#metoo Warning: this may offend you.

#metoo

#metoo may seem like a tag line, annoyance, or a trend that has over stayed it’s welcome.

A female friend said to me a few months ago: “I think this #metoo thing has gotten out of hand!”

I disagree.

It has caused the world at large to finally hear to women.

I don’t know a single woman who hasn’t been assaulted, abused, harassed, or raped at the hands of men.

The first time it happened to me: I was 14 and the father of a child my Mother baby sat told me on numerous occasions about how beautiful I was. He would sit beside me on the floor while I was playing with his son and my little brother. He did this  while the of the other adults were there to pick up their children. He would sit close to me, smelling like stale cigarettes. My skin would crawl. Something about it made me feel dirty and ashamed. I have never told anyone about it until right now.

The second time it happened it happened to me: I was 14 or 15. My family and I were really good friends with the young couple and their precious little girl who lived across the street.  The husband, Mike and I would talk about science fiction and horror movies sitting on the tailgate of his truck drinking sodas. I would tell him about the problems I had at school and he would tell me about hunting with his dad as a child. I saw him as a big brother or Dad (My father died when I was 10 & my brother was 6 months old).  I ate dinner with his family. I baby sat his daughter. My mother adored Mike, his wife, and his daughter. Mike’s wife had a very complicated pregnancy with their second child.  One summer night she had to be transported via ambulance to the hospital. I rode with Mike behind the siren and flashing lights.

When we arrived, he was crying and told me he was scared. I hugged him.  He then proceeded to violently grab me and force me against the passenger side door. I was completely terrified! I screamed “Stop Mike! No!” I remember his breath smelling of stale booze and the way his rough hand felt touching my still developing breast. He was really strong! I pushed, and begged him to stop. He didn’t. But I finally managed to open the passenger door and fall out of the truck, on to the pavement. I slammed the door and went as fast as I could into the emergency room while he begged me not to tell anyone. Luckily, my friend and her boyfriend were already there waiting for us and I rode home with them. I told my friend and her boyfriend about it. My friend said: “He’s been drink’n as if that explained everything. I never set foot in Mike’s yard or his home ever again.

I was raped when I was 18. I was an active alcoholic at the time. I was passed out drunk. I woke up to my boyfriend whom I lived with raping me. I could hear the other people partying in our living room. I called out for help. He said: “Shut up no one can hear you.” I was confused about what happened. When I confronted him the next day he laughed at me and said he did it all of the time when I was passed out. He said it wasn’t rape because he was my boyfriend. I told a woman that I didn’t know very well what happened to gage her reaction. I told her it had happened to a “friend” of mine I remember her saying that it wasn’t rape because he was my “friend’s” boyfriend.  She said my “friend” had been taken advantage of because she had been passed out. I didn’t talk about it again. I figured it was my fault because I was drunk. Years later, I told a therapist about what had happened and she told me I had defiantly been raped.

I have been groped, cat called at, or had inappropriate comments made to me at almost every job I have ever had.

REALLY.

At one job right out of college, I reported my boss leaning over my desk to stare at my boobs to the human resources person. She told me to ignore him that he did it to everybody. I then called the department of labor and told them what happened. They told me there was nothing they could do unless he touched me.

The last time I was harassed at a job I stood up for myself. I told the perpetrator that it was harassment, it was inappropriate and that I wanted no part of it. I told him “Leave me alone. I won’t say it twice.” He complied.

No, I didn’t report it to human resources. At that point, experience had taught me that I would be ignored.

I have over heard friends and co-workers talking about the recent Bill Cosby verdict.

I have over heard both men and women saying: “I don’t believe that!” Why would these women wait thirty years?” “They all want money!” “I don’t believe he did everything they’re saying he did but I believe he did something.” “How can you even know what happened to you that long ago!” “It’s so sad everybody loves him!”

What I find the most interesting is this: NOT ONCE DID I OVER HEAR ANYONE,MAN OR WOMAN SPEAK ANY WORDS OF CONCERN ABOUT THE VICTIMS.

When the truth about the sexual abuse of male children in the Catholic church came out, not once did I hear anyone remark that the men who came forward waited too long to tell truth about what happened to them.

And everyone was talking about the victims.

Men made allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Kevin Spacy and he was fired from his hit Netflix show immediately.

Sixty women accused Cosby of drugging and raping them before he was brought to trial.

The reality is that society listens to men and not to women.

Even other women don’t believe other women when they come forward after they have been sexually assaulted.

Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court proves that.

One thing I can tell you is this: Christine Blasey Ford isn’t a liar. YOU DO NOT FORGET BEING SEXUALLY ASSAULTED. IT BURNS ITSELF INTO YOUR BEING. IT STAYS WITH YOU FOR LIFE. And you remember who did it. 

Women: stop pandering to men to make living in their world ok. Create your own world. Create a world in which you speak your truth and believe your sisters when they speak theirs.

Men: let women have this moment in time. Step aside. It is our time. Let us have this. 

 

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Lesbian Overnight

sorry boys i'm gay

My Mother recently prompted my ex-boyfriend to collect somethings that he had stored in and around her shed via certified mail from the sheriff’s office. He had left these things on her property after he and I broke up 16 months ago. She and I made repeated attempts to have him remove them.

He still felt that my Mother had done him a great wrong.

Which I guess is what prompted him to yell at my Mother: “About you’re daughter, NO ONE BECOMES A LESBIAN OVERNIGHT!

My Mother told him to go to hell and went back into her house. ( Yes she is pretty awesome!)

He may be sick & narrow minded but he is right about one thing: I did not become a lesbian overnight.

It took decades for me to be who I really am.

I identified as bisexual beginning at age 17.

I wasn’t sure I could be gay because I had been with boys.

The first time I had sex it was with a boy.

I always chose men because they chose me.

I never considered a single man that I was with until he paid attention to me. I never looked at a man and felt the things that I felt (and feel) when I looked at a woman.

I went through puberty in the age of day time talk shows in the 80’s. On several of these shows I often heard that women just didn’t feel the same level of sexual desire that men do. I heard women who were supposed to be experts saying that women were attracted to men after getting to know them. And these same so called experts said that women often needed cuddling more than sexual fulfillment.

I also heard “experts” saying on these talk shows that same sex attraction was very common in teenage girls but that they usually out grew it when they became adults.

As a young girl I thought that women just didn’t feel the same level of attraction that men did.

And I thought that it was normal for me to feel attracted to and develop deep emotional attachments to my female friends.

I struggled in relationships with the opposite sex for a multitude of reasons.

Among the reasons that I struggled was the fact that I sometimes wondered if I needed to end the relationship because I was actually a lesbian.

But I would talk myself out of it. I would “write off” my thoughts. I would tell myself I was creating a problem that wasn’t there. I was creating struggle when everything was going well.

I told myself it was normal to only have fantasies about women. I figured it was because I had a man. If I were with a woman then I would have fantasies about men right?

I always felt like I was hiding. I always felt like something was missing. I felt like something was wrong but I couldn’t ever figure out what that something was.

Iyanla Vanzant Authentic Self quote

When I am my true self, I allow others to truly love me

When I fell in love with my girlfriend a million puzzle pieces fell into place.

I knew who I was and what had been missing.

A million realizations fired off in my brain and in my heart.

It took me 30+ years to meet her and be my authentic self.

My ex-boyfriend was right: I didn’t become a lesbian overnight. I always was. It just took a very long time for me to live my truth.

 

2016 : What’s Out & What’s In

Last Week after the Burning Bowl Ceremony I had a powerful realization for 2016

The Buddha said that all suffering is caused by self-grasping. It has recently occurred to me that my grasping and striving is entirely the problem. Honestly, what have I been doing all of these years if not trying to achieve some goal or obtain some life style in order to complete myself thus growing my ego?

For 2016 I have make no resolutions, no goals, no plans. I am simply going to remain open. However, I am a big believer in starting any new year from the mind set of Out with the Old, In with the New. Here’s my list of what’s Out and what’s In for 2016:

Out

Expectations

Pushing down the truth and ignoring the guidance I am being given

Hiding my bisexuality

Being ashamed of how others see me

Placing so much importance on how others see me

People who take more than they give

Jumping into bed and making a relationship out of it

Negative people

Accepting intolerant people

Attachment to out comes

Complaining

Talking about my break up

Being afraid that I will not get a job in my field

Letting go of who I think I’m supposed to be and how my life is supposed to be

Self-grasping in order to grow my ego

In

Being on my own and not in a relationship or dating

Having a deeper relationship with my Goddesses (Kwan Yin & Green Tara)

Being proud of my sexuality

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Writing

Following the guidance of my Kwan Yin & Green Tara

Following my intuition

Allowing people to be who they are without trying to change them

Letting go of people that are unkind and intolerant

Speaking and thinking positively

Spending a lot of time with the people I love

Traveling more even if it is only a day trip and not an elaborate vacation

Completely letting go and trusting my Goddesses to connect me with a job where I can be of maximum service in the right way and in the right time

Being who I am and living the life I have been given with gratitude

Getting out of the way and allowing my Goddesses to lead

Believing who people are when they show me the first time

This year, I really hope that all of you find peace and love each day. Remember that we are all in this together. At the end of it all when we lay down for that final long sleep, we will not remember the jobs we had or the houses we bought. We will remember the people we have loved and how we treated them.

The Things That Matter Most

TSarah and Tara VA Beach

Love is what matters 

This weekend, I’m in Hampton, VA visiting two friends that mean a lot to me. We went site seeing in Virginia Beach today and have plans to visit a Buddhist temple tomorrow. It has been such a pleasure to spend time with them. They are in my tribe. They are wiser than they realize.

Tonight at dinner my friend Sarah said something that really resonated with me. She said: “You know, people are so interested in chasing and getting things. But all I want is to be happy. I want peace and happiness. You know? That’s what’s important. That’s what I care about.”

After I dropped my friends off, I turned Sarah’s words over in my mind. As I was driving I had an epiphany: I have lost my focus.

Since my break up, I have realized a lot of truths of late. However, in the midst of managing my crisis, I forgot the greatest truth: I must focus on the things that matter most.

  1. Showing up for the people in my life and being of service in whatever way I can.
  2. The deep and abiding joy and peace that is the greatest blessing from my Goddesses Kwan Yin and Green Tara.
  3. Loving the amazing people that fill my life and spending as much time with them as possible.

When my short life is over, I will not remember the days I spent pursuing a living or what I failed to do. I will remember the people who filled my heart and whom I was able to help in some small way. And I will have known great peace and joy.

 

 

 

Learning To Believe It The First Time

maya-angelou-what-people-show-you-1024x1024[1] I now realize that I have lived my entire life seeing who people really are and then pushing that truth down deep within myself. I have accepted the unacceptable and given people second chances who abused the privilege. I do not mean to say that I am a victim. What I mean is this: I ignore what I don’t want to see and I allow people whom I shouldn’t be involved with to remain in my life.

For example, I was involved with someone who knew I was bisexual yet they made derogatory comments about the LGBT community and became very angry when gay rights were a topic in the news. However, I stayed in the relationship knowing that this person could not tolerate a part of me.

I was once involved with another partner who frequently lied to me. I knew this person was lying. In fact, I caught them in several lies. Yet, I pushed the truth that I knew down deep within myself and stayed.

I have pushed the truth down deep within myself under the guise of “relationships are work” and “you have to accept people the way that they are.” And I have worked it out and accepted the unacceptable to the point of spending years trying to make the unworkable work out.

A few days ago I was talking to a wise friend of mine. She has known me for 18 years and possibly knows me better than I know myself. I say this because when I ran the above musings by her she said something to the effect of: Sounds like a case of fu__ first, ask questions later!” She pointed out that I accepted the unacceptable because I was already emotionally invested in the person before I had gotten to know them. She went on to say that if I had dated someone and this type of thing came up on the second date there wouldn’t have been a third date.

I am now facing the reality that I have never simply dated someone. I automatically jump into the sex part and create a relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there is anything wrong with having sex without commitment. But, my point is that I make a commitment based on a sexual encounter.

The truth continues to reveal itself. This is why I need to be on my own for a very long time!

 

 

The truth is coming out

PrintThe truth is coming out

Since my recent breakup, I struggle with living in the world. It’s as if I am watching someone else live my life. And then there’s the whole not wanting to get out of bed thing. However, I get up every day. I run my business and search for a job in my field (I completed a bachelor’s in Communications last year). I spend time with my friends and family. I don’t give in to the insistent urge to stay in bed with the curtains drawn.  

In the midst of the struggle new truths are being revealed to me. And old truths that I have long hidden from the world surface, refusing to lay dormant any longer. I’m not sure if I believe everything “happens for a reason”. What I know is this: sometimes the foundation of your life must crumble in order for new things to be born. When this happens, things get really real, really fast. When the foundation crumbles the truth will come out.

New truths:

  • I have chosen all of my romantic partners based on their interest in me. I liked the attention so much that I based relationships on it!
  • I jumped into all of my relationships very quickly. I’ve never simply dated. One evening I’m spending the night with someone and a short time later we are living together. I then spend the relationship getting to know them and struggling to make it work.
  • I have participated in both of the above behaviors based on low self-esteem and wanting someone else to “fill” a void in me.
  •  I no longer suffer from low self-esteem and the “void” has been filled by my spiritual path.

Old truths

  • I am bisexual. This has been my deepest secret. I have hidden this from all but a few close friends since I was in my late teens. I have been deeply afraid of losing people that I love. I am terrified of losing my family. It has been very easy to “pass as straight” since my last two long term relationships were with men. However, now that the foundation in my life has crumbled, I can no longer suppress nor hide my truth in order to “fit” with someone else’s ideals. I do not write this to be provocative. I do not want to date anyone for a long time!  I am simply sick of pretending. I hope I can be accepted even if I am not understood.

There are a lot of myths in both the heterosexual  & the LBGT community. Liz busts those myths!

  •  I am an open minded, peace loving, equal rights Buddhist. I love everybody! I find intolerance of any kind soul crushing. I die a little if I spend a lot of time with someone who is intolerant of those who are different from them. I am no longer able to compromise my values in order to “fit”. I do accept that others have different opinions and beliefs from me. However, when they are intolerant of others I now have to love them from a distance and keep them in my prayers.

I sincerely hope that in revealing these truths someone out there will gain something they need from my experience. I hope it encourages someone to live their truth. After all, if my experience can’t help someone else then what is it for?

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The Quality of Your Questions

Jody Day is the creator of Gateway Women which in as online community for women who are childless by circumstance.

“The quality of your answers is in direct proportion to the quality of your questions.” Albert Einstein
Parting ways with the dream of motherhood was a long process. I spent a lot of time cycling in and out of depression after my marriage of 13 years ended when I was 41. For two years I rode the merry-go-round of grief and loss. I would have periods of thinking I had been cheated somehow. I spent a lot of time asking “Why?” The problem with the “Why” question was that all it did was cause me to dwell on the old life that I had planned that didn’t work out. It caused me to stay stuck in despair. I stayed stuck until the day that I asked some different questions. One bright and sunny spring day, I was crying while I was driving to my next client of the day as I often did. Only, on this day I asked my goddess, whom is Kwan Yin, the questions that would change the course of my life. I asked: “If I don’t get to be a mother then what do I get? What is my life about?” Surely my life would have to be about something else. I was 43 when I asked these questions. I figured the next 40 years would have to be about something. I knew in that moment that I wanted a fabulous life that would be about creating a life that would not be possible if I had had a child.
Currently I am a full time student. While I love owning my own business, writing has always been my passion. And frankly, I’m pretty good at it. I decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Communications with a Concentration in Professional Writing full time. My plan is to make a living using my natural talent and my love of doing research. I am also writing a trilogy. I recently met with a woman who is going to help me self-publish and create outlines for each book. When I am not studying or working I like to spend time with my wonderful boyfriend. We love watching old episodes of Dark Shadows, staying up late, seeing movies in IMAX 3-D, and eating dinner out. I also meet up with some friends every week on Friday night for dinner at a local restaurant. I love to stay up late writing, doing my nails, and watching shows after my boyfriend has gone to bed. It is my “me” time!
If I were a mother, my life would not work. I doubt I would be able to pursue my degree or spend the small fortune that I do on restaurants and movies. I would not be in the amazing relationship I am in now. I would not have the energy to stay up late just because I want too. My time would not belong to me. My life as a “childless by circumstance” woman is a work in progress. I do my best every day to make it a fabulous life!