This is going to be a brief diary, because holy cow, I'm still overwhelmed by the other one. I originally put this as an update but with almost 2,000 comments now, I imagine that it's not going to be seen by anyone who has page load issues. So I'm reposting it here
As you may have heard, a public memorial service is being held for Joe Paterno at the Bryce Jordan Center on Thursday, January 26th at 2PM. Tens of thousands are expected to attend, and I'm sure it is going to be broadcast across the country, and replayed ad naseum. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying I will be avoiding the news for pretty much that entire day.
I had an idea occur to me this morning though. This was the part of my diary that I felt most impassioned about:
I'm one of the lucky ones. I am unlike the millions of kids who never escape from the cycle of psychological torture and self inflicted violence- the kids and adult survivors who kill themselves, either directly or indirectly. The ones who never make it out ok.
And when they die, they don't get photo layouts, or tributes. They are faceless. They are nameless. They are forgotten.
Well, this Thursday, I want to change that.
Many people have commented and sent me messages about their own experiences with sexual trauma- including tragic stories of loved ones who have died, in no small part, as a result of that trauma.
I would like to use Thursday, 2:00 PM, to honor them.
So here is my request- If you know someone who falls into this category, and you would like to honor their memory, and THEIR legacy, instead of Joe-Pa's, please send me their information to Swedishjewfish@gmail.com. Please use "Tribute" as the subject line, so I know what it is. You can share as much or as little as possible-you don't need to reveal their name or their picture, but just something about their life, that they could be remembered by. Childhood pictures also work to preserve some anonymity, while still putting a face to the person talked about. I think images are VERY powerful. They force you to look, force you to feel and understand that this happens to actual PEOPLE and not statistics
Send me your own survivor story too. I can post it under your own name, or anonymously. It is your choice. Send me artwork, poems, anything you would like.
My submission deadline will be Tomorrow night, just so I have time to put it all together. It will be a SAFE SPACE for victims and survivors (I will explain what that means when I post it, and it will be strictly enforced) But it will be "open to the public"-those who have experienced it, those who have not, those who want to show support, or stories, or simply understand.
Also, like any memorial service, I want to set up a memorial fund-with the proceeds going towards RAINN-The Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network, which is The nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. I have seen the generosity of this community before, and I know we can make a huge difference. Through the help of one of my fellow Kossacks, I am being put in direct contact with the VP of marketing at RAINN to help facilitate that, which is kind of a BFD :)
What are your thoughts on this? I think that for all of the controversy, and pain, and yes some very horrid ugliness that diary produced, there is also something very beautiful and cathartic taking place in there too, for a great many people. And obviously, the overwhelming response is proof that this is something that happens far too often, but is talked about far too little. I feel like this can become something bigger, something positive, and transcend the ugliness that has shrouded this sad chapter in our culture, and consumed far too many of our lives for far too long. Here is our chance to start turning it into something positive.
9:35 AM PT: Have to do some errands and stuff so I won't be hanging around to comment for a while
Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 1:52 AM PT: OK first of all true confession time- My "errands and stuff" were.....sleep. I had not slept for more than a few hours here and there since I posted the first diary. I finally was able to get in a good 12 hours and feel sooooo much better. So for all the people who were worried about me, my health, and the fact that I wasn't taking care of myself- you were right, and I heeded your advice. Thank you.
I have gotten 96 emails so far with the subject line "Tribute". I just need to address something though...
I so appreciate and love all of the emails I've gotten that have just given me support and love. I only humbly ask that you don't use "Tribute" in the subject line if it doesn't contain one, because I'm trying to divide up my inbox between the tributes that I'm using to put together in the diary and all the other emails. I have to concentrate on the Tribute ones first, since I'm in a time crunch. If you emailed me a message of support, you might not hear back from me for days. I might honestly overlook you and not write back at all-but just know that I read EVERY single one and appreciated it and you gave me one more ounce of strength to keep pushing forward.
P.S. My deadline is midnight tonight, although I am notoriously lax with deadlines. There is still plenty of time to get something in. And to reeiterate I WILL PROTECT YOUR ANONYMITY, unless you tell me it's ok to use your name.