I remember the heart pounding moment when I hit publish. It was raw, it was scary, and it was 100% the right decision. The soundness of my decision to name my rapist was reinforced repeatedly over the course of that first week. Each day that week (no exaggeration) I had a new email from someone who disclosed that they had also had an experience with Ben. Some were completed rapes, some were attempted rapes. All described unwanted and unwelcome behavior. It was powerful. It was validating--I suspected that if I named him, after the experience I had with Really Brave Person, that more people would come forward. I never expected so many. In total, there were 9, including myself.
*Trigger warning for references to sexual assault, PTSD, and depression. If you're a survivor, please check out my Survivor Resources post for books, sites, and hotlines*Read more
Many folks have reached out to me over the past week to offer support. I am deeply grateful for that. I have also had several folks reach out and disclose their own experiences of sexual violence (completely unrelated to the situation or person I named in this post). I wanted to compile a list of websites, books, hotlines, etc. that I have found helpful over the years not only as I navigated my own healing path but also as I worked as a victim advocate and rape crisis counselor. I'm also including books for non female-identified survivors, a book for survivors of female perpetrators, and a book that is great for partners and allies. If there are other resources that you've found helpful, please list them in the comments.
I moved to California in August 2013 and I got my medical marijuana card in March 2014. I have chronic migraines so I meet the state requirements for a MMJ card. I promptly found a dispensary and started trying strains. Being born and raised on the East Coast, where the only options were "weed" or "no weed," I was excited to get my hands on some renowned California cannabis.Read more
I used to jokingly refer to having “the talk” with my prospective partners, “dropping the H-bomb.” For me, it was easier to get it out of the way up front—on the first date.
This past year has been a tough one for me for a multitude of reasons, but body confidence was one of the biggest. In case you didn't know, even the strongest advocates for body acceptance have days (sometimes weeks) of dealing with body hatred and self-esteem crises. My shame this year was my double chin. I don't know when I started noticing it, but suddenly in pictures I found myself wanting to cover my chin/neck with my hands, hide behind other people in the picture, or use the old "hold your phone over your head trick" to minimize the appearance. I was loving the rest of me, I even started wearing sleeveless shirts that showed my arm jiggles and fitted dresses that showed my stomach. I bought red lipstick and started doing my makeup in the pinup style that I adore. Everything was going well, except for the damn double chin. Until I found this picture:
My dear friend Lauren Marie Fleming has started this program called Bawdy Love, and here she was, showing off her gorgeous body in all its glory for the world to see. It gave me hope. It gave me strength. It made me realize that loving your body is a choice that you make every single day. It's a habit you have to form, a skill that must be developed. You have to cultivate your positive relationship with your body, and that starts with ceasing the negative self talk ("ew my double chin looks so gross in in that picture") and start treating your body the way you'd treat anyone else in your life that you love--with compassion and respect. Two of these photos are NSFW. This post contains affiliate links.*Read more
It's time I come out to you, my faithful readers. I smoke pot. I didn't try it until I was in grad school, around age 23, and I smoked intermittently until I moved to California. Suddenly, I had a MMJ card and I could buy, possess, and imbibe it legally.
The first time I walked into a dispensary, I felt like Dorothy landing in Oz. There I stood, awed by the extensive menu of strains, the kind staff members behind the counter, and the plethora of options for imbibing my new medication. I nervously asked what was good, the way I would ask a bartender standing in front of an impressive wall of spirits. The staffer sensed my unease, smiled, and asked, "First time here?"
"First time anywhere," I replied grinning, "you get to pop my cherry."
"We'll be sure to make it a great experience for you," he assured me.