We Can’t Be Friends…Or Can We?

Among the top age-old debates is the controversial question, can men and women be friends?

As a woman with male cohorts, I can confidently say that, yes, a platonic relationship can exist between the sexes. We can stand to gain valuable insight from the benevolence of having friendships with the opposite sex.

Having male friends, for me, stimulates my curious side. Through them I get to see a whole new look on life from the male perspective.  In some ways male companionship is an escape from all of the drama filled air some female friends can bring.

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It’s no secret that women can be highly emotional and irrational. I know this because I’m a woman and sometimes I just need a break. Therefore, having meaningful conversations with someone who does not emotion like me serves a therapeutic purpose. It’s almost like taking a break from myself.

There is the caveat of maturity, respect, and understanding that men and women should be mindful of, especially if you are already in a relationship with someone else.

Male and female friendships can be complicated by a superbug called feelings. It’s easy for one or the other or even both individuals to become smitten with the each other.

That’s why it’s important for you to have boundaries, guidelines, and expectations for the people you decide are worthy and necessary components to your life.

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My husband and I had this conversation about friendships and where we both stood on them.

Of course, we entered into our relationship with our own set of established comrades so having friends wasn’t much of an issue.

For both of us, especially after having been in previously unsuccessful and misunderstood relationships, we were ok with friends but understood they needed to be bound to a mutual agreement.

We both agreed that it was healthy to maintain contact with our friends and we both were cool with the phone calls, text messages, and social media interaction AS LONG AS IT REMAINED RESPECTABLE.

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When it comes to getting together for some face-to-face catching up, we are a package deal. Take it or leave it.

He and I both had to let go of friends of the opposite sex because they failed to pass the criteria that we agreed upon to maintain the comfort levels and functionality of our relationship.

His former friend wanted to talk and text but admitted discomfort in doing so when I was present. My former friend didn’t respect the boundaries of our relationship at all and insisted on striking up inappropriate conversations.

They both had to go.

It is the responsibility of you and your significant other to establish the foundation that your relationship is built on and to demand all outsiders respect it.

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If your friends of the opposite sex can go with the flow of the life you are trying to build as a couple. They are definite keepers.

Determining where your friends stand in your relationship isn’t the only obstacle you need to get a feel for. Your own personal feelings play a major role in whether or not you should part ways with that long time buddy.

Here are five questions that you can ask yourself to help  determine if your friendship is hazardous to your relationship.

  1. Have you ever fantasized about your friend?
  2.  Do you make comparisons between your friend and your significant other?
  3.  Is there a physical attraction for your friend?
  4.  Do you or your friend change the way you behave with each other when your significant other is around?
  5.  Would you be comfortable if your significant other was in a friendship with someone of the opposite sex that mirrored your behaviors and feelings?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then you need to take a step back and give yourself a reality check.

Your friendship is toxic to the sustainability of your relationship but before that, if you feel that type of behavior is okay, then you yourself may be toxic to the relationship.

If your relationship is your priority, friendships with those characteristics have no place in your life and it’s time to say goodbye.

Share your story. Have you been faced with the decision of having to choose between a friend and a mate?

 

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Are you ready for commitment?

If you can’t tell, I am a fan favorite of everything relationship. I’ve had my fair share of them and, if I can’t call them anything else, I can definitely say that they were learning experiences.

And I mean that in the figurative, literal, and comical sense.

We engage in many relationships over the course of our lifetime. I’m not going to ask anyone to personally count theirs because this post is not that long and some of you are very VERY friendly people. But, think about it. How many of us can honestly say that our relationships have taught us something valuable about ourselves? Can you look back and pinpoint those defining A-ha moments?

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Of the many things that my memory can replay, one of the most dominating stances was commitment. When you think of commitment, you might think of it as a one directional play. For example, when you have a job your obligation is to do your work so that you can keep the job. That’s your commitment, right? Well, that’s just one of the directions you follow to remain compliant.

There’s way more to it than that! Yes, you make sure your job is done but you also have to commit to getting there on time, you have to meet deadlines and maintain an open line of communication with coworkers and your superiors. At home, you need to make sure you get sufficient sleep (most of the time). You have to make sure that you have the proper work attire so that may mean doing laundry and/or going shopping. All of these actions are a part of your commitment to that one thing. Your job.

Guess what? Relationship commitment is not much different. In fact, it may be a little more tedious!

So, what’s the problem with commitment?

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Many people don’t realize that there are levels to commitment:

  • The beginning stage
  • The acknowledgment of exclusivity stage
  • The appreciation stage
  • The expectation stage and
  • The realization stage

Each of these levels need to be in sync with the relationship that is trying to be built and maintained. As we grow and change our levels of commitment may remain the same but the expectations of how they need to be fulfilled modifies.

Don’t get it?

Think of it like this. When we were in high school, our high school sweethearts did everything they could think of to impress us in the beginning. They  acknowledged our union verbally or by showing public displays of affection and showered us with little things that turned us into Cheshire cats. We expected nothing more and that’s what we got.

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I remember being given a jacket to wear. He would pick me up for school in the morning – meaning meet me at the train station – and we would ride together to school. We would stop for breakfast – at a Bodega – and get a bacon egg and cheese on a roll (gotta love NYC) that we would share. It was the cutest thing and we were content. We didn’t need anything else. At that time we weren’t burdened by the pangs of adulthood.

Now, fast forward to today. Would your levels of commitment be satisfied with just a jacket, train ride, and half of a sandwich?

When we change our expectations change because our needs are different. Do you get it now? GREAT!

…. BUT, first things first.

There are some very important things that need to be in place before you embark on committing to the love of your life. You may have heard this saying before: Make sure YOUR house is in order- and NO, I am not talking about washing the dishes and vacuuming the carpet. Before you decide to commit to someone else:

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  1.  You must commit to yourself. Now, seriously, how do you expect a relationship with someone else to work if the relationship you have with yourself is choppy?
  2. Don’t forget who you are. It’s not fun (for you) to get to a point in, not only your relationship but also your life, when you don’t recognize who a major contributor is. YOU! If you have to undergo a personal cosmetic surgery to make someone else happy, chances are that relationship does not deserve your committment.
  3. Don’t rush it. Take the time to get to know your partner. Being able to stay committed also means understanding your significant other.
  4. Be ready to meet your partner half way but be capable of going the distance solo… for two. No relationship is 50/50 and you can expect that there will be times where one of you is down and almost completely out. That’s where strength, determination and love needs to show up and show out!!
  5. Do you really want to be in a relationship? Ask yourself if you truly want the responsibilities of dating in the capacity of commitment. Are you willing to put in the time and effort required to make it work. If you have other pressing obligations that you are devoted to that do not welcome the constraints of a relationship, commitment may not be right for you at this time. Wait until you have settled all prior obligations before you begin another.

Communication in Relationships

It’s almost here. In exactly 24 hours Valentine’s Day will officially commence. That one day of the year that’s supposed to showcase a lifetime of love.

Hmmm… Maybe that’s the problem…

Maybe people try to cram too much expectation into 1 out of 365 days of the year. Everyone wants to meet, date, get engaged, get married, buy a house, have children, grow old and die together ALL IN ONE DAY!

There was once a time when I fantasized about the fairy tale of love as well. Then reality knocked on the door. Relationships are much more than just celebrating Valentine’s Day. There’s a lot that has to go into turning a situationship into an actual relationship and making it last.

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One of the most important things, I have found, that can secure the situationship/relationship dynamic just as quickly as it can tear it apart is communication.

Communication is a life necessity. There’s no way around it and there’s no substitute for it. It’s a part of everything we do- at work, at home, when we’re out shopping- you name it and communication is required. We communicate with friends, family, strangers and even our pets. cat-1912251_640.jpg(YES, I TALK TO MY FUR BABIES! DON’T JUDGE ME)!

The point I’m trying to make is that without communication the world would be at a standstill.

Uhhh, no, that’s not exactly correct… actually, that’s 100% incorrect.

If people fail to communicate with each other there will be a lot of motion…commotion that is! A chaotic smorgasbord of clutterfuck roaming the Earth. No one would be on the same page and nothing would be on track.

With that being said, imagine what poor communication, or lack thereof, can do for a relationship.

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 Boy meets girl. Girl likes boy. Now what?

Deciding to pursue a relationship with another individual is a big deal. So, if you’re in it for the long haul, it’s probably a good idea to squirt some lubrication on your communication hinge.

Nothing says disaster better than a relationship sans intimate articulation. It’s totally not ridiculous for both you and your significant other to have expectations and to get results. The best way-even if not always the easiest- to meet that demand is to talk it out. Make it HOT!

  1. Be Honest. Giving hints doesn’t always work and your partner is not a mind reader. Be clear about your plans for the future as well as your likes, dislikes and feelings. This is the foundation of your relationship. Don’t build it on false happiness.
  2. Be Open. Much like honesty, being open with your significant other helps strengthen the compatibility the two of you share. Share those things that are important to the growth of your relationship
  3. It’s a Two-way Street. The success of your relationship heavily relies on the team work that both of you will need to contribute to.

****Honest and Open Disclaimer:   when you desire honesty and openness be sure you are ready for the truths it will reveal, especially when past relationships and habits are the subject. For some people, the epic dialogue from the film A Few Good Men rings true:

…”I want the truth”.

…”You can’t handle the truth”!

HOT talk is not the only rule of thumb for relationship goals. There’s no getting around serious issues and the worst thing you can do is play the avoidance card. Trust me, it WILL NOT go away. It WILL grow fangs and suck the blood right out of you. In these situations the best thing you can do is pull up your big boy/big girl britches and face it head on. THE RIGHT WAY.

  • Patience and understanding are super powers. superman-295328_640Be a superhero and use yours for the greater good of your relationship. The problem many of us have is that we want everyone to see things the way we see things. It would be perfect if our thoughts were the same and the way we expressed ourselves matched. Alas, perfect is not of this world. So, allow your partner to express themselves the best way they can. Recognize that the person in front of you is different and understand that their differences is what makes them unique. Listening with a patient ear instead of a hasty one opens the floor for more appropriate discussion.
  • Minimize judgement. Passing judgement is not what communication is about and it will only succeed in pushing your relationship off the cliff with no parachute. me-1767683_640 You and your significant other deserve to feel comfortable when you’re ready to bare your soul to one another without fear that the other person will not be understanding of who you are.
  •  We Need To Talk. The four words that everyone dreads but shouldn’t. rain-1570854_640.jpg

The Why. It should go without saying that there will always come a time where you or your significant other has something that is deemed to be of major importance. Whether it is something heavy or little on the lighter side, neither of you should be made to feel that your concern is of less importance.

The How. To make those four words more audibly appealing timing is key. Attempting to address issues when you are at the height of anger is Kryptonite to your superpower (remember patience and understanding). Self-control is your responsibility and much like you would not be welcoming to anyone unhinged; you shouldn’t expect the welcome wagon when you come undone.

When you allow yourself to calm down your thoughts become clearer, your method of communication becomes better, and your superpower is enhanced. Anger is the master of manifestation in the worst way. Don’t let yourself or your relationship fall victim to it.

The When. Demanding attention from someone and expecting a positive outcome right before or in the middle of a favorite activity or TV show… yeah…probably not a great idea. Ditto when company is around. Yeah. No. Don’t Do It!

Again, timing is key. Choosing a time when both of you are relaxed-but not tired- and free from distraction will maximize the potential for a positive outcome.

The Where. Find a location that offers privacy with no interruptions. If being outdoors offers a more relaxing environment, take a walk and find an area where you can speak freely.

Good communication is a major component in both developing and maintaining a strong connection with your partner. It strengthens the sense of security and trust that is necessary to meet your emotional needs, helps eliminate mistakes made from previous relationships and secures the longevity of this relationship.

Loving Through Addiction

When the magistrate confirmed your vows and pronounced you husband and wife (or husband and husband, or wife and wife-this is reality) that became the most happiest moment of your life. Through thick and thin, sickness and health, til death do you part, you made a promise to always be the person your spouse needed you to be. Not once did you imagine how thick it could become and how thin you would be spread.

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Finding out that your spouse has a drug addiction is the beginning of a long, hard journey to fate – be it sobriety or continued serfage. When substance abuse becomes an issue within a relationship it can cause a severe collapse in trust, respect, and communication. It can create an environment of fear and discomfort  for all those who have to witness it and is especially frightening when there are children involved. Where there was once peace there may now be turmoil. Confusion and anger become a constant equation for hurt that is easily mistaken for hate.

Loving someone with an addiction is far from easy. There may come a time where giving up seems like the only option. Remember that while drug use is a choice, drug addiction becomes an illness and just like any other illness the afflicted individual may need support. There is no quick fix for kicking a habit and the struggle for the user  who wants to quit is just as intense, if not more, than it is for the spouse.

I’m not here to tell you what you should do in this particular situation or how you should react to or treat the person who has the addiction. I would like to share with you some things I feel it’s important to understand.

It’s important for you to recognize when your suffering is enabling the other person to essentially suffer in the way that they choose – in this case by way of drugs. Do you recognize these 5 enabling habits:

  1. Providing money that you know will be used to buy drugs.
  2. Ignoring the issue hoping that it will go away. you may think it’s better to ignore the problem. Maybe if you ignore it- it will eventually go away or maybe you’re just in denial.
  3. Lying and making excuses for them to cover up the habit.
  4. Taking over their responsibilities. Paying their bills, rent or giving them a place to stay can enable them. They will rely on you to take care of their needs.
  5.  Fear. The fifth enabler is ultimately what holds a hellish grip on you. You are either afraid that something may happen to the user if you don’t take care of them or you’re afraid for your safety because the user may make threats if he or she is not given what they want.

You may decide that you’ll confront the problem but every time you confront do it just leads to other problems like arguing, fighting and crying but no resolution. This is not a battle that cam be fought alone. Seek counseling to help you survive and support your loved one in a healthy manner. You may reach out to your church priest or pastor or find a rehabilitation facility.

>It’s important for you to understand that no matter what you do, if the person who has the physical issue of drug addiction is not willing to comply, there’s nothing you can do.

>It’s important for you to understand that although you don’t have the physical issue of drug addiction, you now have the mental and emotional issue of drug addiction and you need to make sure that you’re ok, that your family is safe, and that you’re able to maintain a stable life for both yourself and those who rely on you. Once these things are established, you are ready to provide your spouse with proper support.

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You can expect that there will be a tug-of-war between checking into rehab and continuing bad habits. Unrealistic promises will most likely be made-promises to quit on his or her own just to pacify you. For the sake of your sanity and the success of rehabilitation accept nothing less than enlisting the help of professional services. This will be the hardest time to stick to your guns but don’t give in.

Take the initiative to research rehab facilities and choose the ones that you feel offer the best program. Speak with the program director and gather as much information as you can to provide to your spouse. During your search, be sure to ask if the facility also provides family support .  Although you know the person  who now has the drug addiction  you may not be familiar with the new behaviors they have taken on .  You will benefit from having someone who is able to explain to you and your family what’s going on with your loved one and what you can expect, as time progresses,with and without proper help.

Again I have to reiterate that if the substance abuser has no desire to quit, they won’t. It doesn’t matter what you say. It doesn’t matter what you do. So be realistic on what to expect. Prepare yourself to meet with a lot of resistance. In their weakest moments is when they need you to be the strongest. Make every effort to help them see how much you love them, how much you want them to be happy and how much you will support them on this journey to wellness as long as it doesn’t sacrifice the safety and mental wellness of those directly affected. Just like it’s not easy for you it’s definitely not easy for them.

12.31.16-New Year’s Eve To You But So Much More To Me

1 YEAR
12 MONTHS
365 DAYS
8,760 HOURS
525,600 MINUTES
315,360,000 SECONDS

A couple of months ago I came across a blog post about a very interesting topic. When I saw the title of the post I immediately raised not one but both eyebrows and let out a quick hmm. As I read the content two thoughts occurred to me,  1) the writer of the post was a genius for being able to create such a wonderful deductive comparison between life and love and 2) someone was finally able to crack the code on my life of love. I chose to hold off on writing about this gem of an evaluation specifically for today.

This particular post described three different loves that we experience throughout our lifetime. I’m not sure what will resonate to you when you read it but it concisely read me my rights. As described, I went through the first love, I’m a survivor of the second and now here I am. All of the hard relationship work is finally paying off. Life no longer seems like a fuzzy blur.

Our story is 29 years in the making, even longer than that if you can believe some of the interesting facts surrounding us. I, officially,  met him through a mutual friend while in junior high school. The irony is that we never spoke one on one, we were always in a group. His memory about me back then surpasses mine, tenfold. He remembers the way I used to wear my hair, the way I used to sit in my bedroom window with my arms folded and just shake my head at the silly conversations our mutual friends had. I only remember bits and pieces. He remembers vivid details. Before we reached this point in our lives, he also experienced the first love and survive the second.

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We reconnected on Facebook, sarcastic surprise! But even though we were Facebook friends, we never interacted with each other except for the yearly happy birthday courtesy of the Facebook notification. There were no hi, how are you’s or anything. For two years we scrolled past photo and status updates until a quick scroll and eye trickery on a celebrity image (he would kill me if I told which celebrity) made me think it was him. When I realized the faux pas, I tagged him in the image and describe what happened. This was our first contact at the end of the second year of us becoming Facebook friends it was also the night before my birthday.

We messaged each other via Facebook for 3 days before he gave me his number.  It would be another two days before I actually called because I wasn’t sure I wanted him to have mine. You see, I had built a mental wall around me for the purpose of not letting anyone in. The diligence of a determined man is like no other. We were pretty much telephonically inseparable after that. We lived 2 hours away from each other so an actual face-to-face wasn’t in the cards or at least that’s what I told myself. It turns out he didn’t mind driving 2 hours even if it was only to spend 1 hour just to get back on that 2 hour ride back. His actions and memory made it hard to discredit the crush he said he had all those years ago.

We found out a lot about each other that still has us both in awe. We found out that we have always lived in close proximity of one another since we were aged in the single digits I’m not just talking about the same neighborhood, either, we lived on the same street! We relocated together but never knew each other. Now here we were again living in the same state 2 hours away from each other. So what’s so special about that well we moved from the same state to the same state 6 months apart. Oh yeah, I almost forgot we also have matching birthmarks on our left thumb mine is lighter while his is darker and much like our wedding bands mine is thinner and his is wider.

I can’t say for sure why, throughout the years, we have always been so near yet so far to each other. For decades, we orbited each other in a seemingly parallel universe, one oblivious to the other. My theory is that we were always meant to be but in order for us to truly appreciate the role we were meant to have in our union, life had to teach us a few things and we were slow learners. We were seduced by the imagery of love the first time and the Venom of its Wrath the second time now we are in a place where we can create our own fairy tale because we know how to build upon the traits that we need so they can manifest into the traits that we want.

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On 12/31/15 exactly one year after we officially realized that the powers that be were pushing us together no matter how hard we tried to convince ourselves that we were done with love, my husband and I were married. We are still shocked!  For us there was no better way to end one year and begin another.

If you don’t have a best friend that can walk beside you when you’re strong and carry you with no hesitation when you’re weak you’re missing out. I would tell you to go out and look for the love you want but then you wouldn’t be home when the love you need comes knocking. I’m glad I was home.

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”-Brad Paisley

Domestic Violence

I never cease to be amazed at the foolishness that travels the lines of media across the world. By now you may have heard about the Moroccan TV show that aired a tutorial to teach women who have been victimized at the hands of their domestic abusers how to apply makeup to cover their bruises. After numerous head shakes, I have finally been able to form words that can animate some of my thoughts.

I am appalled that a mainstream Moroccan network channel would deem it appropriate to make domestic violence beautiful. Then I remember, it’s Morocco. A place where, just yesterday (actually 2004 but it seems like yesterday since woman have existed for what, forever maybe), the Moudawana, or family code, was amended to increase some of the rights of women but made no attempt to address or label domestic violence or marital rape as a crime. All hope, however, is not lost for the women of Morocco. They have been extended options:

  • Report the abuse but receive no protection from the offender until after the investigation of allegations are completed. Leaving the victim vulnerable to the unthinkable.

“I do not see how intimate acts between men and women that cannot be defined or proven can be penalized.” -Justice Minister Mustapha Ramid

  • Leave their abuser but, please, do not look forward to any financial assistance or shelter and be prepared to live a stigmatized life.

No, all hope is not lost because there was never any hope to begin with. How sad it must be to think that it is easier to apply makeup to a battered face than it is to seek justice. How equally horrifying it is to view domestic violence as a way of life as many women do. This Newsweek article further highlights the horrors faced by Moroccan woman.

Life for women in Morocco is far from unique and, before anyone decides to pull the cultural or religious card, let me fly the pigeon with the not so new message. Domestic violence is a widespread contagion from sea to sea, from Australia  to Zimbabwe . It does not submit only to a cultural sect. It does not care who you pray to or how you dress. It has no eyes and, therefore, does not see race, color, age, sexuality or gender as a reason to divert its offense.

Domestic violence is a relentless threat to the sanity and existence of society. There is so much more to it than the visible marks it leaves. It causes, depression, anxiety, PTSD, low self esteem, hatred of self and suicidal and homicidal ideation. The psychological effects are, also, not just present in the victim. It trickles down to the children, family and friends who witness or are aware of the situation.

Domestic violence spins a large web of fear and hate and it is, in my opinion, an insult to women worldwide to suggest ways to simply cover it up. Next time, try suggesting tougher laws to protect the victims and their families. Next time, make suggestions on ways to improve family life to prevent domestic violence. Next time, donate time, money, clothing, etc to domestic violence shelters. Next time be a part of the solution. The problem doesn’t need beautification.

Here are some links to true domestic violence experiences from around the world.

Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (dvrcv)

Good gone bad

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

Family Ties

It’s true. Our family are the first friends we have in life. They are the ones who witness just about all of our firsts. They are the ones who pick us up when we fall-after they laugh, of course. They are the ones who wear our clothes without permission or steal the last ice cream from the freezer even if they know you haven’t had any, only to share with you later-sometimes and wipe are tears when we cry.

Family, whether it’s your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings or cousins, are the first ones to teach you how to love, how to hate, how to dream. The bond you have with your family should be one that trumps all others. It should be a bond rooted in strength and forgiveness, kindness and trust. Family is home and home should be your sanctuary.

Times have changed so much. Nowadays, the family circle is broken and, in some cases, irreparably so. As we get older, we change. Our interests change. Our thoughts are overloaded with the sights, sounds, touches and tastes of our environment. We meet new people and adopt some of their qualities. We go through the many sequences of trying to shape-shift into who we are meant to be in our next stage of life and, sometimes we step away from our sanctuary.

Stepping away, in my opinion, is not the same as branching out. When you branch out, you remain rooted to your core. You still flourish from the nutritional strength that gave you life and maintained you and you can now expand it and make it stronger. This in no way declares eternal dependency. It, instead, develops independent success. When you step away, you detach yourself from that which you came. You can no longer gain sustenance and you can not add to it.

There may be many reasons why we step away from the roots of our beginning. Sometimes, the cause is so extensive that the only choice we have is to sever the ties. Sometimes, however, the cause is just a wrinkle that no one wants to straighten out. Sometimes our own mind magnifies a situation to imaginary proportions; other times, it’s our pride.

No one ever wants to be the first to say they’re sorry because, let’s face it, who likes to admit they’re wrong? In some cases, you may not even be the one who’s at fault. Those are the times we need to rise above the glass encased emotions that we harvest and recognize what’s really important. If you can remember a time when your family was crazy but cool, you should also remember some key factors in keeping them cool (the crazy will always represent itself):

  • Communication is one of the essential elements that keeps a family strong. Take time to talk to each other. Celebrate successes. Talk about future plans. Send a quick text to say hello. Keep it personal. Social media love isn’t always sufficient.
  • Be positive. The sun doesn’t always shine. Sometimes you have to bring your own light to illuminate someone else’s darkness. They’ll thank you for it and you’ll recognize their appreciation if you’re not, solely, looking for it.
  • Family night. A lot can happen in a week. Plan a day-maybe once a month-where everyone can get together to catch up. Have fun with each other, play games, reminisce. Make memories.
  • Be there for one another. Even the strongest shoulder needs someone to lean on. Let your family know that you are there for them. Even when you think they should know, say it anyway. Reinforcing how much you love and care for someone can move mountains.

There are so many ways you can maintain the bond with your family. It may take lots of creativity and patience but it’s well worth the effort. Just like you’ve changed, so have they. You all have so many NEW things to learn about each other. Take advantage of it.

Law and Disorder

Pregnancy has a way of uncovering many emotions.  Shock, joy, fear, and excitement spread through expectant mothers and fathers as well as family and friends.  The ability to procreate and carry another living being within your body is an amazingly beautiful thing that is not awarded to everyone.  While baby is developing, mom and dad get to fantasize about what traits their baby will have and who this precious gift will look like.  They get to marvel at all the kicks, twists, turns, and stretches that can be felt and sometimes seen.  They form a bond with their baby before they even meet.  It is a beautiful thing.

But, what happens when that baby is conceived as a result of a heinous crime? What if love wasn’t a deciding factor but violence, force, or unknown consumption of drugs was?  What feelings are present then?  Thousands of women experience this crisis called rape every single year and each one of them are placed in a position where they can choose the life or death of the entity now taking up residence within their body.  It seems that regardless of the decision to present new life to a world that has seen many dreary days or to terminate that of which has been fertilized with the seed of assault, the decision made will be one not without conflict.

If she chooses to speak up about the rape she is met with skepticism .  Victims of rape are often deemed responsible for the actions of another.  A sick part of society believes that the woman is at fault for her own sexual attack.  Society immediately becomes concerned with the clothing she wore or the behavior she exhibited.  The actions of the felon, in this sick society, are taken into account tertiary to the search for the actions of the victim that warranted a non-consensual violation of her body.

If she chooses abortion, she is condemned by society.  She gets thrown into the pit of sin.  She is verbally spat on by religious law  up holders because ‘thou shalt not kill’.  Thou also shalt not steal,  lie, cheat, judge etc.  All those not guilty please stand.  Everyone else, please take several seats to the left. Your sin does not bear less conviction than anyone else’s.

What bothers me the most is if she chooses life, she is condemned by the law.  Imagine the torment…the continous torment that a rape victim must go through because the law states that she must co-parent with her attacker.  Furthermore, her convicted attacker can be allowed UNsupervised visits with the child.  The reasoning behind that, no harm was directly caused to the child.  In other words, the woman should just get over it and let’s wait and see what happens with the kid. Someone in legislation needs to work on their preventative tactics.

Take a look at this CNN video interview with one victim.

Or read about a similar story here. Inside Edition

If you or anyone you know are in need of assistance RAINN (Rape, Abuse and, Incest National Network) can help.

Crisis textline provides resources for a many crisis counselors for various issues.

Although this article was written in 2013, it provides some head shaking information worth sharing.