What’s brave?

Rose_McGowan_(7532827442)
Rose McGowan                                             Photo by Gordon Correll                  Wikimedia Commons

Another predator is exposed. This time it’s Harvey Weinstein. Rose McGowan tried to warn us last year and upped the amplification when the story broke this month.  Now stars are making statements. Some of these are thoughtful and reflective. Glenn Close says she’d heard the rumors and writes, “Harvey has always been decent to me, but now that the rumors are being substantiated, I feel angry and darkly sad.” Her entire statement is worth reading in the link above.

 

I’m having a difficult time with those who say they’re shocked. Harvey Weinstein’s behavior was an open secret in Hollywood and sadly, not unusual. If someone working regularly in Hollywood is truly shocked, it shows they don’t notice those around them who are not in positions of power. I would ask them going forward to notice the expressions and postures on set, especially of women and children. I hope the way this is breaking wide open helps identify other predators, including the pedophiles, on film and TV sets. And the predators in other workplaces around the country.

Given the statistics of child molestation – depending on the source, 1 in 4 or 5 women (and 1 in 6-10 men) – and the number of Weinstein’s victims to date, it is likely that a percentage were molested as children. My issue with the language gushing over the bravery of the women coming forward is this: the victims with child abuse/incest in their background who do not come forward are also brave. Bravery for them, particularly after being re-traumatized, is what anyone else might consider “normal functioning.” Getting out of bed in the morning can be an act of enormous courage.

So yes, kudos to those who’ve come forward. We need them, especially Rose McGowan, Angelina Jolie and others who have the clout to amplify the message. But let’s not forget those who’ve been hurt beyond measure who can’t or won’t go public out of self-protection, not so much for their public safety or career as for their own mental and emotional well-being.

  They are no less brave. 

Regarding the courage of the abused child, watch this interview: Arthur Miller totally got that about Marilyn Monroe: start at the 4:22 mark for the entire answer and 5:53 for the meat.

When the Access Hollywood tape came out, I had nightmares and recalled one incident in particular that I’d locked away in a closet in my mind. When I heard the audiotape of the NYPD sting of Weinstein, another came back. I am far from the only one. I’m seeing dozens of others on social media saying the same thing. It is a profoundly painful and disturbing experience to have these things resurface unbidden. These predators do not only hurt their victims, they affect most everyone else who has been molested and/or raped.

This is why I am writing my memoir. If you want to support that effort, you may do so here.

Advertisements

9/11: 16 years ago. Never Forget: part of Project 2,996

Annual repost and part of Project 2996

Robert Halligan Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 15, 2001.

Robert  John Halligan
Robert Halligan, Age: 59
Residence: Basking Ridge, NJ
Two WTC, 99th Floor
Aon Corporation, Vice President

SHOPPING ACROSS THE POND

To a proud Englishman, America is a country of vexing insufficiencies. Its supermarkets know not of H.P. (House of Parliament) sauce and tins of steak and kidney pie. Marmite, sadly, remains a mystery.

Several times a year, London-born Robert Halligan, 59, a vice president at Aon, an insurance brokerage firm, would cross the pond to stock up on such indelicacies. He would cheer on his beloved Tottenham Hotspurs, visit his sprawling family, including five adult children, and drop by a specialty shop to add to the locomotive steam engine models he had been collecting since his trainspotting boyhood. Every weekend he brought the old country to his wife, Jerrie, and their son, Trevor, in Basking Ridge, N.J., by cooking a lard-loving British breakfast (sloppy bacon, fried bread, eggs splashed with grease) and Sunday lunch (roast, two vegetables, potatoes, Yorkshire pudding).

Yet for someone who clung to his British identity, Mr. Halligan flourished in America, where he moved with Jerri, his American wife. He gardened here, played golf and danced beautifully. He was a kind, solicitous grandfather of 10 with a knack for joke- telling. And here he celebrated the holiday he loved even more than Christmas: as a citizen of two countries, Robert Halligan adored Thanksgiving.

***

raja.ehtesham
Ehtesham Raja, Age: 28
Place of Residence: Clifton , NJ
TCG Software
WTC

Ehtesham U. Raja of Clifton, NJ was 28 years old when he died in the World Trade Center. He’d gone there for a conference and was in Windows on the World. He was a 1996 graduate of The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia. He had his MBA from Goizueta Business School at Emory. His nickname: Shamu, from his friends in Pakistan.

His parents, Raja Aftab Saeed and Begum Asmat Fatima, donated the land for the Arifwala Hospital, a 40-bed facility, fully equipped with diagnostic and curative services, inaugurated on January 19th, 2009. The hospital is dedicated to their son, Raja Ehtesham Ullah, who lost his life on 9/11. All medical equipment was funded by LRBT America. We have also pledged to fund the hospital’s annual operating budget. (note: the hospital is in Pakistan and fights blindness)

From the Emory Goizueta Memorial site (Ehtesham Raja ’98MBA):

“He was a very kind, caring, compassionate, loving, and intelligent person,” says his mother, Asmat Fatima. “He was respected and admired by those who knew him. His talent and sense of humor made him standout in any crowd. But it was his loving and caring attitude that always made me proud.”

Raja, born in Lahore, Pakistan, worked for TCG Software in Bloomfield, N.J. After graduating with a bachelor of science in industrial engineering from Columbia University in New York City, he worked as a security engineer at Citibank on Wall Street, then, according to his Goizueta Business School application, he returned to Pakistan to work for Citibank Lahore, take the GMAT, and apply to business school.

“He was in the best years of his life,” says Fatima. “Everything seems to be going in his favour. After years of dedication and hard work he finally achieved this status. He had all the plans to pursue his career in finance. He was full of hope for his future.”

Raja also enjoyed sports. He was a swimmer and played cricket, squash, soccer, tennis, and polo while at Columbia.

A memorial service was arranged by TCG Software. “They were proud to have him working for them,” his mother says.

“It is still very hard to believe that he is missing and lost forever,” she continues. “I have to be emotionally strong as Ehtesham has a younger brother, who is at a very impressionable age.

“[Ehtesham] knew life and lived life. His time was limited but in that time he touched so many people. . . . May peace be with him now and forever. He will stay in our hearts and memories forever.”

***
Rest in peace, Mr. Halligan and Mr. Raja. Never Forget.

world trade center bombing

when the demons win…

3 years ago. He’s helped so many of us with depression, etc.

Diane Sherlock

Robin WilliamsA lot has already been written about Robin Williams. His exuberant talent and kindness – our grief and shock. And about our misperceptions about depressionand suicide.

When I was in grad school, Marcos McPeek Villatoro gave an amazing lecture on mental illness and creativity that I wish had been recorded. He’s talked about his own diagnosis on NPR. The room filled and soon overflowed and that was the moment I discovered that most of the people around me either had a mental illness or a family member with it. Quiet, hard-working creative people coping with various storms in their brains or those of a parent, sibling, child, or partner. My mother suffered from depression and, while I was a teenager, Valium addiction. I grew up with her threats of suicide, was the one who attended the family support group at the “pain center” (back then, a…

View original post 580 more words

Mother of All Bombs By Noriko Nakada

The essence of my memoir in poetry.

The Rising Phoenix Review

Mother of All Bombs

Last night’s
nightmare
ripped my
family apart
flesh from bone
forcing me
to choose
my life or theirs.

Waking up
to a family intact
I couldn’t
shake the feeling
that in an
instant
it could all
implode.

By Noriko Nakada

Biography:

Noriko Nakada writes, blogs, tweets, parents, and teaches middle school in Los Angeles. She is committed to writing thought-provoking creative non-fiction, fiction, and poetry. Publications include two book-length memoirs: Through Eyes Like Mine and Overdue Apologies, and excerpts, essays, and poetry in Lady Liberty Lit, Catapult, Meridian, Compose, Thread, Hippocampus, The Rising Phoenix Review, and Linden Avenue.

View original post

We are Short of the Week!

Happy to announce that The Green Bench is Short of the Week on the LA Shorts Fest site and a Staff Pick.official-selection-la-shorts-fest

If you have not had a chance to see it, you’ve got one week before it goes back behind the password curtain! We have more festivals to hear from this year before we make it freely available.

Hearing from a lot of writers that they’ve had trouble working with all the political stuff going on. I have gotten to the point of shutting a lot of it out so that I can focus. I’m not saying it’s good or bad – it’s what works for me at the moment. I am making progress (at long last) on the memoir and kind of holing up, hoping to finish soon. Thankfully, I turned the corner from the pain of writing about trauma into crafting the narrative and writing is getting fun again as I gain space between memory and text. Whew! If you want to help me, please consider donating to my Patreon site. 

 

Drunk Monkeys special issue

downloadReally proud to be part of Drunk Monkeys special issue on sexual abuse. They have a link at their site to donate to RAINN. RAINN’s top donors will match your donations up to $40,000. Let’s do some good, people!

You will get a sense of my memoir from my piece. I will put the title in the next blog post. The issue is all anonymous and has a meaningful Letter From the Editor, Matthew Guerruckey.

The task at hand

I’m devoting more time to my blog for patrons at Patreonhemingway as a matter of survival. If you enjoy this blog or my other writing, please consider supporting my efforts – $1/month or more – and tell a few others who’d be interested. I’m not exaggerating regarding survival. I have been job hunting for a while without results. This is an alternative to support my writing, but it only works with your help.

After much prompting from those who know my story, I am writing a memoir and it’s hell to write. Hardest thing I’ve ever done is revisiting stuff I have minimized for decades.

This is more than writing for me. If we as a society decided that we wanted, really wanted, to stop child abuse, we could. Dr. Gene Abel and Nora Harlow wrote The Stop Child Molestation Handbook. If we at least try his suggestions, the improvement not only in individual lives, but society as a whole, could be dramatic. Lowering incidence of PTSD, depression, and physical problems would help all of us. That is my purpose, too. For whatever reason, I’m the transition person in my family. I stopped the abuse. I did not abuse my children and they will not abuse theirs, nor were they abused. It can be done. It’s become a cliche for a reason: if telling my story helps show one person the way to stopping the cycle, it’s worth it.

As for this blog, I will continue as time permits, but you’ve no doubt noticed a drop off in posting and now you know why. The memoir needs the bulk of my attention and there’s not much left over as I continue working on it. Thank you for your understanding and support.