Can You Hear Me Now?

It has been a while since I have posted publicly to my blog. At times I feel it is best my thoughts remain private, but right now, I only feel I need my voice to be heard.

I don’t know how many tines I have written about the invisible terrors mental illness causes. I have probably spoken on this topic far more than I could count. One thing I often don’t talk about though sexual assault. Now for those who may be triggered or have a hard time reading about these types of things, I do encourage you stop now. I would never want anyone else to relive trauma.

Now, every form of abuse I have suffered still causes me problems in my life. This very specific form of abuse however hurts me in ways I can’t even comprehend.

I want to tell a brief story. There was a young man who came to my work place looking for a home. Now, to everyone else, he probably seemed normal. If anything, maybe he seemed to be a tad bit conceited. To me, he was different. This man’s personality, his actions, & his mannerisms flipped a switch in my head. In my mind, I have seen him before. Even though I probably had never actually met him, my mind knew him. My mind recognized his mannerisms and set off a warning alarm. My body’s fight or flight defenses turned on because all of a sudden, It wasn’t a stranger. This man wanted to hurt me, degrade me, rape me.

I don’t know him and he probably is an okay guy, but from past experiences, my mind and body thought this man was threatening. It pulled to mind gruesome memories and details that I never wanted to think. Now, do you want to know the worst part? It was noon and I still had to work six more hours before I could go home and cry.

One of the worst feelings a sexual assault victim can feel is degraded and unheard. My mind screams internally and my body feels numb. Those same describing words could be used to describe several of the sexual assaults I have survived. I’m fighting this deadly feeling and I can’t say a word.

Why don’t I say something? Well, times like these happen more often than I care to admit and if I said something every time, I would surely turn into the boy who cried wolf. That is why I stay silent. I keep quiet until I get to a time that my body produces a physical reaction: sobbing, yelling, convulsions, hair pulling, etc. I wait until this happens because I know people will see something is actually wrong. They will be able to hear me. They will be able to understand. It’s like my mind is screaming “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW!?”

I hate living life like this. I’m in constant fear. I wonder if anyone can relate. My therapist suggested I get a doctors note so if I feel unheard, people will believe me. My everyday life consists of trying to stay calm and trying to remain normal. I practice many coping skills throughout the day just to function.

Sometimes it’s even worse after I go to therapy because it brings things up that I would rather ignore. I have been hurt too much and I’m mad that it’s able to control me. I’m mad it can hold me hostage. I’m mad it can take me away from my work. I’m mad that it effects my intimacy with my husband. My mind is mad and now it’s screaming at all the men who hurt me “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?”

That is why I wanted to make this public. I want people that know me, to hear me. I want them hear the silent screams for help. I want others who read it to relate or to hear others. Think of the four closest women to you. Now pick one. Statistically one in every four women are sexually assaulted in their lives. Let our voices be heard. Because sexual assault isn’t just a “me too” Facebook post and then let’s all forget. Sexual assault is a monster that devours its victims daily.

So this goes out to those who feel like they can’t be heard. And I ask those around me, can you hear me now?

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Metaphorically I’m a Whore

On the eve of a day that’s forgotten and fake,

And the trees they await and clouds anticipate,

The start of a day when we put on our face,

A mask that portrays that we don’t need grace,

On the eve of a day that is bigger than us,

But we open our eyes ’cause we’re told that we must,

And the trees wave their arms and the clouds try to plead,

Desperately yelling there’s something we need,

I’m not free, I asked forgiveness three times,

Same amount that I denied, I three-time mvp’ed this crime,

I’m afraid to tell you who I adore, won’t tell you who I’m singing towards,

Metaphorically I’m a whore, and that’s denial number four.

The above lyrics is the second verse of one of my favorite songs by twenty one pilots called “Ode to Sleep”.  You know how when you listen to music sometimes, the lyrics just hit your soul in a way that words can not?  This verse has been on my mind and heart lately.  On the surface,  it’s not all that original.  It seems like he’s just trying to fit words together to get them to rhyme in a way that makes sense.  If you take a second look at it though, you may notice some of the outlooks on life Tyler has.  Notice how in the beginning of the verse he says he needs to put on his mask, which I believe many of us do.  This mask in particular portrays that we don’t need grace.  I relate to this as I often try to act like everything is perfect when in reality I’m struggling with sin.

The trees are telling him he needs God.  In this next part he’s referencing when Peter denied Jesus three times on the eve of Jesus crucifixion.  He then recognizes that in his music and in his life he often feels like he is denying Christ as his savior. He knows he should be singing more songs about God but he’s afraid of the world. That’s when he says he’s denied him four times. I’ve been there so many times as well.  How often do I make my life look just like the rest of the world.  Though I may not deny him with my words all the time, I do with my actions.  When I fail to speak of his amazing grace, I’m denying his goodness in my life.

I know I’m a twenty one pilots freak, but I hope you can see through this verse why this band has changed my life.  Not only did their music help get me through my depression, but it also helped draw me back to Christ.

An Open Letter to Homophobic Christians

I have for many years wondered how someone can hate someone else.  No matter what they do or believe, it’s clear that Christians are supposed to love unconditionally.  It’s not that I do that perfectly, because I don’t.  I just believe that with every opportunity presented to me as a Christian, I have the opportunity to be Jesus to that person.  Jesus hung out with tax collectors, prostitutes, and sinners. 

If you are a Christian and dislike people who are gay, I have a proposition for you. Please, instead of hating them, hate me.  If your basis for hating them is that you believe homosexuality is sin, then I believe I am a much better candidate.

Reasons to be Victoriaphobic

  1. I lie
  2. I’ve had premarital sex
  3. I swear
  4. I hate (which according to Jesus is murder)
  5. I curse God
  6. I’ve done drugs
  7. I get drunk
  8. I put things above God almost every day
  9. I have stolen things
  10. I disrespect my parents

Those are the the tip of the ice burg with me.  I have committed so many dirty, filty, awful sins, I find it hard to believe God would ever love me. So as you can see, I’m an awful person.  So please instead of hating the gay person who is struggling so much to feel loved by anyone.  The one who is contemplating suicide because his family abandoned him.  I beg you, love him, and direct your hate at me.  

I have said this before, but as a Christian, if someone came in with a member of Isis and held a Gun to my moms head and said, “I will either kill her or this man from Isis, the choice is yours as to who I kill.” I would tell them to to let the man from Isis live.  This is because I know my mom would go to heaven and be exponentially happier.  Sure it would be hard for us, but I know I’ll see her again someday.  The other man, I know if he died, he would never get to experience the love of God and would be doomed to eternal suffering.  I would much rather let him live and show him Gods love in hopes that he would change his heart.

That is a very extreame example.  I do believe that we are called to love, though.  The ones we need to love the most are those who are lost and alone.  In many cases, I know people from the LGBTQ community are alone and feel abandoned, especially by the church.  I vow we change that.