Retrograde Waters

Hello. I'm Rose, 20-something Nebraskan. If you want to know more feel free to ask, I'm not going to waste space here.
This is a personal blog that serves as a miscellaneous collection of things I find cute, cool, interesting, and enraging.
I know that all people are equal and deserve the same rights and respect, and I welcome everyone of all and any race, religion, nationality, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, romantic orientation, age, ability, anything else I may have forgotten (let me know!) and any combination or absence thereof. I do NOT welcome discrimination and bigotry. If *I* say or do anything that is offensive or insensitive, please tell me! I try to consider everyone/different perspectives and experiences when speaking, but I could always make a mistake, and educating myself is a constant process: I will be grateful rather than offended to have small-mindedness on my part pointed out. It's the only way I'll know to correct it.
Thank you and have a nice day!
(Blog NSFW: strong language, various topics of discussion, and occasional images of anatomy and/or nudity.)
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Posts tagged "abuse"


A friend’s teenage daughter is currently trying to get safely out of an abusive, non-romantic relationship, and this has gotten me thinking.

We tell our kids what not to put up with from romantic partners; from parents; from older relatives.

We don’t so much tell them that these are also not okay things for friends to do.

When things turned scary with our now-ex housemate, we blew it off because he was our friend and we had to stick by him. What he put us through and what we put up with from him were things that any sane person would have called out as abusive and intolerable in context of a romantic or familial relationship.

When the same housemate later stalked me, people discounted what was happening because we had never been romantically involved, and because his interest wasn’t explicitly romantic or sexual. I was point-blank asked—by multiple people—whether we had ever been sexually involved, as if that would somehow explain or excuse or contextualize behavior that was otherwise unfathomable.

When my friend’s daughter was being actively abused, she didn’t think to break away, because while obviously the things being done to her wouldn’t be okay in a romantic relationship, maybe it was different if you were just friends—and this is a smart, savvy, socially aware kid. Now her mom is worried that authority figures won’t take the abuse—and her daughter’s need for safety—seriously because it didn’t happen in context of a romantic relationship.

So, here are some things I wish someone had told me, and that I’d known to tell a lot of other people over the years:

Manipulation and verbal, emotional, and physical violence that are not acceptable in a romantic relationship are also unacceptable in a non-romantic friendship.

That violation of physical boundaries isn’t sexual or explosively violent doesn’t make it acceptable.

That abuse is not taking place in context of a romantic or sexual relationship does not mean it’s not abuse.

That an abuser is not their victim’s romantic partner does not make their abuse more acceptable or less dangerous.

People have the right to feel safe outside of the specific contexts and scopes of their romantic relationships.

(via nextmorgothidol)

Just because two people are capable of deeply hurting each other over and over again does not make them passionate, star-crossed lovers. It makes them two people who keep doing terrible things to each other. Someone’s ability to make you completely and utterly soul-crushingly miserable does not mean they are a soul mate with some deep insight into your psyche. They are just someone who is really good at making you unhappy.





Graffiti in an abandoned mental institution.

this is haunting

This is not graffiti. It’s a 2001 project by photographer Kristyn Vinikour, called “The Gennie Messages.” The text comes from file notes on a women named Genevieve Pilarski, who was committed to and radically mistreated at the now-closed Manteno State Hospital. You can read more about Gennie herself here, and see the rest of the photos and read more about the project here.

Please don’t reblog this without acknowledging both the artist and the woman whose systematic dehumanization and abuse those photos were created to highlight. She was a real person, with a name. That’s important.

Thank you for the clarification, I’d not heard of the project before.  

Nor I, but the writing REALLY didn’t look like graffiti to me, so I ran a google image search, and, voila!

Thanks for doing that.  Seriously, I tend to just reblog as a form of bookmarking.  

(via jadelyn)


I’ve been wanting to put together a list of less obvious signs of bad relationships, based on my own experience and observations and the experiences of others. These do not necessarily comprise abuse, but they do suggest a dynamic that is fundamentally negative and unlikely to improve. I’ve written about some of these before, but am compiling them here. This will probably be a multi-part post, and I welcome suggestions.

1. The thought of your partner interacting with your friends and family causes you to become anxious and fearful of the outcome.

There are sometimes legitimate reasons for this - your grandma is racist and your boyfriend’s not white, you’re in your first same-sex relationship and you don’t know how your friends will respond - but those should be fairly describable and not indict your partner themselves. If your reasons are more along the lines of knowing your friends will take an instant dislike to your partner’s boorish behavior or the way he talks to you, or fearing that they will get into a fight because your partner is volatile and incapable of civil disagreement, it’s time to pause and assess the situation. In a healthy relationship, you should look forward to introducing your partner to your loved ones. You should be excited about uniting your social circles and feel confident that your closest friends will understand immediately why you’re with that person. If your reaction to such scrutiny is to hide, there is a problem.

2. You have become unusually high-strung, anxious, and unable to handle mundane stress.

This is not easy to link to a relationship, especially if you have other major stress factors in your life. However, it must be discussed since it often becomes painfully clear in retrospect. Are you getting sick more often? Do you have meltdowns when you accidentally break a plate? Are you feeling exhausted and even experience physical soreness or pain despite a lack of physical exertion? Are you suddenly terrified of making minor mistakes, like taking the wrong exit or forgetting something at the store? If something bad happens to you, is your first thought about how this will upset your partner? Do you find yourself constantly preparing for a fight? Do you lash out at “safe” targets (people or animals, or even inanimate objects)? Do friends indicate that you are being inappropriately paranoid or aggressive? Are you drinking/smoking/taking drugs more than usual? Are you reluctant or even afraid of socializing for fear that it will end in aggression or humiliation? Can you link these fears and behaviors to what you experience in interactions with your partner?

3. You edit accounts of negative interactions with your partner and go out of your way to assure others of how wonderful they are.

Negative interactions occur in healthy relationships, but they are never so negative that relating them honestly will cause others to wonder why the hell you’re with that person. You will also have no fear of what your partner will do if they should happen to learn that you are seeking relationship advice from others, nor will you anticipate being told that your partner/relationship is bad for you. If you DO anticipate the worst reactions to describing your relationship truthfully, there’s probably a good reason for that.

4. You cannot imagine a long-term relationship with this person without a lot of changes and wishful thinking.

If in 6, 8, 12 months, your relationship with this person was exactly the same as it is now, would you be content, or does the idea fill you with dread? When imagining a future with this person, do you spend a lot of time thinking about what needs to change? When I was in an abusive relationship, I could not imagine a long-term scenario that did not involve him being physically compromised and unable to act out in his usual way. It should be obvious that’s a highly fucked-up thought process. If you do not feel happy and safe with your partner as they are now, all quirks and flaws considered, there is a problem. This matters even if you do not intend to be involved with them long-term, because it points to issues in the relationship you have now.

5. You are perpetually unsure of your partner’s boundaries.

There is always an awkward period at the beginning of a relationship where you learn what your partner is okay with. However, this is about persistent uncertainty. One day, he may encourage you go through his bookshelf, and the next day, demand to know what you’re doing in there. Usually, it’s much more subtle. Minor behaviors on your part result in coldness and nonverbal displays of anger (slamming doors, glaring, refusing to speak to you). Your partner makes no attempt to speak to you about it and resists discussing it, so the issue cannot be resolved. As a result, you may be several months into a relationship and still feel very reluctant to move around their home, ask them personal questions, or spontaneously joke around. If you meet people they want to feel important around, like their coworkers, you feel an excessive need to stay quiet and not draw attention to yourself. If your partner comes home visibly angry or upset, you are afraid to ask them what’s wrong, and fear you may be responsible for no reason you can explain to others. Your partner may only seem approachable under conditions they and they alone set, and they will complain you’re being selfish and needy if you try to assert yourself. They may also state that you simply don’t understand, and emphasize your relative inexperience with relationships if they are older than you. As a result, you spend an inordinate amount of time wondering if you’re a burden upon them and coming up with ways to appease them.

It should be noted that these signs are not obvious while you’re in a relationship. If you do recognize some of the thoughts and experiences discussed here, I suggest writing down those feelings as you experience them and noting their context (e.g., did you get in a fight with your partner today, or the day before?) Take time to note periods when you are feeling content and happy as well, especially if they’re short-lived and entirely dependent on external events. Please exercise caution if you are concerned your partner may find such a record, but writing them down is often one of the best ways to track changes in your moods and find patterns in them. Most of all, listen to your gut; do not ignore feelings of unease simply because you can find some way to justify them.

Part 2 should be up later this week.

(via fuckyeahsexeducation)



TW: suicide, hospitalization

So recently I was hospitalized. This is my second hospitalization this year. The first time I was hospitalized it was because I attempted suicide and was highly psychotic. I ended up going outside at two in the…

Jesus Christ. That is SICK.

(via thatfeministqueer2-deactivated2)

A round of applause for the people who read this kind of shit, and then lay it all out, so that the rest of us don’t have to.



            This is the second post in my series on BDSM and feminism. My challenge to myself was to make a list of 50 reasons why the widespread appreciation of 50 Shades of Grey is not so ideal, despite the fact that I generally think women enjoying sexually explicit material is a good thing. I thought it would be difficult to think of all those things while pointing out new problems every time, not just giving examples. I was wrong. It was really easy. 

TRIGGER WARNINGS for discussions of BDSM, assault, child abuse, sexual abuse, rape, and stalking. Also, spoilers through 50 Shades of Grey and the sequels.

Part One: Problematic Treatment of Consent in the books

1.     Ignoring consent

2.     Reacting to the sentiment “no, I don’t want to have sex with you right now” by threatening to tie the speaker up, taking their clothes off, and… having sex with them.

3.     Not treating safewords as important

4.     Not treating contracts as important

5.     Joking about the importance of safewords and contracts in a D/s relationship

6.     Having a partner sign a D/s contract without telling them it isn’t legally binding

7.     Not exploring and explaining limits

8.     Forcibly preventing a partner  from learning about their limits

9.     Forcibly preventing a partner from learning about a sexual practice you are encouraging them to engage in

10.  Making a romantic relationship dependent on indulging non-mutual kinks

Read More

(via ohdeargodwhy)


Meet Aparna Bhola, India’s teen sex educator 

“There’s nothing to giggle or be shy about; there’s no shame in it. It’s important for us to learn about these things. Be totally bindaas (carefree) and ask me questions,” says Aparna Bhola, with a wide smile.

It’s a hot Sunday afternoon, but the stifling Mumbai summer air does nothing to curb the enthusiasm of the girls surrounding her. Aparna, a spunky 16-year-old, is in the midst of giving a group of her peers a candid sex-education class, and today’s topic is pregnancy. She leads the class confidently, dispelling superstitions with funny stories and apologizing disarmingly for her chalk drawing skills.

Aparna is member of a nongovernmental organization called Kranti, meaning “revolution,” which strives to give young women rescued from prostitution access to education and new opportunities. She was teaching the class as part of a partnership with an organization called Project Crayons, which runs a shelter for girls in Mumbai’s Malad neighborhood.

The daughter of a sex worker, Aparna grew up in Kolkata. Her mother, Malti, was married when she was 9 and was beaten by her husband. When she ran away and returned to her hometown in the Sundarbans, her aunt took her to Kolkata under the pretense of sending her to school. There, Malti was sold into sex work for 10,000 rupees ($180 at current exchange rates) when she was 12 years old. When she initially refused to be a prostitute, the brothel owner stuffed chili powder in her genitals to force her into submission, says Aparna.

Growing up in red-light districts, Aparna says she was distressed by the way doctors routinely mistreated sex workers because of the stigma against their profession. Her mother, diagnosed with uterine cysts, was unable to get treatment for them because of the bias against sex workers. Aparna remembers a niece being refused treatment by a doctor who said he didn’t want to bother with such poor people.

When sex workers like Aparna’s mother would become pregnant, the “doctors would treat them so badly,” Aparna recalls. “They would yell at them, and even slap them sometimes. They would say things like ‘You go and pick up anyone’s child and come to me with your stomach swollen. When you were doing it, you enjoyed yourself and now what happened?’ ”

These encounters made Aparna want to become a gynecologist. Even when she was younger, she would share with her friends and peers whatever sexual health-related information she could find.

“I want to work with gynecology to cater to sex workers because I know the issues they faced,” says Aparna, her face set in a determined expression. “If I became a doctor, I could give whatever information the mothers need when they are pregnant. There would be someone to talk to them nicely when they are in pain.”

In the time that she has spent at Kranti, Aparna has stopped drinking, improved her English, gained confidence and branched out into a number of extracurricular activities. She just completed grade 11, and is working toward her dream of becoming a gynecologist. This year she will enter the 12th grade and is planning to take the entrance examinations for medical school.

She also represented Maharashtra state in the Youth Parliament, an advisory group to the state government, where participants recently discussed whether sex education should be introduced in Indian schools.

“I used to think that my whole world is within the four walls of my room, of the house,” says Aparna. “Now I see that there is a big, big world beyond that where many things are possible for me.”

“What I really want is that girls become powerful and aren’t scared of anyone,” says Aparna. “They should think in their minds that ‘I will go ahead and progress and no one can hold me back.” 

(via anotherfeminist)



Researchers have found that 1 in 6 men have experienced abusive sexual experiences before age 18. And this is probably a low estimate, since it doesn’t include noncontact experiences, which can also have lasting negative effects.

If you’ve had such an experience, or think you might have, you are not alone.

If you wonder whether such an experience may be connected to some difficulties or challenges in your life now, you are not alone.

Whoever you are, maybe you’re thinking something like, “1 in 6?! Come on, how can that be?” or even “That can’t be true!” Again, if so, you’re not alone. Those are common responses to this statistic, which many people find hard to believe – including men who’ve had such experiences themselves.

more info at this website, also a good resource for male victims of rape.

*not just men, but any MAAB individual


TW: abuse/rape

Violence Against Women Doesn’t Discriminate
by Sandi Villarreal 05-16-2012 | 3:37pm
When you hold a woman’s trembling hand as a nurse collects evidence from her brutal rape, it doesn’t much matter her sexual preference, ethnicity or legal status. When you sit behind a desk in Washington, D.C., apparently it does.

The House of Representatives passed on Wednesday a version of the Violence Against Women Act that would limit protections to immigrant, LGBT and American Indian abuse victims. House Republicans argue that Democrats are politicizing a non-issue, but stating fact is not partisan politics.
The new version of the bill not only deletes new protections that received bipartisan support in the Senate, but also eliminates ones that existed in previous versions of the Act. For instance, the new version could make it more difficult for immigrants married to abusive U.S. citizens to come forward for fear of losing their residency.
Let’s talk about what VAWA does.
When I lived in Texas, I was a rape crisis advocate. I manned the emergency hotline and was called to the hospital to sit with rape survivors, talk them through the medical and legal process and advocate on their behalf to make sure they received the proper care and information.
VAWA funding made sure these (primarily) women had clothes to wear home from the hospital since theirs had to be collected for evidence. It went toward training the sexual assault nurse examiner to do simple things like ask permission before touching a rape survivor. It made sure the first responders knew what (and how) to ask, so they could catch the perpetrator.
When I moved to St. Louis, I became a domestic violence advocate. When women called into the hotline, I directed them to housing resources and talked them through the process of getting orders of protection.
VAWA funding made sure a victim had a place to go when finally summoning the courage to leave the abuser. The money provided training, education and advocacy for all victims of intimate partner violence.
One of the biggest hindrances to preventing violence against women is underreporting. Survivors have to weigh real life-and-death scenarios — not to mention emotional and psychological — when deciding to come forward. It’s not easy to let strangers access the most intimate details of your life, your past, your body, and have them be dissected in order to have justice.
Now think about that prospect with the added threat of deportation. Or with the possibility of being denied help. Or being told your abuser won’t be prosecuted because of where you live.
When you live with the stories, when you see how easy it can be to get lost in process, when you watch the system fail—you cannot imagine telling some women they’re not worth the protection.
Sandi Villarreal is Associate Web Editor for Sojourners.
Stop Violence Against Women word cloud, mypokcik /

The fuck.
Is wrong with this country.
In what universe is this remotely fucking acceptable?


TW: abuse/rape


Violence Against Women Doesn’t Discriminate


The fuck.

Is wrong with this country.

In what universe is this remotely fucking acceptable?