When You Find Out You’re Not Quite Done

Every time I think I have tackled the big healing hurdle, life kicks me in the butt and tells me that I am not finished.

  • When I was raped and worked through my feelings, I became an advocate for those who couldn’t speak.
  • When I realized I was abused with religion, I fought for my daughter not to be baptized until she was old enough. I even started taking her to other religions to learn about them, through acceptance, not fear.
  • When I confronted my fears of being gay as homophobia, I became pro-equal rights for LBGT community.
  • When I got out from under control of my ex’s financial ways, I learned about finances and created my own budgeting system.
  • When I realized I had a bully of a boss, I, well I cried and hid when I lost my job. But when I got fired for asking to do my job, well, again I cried and hit. Hmmm. Guess nothing has changed on that front.

This is my next hurdle. It’s weeks before Christmas, and I have yet been fired from my second job this year. The first was a job for over 2 years where I was belittled, talked down to and told I did nothing right. Then came a job where I did everything right that my last bully of a boss said I did wrong. I thought nothing could go wrong! And yet I was wrong. I thought I had figured out my life after healing, but one thing keeps happening. When it comes to jobs, I have no confidence. I went from abusive relationship to an abusive job to a job who fires their employee of the month for asking to do her job.

I have been out of work for 3 weeks, with $700 to my name, 2 months of mortgage behind and a past-due car note. I have been absolutely devastated. Part of me doesn’t want to ask what did I do wrong, in the thought of grouping two different but bad experiences together. The first one, I understand that one by now. I would have quit long before they fired me if it hadn’t been for working on my habitat for humanity home. Especially after being praised at my last job for everything the first one complained about, definitely got my confidence up.

But… the day we learned Trump was going to be the next president, I asked my manager to stop the political banter, conspiracy theories, the gay jokes and etc. He said he would talk to everyone in the morning the next day, and within 3 hours I was let go. I keep replaying how bad that week was and thinking that would be the worst day, but it wasn’t.

Now, I am here wondering what I am going to do and how I am going to be able to get past this crushing depression that has taken over me. I have had 3 helpful people in my life throughout this and even my ex and his new wife have tried to help. These are good things, but it being this time of year and after working so hard, getting employee of the month 3 weeks before I was let go and everything just hurts.

The whole point of this post is to show that no matter how many things you work on, there may be some difficult parts in your life that still need work. AND that you aren’t alone. The confident me seems to vanish when things like this happen. Not because I am not confident, but because I haven’t found that confident part of me in a work atmosphere. It feels totally different for me. At work, I am on their dime, working for their cause and being totally professional. In my personal time, I am allowed to talk about things I post here, share videos/articles on facebook and twitter that are political or my personal beliefs. All the things you can’t talk about work, you can in your personal life. And I like that.

When I can feel like ME, no matter what I am doing, I feel more comfortable and confident. So now, I feel its time to find that confidence at work. No matter what I am doing. To finally say I AM ENOUGH.

If anyone has any suggestions or would like to express what they are finding they need help with, please feel free to comment or contact me. None of us are alone.

Here is another video that has helped me express needed emotions lately. I hope you like.

“Hold, Hold on, Hold on to me. ‘Cause I’m a little unsteady. A little unsteady.
Mama, come here. Approach, appear. Daddy, I’m alone. ‘Cause this house don’t feel like home.
If you love me, don’t let go.
Mother, I know that you’re tired of being alone. Dad, I know you’re trying to fight when you feel like flying.”

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From Homophob to Pro-LGBT: Finding Acceptance in Myself and Others

Lately, I have felt compelled to speak about a topic that I don’t and haven’t shared with anyone, except my counselor and one friend. No matter how many times I try to articulate what I feel and how it’s impacted me, it never comes out the way it feels in my heart and understood in my brain. In my head, I’m hoping this writing comes out perfectly how I feel. Let’s see…

In the last year, I have been faced with a lot things, as they say, exposure therapy. It’s made me realize that I am extremely pro-LGBTQ. It’s not about being gay or a lifestyle choice that *I* approve of… Actually, I disagree with calling someone who loves someone a “lifestyle choice.” It’s about accepting someone for who they without fear of rejection or ridicule.

MY STORY

When I was in middle school, I was bullied and sexually abused by a girl who lived down the street from me. After “my first kiss” being taken out of fear by this bully along with other sexual things, I was very confused. A year later, this same bully came out as being gay. All I could remember feeling was fear that it meant I was gay too. I never told anyone. Actually, I held onto those same feelings for over 10 years.

When I was married, I was in the Mormon church. I was indoctrinated between my ex and the church about family and marriage being between a man and woman only. I subscribed to this way of living because it was easy to, until it wasn’t. One day, I had to deal with my past abuses, yet I never had all the details. Things got so bad that I was praying and begging God to forgive me for these actions in my past. I talked to my husband at the time and he ignored me. So, by what I read with the church doctrines, I went to Bishop and confessed. Even after him saying I was ok, I was still distraught for months. All this came crashing down as I was graduating college. I even sent an email out to my family about going through stuff, but all they head was me saying I was perfect and they were flawed.

After months of searching out my feelings, talking to counselors and friends about all my sexual abuses, I finally dealt with being abused by a girl. But, the fear of being gay still stayed. It was so bad, that I would continue to beat myself up internally and finally admit that I felt like a homophob. I still had kept this abuse hidden because when I did speak out about it, I was told it was ok that I was gay, which I heard that for two years, and from abuse survivors no less. Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t hatefully going after gay people, but I also know in my heart, I didn’t accept their relationship as legitimate. Mostly it was out of confusion, past memories, and my fear of the abuse happening again.

In 2013, I was finally free from the fear of being gay. I found who I was and accepted my sexuality as mine, without fear of others thinking. And in the last year, I have come across many loving people on the LGBTQ spectrum who have become good friends. I went from closed off from anything that reminded me of the past to accepting everyone. I know it sounds funny to say, but the BDSM community helped me with this by just being around people and seeing how comfortable they were being who they were.

THE WHOLE POINT OF THIS POST

Every time I look back on the last 15 years, I wonder what difference it would make if the world was accepting of all relationships, not just the ones that feel comfortable for them. I live in Texas. Between the Bible belt and the conservative values, if I was gay (with or without the abuse), I don’t know what would have happened to that young girl.

My goal is to now help change the world for the better. I know how devastating it felt keeping those feelings to myself and I would never want anyone to have to go through those questions alone. After educating and healing myself, I feel I have a duty to pay it forward. Especially because I have an 8 year old who is growing up very quick. I know the values my ex is teaching her and all I can do is hope that I can help her accept and love everyone. Not just the LGBT community, but people of different colors and religions also.

I still don’t feel like I am able to adequately express my feelings and concerns. All I can say is I came from a place of fear, latching on to homophobia, until I educated myself and accepted myself. It opened my eyes up to a growing world of hate. We may have come farther in the realm of equality for the LGBT community, but we have a lot further to go. Young children are standing up and standing out as being different and I would hate to see that go away. Especially since so many others are still too afraid to.

In the spirit of the Holidays, I would hope that each one of you reading this could reach out to loved ones that are hurting, even if you can’t see their pain. So many give up the fight before they even begin, when all it might have taken was a kind ear or shoulder to cry on. It’s amazing what compassion can do.

Here’s a beautiful song to pass on. I have to remind myself when times are tough. Hope it helps someone.

“She don’t see her perfect, she don’t understand she’s worth it or that beauty goes deeper than the surface. Oh, oh. So to all the girls that’s hurting let me be your mirror, help you see a little bit clearer the light that shines within.”

“There’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark. You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are. You don’t have to change a thing, the world can change it’s heart.”

Questioning My Rape

In the last week or so, I have been looking back at my past journal entries. Some of them are goofy, but then, some are very insightful.

The entry that stuck out in my mind today was the day after I started talking about my past rapes. I started questioning whether or not I had been raped. I feel this is relevant because many people who were raped start self doubting and worrying that they were making things up in their head.

Anyways, this is my writing from July 22, 2011. Would be interest to see if anyone else felt the same way when dealing with their abuse.

—–

Even after all I am writing and reading, there is still something in my head telling me that it wasn’t rape and it as just a misunderstanding that I caused. He didn’t “force” me or “threaten” me, did he? Is this a fine line I should never cross? Denial likes to sleep in. That’s why I want to write it!

Did I bring this upon myself? Do I like playing the victim> Is this a way for me to feel better about sinning? Is it really force or threat if he doesn’t say much and doesn’t hit me? Is there a difference between rape and sexual assault? If so can I really use the R-word? Why do I have to dwell on this? I have been married for almost 4 years, have a beautiful 3 year old, and it happened 9 years ago. Should I just let it go as if it never happened? Does anything I do or say make the situation any different? Who even defines what the R-word means?

So many self doubting questions come into my mind. Why did I let this happen to me? Why do I fell I need to tell my family? What good will it even do? Why does Jack’s life get to be good after the event? Why does he get to be married? Shouldn’t his wife know the truth? Is that petty? Will they call me a liar? Should I message him on Facebook and ask if he has found God and changed since High School? Does any of this even make a difference? I have a lot of praying and faith to rely on… a lot!

I just really want to get my story out. I don’t want anyone else to feel the way I feel. I feel alone right now. On the internet I haven’t been able to find any similar circumstances like mine. Am I the only one this has happened to? If so, I hope it ends with me and my story!

Rape Shows All Around, but I Survived

I have survived a tough weekend, when it comes to rape reminders. I was binge watching Switched at Birth, and there was a storyline dealing with a campus rape. The way they played it out made it seem like both people were good and what happened was bad, without placing blame on anyone. In the end, the guy did get kicked out of school (saw that part of the episode Sunday night).

Friday night, right before bed was the first time I saw the starting scenes of the rape issue. It did affect me going to sleep all that well. I was texting my friend Michael but it was hard for him to understand, plus he just told me before that he was falling asleep. He tried though. Anyways, I read some articles on the show’s rape story and after a while, fell asleep.

Saturday was pretty rape-free. I didn’t have any reminders of it as I was so busy with friends and family and the dedication.

On Sunday though, I watched Game of Thrones with Chris at his house. There are many rape issues. One of the women in that show had to learn how to have sex with her rapist. Apparently women had no rights and men did whatever they want. In the end, she lost her baby with him and he died.

Anyways, once I got home after watching Game of Thrones, I finished the second part of the Switched at Birth episode. I knew I wouldn’t be all happy go lucky feeling but I didn’t like the grouchy down feeling either. I knew I had to get past it and watch it through.

The whole time I was watching Game of Thrones and Switched at Birth, I was texting Michael. I told him more about me. Told him my advocacy will come out and that I am more sensitive to this stuff as it happened to me. He understood as much as he could. I don’t blame others for not seeing things the way I do, but however, I will not hold back my feelings and thoughts on an ISSUE.

I am so glad that I did not crumble and that I did what was needed to get through the weekend. Sometimes just talking about this issue helps. Sometimes I need to read and do research on the subject. Sometimes I need a distraction. And other times, its all about finding a way to relax. This time, I let my advocate come out along with a day of distraction.

Life as I know it.

My life has been turned around in the most amazing way in the last year. I am only days away from owning my first home, I have a new car and am out of control of my ex-husband, and I have found my sexuality, learned about dating and found a path that I want to take in my life.

SEXUALITY

In June of last year, I joined a group of people after reading some adult books. I was in the mood to explore myself and my boundaries. In doing so, I learned a lot about myself. Each person is different in the path they choose after abuse, mine just includes the infamous BDSM. Yes, that is correct, I do not go to church… I am no longer the Molly Mormon I once tried to be. I am not a hypocrite who would go to church while doing everything against the church.

The topic of BDSM can be touchy for a few survivors, but for me, it was a chance to explore my sexuality in a safe environment. In fact, I have found more rules and safety guidelines that I have in the ‘vanilla’ community. I went into this knowing little but told to educate myself. Honestly, anyone getting into something new should educate themselves anyways.

DATING

Along the way, new friends I met introduced me to a friend of theirs. I met him and he was really nice. He was passionate about what he did and wanted to help me in my passions for supporting rape victims. He was the first guy that I let in my heart… and my first heartbreak after the divorce. I learned many lessons about the non-dating relationship and that I am not fully healed in that department. I have gone on some dates, but nothing substantial.

After the falling out of that FWB relationship, I realized that he has his own issues that he needs to get through, and that I relied on him too much, instead of being myself. We continue to be friends, but I now know that waiting and healing need to come first before I get into a relationship.

NEW HOME

So last March, I applied for a Habitat for Humanity home. I was approved in May and started working on my sweat equity. A year later, I have finished my 350 hours, have a few more classes to take, and my dedication is on July 9th!!! I know I am going to be a ball of tears! We started building in January of this year, and now the countdown has began. I have so many plans for this new home… from building the fence, painting the walls, decor-ing out the rooms and some DIY projects to better our home.

Since the divorce, my daughter and I have been living in transitional housing 2-year program at the Women’s Center for the past 3 years.. It has been amazingly helpful, but I am past that phase in my life and am ready to start some new adventures.

NEW CAR

Along with the new adventures of home ownership, I started a new job which afforded me the ability to trade my vehicle in… you know, the vehicle my ex purchased (which I cosigned when we were married) and then two weeks later bought another car, letting that car almost go to repo. Yeah, I am out from underneath him and his stupid car! It took a year of trying to trade in and refinance the car until it FINALLY happened! Trust me, I was in tears then too.

Things have not been easy in my life and not that I am happy that I was abused, got divorced, fired from my job, and etc… but I am happy that I recuperated from all of the disasters put in my way. Oh yeah, my boss of 2.5 years was emotionally abusive and I never had job security…. finally in January he fired me. It took 2 months but I finally found a new job, a non-abusive job!!!

I want to tell anyone reading this that a better life is possible. I hear stories every so often about those in situations that are less desirable. I wish I could help everyone, but the issue is, unless you are ready to move on and heal, you’re gonna be stuck. If you want help, I am here to point you in the right direction. Especially if you are in Texas, I have resources already together. If not, I would do research for you. We all just need one person who knows we can do better… sometimes that’s all it takes. Please don’t give up on yourself. Please fight and let those who support you be there for you. Until you speak up… no one can help.

The Enduring Marriage… Marital Rape? IPSV?

My friends often wonder why I feel so bad for those who were marital raped, when I too was. They couldn’t understand why I did not see what was happening in my own relationship, but could see it in others. Only thing we could come up with was the strength of my denial at that stage. I majorly minimized my own abuse and continually defended him and tried to make sense of something that made absolutely no sense. The longer time passes and the more my ex does, the easier it is to get out of denial, not that dealing with the truth is easy though. He has a pattern and it’s made me realize that he never loved me and only used and abused me.

And now the stuff with my ex is really starting to get to me. I think its time to share some of our 5 year history and get it out once and for all. Honestly, I don’t know what you want to call it. It makes me feel vulnerable to even think about. So I am just gonna lay it all out there. All I know, it wasn’t loving. He wasn’t loving.

PLEASE NOTE.
ONLY READ IF YOURE IN A GOOD PLACE TO READ. I DON’T WANNA TRIGGER OTHERS. ITS NOT MY INTENTION.

When we were dating:

We were friends as he was 37 and I was 18 when we met. He was also married. We were coworkers and I told him, after his wife left him, that I would never date a coworker. I didn’t know he liked me until two months later when he kissed me.

For the first three weeks, he slept on the couch and gave me his bed. But then he had a party with me, my friend, her bo and his roommate. He bought $100 worth of alcohol and by the end of the night, we were all wasted. I had just turned 19. Since my friend was over, Marc slept in the bed with me. He started kissing and rubbing and taking off my clothes. At one point, he was on top of me, about to go in me, when he asked, are you sure? I just nodded. He did all the work. I just laid there. Afterwards, for months, he made me feel guilty saying that he wished we would have waited and weren’t drunk.

About three months later he asked me to marry him. And two months after that, I got back into church. We had one month before the wedding. During that month, I asked him for us not to have sex until then. Part of me wanted it to be special and the other part knew how the church frowned upon sex before marriage. I asked, he said ok.

Within those 4 weeks, he kept advancing me for sex. Telling me how it was ok and trying to convince me. I would continue to tell him no, I didn’t want to, I wanted to wait, over and over again, but in the end, I stopped saying no and it happened anyways. Nine days before our wedding, I broke down in tears begging him for us to please not have sex anymore until the wedding. That it was only 9 days. It finally stopped. I shut this part out of my brain until years later it surfaced. I was so ashamed. He still denies that we had sex during that time. Just told me to pray and ask for forgiveness.

After we were married:

Six weeks after we were married, I found out I was pregnant. Which was a shocker for me as he told me when we were dating that he had a vasectomy and couldn’t have any more kids. When I showed him the test and asked him about it, he told me, “no I told you I went to the doctor but I never got it done.”

Throughout the next 4 years, I was going throughout life like my past abuse and rapes didn’t affect me. What I now realize is that they affected me very much.

During intimacies, I would check out and never realized it. My husband never asked if I was ok or stopped to check on me. It took 4 years to realize this happened, and when I talked to him about it, he said, “I know. I could tell when you didn’t want it or wanted if to be over with, so I just tried to hurry.”

I had to rub him to “get him in the mood” (even if it wasn’t my intention, remember I rubbed him every night, so there was no saying when). But on the nights he mentioned having sex, I would have to rub him and bite on his nipples (which I HATED doing). Sometimes this would get him to the point of already wanting to cum. But he would still want “sex” to cum in me. I didn’t realize. And then the other times, when he felt like it , would climb on top of me and start pushing his way into me. He was turned on I guess but not me so it took a bit of time and energy for him to get in me. Instead of easing in or getting me aroused for sex, he would put a lot of pressure on me to get himself in me. Sometimes he would be more gentle, other times, not so much. I would hurt days later, but thought it was normal. Between the two scenarios, sex lasted between 15 seconds to 2-3 minutes. It never did anything for me, most of the time I was checked out anyways.

He usually wanted on top, missionary. But on certain occasions, he wanted me to be on top. Or, his most lazy position was laying on his side trying to spoon me (vaginally or anally). Both hurt, were uncomfortable, and extremely less intimate. This became sex for the longest time. Most of the time in the late hours of the night, him with his eyes closed half asleep but trying to get sex because he was horny. Sometimes I would be out and he would wake me enough to start it. It did nothing for me, sometimes id be barely awake but after he was done he’d be asleep and I’d be awake. He liked “having sex” and getting off because it helped him sleep. So I was a means to that.

I would rub him almost ever night. Sometimes he wanted to get off, sometimes not. When he did, I would either get him off or he would jump on top of me, as he was about to get off, and cum inside me. He would tell me that he wanted to feel him inside me and then proceeded to say how guilty he felt that he wasn’t able to get me off (in that, not even, 15 seconds). I felt like he had used me because he didn’t wanna clean up the mess. He had withdrawn from sex around that time and would jack himself off in the shower, so the only “sex” we ever had was when he jumped up and came in me. It was always a surprise and I never knew when it was or wasn’t going to happen. It happened so quickly that I didn’t know what to do or say. Besides, he was my husband.

He would want me to go down on him or do things I didn’t want to do. I did give in to the oral at times just to make him happy. Sometimes when I did that, he would push my head down farther on him during. He liked to pull my hair extremely hard and then tell me I liked it. I didn’t. It hurt a lot, but I just thought he did all this because he was enthusiastic. In the middle of kissing once, my husband tried to go down on me. I begged him not to, tried to push him away, told him I didn’t want him to. He was stronger, told me that it would be ok, that he wanted to. And he did. I didn’t know what else to do. He also told me that I was enjoying the sex, the more difficult the sex became. He said it was because I was tight, but because of the pain and the fact I was dry, that wasn’t the case. Anyways, I thought it was part of my wifely duties to do all this stuff.

One part that stumps me all the time was the anal sex and how much he hurt me and didn’t see it as a problem. There were a few times I jumped up off the bed in pain and in tears. I would ask him to go slow, ease it in, but he wouldn’t. He would say ok, and then next thing I know, he would thrust hard or at a bad angle. I don’t know what he did but I was crippled over in pain. He still wanted to continue, so he waited until I managed to lay back down in bed. He would try anally again, but if I was in too much pain, he would want to continue vaginally instead.

He also didn’t use lubrication most of the time which could have added to the pain. I was never aroused for sex anyways and he never eased into with any type of lubrication. If there was, it was me grabbing whatever I could find to help with the pain.

I was embarrassed because I never wanted to do it. He would play oops wrong hole all the time. So when he stopped having sex with me, I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. So I did something that hurt me. And didn’t vocalize my pain. Not like he could see my face anyways. Other times it hurt, but I didn’t jump up like I did. I would just pull away. Or tell him to stop. Or endure it. When he did stop, it was for a few seconds until he would do it again. But then again, he always told me that “if I started it, I had better finish it.” Oh, and Marc always said, it’s weird, never acted like he liked it. But then after a year of stopping it, he started up about it again.

Nearing our separation:

It all started because I wouldn’t have sex with him one night and I didn’t like him touching me. I was being triggered and having nightmares and all he cared about was having sex, since our daughter was with the grandparents. He was emotionally void and couldn’t even hold my hand but he could touch me in my private areas and try to have sex. When we were laying in bed, he kept advancing me and I tried to get him to hold and cuddle me instead. He kept on so I told him no. He threw a fit and went to sleep on the couch. Thirty minutes later, he came in and threw the biggest guilt trip telling me “let me know when I can touch my wife again” and how much I don’t want him anymore. In the past, when he did that kind of crap, I would give into sex and feel shitty about it afterwards. Mainly because after I spread my legs for him, and he did his thing, he would tell me how crappy of a person I was and how I changed and whatever fight we had would continue afterwards. But in my head, anything to “fix” our marriage or make him happy would allow me to pretend our marriage was fine as long as the sex was still there. But this time he threw the guilt trip, he walked out of the room and all I could think was I am glad I didn’t have sex with you. I guess he wanted me to chase after him like I did in the past. But I was done with the games.

I hope if anyone reading this can relate, please know you aren’t alone and it’s not your fault. None of this is consensual. No matter how much they tell you it is or was. It’s not a wifely duty. It’s not about inflicting pain on your spouse. It’s about love and respect and care. None of which I received. Rape is not love. Abuse is not love. It took a while to open up about this and realize that it was not right. I’m not perfect, it still scares me to death to share this. But his actions and control are not my fault. Luckily, I got out of it. And hopefully by sharing parts of my story, others will find that they are not alone.

Shame of Being a Rape Victim

I think many have thought this but no one wanted to say it. Glad someone did. We’re so worried about falsely accusing someone of rape that victims are the ones that are hurt the most. Shamed into silence. I was for almost a decade. This picture was shared on Facebook and it is so true. When will society change? We need to educate the world about rape and abuse. It is not ok, never should be ok. Speak up speak the truth. Don’t be afraid. You are not alone.

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