Would You Stand?

I have a question.

If you were in the midst of uncountable numbers and someone asked you to stand up if you had ever been abused (taking in all possible kinds), would you stand if your answer was yes? Would you be willing to be the first person to stand? Would you stand if thousands stood at the same time as you? Do you have the kind of courage to stand so that others are willing?

I often think that abuse is prevalent because the first person will not stand.

Imagine you are in church and the pastor asks for you to stand if you have ever been hit, touched inappropriately, ridiculed, or otherwise bullied? Then would you stand? Would you be willing to stand if the person who did that to you was your father? Brother? Sister? Mother? Wife? Husband? Or would you remain in your seat?

Is it easier to stand and say yes, I have been bullied than it is to say yes, my boyfriend raped me? I imagine it is a thousand times easier to admit to being bullied than it is to admit to being raped. Why?

What are we afraid of? Bullying is so vague, rape, though? Wow. Rape is intimate, private, a secret. What if you were raped by a relative? How much more private is that? Why hide? What are we afraid of? Rape, by definition, is an assault or unwanted sexual encounter, that is really a form of control… ie. it is not our fault. Why would a person who has been abused or raped not stand and yet one who was bullied is much more likely to?

Being bullied is okay, being raped is not? In both cases the victim was a victim, he or she did not want it done, did not like it, and has probably suffered immeasurably because of it. Why must one remain a secret and the other not?

I’m not discounting bullying. I know of many who have ended their own lives because of it. What I am wondering is why are we so afraid to admitting that we have been raped? Why do we feel soiled, unclean, defiled, unworthy, by it? It was not in our plan, it was not asked for. Why is the victim made lesser because of something he or she was unable to stop?

Now the question, again. If someone were to ask you to stand, would you? Imagine if we all stood up. How many in that congregation would stand with us? We live in a broken world because of secrets. If the rape victim could stand as easily as the one who was bullied and survived, then I would guess that I would be one of many who stood.

I would also guess that things would change. The more people speak the more others realize there is a problem. If it were in church and if your abuser were there, and if you were able to name him or her, then would that church rally behind you and help? That is my hope. My hope is that people are good, yet my knowledge is that secrets kill. It is a very dangerous place to be.

Would there be ridicule? or would there be mercy? Both? I don’t know the answer, I only hope for the one, though. Mercy. Mercy for the victim and correction for the perpetrator. Peace in the understanding. Knowledge in the acceptance. And most of all I hope for change. I yearn for the day I can speak freely so that others may find their strength so that they can speak their truths as well.

Join me. Let us be willing to be the first to stand.

thank you for reading,
me

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What is the definition of Life? (Does Time Heal?)

The definition of life has been up for debate ever since we’ve tried to define it. Is a fire alive? Does it reproduce? What about a virus? Both are not considered alive by the definitions. They do reproduce, though.

From a quick Google search, the definition of life – “the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.”

Fires and virus both seem to fit this definition and yet the consensus is they are not alive.

Wikipedia says – “The current definition is that organisms are open systems that maintain homeostasis, are composed of cells, have a life cycle, undergo metabolism, can grow, adapt to their environment, respond to stimuli, reproduce and evolve.”

From this definition – fires are definitely not living, and viruses are not cellular.

Really, though, my question today is are ‘fetuses’ alive? At what point in the development of a human being is there no cells? No metabolism? No life cycle? No adaptation? No response to stimuli? No reproduction?

The argument continues everywhere. Is something not alive until the brain waves can be read? Is something not alive until the heart begins to beat?

From this side of the argument, it is difficult for me to think that a ‘fetus’ is not alive. Even at the very beginning the cells are very much alive and do grow, metabolize, reproduce, respond to stimuli, and adapt to their environment. But then the argument continues and is ultimately whose life is more important? The mother who has already been alive for a number of years or the child who is merely days or weeks old? Which human has more potential? Which human is more loved? Which human is more important? Which is it? The mother or the child?

Now put yourself in the shoes of the mother. Pretend you are just a child yourself of 13, 14, 15 or 16. Are you ready? Able? to give birth to another child? Now consider whose life is more important? How do you reconcile which child to rescue? How do you protect the innocent when they are both innocent? It could have been a mistake, or it could have been a rape, but the outcome is still two lives that now need to be reconciled.

So many say, protect the mother in this case. Protect her from having to deal with a child when she isn’t grown yet. Protect her because her body is too young to fully bring a child to term. Protect her. (Let us ignore that we have not protected her up to this point, and that is why she is in this position in the first place.) Then? Do we kill the living being inside her so that she may have a chance to live her life fully? Do we allow for abortion under this circumstance? Or do we bring the child to term and allow a cesarean delivery to minimize the damage done to our young mother? Is it possible to think about delivering the baby early? I know a man whose child was born at 27 weeks and is currently at 9 months doing extremely well. Has anyone considered this alternative?

The problem here is that there is no real right answer. You just can’t be unpregnant once you are pregnant. I have no doubt that a ‘fetus’ is alive. I do know, though, that regardless of the choice made, the young mother in this example will never forget. She will not forget that she was pregnant and now has no child. She will not forget that she either killed the child or gave it away. She will not forget the chaos that ensued when she learned of her pregnancy. If she is able to keep her child, this will cause difficulties for both of them. Poverty will be knocking at her door and it is a very loud knock.

Will time heal her wounds? Will she be whole again? Will she be able to forgive herself, forgive others? Will she be able to move forward and have an amazing life, put the past behind her? Maybe. No one can guarantee this. To think there is nothing necessary for her healing is naive. Time is a wonderful thing, yes. However, time does not heal. Time dulls the pain, it allows you to forget a little, to put things aside. But healing, true healing, requires facing your fears and facing the past. It requires allowing yourself to feel and to think and to grieve. Time? It’s meaningless.

thank you for reading,

me

Empowering Women to Trust Their Hearts

I want to empower women to trust their hearts. I want to be a shoulder to lean on, a person to speak the truth. Recently I wrote a book. More like, I allowed a book to be written through my hands. Once I allowed the words to flow, they poured out of me. I was honest, brutally honest. I allowed myself to write without regard to what others would think. I allowed myself to be vulnerable, and I can feel it. I remain hesitant to tell the world of my book because of that vulnerability. It is difficult for me to trust and yet I continue. The book is not perfect, it never will be. I worry about certain people seeing it and so I hesitate.

But why should I worry? Why shouldn’t I speak my own truth? If someone does not like what I say, let them write their own rebuttal. Let them pick up pen and paper and write their own story. My story is multifold. I speak of my marriage, my divorce, my school, my friends and family; I speak of my past and how it shaped me. I hold nothing back, I tell all the secrets. So why do I still hide?

I published the book so that others like me could know they are not alone, and yet I withhold it by not letting them know it is there. This book is my dark closet. It is the diary of a beaten and raped woman. It is a part of who I am, who I will always be. Can I stand tall and allow myself to be questioned? Or will I stand tall and not allow others the freedom my story provides? I write what many are scared to write.

This book is my gift to the woman who is lost, the mother who doesn’t have a way out, the teenage girl who faces a new hell… this book is what I went through before I finally decided to believe in myself. It is my story. Parts of it may be yours, parts may not. But my story is not going to change whether I hold it close to my chest or on open palms for others to see. It’s mine. I should not be ashamed of my past, and neither should you. It is today that matters most after all.

thank you for reading,

me

ps. Conversations with my Therapist is the book.

My first book – Conversations With My Therapist

I wrote a book that touches on many of the common issues of women today. It’s not written just for women it’s just that I am one, a woman. I speak on abuse, both emotional and physical, divorce, and abortion. I show the reader my transformation from a timid lost girl to a woman with power. I let the reader experience my feelings and thoughts throughout the process. My goal is to empower others to find their own strength.

I’m new to publishing, and once in awhile I feel a streak of fear run through my system; but, my story is the same as many others’ and the world needs it. The more people who know the secrets and the better others understand, then maybe it can stop. Maybe reading my story will help another escape his or her hell. Maybe.

Please let me know if you’re interested. I’m an open book now.

Thank you for reading,

me

conversations with my therapist

My Book – Conversations with my Therapist – A Path To Freedom

Imagine for yourself what it would be like to be free. Truly free. I allow you to be like a fly on the wall listening to the many conversations I had with my therapist. You get to read my mind as I go through some of the most intimidating, intimate, and private times of my life.

I’ve never written a book before now. It was definitely a daunting task. I believe, though, that all of my time and energy was more than worth it. May you be blessed in your journey.

Below is a link to my book, it’s available through Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2/135-8495823-2278467?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Conversations+with+my+therapist

thank you for reading,

My book is finally done!

It’s done! My book is finally finished awaiting publishing. I’ve been writing it for five years, but only knew that I was writing it for a little over one year. That’s what happens when you journal. My journallings have been a consistent way for me to get my thoughts out of my head. With so many things going on, my head was noisy! I could barely hold a single thought longer than a few seconds, my thoughts would race from one event to another and I couldn’t breathe, let alone sleep. Journalling provided my means of escape.

My book? It’s a good book. It still makes me cry, smile, and laugh. It brings back terrible memories yet provides proof of how amazing my life is now. It shows how a person can climb her way out of chaos and create a life that she loves. It provides proof that life is changeable, no matter your age. If I can do it so can you. It shows determination, fear, love, peace, and hate. It is my first written masterpiece and I’m excited that it’ll finally be published.

I will let you know how to purchase it, hopefully within the next week. It’s terrifying letting my secrets out of my closet for millions to read. Yet it is so freeing, knowing that I can be authentically me. No more hiding, no more lies, just me. Thank you for being a sounding board as I struggled to find my way to air. May you, my readers, be blessed beyond your wildest dreams.

thank you for reading,

me

Finding my Voice – an excerpt from my book

I have this weekend off, I had wanted to go to my boat to be still and to have quiet, but that just didn’t happen. I’m glad I stayed home; it has allowed me to work on my book some more. My book, it’s ‘finished’ but needs a lot of editing. Editing is difficult, though. I’m reminded, as I read, of where I was and who I’ve been in my past. My past no longer defines me. It’s weird reading what I’ve written. I often say that my book wrote itself. It had to be written, I had no choice but to continue typing hour after hour. When I reread it I don’t recognize myself, yet I do. I’m more than I was, stronger, and more confident. I wrote a short journal entry that I’ve included in my book, on finding my voice. Discovering, and not hiding, who I truly am. Here is a little excerpt:

“Journal entry – my voice

I’ve been looking for my voice. I have been trying to find who I really am. I have been quiet so long, too long. What is my voice? Who am I?

My voice carries when I have love and when I have anger. My voice provides for me a way to express myself. My voice is in my writing although I never noticed it before. I didn’t notice it was gone, I was only lonely and depressed. When it does shine through, it is not a bad voice. My voice is able to chastise or to love. My voice can bring people together if I let it. If I can learn to speak again then I can heal. If I can heal then I can begin to let others heal. How did this happen? What changed? Just a week ago, less really, I wondered why I even lived. Each night I wanted to go to sleep and never wake up. Each morning I was disappointed that I awoke. How did I decide to live? I’ve let my opinion be known on a couple of important things. I have realized that by letting myself speak, by preventing my silence from continuing, that I have reengaged a part of myself that has had no voice for so long. Let myself speak, speak for those I love. Give voice to those who have none. This is what I have begun to do. Give voice to those who are too scared to speak for themselves. Love others. Love me. Does finding my voice mean I no longer hurt? No. If anything, it hurts worse. Now I am willing to admit the pain.”

So, yeah, I am still finding my voice. It grows stronger daily. Have you found your voice? Or do you hide who you are meant to be?

thank you for reading,

me