Comfort Zones



Some times God calls us outside of our comfort zones. Well, today is that kind of day for me. Today I am going to go places publicly that I have never gone before. I am going to do so without shame. Without fear of backlash. Without really caring if you hate my words, because they need to be said, and someone has to be brave and say them. Fine. Here goes. Today I am sick. I am enraged at the culture we are living in. I am particularly upset with the rape culture BS. I want you to stop what you are doing. I want you to look at the women you love. I want you to think how you would feel if someone was having “locker room talk” about your wife, sister, mother, or daughter. And lets be real. This isn’t just happening to women. This is happening to everyone. We all know that men are raped, molested, and objectified every day too. They just have even less support than we do healing from it. I am shaking at my core as I write this. I cannot believe how many people, both men and women, are defending these words. Not defending them and not supporting them does not mean you are voting for the opposition. It does not mean you cant vote for the offender. What it means is that you don’t support their words. That you hold them accountable for their behavior and that you tell them to shut their damn mouths! Do you ever disagree with someone you love? Does it mean that you can’t be supportive of them? No. It simply means you speak up. That you don’t tolerate the behavior. You don’t quit loving them. You don’t walk away from them. You simply say “I cannot support this behavior”. Not accepting “locker room talk” from a leader and “role model” in our country is not the same thing as saying “vote for the opponent”.
How did we reach a place where half of our country can find a way to vehemently defend and make passionate excuses for a man speaking this way on our nightly news? How can we get across to men and women alike that this is not acceptable behavior. That innocent “locker room talk” is overheard by our children. By young men and women who maybe don’t think it is just talk? By young men and women who think, “well if this influential and successful businessman thinks its ok…”Talk is no less innocent than actions. It sends a message. It says this is ok. Well. I believe that everything happens for a reason. That our burdens set us up to receive blessings, so maybe its time to share my experiences. Maybe its time to tell you my story. Maybe it’s time to use those burdens of mine to reach just one person who doesn’t understand how they too, are knowingly or unknowingly, contributing to rape culture. Maybe I can reach one person, who just needs a different perspective to learn how to respect basic human sexuality. An instinct to the core. Sex should be something we all seek and enjoy. By choice! Unfortunately, this culture we are living in, it doesn’t allow for that. So, here goes. Here comes some painful truth dear world.
I have been raped and molested over and over and over again in my life. For the longest time I was convinced it was because I had been a pedophile or sex offender in some way, in some previous life. From the age of twelve, when a grown adult held me down. A full hundred pounds bigger than me. I kicked and fought and screamed and cried but he was simply stronger than me. People could hear me screaming from the next room. Other young women that he had also hurt, but they didn’t help, because they knew they were next. If it was me, they were safe tonight. I carried that trauma as shame. I hid the truth, and when I confided in my bestie, and she talked to a close friend, and they both sat me down to tell me that I needed to tell my mom, I backtracked so fast. I told them I made it all up for attention. I did not want to be the dirty little secret that ruined our family. I am sure I somehow deserved this. I mean if I told my mom I was sure she would call the cops or go to jail and everyone would know about my dirty little whore body then. Let me repeat. I WAS 12 YEARS OLD. And so we put on a smile, act out a bit, and continue to fake it through the hardest years of our innocent little lives. And then there was the role model in my life. Someone who was supposed to be safe. Trusted. Someone who should have had no interest in me but to make sure that no man ever hurt me. And he took alot. Over and over and over again, he helped himself to my body. To my immature, underdeveloped, pre-pubescent body. Entitlement much? But to me, to my developing teen brain, oh what a terrible person I must have been in that prior life. I must have hurt so many people for this to be happening to me now. Oh what did I do and how can I fix it? How can I make this stop? Please God? But God didn’t come. And God didn’t show me how to make it stop. God just kept letting it happen, so I must deserve it somehow. So I convinced myself it wasn’t happening. It was all just a bad dream and I wasn’t going to let it affect me. We call this denial.
The next guy who forced himself upon me was a stranger. I was in the woods with a bunch of friends, and they all split off into couples. He and I were the only pair that weren’t coupled, and we got left alone in the woods together in the dark. He pulled his pants down and forced my face onto his boner. I don’t know why I didn’t think to bite it off. I was probably too busy trying not to gag. At one point he actually said “well you are just not getting the job done, are you?” and pushed harder.
I left those woods with my head down in shame and horror, but by this time in my life, I knew my place. I knew my “worth” I knew exactly what was expected of me. Shall I keep going? I have more stories. Personal stories. My own stories. Not hearsay. Look around you. How many women in your life have these stories? How many have more than one. I have this fantastic husband. He is truly a good Christian man. He lifts me up and supports me in every way he knows how. The conversations he and I have had, in the safety of our bedroom at night, have been enlightening to me. He says to me. “Yeah, but there’s not that many rapists and pedophiles, they just repeat offend.” I responded with “then how do you explain the number of men who have taken as they please from me?” No matter how much empathy or compassion you have, if it hasn’t happened to you, you probably don’t really understand or have any business speaking on the matter.
Which brings me to today. I am in a safe place. No one will ever take from me what I do not wish to give, ever again. This is MY body, and I choose who to share it with, but I spend my days helping people heal. Because after 42 years of conditioning in this society, I have to spend all day long teaching people that it is not their fault. That God is not punishing them. That it does not define their worth. That as a woman who spent half her adulthood healing from this trauma, it still affects me daily. It still affects my marriage, my sex life, and my self worth. And I have healing. I ache today for me. Because hearing people defend these words as just words, well. They aren’t just words. They are actions. Once something becomes acceptable to say, it shortly thereafter becomes acceptable to do. And people perform these actions against men, women, and children every day. Every time I see a meme it cuts to my soul. And I have healing. I am beside myself today for those seeing all these memes and defenses of this behavior who don’t have healing. Oh what this must feel like to them!
So, lets talk about how these words cut just a little more. Lets talk about the unhealed spouses, and even the healed ones, who struggle with intimacy because of that, and how their spouses needs go unmet or how they feel unworthy of being a spouse, because they can not meet their partners needs, even with healing.
Lets talk about the women and men having objectified one night stands rather than sincere intimate relationships. No self respecting woman will give a stranger a blow job behind a bar unless that is how she has been conditioned to find her worth. If this is you, then whether you realize it or not, you are perpetuating the problem. You are reinforcing the idea that she isn’t worth a bed, an alley will do. So people, listen close here. Supporting a person, and defending a bad behavior, are not the same thing. Words really do have the power to hurt. To drag up old shame. To confirm what most of us learned young. “Your just a pussy”.
I want to tell you that I chose to be a single mother. That I literally called three different women I admired and told them I wanted to be a single mother. And you know what? Every single one of them encouraged me. I was shocked. Even I knew I was waiting for someone to say don’t do it, but none of them did. Instead, they said, if anyone can do it, you can. I didn’t know my reason. I was still in denial over it having affected me. It took a mature wise man to say to me “well, I know why you did it. Look at how the men in your life have treated you. Why wouldn’t you want to protect your child from that?” I am not just being a whiner because words hurt. This has affected every single detail of who I have become. It has defined my life in many areas. On many occasions. Its not just “words hurt”. Its that this is a real, deep cutting issue. We don’t get to forget about it when you aren’t talking about it.
Come on people. We don’t have to tolerate this behavior. We all know it is wrong. Deep in our hearts we know it is wrong. Stand up for the right thing! And not so deep, but right there on the surface, you are surrounded by people who are being deeply affected by this issue and have to shove it down because half the world is defending it and calling us whiners. Tell them you love and support them. Don’t sit quietly when you hear people talking like this. Don’t laugh uncomfortably. Tell them to stop it right now. Tell them you have a sister. A mother. A wife. A daughter. A son. a niece. a nephew. Tell them that you don’t want anyone growing up thinking it is ok to speak or act as if any persons body is their possession. Victims of rape culture, healed and not healed alike, thank you from across the world for standing up on their behalf! And If you are out there, and you are hurting from this, and you feel like you have no one. I am here. You can message me. I will not defend your offender. There are many of us who wish to lift you above the pain this brings. I love you all. Have a blessed day and may you find peace in your soul.