a tough subject…literally.

Today’s trip down memory lane isn’t exactly light hearted. And it isn’t what I would call a “pleasant memory”. More like a nightmare. However, this nightmare resurfaced after reading an entry from a blog that I follow daily. The blog details the life and fitness experiments of a quirky, well versed, 32 year old mother of four, who has struggled, like me, with eating disorders and coming to terms with herself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Charlotte has a gift with words, and each day’s post leaves me either laughing hysterically or dumbfounded with disbelief over many of the similarities we share when it comes to our inner struggles. This post left an especially deep mark on me, as I have been in the same situation. Charlotte discussed a time when she was almost raped. After struggling for a while with whether or not this was her fault, what she could have done differently, etc, she realized, through some research, that a term was actually coined for instances like this: “Not Rape”. Yes, it may seem silly, but for those of us that have been in this type of situation, it sort of brings a closure to a very open ended struggle. Okay, yes, this ISN’T something ordinary, no, you AREN’T alone in this, and yes, there ARE things you can do to protect yourself. You see, ever since my freshmen year in college, when he-who-shall-not-be-named decided to use me as a human punching bag, I have struggled with feelings of guilt over what I’d done wrong, shame for telling people about the incident, and fear of it happening again. In truth, I was a victim of a “not rape”. No, I wasn’t in fact raped, but if my friends had not heard my cries, the situation would have held a very different outcome. So now I look back and think, “What could I have done to help protect myself?” I feel like the odds were against me in that situation. One, I was tired from dancing/partying ALLLL night. Two, I was very much over my alcoholic threshold, and three, I was alone with him in a room. Those three points caused me for quite some time to justify the situation. When I first told people about it, I would quickly follow the story with, “but you know, I didn’t exactly HELP the situation!” As if a man beating the crap out of a woman has ANY wiggle room for rationalization. I would think to myself, “Well Becca, you sort of brought this on yourself! You should have been smarter!” True, I SHOULD have stopped drinking before the room started spinning. True, I SHOULD have not been so suggestive in my actions with him, but by no means did he have the right to take things where he did.

 All this being said, that horrible night my freshmen year has actually provided me with a little guidance these past few years. I’ve become more careful when going out with friends, making sure I do not drink beyond my limit. I make sure I have friends around me who care about me and will watch out for me. And finally, I’m working to make myself stronger, physically and emotionally. I do not want to be a weak woman, in all parts of the sense. I want to be able to put up a fight if a man decides to treat me poorly. Granted, men are naturally stronger than women in the physical sense, but now I know not to put up with bad behavior right away. If a man begins to come on too strongly, I won’t stand for it. Before, I would have allowed it, ironically, even more so after the incident. After that night, I took the mindset of “just say yes” so that nothing like that ever happened again. Men get mad when they don’t get their way. Therefore, I need to give them what they want.

 No more.

 The Lord has been molding and shaping me since that time, into a woman who is seeing now that she is more than a doormat. I deserve more, and I want more. I never want to turn back in to that scared little girl who thought that she was worth so little. Do I still struggle with self esteem? Of course! It boggles my mind when people tell me they think I’m a confident person. I think, “What are they seeing??” I’ll admit, I am very good at putting up a front, hiding my true emotions so that people see what I want them to see. However, I want to get to that point that when someone says, “You seem so confident”, I can look at them and say, “Yes, I am, because I know who I am now”.

 Till then, I am going to continue to trust that the Lord will reveal that woman to me. No longer will I be a doormat. I want instead to be an open door.

hearts and hugs,

B.

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Comments

  1. Boo bear, my heart breaks reading what you’ve been through. You are very strong, stronger than you know. Love you my beautiful sissy boo boo.

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