| life is hard |

I binge-watched 13 Reasons Why last week. It was so crazy, I loved it! This show dealt with so many relevant issues that people don’t like to talk about as well as being realistic in its approach to these issues. I literally felt like I was looking back on my life during several parts of the show.

Rape is a major topic on this show… I thought it was appropriate to talk about that since April is sexual assault awareness month. No one likes to talk about this, but people need to.

There are so many misconceptions about rape. The girl asked for it by how she dressed or talked. Guys are just going to be guys. She was hanging out with the wrong crowd. She didn’t specifically say “no”, or “stop”. It makes me so sick that individuals rationalize this.  

There were parts of the episodes dealing with this issue that I couldn’t watch… they were too real. Because that happened to me.

It was a friend that I trusted. One night something changed and he put something in my drink. The girl I went to the party with acknowledged something was wrong without stepping in to do anything. Me being dropped off at my parents house not even coherent.

Yeah, it was my fault for going to a party. But how can you know when people you trust and hang out with often will turn around and make decisions like that?

I was so embarrassed and ashamed. I literally plunged even harder into addiction because I didn’t know how to cope. I never wanted to be powerless again.  

I got to a point where I forgot this even happened, surprisingly.  

Once I got clean and sober, though, all the memories came back. I started having nightmares and an extremely hard time dating. I was so afraid that now that I didn’t have anything to numb myself, I had to be extra cautious to not let anything happen. I still got hurt in many other ways which led to me to realize I had to forgive and move on.

See, forgiving him is not for him. I have no idea what that guy is even doing with his life and I don’t care to. But I needed to heal. I began praying everyday for God to change my heart. I read through all the psalms for comfort and to understand that justice will be served even if I don’t see it happen.

It took me over six months to forgive this person. I resisted so long, but then found so much freedom. The nightmares went away. The power he had over my thoughts went away. I began to see how my life was affected ever since then, and I have been able to change a lot of those reactions over time.

There are several reasons I felt I needed to share this. First, It is never ok for a guy to rape a girl, no matter what he perceives about her intentions or reputation. It is traumatizing and demoralizing… the repercussions really can’t be put into words. And it’s actually really hard to say “no” or “stop” when you are drugged or go into shock. Second, it is possible to heal from this if it happened to you… though it is a long and painful process. Third, so many people are affected by this and yet, it is rarely talked about!

There is so much entitlement and objectifying women in society that men are at a point where they seriously think it’s ok to violate someone for their personal gratification. And it’s not. But who’s going to stand up and face that to say so? I hope that other women who have been through this can find hope and bravery to forgive to find healing, like I did. But I also hope we can take a stand and talk about this, even though it is so difficult.  

I know I can’t change another person but I want to plant seeds. Plant seeds of hope in the victims and plant seeds of doubt and guilt and regret in the selfish perpetrators. Sometimes people are fully aware of the the cause and future effect of their actions, but some people don’t know what they don’t know. I at least hope that the more this issue is talked about, the more hesitant men will be to commit assaults because they will start to consider what all happens to the other person.

Revelation 21:1-8

1 I saw Heaven and earth new-created. Gone the first Heaven, gone the first earth, gone the sea.
2 I saw Holy Jerusalem, new-created, descending resplendent out of Heaven, as ready for God as a bride for her husband.
3-5 I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.” The Enthroned continued, “Look! I’m making everything new. Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate.”
6-8 Then he said, “It’s happened. I’m A to Z. I’m the Beginning, I’m the Conclusion. From Water-of-Life Well I give freely to the thirsty. Conquerors inherit all this. I’ll be God to them, they’ll be sons and daughters to me. But for the rest—the feckless and faithless, degenerates and murderers, sex peddlers and sorcerers, idolaters and all liars—for them it’s Lake Fire and Brimstone. Second death!”


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