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Time to get my umbrella out, its raining A**HOLES!

March 22, 2011

2 incidents of being molested in one week.  One had to do with sex work.  One had nothing to do with sex work.

2 guys I was “talking to”, had sex or talked about having sex with turned unneccesarily abusive for no reason in the same week.  You get ONE RED FLAG nowadays.  That’s it.  I cut them out like potential cancers.  I will NOT stand to be abused again by anyone I date, if I can help it at all.   I’m so quick on the EJECT button these days, since my last relationship was with a mentally ill abuser who emotionally, verbally and financially caused me stress and strife I think I am mostly healed from from 6 months later.

There are patterns in everything.  The verbal attack/insult which can both ambiguous and direct and the apology or the invitation to be friendly again.  I rejected both of these guys as soon as I got wind of what I saw as the potential beginning to a pattern of abuse that I am too familiar with.   The video clip only talks about the martial arts instructor and my last shift at work, but the dating violence incidents occured immediately after those.

The days that follow are filled with the normal PTSD symptoms: depression/anxiety  and self destructive tendencies (drinking beer alone and calling a very neglectful ex-lover).  The very next day ALL I wanted to do was find a gym with a heavy bag that I could punch and kick for an hour or two.  I was even willing to pay the day fee to use the facilities at any of the local downtown LA gyms.  I faked an interest in membership and was able to get a free day pass at Golds.

One guy whom I met on an internet dating website but was now talking to as a friend who would collaborate on a filmmaking project with texts me after he sees this video, saying that “he saw my rant on youtube and wanted to see how I was” which I saw as him reaching out to me to offer support.  He tells me that I should meditate and do Buddhist chants instead of punch and kick bags.  When I don’t immediately agree with him about what I needed and wanted for my healing at that time, he started to get irritated and antagonistic with his questioning about my definition of God and spirit, making assumptions about what my beliefs were before I could say them..

When I did BEGIN to define them, all I heard him respond with was “I hate to rain on your parade, sweetheart but you’re NOT special.”

I said, “Somehow, the way you arrogantly say things to me, just makes me want to hang up on you.”

“then hang up on me then.” he said.

and I did. CLICK.  Goodbye forever.  I just recently did this with another guy who thought he could raise his voice at me on the phone for longer than 60 seconds, after I told him to calm down and stop shouting at me. CLICK.

The last time I saw him, we had a misunderstanding about something, I thought that he called me a “bottomfeeder” in a sentence, but I wasn’t sure.   I do remember making an angry face at his words without making it a big deal at the time.  (Do you know those fish, the bottom feeders?  That’s what you are doing.”) I let that one slide but it made me not want to hang out with him as a friend (his birthday was the next day, and he sort of invited me) and question the potential of any artistic collaboration staying non toxic.  Because of my history of relationship violence, I am super sensitive to all abuse, subliminal and direct dissing is ALL relevant and never ignored.

Monday came too soon and on this day I usually have two counseling sessions with two different women.  One is a woman of color relationship violence intern and another is an older white queer MFT with more years of clinicial experience.  It felt great to talk and talk and process this some more.  I have moved from being unsure about being molested by said instructor and confirming based on talking to a few others and listening to my bodies’ reaction to the violation that indeed I was violated.

I am looking for the appropriate way to deal with the incident.  I don’t feel like quitting martial arts at that school or even telling this instructor’s supervisor.  I don’t want him to stop teaching, I just want him to fix the problem.  I want to make it safer for ME and others who take classes from him.  I believe that this can be possible.  Perhaps this is too idealistic.  I know that I don’t feel comfortable going to another one of his classes until this gets resolved.  I asked one other female fighter her opinion and she supported me.  I asked another female and even called her twice with no response.  I decided that I didn’t need to confirm that he had done this to other students in order to feel that this was wrong for ME.

I am leaning towards a mediated conversation with a female instructor at the school.  I tried the one on one, let’s not make it a big deal method the first time this instructor did something questionable, but the second time I decided I would involve a third party.  I decided I would contact the female instructor of the upcoming sexual asasault defense workshop for her opinion or help with a mediation.  The idea behind this mediation comes from the anti-prison movements model of community policing and intervention.  The problem with this is that the school is run by the Deputy District Attorney of LA and is the martial arts style that trains the police and law enforcement.  The martial arts style comes from the brutal Israeli army tactics used to defeat the Palestinian rebels.  It is the opposite of the community intervention model.  Punish and execute.  Ostracize.  Imprison.

Hi —-:

My name is Mariko, and I’ve been a KM student for over a year now.  We may have met before, i’m not sure.  On Thursday, an instructor was demonstrating ground fighting moves on me and instructing me on how to create a hold of someones body while they are on their back.  He grabbed both of my buttcheeks to get a grip and buryed his head in my stomach.  He told me this was normal and told me to try it on him as well.  A woman’s vagina is between her butt so grabbing them will create a spreading motion which is incredibly jarring if the person touching you there is not someone you know intimately.  His fingers grazed my genitals about 3 times during repeated examples.  I never resisted or questioned his authority because I trusted that he was the one with the knowlege and I was there to learn whatever he had to teach me, as usual goes on his classes that I’ve grown and become strong in over the 1.5 years.

When I looked noticeably uncomfortable with what he was doing, he asked about it and I told him explicitly that “these moves were very confrontational, I am a rape survivor.”  He apologized at the time, but he didn’t ease up with his examples, in fact I feel as if he intensified his resistance, at one point grabbing my pants and simulating pulling them down.  At another point during the 2 hours that I was being his example (2 classes in a row) he asked if he could grab me by my crotch.  He explained that in grappling the body is just like a lump of clay to be thrown around without regard to exactly what body part we are grabbing.  I totally believed every word he said.  He said that guys don’t like it either but they do it to each other all the time.  We were talking during the entire run of examples and he was constantly checking in with me.  I told him I was ok, him grabbing me by the crotch was ok, I consented, him grabbing my butt, I consented.  I grabbed him by the buttcheeks and repeated the same move he did on me.  This is ALL OCCURING IN FRONT OF 2 DIFFERENT CLASSES full of students so it looks like nothing funny is going on.  Every violation was so slick and subtle that I was never sure enough to resist, but sure enough to question it while it was occuring, but not sure enough to question the said explanation that he had for each.

In a separate occurance about 6 months ago, this same instructor demonstrated a move on me causing me to fall to the ground and injure my ankle in a way that took me out for a solid week and did not return to normal for 4 months after.  I resolved that situation by saying to myself, it was my fault, I fell wrong, KM is risky, I assume injury risks in these classes.  After what happened on Thursday I am noticing a pattern between us, which is that I am trusting my body to this instructor and he has somehow caused injury or violated me.  I never outright blamed him, because i didn’t think that he would injure me like that on purpose.  I also wasn’t sure if it was my own fault.   After a while I continued to go to his class, we talked about the incident and I became fine with the outcome and resoliution.  He was overly apologetic and took blame for it even if it wasn’t  entirely his fault.  I accepted that much until Thursday.

I believe that he is an asset to your school and that overall he is a great instructor and person who did not intentionally mean to do these things to me.  (??) I am requesting from you, the instructor of the FIGHT BACK seminar to help me work through this because I think it is appropriate now, for a female instructor to be the evaluator of the situations that have occured and tell me that it is normal or move forward with a mediation between the three of us so that this does not occur between him and any other students.

My phone number is below, and you can email me as well.  Thank you for your help in this matter.

Sincerely,

Mariko Passion

I am almost 35 and I have lived an adult life that seems like a constant continuum of trauma and recovery since the age of 17, but at least I am getting better at recognizing all the different stages and learning how to heal faster.  I sent the email above today and await the next steps.  It seems like a strange curse that more abusive men come flocking in like vultures when your downed, especially the one pretending to be concerned about what happened only to use my vulnerability as a way to abuse me more.  An ex boyfriend whom I hadn’t seen in 2 years randomly called from outside my house in his car, in my vulnerability to all the recent violations,  I told him to come up because I hadn’t seen him since I called the cops on him to kick him out of squatting in my apartment.  He didn’t take advantage of my vulnerability, but he didn’t help to comfort the situation too much either because even after all these years, he still didn’t understand that he had ever been abusive in our relationship.   It was a very strange uncanny coincidence, the universe must have heard my soul crying to be embraced.  We laid in a codependent cuddle on my living room floor and even kissed a little.  The temptation to sleep with him and invite him to get stuck in my life right where he left off was right there for me, but he left without sex and I was proud of my resistance.  We didn’t even drink enough beers to get drunk.  He did say goodbye at least 5 times and go down and up the stairs each time before finally leaving.  (and Outkast sings,’Ah how, push and pull.  everyone move to the back of tha bus..’)

Words are like grenades.  They can injure or protect.

In my video, taken hours after the incident.  I am mostly angry that I didn’t push that asshole harder or leave with his blood on my knuckles.  I stood ready with my finger on my stunner ready to fight in the battle of my life, but again it didn’t happen.  I have more whore revolutionary battle fantasies than a comic book.

Today I am taking a moment to realize all the ways that I have learned to resist and appreciate my wisdom and experience as a survivor and hope that it helps someone besides myself be stronger…

MARCH 23, 2011 MEETING W/ INSTRUCTOR and female supervisor tomorrow at 12:30pm.  He tells her he never touched my genitals.  This should be interesting…I am trying not to have an asthma attack thinking about it…

‎i have nothing to gain from this but healing. and you, you can gain knowledge to improve your practice. the school needs you, you are an asset to them. i do not gain money, i do not wish you to be fired or punished further. maybe i have lost a great teacher for a while and that is something that I see as a great loss that pains me more that this happened. (therefore there is no reason for you to not believe me.)  i can’t stop myself from doing everything that I am doing.  it’s happening naturally because the body and mind wants to be well as soon as it is injured.  when i was robbed i filed a police report, i bought a stun gun and peper spray, i enrolled in mixed martial arts.  i will ALWAYS do as much as is in my power to affect my survival…

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. March 22, 2011 6:01 am

    <3 I'm so sorry that happened! Shit! I really hope the female instructor comes through & helps you work through this. <3

  2. March 22, 2011 2:56 pm

    thanks for reading! xoxo

  3. March 22, 2011 9:20 pm

    Left a comment on youtube as well, but thought I’d drop a line here. I’m sorry you had to go through this, stay strong!! I also hope the woman you messaged will help out and something is done – I know how hard it can be to deal when you have so much resentment and rage settling inside you and not feel like anything’s being *done* y’know? Keep us posted :)

  4. March 23, 2011 12:16 am

    met with the female instructor in the email today for 2 hours. she was very understanding. she is going to talk to said instructor later tonite. i went to the school to meet w/ her. He saw me and was friendly as always and seemed to not know or understand that he had even do anything wrong, which made it that much more difficult to have to fake friendliness. (which I am not good at). He will understand by tonite I think.

    I felt horrible after seeing him and when he asked if I wanted to spar with him (more??) I replied. “no no, I’m going home.” I left the building, went to the store and came back for the 8pm class that he wasn’t teaching at. He saw me in there because he had to bring in another student. He should have realized on that eye contact that I lied about leaving…the whole thing made me sick to my stomach. It feels like a brother that you love has molested you and still wants to go outside and toss the football around like nothing happened. And I wish that nothing really happened and I can just get over this part of the process and go back to the way things were before this shit happened.

    She tells me she is going to also have to notify her supervisor. She said that it doesn’t sound like something that is acceptable protocol, but she didn’t overly side with me before speaking to him first of course.

    The scariest part was telling her, after the first hour that I had another incident during work. I TOLD HER I WAS AN ESCORT. I confided to her that I had come to the school as a result of being robbed by a client. This was terrifying. I have this mentality that tells me because of the relationship the school has to law enforcement that talking to the staff is like talking to the cops. Terrifying. But FUCK IT. I filed a police report after I got robbed as an escort, and I’m telling her what happened too. I made it through class tonite but it was really really hard. I was partnered with a mentally retarded guy who, I swear had an erection! while he was working with me. That was triggering me badly. When it rains it pours…

  5. trevinomurphy permalink
    March 23, 2011 3:10 pm

    I am a female martial arts and self defense instructor, and I just wanted to validate you and let you know that if it feels wrong, it is wrong. Period. This would never be tolerated at my school. It sounds like this instructor needs to be sent to some trainings to understand the dynamics of sexual assault. Martial arts practice involves so much trust in dealing with bodies, and respecting boundaries should be rule #1. I would really encourage you to listen to your instincts, do not doubt yourself, and if you continue to feel uncomfortable then find a new studio.

    Good for you for standing up for yourself! That takes strength. I hope you arrive at a satisfying solution to this problem.

    • March 23, 2011 6:55 pm

      what do you think of the moves that I explained. Do you do any groundfighting? Jiu Jitsu? In wrestling men have been known to grab each other’s crotch packages, but would you do that as an instructor??

      • trevinomurphy permalink
        March 24, 2011 11:54 am

        Yes, I do mixed martial arts so I practice a variety of fighting styles including ground fighting. Yes, in a fighting situation one might grab another person anywhere but no, in a teaching situation that is not appropriate. You could just as effectively practice/teach those moves by grabbing the leg instead. Especially considering that you mentioned you were a survivor, he should have apologized and backed off immediately. His behavior was 100% inappropriate, whether he understood why or not, it was not acceptable.

  6. March 23, 2011 5:41 pm

    Oh my… we have a LOT in common. The PTSD, the triggers… this post really resonated with me. That instructor was fucking copping feels on you. he should be FIRED. I am sorry you have to go through this shit. I do too. Last night, a male friend of mine was like, “It sure seems like a lot of people fuck with you.” It really smacked of victim blaming. I almost punched him. I said, instead: You have NO IDEA what it is to exist as a woman. I am harassed on a daily basis. It must be nice being a large-bodied white het male…” My last boyfriend (and my last FOREVER) threw me against a wall and called me an ‘old drunk bitch’… I punched him in the face and broke his nose. Now I have some kind of bad rep in my ‘hood since I fought back (and won! HA!). I am now known as a ‘crazy bitch’ and a ‘psycho’. As if me punching my ex in the face occurred without ANY provocation. God forbid I fight back against abuse. I am now dealing with another male friend who I borrowed money from and he keeps trying to guilt me into fucking him. I am starting to feel trapped and scared- the power dynamic is WAY off balance. I am so tired…

    • March 23, 2011 6:54 pm

      yeah i just posted my newest thoughts about him. i’m all emo about “losing him” as an instructor…i feel more sadness about this betrayal than anger. The other more agressive attackers, yes, just anger and yeah who cares if people think you are crazy. Sexism DOES name women who rise up CRAZY BITCHES. always. I’m proud of what I call my “INNER MONSTER” Aka my “inner Aileen Wuornos.” She is a weapon NOT to be unleashed and I feel sorry for the poor soul who disturbs her…

  7. March 23, 2011 5:53 pm

    Oh, what brand of stunner is that? Is it the best kind, would you say? I think I need to get one. I need something that looks SCARY like that and that has stopping power. Thanks again. And, I think you are AMAZING.

    • March 23, 2011 6:23 pm

      its just a Made in China electronic from a self defense store that I’m sure you should be able to find in your city. $50. In the past I have fired it to scare off guys and that works well (POP! see the fear in their eyes! Woohoo!) but this time, I didn’t fire it, I just held it ready to fire. It works as a defense in BOTH ways effectively because it’s easier to use than a gun or knife and even better than pepper spray which causes YOU the victim to start coughing and unable to see your escape as well.

  8. March 25, 2011 10:59 pm

    This post really hit home while I was reading it last night.

    Smidge of background: This guy and I stopped talking a number of years ago, probably for the same reasons I’m about to explain, but then I didn’t have the vocabulary or experience to recognize what he does as a pattern of abuse. We started talking again recently after he extended an invitation to be friendly again, and have been in very frequent contact since then.

    Two nights ago, I was having a conversation very, very similar to the one you had with the guy you met on the online dating website. This guy was also getting very irritated and antagonistic when questioning me about my lack of faith, and was making assumptions about my beliefs before I had a chance to explain them. Last night, as I was talking to him, he began the same pattern of running into an answer/response of mine he didn’t like and responding by getting aggressive and irritable. While he was doing this, I was reading the part of your post where you said goodbye forever to the asshole who is no longer in your life – and the lightbulb went off. When I told him that I didn’t like how aggressive he got when he ran into things he didn’t like, he said that I was sneaky, conniving, weak, insecure, and a snake. … and that was the end of that. I didn’t respond (and this was *before* I got to your video where you discussed your version of resistance!).

    Thank you for reminding me, by sharing your thoughts and experiences (and bravery!), that I do not have to put up with stupid bullshit from stupid dudes. Thank you for reminding me that there *are* patterns in everything, especially in behavior. Sometimes I forget these things on my own.

  9. March 25, 2011 11:21 pm

    the meeting started at 12:30pm and ended by 1:15. Instructor apologized profusely and said he did not have ANY bad intentions and he would never do that. (He has a girlfriend, he teaches kids, he teaches adults, etc).

    the female instructor, who is actually a supervisor and her supervisor (the main honcho for both locations) was present. The were empathetic but also defensive of him as an instructor. They vouched that they knew that he was sorry, he looked sad when they told him. I copied him and the 2 supervisors on the exact email above so I did not have to repeat my story during this meeting.
    they vouched for the fact that the grab and hold move he showed me WAS LEGIT.

    (But what about the buttcheek grabs? and pulling my pants half off? and asking to touch my crotch??) my instructor did NOT RECALL THAT THIS HAD HAPPENED. It was almost as if he had never read my email.

    He was very nice about everything and said,”I’m not here to argue with you about the details about what happened, but I NEVER meant to make you feel uncomfortable, that was NOT my intention and I will make sure that this never happens again.”

    since we weren’t here to argue with each other, we resolved it as,”Well, if you believe me, then I believe you.” (Is that even possible??)

    The most EMPOWERING MOMENT of this short meeting however was when they asked me “What would you like to get out of having this meeting?”

    I said, “to be able to pass you in the hallway and not feel sick or weird, for you to know, in front of your superiors that this is what I believe happened so that you can improve your practice and do it differently next time. BUT. Let’s just say that YOU ARE LYING. and you are NOT a good person, then we have this on record in case it ever happens to anyone else again..” and I got to burn a hole into his gaze as I said that and he nodded.

    But ultimately what I come away from all of this, is that he denied that he touched me inappropriately or doesn’t remember it ever happening which is causing me to have major anxiety, depression, self doubt, and second guessing my side of the story.

    Maybe I was just triggered and I couldn’t say no, this was nothing new. But in all fairness to him, I did consent to everything, he did give me the option to not work with him if I was feeling uncomfortable. I am having a hard time, but I am a true survivor to the core. I have several times since this happened attempted to do self destructive things w/ not so great influences but instead the experiences have been reflective, nurturing, and not so out of control as driving on the wrong side of the road and hitting a family of pot belly pigs…

    • Daniel permalink
      March 28, 2011 6:52 pm

      Oh, Mariko;

      This stuff is so tough, but you are so strong. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. You got it on the record and that is as much as can be done. You did what you could, but the instructor is the one who fucked up, and it’s he who made this situation uncomfortable for the supervisors.

      Stay strong,

      Dan

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