Thursday, October 19, 2017

Violated all Over Again

With all the recent talk about sex abuse and being able to talk more about my own experience, I remembered an incident that happened about 10 or so years ago.

This is the first time I'm telling anyone about this incident.
It was around the time I finally got the courage to call RAINN (the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) and discuss my rape. I was starting to be comfortable talking about it and knew that I was not to blame for my assault.
 I was in a chat room for survivors and people supporting them. There was a young guy taking and he had said someone close to him (girlfriend, I think) was sexually abused by a family member. He said he was writing a book about sexual assault and was looking to talk to anyone willing to discuss their feelings and how it had affected them. He said he needed the POV of a survivor.
I was happy to help him and we spoke a little bit about my assault. Just some basic things like my age at the time, the circumstances, where I was, etc. Nothing too personal. He asked me if I would be comfortable talking on the phone, and offered to give me his number.
So a day or so later, he contacted me via the chat and asked me if it was a good time to call him. I did and he was very nice and comforting. He told me about his friend and his empathy for her. He told me he wished he could better understand what she was feeling so he could help her heal. I told him that in my opinion he should give her time and just be there. When she was comfortable talking, she would. It was then that he turned the conversation back to me. He started asking me about my assault. He wanted more details. I started to question his motives for wanting to know. He had not told me he would be wanting to hear specifics. I then realized that he was actually enjoying hearing me talk about it and possibly was going to get off on it. I then realized that there probably was no book and possibly no friend that was a survivor. I felt really stupid but more so, I felt violated all over again. Can you imagine how vile and disgusting a person you have to be to actually put a sexual assault survivor through something like that?  Then I thought about all the other girls in the chat and wondered how many fell for his story. Many of the girls I had been talking to were much younger than me. If he fooled me, I can only imagine what he did to them. I broke contact with him and immediately reported him to a moderator for the group.
Just another reason it is so very hard to open up to people. I'm usually much smarter than that.


https://www.rainn.org/

Monday, October 16, 2017

Me Too.

Seeing the #MeToo hashtag go viral this weekend has prompted me to write this blog post. It isn't the first time I've considered writing about my assault, it isn't even the first time I've started writing it, but it is the first time I've actually published it.

 I have had 2 major instances which stand out for me. Both happened when I was under 18.

The first one happened when I was in my early teens. I was at a pool party with friends. It was later, after dark and most of the party attendants had left. I was sitting beside the pool and a few of the boys (boys I called friends) decided it would be fun to chase me around, trying to see my boobs.
This continued, with me fighting them off for a few minutes, until I was pushed to the ground, the boys groping and grabbing at me. There was a point where one of my breasts was pulled out. They put a towel over my head, so I "couldn't see who was touching me and  where". I cried, I pushed, and yelled "stop". They laughed and continued, until they no longer found any thrill to it.
I told my friend, who had been in the pool at the time. She yelled at the boys and we called my parents to come get us.
I told my parents what happened and it was reported to police. The detective in charge of my case treated me like a nuisance and as if I should just move on. After all, wasn't I flirting with the boys, earlier? Wasn't I maybe enjoying it even? I started to question and second guess myself and my own actions.
Then I ended up dropping the charges (my parents left the decision to me) because I was becoming to feel more and more ashamed and told that these were young boys, whose future I would be hurting (never mind MY future or what I had already endured).
 In the end, it didn't seem worth it anymore.

The 2nd event was more brutal. I was raped by a 25 year old when I was 17 at a friend's house. He first went after my friend, who poked him in the eye and left the room. Then he took his chance with me. I wasn't as lucky. He tried to force me to give him oral sex and when I refused, saying no many times, he pinned me down, did the job himself and ejaculated all over my face. I ran, crying to the bathroom. The next morning, I awoke to him inside me. Raping me, as I slept. I didn't report it. I was a minor, who had been drinking at a party, surrounded by others who heard my protests and did nothing. How would I possibly convince anyone that I was raped again my will? I wasn't even sure I wasn't somewhat to blame. At that time 'date rape' wasn't something that was widely talked about. So I stayed silent. That doesn't mean that I didn't think about it. The doesn't mean it didn't live in the back of my mind all my life. Years later, I was watching a TV movie about date rape. It was then I realized that what happened to me WAS wrong. It wasn't my fault. I was able to forgive myself for feeling ashamed. I was able to accept that I wasn't to blame. I spoke to counselors at Rinna (The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network)  and talking helped. I made it a mission of mine to spread support and awareness to others. I spoke out. I healed. In some ways, I'm still healing. Everyday gets better.

#MeToo

RAINN - https://www.rainn.org/

Sunday, October 9, 2016

It's Not Always Our Words, But How We Choose To Use Them

In the past 2 days, I have been reading a lot (and also commenting) on the recently uncovered "Trump Tape" recording from 2005 of Republican Presidential nominee, Donald Trump and interviewer, Billy Bush dicussing Trump's opinion on how he can use his "celebrity status" to get women to do pretty much anything he wants.

Some comments I have seen and received have been:

" All guys talk like that."
"It's just locker room banter."
"His opinion of my gender doesn't matter to me."

and my favorite:

"If that talk offends you, you should just become a lesbian."

Now, I know Trump has issued an apology for what he said, but was he sorry he said it? Or just sorry we had to hear it? Trump obviously knew he was being recorded , as he was asked to take off his mic by Bush at the end and he is heard responding "Oh, are we done here?", which kind of rules out "Locker room banter" because he knew he was in a sort of interview situation with a person from the public media.
It obviously didn't bother him (or a laughing Bush) that what he was saying could possibly be released at some point, which kind of begs the question of why hasn't it? Did it get edited out because it obviosly does not paint him in a good light? Of course, he was not running for any office at that time, but I am sure anyone who heard that at any point would agree it is not becoming of a man in the spotlight.

I'm going to take a minute to consider how also in the past 2 days our current President, Barack Obame, who nobody can deny DOES in fact hold women (and all genders) in a high regard, just signed the Sexual Assault Survivor's Rights Act into law.

Now think for a bit of any such bill would have even been considered if Trump was our president? I highly doubt it, At the very least, it certainly would not be a priority on his "to do" list.

Now back to "All guys talk like that."  Like what? Like brag about how they can "grab them by the pussy"? It's funny, because when I think of ANY man talking like that, the first person to come to mind, is Brock Turner, the convicted rapist that had he not been caught mid-assault of an unconscious woman, would possible have been making similar claims in HIS locker room the next day or so.
What I am saying is that is not the kind of talk you hear from "every guy", I'm sorry. I'm just not buying that line of garbage excuses.

How about "His opininion of my gender doesn't affect me."
Really? Well , actually I do believe that how a man views and talks about women will definitely be reflected in how he operates in office. It's how he will decide on bills to sign off on, laws that are brought forward or considered and who he decides to appoint to the Supreme Court. Don't think it doesn't matter because it absolutely does and will. A person doesn't change the way they feel deep down inside and let's face it, this audio tape only comfirms what most of us already know: Donald Trump is a misogynist and always was. Why would he change now? This recording could have been made in 2005, but it may as well been yesterday. He still talks down to and about women.

Lastly, I will adress the remark that "If you are offended by this, you might as well become a lesbian because all me talk like this."

Well I will say first, that if you think the word "PUSSY" offends me then you don't know me at all. I have heard and said worse, myself. It's not always your words, but how you choose to use them.

Secondly, I do not feel sexually orientation is a choice I can make or change and even if it were, if any of the assholes I have dated or had sex with didn't make me want to become a lesbian, I do not think anything will.

But what do I know? I'm just a woman. A voter. I not only have a vagina, but I have a voice and a vote. I have already used both in this election, I'm not going to stop now.

Redheads may not ALWAYS Know Best, we our opinions should count.

Monday, October 5, 2015

A Return To Covington Cove: My Review of ALL OF ME by Kelly Moran

All Of Me is the second book in the Covington Cove series by Kelly Moran, which began with book one: Return to Me.

Though characters from book one are a big part of All Of Me, it centers on two new people not in Return To Me,  Alec, who is a best-selling writer of horror fiction stuck with a bad case of writer's block, and Faith, a young woman starting a new beginning for herself, away from her home.

Alec is strong, but sensitive, a quality I very much appreciate seeing in a lead male.
Faith is sweet, shy and a bit vulnerable.  I admit at first I was not sure I could see these two as a couple.

Both Alec and Faith have come to Covington Cove in Wilmington, NC for their own reasons. Alec, for his brother's wedding and Faith to take on a position as a care giver for Mia Covington's younger sister.

Mia was the heroine of Return to Me and it was nice to see her and Cole again and know their story continues to be a happy one.

Now back to Alec and Faith. Both of these people have some heavy emotional baggage.
Alec has been through a rough past which has caused him to withdraw from any real emotional connection with a woman. Faith has never felt loved by anyone, including her own parents.

The connection between the two of them starts out slow, but builds as the story moves forward.

I'm glad Kelly Moran knows how to write a realistic story and write it well, NO two people like Alec and Faith would come together in real life without some obstacles in their way and Ms Moran shows this in a way that is believable.

I felt Faith's insecurities as if they were my own and I sympathized with Alec's plight.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this sweet story about letting go of the past, moving on and letting your heart be your guide.

5 STARS
You can find it here on Amazon in Kindle and paperback http://www.amazon.com/All-Me-Covington-Cove-Novel-ebook/dp/B00SI0B6HU/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1444062698&sr=8-1

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

It's Not The Getting Older, It's Getting Older Alone.

I recently celebrated my 45th birthday. Yes, I said CELEBRATED. I still celebrate birthdays and I do it as if I was still a little kid. I admit it. I look forward to my birthday. I always have.

I don't have any real problems with getting older. I never was bothered about it. Maybe because I truly believe you are as young as you feel and I certainly feel younger than I am. Maybe it's because I am still single and have no kids, so I still am living the same life I was at 35 (which is about the same age I currently feel).

Now one thing that DOES bother me about getting older? It's not the "getting older" part, it's getting older alone. As if dating wasn't hard enough in my thirties, it's now even harder.  The amount of men that are single, available, reasonably attractive and in my age range to me gets smaller and smaller as I get older.

Years ago, this wasn't a big problem. When you are young, there are more people that are single in your age range . I also always went for the younger guys, which was easier when I was younger, as well. Now, I a lot of younger guys seem like kids. But yet, I'm still not attracted to many men my age or older.

One big problem is that I really hate first dates. It's the whole process of being with someone that knows nothing about you. You have to supply each other with any information and I don't like to ask too much or tell too much straight off.  Quite honestly I always feel like I'm on a job interview. (yeah, I hate those, too).

I still find it hard to believe I'm going to be 50 in 5 years. I'm not afraid of it. I'm just hoping by them I'll find a date for my party.


Monday, March 23, 2015

IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE...

Today I was out shopping and remembered I wanted to buy a new under eye concealer. I happened to be in Kohl's and decided to look and see what they had available. I was approached by a very friendly sales associate and she asked what I was looking for and if she could offer any help. I told her what I was currently using ,but that I wanted to try something new . I mentioned that I was an esthetician, but I still didn't know EVERYTHING about makeup and was always open to advice, especially on products I was not familiar with. She told me that she was also an esthetician and jokingly asked if the office where I practiced was looking for anyone , even just to help with product sales. She told me she really loved being a salesperson.  I told her I previously worked retail for many years, myself, and how I  really didn't practice much skincare because I was also an electrologist and I now specialized in laser hair removal.

She was very helpful and asked if I had any limits to how much I wanted to spend because there were a few products she would suggest, based on what I explained I was looking for, but she wanted to offer me something I would like that was also in my budget.  She showed me two options, and since I wasn't wearing any makeup, I let her apply them to my face so I could compare them. She was fatastic in her product knowledge and definitely a great salesperson, though not pushy at all. I ended up walking away with a concealer that I really liked and though she did ask if there was anything else she could help me add to my purchase, I felt she was just being genuinely helpful-not just looking to make a big sale. I thanked her and asked if she worked on commission. I wanted her to get the credit for the sale she worked so hard and so well for.

She told me that, no, she did not work on commission and as long as I pay for my purchase, everyone ends up getting credit.  I thought that was a pretty cool attitude to have.

At first I felt a little bad seeing a licensed professional working retail, selling makeup. I remember the years I was in that line of work and how happy I was to get out of it. I felt fortunate that I did work in a clinic and had hours I liked better and was able to use my licensed skills in a "hands on" environment. Then I remembered that if it weren't for this girl and her own skills and experience, I may not have found a concealer that was right for my skin. Hell, I may not have found anything at all. What if I encountered someone who didn't like what they were doing and only cared about earning a  paycheck? This girl actually ENJOYED what she was doing and took pride in helping people with their cosmetic needs. She could be working in a clinic, but loving the sales side of the beauty business, was probably right where she belonged.

Today made me think about how no job is really less important than any other in the overall scheme of things. As long as every person was doing the job they were best suited for, and enjoyed doing it, there were no small jobs. Every job is important in some way. If it weren't, there would be no need for it.

I know that my job isn't like that of a physician, but it did require a lot of training and certification to aquire the ability to do. I still have to take continuing education classes to maintain my certification. Since regulation varies from state to state, some people outside of Florida could not operate a hair removal laser with the license and certification I have alone. There are some states that require less training. I take great pride in what I do and how far I have come to get here. I also really enjoy what I do. I believe that is a huge factor in how I perform at my job,

Everyone should have a job that enjoy. If you don't love what you do, you probably aren't going to do well at it, no matter how much training you have. I know my job is important. I feel it when I see how happy I make someone when they tell me how much they appreciate the help I have given them with getting rid of unwanted hair.

My job may not be "rocket science" but it does fulfill a need. Everyone's job does. It's just different needs for different people. To some people what I do may be more important to them than what a rocket scientist does.

So when you feel like what you do isn't really that important or requires that much skill, think about this: only an actual Rocket Scientist practices "rocket science".


Trust me. Redheads know best.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Thoughts On Moving Forward

It's been a while since I've posted here. A long while. It's just that I haven't quite felt the desire to write anything. I barely felt the desire to read anything much, either. I think it started when my grandparents passed away last year. It was such a shock to lose both of them in such a short period of time-6 weeks apart. I know it happens. When two people are together as long as they were, if one passes away, it's not uncommon for the other to soon pass as well. I just never heard of it happening so close. I guess it was too much for me.

It took me a while to get back into my normal routine. Work was first, of course. You get the standard, acceptable time frame to grieve. A week. Really though. How can one even put a time stamp on grieving. Everyone grieves in their own way, in their own time. I know I looked like I was fine and able to move on, but inside? No. Inside was a different story. The loss was very difficult for me. Not to say it wasn't for my brother and sister and especially my mother. I just think for me it was extemely hard because I tend to let my emotions stay inside, building up like a volcano, until it erupts into a fury.

I guess maybe that's my biggest flaw. Ok, not the BIGGEST, but close. I keep things bottled up. Then when I finally do let them out, I'm like a crazy person. I say too much. I say things that can be hurtful. I don't mean it. I just do. I also have a hard time apologizing. Maybe THAT is my biggest flaw.

Anyway, I've been trying to get back into writing because this is kind of an outlet for me. It's really why I started a blog to begin with. So I can have a way to express my feelings and thoughts in a healthy way. Some may even say a productive way. I certainly have no issues expressing the way I feel in words-just not on paper, or in this case, the internet.

It's been months since I lost my grandparents. A lot has happened. Thanksgiving, Christmas. I have gotten in touch with my dad and we are rebuilding our relationship. My sister got engaged. I've moved into a new home. I'm trying to get back to normal. Normal. Hahaha. Whatever THAT means.

Hopefully now I will be able to continue to post more frequently, even if they aren't long posts. If I can tweet all day long, I certainly can write a blog post, right?

So here we go. A new beginning. I hope it's a good one. So far 2015 has been pretty good to this redhead. Let's hope it continues.