So my next performance is at the Brava Theatre in SF for the San Francisco Women Against Rape (SFWAR) on June 30th.

Im at rehearsal, standing up in front of this room full of women who have one way or another been touched by the violence and silence of rape and the sadness mixed with rage begins to wash over me and suddenly I am crying and overwhelmed. I have performed this particular piece "Song for Siren" about 4 or 5 times and have never experienced what i felt last night. The piece is a piece – not about adoption (?)- but about rape and the historical and continued rape of black women by white men. The piece itself was written as my own response to a few things – first, to the Duke Lacrosse case. If you havent heard about this – Duke University on March 13th, A sex worker was hired as an exotic dancer for a party thrown by the Lacrosse players. At some point in the night, the woman alleges she was raped in the bathroom by three of the players by force. For me, whether or not this story is "true" is not what I am interested in. What I am interested in is this incidents relationship to the history of black women raped by white men and the comment one of the men made to the woman –  “hey bitch – thank your grandpa for my nice cotton shirt”.

Additionally, the Duke incident rung a bell in me from the past – Sherice Iverson. For some reason I cannot let go of this little girl and the total disregard for her life in place of the men who raped and murdered her.

I said its not about adoption.

Later last night – im at another gig at a bar in SF – and i want to call my best friend, and she is not home. I want to call my mom, but its too late. How can i explain this to my roommate? I realize i have no one to talk to and i get on my cell phone and text/email these words to myself:

"No one 2 email but me n all alone w a reminder i am born from that which i condem".

What is it to be a product of rape? A body born out of violence? What is it to be unwanted and given away because of rape and more importantly – unknown? If the story is true. I dont exsist for the father.


4 thoughts on “PTSD

  1. Oh Lisa. This post brought tears to my eyes. You can email me any time. Our situations are not identical but I do feel a real kinship with you and all you are experiencing.

    I so wish I could be there on the 30th but my inlaws arrive that night from out of state… and I am so sorry I missed True Colors – I heard you were a TOTAL ROCK STAR. I am looking forward a lot to seeing you at camp.

  2. Lisa,

    You have left me speechless. I haven’t read all of your posts yet, but I had to go ahead and write you. You are a strong and inspiring woman. And you are making yourself known to those of us who need to know someone exactly like you. I know the women at your rehearsal will remember you forever.

    Thank you for sharing your story.


  3. If you ever feel like that again you can always e-mail me just to hear a friendly voice. I am adding you to my links. I am inspired by you doing a show, I am working on my own show about family stuff and adoption but have been a bit scared of doing that. You have given me some courage.

  4. Sherise Iverson. I think of her all the time. All the time.

    Sometimes it paralyzes me, and I become stuck in a place that makes me want to never have my daughters near young white men. Makes them all the beasts that Strohmeyer and Cash felt free to be.

    Makes me in-your-face agressive in other instances, suspiciously glaring and questioning men who seem to be where they should not…in the park, at its perimeter, in a row behind my children at the theater (scarily, I was right about the theater lurker one time; as a result, I threaten my husband when he is with the children about keeping up his guard).

    Sherise Iverson. I will speak her name for the rest of my days. I will carry her with me, and implore whatever deity there is to hold her mother in a place where she can breathe without bursting, and dream without falling into a deep well of pain.

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