Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wednesday's Words, by Morgan Ashbury

When I sit down to begin these essays, I never know what I’m going to write about. I do know, however, which topics I’m not going to write about. The top item on that list is politics.

Since y’all know I have an opinion about almost everything, you can surmise I also have a political opinion. It’s not my place, however, to share that with you. First, although I can argue that it does matter to Canada, and Canadians, what the American government does, since our two countries are so intertwined, I believe it is rude for me to say yea or nay with regard to either of your candidates for President.

I also, for the most part, don’t talk about religion. I believe a person’s faith is a personal thing, and that everyone has free will and the right to choose their own beliefs. Now here, at least, however, you may have gathered from some of my comments, and references over the past several years, that I’m a Christian. I’m pleased to have you know that—that’s me. I’ll also tell you I have never thumped a Bible in my life.

Since you know my faith, it’s time for me to confess to you that when I do sit down to write these essays, I take a few moments to pray, to meditate and yes, to await instructions. This past week and a half, especially, I’ve needed that prayer and meditation because something had been eating at me for several days—since Friday October 8th, in fact. Something had been on my mind, day and night, interfering with my ability to focus, and with my desire to “get on with it.” So this week my pre-essay crafting time was especially poignant for me. So I sat down, quieted my mind, opened my heart, and waited.

Instructions were received, so I knew what I had to write—but this one is going to be difficult.

I need to further preface this essay by telling you I’m not writing this for sympathy. At this point in my life’s journey, I don’t need the sympathy of other people; I have my faith. In truth, I’d really rather not write this essay at all. But I have been convicted by the Spirit to give my testimony. When that happens—and this isn’t the first time it has—I really have no choice but to do what I’m told to do.

My father died when I was eight and a half years old. I cannot, to this day, adequately convey to you the degree to which that singular event rocked my world. I do recall that only a few short months later, my mother “threw her back out” and had to, for several days, lay flat on the sofa in the living room, and needed help to get up.

I recall tearfully asking my big brother if Mommy was going to die, too.

I tell you all this, to let you know a little about the emotional state I was in beginning from the time I was eight and a half, onward. There was no such thing as counseling for kids in those days—at least there wasn’t for me. I felt alone, abandoned, insecure, the youngest of three. My brother was eighteen and a half, and my sister was fourteen and a half when our daddy died. My mother worked full time as a nurse, and had to work shifts—either days (seven to three) or afternoons (three to eleven).

I didn’t know at the time that my sister “ran wild”. I’d had no idea she’d been doing so even before my father passed. All I knew was my daddy had died, and life just wasn’t the same.

The first time I was raped I was nine years old. My mother was on the afternoon shift, my brother was out with his friends, and my sister, nearly sixteen years old at the time, received two male callers—one she took upstairs with her, and one she left downstairs with me.

These were grown men, not teen aged boys, and this was something that occurred several times for the next year or so.

I won’t give you any details, except this one: when my rapist was finished, he told me, “don’t you tell anyone. If you tell your mom, she won’t believe you. She will hate you, and send you away. They will lock you up.” That also became the threat, in subsequent times, with subsequent attackers, beforehand.

I guess you could say I was raped, and terrorized repeatedly.

That terrorizing is something that I believe all sexual abuse victims know very well—that most women, even those who haven’t been abused feel the echoes of in their souls—and something not even the most sympathetic, enlightened and well-meaning male will ever fully comprehend. In those days they called rape “a fate worse than death.”

That terrorizing—by others, and by tradition—is the reason why most women do not report sexual abuse. Situation normal in our society is still to blame the woman, the victim, or to simply not believe her.

It took me years to get help; if you need help, please, contact a mental health professional in your area, someone with whom you can feel comfortable enough with to get that help. I know how hard it is to reach out, but please, be brave and do so. And to comfort you, let me tell you what else I know, without a doubt, and without equivocation.

Only the most moronic of morons would ever suggest that a woman or women would open herself/themselves up to such scrutiny as she/they do when stepping forward and giving an account of sexual abuse, for the purpose of, and I think I have this quote right, “I’d don’t know, maybe because they want to become famous or something”.

And only the most ignorant and narcissistic misogynist would judge the validity of a sexual abuse clam by referencing whether or not the woman was “pretty enough” to violate.

Because we know better, all of us, we really do.

Sexual abuse, and rape, these are not at all about sex. It’s violence and it’s about power, control, and ego. And it’s a way for truly inadequate, pathetic, maladjusted and yes, evil men to make themselves feel powerful.

Love,
Morgan



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