I saw HIM. I spent the night with him. I hugged him, kissed him, and laughed with (and at) him. He hasn’t changed since high school. 15+ years and he’s still the same. The only thing that’s changed is that he talks more … but only about himself. Other than that, he’s the same. It really made me realize that I’m not responsible for him or his feelings or his thoughts or even the events that happened in his life. I seriously felt responsible for a long time. I put so many curses on him. I cursed his name and his life many times throughout my life. I released them, finally, of course. I am nowhere near responsible for his life. I had to see him and experience him again to learn that. I hope the next time I have to learn such a big lesson I won’t have to interact with such negativity. I will not go into detail, but let’s just say … I’m better off! I finally have closure. It’s crazy, and I am grateful for my interaction with him.
But seriously! This isn’t the topic I want to talk about. I just thought it would be nice to know where this blog is coming from. What I have to say is something that came up during my time with him. It’s a serious matter!
People don’t want to talk about rape because it’s such a sensitive topic. To be aware of something means one has to pay attention. Well, I was in a situation, while I was with him. He didn’t touch me! He didn’t even come close to touching me without my approval first. So, no worries there!!! But he did make remarks that made me want to write about rape and women’s safety.
For centuries, our society has blamed the victim. There’s a phrase, “Rape Culture,” that’s been present in many activist groups. We need to stop blaming the victim! If, by chance, he did act upon his thoughts, I don’t know if I would have been able to fight him off. He is larger and much stronger than me. Would I have been blamed if he acted toward me? Yeah, I’m the one who invited him to meet me. I’m the one who wanted to go walking on the beach at 12:30 in the morning. I’m the one who put myself in that situation. However, none of that should be a reason why I am raped. Fuck that! No! The problem is not with me – or any other woman for that matter! The problem is with the person who acts!
So, there are hundreds of thousands scenarios why someone would act in a manner like that. It could be mental health. It could be drugs. It could be control issues. It could even be that they were raped when they were younger and they feel it’s okay. It doesn’t matter, though. All of those things can be the reason, and there could be many more reasons too. Bottom line, women need to be aware of their surroundings. Women need to have a way out. I didn’t. I sit here and think what I would have done if he did act. I wonder if I could have fought him off or screamed loud enough for someone to hear me. I wonder if he would have stopped. These things, I do not know. I am so grateful that I don’t them too!
Look! It is never okay to rape. I don’t care how many mental illnesses a person has (this particular man I dealt with had 3 different diagnoses – I found this out after the fact, of course); it’s never okay! Girls, be aware of the people in your circle. Trust people. Know people. Know yourself! My strength during that moment was my courage to speak up. When he “tried to be cute,” as he put it, I called him on his shit. What I found was that my courage, my strength and still something unknown within me, all intertwined themselves and I was able to speak up. I wasn’t a bitch about it. I didn’t belittle him. I didn’t even raise my voice. All I did was take a step forward, lower shoulders back, raise my head, look up at him into his eyes and asked him, “Did you really just tell me you’d bend me over that bench and I wouldn’t even tell you no? Did you really just say you’d rape me?” Well, his entire “cute” being dropped. He was defeated. He apologized. He “didn’t mean it like that.” Well, whatever! The point is that I was able to take control of the situation. I was comfortable within myself to state exactly what was on my mind.
I encourage every single woman out there to find that inner courage and know thyself! Figure out what makes you who you are. I’m not talking about the every day routine and materialistic shit. I’m talking about that inner core. Your thought process. Your fears. Your hopes, dreams and concerns. All of it! Know it all! Understand it all. Find it if you don’t know any of it. Change if you don’t like it. You have the power to be that strong, beautiful woman you were meant to be. It’s not your fault that people our there would rather look at your cleavage then talk to you. It’s not your fault that people will treat you differently depending on what kind of clothes you wear. It is not your fault! The only thing anyone can blame you for is not knowing how to protect yourself in a dangerous situation. Demand the respect you deserve!
Now, look … I’ve never taken a combat class or self-defense class. I don’t know how to shoot a gun and I don’t know how to stop someone from attacking me. But we don’t need that stuff to have the strength and will power to survive a situation. Yeah, they may help in some situations, but in most cases how we handle a situation is how we survive. If we’re cool headed, calm and compassionate – even toward someone who’s trying to hurt us – chances are, we’ll win. The way in which we contain that calm state of mind during hardships is by learning all we can about who we are. Find your strengths. Work on your weaknesses. Follow your intuition. Meditate. Know you! Love you! You’re worth it!
I love you!