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

 

When Bad Shit Happens to Good People

If you’re a regular reader, you may have noticed this typically bright, shiny, sparkly and pussy filled blog has been dark for almost four weeks. And, there’s been quite a big reason for my need to crawl in a hole the size of the Grand Canyon and wallow like a beached whale on my leopard couch with my favorite fur ball Ted for the past 30 days.

Pretty much sums up my last 730 hours.

Pretty much sums up my last 730 hours.

One month ago today, I spent a sunny afternoon in an ER being examined for a violation that no one should ever experience. There’s an open investigation, so no specific details to share but it has been a life altering event that will forever change me whether I like it or not. The immediate aftermath bubbled up feelings of shame, embarrassment, disgust, disbelief and just now, I think the shock is starting to wear off.

The thing is, in the weeks, days, hours and minutes when I felt this ordeal sinking my personal ship to the depths of the Bermuda Triangle, I’ve had a paramount support system through family, friends, fur balls and fellow blogging buddies via visits, phone calls, texts, emails and old fashioned letters.

When bad shit happens to good people, folks know how to rally.

Who love me?

Who loves me?

I’m beyond lucky to have peeps that have my back – the kind of humans who give you hope when life is heavy.

The kind of dad who has to leave work early to take his grown kid to the ER and hear the things no father should have to hear on what should have been a typical Friday.

My constant hero, Dada CBXB, remained a rock solid foundation.

My constant hero, Dada CBXB, remaining a rock solid foundation.

The kind of sister who flies down from Iowa within 24 hours, leaving her three year old twins (in the fabulous care of their father) to hold my hand and help my heart.

Through thick and thin.

Through thick and thin.

The kind of mom who comes in for a week and does almost everything except wipe my ass because I don’t know how to function (except for petting Teddy, of course – that comes naturally).

A mom's love.

A mom’s love.

The kind of friends who can make any traumatic situation feel just a bit lighter.

Laughs

Laugh factory.

The kind of friends who stay up late on school nights to comfort you.

I heart you guys.

I heart you guys.

The kind of friend who reminds you that you are, in fact, a fabulous person – but you still need to wash your hair.

Telling it like it is.

Telling it like it is.

The kind of friend who secures your mini manse surroundings.

Safety first.

Safety first.

The kind of friends who rearrange their family lives to spend time with you.

Moms rule!

Moms rule!

The kind of friends who can make you smile within seconds just because they know you’re sad.

Giggles galore.

Giggles galore.

The kind of friend who comes to slumber party because it’s too hard to be alone.

Twins

Sleeping bag bound.

The kind of friend who flies to your rescue without even being asked.

BFF for reals.

BFF for reals.

The kind of friend who packs your favorite, unattainable-in-Nashville dip in his luggage to comfort feed you.

My favorite combo.

My favorite combo.

Like, seriously.

Like, seriously.

The kind of niece and nephew who can instantly console you with their hugs, even if they’re states away.

Smiles for miles.

Smiles for miles.

Princess B hug.

Princess B’s open arms.

Prince B's open arms.

Prince B’s huge hug.

The kind of fur balls who know just when to maul you.

The kind of fur ball who never leaves your side for a second – no matter what you’re doing.

Bubbles with my fave chug.

Bubbles with my fave chug.

The kind of fur ball who further reminds you why he’s your best friend and constant life companion, giving you just what you need, when you need it.

Not for a second.

The best medicine.

The kind of people in your life who worry when you appear to be growing dreads.

Sexy and I know it.

Sexy and I know it.

The kind of people who demand you shower to remove said growing dreads.

Pretty products.

Pretty products to take out the stink.

The kind of people who check in daily, wondering where the in fuck your make-up, your sparkle and your happy has gone.

Help wanted.

Help wanted.

The kind of people who will do just about anything to help you start feeling a little bit like yourself again.

There's hope yet.

Hope floats with half assed jazz hands.

Thank you to all of those people.  If you’re reading this, you’re one of them. And I love you.

CBXB

CBXB!