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.


  1. It's especially hard to "just leave" when he spends all day, both in public and in private, being a righteous, upstanding man, only to turn around and try things on you in the evening. At least in my experience, it made me question EVERYTHING I thought I knew about purity. I spent hours agonizing about the way things were being justified to me but was too afraid to ask anyone for help.

    It's already so hard to leave someone you've given so much of your heart and trust to, but when sexual manipulation comes into the picture it just gets more difficult. But we're all too afraid to tell someone when we're experiencing it so it's impossible for outsiders to understand. :(

    1. OMG YES: "...he spends all day, both in public and in private, being a righteous, upstanding man, only to turn around and try things on you..."
      My ex had everyone fooled in that way. (He couldn't possibly do those things! Look what he does for the CHURCH!)

      And yes, he justified EVERYTHING. "Well, so-and-so from camp does xyz, so it's fine that we do it, too." "Your friends didn't ACTUALLY stay virgins until they were married. They just told you that. Everyone does this stuff."

      I was asked why I didn't talk to my friends about what was happening.
      IT'S EMBARASSING...and you will most likely get blamed (especially in the Christian circle)! "Well, why were you hanging out with him that late at night?" "Why were you laying down?" "What were you wearing?" etc.
      (Not faulting my friends, but that's just how we were brought up: I must have done something wrong for this to happen to me.)

  2. Its also hard to leave when he spends 1/2 of your alone time telling you that you need him, you're worthless without him, and no one else will ever want you. It's hard to leave when you have lost all of your friends (and maybe family) because you only hang out with him, so there is no one else to turn to. It is hard to leave when he has magnified all of your insecurities in a way where you believe there's more negative things about you than positive. Finally, it's hard to leave when he has isolated you from your community and network, by not allowing you to hang out with them, or talking negatively about them, in a way where you can't disagree with him and tell him you want to hang out with them.

    1. All of this. Especially at a small school where your entire social circle is wrapped up into his. It took me a year to rebuild but I spent a lot of time alone before I got to that point.

    2. Yes. :( THIS is why the abused can't leave.

      I heard from my ex, "You'll never find anyone better than me. All guys are the same," and, "No one will love you more than I love you." (If that was love, I DON'T WANT IT!!)

      I moved to Arkansas because he would "never visit me" if I lived elsewhere, especially Texas.
      I didn't make friends for a year because everyone I was interested in hanging out with he would tell me something awful about them (and most times it wasn't true). Ex: "Oh, you don't want to hang out with her; she's a diva and really rude."
      He only wanted me to hang out with the girlfriends or wives of his friends.
      He didn't like my friends from school (WHO ARE AMAZING) and griped whenever I hung out with them.
      He didn't even want me to go to one of my best friend's WEDDINGS because he "needed me" with him. I was so brainwashed that I actually decided to skip the wedding. (Luckily, I later changed my mind...which made him furious. He yelled at me in front of a mutual friend and made me cry.)

      THIS did not happen to us because we sinned. It happened because someone else sinned against us.

  3. The whole blaming the woman thing can be so overt and yet so subtle. When I was 13, an older boy cornered me in the wave pool at schlitterbahn on a school trip and grabbed my hips. It happened so fast, and all I could do was swim away (and let the monster waves take me. I thanked God that boy was super heavy and I was tinier than I am now). The rest of the trip he kept trying to find a way to touch me, and it took a monster sunburn for me to finally tell him no. A year ago, a coworker started sexually harassing me (like she did pretty much all the female students that worked there). It was so sneaky and public the way she did it that it was hard to pin down as something I should tell her "no" about. After reading your last post I kind of made some connections about my fears of men. Would I ever be able to say "no?" would it matter? I finally told my mother about the boy in the pool. Her reaction? "Eww. I'm sorry. It doesn't sound like you [to not stop him]" Bam. Blamed. And I finally understood what we discussed in grad school about rape assault defense classes. It makes the woman in charge of stopping the assault, and no matter how strong the attacker, it puts in her mind "Why didn't I do more to stop him?"
    Oh, and I don't remember if we've discussed this on your blog, but I know you've tweeted about modesty/retweeted blogs and we've talked about it. When that boy cornered me in the pool, I was following the 'modesty rules' for my strict Christian school's trip. We actually had to get our swimsuits approved in the library a week before the trip. Boys didn't have to do that, of course.

    I know this wasn't the kind of abusive relationship Kristin or others have experienced. But reading about this topic has made me think hard about how I let these experiences color how much I trust men (which is not much). Turns out that boy later was expelled. Seems he liked to touch a lot of girls.

    1. Thank you for your stories, Kate!
      That's one thing I'm working on doing (and you should do the same) – you don't need to appropriate your story. Yours is just as valid as anyone else's, even if it's not exactly the same, or "not as bad."

      Hmm, I think we have talked about modesty through text/twitter. If I've posted about it, I haven't posted much. I think I'm going to cover that at some point, though!

      I totally get that. My poor boyfriend had to help me through a LOT of things so that I would trust him, and he's one of the most respectful people (not just men) I've ever met.