Day 18 Reflection

I tried to avoid eye contact with strangers as they passed by. I am aware that they are aware of the tape. I just look straight on and look down without smiling eyes. I feels like I am back to square one with the tape. I guess when the ending day gets closer, the more I want it to end. This has not been an easy thing to do. When needing to eat, drink, cough, sneeze, I have to take off the duct tape. Luckily, I been taking allergy pills to maintain sneezing and stuffy nose to a minimum. But I think tomorrow, I may not be so lucky anymore. As I am writing this at 11pm, I can hardly breath through my nose. I been using older duct tape to reduce stickiness. At first is was easy but it became painful as my skin really clinged onto the tape when peeling. When I don’t have the tape, I constantly have to remember not to talk since it is natural for me to do so, even after several days.

A sister help me take these pictures by a roundabout near school and a car drove by with a man taking a second look and then laughing. It bothered me that a stranger laugh at me for having tape over my mouth. I told my sister and she said it was probably because she was taking pictures so far, she assumed that he have seen her and then me as he passed by within seconds. I told her that I doubt he was laughing because of that. I guess from that experiences, I am feeling weak and can’t take too much longer of the project. I am really trying to finish on Thursday with a high head. I also been avoiding going to other offices now to pay for fees and etc. I am waiting to be invisible again.

Later, I was helped my sister with her project with some video recording. It was hard to explain what I was doing for the recording. When I was trying to get some room tone, I gesture them with my index figure to the lip and held my hand up with figures flicking up to show that I am counting as passing seconds. I showed her the room tone term through my phone. But she still didn’t understand and so I text her. She still didn’t get it and eventually, I started to show example with my muffled voice and even answering her through that, which she understood by my tone and sound. Sometimes when they ask me a question regarding photography, I just don’t answer because it is a complex answer.

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I am tired but I am glad to have come this far. I like to thank those who have submitted their stories. They are truly courageous and their story will be heard. Once again, thank you, family and friends for supporting me. I really grateful to my mentors, professors and classmates who have really encourage me to follow through. Only one more day left.

Taped Stories #4

Taped Stories #4:

I was 5 years old when I was raped. My memory of it has always been in the back of my mind, it’s hard not to always think about it. Although I don’t recall every piece of it, unconsciously blocking parts of it from my memory, I remember feeling that my childhood was taken away from me. My parents, brothers and I were renting a room at my dad’s friends house. From the time I was born, my family and I rented or stayed in places temporarily until we found an apartment. He was the son of the family we were staying at. He was in his 20’s and was asked by my parents to be my babysitter, trusting him to take care of me. How ironic is that? I never noticed the lingering gazes or the fondling or the amount of time he would keep me on his leg, bouncing me, while enjoying the view. I was a kid who never new what the word sex meant or anything intimate. I was still focused on barbies and dress-up. One day, my mother and father had to do some errands and left me in his care. At first, it felt like any other day until he led me to his room. His room was dark and had a large bed with tall headboards. I remember going, him laying me down and tying me up. My tiny arms were held by rope that was attached to the headboard. Blank. I don’t remember what happened. Blank. What was happening? Was I screaming? Blank.

I remember my parents calling for me and when they heard nothing they automatically got defensive and protective.

I remember my dad knocking on the door

I remember my dad kicking the door.

i remember seeing the light when the door opened.

Blank.

I remember going to the police station and telling them my story. They seemed too preoccupied to care about a child getting raped. They still took down my information.

Blank.

I have never asked my parents about what exactly happened to him. I do know that he is in jail. I also don’t want to bring it up to them because opening that wound will bring back all the pain to my parents, something I only wish to have for myself.

I do want to see him. I want to face him and tell that he did not break me forever. I want him to see that I am happy. I want him to pay. Although I have met others who have forgiven those who raped, abused or assaulted them, I can not. Some people may agree, some may not but it took me a very long time to come to this conclusion.

My name is Kimberly Gomez and I was raped. I say my name because it was, and still is, very hard to tell people about my story. I don’t want pity or sadness from anyone. I do want to be more open about my story because I know if I speak up, others will see it.” – April 19, 2017

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