There’s a lot of debate going on about The Women’s March, which has, to some degree, fueled the very harsh reactions to Donald Trump’s presidency. There’s the assumption that only Hillary Clinton supporters, or pro-choice people were lining those streets. That’s actually not true.
There’s one letter in particular circulating where a woman named Christy says, among other stuff, that this march wasn’t hers because she is anti-abortion, and if all women made good decisions in their lives, like she did, they wouldn’t need this extreme form of birth control. Yikes.
After my last rant, I prayed that God would remind me how to write correctly, and not fly off the handle like a ranting lunatic. Wisdom from above is always gentle and encourages peace between us, and clearly, I wasn’t being gentle or peaceful when I wrote those posts, and for that, I apologize. I’m going to strive to do better this time, even though again, this subject is one that hits close to home.
Dad, stop reading here. Seriously.
In a recent study, it was found that one in three women are sexually molested by the time they reach adulthood. This is a conservative number because a lot of these kinds of victims don’t tell anyone. Often, the perpetrator is a close family member or friend of the family, and that kind of secret can threaten all kinds of things in a child’s life. I am that one in three. My stepfather molested me for years. I wrote about the experience here.
If you’ve never experienced this, it is hard for me to describe just how pervasive the wreckage in your life can be. It affects your self-esteem, your body images, your confidence in yourself, your understanding of the opposite sex, your understanding of what love should look like…literally everything about your life can be influenced by something like this.
For me, it made me hyper aware of everything, especially of men’s motivations. It takes me a long time to trust any man, and I always have this little doubt resting in the back of my mind about their true motivations for wanting to be with me. It made me less self-confident, which in turn, made me doubt that I could make it in college, and thus, I dropped out. It made me feel like I wasn’t pretty, no matter what I was told, and if a man said I was pretty, I instantly assume he is telling me that because he just wants to have sex. I live in fear of being considered a plaything for men to use and toss away. I don’t demand equal pay for equal work most of the time at my jobs, because deep down, the experience taught me, although erroneously, that I’m not as valuable as a man.
I’ve struggled my whole life to make what I know about myself with my mind match correctly with what I feel about myself with my heart. I’m still struggling to this day.
Why do I bring any of this up?
I never got an abortion, birth controls pills don’t work on me, and I can count on both hands how many times I’ve ever gone to have any kind of checkup in my life. I’m locked in poverty. You would think this isn’t my fight either, right? Wrong.
I can’t tell you how happy my heart was to see so many women walking together. I’m not pro-choice/pro-life in such black and white lines, but I do understand how hard it is to be a woman, locked into some things in your life that you didn’t “just bring on yourself with your own bad decisions”, constantly judged and found wanting, looking around at everyone else around them and wondering, what the hell is wrong with me that I’m finding this life so hard to live? I feel so alone all the time.
I can’t march in crowds of people because I’m afraid to be around a lot of people (hypervigilance from PTSD from being molested so long), so I’m glad they marched for me. I am locked in a struggle to believe my voice should be heard, so I applaud others who can be that voice for me. I pray earnestly daily to help me push back the fears that keep me locked in poverty, self-hate, and hopelessness. I appreciate others acknowledging this kind of struggle.
What is a life worth if it is lived without empathy? Maybe every concern or cause doesn’t pertain to your own life, and for that, we should all be thankful; but it does mean something to someone else. If we lose the ability to stop for a moment and wonder what could make a person do something we so disagree with, but instead close up ourselves from any dissenting voices that do not tickle our own ears, where will that leave the Christian mission to bring people to Christ? He didn’t tell us, go out there and just gather the Republicans, or the Democrats, or the Pro-Lifers, or any other specific group. He told us to love one another, not broadcast salvation assumptions of people who disagree with you on Facebook. He did not tell us to call each other out. I too have been so guilty of this. I was wrong. I’m sorry. Jesus has the right to pass judgement; anyone else doing it is wrong.
I can see easily how much more of a ruin my life would have been had the Lord not reached down and guided me from so much darkness. Even now, when I still grapple with the long-term effects of being molested, my joy always comes from the knowledge that one day, I will stand before the Lord, away from all these fears, this broken and evil flesh, and psychological wounds, and I hope to hear Him say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” That is what is most important to me. I believe He allowed me to experience this horrific thing that has affected my whole life so tremendously so that I would be able to offer up hope to someone else who needs it. I praise Him for His wisdom.
Maybe this wasn’t YOUR march, and maybe you don’t agree with some of the reasons other people did find it their march. I only ask, did you stop and try to empathize before you plastered your derision and judgments about everyone else who disagree with you, first? It is time for us to remember to think first, type second, especially if you are professing to be a Christian. Don’t forget, our mission is a heavenly one.