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A Hiker’s Guide to Healing | With Cameron Esposito

2018-07-17 | 🔗

Aspen Matis decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail because she was looking for solitude, safety, and escape. She writes about what she found there in her essay, read by actor and comic Cameron Esposito.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Modern love. The podcast is supported by. produced by the island at W B. You are hey just a quick, adds up before we get started this up Who deals with sexual violence and it may not be for everyone, the from the New York Times and W B you are Boston. This is modern. The stories of love loss and redemption. I'm your host, Magna, Chakrabarti, the. When Aspen Mattis started hiking the Pacific Crest trail she was for solitude safety escape
she writes about it in her essay, which is read by Comic and actor Cameron. Esposito Cameron stand up. Special is called rape, jokes and explore sexual assault from the survivors perspective. When I was packing to leave college in the spring of my freshman year, shoving jeans and t shirts and mittens into my suitcase and crying. I spoke with my parents on the phone I told them- I was unimpressed by school. I told I was cold in Colorado even in April. But I already told them what really made me decide to leave. I had been raped on my second night, school. I had invited a girl in two boys, eyed met. All of us knew freshman to watch The breakfast club in my dorm room classes, yet begun and we are wandering from dining hall to orientation activity to campus safety lecture without certainty or friends or direction.
When the movie ended the sin boy left with the freckled girl. I have minute later. I send an awkward by The other boy who was sitting on my bed, he did not leave
I remember hearing the sound of the button from my shorts heading the floor and feeling is still as soft dead wood. I said, stop stop it, but not loud enough. Maybe I should have kicked him. I should have screamed afterward. I asked him if he wanted to stay to sleep over, because I desperately wanted to think I had wanted this to feel that everything was fine. He said I was crazy to ask for that. He knew what he done, but he was lucky my irrational request with later fog the clear act and hope spare him from expulsion and conviction and shame.
I felt shame a few weeks later too late for physical evidence to still exist. I went to the campuses sexual assault counselor. She suggested the matter be pursued at the school with mediator. She filed papers. I testified he testified, but the mediator found our. He said she said narrative inconclusive. When I heard this decision I hardened my cheeks and the little muscles behind my eyes, I saw dust suspended, I could not move. I was not sure what the next move was. I didn't think there was an ex move on the phone that stone great April day. I told my parents in Boston that I was leaving college to walk.
two thousand six hundred and fifty miles from Mexico to Canada and be alone. They thought I must be unstable, not sane, but they felt my conviction and did not resist. I flew to LOS Angeles with big backpack with trail mix. Granola bars, chocolate, cheese and a my father met me. Show me south into death Valley where we stay night in the dim hotel. I hardly remember the place just the heat. In the morning we went farther south through more desert in the car. We didn't talk much. We referred to my sadness, but never said rape
the mexican border. My father filled my water bottles and watched me swing my legs back and forth off the minivan trunk and eat cold pizza, I was fed and silent long enough. He started the rental car and drove up the dirt road north away. I was alone finally. There was a border monument marking the southern end of the Pacific Crest Trail, which fades in the mist Lush of northern Washington then ends Canada. I would walk the height of the country. a rust brown corrugated metal fence rippled along the mexican border. As far as I could see here, the desert, dips and swells like the sea and among the dusty waves. I saw no one, but I wasn't scared of the solitude
Wilderness, I believed, was the safest place and I knew how to walk. The trail was marked with rusty signs, scattered rattlesnake, basked in the sun. I was eating. A green apple may nearly stepped on the first one I shrieked and ran self a hundred yards. I bit my apple breathed dude. That apple was my only piece of fresh food. Everything else was processed or salted or junk. I walked north stepped over. The snake kept walking stepped over another and another within a few hours, I had met a dozen hikers all attempting the same Trans country Journey young men and retired couples and a friendly third.
Year old woman with curly, hair and good teeth, who smiled at me. I made friends and allowed myself to smile back and answer honestly when asked that common trail question. Why. Why are you doing this? We, I had reasons my answer became, I'm walking Mexico to Canada to raise money for the rape, abuse and incest national network Rainn a organization committed to helping rape victims heal. I said just like that fast. From the edge of a motel bed in a town in North Central California, I called.
Mother and told her about my stated reason for walking. She said no, I couldn't tell people that I can ask my uncles and aunts and cousins and grandmothers for money for that. It would kill them to know. If I didn't tell them she said she would donate one thousand dollars herself more than you possibly race. through the dirt framed window of my motel room I saw Little girl scramble up to the top of a mound of rocks her face was sunlit and church bells bombed the hour my cell phone felt heart. I closed it without saying: ok,. But as my mother wished, I stopped telling people stopped
I have to raise money and changed my answer back to something: fuzzy and bright, because a thousand dollar This seemed like a lot. A week later in the next town. I went online check my fundraising webpage and saw she had donated one thousand and sixty dollars to help rape victims. I kept walking the volcanic rock like a husk of dead earth. Beneath my running shoes, I screamed to hear my echo and with each would fall heard, the crunch of gravel. I met a new group of hikers and faster and for more hours than I otherwise would have to stay with them. In Bend Oregon nearly two thousand miles north of the mexican border, I met Justin twenty something and handsome. He was also a Mexico to Canada, Walker and we knew a handful of the same hikers about ten of us.
went out to dinner at a brewery where Justin sat next to me close, he smiled a lot. I smiled too tried not to, but I couldn't help it. Under the table? His knee brushed mine. I lifted my hand, moved. It slows its space between us like a teenage boy, trying to float unnoticed to second base. I pressed my trembling palm against Justin's wedding beer squeezed the glass Lifted and carried it through the aired my mouth took: a sip. I was nineteen under age, just a Do it he was amused and contorted his face liking disapproved, was always hungry. Then the hunger. We feel beautiful. He walked out of town together, heading North, who were six hundred miles from Canada on our first.
Full day of hiking, together, rain poured in sheets smacking the soil. World shown in gray light just in an I shouted over the downpour sharing stories and hopes your drenched but giddy rain. Dissolved. The trail was a muddy stream and we splashed through it and the evergreen smoke, wheat of sap and clean wood. when about a week later, I answered for him the. Why of my walk, I was raped. he opened his warm arms. Let me step in and closed them around me. When I was hungry, he set up his stove and cooked for me, keen, Wah or pasta or. Something with meat. I had not on the long walk brought a stove everything I'd d, on the trail in the three months, Praetor
and had been called when I cried. I did sometimes he held me he kissed my head and neck and didn't stop until I stopped when I was freezing wet and maybe near hypothermic. He stood I see rain and set up my tent and helped me into it. Out of my soaked clothes and into his dry goose, down, vest and sleeping bag. That night he nearly froze. I was warm, and I already loved him trails and we held each other and kissed we're done. I said he said now's, the scary part at sea,
an arbitrary end, I stood in that forest spot and stared at Justin's face Her two cars Teddy engine and could see through the trees and old jeep passing. Just over a year later, we return to those same mountains, a backlit mist bathed the cascade, foothills and silver, as Justin and I read our vows before a justice of the peace. we grinned and cried, and I said I do on a stone one stage in a mountain garden. All around us lightning flashed like cameras, my parents were there too happy and war.
that's Cameron, Esposito, performing Aspen, Madison Essay, a hiker's guide to healing we Cameron why she chose this piece too often it's. like we either use sexual assault as a person's origin story like the source of someone's power Or as something that is never again revisited in that person's life, and I say for me, you know it's part of my life and it's. permanent fund daily basis is also why I'm powerful, and it's not why
interesting. I really liked this essay because it speaks to that. It speaks to somebody who is healing themselves and who had a life before this happened to them and who also has a life after thanks again to Cameron for reading this week's peace. Her stand special is called rape, jokes and you can watch it on her website Cameron S his dot com will catch up after the break. I love spelling my boyfriend and I often play spelling bee together by together I mean sitting next to each other playing individually and not Sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed me
It may have happened again. Today. I have one friend who I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words that I always get nervous that I sent it to my parents or something like that was my bad. It was the first time together and I was out. I think I got to see it J C k, P, o t. yeah yeah. Nice I'm same as earth's sky. The digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try, spelling bee and all our games at N Y Times dot com, slash games, Aspen, Justin, eventually made it to New York City. She finished com, Image and began to make her living as a writer, but just Struggled in New York, Aspen says that he missed the wilderness,
then, in two thousand thirteen, they learned that their close friend Michael, who had introduced them on the Pacific Crest Trail had died by suicide, funeral was in New Hampshire. In woke me up with a kiss at five o'clock in the morning to go to Michael's Funeral and I decided that I didn't want to go. I thought I couldn't handle it, and I just wanted to stay in New York, but Justin was was going to go to the funeral and that night he didn't come home And I was obviously really worried and then stay didn't come home and then a few days passed- and I called his brother. and he also had not heard from Justin, and then I got his parents. They didn't know where he was and then pretty quickly. We realise that no one knew where he was in that
Justin was a missing person after forty three days they finally heard from Justin when he reached out to aspen. And it was just a two line: email and It was something along the lines of hey. I hope you're doing well. Could you He's male some of my climate, in gear and warm clothing. Colorado and I was shocked when there is no redress and there is no apology explanation at the time I was really upset, and that was The end really, the end of our marriage was his disappearance from my life and from the world. Aspirin says that just in didn't know how to express that their life in New York wasn't what he wanted. When he d as you was just to leave, and while not I
The most mature, or certainly the easiest way for him to have left, I do too what totally understand him, because I have a lot of that in me too, and I don't regret being married to Justin or anything like that. I think he had a really positive impact on the trajectory of my life and I feel really grateful that got to walk together for those four years that we were together. Aspen also says that it was difficult to move on romantically after everything that had happened for a after Justin disappeared. I was trying to protect my and so I would only get involved with people who I didn't really like that much or like. certainly that I didn't love that really lasted until I met my current boyfriend and I
And- and it would be really scary and sad if it didn't work out, but of course that's also possible Aspen says she was afraid to put her story in front of such a large audience. She worried that readers would think her experience. Wasn't really rape because she'd asked the boy to sleep over, but that wasn't what happened I was blown away by the responses that I got, which were this happened to me too, or I was raped when I was in college and now I'm forty five and I've never talked about it. And thank you so much for your piece. A girl wrote. I tutored my rapist in chemistry, and people took that as evidence that he didn't rape me and I discovered that
All these people have that they must be the only one in this must be evidence that they were somehow crazy when, in fact, it's a tremendously common reaction after an assault after something so huge and shocking. The last thing you want to do is to admit to yourself that you were raped. and the easiest and most natural thing to do in the immediate aftermath, is to slow I'll find a way to deny it. It Do you know someone who is sexually assaulted believe them and tell them. This is not your fault, you didn't cause this This caused rape, nothing causes rave other than rapists, and if you ve just been assaulted,
know that you didn't cause this and also know that for me, this. Rape was not the end of my life, even though it felt like it might be at the time. That's aspen Her memoir is called girl in the woods. She's a right living in New York City. We've got more after the break The
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It may have happened again today. I have one friend who I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words that I always get nervous that I sent it to my parents or something like that was my bad. It was the first time together and I was out. I think I got to see it. J, a c k, p o t yeah yeah, nice. I'm same is asking the digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try, spelling bee and all our games at annoying times dot com, flash games. here's Daniel Jones, editor of the modern love column for the New York Times a question get when there s a is that really explore really traumatic experiences? Why go public? You know in a forum like the New York Times with a story like that and the answer is typically like sign
It wasn't working no hole holding. listen, wasn't working vulnerability, Power in a way, if you can talk about traumatic experience, make sense of it in public. There is power in that The other the incentive for people to explore this material is help others and to sort of break this. This code of silence about these Variances, so there isn't shame attached to it. Next week, MIKE called her star of the Netflix Series, Luke Cage once doctor had left told you in that, if comfort cherry Our daughter's feet, it would not be there to watch her die, we would go home, try every irrepressible boy and pretend none of this happened.
you can tell ourselves. This was a miscarriage Never having known her, we would not know the pain of losing her, Modern love is the production of the New York Times, and will you be? You are Boston? Npr station is produced. Wretched and edited by Jessica Airport, Caitlin, O Keefe John parody and Emory, secretive, sound design and original scoring by Matt. We are in turn, is Louisa, judge additional help this week from producer Catherine Guy yeah for the modern love podcast was conceived by LISA Tobin Adler's our executive producer. Daniel Jones is the editor of modern love for the New York Times and adviser to the show music for the podcast, courtesy of a p dot m.
I the Chakrabarti, see you next week.
Transcript generated on 2022-04-16.