Jill had given me her poster, I told her I'd turn it in. Handprints in the corners: "These are the hands of survivors." I'm not a survivor and Ki no longer is. Going down the hill and across the line.

I left the march route. I was a parade of one. How Ki felt in her isolation.

There's a national movement called "Prevent Child Abuse America". Symposium in Milwaukee in three weeks. [April is their month too.] Maybe I physically can go, maybe I can't. But I'll be paying very close attention. Found their website this morning, another birth day present.

Ki said in my inner ear: How much are you gonna make me go *pokepoke* ??

Okay, motek. I got it.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 1st, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
You know, you're right. She's not a survivor anymore. It probably wouldn't have been the best place to talk about her. Not that you should stop talking about her altogether. Even though she finally gave in, I still see her as strong for having survived all of those years.
May. 1st, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
I was suddenly enlightened as to what it would mean to have not just a survivor --- but a counselor, too --- work on her problems for ten years and then be dead. It wasn't a path straight downward, by any means: lots of high times and wonderfulness. But for a survivor hearing the story for the first time .... who might be having suicidal problems herself ...

She didn't just survive, as you know, she accomplished very hard things involved with getting scores high enough in an alternative school to come to TWO colleges half the world away. And do very well there. And start a photography career and educate herself to make up for what school wasn't teaching her.

No chance I will *ever* stop talking about her altogether...she's too much a part of me now. Just being more careful of audience.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


kiota too late for the stars
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