Someone asked me this question the other day: “Do you think there’s a connection between homosexuality and sexual abuse?”
I don’t want to answer it. Why? Because I know regardless of what my answer is, someone, somewhere won’t agree with my answer, and then I’ll be labeled as a hypocrite, religious jerk, etc. etc. etc.
I’ve avoided publishing topics on homosexuality for this very reason. Because somehow, some way, despite being careful with my words, someone will get hurt, me included. But it’s time…
Yes. Yes, I think they’re related. Definitely not in all cases, but I would bet the majority. I’m not a scientist. I’m not a psychologist. I have no initials behind my name to qualify me to answer, but I have my own experience.
I come from a family of secrets, just as most others do. Perhaps a few of those secrets should be taken to the grave.
“You don’t talk about being sexually abused. You don’t talk about your addictions. Some things are just better left unsaid.”
Have you ever heard these words? Maybe you’ve said them yourself.
When someone takes their own life, those closest to them immediately ask, “What could I have done differently? What if I did this? What if I called her more? What if I visited him more?”
There’s an immense guilt survivors feel and it takes a while to get through that grief. Then comes the anger. “Why would she do something so stupid? Why didn’t he bother to think about us before he decided to take the easy way out?” Insert your own question here.
I’m angry. Angry that while I type this blog post, women in Africa, India, the Congo, and all over the rest of the world and United States, are being kidnapped, raped, beaten, tortured, and humiliated to think they deserve to be where they are.
I’m angry I didn’t sleep well last night because all I could think about was storming into a brothel in Kenya, Rambo style, and taking out the men committing these grotesque, shaming, hideous crimes with a smirk on their faces. I’m angry I slept in my queen size bed, snuggled up with my four pillows, while little orphans in Phnom Penh are lucky to sleep on a piece of cardboard.
I’m angry Ashley Judd’s childhood was stolen from her and I just want to hug her and say, “I know. I’m sorry.”
The scale. My eyes met his eyes for the first time in two months after I finally broke down and bought one for my own. It’s the only scale I’ve ever owned.
I’ve determined the scale fits under the male category for two reasons: It’s easier to blame him when we don’t get the results we want, and when we see good news in the numbers, we want to wrap our arms around him and waltz across the bathroom floor. No? Just me? That’s fine.
Anyway.. back to the scale. April 1, the start of a new month. In less than five seconds, I would have to determine how I would approach the results and whether or not I would allow it to ruin my day.
A couple of weeks ago I was hanging out with some new friends. We’re still in the “getting to know each other” stage, so there are still those awkward pauses, stares, shifting in our chairs, etc.
Things were going well, until I heard these words come out of one of my new friends’ mouths.
“I’m the fat girl,” she said with a smile, as though bringing humor to it would lighten the impact of those words. They may have for her and the others around us, but not for me.
It made my blood boil. I was mad. I still am. Not at her. I’m mad she believes what the devil is telling her. Mad she truly thinks of herself as the “fat girl” when God thinks of her in such a different way.
Have you ever been stung by a jellyfish? Me neither. Well, not a real one anyway. But I’ve been stung by plenty of metaphorical jellyfish and I can say I’m probably a better person for it.
Relationships are interesting. After we get hurt by a few people in our lifetime, it’s easy to become callous to letting others into the vulnerable places of our hearts. It’s easy to assume people are just out to get us.
This is a guest post by my friend and editor, Rachel Newman. She’s a Freelance Editor, Indexer, and has invested much of her talent into a future book project. She’ll be at the PENCON Convention in Austin, Texas in May. You should connect with her.
“Do you write much?” The question came from my chiropractor. I was face down on an adjusting table, and we had just been discussing a short essay I’d written comparing chiropractic care to the ministry of the church.
The answer hit me like the slap of a cat’s tail to my face in the middle of night. Editing. No, it wasn’t the answer to his question; it was the answer to mine. A question I’d been earnestly asking God for two weeks. “What’s next God? What is the answer to my heart’s longing?” The answer was so definitive, it left no question in my mind. God had called me to be an editor.
When life gets hard we want to quit. Our feelings of defeat are normal. It’s okay to feel them, but it’s not always okay to follow through with those feelings.
Meet my friends Amanda and Joey, and their amazing sons. I grew up with them. We laughed together. We cried together. We ate lunch together almost everyday in high school. Joey frequently bought me hot pretzels from the cafeteria ala carte menu.
They’re happy in this picture. Truly happy and full of joy. But life wasn’t always like that.
When I was a little girl, while most of my friends were dreaming about becoming brides and mothers, I was dreaming about becoming famous. I was going to be an actress, and author, and a songwriter.
Fourteen years ago I left my hometown, vowing to never return, unless they were naming a sign after me. Seriously.