an eagle’s feather
rings red, white and blue
no greater service
an eagle’s feather
rings red, white and blue
no greater service
For believers, God has the power to be everywhere and to do anything.
For non-believers, the question remains.
Each week seems to bring new accusations of sexual molestation, sexual harassment and sexual assault as more victims find their voice as evident now in the public revelation of Kevin Spacey’s alleged long standing behavior. Palms slapping foreheads. Fingers plugging ears. Eyes looking elsewhere. Mouths speaking words of disbelief to condemn both the accused and their victims.
Spouse, parent, employer, coworker, colleague, or witness on the street, where were you? I’ll tell you where you were – dependent upon your own needs, your investment, your paycheck, and your unwillingness to get involved. It’s the ugliest of human betrayal.
Say whatever helps you sleep at night. You, bystanders who now crawl from underneath your rationalization, are not brave. You are not courageous. You are complicit. The only ones who are innocent are the ones who were being abused too.
“But let justice flow like a river and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Amos 5:24
I’ll be honest. I struggled with that same question as unbelievers. Where was God in all my sexual abuse circumstances?
The struggle became even more apparent after losing a coveted career in 2009 due to the raping of the United States economy and American families. Bitterness moved in with shame and anxiety. All three capsizing me. On the edge of drowning, I faced what my memory did not want me to see.
“My soul is weak from waiting for you to save me. My hope is based on your word. My eyes have become strained from looking for your promise. I ask, “When will you comfort me?” ” Psalm 119:81-82
God sent angels, who unknowing of my internal struggles, helped me to see God’s light, hear God’s Word, and feel God’s love. Comforted, I accept who and where I am. God was there and He is here now.
“He rescues suffering people through their suffering and opens their ears through distress.” Job 36:15
And what I have learned since is this… I will put my hope in God each, and every time over bystanders. I can’t make unbelievers believe, but I have heard God’s call. My struggles have equipped me to help bystanders do the right thing… to stand up and speak out against abuse of any kind to anyone or animal.
The Blogging Owl
Rose McGowan, the actor and activist, implored women to fight sexual harassment and assault by calling out harassers and naming names when she spoke at the Women’s Convention in downtown Detroit this past week. Yet she refused to do the very thing she asked her female audience to do. I found her rally cry to be disingenuous to say the least (even if she had a prior written agreement with her abuser not to do so), but I do believe women must begin to fight the shaming whether it is calling out the abusers and harassers or not.
“Shame hates it when we reach out and tell our story. It hates having words wrapped around it – it can’t survive being shared. Shame loves secrecy… When we bury our story, the shame metastasizes.” – Brene’ Brown, author of The Gifts of Imperfection.
Sheer panic proceeded pressing the publish button when I posted last week, Dear Alyssa Milano. In fact, I had tried for hours to bring myself to press that damn button on my blog publishing site. My paralyzing fear was what category would this hurricane of personal information become.
Since that blog post went live, I have heard words like courage, bravery, transparency, genuine honesty, and even the word, heroine. What I have heard most, however, is awkward silence. And in my anxiety-trapped mind means that this uncomfortable truth with all its’ vulnerability means that many have gasped in horror and are stifled in their own discomfort, “What was she thinking?”
I’ll be honest again. Those words – courage, bravery, transparency, genuine honesty, heroine – they were given to me in a spirit of empathy, compassion, a sisterhood for a lack of a better word made me cringe even while saying, ‘thank you, it means a lot to me.’
I now must face the truth, my truth, every day because others now know it too.
“How horrifying for you.”
“Oh, you poor thing!”
“Who was it? What happened?”
“You rock. Everybody loves you.”
“Well, let me tell you what happened to me….”
Or simply…. silence. The silence of judgment, disappointment, or denial as a result of my sharing my story.
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Eliot
Exploring that darkness was necessary so that I could discover the infinite power of light and purpose to live my truth. I don’t need to call anyone out. I will leave that to God’s day of judgment.
Over the last several years, I did toy with the idea of writing a book. I wrote countless beginnings, renaming the file and pushing it around on my computer hard drive just as many times. However, this #MeToo revolution convinced me there is no benefit in writing it. There isn’t a benefit in my reclamation of wholeness because an individual’s story is rarely just the individual’s story. I don’t give a damn about the abusers or harassers or their story’s side of it. I have no pity, however damaged and screwed up their story. They had NO right to do what they did. But there isn’t any righting the wreckage for the collateral damage in telling my story, past or present.
Let me be clear on this point, however. I am not condemning anyone who chooses to call out as Rose McGowan advocates for abuses that occurred long ago or just yesterday. Nor do I advocate burying their story, but to gather the courage to seek professional assistance in revealing and rooting out shame caused by their abuser.
Imperfectly transparent as I may be, I know I am worthy. It’s been a long arduous journey and one I am still traveling. Embracing my vulnerabilities was risky, but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love, belonging, joy and the peace that comes with it.
I am who I am. I have all that I need in the loving eyes of my God, my husband, and my sons. And if there is anything worthwhile to dig up, discuss or to write about it, it is the danger of living in the shadows of secrecy and giving up on living my truth, each and every day.