VOICES with Amber B Skylar

[EP:1] Why Victims Blame Themselves - Amber B Skylar

March 25, 2021 Amber B Skylar Season 1 Episode 1
VOICES with Amber B Skylar
[EP:1] Why Victims Blame Themselves - Amber B Skylar
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VOICES with Amber B Skylar
[EP:1] Why Victims Blame Themselves - Amber B Skylar
Mar 25, 2021 Season 1 Episode 1
Amber B Skylar

As a victim of trauma and many challenges, I'm tired of all the messages in the culture from childhood to present day that say  ignorant things like  "get over it" or " Its your Karma".  If anyone takes that literally and many people do, then everything that's happened to you - is your fault. 

Lets talk about this.  

Show Notes Transcript

As a victim of trauma and many challenges, I'm tired of all the messages in the culture from childhood to present day that say  ignorant things like  "get over it" or " Its your Karma".  If anyone takes that literally and many people do, then everything that's happened to you - is your fault. 

Lets talk about this.  

Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome this podcast will contain explicit material, which may be triggering and activating for some. Please proceed with caution. Thank you. My name is Amber B Schuyler , and welcome to my very first episode of the voices and stories of women. My first episode is called why do victims blamed himself? So over the next couple of episodes, I'm going to talk to you about different social things that keep people that have experienced trauma and particular sexual trauma , uh, sort of stuck. Let me start off with , uh, going way back to when I was raped. The first time I was born up in poverty and , uh, but I was a cheerleader and I was, you know, peppy and very curious and energetic kind of person. And I , uh, my cheerleading coach , uh, applied, you know, helped me apply to get scholarships and grants and student loans. And I went off to Eastern Kentucky university. I was completely unprepared for , uh, the amount of drinking, the, you know, that just madness the F the abundance of freedom. And I'd been brought up pretty, pretty , uh, conservative if you will. So being that naive, I kind of walked into some stupid situations and there was this crazy girl on the campus, and I really crazy might not be a good description. She was just unusual and she was a devil worshiper straight up, and she , uh, saw me and she's a lot smarter than I was savvy. And she knew that I was a Virgin. And so she would , um, you know, when we'd go out to like a bar and now I'm having my very first beer of my life. Yes, my very first beer in college. Um, and she would push all the boys away. Well, long story short, you know, I was trying to make friends and she was kind of interesting, but she just kept appearing. And she ended up taking me to some crazy thing where people worship the devil, they do this was way out and Kentucky and a barn. And, you know, just, I could feel it as soon as I arrived at this place, my skin was crawling in . I ended up trying to run away. I didn't try. I did. I succeeded. I ran away and I , I bumped into this guy. Um, his name was Jeff and he had this open top Jeep . I , I literally collided almost with his Jeep. And he said, what are you doing out here? Cause I'd been running through the woods trying to get away from these people. And I think they had plans for me being a Virgin and all. So I jumped in a Jeff's Jeep and I went over to the campus and , uh, I didn't live on the campus. I lived off campus, but when I pulled up to the campus with Jeff and I was panicking and I just couldn't even speak because I didn't know what was going on. And he said to me , um, you know, are you okay? Do you need a ride? And I was thinking, yeah, I need to go home. And this girl who'd been trying to recruit me or do whatever she was trying to do for her double worshiping group. She showed up. Now this is a girl that's really sexy, like big boobs, and they're all sticking out and her hair was done. And she was in the eighties. You wore the short crop tops. And so she was just slithering up to this guy, Jeff. And , uh, I was just in so much anxiety. I can still remember clearly. And so I was happy that Jeff, all of a sudden young hormonal guy looking at her going, Oh, she likes me was distracted. So I ran and I ran over to this car. Um, and there was a guy getting into the car who was in my music appreciation class. And he was really sweet. We used to like blush back and forth. And anyway , um, I said, Hey, you know, can you give me a ride? I need to get home. And he said, sure. And his two buddies were there. And one of them, he was like the pack leader. I now know that , um, they were all jocks. They all played on the baseball team and this guy said, sure, we'll give you a ride home. Now I could smell beer, but unlike 18 years old, I just need to get out of there. And so I get in the car and , uh, there's a driver and I'm right behind the driver. Then there's the pack leader in the front seat. And then there's this guy and I hear them talking, you know, and they're talking about a fraternity initiation and they're passing around Michelob beers. And they , um, they end up driving me to this, just some field. And I was raped. I was raped by all three boys. And I remember them, you know, really getting revved up out. You can do this, you can do this. I had never even had sex before. I wasn't even clear what they could do. So that's just another violation. And I remember when this guy that I had a crush on , um, was getting ready to insert himself into me. He looked at me with his eyes and his eyes. He looked like he was going to cry and I could hear the guy like banging on the window. Yeah , come on. You know, and then his eyes changed. They went from this soft vulnerability and perhaps fear to this, just anger or his , I mean, I remember that clearly. And then, you know, he had his way with me. And , uh , that was that when the guys were finished and they're laughing and chuckling, they took me back to the campus. And again, I didn't live on the campus and they just pushed me out of the car and threw a bottle of beer at me. And that was that.

Speaker 2:

Now

Speaker 1:

In 1980, nobody really, really cared. If you got raped, number one year in college, number two, you probably did something wrong. Were you drinking? Were you stupid? You got in a car with strangers.

Speaker 2:

Okay .

Speaker 1:

Just the beginning of it. And, and I was so traumatized because they were in my classes. Um, a couple two of the boys were in my classes and I could not go to the class and they would see me on the campus. Hi baby, faster, baby. Hey there. Hey, and I couldn't tell anybody, but I did confide in a church. I went to a church. I was really messed up in my head. And all those nuns were concerned about was as if I was pregnant and how I was going to raise a baby. There really was no where to go to say, Hey, this happened to me and this hurt ,

Speaker 2:

I stuffed it. That's just what you did

Speaker 1:

This past summer in 2020. Um, I was walking with a new friend and I was telling her about my book and colors of Amber memoir and my podcast and this passion I had about why we must share our stories. And all of a sudden I noticed that this lady, she just sort of slowed down a little bit. And then she sort of looked laughed and she looked right. Sort of over her shoulder. And she said, you know, Amber, when I was 18 years old, I was raped. I , um , had been drinking and kind of got messed up with the wrong people. When this guy who was selling, you know, pot or whatever he was selling ,

Speaker 2:

Um, she'd

Speaker 1:

Had this encounter with him and ,

Speaker 2:

Uh,

Speaker 1:

And she was raped. And when she tried to tell her family about it, of course, you know, it's, what are you going to do about it?

Speaker 2:

Um ,

Speaker 1:

I'd like to tell you that I have met so many people and I can pretty much guarantee you that seven out of 10 women that you meet. And I know that's just a gut, you know, comment. There, there's no data to support that. But in my research, this is what I have found, but women just don't talk about it. And I'm certain that men don't either. And by the way, this podcast is not just about women getting raped and all of that. It's, this is about children and that's men, that's boys, they grow up. But the interesting thing to me is that people don't want to talk about it. And you've got people that are in marriages, just getting by, you know, going from day to day. And it's so hurts , but you know, you've got that smiling face on and you're going to work and you're, you're doing your thing and you just sort of get over it, right? So I'd like to lead right into that message right there. I'll never forget the day that, you know, my mom told me, you need to need to get over it. That stuff happens to women. I could tell you things. She didn't have to tell me things. I began to figure those things out for myself as a victim of a trauma like this. When you hear get over it, it really is. Uh , my gosh, it's like someone throws a rock at your chest, Pam , boom, number one, number two. Um, I've been in therapy for over 30 years and you know, I've taken some breaks here and there, but because I am smart enough to know that you don't just get over it. I stay in therapy. Now I want to chat just a tad about therapy. I don't know what in the heck is wrong with people in their judgments around therapy. Oh, it's for girls. Oh, it's a soft science. Although psychologists, they just think they, they think they, what if , if I have chest pains, I get to see a cardiologist. If I hurt my knee, I'm going to see an orthopedic surgeon or something. But if I get wounded in my heart in a different way, or in ways that we don't really understand about how emotions are processed or made, well, that's where I'm going to go is I'm going to go to a therapist. So one of the reasons why I think that victims blame themselves is because number one, they can't afford therapy, but even if they could, everybody just minimize this therapy and they, they judge it. And it's, it's a stigma. We all know that I'm here to tell you, I have been raped more than once homeless. I've been around the block and we're going to talk about a whole bunch of stuff here in therapy is my staple. That's what keeps me grounded. That's that place where I can go once a week and I can inquire into the depth of emotions that are really running my behavior, which it takes a lot of work to try to understand that. But that's what therapies for you get supported. You get heard, you get somebody saying, you've got this, get up, take your next step like this podcast. So I moved last year , um , from the East coast to the West coast and I started therapy. And on my early sessions, I was sharing with her about , um, another incident that I went through while serving in the military and I'll save that for a different podcast. But I had decided that this was like the last of my wounds that I really wanted to get in and figure this out. And while sharing the story with her, without all the details. Um, and the first sharing episode, she said to me, you know, as the tears came up and my body positions sort of changed, she said to me, do you blame yourself? And I said, absolutely. How come? I didn't know how come I, I, you know, what, what was I wearing? What did I do? How did he know? How did he know that he could do what he was going to do to me? And this was his doctor. How did he know? This is my last day in the military service. And it was pregnant. He had sent his assistant off and it was just me and him. And in the military, you can't tell, and this is back in the eighties and the nineties. If you do, nobody going to believe, you just take my word for that. And nobody going to believe you, and you're going to get in trouble. But the point here is that it really resonated with me like a bell being wrong, or like a chime going off in a clock. Bing, Bing, Bing, Bing. I'm blaming myself. I, I was pregnant. I'm a mother. I didn't protect my son. I, it is extraordinary for me educated. I I've been in healing work. I've done so much stuff that at this age, 30 years in therapy, and I would still blame myself this episode and coming episodes. I'm going to talk more. In-depth about different things that go on in the culture and real simple things that are kind of cute. See , like karma, have you ever heard someone say, Oh, it's your karma. Your karma is going to change. And if you're a victim of sexual assault, or maybe you were brought up in an alcoholic home and you were beat, or just an alcoholic home is enough trauma. Maybe it doesn't matter what the trauma is. Maybe you had a car accident for having sakes. When you think about karma and I'm a yoga teacher, so you hear a lot of this, you know, karma and Chuck, Roz and hall , and just be happy and lift your spirits and let that down . We're going to talk about all that too. But when you think about karma one day when I really sat down and I decided to look it up, and first of all, it's Hindu and it's under a religion and I am agnostic or going to talk about religion in my podcast, SU and its impact on her decisions socially,

Speaker 2:

Et cetera.

Speaker 1:

But let me come back to the day that I sat down and said, Oh my gosh, everything I have ever been through is my fault. The battered wife, the homeless, everything. It's my fault. It's all my fault. Because according to this cutesy little it's your karma. Your karma will come and get you and you'll see it in movies. It'll be in books. It'll be in commercials. It'll be, you know, people, especially in the healing arts community, people can be really it's karma. There's only one way to heal it. No, there's not one way to heal it. But when a victim hears that and, and you ponder and wonder, wow, this is what a whole group of people believe. Then that means that every woman, every child, every man, that's going to be assaulted, violated, beaten, yelled at it's their fault.

Speaker 2:

So

Speaker 1:

This is just one of the messages. And I mentioned earlier, my mother who has passed away now bless her heart. And I love her so much her message of get over it. When I was young, there was , uh, also this phrase, don't air, your dirty laundry in public

Speaker 2:

As a little girl.

Speaker 1:

Um, and, and , uh, a young girl and middle school . And even in high school, I saw craziness everywhere. And I'm certain that all of you did, but nobody talk about it. Don't air your dirty laundry in public, because the important thing of your gathering or whatever you were doing was the event itself. Oh, it's Christmas. We're going to be happy. We're going to eat here . Some music here, some presents , Oh, it's a baseball game. Let's go, go, go, rah, rah. And there's just so much of this stuff that you're supposed to participate in indu while you're carrying a wound inside of your body. And I'm going to tell you, it's like being stabbed, like right

Speaker 2:

Through the chest. And the scarring is there. The weapon is still there because

Speaker 1:

Silence did it . We've said, we're not going to treat that. You're just going to get over it. And, and, and people look at you differently when you tell them you've been raped. Oh, well, they start looking at you. Oh, for goodness sake. I remember in all these years of therapy and this is not kind of the way that it is now, but I remember in therapy, which I'll be talking about throughout my entire podcast , my experiences. But I remember you fill out your questionnaire and they, they would look at your family history. Oh, were you parents educate head? No. Were you born in poverty? Yes. And you knew, I know now, I didn't know then that they were profiling me. They were profiling me and putting me in a box, just like F Jeffrey Epstein's victims. Who did he target? Poor, the vulnerable, the needy. And that leads me to wrap up in today's podcasts . And it's gonna set it up for my next podcast is which is going to be called poor white trash. One of the things that I've learned about, about blaming myself goes way back to the messages I learned when I was a little girl, when I evolved and trans trans transcended, if you will, into middle school and then moved on into high school, known often to call, and then often in the military, and then often to the world, there are messages everywhere. And one of them has to do with what you were taught when you were little. What I was taught when I was little, poor, white trash,

Speaker 2:

All I'm good for is

Speaker 1:

My, you know, my VJ, my, my buttocks, or my and my tests and my green eyes and high cheek bones that and cooking a good meal for a man.

Speaker 2:

That's what

Speaker 1:

I learned being born in 1962 in these messages being reinforced over and over and over. I am Amber B Schuyler . I would love to hear your stories. You can send me your story@amberbskylarskylir.com backslash contact. Just send me your story and let me know. Do you want your first name mentioned or no name at all? I really would love to weave your stories into this podcast. I want to thank you for listening, and I hope that you come back for episode two, poor white trash, and we'll be continuing talking about why victims blame themselves. Thank you for listening. This podcast is produced and distributed in partnership with Dan Bennett and one minute media located in Flint, Michigan, more marketing solutions and Chantilly, Virginia, and Amber B Schuyler productions located in Helena, Montana. Thank you so much for listening to the show. I like a shout out to you to share your stories with me, Amber B skylar.com . Please let me know if you'd like to be anonymous or perhaps use your first name. I'm also interested in your comments and feedback. Thank you so much for listening. And I do hope that you join me for my next episode.