Tuesday, June 26, 2012

not really a post

But kind of a post...

I just want to say: let's have a discussion.
I don't want to be the only one yapping here. Yes, it is my blog, but let's talk about things together.

I think it's lovely since starting my blog I've gotten so many emails, facebook messages, and texts about what I write.
That's awesome, but let's share here (or in real life)!

I had an amazing conversation at my book club the previous Friday, after I posted my last blog.
We talked about what I wrote, why I felt the way I did, the dangerous implications in the linked blog's story, etc.
Most people have never been in an abusive relationship (thank goodness), so there is a lot of misunderstanding. It's easy to ask things like, "Why didn't you just leave?" or think you would be "strong enough" to not ever get in a situation like I was. (Sorry, but no one is immune! It's scary, but true.)

I was so excited to discuss. I want that to happen more.

Do you have questions about what I post? Whether personal or hypothetical, I don't mind answering. Did you have the same or a completely different experience when faced with the same things? Let's talk about it!
(This is why I post my blog on facebook and twitter, for crying out loud! I know you read it. This isn't just something I planned on sharing with my BFFs. I want people outside my closest circle of friends to learn something new, to not be afraid, to not feel alone.)

So, my readers, what do you want to know? Ask? Declare?
Let's get educated. Let's talk about it.

PS - This isn't a cry for more comments; I couldn't care less. Your emails and texts mean the world to me BUT, I think it would be helpful for all the other readers if we had our discussions there. :) It's so nice to see when there is another person (or people) besides the blogger that has questions/issues/encouragement.

Friday, June 22, 2012

abuse and the good girl


I probably shouldn't be angry-blogging, but I can't help it. (Excuse the language I use.)
This is gonna be a big one, and you're going to read more about me than you wanted to know.

I am a good girl, a goody-goody. I always have been. So, when I read this blog post, I cried.
That is not a beautiful story about redemption, that is a story about sexual assault, abuse, and victim-blaming.


A couple of weeks after we started dating, my ex and I were laying down, watching TV. He put his hand on my side, and then down inside my pants.
I squirmed. "Don't touch me there."
"Don't touch me there!" he mocked, and kept his hand there, and even slid it in further.

Things escalated.

A little over a month into our relationship, we were kissing and he kept trying to touch my chest. He was on top of me. I pushed him away. I pushed him away again. And again. And again and again and again. He wouldn't stop; he got more aggressive until I gave in.
He later told me it was the best birthday present ever, like I gave it to him freely.
He's on top of the world...and I can't stop crying for 48 straight hours.

He grabbed my hand and shoved it down his pants.

He would whine and pout when I wouldn't do something he wanted.

He "needed" naked pictures or videos, but then I wasn't "naked enough"/"naked for long enough" in them.

He got cranky when I wouldn't dirty talk and when I told him I didn't like the language he was using (vulgar names for female genitalia, etc.).

There were several times that he'd try to get me to drink more than I wanted to because he knew that would make me inebriated; it was harder for me to resist or say no.

Instead of being nice for the sake of just being nice, there were always ulterior motives.
For one Valentine's Day, he did some very sweet things, but it was overshadowed by the fact that he kept repeating throughout the night, "This is gonna make you so horny." (EW!)

There was even a time that I thought I might be raped.
We were laying around, watching TV, and he said out of nowhere, "Lemme put it in your butt."
"NO!" I cried, disgusted.
"Why...?" he whined.
"Because...I don't want any of you inside of me...anywhere."
"But WHY?!" he kept asking me.
I said no a few more times, and then he jumped on top of me and held my arms. I had been laying on my stomach; he was now on my back. I was terrified. I squirmed vigorously to get out from under him. He was laughing...and I was not.
(Nothing happened and he let me go, but it was fucking SCARY. And you know what? The only reason why he never asked about having vaginal intercourse is because that was not a Christian thing to do. HAHAHA! Everything else in his mind was fair game and not "real sex.")

Any time I planned on seeing him, I would literally pray to God that I would have the courage and strength to say "no" to his advances. He would so often whittle me down that I didn't know what else to do. (I have sob-inducing prayer journal entries where I relentlessly scribbled out these requests.)


As Dianna commented on the above linked blog post, "A simple rule of thumb in sexual relationships is this: 'A yes is only a yes if a no is possible.' In the situation, as you’ve painted it, a no wasn’t possible – this guy, whom she presumably liked, whittled down her courage and her ability to stand up for herself until she eventually just said, 'Oh all right.' That’s not active participation in a sexual relationship – that is coercive and abusive. And yet, somehow, the person who needs to ask for forgiveness…is the girl? Because she gave a coerced, unwilling, affirmative answer to a boy who should not have been pressuring her in the first place? That’s really messed up and blames the victim of an abusive relationship for the abuse that took place. [...] Maybe if she’d gone to a church where she could know that what happened to her was actually assault and abuse, and not her fault..."

If you are being abused, YOU LOSE YOUR DAMN MIND.
I didn't know how to be me; I was scared. I acted how I thought my ex wanted me to act, how I was trained. I was trained to give in, trained to be sexy and wanting, trained to act like someone else.

My even ex told me that I was responsible for 40-50% of what happened to me, even though I was ALWAYS the one to say stop or no, always the one to draw the line.

Alleyne commented, "[Ours] is a culture that encourages those abuses, by failing, over and over, to focus on them, while simultaneously blaming victims for not being strong enough to withstand attacks they should never have had to face to begin with. Fallen. Unpure. Loss of innocence. In sin. Backslidden. Out of grace. Far from salvation.
This is the church’s particularly odious and spiritually devastating spin on rape culture. This is how souls are torn to shreds.
'This story wasn’t about the boy.'
No, of course it wasn’t. It never is. And that’s why this story keeps being told over and over and over again.
How many more men will have their sin glazed over as if 'sexual sin' (when it actually exists) doesn’t take two people?" (Emphasis mine.)

I went along for WAY too long thinking that everything that happened to me was my fault because I "gave in." That is faulty thinking. I was manipulated and controlled and coerced and guilted. SUBMISSION is not CONSENT.
You surrender all responsibility as soon as someone lays a hand on you.

SO, if my story is similar to the girl's story on the other blog, do you think she needs to ask for forgiveness or be shamed for her "sins?"
She needs people to love her, give her grace, and help her recover from a travesty placed upon her by someone else.

Let's stop victim-blaming and instead teach people how not to abuse others.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

cutesy cute

I'm going to tell a story about Chris, so if you don't want a puddle in your chest where your heart used to be, you can leave now!

I am* really terrible at making decisions. I wasn't really given the opportunity to make a lot of them in my past relationship, and outside of that, I'm always afraid of making the WRONG one.

Chris figured this out by my constant response of "I don't care!" to his "What do you want for dinner?" "Which one do you like better?" "What do you want to do today?" God forbid he hand me the remote to the TV - TOO MANY OPTIONS AND THEY'RE ALL WRONG.

One day, we were in a grocery store together shopping for dinner, and he asked me if I wanted wine and/or dessert.
(Obligatory.) "I don't care."
"No, really. What would you like? Either one or both?"
"I don't care."
"No, you pick."
"But, I don't care!"
He stared at me.
"Then," he said, as he squatted to sit cross-legged in the middle of the aisle with our basket as other shoppers walked by, "I won't get up until you make a decision."

AHHHH simultaneous swoon and wave of anxiety!

"I don't KNOW!" I exclaimed, leaning my head back to project the last word onto the ceiling.

Writhing with uncertainty, I don't remember how long it took me to make a decision (It felt like forever...), but I finally said no. He rose from the floor upon hearing my choice, and we continued shopping. Normal.

GOOD NEWS: Since I've started my therapy, I have been so much better about making decisions! There are some things that I will deflect to him, but overall, I'm becoming more me. :) I have OPINIONS and they're not bad! They're just...opinions.

*I'm working on WAS instead of AM. I'm more towards the WAS now!