Monthly Archives: February 2017

I’m a SHE, Not an IT!

I don’t feel qualified to write about this. I have not done enough research. I feel like I am failing in this area, but I am driven today to write. To write ferociously and angrily and at the top of my lungs.

I am truly blessed to have so many women in my life. These women are at all stages of life, come from many backgrounds, have varying degrees of intelligence, monitory standing and clout. They are black and white and hispanic. They are young and old, big and small, happy and mad. I love them, deeply, and so I am pained.

In JUST the last week, here are some of the narratives I have heard; (I am paraphrasing for anonymity sake)

“I can’t help it. He says to jump and I jump.” – After losing a bed in one of the few group homes for women in this area.

“He told me that if he was my husband, he would grab my hair and pull me down.”  – Then the man described several graphic sexual acts. During a 12-step meeting.

“If I hadn’t told the police then we would still be a family and my mom wouldn’t hate me.” – In reference to her dad who started abusing her at 4

“I’ve worked with him for a long time. We have a mutually respectful relationship, but when he told me he was attracted to another woman in our office, my feelings were hurt. Why isn’t he attracted to me?’ – Stated by one of the most well-rounded. intelligent women I’ve ever met.

“He asked me what I had done to cause the rape.”

“It’s the only thing I’m good for.”

And from my own bank of thoughts, feelings and experiences, after receiving a picture of a “friends” genitalia, “I’m so sorry, ” he said, “I just couldn’t help myself. I was looking at your pictures (on FB, all super g-rated, mostly with my husband and son) and just had to send you this.”

I’m completely broken. My heart is shattered into a thousand pieces. I have no idea how to respond appropriately to any of this. I found myself scream crying on the phone with one of my best friends husbands yesterday, begging him to tell me why.

Why do men, even ones I have so much respect for, still view women as objects for possession? Why do I sometimes believe that I am only worth what I look like?  Why did Lady Gaga get called fat? Why can’t I seem to shake this feeling that we are doomed to stay in this current state of patriarchy? And how do I fight against it?

I broke yesterday when I found out about a man who was in authority over a venerable woman recently, who is now dating her. I have known this man to do the same thing before, repent from that behavior and ask for forgiveness, and yet, here we are again.

A few hours later I found myself across the table from a beautiful, young sex worker who is truly convinced that her only value is sex, even though she hates the very thought of it.

Then even further into my day I sat in a room full of ladies who are working hard to stay sober and the issue of men arises, yet again.

I cried myself to sleep last night, scooted over as far on my side fo the bed as I could reach. Afraid to be touched at the notion that I might just crumble. unjustifiably angry at my husband for being a man and knowing these men. My level of trust diminished and I found myself questioning everyone and everything.

But I do know this; my God did not create a victim, he created a warrior. He built these men in His image and I believe that they too can be redeemed. I believe that their minds can and will be renewed. I know that I can be the voice in a dark, quiet place that shepherds hurting women to the light. Lord, let me be your Kingdom come, let this light shine, let women, created equally and perfectly in your image be sanctified, adored and loved. Let these men be mighty, powerful men of God that set this wrong right, let them pioneer a movement of change. Let it start here, now, today.

I also know that I am not alone. I am continually surrounded by women who sharpen the dull points, who point me in the direction of Love and who remind me that God is in all.

I am not qualified to write about this, but how in the world can I not?

 

 

Advertisements

I Bought Two Bottles of Wine

As I walked down the wine aisle in my local grocery store last week, I was mesmerized by the fancy bottles, the elaborate graphic art and the witty names.  I thought to myself, “As if people need a reason to be drawn in!”

Hours earlier, after a text exchange with a couple my husband and I are looking forward to getting to know better, I found myself slowly taking in the huge selection in front of me.  The question had arisen, “What can I bring to dinner?” And the typical, “Let’s really get to know each other,” answer, “Wine!”

“Perfect!” I texted, then inquired with a few friends as to which wines were acceptable, naturally assuming that Franzia in a box was not. I’m no wine pairing expert because, well, the three dollar bottle of wine that gave me enough courage to head over to the East Side for crack, paired best with McDonald’s and regret!

I received suitable answers and decided it best not to go alone. I wasn’t sure why, but I needed the buffer. I’d love to tell you that it was some spiritual high road, that I was being cautious of my recovery or that I was following the direction of my sponsor, but honestly, I wanted someone to hand the alcohol off to in case I ran into one fo my friends from the 12-step program I attend.  Believe me when I say this, you ALWAYS run into someone else in recovery in the most inopportune times!

I pried my son out of bed (it was 2pm, by the way) and told him I needed to by wine for a dinner party and didn’t want to go alone. My son, who regularly tells the joke that I am allergic to alcohol; breaking out in handcuffs, jumped right up, no questions asked and joined me in the car.  I cannot help but imagine that if I had told him we were going for cheese or almond milk he would’ve begrudgingly gone, but for this errand, he felt the weight and protected something dear to him; my sobriety.

When we got into the car I explained that we were going to a new friends house and they must not realize that we don’t imbibe. We made a few jokes and stared at the wine for what seemed like an hour. I thought it best to purchase based on humor rather than suggestion. We went with a red that had the same name as my business and a white that also gave nod to it.

This isn’t the first time that I’ve bought alcohol since I’ve been in recovery, I give it as a gift regularly to friends and family, but this ended up being the most comical. A few hours before we were to arrive for dinner my new friend texted, “I just remembered that you don’t drink!” She insisted that I just bring myself and my husband, but the wine was already purchased and the laughter already begun.

I have always felt like it would be a fun to write a manual for “normies” (that’s what us 12-steppers call people who can drink with impunity) that have friends who are in recovery. It would go something like this:

  1. My recovery is not so fragile that you can’t drink in front of me. It’s actually worse if you don’t because then I feel like your changing your routine for my recovery and people had to change their routines for my addiction so much that I don’t want that to be a thing anymore.
  2. It doesn’t bother me that you drink, I just can’t. No. Not even one. One for me is a death wish, for reasons that someone who drinks normally may never understand.
  3. Yes, I have plenty of fun. As a matter of fact, I have more fun now than I ever did drinking. I am full of life and spirit now and was only drowning myself with alcohol.
  4. I’ll be happy to bring wine to the dinner party but I refuse to bring crack. That’s where I draw the line! 😉

There would be plenty more. Maybe someday I’ll put it all in one place, but for today, this story will have to suffice.

And yes, I did feel a bit empowered. Not one time that night did I think a drink looked good and I forged, what I foresee as being, a long, fruitful friendship.