Why I believe women

This has really been a rough week for so many; with the Kavanaugh hearing; a lot of people are triggered and emotions are running high.  I actually have to admit I don’t have cable news ( or even a TV for that matter) so I miss out on a lot of the details; I read headlines on Facebook and hear people talking about it but I don’t get the full picture.  The news is just so negative and full of drama that I have a tendency to just shut out the news because it’s too much; too many players; too much arguing back and forth; it’s not good for my mental health. That being said I have jest of what these hearing is about; Judge Kavanaugh is being accused of attempted rape at a party in the 80s in high school  ( a pretty serious accusation). A lot of people these days are being accused of sexual assault; it’s seems like a celebrity or politician is being accused of sexual misconduct each day; and a lot of them have surprised me (Charlie Rose, really?)  And while I am shocked and have empathy for these women that are accusing these men; I don’t know them personally so it’s easy to not get emotional because I am looking at as outsider who has never been sexual assaulted and can’t fully understand that pain; but a lot people have   ( as I have been finding out recently)

I find myself to be a very sensitive man and have met so many caring women who have been there for me in my life; I admire their strength and courage. I admire how they express their feelings ( some not all); how they show empathy; how they are usually to ones who speak against the injustices of the world..  So when I hear about men who abuse women; my heart breaks because I can sense the pain and anguish the actions of these men cause; the trauma inflicted on these women is life long. I understand trauma in my own way and I have empathy for them because i am a human being who cares about others; but there are so many others in this world that are insensitive; they can listen to a woman describe unbelievable trauma while recounting being sexually assaulted; hear her voice quiver; hands shake and tears rolling down her eyes and not blink an eye.  To them it’s all in act to smear the name of good family man; it’s scam; a political ploy; instead of a woman speaking her truth. And then I hear some say “Well why didn’t they come forward earlier?’   Well who wants to relive that trauma in front of a courtroom ( mostly made of men ); have your sexual history on display; be called a liar and told that it didn’t happen and  say that you just want money or attention? Why go through all that; especially when you are a teenager.  Being bullied as a kid I can remember being ganged up on and when I told the teachers; they told me to just ignore it and it made things worse. I learned not to speak up because it didn’t stop the bullying and no one was going to help me anyways; so I just learned to put up with the bullying because i had no choice.  I use that as an example of trying my best to understand why women take so long to come forward ( if they ever come forward at all). Just typing this now makes me feel angry; I feel angry so many men doubt women; so many men say so many disrespectful things towards someone who has been through sexual assault; why are they so quick to judge?. And do so few men stand up for women? That’s my question.

For a long time I didn’t speak up because it wasn’t personal but last year after the allegations of Harvey Weinstein were brought to light; I started seeing all of these statuses from women that said “me too”.  I had no idea what that was about; I later found out it was women sharing that they had been victims of sexual assault and harassment; and all of sudden most of my female friends were making “me too” posts; it became personal. These women who were my friends and who I loved were sexually assaulted or harassed at one point by men in their lives; that hurt deeply; I really felt for them. Soon some of them started sharing their stories in more detail and I started to realize how many women were affected by this and how so few of them ever came forward and their seemed to be a recurring theme: fear, fear fear.  Either they were threatened  or didn’t want to get his male in trouble so they held it in for years and years. Now by sharing this they have nothing to gain; they aren’t taking these guys to court; they are speaking their truth so other women don’t feel so alone; and they’d have no reason to lie.  I thought about that; a lot of these accusers are coming forward 15-20 years later; way past the statute of limitations; so they can’t charge this guy. Why would a woman put herself through that trauma all over again; be called a liar in front of everyone; have her sexual history questioned and gain nothing legally from it; if she wasn’t telling the truth, right?.  I don’t know; I don’t have statistics and figures; I can only speak from the heart and I believe a lot of women coming forward and I commend them for being so brave; because it takes guts to stand up against powerful men who think they are entitled to sex and see women as solely sex objects with no feelings or worth.

I want to finish this post and talk about a family member who I have not seen since she was a little girl; we actually share the same birthday; she is exactly 6 or 7 years younger than me.  I don’t talk to that side of the family so I don’t know about any of them.  But I was told that this member in the family was sexually abused at a very young ( 7 or 8) and it was shocking; especially since I had met the boys who had abused her for years.  I just felt so furious and had so much hurt in my heart; knowing that cute little innocent girl who was funny and who i went to the pool with and talked with her  had been through unimaginable abuse. I can’t describe how it makes me feel except sick. Even though I have no contact with my family; I do love her and she crosses my mind from time to time. I caught up with her on Facebook about a year ago. I messaged her a few times and I could tell she was struggling; she didn’t work; had ptsd ( related to the abuse); and it wasn’t like talking to an adult; it was like talking to a little girl. I realized that the abuse was so bad that emotionally she remained 7 or 8 years of age.  I didn’t think it was appropriate to be talking to her; even online so I cut off contact with her and any other family I had on Facebook. But when all this talk of sexual abuse comes up; she does cross my mind. And she’s isn’t lying about the abuse and didn’t tell anyone for years; long after it had ended.  I tend to believe most women who come forward because in a  rape culture such as ours; I believe that there are many more men out there capable of sexual abuse than I had previously imagined.   I hope to continue to be the kind of man who speaks up for women; comforts women; is friends with women; and never stops believing women

Thank you

Dave

 

 

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Porngraphy is destructive

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For many years I struggled with watching pornography; it is everywhere these days; you can’t escape it. There are thousand of free porn sites that anyone ( including those that are minors) can access without any age restrictions; and it isn’t just vanilla porn; it’s hardcore pornography; anything you can think of within legal limits is available mostly for free online. It all too easy to become addicted.  And if it isn’t pornography; it’s sensual videos on YouTube ( a lot female youtubers tend to flaunt their sexuality; mostly to attract male viewers) or it’s half naked girls on Instagram or any other social media; just a never ending stream of lust. It almost makes you sick; you see women as objects; you don’t care about their brains and what they have to say; it’s about their bodies.  I used to use a metaphor for it; it’s like putting a drug addict in a room and there is a constant stream of free drugs; anything he wants; anytime of day; free of charge.   I started thinking to myself; what is this doing to my mind? How is this affecting the way I view women.   How do I see myself seeing this endless stream of scantily clad woman all day everyday; and not real women mind you; but pixels and videos; not reality.?  I think it got to the point where I couldn’t look women in the face because I felt so much shame at seeing women degraded and abused on a daily basis. I mean how can you relate and have relationships with women when you see them as objects; spit on, kicked, called names, in pain while the crew and cameramen around them laugh at their expense?  Something inside of  me started feeling hurt by watching this; I was hurt for these women.  A thought came to me that at one point they were all little girls; did they dream that one day they’d be having sex on camera for millions to see; to be abused on screen; at risk for contracting AIDS and other diseases; having their family and friends possibly find out about their porn acting and be ostracized ( I read about one young girl who took her own life because a college classmate found her porn audition video; heartbreaking), having those behind the camera making twice as much while the pornstars take all the risks. Is money worth losing your soul over?  But something amazing happened when I stopped looking at pornography so much; I automatically respected women more; I saw them less as objects and more as human beings worthy of my respect and admiration. I want to connect with women; I want to relate them; I want to understand women because I felt so bad about watching all of this garbage over the years.  It lead me other unhealthy behaviors that I regret; porn  is sort of like the gateway drug to other things.  For me personally when I turned my life to God; it’s as if he freed me from that addiction.  I felt less of a need to look at it because I saw it as ugly and against the kind of life that Jesus would want to me to lead.. I don’t want to preach or demand that porn be banned; because that will never happen. Adults have a legal right to do whatever the hell they want to do but this is something I have wanted to write about for a long time. I want people to see how destructive porn is; how many lives it has ruined; suicides; drug overdoses; aids, ; murders; a huge rate of death within the adult film industry and none of that matters to the pornographer because there will always a cute 18 year girl right out of high school; ignorant to the world that they can use; abuse and throw out like yesterday’s garbage; it’s heartbreaking. I mean this is an industry that refuses to have their workers wears condoms; in this day and age where there is still no cure for AIDS and the rest of us have to use condoms to protect ourselves from disease; the porn industry only cares about money and will put performers at risk to line their greedy pockets; they don’t care who dies as a result of their wickedness. So I for one chose to stay away from pornography; I want a healthy relationship with a woman; I want to feel better about myself. I don’t want to contribute to the abuse and degradation of women; I have respect for them and have many female friends; they are more than objects; they are people I care about it. So I hope I have been honest in this post; this was difficult to write but I feel I needed to say it.

As always, Thank for listening

Dave

Workplace bullying

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Workplace bullying

Bullying is a common theme in my writings and I would love that say that my bullying experience is in the past and as an adult I don’t face being bullied but that would a lie. Here I am, a 35 yr old man and I am still being bullied on a constant basis. But this isn’t bullying in the schoolyard, no this is bullying in the workplace, I face it everyday. And when I talk about bullying, it isn’t always blatant and in my case it’s subtle; subtle enough to go undetected by my management and my other co-workers. Here is my story about  what I have to deal with almost every work shift. I work in retail, I have some disabilities and it impacts how I function in the workplace and the kinds of jobs I can have. Due to my disabilities I can’t stand in the same place for an extended period of time, I need a restroom close by and I need to use as many times as I need. So that alone makes work frustrating and very tiring. I also think it annoys my other co-workers and management because I may miss helping a customer if I am in the bathroom but I just tell myself it’s not my fault and to do the best I can. I have been at my job for a little over a year and and it’s probably the most successful job I have had considering, no major issues, I am on time, I do my job well, I get along with customers and my co-workers for the most part. About 7 or 8 months ago they hired this older guy in my department and he is in his 50’s. When I first met the guy I thought maybe he had some mental health issues. He was really quiet and barely spoke to me. When he did talk, he was either making fun of someone or making weird sexual comments about female co-workers ( I should have said something)

I thought he was harmless and we got along for a while. And then one day out the blue, we were unloading a a truck and he became really aggressive, like he was throwing boxes towards me and he seemed angry. I tried to think what it is I had done and I figured he was having a bad day and I would leave him alone, maybe the next day it would pass. The next day he continued to be angry, going into the computer room; ignoring me the rest of the day unless we were helping a customer. I figure ok, this guy is ignoring me, I can handle this, but as the days passed it just seemed to get worse. One day I was helping unload a truck and I fell between the dock door and the truck and injured myself, from that point on I was never scheduled to unload trucks. I didn’t plan it, I would have unloaded trucks if they want me to, but they didn’t. After I stopped unloading trucks, I noticed the guy got angrier and angrier. He would just stare at me angrily without saying anything. Other times he would talk to me as if he was my boss; telling me what to do, making demands and here I am confused as to why this guy seems to hate me so much. So I just learned to stay out of the guy’s way, I didn’t talk to him, whatever side he was on, I was on the other side keeping my distance. As time went on we barely said a word to each other even if we were helping a customer. I can’t tell you how many times he has slammed things or tried to push me out the way. I might be sitting in the adjacent room and he would hit the wall, like he knew I was there. Sometimes I would react, like “what the fuck,dude”. I really became scared when I overheard him asking another co-worker about what I talk about and who I talk to on Facebook. I thought to myself what if this dude somehow hacks my Facebook and harasses my friends and family? So I blocked him and all my other co-workers from Facebook and other social media. So I lived in constant fear, not knowing what this guy was capable of. And just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, my property was stolen. I left a phone charger one day after work, it was gone when I came back. I wasn’t sure if I lost or if someone stole it, I looked all over. I grabbed another old charger I had at work and that was stolen the next day. I told management and when I told them about the hostility, they said said ” Really?, not him” as if I was imagining this whole thing, like I was a liar. They said they would take care of it and nothing was ever done.Within a few days someone had found my charger hidden somewhere. I thought that was interesting, my charger had been missing for about a week and as soon I complained it magically showed up. So I found a hidden place to charge my phone and stupidly i left it again one night. I showed up the next day and the charger was gone along with the power strip lol. I had to laugh because it was so absurd. It’s not the charger that’s important it’s the fact someone stole from me, twice. And they didn’t steal from me because they wanted my charger, they did it to mess with my head.

Never in my life have I dealt with such a toxic work situation and I have had some bad experiences. And I don’t want to call this bullying, this is abuse. This is someone who exerting control over me, making me feel fear all the time; fearful of my things being stolen. I feel he tries to intimidate by being hostile ( slamming things, staring me down) and he wants to make it look like I’M the one with the problem. He wants them to think I must be crazy and this whole thing is in my imagination, that way he has complete control and there can be no consequences. This is affecting me on so many levels, I am so stressed out, i hate going to work, i can feel my stomach in knots every time I walk in and I’m sick half the time. This ends now! So today I decided I could no longer continue working here. I got this job from disability service agency and I will first complain to them and request that they help me find a new job. I will not allow myself to react to this guy because I will be out of a job and he wins. I just wish at my age, I didn’t have to put with this shit. I thought I left this at the school yard but it turns out adults can just as bad as the bullies I faced in school. When does it end???

I didn’t think I was lucky

I tend to think a lot even when I’m busy at work. I come across a lot of angry people who seem to get off on hurting people and I always ask myself why. How did they get to be this way? Did something happen in their life to cause this? Did someone hurt them so bad that they became heartless as  adults? I consider myself to be a pretty caring person. I try my best to treat others with respect although I haven’t always been so kind in the past. But I feel I am sensitive and I believe in the golden rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated.  So I look back on my life and think, my life was tough.  I dealt with anxiety and depression as a kid, I was medicated at a very young age for ADHD because I bouncing off the walls,  I was bullied in school and sometimes the family didn’t get along and I always felt stressed. My brother died when I was 14 and living with him was extremely chaotic and unpredictable.  Some nights I would go to sleep and he was still out ( I have no idea where he went) and when I woke up he was still gone; it was like he wasn’t there at all. I didn’t even know him the last 2 years of his life. So growing up like that,  I would have every reason to not to feel blessed and to feel nothing but despair

But here is where insight comes into play. Even though things were not easy and I didn’t have an ideal childhood, I knew I was loved. There were arguments but never abuse. No one ever struck me, or told me I was stupid. Whenever I’d come home crying from a day of getting bullied, my parents were there to comfort me.  I grew up knowing I was loved.  I knew my brother loved me ( despite our arguments) because he protected me on the school bus and never let anyone mess with me. I was extremely close to my grandparents who lived only about 20 mins away and I saw them once or twice a week until my Grandfather died when I was 10.  In fact my grandmother was the most sensitive and kind person I have ever met. She set the bar for me on how I deserved to be treated. I was a part of a church that loved me as well and I grew up understanding God and learning how to respect others. I learned there that when you hurt others, you hurt God. You have to treat people with love even if they don’t love you back because that is what God wants.  So looking back I realized I was extremely lucky and blessed. And because I was shown love, I can love others. I don’t have to walk around and hurt people  and when I do, I feel guilty, my consciousness will not allow to hurt people without consequence. That is a result of my upbringing and how my parents raised me to respect others.

As an adult I realize not everyone had childhoods where they felt loved   I have heard stories of people growing up in homes of severe physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Things that you and I maybe couldn’t possibly imagine. Kids that felt like no one gave a shit, they were told they worthless and would never amount to anything. Kids that were virtual punching bags for their parents or who endured sexual abuse so bad that they can’t function as adults.  It makes me sad just thinking about; no; I makes me angry; very angry. It makes me angry that children have to grow up like that; not feeling safe and secure. So it makes me think about all the angry people out there. Could they have grown up in a home like that? A home where they had to did everything to survive even if it meant not trusting anyone, lying, stealing, lashing out violently?  Look at addicts and ask them to tell you their story, a lot them came from homes like that because I have heard their stories. So in a sense it gives me gratitude that I was loved because I could have easily been one of those people. Birth is a lottery, man. We don’t choose the families we are born into; just a look of the draw.  A lot of people don’t know any better because of the environment they happened to be born into, you understand. It doesn’t condone inappropriate behavior but it helps us to understand why. I feel that if  I can understand why people are angry than I don’t have to react to them negatively. So at the end of the day I pray for them and hope God give them the love and mercy he gave me and continues to give me every day.  It’s all about love.

Dave