Tag Archive | Sexual abuse

Warrior Goddess


It was the moment when I felt my breath being squeezed from my body. It was then that i gave up. I gave in. He had defeated me. My spirit was broken. My soul ripped from my body. I was nothing but a shell of a woman. I had become a victim. Spirit broken, soul shattered into a million little pieces.

Over time, I began to reclaim my inner strength. To heal the wounds of an abused woman. I hugged my inner child and told her that I would keep her safe. She looked to me, her eyes filled with fear. She did not see a protector, she saw only the victim I had become.

It was then that I knew what I must do. I searched through the shattered pieces of my soul. That is where I found her. My inner warrior Goddess…and she was pissed! She was ashamed of who I had become and what I had let happen to me. I looked her in the eyes as she walked into me. We became one. We are one.

 

An image says a thousand words…Warrior Goddess

Clarity: Rape, Consensual Sex and The Slut Factor


BDSM activity

BDSM activity (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just wanted to clarify where I stand on a few issues. My most recent post, which I published earlier today, was written from my past/uneducated/naive in the art of love voice. The teenage me, if you will. I was also more highlighting my home town mentality about “sluts”, which was a constant theme during my youth. I grew up in an incredibly abusive town where domestic violence, date rape and severe bullying as a control technique was rampant. Regardless of how much I love my family, every time I go home for a visit, I feel ill inside. I watch the behavior of my home town community and I feel rage. Every woman and man has the right to choose when, if and how she/he has sex, regardless of their sexual orientation or sexual history. Yes, that young man (the one who rape me) understood what he was doing, however, it is partly the fault of our home town community and the modeling of local adults. Our society’s inability to step up and protect, even when adults in authoritative positions are aware of the abuse…is inexcusable.

For instance, the violent attack (where my ex-bf beat the living daylights out of me and tried to cut my throat with a broken bottle) took place on the corner of Station road (the street where my childhood home is) and the main drag, in the ditch outside the house of our local pasture. He and his wife were in the house and saw the whole thing go down. They didn’t call the police or take any action whatsoever. Their reasoning? They didn’t recognize that I was a local youth. They thought I was from out of town and didn’t want to get involved…they only ended up apologizing to me a few years ago for not taking action or supporting me. They could have easily stopped the whole thing…and prevented a lot pf psychological damage that happened as a result of that brutal attack.

A good friend of mine saw the photos in my rape album recently. She suffered horrific childhood abuse. She is now, however, an empowered woman and an incredible mother who lives in a wonderful, alternative and open-minded community. She said that she thought it was brave of me, but that she did not want anyone in her community to know about her past because there is a “stigma” connected to having experienced childhood abuse! It made me feel sad and angry all at once that this beautiful woman would feel the need to hide a piece of herself….because she might be judged for what happened to her.

I realize that those who harm others…those who abuse others…are at fault. I also feel strongly that, as a culture, we need to stand up more. To speak out more. To take more action to not just protect our children…because that is crisis control…we also need to work on the core of this issue. Prevention IS the best medicine. We must educate as a form of prevention and stand together against those who abuse the men, women and children of our world.

Regardless of how messed up it might sound, I think that staying in the relationship with my rapist did serve me. It helped me dig deep and see the truth of not only that relationship, but the relationships of others and the reality of what we are facing as a society. No, I am not happy that I was a willing (although young and naive) participant in an abusive relationship, but clearly I had some learning to do. The next relationship I immersed myself in was far worse. I had not yet learned what I needed to. I still took people at face value. I trusted wholeheartedly and gave all of myself. This again served me. Not only because my first husband and I had two children, but because I learned how to be healthy. I learned what I DO want from a relationship. The relationship skills I learned through these intensely negative experiences not only helped me become who I am today, but they also helped me learn how to connect deeply with others who are facing or have faced similar abuse. IT was simply a part of my path.

I think that, for some of us, there is a plan. A higher purpose, if you will. I think that my experiences helped me be ready for the next phase of growth in our society. This phase is about teaching greater awareness, providing more open dialogue for both abusers and the people who have suffered abuse. In addition, we must find a way to heal the unhealthy sexual patterns that are rampant in our world.

As I mentioned on a Facebook post, I just read an article about a young woman who signed up for a BDSM “playdate” and was then violated. The “dom” did not respect their previously arranged agreement..he violated that girl, penetrating her against her will, while she was fully open and in the most vulnerable state possible. In this act of violence , betrayal and brutality, he did not even bother to put on a condom..amplifying the potential damage this poor woman suffered. Yes, she was involving herself in a “sex game”. Yes, she was wearing provocative clothing intended to arouse this man. Yes, she was submitting to the orders of this man while tied up and completely at his mercy. Yes, she was an active participant. However, the second their “playdate” over stepped their agreement…the second that man did not respond and respect the safe word that this beautiful young woman screamed out through muffled cries…that man chose to be a rapist and not a dom.

Every person has the right to say NO..STOP…I don’t care if a woman (or man for that matter) is sucking one man’s cock while having various other cocks stuffed in every possible orifice available on his/her body. If, at some point, that man or woman feels a shift within and decides that she or he needs the other participant(s) to stop…they better damn well find the self-control within to STOP! If they do not stop, they have truly lost their humanity and given in to something dark, primal and if you ask me, something pure evil.

I just wanted to make sure that it is clearly understood where I stand on this particular matter. The story I shared: Kind of Heavy: Part of Joy’s Story… was just me talking about what happened to me from the perspective that I had and then the perspective that I have developed, so my overall perspective on rape, date rape and sexual assault may not have been clear… I hope this provides some much need clarity:-) From my heart to yours, Joy

Kind of Heavy: Part of Joy’s Story…


Beyond the almost daily sexual assaults that I experienced in my own home…I have experienced a plethora of sexual abuse. For years I wondered why I would experience so much negativity. Over time I grew to understand that sexual predators seek out “victims”. Those who are confused…those whose spirit has been broken, those who don’t even understand where the boundary between no and yes is. Those who accept abuse those who do not feel worthy of love, respect or kindness.

The interesting thing about the first time I was raped is that the boy’s excuse was that he had mistaken me for a slut. It was not my shy, withdrawn demeanor, nor my then conservative clothing, nor the innocence of a girl who was yet to experience her first real kiss that led him to believe that I was a “slut”. No, he simply confused me for another girl he had heard about. A girl who was surely a slut… a girl who didn’t have the right to say NO! So, when I was invited to his house for a study date. I was naive. I did not know that he had plans for me.

I left my house and walked down the train tracks…crossed the trestle to meet this cute and popular boy who had taken an interest in me. I felt honored to receive his attention. I was looking for a night in shining armor. One who would protect me from the crappy things that were going on in my own home. But more than anything, I was seeking a friend. Someone to talk to, to study with and to share my secrets with. I did not know that this boy would cause me to keep a dark secret for many years. One that would change everything.

You see, up until I met this boy, I was a straight A student. I did not smoke, drink or do drugs. I had not been properly kissed, I had not even been alone in the presence of a boy. I was thriving, despite my less than healthy home life. All of that would change in the few minutes it took for this overzealous and severely misguided boy to steal my virginity. When we met halfway down the tracks that led from my house to his, my heart skipped a beat as our eyes first met. He had the most beautiful blue eyes. They were captivating.

We walked to his house. I remember that he tried to take my hand, but I had never held a boy’s hand and I was not ready for that, so I immediately withdrew my hand. As we arrived at his home, I remember thinking, wow his house is pink. Who lives in a pink house? Then his dog came barreling across the field to meet us. We played with him for a few minutes, throwing sticks and playing chasing games. It spoke to me of this boy’s character, or so I thought. He seemed like such a sweet guy.

We entered through the front door of his home to find his mother sitting on the couch with her feet on the coffee table, a beer in one hand and a smoke in the other. I remember thinking it was kind of early in the day for a beer, but tried not to judge. The smell of cigarettes still stands out in my mind. I always hated cigarette smoke, but nowhere near as much as I did after that day. In fact, smelling cigarette smoke can easily make me vomit, even now. That is one thing that I feel is necessary for people to understand. When people suffer a trauma, there are often a variety of triggers that can unexpectedly unleash negative emotions and fear.

Anyways, I greeted both his mother and his step dad and we went up to his bedroom to study. Very rapidly, it became clear that he did not actually want to study. He started talking about some of his friends (we were from completely different social circles). I remember sitting down on the edge of his bed (there was nowhere else to sit, but saying that is probably just me reaffirming that none of my actions caused what was about to happen to me). I remember getting out my book and setting it on my lap. I was wearing a skirt that came down just past my knees. I remember feeling self conscious about the lower half of my legs. The next part happened so quickly that I’m not sure I can clearly recall all that took place.

He stood over me with all of his body’s six foot and four inches towering above me. I tried to stand up because I all of a sudden felt very threatened. As I tried to bring my body upwards, he caught me off balance and shoved me back onto the bed with ease. He came down on top of me, his weight suffocating me. Within what felt like mere seconds, he had his pants down, fully exposed and ready to take me. I said “NO!” It was not a word I chose because of some commercial or education about date rape (I had never even heard the term date rape before this incident). It was just what came to my mind. NO!

He simply covered my mouth with his hand, tore my underwear off and shoved himself into me with a force that felt like a collision inside my being. I had been sexually abused throughout my childhood, but that was all “petting” and inappropriate touching during the dark hours of the night. This was sexual brutality. Within a matter of moments, he was done with me. From the description of this incident, one would think that this young man was some kind of monster. The reality is much more sad, really.

He was just a stupid kid who thought he knew what I wanted. He mistook me for another girl at school who had much more “experience” than I. Because of his upbringing (abusive home and an alcoholic mother) combined with the social messages that were prevalent in our town: Girls who are “easy” always want sex. Asking permission to have sex with a “slut” is not required. This kid actually thought that I was a willing participant; thought that I wanted to be fucked hard.  At some point during this incident, I tried to scream, but my cries were muffled by his hand on my mouth.

I remember that he leaned into me, brought his mouth right up to my ear and said “Shut up, or my parents will hear you!” He also said my name into my ear while his tall, lean and muscular body further smothered the life and spirit in my own body. My dad had also whispered my name into my ear when he molested me. Over the years, I could actually vomit when I heard my own name. I will not speak my birth given name here….but I will share that, after many years of not being able to overcome the negative associations with my own name, I changed it. I chose Joy…because my clients always called me “Joy”. It is also what I wanted to replace the darkness with…the feeling of Joy rippling through my mind, body and spirit…opening my heart and filling me with light…where once there was darkness. I have been known as Joy for many years now…it is part of my reclaiming my life and my identity.

When this young man was finished, I shot up from the bed, grabbed my bag and ran down the stairs without saying goodbye to his parents. He ran after me and when he easily caught up to me, I remember halting and standing frozen in one spot like a dear in headlights. I braced myself for another assault, but none came. He had the nerve to ask me what was wrong. I screamed out something about him taking my virginity. I can’t recall the specific words I said. The look of shock on his face was unexpected. He simply said…”But I thought you were like a total slut or something.”

At that point in my life, I did not curse and rarely raised my voice. In fact, I was really shy and didn’t often speak “out of turn”. My dad had taught me that children were literally meant to be seen, preened and abused, but not heard. But I spoke out that day…I cried and screamed and came apart at the seams. Rather than defend his actions, or call me names, he cried with me and held me as I sobbed. He walked me to the trestle bridge and then said he better get home. He asked me if I wanted to come over and “study” tomorrow after school. I didn’t answer him, I just walked away.

The strangest thing happened on my walk home. I reached town, hopped down off the railroad track and headed towards Station Road…the road I spent my entire childhood living on. I saw my friend sitting at a table in the local restaurant. I walked in and sat down. She had a strange look on her face. She ended up telling me that her and her boyfriend had just lost their virginity together. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to share what had just happened, but I was afraid. I felt guilt and shame like I had never felt before. I ended up telling her that I had started dating this new boy and that we had also had “sex”. That was the day that the “mistaken identity reputation” became my own bad reputation…and I could now proudly call myself a “slut”. God knows everyone else did.

To avoid the stigma of being the girl who fucked on the first date..I continued to date the boy who stole my virginity. He turned out not to be a nice guy…go figure. During the 3 years I dated him, he continued to occasionally get his rocks of by forcing me to have sex with him. Not that we weren’t sexually active…we were, but every now and again, especially when he was disatisfied with my behaviour…he would simply shove me down as he did that day and take me with a force comparable to that of mother nature when she’s in a bad mood.

Our relationship ended with the filing of domestic abuse charges. He started hitting me during the first 6 months of our relationship and I never spoke out against him. But he made the mistake of nearly drowning me in a muddy ditch while attempting to slit my throat with a broken beer bottle. To get out of the hold he had on me, I had to wriggle out of my poncho (it was my favorite one with a big purple and black yin yan sign on the back). I ended up staggering home, covered in mud, blood and the stench of an uninspired young lady. I was seen walking down the road in this half dressed, half crazed state, which further affirmed my reputation as a total SLUT!

When I got home and my mother saw me, she said “What did you do now?” The next day at school, a guidance counselor talked me and my friends into pressing charges. He had made the mistake of knocking around a couple of my girlfriends when they tried to get in the middle of things between he and I. We pressed charges…he and I had been broken up for months when this incident happened. He defended himself by saying that he had been trying to teach me a lesson about what was right and wrong. You see, I was dating a young black man at the time. My town did not fancy my choice. I finally dropped out of school at 17, when I could no longer take everyone chanting “nigger fucker” when I walked down the hall.

I got no support from family, friends or my crappy guidance counselor who was the catalyst for the pressing of charges, but abandoned me when things became too intense. There was only one day, when I was in the bathroom and one of the girls who had treated me the worst locked the bathroom door and said “You know I respect you for standing up for yourself?” She went on to tell me how she felt so bad about the way she was treating me, but that it would be suicide to act any other way in my presence. I realize that this exchange of words in a locked high school bathroom likely sounds insignificant, but it was not. It was as if I down loaded some sacred information that I had previously been missing.

I realized that I was not alone…and that other people, other young women, found my actions inspirational. They were inspired by my ability to finally stand up for myself and say NO! ENOUGH! I never went back to that school. I transferred to a different high school in another region…although I dropped out with only two credits left before my graduation. That’s when I met the man who would teach me what true self loathing and brutality was really about. I would stay in my first marriage for 4 years before finally escaping and then I would never look back….it is then that the clouds parted..the darkness filled with light and I met my true prince charming; my Mountain man.

Together, Mountain and I would embark on a healing journey that would cleanse both of us…freeing us from our stories, from our past…I have written this story down 3 times now, but deleted it the previous two times. I chose to share this story today because I have been inspired. When I recently posted my album, Rape…I received hundreds of messages and emails. Many speaking their support, but many more sharing bits and pieces of their own story with me. Some people who shared their courageous stories with me are free…not just from abuse, but also from the trap of negativity that so often accompanies trauma and abuse. Unfortunately, others who shared their stories are still trapped in a relationship riddled with emotional, physical or sexual abuse.

My reason for sharing this chapter of my life is simple…I want to show that, regardless of how dark things are now or have been…there is always hope. There is always a way out. I’m not saying that it will be easy, or that the path to health and wellness is easy or even safe…Sometimes the path to freedom is covered with emotional land mines. Often times, the path to freedom is even truly dangerous…and there are risks to be taken. I know this all to well…so, rather than let my story upset or disturb you…please see it as a beacon of light. Please feel inspired to be free and to free others from the disastrous effects of emotional, physical, financial and sexual abuse.

This is and un-edited post..raw from my mind and written hastily…I can’t re-read it or edit it, so I apologize if it is not my best writing:-) From my heart to yours, Joy

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Rape, Sexual Healing and True Bliss…


Today is not the day to tell my “story”…Today is a day to celebrate how far I have come…I have walked through hell…faced intense moments of fear, anger and in fact rage…to get to where I am today. It was a long journey, filled with intense moments of both suffering and then bliss…but today, I am an empowered woman who embraces her sexuality and is able to both give and receive pleasure…pleasure beyond measure. Mountain wrote about the experience from his perspective and gave me permission to share…

Mountain: “When Joy and I first began our journey towards love, harmony and sexual bliss we were both young and had a lot to learn.  I think the biggest thing we had going for us was our desire to please each other emotionally and physically and compassion and understanding when it came to each other’s limitations and hang ups based on our past relationships.

While Joy had a wonderful desire to please me sensually from the first moment we allowed ourselves to give in to our passion and she had an innate sense of what I wanted to know and experience with her it took many years, full of steps ahead and steps back, tears and joy for her to learn to trust me enough to let herself be herself and experience total trust and sexual bliss.  I needed to be gentle and kind.  I needed to cry with her and feel her anger.  I needed to trust her to know how far she could go and sometimes stretch her boundaries lovingly, respectfully and gently, attentive to the language her eyes and body spoke, knowing when she was or wasn’t ready to experience something outside of her comfort zone.

I think it’s extremely important for people embarking on the journey of sensual discovery to understand that it isn’t all bliss and sexual satisfaction.  The chance that you or your partner has experienced some sort of sexual abuse or emotional abuse is unfortunately very likely.  Working through these issues can be painful and frustrating.  In extreme cases certain ways of touch, words, smells or countless other environmental factors can lead to a sudden memory of hurt or abuse.

This can leave you and/or your lover feeling guilty and or shameful.  It can make you feel hurt or angry at the abuser, at your partner, at yourself.  It can stop sexual bliss in an instant.  It is these moments of stark reality and total openness that can however be the most groundbreaking and lead to greater connection and progress in learning to connect with your partner.

Putting aside your arousal immediately and listening to or holding your partner leads to a greater sense of trust and, in my experience, deeper trust leads to deeper pleasure.  It is our ability to love unselfishly and unconditionally in even the most heated moments that shows we are truly ready for the next step toward sexual and emotional bliss.”

Joy: This is a series of self portraits I created yesterday (day 3 of my 101 days of self reflection through photography). The point of these photos was to release the image that was trapped in my mind. There are so many layers to the healing process..as we peel them away…there is a sense of unlimited freedom. Last night, I must have unearthed something…It was not the process of creating these images that unearthed my emotions. It was the responses of other men and women who messaged me on Facebook, or emailed me their own stories…because the images unearthed something in them..that opened me up.

After a day of supporting and being supported…holding and being held…I found myself exhausted and raw with emotion. Mountain and I were making love, but as we lay in connection, I began to sob….this has not happened for many years. It was not my story as much as the stories of others around the world that brought me to my knees (emotionally). However, I felt a huge release. Mountain and I have overcome the most intense challenges and we have done it together. I want this same level of freedom for every man, woman and child that walks the earth…May you be happy. May you be free. May we be happy. May we be free. From my heart to yours, Joy

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Sexual Healing: From Victim to Sex Goddess


Freedom

Freedom (Photo credit: Bohman)

While writing my visual guide to bodywork for couples….my husband and I began talking about our sexual history. It was very interesting to hear his perspective. We got together when I was 24 years old. I had experienced sexual abuse my entire life. My adopted father began preening me for abuse as a baby and began “sexual petting” when I was just a tot. Through years of sexual abuse, the stage was set for more abuse during my teens. I would seek out protectors…who would turn out to be predators. As I moved through my teens and into my early twenties, I experimented with celibacy and bisexuality as I tried to find a safe path to sexual exploration….

After the disaster of my first marriage…I was a damaged woman with a hell of a lot of sexual baggage. Mountain entered my life during the crux of a crisis. One that I don’t often talk about. One that left me damaged and broken to the core. The positive thing about having your mind, body, spirit and heart crushed beyond repair….is that you can’t repair yourself. You must start over. It is a rebirth of sorts. That was my experience, anyways. When I remember facing my reflection in the mirror with my lip busted open, my eye swollen and black, my yoni throbbing in response to the pain of unwanted penetration…it is as if I am watching a movie…it is not me. It is the me I was at the time…but that moment has passed…that woman has transformed herself…

After facing so many dark moments…when Mountain and I first made love…we didn’t get very far before fear swallowed me whole. A rush of fear, apprehension and hesitation flooded my brain with negativity…It was our first time together and we were naked on a picnic table, making love in the rain on a stormy night. My tears joined the rain on my body….washing away a layer of healing. It was the beginning of a wonderful journey.

Our path to sexual bliss was filled with tears, joy and the development of an intense, loving bond and connection that has been tested umpteen times over the years. I find it harder to talk about the dark shadows from my past…because it is not a joyous or sensual subject. However, without the darkness, we do not know that we are experiencing light. My past, although it only exists within my mind…is a part of this path….my path.

The bottom line: Healing is possible…but it takes time, patience, trust and a safe space to explore. From my heart to yours, Joy