One of the men I'd looked up to for awhile has been saddled with some serious accusations.
I remember reading his books years ago, thinking I'd go ahead and review them. They were hard to get, William Control has some die-hard fans and a lot of his writing seemed to just sell out before I could get to it.
I couldn't tell you now whether it was the first volume of the Revelator or the second, but I came across the phrase "like riding a fat girl" and decided I was done. I wasn't going to promote it or really talk about it. There was also a section about his main character (which is himself, sort of) pity-talking to a girl he considered "ugly". That part almost made me cry. The text wasn't badly written. He was a poet for the most part and it had some lovely moments. But I knew I couldn't tell people about it positively and just decided I wouldn't tell anyone anything.
I still listened to and bought his music for awhile. I grew up on Skinny Puppy and Combichrist, I liked his darker stuff. I can even remember his appearances on the Van's Warped Tour (with a different band). Combichrist even toured here with him and I was heartbroken that I was too giant, sick and pregnant to see some of my favorite musicians back in 2014.
When his songs went more to electro-dance, it felt like it was missing something. His music videos were stranger, too. One had young women hanging over him. I had this brief thought that being in his 30's, that it seemed odd, and kind of relinquished my fanhood to just his vintage stuff-much to the delight of my husband-who maintained all his songs sounded alike and that he had a weird vibe.
And then we hear about this.
I initially thought, no, that can't be right. William Control talked all the time about deep, dark stuff, and about how consent was so important in the face of all of that. No way. No. Way.
But it seems to be there, maybe not all illegal, but definitely morally objectionable. Most of us thought that this was a persona, something made for the stage. It doesn't appear to be the case, and, if anything, the stage persona had a sort of empathy that seems absent in these stories of abuse and worse. That sounds like a lot to deal with for the survivors, and my heart hurts for them.
And I'm angry.
I've been watching from the sidelines on the #Metoo wave. I'm quiet, but I'm screaming for victory inside for every one of these people who are brave enough to speak up.
And I'm going to type something here that is something only my best friend really knew.
I was raped at 12, and again at 14.
Once from a 19 year-old "boyfriend" and again from someone I was left alone too long with because my mother had disappeared to drink again. I had begun calling her hours before, realizing I'd made a mistake being in this house with these people, even trying the jail and the morgue to find out what had happened to her.
She eventually showed up, and I just remember climbing into that fucking giant truck and I know I looked tear-stained, and I know I had blood on my shirt and she said nothing and I said nothing. All I could think of was "this again? This hell again?!" and cried while my parent could barely keep us from crashing into the ditch on the dark ride home.
I had no one I could say anything to. Nobody seemed to care that I was alive other than it was an inconvenience and they wanted an "easier" kid.
I think if I hadn't had that fighting spirit from the beginning, these experiences might have taken even more of a toll.
I swear I felt a part of myself just shut down after both events. And even now I feel like those encounters were less damaging than the torment going on in my home-the long shadow of a family that eats people alive.
The rapists in my mind were predators of opportunity. Maybe even scavengers, because I'm sure I was that easy of a target- unlucky spikey shards I'd been stupid enough to run into because I didn't have the "shield" other kids seemed to have. I didn't get that, or the courage to question abuse of any kind until I met and really got to know my best friend and her family.
By then, the rape was long over, those people long gone. It won't help me to do anything other than acknowledge and talk about it (I felt and still feel like this damaged me as a female, and I think that was a factor in my silence as well) but I hope they never preyed on anyone else that way. I wish I'd of felt worth something back then. I would have avoided one encounter at least, and fought the other. But the reality is they weren't obstacles or even scavengers. I was actively hurt by them. And that was so damn wrong. Especially because I was so alone, and so little, and so voiceless.
When I hear stories about the horrors women and girls experience, I believe them.
And I'm in awe of people who are strong enough to speak up.
We have to fucking listen.
And I hope this is the awakening of a new time, where predators have no place to run and hide and nothing to stand on when it is found that they were abusers.
Yeah, it hurts for it to be someone you looked up to (and we are getting some HIGH doses of that lately).
But God it hurts worse to be born into a world that thinks so little of women that we are conquests, possessions, literally everything but living, breathing humans that matter.
William Control was supposed to be this guy who was daring to be openly provocative with this gothic style that is rare in pop culture. He supported the BDSM community and was championing acceptance of alternative lifestyles, all the while discussing consent as well. It hurts that he was a part of this. Musicians with that horror sensibility aren't mainstreamed often, making it hard to find them. Control was getting there. This both decimated that and the image of what he was supposed to be representing.
But, on the goth-horror scene, we still have Aurelio Voltaire, who is basically an Elder Goth and seems to genuinely be a good and talented human. He totally better not drop that torch.
I think the world is in this way changing for the better, even if basically everything else is falling apart for us in the States. Those who damage are being held responsible. And I have faith my daughters and son won't know the darkness I did, both because I'm going to make damn sure they have the "shield" I was missing and because the silence is being broken into a million pieces-angry fucking pieces that demand to be honored.
And the old music I have on my writing playlist under "Control" is deleted.