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Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
3:55 am - Pulling my head out of the sand:
I had an experience at Arisia 2014 that some people have now heard about from other friends, but that, for my sake, and at my request, they had left my name out of the retelling. It has become quite clear to me something that I've always known, but had never had to face directly before; hiding from the truth when it comes to sexual assault helps no-one but the assaulter.

I had originally posted my experience as a f-locked LJ post, but am now ready to give a first hand account of what happened to me. TThis courage comes from reading a post made by another woman who was harassed at Arisia by the same man I was. http://twistpeach.livejournal.com/101026.html Her bravery and unwillingness to be silent gives me the confidence to post my experience openly.

Saturday night, I was having a great time with friends until I suddenly developed a headache and needed to lay down. I have narcolepsy and suffer from what are commonly known as "sleep attacks." (http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/narcolepsy/detail_narcolepsy.htm) I left my friends to find a quiet place to rest, and that's when I bumped into Dustin Hennessey and several of his friends. Dustin and I have been friends for some time. We saw each other relatively frequently, as we had both started gaming in the same circles. We NPCd together in various LARPs together, had some of the same friends, and therefore were often at the same parties, and to be frank, I trusted him.

Before going further into that night I have to mention that I had been assaulted by him previously, and chalked it up to a misunderstanding between friends, and while I had been uncomfortable with him for awhile, over the intervening months, I gradually began to trust him again. While sharing a cabin at Clockwork Skies, Dustin took an opportunity to attempt to pull me into his bunk and kiss me. I pulled away from the bed and the kiss, and explained to him that I was not interested. I even apologized to him in case my normal nature, which is often a bit flirty, led him to think I was interested in something more then just friendship. I explained to him that because we were friends I had felt comfortable joking and laughing and being a bit flirty, and that I was sorry if I gave off signals I hadn't meant to give. He seemed genuinely embarrassed, said he was sorry, and that he had misunderstood but now understood. We both agreed to not let if affect our friendship, and while I did mention it to a few close friends because I was a bit upset, I chose to let it go, and moved on.

So, here we were at Arisia 6 months later (give or take) and I've got this headache and am also getting very sleepy. I was on the verge of a sleep attack when I was in the room with Dustin, and his three friends (two girls, and the boyfriend of one of the girls). I felt safe, and allowed myself to begin drifting. The two girls left to go to the vending machine, and soon after, in my sleep I heard Dustin ask his friend to do him a favor and leave us alone. His friend refused. At that time I realized he was nibbling my leg and stroking my inner thigh and crotch. I was scared, and in a state of sleep paralysis. The 30 seconds to a minute it took me to actually pull myself out of sleep was so frightening. It felt like forever. When I did pull myself out, I jumped up and, out of fear, decided to act as if I noticed nothing. I looked at my phone and told him that I needed to get back to my other friends because they were texting me and were concerned, which was a lie, but I just wanted to get out of there. He tried to convince me to stay, but I was determined to get out. By the time I had gotten back to the room everyone else had returned to the dance. I was crying and hyperventilating, and needed more then anything to get out of the hotel. So I packed up what I could carry and left. I spent a night being torn out of sleep with anxiety and tears, and returned to the hotel the next morning only because I had plans with my friends that I refused to cancel out on. told them everything, since the only thing I'd been able to say the night before was that I was okay but didn't want to sleep at the hotel. They held me, and supported me, and have continued to support me since. They truly are amazing, strong people, and the greatest of friends.

That afternoon I got a text message on my phone from Dustin. It stated "I was informed I attempted to gnaw on your thigh and you made me coffee. If it was anything more inappropriate then that, I apologize profusely. I don't remember that part of the night at all." I replied "I remember. It was more. It upset and scared me. Cutting ties is the decision I've made". He replied once more with "I am truly and deeply sorry. I wish I had better words for it, but I'm enough of an idiot to have blacked out. I want with all my heart to make amends. If you think of a way I can, please tell me. But if you'd rather keep the ties cut permanently, I understand". I haven't replied or spoken to him since.

Since the incident at Arisia sleep has been elusive. I find myself feeling anxious when I try to sleep and have had one vivid nightmare that I remember far too well, and woken up to the sensation of having bad dreams but not remembering them, but being stuck in anxiety.

I kept my head buried, but had friends who were helping to deal with reporting things and fielding questions in order to help protect my privacy. I hate being the center of attention. I hate being asked questions, or given sympathetic looks. I also feared the victim blaming that always seems to come out. But it's clear now that this wasn't a one time event. I am not the first or only person that has been assaulted by him. And if left unchecked he could do it to someone else. If I continue to keep silent, to try to protect myself and my privacy, and something happens to another woman, I would blame myself. Now that I've come out and told my story it is unlikely that I will respond to comments or communications. I want to maintain some level of privacy. Please keep that in mind if you choose to link to my journal, or share my story.

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Thursday, June 13th, 2013
12:58 pm - Higgins Armory
Some people were surprised to find out that the Higgins Armory in Worcester is currently still open. From what I can find, it will be open until the end of this year. So, keep watching here as I will be trying to plan a trip to go again soon. So many of you have told me you've never been and want to, so I am going to work on making that happen, and with other fun people to boot. Once, you know, I can get my calendar to give a little.

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Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
8:11 pm - I feel... too much
Where to begin. I suppose with my sister-in-law. Glenn's sister had not been doing so well with her pregnancy, being diagnosed with gestational diabetes and then preeclampsia. My mother and father in law were in Australia on vacation when she was brought into the hospital and was getting steadily worse. Her blood pressure had sky-rocketed and she was at high risk of stroke. The doctor's decided she couldn't wait, as her kidneys were also beginning to be effected, and induced her labor. At that time, knowing my in-laws couldn't be here, I decided to come to New York on Monday and try to help, support, whatever. Just be present. As it turns out, my in-laws were able to get a flight and get back by Sunday and Meredith had had the baby Saturday while I was in the middle of playing A Single Silver Coin (the most amazing, heart wrenching, all the feels game I have ever played in my life). The baby, Aubrey, was 3 lbs 13 oz. and 17 inches long. Her toes look like grains of rice, and she is beautiful and healthy and doing wonderfully. My sister-in-law, Meredith is also doing great, having been discharged from the hospital yesterday, and while she needs to rest, she is also out of danger and doing well. Her and her husband are crazy exhausted, obviously, recovering from the experience and of course, traveling to and from the hospital for feedings and to see their daughter, and while I know it must be heart-breaking for them to be home and not have her there with them, I also can see just how filled with joy they are that she is here and healthy and will be home soon.

I was glad there was some joy today, glad to have the chance to see something beautiful after the horrific events in Boston yesterday. I was on the road when it happened, and didn't find out until a little after four when I got a text from one friend letting me know not to worry, that another friend was handling getting check-ins from people we know. I drove off the road briefly, and had to pull over for a few minutes to compose myself. Then, once I had gotten as much information as I could bear, I called Glenn, Laura, and texted Albert and Myke. I needed to hear that the people I cared about the most were alright, I needed to hear voices, and have some sort of direct contact. Thankfully, by the time I spoke to Laura, she had talk to Rory, and knew that she, Peter, Ian, Greg and many others were all ok. The last person I heard from, either directly, or through social media, was Albert, and once I had heard from all, there was intense relief and grief. that combination of feeling filled me, and I just couldn't stop crying for a while, and even when I did stop crying, I was just so sad. Am so sad. There is this deep sense of loss, and I can't even put into words what it is I feel I've lost.

My mother couldn't understand me. She kept questioning why I was so upset when A. I don't actually LIVE in Boston (doesn't matter that I am in and around there so often I feel like I do sometimes) and B. None of my friends were actually hurt. I just... I couldn't even explain it to her. I just know how I feel and I don't feel like my emotions are wrong in any way, but she had me doubting myself. I was so worried I was being over-dramatic and overly emotional that I hesitated to send a text to someone I care about, and when I did was even apologetic for seeming that way. It's amazing how my mom is one of the few people that can consistently cause me to doubt myself. Today, all I wanted was to contact certain people, people I know are already ok, and just.... chat, talk, hear voices, read words... didn't really matter. I just feel so disconnected right now. What I really crave are physical connections. Hand-holding, hugs, kisses.... but being so far away I just needed something... but I didn't want people having the "God, Cat isn't even here and is being such a drama queen" thoughts, so I didn't. I don't really need anyone to tell me it's silly or whatever to feel this way, or to let my mom get to me this way. I realize it, which is why I am writing it out... I just... I care a lot about a lot of people and I want... reminders of their being safe, and whole. Connections are... super important to me. And I feel so disconnected right now.

I'm so very tired, and so very looking forward to being home, and am so glad that over the course of this coming weekend I have plans to see a number of people that I love and care for (assuming nothing changes between now and then). And if, when I see you, I cling for a while, don't worry. I promise I'll let go eventually.

As to the bombing itself. Besides my emotions over the stuff above, what happened in Boston sickens me, horrifies me, saddens me and scares me. Will it stop me from going into Boston for events, being with friends, or just enjoying the sights as I have done so many times in the past? Not a chance. But will I be able to do so without a slight, lingering fear? Probably not for a long while, and that just pisses me off. I told my mom, after she tried telling me that I was "not allowed" to go into Boston anymore (I'm 12 didn't you know?), that people being afraid to go out is exactly what is wanted by whomever commits acts like the bombing, and that I was NOT going to live in fear, and not going to hide from life.

Re-read, and as usual my thoughts seem dis-jointed and a little puzzled to me, but, well, I am a little dis-jointed and puzzled, so what can I do?

current mood: sad

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Tuesday, March 5th, 2013
12:28 pm - Power Point Karaoke: Prepare for Battle
I don't... I can't even... I don't know why I am posting this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=SYbd54BGb48

current mood: amused

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Tuesday, August 7th, 2012
10:22 am - Dreams
I woke up from a supremely disconcerting dream last night. I was in the audience of a show, and during intermission the people in front of me were attempting to open a safe (don't ask me, I have no idea) I blew the whistle.... screaming for help, and the man turned and held a gun, but I had quickly grabbed the woman, knocked the knife out of her hand, and pulled her in front of me like a shield. I felt pretty smug. The guy couldn't get a clear shot, and after a short standoff, security and police came to the rescue. I loosened my grip on the woman, she pulled away, grabbed her knife and began to run. I jumped in front of her, afraid she would hurt someone, and she got angry and lunged at me, plunging the knife right into my throat. What made it so disconcerting was the physical feeling of dying I had at that moment. I literally saw and felt the blood splash from my throat and as my body fell forward I felt weak, and everything started going dark. Then... nothing. I woke up. Shaking. That was the first time I have ever died in a dream.

current mood: exhausted

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Monday, April 23rd, 2012
10:23 am - Festival of the Larps
I went to Festival without being in the mood to LARP. In the weeks leading up to the con, I had a very hard time getting into things, waiting until the very last minute to deal with costuming, and doing no more then skimming my character sheets.

Having said that, I had a fantastic time! By the time each of my games started, I was having fun. A lot of that was having the chance to spend time talking to people and just in general relaxing and unwinding before games started. Also, all of my last minute costuming worked out, and everyone was very complimentary, which is always super nice.

On Saturday afternoon I played in High Tea, which was exactly what it sounds like, and also not exactly what you would expect. I had an AMAZING freaking time. I literally just fed off of the energy of the people I was playing across from, and I think we enhanced the story quite well!

On Saturday night I played in Folding the River. To be honest, this was the role I was most nervous about this weekend. I was given a very strong leader as my character, which is great, and exactly what I wanted, but all of a sudden I was concerned that I couldn't pull her off and might, in fact, let down the GMs and my fellow players. I think it is safe to say that didn't happen. I kind of just stood up straight, put my regal face and and I think I portrayed my character well enough. And I had fun doing it, which is the important part.

Sunday morning was the game that I signed up for not because I was particularly interested (a LARP within a LARP sounded overly complicated to me) but because I wanted an excuse to be at Festival on Sunday and by the time I signed up it was the last game with an opening. I can honestly say I am glad I played in it. The mechanics were surprisingly uncomplicated, and there was a serious amusement factor. I, again, played a very strong, regal character, and this time I knew I could pull it off, and I think I did. In the end, I died, which I also expected, and it was very fitting. So, yay, my story was told, and it felt right to me. Keep in mind, winning is not all that important to me, the social interactions, and the story I can tell afterwards is what I love. I again had the opportunity to play with some great people, so yay for that!

Then there was Dead Dog. Oh, how I love spending time with fun and interesting people. I talked, and laughed, and we got to tell stories about our various experiences, and it was fun times! I was also in a very touchy mood last night. By touchy, I mean I was wanting to touch, and pet people, and I did. Something abut LARPing does that to me.

Again, I had a great time, and am so glad I didn't miss out on the experience. Oh, and Cadence slept til 8:45 this morning. It was like she KNEW mommy needed more sleep. Amazing!

current mood: chipper

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Sunday, March 11th, 2012
4:15 am - Dreamwidth
Um... I'm now K1ttycat over there too.

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Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
10:20 am - HAPPY HEART DAY!
Remember, though, that I love you EVERYDAY!!!!

current mood: cheerful

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10:18 am - Monday Game
I'm really enjoying my Monday night game. Last nights fight was more difficult then I anticipated for an initial round with the bad guys, but my character was up to the task. Unfortunately, our demon is squishy and ended the night nearly dead, and it's not over yet. The best part was the boss fight which ended rather anti-climatically. He botched his roll, tripped getting out of the car, was prone, and, well, isn't going to make it past the next turn since he is not being wrapped in a pretty damn strong giant spider's web.

I'm looking forward to next week.

current mood: amused

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Friday, February 10th, 2012
6:19 pm - Love is in the air?
My Valentinr - k1ttycat
Get your own valentinr

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Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
8:35 pm - My name
What Does My Name Mean?Collapse )

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Tuesday, February 7th, 2012
6:41 pm - Exercise
Sometimes I just want to be able to do my C25K training right in the comfort of my own home. It just isn't easy to get Cadence and myself packed and out to the gym all the time, and I do miss workouts, even though I really don't want to. So, Glenn and I decided to invest in an inexpensive treadmill. I've been keeping my eyes open for a sale (which by the way, on the less expensive models are few and far between) and have tonight bought one from Sears, with in-store pick up. We'll be going to get it in a little while. The reviews are good overall, with the only major complaints being difficulty setting up and the display not lighting up very brightly. I can live with that. The price was right. $380, no tax because I am picking it up in New Hampshire, goes from 1-10mph, has an incline from 1-10%, folds up to save space, and has wheels to move. Basically everything I was looking for. I don't really need nor want to spend extra on other bells and whistles. I can't wait to get it put together and try it out. We already have an elliptical in the house, my new bicycle waiting for me to learn to ride this spring, resistance bands and Netflix for Yoga/Pilates. The only thing we don't have is room, but it's worth giving up a little space to continue getting healthy.

current mood: excited

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Sunday, August 14th, 2011
8:54 pm - tomorrow
Tomorrow's the big day.

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Monday, January 24th, 2011
12:25 pm - North. Shore music theater
NSMT has it's upcoming show list up for 2011. I am interested in My Fair Lady in June and Legally Blond the musical In November. Also mildly interested in The King and I in Sept./ Oct. I hope I can make at least one of these work.

current mood: excited

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Tuesday, November 9th, 2010
11:22 am - Harry potter
Are there any plans of people going to opening night of Harry potter yet?

current mood: curious

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Tuesday, February 9th, 2010
9:30 am - Back from FL
I am alive and well. Hope I didn't miss anything too important in the real world.

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Friday, January 1st, 2010
11:10 am - Twilight

My sister has now read all of the twilight books that are out. For months now she has been begging me to read them so she can talk to me about it. I am trying, I really am, but I cant seem to get past one page before I zone out and stop reading. Then I have to force myself to start again. I hope my sister appreciates the sacrafice when I'm done...if I ever am.

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

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Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009
12:17 pm - FYI
My insurance agent just called. She wanted to make sure I knew that the Registry of Motor Vehicles is no longer sending notifications of renewal of drivers licenses. So, if you depended on receiving a notification to renew your drivers license, don't. Check your license and make sure it doesn't need to be renewed, and keep track of your renewal date. She says that police officers are now pulling people over and giving tickets for these invalid driver's licenses, and not knowing it needed to be renewed is not being allowed as a defense.

current mood: listless

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Monday, June 1st, 2009
12:07 pm - So nice
I love that on a beautiful day I can take Cadence and my laptop onto my deck and work outside.

current mood: content

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Friday, May 22nd, 2009
3:14 pm - Stuff
Getting ready to go to NY for the long weekend.

current mood: hot

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