I was in my second year of college here. I had made many friends over the past couple of years. I was living in a four bedroom house with two guys and another gal. The guys  were like my brothers. I had a rule, no dating housemates. Too complicated if it didn’t work out. For the most part, my housemates and I were very different but, for the most part, we got along real well. We had the scholarly, the bicyclist, the stoner and me, the theater/science nerd. We all lived very separate lives most of the time but sometimes, we would actually hang out together. House parties, movie nights, watch sports on TV, even a theater party here and there. Over all it was a great living situation and I was very happy there. Across the street lived another college guy that we all knew someway or another. He would occasionally hang out with us and sometimes we would hang out at his place.

One night, a couple of my housemates and I were over at this guys house to watch The Fly. It was such a good movie and we thought it would be a good night. For some reason, my roommates went back home for the night. The movie was about over and I wanted to see the end. I had no reason to not trust the guy that lived there. I had hung out with him many times before. I was wrong. Shortly after my roommate left, the guy was on top of me. He had me pinned to the sofa and was trying to convince me to go further. I kept telling him no and he kept going, touching, kissing, groping, touching, kissing. I had no chance of getting away from him and he would not stop no matter how much I told him no. I was scared and couldn’t get away. He was so big and I was at such a disadvantage as I was pinned under him on the sofa in an empty house. He was at least 200 pounds. A BIG guy. At the time, I was barely over 100 pounds and 5’5″ and had no skills for defense. I had never been so happy to hear a knock on the door until that night. One of my roommates came back. I have no idea why but I have been so grateful for it. The guy jumped off of me and I sped home. I did tell my roommate what happened and thanked him so much for coming back. I never spoke to the neighbor again and avoided him the rest of the time I was in school.

I never reported the incident. I only spoke of it to a few people. I knew it would be his word against mine. I didn’t want to go through the hassle or any of the shit that goes with it. I didn’t want to have people say that I shouldn’t have put myself in that position. I didn’t want to hear how it was my fault. I didn’t want my sexual promiscuity to be used against me. I knew I had no proof. My roommate didn’t see anything, he just knew how glad I was to see him and what I told him. I did share with a couple of female friends and found out that he had done the same with a couple of friends of mine but they chose not to report either. Being a reporting female, especially back then was so bad but I do not know if it has gotten any better.

I blocked out so much of the event. I do not remember his name, I just remember that he was a lot bigger than I was. I remember the house. When I drive by it, I always remember it. I don’t remember what he looked like but I remember the layout of the room. I remember the smells. Would I remember his name if I heard it? Would I remember his face if I saw it? I do not know but I do know that it happened. I have shared with very few people in my life. Why share it? It does no good. I often have guilt for not reporting it as I am sure he has done it again but would my coming forward have stopped it or just ruined my life? I am just glad I got away before he raped me and it was “just a sexual assault”. It still traumatized me. It still made me very leery of men and trusting a man when I am getting to know them. I thought he was my friend.

I am Fifty One now.

#metoo

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LuckyLucky by Alice Sebold

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. What a book. This is the true story of the author’s brutal rape and her recovery. She is so brutally honest and the book was so detailed that I could not put it down. The description of the rape was hard to read in such detail but I think it was important for the book for the readers to be able to relate even a little bit to her story. Hearing how her relationships changed with her friends and family was difficult to imagine. One scene that really stood out for me was when she tried to get her father to understand what happened to her and why she didn’t fight more. People so often judge and blame the victim. In this book, she talks about that frequently and how she actually tried to protect others from their discomfort. She was lucky to have a lot of support and one teacher that helped her have the strength to face her attacker in court and actually convict him. This was a book of strength and courage. It was well worth the read

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Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! by Anthony Robbins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was recommended this book to me several years ago by a friend. He was the most positive person I had ever met and I asked him how he was that way. He was going through a divorce and things in his life were quite difficult but he was always happy. He told me that this book transformed his attitude about life.
It has taken me a while to actually sit down and read this book but this was definitely the right time. For many years, I was a wife and mother and all my goals and dreams involved my husband and kid. Five years ago, that all ended and my youngest graduated from high school a couple of years later. I am finally ready to focus on me and my goals again. I don’t think I realized that until I read this book. I have been thinking about goals and dreams now and am making plans. I have broken a lifelong habit of picking my skin. Tomorrow is two weeks since I picked and I actually have not had a hard time in days. I am no longer a picker. I have tried to quit all my life. Quitting smoking was easy compared to this. Suddenly, after reading this book, it has been easy to quit.
I highly recommend this book to anyone that is wanting to make positive changes in their life. I will continue to work on the assignments in the book and continue to grow and follow my new dreams and goals.

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Life has been a bit busy and crazy for the past few weeks. I thought about blogging many times and about many things BUT just have not been taking the time. I have 24 more hours with my son home and I have been enjoying every moment we have had together. I also have been doing a lot of reading and self reflection. One of the first guys I dated after my divorce was the most positive person that I have ever met. I asked him how he could always be so positive and he told me that it was because of this book by Tony Robbins that he read.

I have finally been reading this book after almost four years. I will go into it a bit in a later blog but I wanted to share one major thing that I have realized. I am GLAD that I have been alone mostly for the past five years. It has enabled me to grow. It has enabled me to learn who I really am. Time (and this book) have given me the ambition to set goals again. My life had been, for so long, all about our kids, our marriage, his career. Our kids are grown, our marriage is over and his career doesn’t affect me anymore. I have not been focusing on goals for years now. If I had stayed in the relationship with BFF or gotten serious with someone else, my focus would have become on them, their wishes, their lives, etc. This has been a great time of growth for ME and maybe, eventually, I will be able to let someone back in that fits into MY GOALS. I truly love myself and enjoy my own company. I am setting my own goals and have my own dreams now all because I have taken the time to get to know me- post marriage.

A Woman on the Edge of Time: a son's search for his motherA Woman on the Edge of Time: a son’s search for his mother by Jeremy Gavron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this book up at a book rescue not knowing much about it but it definitely drew me to it. The speed in which I read it says something. I did not want to put this book down. Hannah was such a strong woman and so ahead of her time. It made me think of being a woman before now. My grandmother was also ahead of her time. I often thought about my mother who was in the same age group as Hannah. Women were expected to be a certain way and women who chose not to had a difficult road. Unfortunately, Hannah ultimately couldn’t handle it and took her life. She left two young boys and a family that never spoke of her again. This is written by the younger of the boys as he tries to understand his mother and her choice. This book also made me proud of my daughters who are in no hurry to marry and have babies. They are living their lives before they go down this path, if they choose that path I sure wish that I had done so. Hannah’s thesis that was later published is The Captive Wife. I wonder how many of us feel the way this book implies. I think Ii will have to find it and read it. I know I can probably relate. I gave up my life for the “dream” and it was a mistake. Now I am alone, poor, and fifty, trying to figure out how to live my dreams. I will make it as I have made it this far. This book is worth the read. It is not anti-man. It is not anti-marriage. It is more about having the strength to follow your dreams. The women back then had so many more obstacles than we do now. It has improved but many are still there due to our gender. We need to continue to change things for our daughters and granddaughter.

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So many of my male friends are shocked by the #metoo stories and how many women they know with stories. Somany of them are asking what they can or should do, this is a good read regarding this.

 

#MeToo testimonies are flooding our social media feeds. For men, realizing complicity can be uncomfortable. On seeing this discomfort as a challenge.

Source: For Guys Reading #MeToo Testimonies — Courtney Martin | On Being

As I walk the streets everyday, I have lots of things go through my mind. I don’t know why yesterday my reflection seemed to be how much I’ve grown. On Facebook, you can see your “on this day” in the past. I tend to look at these daily. Some are good, some are bad, many make me really see how far that I have come.  As I’m looking at these from four years ago, right after my divorce, I was struggling to eat, get out of bed, to go to work. I had done most of my crying before the divorce was final but I was terrified of being on my own.  I had grown so dependent on the ex because he thought he did everything better than me. I had quit trying to do things because it was easier to let him do things than to be criticized for doing things wrong. My self-confidence was in the toilet.  I never thought I could get a decent job because I gave up my career when I got married.  I never went back to college. I was a full-time at home mom for a long time. I loved being home with my kids.  I love the relationship I have with them now, probably due to that but I will always regret giving up my career.

Here I am four years later, I am feeling happier and  more self confident than I’ve ever felt in my life. I think when I first started dating that I was looking for somebody to take care of me. I no longer want nor need that. I’ve had men tell me that I was too strong and independent for them. Who would have thought that would be an issue for me four years ago. I don’t want a man that can’t handle my independence, that can’t handle my strength, that wants to be the man and take care of everything. I will never give up my independence again.  Now I’ve met a new man, the ice cream man, and he seems to really like my strength. I told him about other men saying I was too strong and independent. He said that he doesn’t see that. He likes it.