Let’s Be Honest

This is my 24th blog, almost 1/2 of a year’s worth, and while you might not like and/or agree with what I write; It’s from the heart and it’s honest.  I plan to continue that for the rest of the year. 🙂  After the CANDISC, my back and shoulders needed some work.  Acting like a spring, or a shock absorber for the training and actual ride, left my “slightly” middle aged body needing a visit to the shop.  My oldest son and his wife, in their wisdom, purchased a gift card for a massage, to someone who was reputed to “work you over really well”.  Hey! Something to look forward to! 😉

I went for my first visit and was treated to a back and shoulder massage that left me more sore than when I had gone in, but it was a good sore; the muscles have lost their knots sore.  Hopefully you know what I’m talking about.  I went back two weeks later to have my upper arms and shoulders worked on; same great results.  She was a bike rider too and we had a great rapport.  During the course of the conversation, she intimated that she was gay.  I followed that up asking about a partner and our conversation continued.

I shared with her that I had read the book “The Courage to Heal,” and while it didn’t suggest all Lesbians had been sexually assaulted, there were many testimonies, in the back of the book, from Lesbians who had been assaulted.  I asked her what she thought about that and she told me she had the firm mind set that 50% of Lesbians loved woman, maybe genetics, while 50% of them hated men.  I shared with her the story of a woman I knew who had been assaulted and said she just couldn’t trust men.  We are sexual beings, so if you don’t trust men because of abuse, you are still a human being with the urges and needs of a human.

Now some of you may have already quit reading, but please let me continue.  I’m not an authority on Gays, Lesbians, Bi’s etc.  I only know what I’ve read or have been told, and I am chastised pretty thoroughly, although less than one might think, by people who disagree with me.  I defend my gay friends and family and this is why.  Men and women who assault other men, woman, and children in this country are allowed to marry in churches and allowed to have children, and to serve in the armed forces.  Why do we think the victims (survivors) should bear the brunt of the burden, when the victimizers often go on about their lives with no consequences.

I am a Christian, but I am not God.  I can speculate on what God thinks, judges and on what judgement he/she will pass on to others, but I don’t know what that will be or look like.  I see all sinners, including myself and can only hope that there is mercy.  I hope there is mercy for your sins as well.  Some might say my argument is pretentious, based on experiences I know nothing about, but I would say, that in the social and political climate we are in right now…a climate that lacks the will to try and understand(from every perspective), that my trying to understand should be supported.  We all know someone who is gay, or who is different from us, in some way.  If you don’t see them, please look harder.

Peace….

 

 

If Not Us, If Not You, Then Who?

Ayn Rand has long been a favorite author of mine.  Today, when I was trying to calm myself enough, to not have every word that I write, be a word of anger.  I need to tell you what I am thinking, calmly and her quote helps me to be successful with that objective.  When I read in the paper, see on the news, the stories of more and more people being charged/convicted of sexual assault, It’s hard not to be frustrated.  Please read what I’m thinking today; it’s so important to someone, maybe even someone you love.

When our sons, daughters, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, sisters and brothers find the courage to come forward, they must be believed.  If they come to you, to me, to their teacher, grandmother, mother, father….they must be believed.  I talked to a friend the other day, who had just found out about someone that was being convicted of a sexual crime.  He said to me, “I just am struggling to believe it.”  We all struggle to believe, that’s how they get away with it.  Children go to adults and confide in them and adults can’t believe..  How do you take what you know and love about anyone and balance it with a deprivation that shakes your soul?  How do you come to terms?  How do you pick sides?  You pick the children…. If not us, not you, then who?

Within the last year, I had someone tell me, that my abuser had told their mother what had happened to me.  This person wondered if it was really that bad…  The thought sickens me that 48 years later, the child in me is still not believed.  I never told anyone, aside from a classmate when I was little,  until I was 18, when I told my children’s father.  I told no one for another 12 years.  I thought about it; I looked around my small world and wondered who I could trust?  Who?  I had people that loved me, but to believe something so bazaar, so unnatural, so sick….  I told no one, not the pastor that I admired, not my mother, not my favorite teacher and not even my grandmother..  I never had the courage to tell, so never had to sit in a courtroom, talk to a judge, or an opposing attorney… I can’t imagine that much courage in a child..  that much courage in the parents of that child.

Abuse of children is not racist, is not sexist, doesn’t adhere to Christian or non-Christian lines.  Abuse of children opens it’s arms wide and accepts anyone and everyone; it is like the anti-Christ of the utopia we would like the world to be.

Believe the children; it’s our job to protect them; if not us, not you, then who?

Peace…

 

Feminism? or Survivalist…

Helen Reddy’s song was released in 1971..  I was 12 and have been singing ever since.  I didn’t always understand every nuance of what it meant, but I loved the rhythm and it felt like a powerful song for a woman even at 12.

It’s sometimes easy for me to write personal things about myself; I have few secrets, although every woman needs a couple…  What I do struggle with, is writing and including anyone else in my stories.  The responsibility to write about any one else, in a way, that totally depicts my thoughts can be overwhelming.  I have spent a couple of sleepless nights, thinking how I could tell this story..

I tend to be strong willed, there was a period of my life where I had my control taken away from me, then I over compensated by seeking more and more control (another blog 🙂   My parents would tell stories of me jumping off the barn, of arguing so much my Dad was sure I should be a lawyer, of wanting things to be black and white.  I didn’t try out for anything in high school, unless I felt like I could win, and if I thought I would lose, I wouldn’t try. My mom always encouraged me to do things, that she felt like she had missed out on, but she had little experience to share with me.  She was a woman of her generation, as I am a woman of mine, and even Mom sometimes thought I was too independent.

One dictionary definition of independent:Not relying on others for support, care, or funds; self-supporting.

Relying on others; whoa that is a scary thought, one even now I don’t entertain very seriously.  Years of training to not rely on people, because of disappointments, that I bear part of the responsibility for, have taught me to rely on myself and to encourage others to rely on themselves.  Stop blaming everyone else, take responsibility, flip the switch.   Ok, so I’m stalling..  🙂

Mom and I were standing in the kitchen, of the old farmhouse; she was doing dishes and I was standing 12 feet away.  We were talking about “what had happened to me.”  “Mom, did you know?”  She turned and looked at me and said, “No, I didn’t, but even if I would have, what could I have done?”  My heart broke in a million pieces.

It didn’t break just for me; but it broke for Mom too.  She thought she was powerless; it wasn’t that she didn’t love me, because she loved her children, was loyal and steadfast.  She was raised in a time, when few woman, stood their ground, especially in rural North Dakota.  If any woman was to divorce?  You were a hussy!  Create a scene? You were crazy! Deal with your own trauma? Unheard of!  Go to the police?  Mom was raised by strong Baptist parents, you worked hard to raise your family, buried your head and survived.  She survived, but I choose to survive in a different way.  The shame is not mine, it is not yours.  We survive.. we thrive.. “to make a difference, in the life of one child”, regardless of that child’s age.  🙂

I am teased about how can I be a Conservative Feminist;  I laugh because I am who I am, a complicated Christian, believer in the separation of Church and State, fiscal conservative, believer of individual state’s rights, feminist.  Be who you are.  Whatever brought you to this place, made you who you are and it’s a beautiful thing.

Hugs to my survivor friends and family.  I am so proud of you.  We are going to make the changes..

Peace

Catharsis

There is a book I would like to recommend to you.  The title is “The Courage to Heal.” There is a workbook as well, but I read the book and feel like it was very beneficial.  One of the methods they suggested was writing about your abuse.  It’s a tough challenge and one you have to kind of prepare yourself for.  I don’t know if you are like me, but I tend to let things roll around in my head, tormenting me until I can be rid of them one way or another.  I use meditation and prayer to help, also talking about things helps, although it took me a long time to be willing to do that.  🙂

I remember, distinctly remember, the night I wrote in my navy blue journal, with the pink and white flowers.  The children were with their Dad, and that night was the night I had set aside.  It was about 10:00, when I finally sat down in the orange rocking chair, that I had nursed all three children in, my safe chair.  I opened the journal and begin to write.  The tears ran down my cheeks so freely, I couldn’t have stopped them as they dripped on the pages.  Words smeared as I wrote.  I tear up now remembering.  I wrote about four pages, closed the book and sighed.  I was better.  It sounds bizarre and simplistic, but I was better.  It was my beginning.

Catharsis (according to Wikipedia):  “is the purification and purgation of emotions-especially pity and fear-through art or any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal and restoration.

Through out the years I have used and suggested similar exercises.  I taught a middle school writing course and one of our activities was a type of catharsis.  We wrote down things we had done wrong, or things that were done to us, and burned them in a coffee can, behind the school.  No one, not even me!, knew what was written.  We stood around the can and watched the paper turn to ash, poured water on it, and went inside and celebrated with S’mores made in the microwave.

I had a very good friend who witnessed the end result of his mother’s death.  He was plagued with the memory and pictures he couldn’t get out of his head.  I suggested catharsis to him.  He told me a couple of years later, that he had found the pictures he had drawn in the back of his closet.  He seemed to think it helped.

I have my journal; it’s in a box, in a closet.  If for some reason, I need to recount something, I could find it and read it, but if that never happens I am allowed to let it fade into something that doesn’t haunt me as much and I move forward in the renewal and restoration of my soul.  🙂

Peace

Why you? Why me?

This is the post excerpt.

Most of my life I have wondered why I was molested as a child.  As I have grown older, there is an acceptance that I will never know or understand, but I do know and understand this:  I have survived and I can support you in your growth and survival as well.  I want you to know that if you have been sexually assaulted in any way, by anyone, and if you are a survivor, you have found a home on this page.  If you are male, female, African American, Native American, Norwegian, gay, straight, Catholic or Muslim and have been sexually assaulted, you have found a home on this page.  Welcome fellow Survivor!!

It’s important for you to know that I’m not a victim.  I don’t have a big chip on my shoulder and I do my darndest to make sure I don’t treat anyone else as a victim or victimize others by bullying, judging etc.  I will not become my abuser.  I will not….  This blog is not for judgement.  I think those things are left to a higher power, who I call God.  I understand that your higher power may have another name, or maybe your life experiences have led you to believe you don’t have a named higher power; it’s ok for us to be different, to embrace our differences!  You have a home on this site.

I’m not perfect; I will make writing errors, I will have opinions different than yours, and I may say something inadvertently that is hurtful.  Always come back to this statement, “I only want to support the survivor in you.”  Anyone not supporting each other as a survivor will not be allowed on the site.  The plan is to provide research and insight into ways to grow stronger!

Peace..

 

 

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