my evening and knickers

Yesterday became a lazy day. Dozing under a blanket, drinking tea, watching tv. I felt like I ‘should’ be doing something. That I wasn’t ‘properly’ utilising this time away. That I was ‘lazy’ that I was ‘giving in’ to my depression. I had to remind myself constantly that I’d driven 7/8 hours a couple of days ago through thick fog and heavy rain and spent the last two days doing some good walking. Plus Sunday’s in my house are pretty noisy and the kids always manage to find me when I try to sneak off for some quiet time. ALWAYS. So I tried to do what I came here to do, relax. But I must say, it wasn’t without guilt.

When evening came I couldn’t work the oven, didn’t fancy pasta again and decided to head into town – which is about a 25km drive away. The drive is easy aside from seemingly random variable speed limit changes. And having done all these long drives, I’m not going to be pleased getting a ticket on a short between the Bach and town centre – Rotorua.

Dogs are banned totally in Rotorua town centre. So I left my furry friend behind which was a worry, he’s never good in the initial stages in a new place and as there’s no gated land, it was inside for him.

Now, getting ready was the thing. I’m very much a shower, throw on any old lipstick I can find, quick blow dry of the hair, what makes me look less fat kind of gal when I go out with my husband for dinner. Going out in the evening alone takes planning. I want to blend in, but not look weird or anxious. I don’t want to overheat – I rarely feel the heat and I get claustrophobic. My boobs are big, so they can’t be on show. I need comfortable shoes that I can run in. A bag large enough to contain my wallet, phone and torch, not flashy, but not rucksack tourist either. 

Knickers. During my witness testimony to the police years after the rape I was asked what knickers I wore. Colour, style etc. as it happens the type is etched into my mind forever. The exact shade, the exact size, the exact style, how long I’d had them for etc. I will never forget them. Even though they were the plainest most insignificant looking knickers you might ever see. But clearly they were relevant. If they were lacy, red, or perhaps said ‘fuck me’ on them they would have implied consent? Is that the implication here? Is that what women are reduced to? Their knickers? For some reason that really struck me. Ironically the intimacy of the question and what it implied. 

I rarely wear nice knickers. I wear particularly awful ones when I’m alone. Yesterday evening i wore faded ones, where the string is coming off. The ‘I’m definitely not wanting sex’ knickers. 

Dark clothed with faux confident look, I got into my car and drove like a granny into town.

In retrospect I realise my anticipation for the evening was quite gloomy. Everyone was presumed a potential enemy. At least worst I’d get called names on the street, have my bag snatched, car stolen, attacked, shanked (too many prison movies!), or raped. Again. The dark night was a suffocating blanket. I wanted to head back but I refused to give in. 

Most women go out at night in fear. They take precautions, they know evil lurks. We all know it. 

For me personally, I wasn’t attacked by a complete stranger in a dark alley way. The thought terrifies me and I often think it will happen in time. Like my card is marked. 

I worry about my car being broken into. It’s an engrained fear. When I was in primary school, my dad picked my sister and I up from school which was very unusual. We’d driven for about 10 minutes when he told us Mum’s car had been broken into at work and her bag had been stolen. I cried immediately, poor Mum, was she ok? Who would do this? Dad replied of course she was it was all fine, just a nuisance. At home Mum looked a bit tearful but was busy on the phone. I wanted to know what was in the bag, pictures? House keys? Would they come here? I was shut down. No more discussion, it was taken care of. A few weeks later I overheard Mum tell someone they’d found her bag, empty. Who found her bag? I didn’t understand. I worried for a long time that someone could come to our house with the keys. I worried that someone didn’t like Mum and did it to get at her. I wondered what sort of person did that. It happened at her workplace, was she safe? But as usual there was no conversation. No explanation.

I don’t leave valuables in my car. So if my car was broken into it would be to take the whole car. I don’t think I would fair well though if I returned to see a window smashed in. Childhood fears creeping back, although as an adult I understand things better.

Although my evening was a success, I found it extremely difficult to sleep. I just couldn’t shut down, but refused to take sleep medication. I watched another movie on Netflix. And just dozed on and off watching the hours go by.

When I did sleep I had terrible nightmares about animals savaging other animals and I couldn’t do anything. Gruesome, graphic. Gory. 

I have plans to walk the dog and take a hot pool today – which Rotorua is best known for. 

Hopefully feel refreshed.

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2 thoughts on “my evening and knickers

  1. I think its impressive and brave you are on holiday by yourself.😊 There are so many things I could reply to, but I’m at a loss for words. The “shoulds” in your head….I have those, too. My therapist said to me once “you say you shouldn’t and yet you do, and that is okay.” Maybe, we need to tell the “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” to go away. I think they are a subtle judgement of ourselves. You don’t deserve “shoulds”, you deserve to relax and breathe for a minute. I hope you cuddled your dog and found some peace. ❤️ xx

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