Black Out

“What I know for sure, is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.” – Oprah Motherfucking Winfrey

Awards season is just starting and you can bet your ass I’m parked on my leopard couch joined by four pussies and a chug. Wine is at the ready and I watch the pre-pre-pre red carpet because you know, I’m fucking cool like that. I was a little torn on watching my typical go-to network E! because one of their longtime female anchors, Catt Sadler recently left over gender pay discrimination. But as soon as I flipped to the channel, actress Debra Messing was chastising the network on the actual network while being interviewed. She fucking rocked it.

Cheers to you and the mic drop Debra Messing.

I was all dolled up in my best black lounge wear because a movement started a few weeks ago. It’s a fund offering financial support and advice to victims of sexual harassment, discrimination and abuse who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it after coming forward.

To date, they’ve raised over $16 million from donations made all over the world. Experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace first hand and being a survivor of rape, I’m all in on shit like this. Coming forward and speaking up is one of, if not the hardest decision victims deal with during the initial stages of shock, let alone trying to figure out if you can miss work, arrange childcare for legal appointments, therapy sessions, phone calls following up with detectives, etc…

The stars attending the Golden Globes wore black in support of this movement, Time’s Up.

While watching the red carpet, stars were asked why they were wearing black, not what designer they were wearing. As I sat listening to the heartfelt and moving answers, I started getting emotional (ew, feelings). This was a different sort of emotion that I typically associate and feel due to Rapegate. I realized I was feeling recognized – as silly as that sounds. In my experience of being raped, I still carry shame, guilt and a feeling of dirtiness every second of every day. I know that every other survivor I’ve spoken to has felt the same way at some point.

I found myself bawling watching the red carpet and I’m the world’s ugliest crier.

You guys. For real.

The first time in almost two years, I was feeling proud of myself. For sharing my story and hopefully helping other people. And for whatever reason, stars who have a global platform giving fucks about people like me really hit home.

Then when the show started, jokes were made and the mood was just as fun as a typical Golden Globes show (I particularly love when an actor wins and is kinda shitfaced when giving a speech because this is the only awards ceremony with an open bar). Seth Meyers opened the show with “good evening ladies and remaining gentlemen.” I loved it.

Cut to the first commercial break and an ad for the New York Times makes me want to go and get a goddamn subscription right now. Please check out my bootlegged version below:

Thing is, ever since the Women’s March last January, the #MeToo movement and now with Time’s Up, survivors like myself have a community. Support. Whether one has chosen to speak out, reported their incident or kept completely silent. And everything just seemed to come to fruition last night.

I’ve recently been told not to make rape “my cause” or that I am “dwelling” on it by being in therapy. I even had one of the closest people in my life tell me they couldn’t stand being around me because of all of my negative “rape” talk (side note: don’t ask me how my fucking day is if you don’t want the fucking answer). This makes me question myself. And, writing and talking about being raped as well as sexually harassed in a work environment have been my greatest allies because I feel like I can help others.

It’s sad that we live in a world where women have to ask for equality, respect and meaningful change no matter their socioeconomic status. Lack of opportunity, sexual violence, overall poor treatment because of difference in skin tone, sexual preference or gender is inexcusable. Period. Movements and organizations like Time’s Up allows survivors to know that they are not alone – never, ever alone – and personally speaking, being raped and the aftermath of it, made isolation my worst best friend.

I’m only seeing wine and my fur babies right now, thanks.

Trying to keep my stirring emotions in check, Oprah Winfrey took the stage receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award and holy fuck friends. It was the pep talks of all pep talks for the world right now.

It felt like she was in my living room (which, actually she was kinda) talking to me directly. I was in a fucking puddle. She not only touched on victims of sexual assault and abuse, she spoke to racism, free press, truth-telling and generally what it takes to make it through tragedy – hope.

“I’m especially proud and inspired by all of the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories….I want to express gratitude for women who have endured abuse and assault because they, like my mother had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue. They’re the women whose names we’ll never know. We’ve lived too long in a culture of brutally powerful men. For too long women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up.”

“A new day is on the horizon. And when that new day finally dawns it will be because of a lot of magnificent women and some pretty phenomenal men fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when NOBODY ever has to say me too again.”

FUCKING PREACH WOMAN.

I mean seriously. Can I get an amen?

Watching the Golden Globes and having Oprah Winfrey give the world a rally cry reminded me of why I’m fighting my fight. Why I won’t stay silent. Why I will hold my inept detective and the Nashville Sex Crimes department accountable. Why I refuse to let anyone else feel like a walking stereotypical rape victim, as I do. Why I remain with my personal super hero therapist, Sheila. Why I don’t give any kind of fucks how uncomfortable conversations can be when I talk about my truth. Because it’s mine.

I want my Iowa twins to grow up in a world where nothing holds them back because of the color of their skin or their gender.

You break these hearts, you die.

This movement, uprising – whatever you wanna call it – is giving a voice to those who feel muted, ignored, unimportant, disregarded, not believed. And I can’t wait to join in.

Time’s up motherfuckers.

CBXB

 

Perspective

My Thursday afternoons consist of sorting through bad shit that happens to good people. Which for me, means that I try to prep myself for the emotions that will inevitably bubble to the surface before, during, after and what feels like every single second of every day until I get to see my therapist Miss Sheila again the following Thursday.

Thursdays got me like…

I was already an emotional wreck because lately my pendulum of feelings swing from the highest of high (hello again inner badass!) to the lowest of low (where in the fuck is my self-esteem?) in about .0005 seconds. No notice. So I packed my squatty bodied mascot in my Louis for some comforting support this week.

Therapy session saver.

Although I had Precious the chug by my side, yesterday proved no different as I contemplated the subject matter of my session on the drive back to my mini manse, tears starting to slowly turn into an ugly cry, as I hid behind sunglasses on a rainy day.

The face that can typically turn feelings around.

Crawling into the bed with my well-worn hanky is my go-to Thursday “happy hour” of sorts after my sessions.

Wallowing with a wet hanky.

Typically, I watch endless videos of my two yayhonks from Iowa, who turn my mood around with their silly antics in a matter of minutes.

How could they not?

In between twin videos, scrolling through my social media, I saw Whitney Lover’s post about an impending trip from her husband’s 93-year-old grandfather that stopped me in my self-absorbed tracks.

Whitney Lover with a CBXB sidekick.

Her post read:

“I’m so excited to have my husband’s grandfather coming to visit Iowa over this next week. He is a Holocaust survivor and will be speaking at several events around eastern Iowa to share his story and to help strive for a better tomorrow for all. He is truly an amazing and loving man who has never lost faith in humanity.”

Love for Gpa all around.

To read the entire article from The Gazette, please click here. It’s an incredible story of survival under the most unfathomable circumstances, loss, hope, perseverance and empowerment. That this gem of a human has seen horrors beyond imagine, the fact that he still has his faith in humans and believes in the good of people is awe-inspiring. He said, “I’m planning to be around for much longer, with my mission to prevent genocide and to do what I can to counteract anti-Semitism, which all good people of the world realize is a crime against humanity.”

If you’re in the eastern Iowa area this upcoming week, here’s where you can see this gentleman in person:

Please join me in cheersing this fellow who, by sharing his story, his time and his energy with others is helping educate, empower and touch lives in far reaching places.

Cheers to Gpa!

Thanks for the perspective Grandpa E.

CBXB

CBXB!