This year’s Golden Globes were inspirational and empowering for women. Oprah’s speech which included the #metoo and #timesup movement was pioneering. I loved seeing the women bond together and wear black in support. I especially loved seeing the men stand in unity with the women.
I am 61 years old. At age 14 when waiting for a bus, I took a ride with a man who offered. Rather than being kidnapped I jumped from the truck as he turned which resulted in my having a head injury and being in a coma for two weeks (having a NDE) and having a Priest give me last rights. At age 15 after months of being groomed by a 23-year-old married man, my first sexual experience was one of being raped. At age 16 I was fired from a nursing home job where I moped floors because the administration was uncomfortable with the elderly men looking at me. At age 18, I was a single mom with two children. At Thanksgiving everyone at the department store where I worked was offered a free turkey. My boss offered me a turkey if I slept with him. No thanks. And there is more . . .
In my early 20s I was on the front lines of the local feminist movement in an attempt to free myself from a battering relationship that had gone on for years. I think you get the picture. Our environment and our experiences shape us.Empower women and share your support! https://www.gofundme.com/timesup/Click To Tweet
My focus has not been hateful or angry at men, but has been about empowering and coming together. My response was to go to community college and become a substance abuse counselor, one of the first in the nation. While working in a Federal prison where I counseled clients, I continued my education. I received my Master’s Degree from Gonzaga University in Counseling Psychology and became a mental health counselor. I have spent the last 35 years, more than half my life, sitting in sessions and groups counseling and helping others heal from their wounds. Many of these women have been tortured and nearly killed at the hands of their boyfriends and husbands. Don’t feel sorry for me. These memories have been healed and empowered me to help others!
I’m sharing this story because although it is Celebrities who are bringing the #metoo and #timesup movement to the forefront of our minds, many women don’t have the resources to make changes. I channeled my pain into education which was healing for me, but that is not how many women respond. They become paralyzed, scared and often become emotionally or physically ill.
I love that Women Power is finally at the front of our consciousness. NOW, let’s bring in the men that we love to support us. We don’t want to swing the other way and polarize the relationships between Women and Men. Embrace the men in your life. Invite them to support you. Allow them to stay empowered and to empower the women that they love. Much of my own healing was in the arms of men who loved me.
Now, I understand – it is not all women and all men. Men have been and continue to be victimized too. Speak up about abuse. Create a safe place for others to share with you.
There are many conversations to have. Some abuse is in the workplace. Some is in the home. Some is random by predators. Some women choose to stay for whatever reason. Shaming women who stay is not okay. PTSD is real and paralyzing. They need support!
We are all in this together.
If you are angry, hurt, victimized and wounded – get into counseling and heal yourself.
You deserve it!
Please donate to help the women who don’t have resources to help themselves!