Things That Matter

This Latino Author Shared His Story Of Childhood Rape In ‘The New Yorker’ And Everyone Needs To Read It

Pulitzer prize-winning writer, Junot Díaz has been bringing joy and enlightenment into our worlds through his books and words for decades. The Dominican author has written books and essays about the Latino experience on so many fascinating levels. Just this month he released a children’s book titled “Islandborn.” But now, in one of his most personal essays, Junot discloses in the New Yorker the heartbreaking details about his own childhood.

In a new essay titled: “The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood Trauma,” Junot Díaz shares that he was raped.

Yes, it happened to me,” Junot writes. “I was raped when I was eight years old. By a grownup that I truly trusted. After he raped me, he told me I had to return the next day or I would be ‘in trouble.’ And because I was terrified, and confused, I went back the next day and was raped again. I never told anyone what happened, but today I’m telling you.”

The New Jersey writer shares that he was raped. This drove him to destructive behavior for most of his life.

“I was hiding, I was drinking, I was at the gym; I was running around with other women. I was creating model homes, and then, just as soon as they were up, abandoning them. Classic trauma psychology: approach and retreat, approach and retreat. And hurting other people in the process,” Junot writes.

People on social media have expressed how much Junot’s deeply personal essay is vital to addressing sexual abuse.

Junot’s essay has gone viral on Twitter.

Some people want the topic talked about more seriously.

While we do have stats on rape and sexual abuse when it comes to females — according to the National Crime Victimization Survey one in six females ages 13 and older are victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault — we don’t, however, have exact figures when it comes to males.

Men, particularly Latino men who have been sexually abused or raped, rarely disclose that information, let alone report it to authorities.

“And since us Afro-Latinx brothers are viewed by society as always already sexual perils, very few people ever noticed what was written between the lines in my fiction—that Afro-Latinx brothers are often sexually imperilled,” Junot writes.

People on Twitter have spent the last couple days trying to digest the powerful essay.

It’s not easy to confront the unspoken sexual assaults that plague the boys in communities of color.

People wanted to take time to truly think through what the essay is bringing to light.

Something this strong and necessary deserves more serious thought than quick responses.

But, mostly, people are thankful that such a powerful and well-known figure is willing to shine light on sexual assault on young boys.

Thank you, Junot. We admire and appreciate your bravery.


READ: After 20 Years Junot Díaz Kept His Promise To His Goddaughters And Wrote A Picture Book

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An Alleged Rapist Is Running For Governor In Mexico And Still Has The Support Of President AMLO

Things That Matter

An Alleged Rapist Is Running For Governor In Mexico And Still Has The Support Of President AMLO

For years, Mexicans have been taking to the streets to denounce violence against women and to demand accountability from their leaders. However, much of that messaging doesn’t seem to have reached the very top as President Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) continues to support a candidate for governor facing multiple allegations of sexual assault.

A candidate for governor faces multiple sexual assault allegations and still enjoys widespread support.

Félix Salgado Macedonio, a federal senator (currently on leave) is accused of sexually assaulting five women and yet is still in the running for governor of Guerrero.

Despite the accusations he faces, 64-year-old Salgado, has maintained the support of President AMLO, who has claimed that the allegations are politically motivated, and other high-ranking party officials including national party president Mario Delgado. He was considered the frontrunner in the election for governor.

AMLO came to the candidates defense, calling on people to stop politicking and avoid “media lynchings” and asserting that people should trust the party process that was used to select Salgado as candidate.

“We have to have confidence in the people, it’s the people who decide. If polls are taken and and the people say ‘I agree with this colleague [being candidate],’ I think that must be respected. Politics is a matter for everyone, not just the elites,” López Obrador said.

The MORENA party has committed to reselecting its candidate for governor but Salgado is still in the running.

Officials from the MORENA party announced that they would conduct a new selection process to find a contender for the June 6 election. The party’s honesty and justice commission said its members had voted unanimously to order a repeat of the selection process.

While the honesty and justice commission has ordered a new candidate selection process, Salgado was not precluded from participating in it. He indicated in a social media post on Friday night that he planned to seek the party’s backing for a second time.

“Cheer up colleagues! There is [still fight in the] bull,” Salgado wrote on Facebook.

Activists continue to fight back against his candidacy and the president’s support for an alleged rapist.

Women have protested in Mexico City and Guerrero state capital Chilpancingo and the hashtag #NingúnVioladorSeráGobernador (No Rapist Will be Governor) has been used countless times on Twitter.

Yolitzin Jaimes, a member of the feminist collective Las Revueltas, said the withdrawal of Salgado’s candidacy is a positive first step but urged the authorities to continue investigating the rape allegations.

“… He has to go to jail, … he mustn’t return to the Senate and he mustn’t be nominated [for governor] by any political party because … it’s very probable that he’s seeking to go to the Labor Party [a Morena ally],” she said.

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Reddit Users Talk About The Red Flags That Signal Love Bombing

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Reddit Users Talk About The Red Flags That Signal Love Bombing

Well, well, so you’re in the midst of new love and wondering if it’s too good to be true. Things are going astonishingly well and not only is your new guy or girl a perfect match they’re super into you to the point that they’re almost TOO into you. Attentive, charming, selfless in bed, they tick off all of the boxes and so much more. Almost to the point that their constant texts, calls, and gifts are a little overwhelming.

While it might be possible that your new love is really just a loving charmer, it’s possible that you might have found yourself in the path of a love bomber.

According to therapists “love bombing” refers to someone who is overly affectionate in the early stages of a relationship in an attempt to control a person by giving them what they want and telling them what they want to hear. Essentially, love bombing starts off as a tactic to gain control and it can be done in numerous ways.

To find the red flags of love bomber we turned to Reddit where users had quite a bit of insight.

Check them out below!

“I think there’s a lot of overlap. Looking back at the time when I fell in love there was a ton of despair, loneliness and unmet emotional needs underneath all the surface level eager happiness and wanting to connect. She became the focus of my intense unconscious fantasy of being rescued from my childhood rut, and I became the focus of her similar fantasies. It wasn’t a respectful way of approaching another person and we didn’t actually get to know each other much during that honeymoon period, or even during most of the relationship that followed – although it took me a while to realize this. There were some disturbing similarities with addiction (which I’ve also experienced in various forms). That realization eventually, painfully, allowed me to see that I’d only drifted along the flow of falling in love in the first place because I didn’t understand myself well enough to know what was motivating me: a desperate hunger and pain from being emotionally abandoned by my parents when I was little. I wanted someone to be the perfectly loving parent I never had. So now I’m spending a lot of my available energy on understanding myself, trying to meet those unmet needs in healthy ways, and just having a better relationship with myself in general. I like to think of it as adopting the scared, hurt, ashamed child inside me and being the kind parent he needs. (It’s much easier said than done.) I’ve given myself an indefinite break from romantic or sexual relationships to get the space and clarity I need in order to do this work. Maybe some people reading this will think I’m just avoiding intimacy because it scares me. But knowing my own history of getting emotionally and physically involved with someone when my childhood traumas were still so raw and unhealed, knowing how much confusion, tension, self-compromising, resentment and subtle boundary violation there was, I feel there really is something to be scared of.” –beaaycan

“When you are with a person, are you still you? If you don’t know, ask your friends. Do you find that you change your favorite music to their favorite music without really thinking about if you do like it? And food, and movies and other stuff? Do you make yourself into the person they want you to be, or try to do this? Or do you both challenge each other to keep being you and find ways to be you, more and better?

When you want to spend time alone, does the other person respect your request? Or do they invade and have a reason like they just couldn’t keep away? Because while that sounds romantic, it is manipulative and puts their wants over your request/need for alone time.

When you want to spend time with your friends, does the other person whine and pout or respect your desire to have more people in your life than just a Significant Other? Normal is having friends besides the romantic interest and spending time with all of them, sometimes together and sometimes on your own. Does the person complain about your friends and not want to share you? Bad sign.

Seriously, the best advice I ever heard is to become friends before you become romantic. Romantic stuff can hide the other stuff that you need to know. If someone can give you the respect to be friends first, you have a better chance at long term.

And seriously, I have been nearly forty years with my spouse, and the romance and affection and time together and expressing feelings and messaging and all, it doesn’t stop, and it isn’t better at the beginning of the relationship. It’s new then, but if you can hold on through the hard times, it is better later.” –blueberryyogurtcup

“The key is how the person you’re with treats and speaks about other people. Pay particular attention to how they talk about and deal with exes.

If they’re a perpetual victim – their boss is always on their case, the ex screwed them over, they put other people down viciously but you’re ‘different’ – then you’ll be next once the bubble bursts. On the other hand, if you’ve got someone around who owns their part in breaking up with their ex/still has positive contact with them, wants to actively introduce you to their friends and social circle and is interested in your friends and family on more than just a superficial level, you can probably assume they’re genuine. If they take responsibility for their behaviour in minor disagreements rather than saying stuff like ‘you’re making me angry’ or putting your opinion down and they seek a ‘win-win’ resolution, then you can probably assume that they’re not bullshitting you. I had a friend who spent two years in a relationship with a guy she worked with (her mum worked there too!!!) and had no clue he was living with another woman 5 days a week! My friend would stay the weekend and the other woman would stay the rest of the week and there was a third woman in another city!!!! He just wove convincing lies about what he was doing during the time he wasn’t with her.

Key things that I think she should have picked up – he never showed interest in or met her friends, she didn’t really meet his, he didn’t make weekday plans with her – yet they worked in the same office-, there was a locked storage room in his flat he never opened in front of her, and he made no effort to move their situation forward. After all, if you had an interested, committed partner who worked beside you, wouldn’t you expect you’d consider moving in together to save on commuting costs, invite friends over, plan a holiday and open a joint bank ac for bills?

If a person’s behaviour doesn’t seem committed or logical, move on.” –AugustaG

“I think you have to give it time. Love bombing can only last so long before an N’s true colors start to shine. Don’t make any big commitments (like, a week in Mexico, moving in together, or getting engaged) for at least 6 months. And seriously don’t get engaged for at least 2 years. Moving in… 2 years is also good, but 1 year might be acceptable. It can take a couple years before you truly see someone at their worst, and that is when you know if it’s real love or not.” –nobelle

“I agree, it’s a matter of time frame (although that’s not even a guarantee). And in that time frame, there will be other red flags popping up every now and then. I think it’s not discrete characteristics, but patterns that describe a relationship.” –what-a-freaking-mess

“Mine used to do this all the time and I realized even in the love bombing stage it was all self serving. Sending me flowers non stop to the point where I got tired of them and then all I ever heard was, “What are the girls in the office saying?” Because HIS image of being the romantic sweet bf was more important.” – anonvic21

“Love bombing includes the N posturing to seem to be similar to you and have shared interests. However, if they are faking it they will lack any depth of knowledge about the topics they enthuse about… at least until they have time away from you to research it. What’s very telling is to watch them interact with your acquaintances who share your interests (but maybe some you haven’t mentioned yet) and see if they enthuse the same way about those things when they’re not addressing you. Love bombing includes a lot of someone else telling you how great you are, perhaps how much better you are than existing or prior SO’s. Also a lot of the N presenting self as whatever they perceive as desirable– attractive, wealthy, knowledgeable, accomplished… Consider is this person being so thoughtful and kind to you also considerate of their co-workers and the people who they interact with as service providers? How does the person deal with you saying no? Such as, rejecting their proposed plan, or refusing to answer something, or just expressing resistance in some way. N’s can’t cope with it.” –entropys_child

“I personally consider it a red flag because how can someone know me well enough to like every little thing about me from the word go? Why do they feel the need for so many compliments when actions speak louder than words? I think it comes either from a place of low self-confidence or manipulation. The person doing the love bombing hopes that the constant stream of attention, compliments, interests, etc. makes the person so enamored that they want this level of praise all the time. Then the love bomber stops or changes their tune which make the person who used to getting flattered being criticized or ignored.” –HeraBeara

“It’s basically a control and manipulation tactic. Some forms as I’ve known them is gifts or always paying for “fancy” dates out very early in courtship. Constant communication or contact such as liking your social media posts within seconds. Usually followed by pressure for a commitment within the first week or two; As I’ve known it my love-bomber demanded I delete my OLD account and then 2 days later tried to manipulate me into saying “I love you” and when I requested he slow down I got dumped.

It means shallow emotions because real love takes a while to develop and the first few weeks of dating are still the infatuation period. Also as I’ve experienced it the love bomber will say you’re beautiful when you just woke up with a touch of the flu and have eye boogies. Usually you’re bombarded with things like that along with being unique in understanding them, special, soulmate, gorgeous, the most beautiful person on Earth … once you’re hooked they start to chip away at you with constant critiques of things they once saw as awe inspiring in you. (ie: why do you always have gross eye boogies when you wake up!?!?” –Reddit User 

“It’s actually considered a form of emotional abuse in extreme examples. Often times it’s part of the grooming process an abuser uses to pick their victim and prep them. It happens in all sorts of relationships, not just romantic.Imagine a lonely person, who meets someone who flatters and woos them. They hear everything they’ve been wanting to hear. So they open up, become vulnerable and then can be deeply hurt in many ways.” – Reddit User 

“I experienced this [in] my marriage. I was the most wonderful creature on earth and he was Mr Perfect until we married. He openly told me “I decided to marry you the minute I saw you and I was going to say and do anything to make sure you wanted to marry me too”… And then every time I wanted to leave or left, Mr Charming and all his false promises came out for a week or two… And then things went back to normal. Lather rinse repeat. And apparently I was the bad person for not liking the ‘real’ him.

So, I’m very wary of too many syrupy compliments, moving quickly, pressure of any kind.” – Reddit User

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