A woman can never be too rich or too thin, but until very, very recently, she could be too powerful, for which–if she wasn’t smart enough to camouflage herself–she generally paid the price.
The day after I was raped I cried uncontrollably, continually repeating “I just don’t understand, I can’t make any sense of it.” Weeks later I’ve had time to reflect and examine the situation and ask myself really hard questions. Why? Because it is important to me to understand my life for the purpose of growth. I wanted to know what I did that I should not do again. Now, I want to try and draw a line of distinction in the proverbial sand: while I do not blame myself for the act, I do hold myself accountable for the circumstances that lead up to it.
I was in a place in my life where I did not put a high value on my body. I may not have articulated that a month ago, but my actions made it clear. Everything from what I fueled it with (late night fast food runs) to who I allowed to access it–men I was not in any kind of committed relationship with. I don’t think casual sex is wrong. I don’t even think random hook-ups are wrong, though that was not really my thing. But I do think that for me my life was incongruent with what I wanted. And truthfully what I deserve.
Previously I couldn’t wrap my head around the concept of celibacy because it seemed punitive; why intentionally deny yourself pleasure if that’s what you want? Well because there is something else that you want more. It’s the difference between long and sort term goals, and if we are continuing to be truthful it is the difference between maturity and immaturity. Not the sex itself, but the ability to have a healthy relationship with delayed gratification; that is maturity.
I was too much id and impatient and too much a slave to my emotions. In reading my “Loneliness” post it dawned on me that previously, I would have tried to assuage that feeling with temporary companionship rather than sitting through it. Because I hated the feeling. I still do, but at present my discomfort with physical intimacy outweighs my want for it. And I’m hoping that the discomfort is replaced by emotional fortitude. I don’t want to reach for just anyone in the moments I feel weakest. I want to have the ability to wait it out.
Full circle, I want to have the ability to believe myself bigger/stronger than my moments of pain/hurt/loneliness. That is what I was unable to do before. I caved. I sought attention and I used my body it obtain it. The men I associated with…
And sidebar, in this moment I am feeling the need to explain the relationships I had. To tell the readers of my public journal that I was not a whore or a slut…and in this noticing I realize that in hindsight I judge myself and I was about to beg forgiveness of my audience for being those disgusting misogynistic and pejorative terms, but no. I don’t need it. Part of my learning since the rape is that my appraisal of myself is more important than others’ appraisal of me. AND be it ironic though it may be, since the rape, the understanding of my own self-worth has increased tremendously.
So, I was saying…the men I associated with did not value me. And if it is one thing I’ve learned from hours of Pinterest therapy, it’s that if you do not know your worth, you’ll allow other people to assess your value and you’ll believe them over yourself. Again, a month ago I would have never said that, but my actions indicated it. I consciously sought out the approval and appraisal of men.
I don’t want to be that woman anymore. I want to dress for myself. I want to undress for myself. I want to walk, talk, eat, and exercise for the love and honor of myself. I want to grow for myself and not for the promise of love or a partner. I want to be better for myself. I want to glorify God and use every ounce of potential placed in me for my own gratification and not for the applause. I want to be proud of the person I am without accolade.
My sexual assault was a wake up call. It was a startling jolt of awakening that opened my eyes to the energy I was emitting into the world. I suppose that’s a controversial stance, but in my refusal to be a victim it also means I have to be accountable for my role. Not in the act, not in the force or the violation but in the circumstances that created the opportunity. I couldn’t have known he would do what he did. But, what I glean from the entire ordeal is that if he would have never been at my house or even in my life if I could have given myself what I was seeking from him.
Hard lessons. And maybe in a year I’ll disagree with myself but for right now that is my understanding. One last step before I end, “…what were you afraid of anyway?” A woman who is living for herself is a dangerous woman. It is not the disregard of the need of relationships, I need you to see me but I do not need you to define me. A woman who knows who she is, is a dangerous woman. She does not crave and subsequently cave. She realizes her own self-sufficiency because just as the universe can provide for itself, she is a universe in her own being. A woman who does not live and die for the approval of others is a dangerous woman. Because as we let our own light shine we unconsciously give permission to others.
Here’s to being and becoming a dangerous woman