Day 29: Jian Ghomeshi reminded me of being mugged when we was walking with my babies

March 1, 2016 - garden totes

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Jian Ghomeshi went to hearing this month. And so, in a way, did Canadian women. The Ghomeshi hearing is not usually about a male who disregarded a 4 women dire charges, nonetheless about either we, as a society, trust women who tell. 

It’s personal for me. Today and each day of February, we have common my possess stories of passionate nuisance and violence. Today is day 29, in that we share my believe of being mugged while pulling my babies in a hiker in a quiet, shaggy partial of Oakland. we had designed to embody a thoughtfulness on a plan in this post nonetheless afterwards it got long, and afterwards this happened, and we feel so foolish happy. So we will wait until a mud settles and be behind in one week with my (less) prohibited take on what we have found it means to be a lady who tells.

I have a lot to contend about what we have seen and gifted in this past month. It’s been insults and compliments, cold silences and astonishing appreciate yous. I’ll be articulate about it today, Feb 29, on Vancouver’s Co-Op Radio uncover The Rational during 6:30PM PST.

If you’re fasten us now, might we advise that we start during a beginning, by reading my introduction here. And remember, use self-care. The Ghomeshi liaison has one ruin of an undertow. 

Please note a trigger warning: photographs of bruises are presented during a finish of a blog post.



This is occurrence series 41. 

I had a scarcely 3 year-old son and an 8 month-old daughter. We lived with their father in a one bedroom unit in North Oakland. People were friendly, a object shone year-round and a strangest, Suessian plants grew. While my father worked dual jobs we was home with a kids, breastfeeding one and baking over-mixed cakes with a other.

Housing prices were absurdly high nonetheless not since crime was low. Crime was not low. There were daily muggings, mostly during gunpoint, in a tiny territory of a city. Wealthier, some-more regressive residents had pooled their resources to sinecure private confidence firms to unit their streets.

A few hours before it happened, we picked adult a good peculiarity double hiker off a street. It was sitting on a sidewalk with a hand-markered pointer on it that said, “FREE — works well.” we had been walking with my son in an powerful hiker (a hiker that folds adult like an powerful does; inexpensive and lightweight), a baby in a cloth conduit on my front. we had collection from a apparatus lending library, selling bags, and a diaper bag, all draped on a behind of a stroller, and it was a workout. In a separate second we had both kids roving high in a new chariot, bags and collection stowed safely beneath. we left a bottle of kids’ sunscreen as a appreciate we in a stead. It was a behemoth nonetheless it cornered like it was on rails. 



I returned home to dump off a powerful stroller. we got a kids out to change a baby’s diaper and give everybody a snack. we called my husband, who was during a cafeteria nearby, and pronounced that a kids hadn’t napped nonetheless nonetheless that we had usually acquired an awesome street-find hiker and maybe they would snooze in it if we took them for a delayed walk. we kind of wanted him to contend that he would do it nonetheless he was in a center of programming a quantum mechanism and that shit can't be interrupted. 

Before streamer behind out, we overwhelmed adult my mouth gloss, slipped into a span of tan and black obvious leather flats and threw on a black pompous vest. we wanted to demeanour good when we saw my husband. And we laughed during how yuppy-mommy we contingency look, with a costly double-stroller, and my mouth shimmer and flats and pompous vest. Maybe everybody achieves this demeanour by rambling circumstances, we thought. Maybe it’s something that usually happens when we grow up.

I placed a kids into their new stroller’s bucket seats. we had not been formulation to bend a roughly 3 year-old in for a brief travel by residential streets. The hiker was complicated and sturdy. He is not a curtain and would be defunct shortly, anyway. But he likes pulleys and levers, buckles and hooks. He said, “No, we need to be buckled in!” and so we did, for him. we buckled a baby in as a matter of course. we tucked in her Sophie a Giraffe and a one-eyed pin pillow owl done of felt, that she liked, mostly to mouth. 



We strolled by a city streets. As a kids got quieter, we upheld a male operative in a garage and pronounced hello. We stopped for a notation so that my son could see what he was operative on; when a child was satisfied, we continued a walk. He fell defunct a few mins later.

I incited down a travel that we had always favourite — a side travel off a side street, combined by a church during a finish of it, whose drift had caused a city planners deviating from their grid usually a little. There were high willows and a yards were neglected in that pleasing Bay Area way, where a garden left for a week will start to reason a possess caucus. we thought, We could live here. we wouldn’t mind carrying a residence on this travel if we had a money. I listened a jogger behind me and began to pierce a (large) hiker to a left so that they could pass. we incited to see that they could make it past us nonetheless we didn’t get to spin distant enough, we never saw his face. 

I was falling, we was twisting. 

I was holding onto a stroller’s pull bar and we wasn’t means to quarrel him off or mangle my tumble since of it nonetheless vouchsafing it go was not an option. Did we tighten my eyes? I remember this impulse in darkness, as if we were falling, fighting, floating in outdoor space. 

I was down so fast. I had been station during a tip of a drive heading down onto a travel and on impact a hiker wrenched from my hands and tumbled onto a front, a slip boring my children toward a street. we fought him. we had so tiny of value in my bag, it was tucked into a behind of a stroller, and we didn’t consider someone would conflict me usually for my things with a babies there. So we suspicion he was going to rape me. we unexpected accepted that it would be really easy for him to do that. 

Then he scrambled over to a stroller. 

He reached for it. 

I saw him strech for a stroller. 

He was nearer to my babies than we was.

The Nightmare.

Without lifting it adult he fished by a behind filigree slot for my receptacle bag and we satisfied what a fuck was up. we yelled, I’VE GOT TWO BABIES HERE! He didn’t answer, grabbed my bag and ran behind down a travel a approach he had come, like a jogger with a beige residence explosve in his hand. 

Finally, we yelled for help. we contingency have pulled a hiker upright, nonetheless we have no memory of doing so.  I unbuckled a baby and afterwards my son, struggling with a extra-safe, extra-complicated buckles that we had not nonetheless schooled how to open. The baby was screaming. My son was good too, yelling, “Mama, we didn’t like dat!”

I did my best to collect them both adult in my arms and reached some petrify steps. My physique hurt. A blanket, a H2O bottle, Sophie a Giraffe and a one-eyed owl lay during a feet of a driveway, diluted like an upended Monopoly board. They hadn’t been buckled in. But my babies had been buckled in. we hold them. Crying is a good sign. Crying means alive. 

I listened a dog barking inside a residence whose stairs we were sitting on. A immature lady with prolonged dim hair came out, nonetheless a dog, wearing pinkish and red polka-dotted socks. She asked if we were OK and if she should call a police. we hesitated. we pronounced yes, please, we should do that. She put me on a line with them. Two cruisers pulled adult within minutes. The lady who lived during that residence remained with us for a subsequent hour and we don’t remember her name nonetheless we will always remember her kindness. My kids staid down and a red sore a distance of a entertain began to bloat on my daughter’s head. we felt so most rage.




The subsequent day, we wrote a minute to a male who mugged us. we said, 

You contingency have been disappointed. No good phone, no cash, no camera, no laptop, no tablet, no engineer sunglasses, no residence keys. The military kept seeking me what code names my things was – what code was a purse? What code a wallet inside? we felt a bit ashamed, astounded even, that there was 0 like that. The purse was a rather hoary residence receptacle bag we purchased from a qualification store and embellished myself. The wallet a $3.95 steel label carrying box from Walgreens. we didn’t fit a type, a kind of chairman who would be good to mop — nonetheless of course, we do. You would’t have mugged me if we didn’t. 

I have always wanted to demeanour rich. To demeanour like we have income — during first, adequate income to be cool, afterwards adequate income to get by, and now, adequate income to take caring of my children. As if carrying income could clear my participation in this world. And it is a bizarre enrich to me that we saw me and thought She has money. And it is a bizarre function that, in fact, we do have financial confidence now, nonetheless a objects we lift with me don’t simulate that. we wish we feel bad. we wish we feel, she is usually like me. we wish we feel, she attempted to quarrel me off. we wish that when we have a child of your own, we remember this moment. The impulse that we ran adult to me from behind and knocked me down, usually to find that we was not who we suspicion we was. 

I wrote about how bizarre it was to feel another man’s physique so tighten to mine. You learn another person’s physique in fighting usually as good as we do in sex. we had had so most earthy alliance with a tiny bodies of my children and, since of them, most reduction with my husband. It was differing to remember a feeling of a aliveness of his muscles and skin underneath a string t-shirt. we knew what he smelled like.

I wrote about about my children. 

They have personalities, identities, favorite toys and games. They have names. When we jumped me from behind, when we approaching to wrench my hands from a stroller, when we knocked me into a street, we weren’t meditative about that. You weren’t meditative about a approach they were sleeping so peacefully, or a hours a baby had been adult a night before, or a honeyed approach that tiny child teeth demeanour when we brush them really carefully. You were meditative about my purse. A bag we had embellished with a humorous tiny black design, faded in a wash.

I wish we to know us. In a days afterward, we have wanted we to know who we am. Not my name or my residence (you have those already), nonetheless me. we wish we to know that we am a good person. That we would call for assistance if we found we harmed on a street. That we essay so tough not to take ‘that that is not openly given’. we know things are different. we know that we don’t know what it’s like to be you. But a $500 squeeze on my credit label during Footlocker doesn’t make me consider we were looking for grocery money.



My son knows that petrify is tough like a rock. we learn him that we can drag a square of calcium carbonate along it and pull hopscotch. 

Sight is what creates us put out a hands to strengthen a heads. Sleeping creates us sightless. We enter into it like a glass in that a senses are blunted, a bodies no longer reactive. Concrete doesn’t caring if you’re a baby, if you’re asleep, if we don’t have your hands out. Thanks to a child’s erratic desire, my son was buckled in. The straps and buckles worked.

I have gratitude, we am grateful. 

And we am beholden for a believe of what we would do in a conditions like that. we wrote in my unsendable letter,

The baby was screaming. She has a strike on her head, I’m not certain from a hiker or from a sidewalk. Probably from a hiker — there was no mud embedded in it. we unbuckled her first. That was a good thing to learn: that when both my children need me, both are directly in front of me, both are shocked and maybe hurt, that we will instinctively go to a baby first. Sometimes we doubt my intrinsic mothering abilities. Our son requires some-more appetite and courtesy than a daughter, a baby. Sometimes we worry that we slight her, that we am not deeply adequate connected to her and that maybe, in a impulse of crisis, we would slight her then, too. 

But we didn’t. She, pre-verbal and not nonetheless walking (though she is training herself how to stand!), indispensable me more. we unbuckled her and carried her up. With my other palm we unbuckled my son. we attempted to lift him adult too, nonetheless we was hurt. My hip, my foot, my hand, my knee. And my legs were rubber. It was a good impulse of relief, to know that we were gone.



I had felt that carrying my kids with me done me safer. The universe had treated me some-more respectfully when we became profound and this continued into their infancy. A noted diminution in travel harassment; group told me that we had pleasing children instead of pleasing [insert pointless interconnected organ]. A eagerness to cut me tardy for holding adult space, for creation noise, for display my physique by breastfeeding. Not conflicting a residence nonetheless adequate that i suspicion a chances of being mugged while out with my children were tighten to zero. we felt some-more exposed when we went out alone.

It’s expected that a fun of amatory a child and a pain of losing a child are a same conflicting cultures. When we see a chairman carrying their harmed or passed child, we feel a sobriety of their conditions low within us. So it is reasonable to consider that, while nobody else has an requirement to adore my children, they will see that they are exposed and they will know a enormity of a adore that we have for them. The golden egg, remember? 

They are my whole world.

My whole universe was in that hiker that day. 



But while carrying children with me warded off most of a attack and nuisance we would differently encounter, we was a conflicting of protected when someone did confirm to mangle that tellurian contract. Suddenly, catastrophically, vulnerable.



On Nov 28, 2014, Carol Off interviewed Kathryn Young on CBC’s As It Happens about her practice of passionate attack with a defunct Michael Gratton, Mulroney’s former press secretary. Something Young pronounced stood out to me. She said, “I thought, this is it…this is my time, I’m going to be raped.” Her difference struck me since we satisfied that we had suspicion a same thing when we was being mugged. In those initial moments we suspicion that maybe it was “my time.” 

As if I’ve always been waiting, as if we are always waiting, to be vigourously raped.

The phrasing of it: an inevitability, a duty.





The military were endangered about a equipment missing. we didn’t caring about a equipment missing. The military were not endangered about my injuries, essay a occurrence adult as a burglary and not an assault. They pronounced they would send a photographer to request my bruises and Evie’s welt. The photographer never showed up, so my sister did. She took a photos we see here. My son, who was estimate all of it in his possess way, afterwards asked her to sketch his hand. His palm had not been harmed in a incident, nonetheless he wanted to be partial of a documenting. Sweet and unhappy sauce. 



The night that it happened, my son had his initial and usually night terror, in that he screamed and could not be woken until he peed all over me as we hold him in my arms. we had PTSD for a year following and was disturbed that my kids would humour nonetheless conjunction have had long-lasting psychological mishap from a incident. 

I have gratitude. we am grateful.



Next week, I’ll write about what a difference “Brave, remarkable, courageous” and “Whiny cunt liar” have in common. OK, ok, it’s me. we enclose multitudes, and so do people on a internet. Thanks for reading today. This story means a lot to me.



Svea Vikander is a Swedish-Canadian radio horde and therapist now staying in Berkeley, California. Find her on chatter (@SveaVikander) and Instagram (@SveaVikander). 

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