Joy is in the rose gold glow of the clouds at sunrise. They whisper at first, then break into crescendos of colorful song as the sun’s rays playfully tickle their particles.
Joy is in the sea lapping at the shore. The ever-changing line where the waves meet Earth, joy flowing back and forth in the dance between the two.
Joy is in the bird, soaring on the wind. Feeling their body buoyant and coursing through the air.
Joy is in the sweet, tart burst of a sunny apricot as I bite into its flesh, my mouth watering with desire and reveling in the fulfillment.
Joy is in the pup as they run through the meadow. The wind against their face, the scents tantalizing their nose. They stop, tongue lolling, huge grin on their snout and then on again they go, playful and free.
Joy is in the leaves trembling in the sunlight. Soaking in the life-giving rays of the star, feeding the trunk which supports them.
Joy is in the taste of nectar as the butterfly alights on a flower and takes a long, slow sip.
Joy is in finally, after 47 years, learning to love myself.
Joy is in knowing we are all connected. All matter is part of the same. When particles touch, their energy is exchanged. We always have and always will be part of each other. We are stardust. We are golden.
Joy is in finding gratitude, even through loss and the ever-present ache of missing ones I love.
Joy is in the feeling of belonging I experience as I step into my coworking space, my beloved community, my second home for the past decade. Smiling faces greeting me, hugs exchanged, opportunities for connections that nourish and inspire me.
Joy is in the dance as the music courses through my cells, compelling my body to respond, all on her own. My hips moving to the rhythms felt deep in my being, my hands an expression of the sensuous energy exchange and love for the movement coursing through my veins.
Joy is in showing up 100% me. Vulnerable, without shame. The courage to be open, even in the knowing that I will feel pain.
Joy is in the sound of birds entering my awareness as I slowly come to consciousness on a summer morning.
Joy is in the sound of the waves pounding the shore on a cold winter night when I have awoken and hear the reassuring meter of crescendos through my bedroom window.
Joy is in waking up another day. Knowing I will feel, will breathe, will laugh, cry, sing, dance and love another day in this amazing body, a universe in itself.
Joy is feeling my heart, wide open and in Love, beating the rhythm which gives me life.
Joy is Gratitude. Gratitude is Love. Love is Joy.
It’s impossible to accurately count the impact of women on my life. Yet I can look around me every moment of the day and see the influences of great women who have stood for big things, little things and so often made my world better through a small gesture such as an encouraging word, a knowing smile or a warm and welcoming hug.
I turn to women at every fork in my path, for guidance, companionship and for the reminder that I am not alone in my continued quest to be a good mother, friend, business owner, citizen, daughter, sister, volunteer, earth dweller, spiritual being and human. I am reminded of how to navigate the twists and turns, the moments of pure joy and the moments of panic, by watching the women in my life. One woman emulates the kind of entrepreneur I strive to be, another shows me what it means to be truly kind towards all. Women show me, by example, how to lead and how to follow their lead. They guide me through the surrender to being completely human and how to own my mistakes and how to forgive myself for my imperfections. Modeling unconditional love, joy, determination and an unstoppable will to proceed forward, no matter how many hurdles are in their path, the women of this world inspire me daily and fill me with gratitude.
On international women’s day I honor the two women who have shaped my life the most.
My mom, who in 1971 decided to have and raise a child on her own, though she had no partner, no financial means and no support from family. She brought me into a world of intentional community and gave me the gift of understanding that I was a child of the village and that it takes a village to raise a child.
Though our relationship was fraught with struggle, as many mom daughter duos are, I have always recognized her for the amazing woman she is. She was a homesteader- rising early to milk the cow and feed the chickens, chopping wood to build a fire to bake bread and make yoghurt. Washing diapers by hand on a washboard in the front yard, sewing clothing and beading beautiful creations, stitching leathers slippers for my tiny feet and knitting mittens to keep my little paws warm through the harsh winters. Growing and harvesting and then canning, drying and freezing the food we ate, she made the best pickles I’ve ever had, to this day. While I suffered through treats made with honey and carob, homemade “pizza” with homemade refried beans as the topping and endless pots of brown rice, I learned the value of nutrition and making sure I was well fed, a tradition I carried into my own parenting.
As a global citizen, my mother taught me to take my place amongst the diverse people of the world.
She modeled citizenry like no one else in my world. A Democratic Party leader in her community, a community founder, a board member of All. The. Boards. she campaigned, cooked, phone banked, work partied and volunteered for nearly all the efforts my community built together.
She modeled entrepreneurship as a farmer and later as a non-profit business owner, turning her dream of making a difference into a reality, publishing, from my home, a newspaper and later a magazine which told the stories of the people and places no one else was reporting on. Covering the social justice beat in the 80’s was not a common job and yet my mother marched forward, despite all of the effects of extreme poverty and the marginalization of hippies in that time. She showed me that she could do the hard work of the less traveled road, and defy the naysayers and those who continuously “put in her place.”
Mom took on the responsibility of being a voice for those who were not represented, fiercely and gracefully defending people, forests, animals, mountains and watersheds. She stepped up, even in the face of bigotry and death threats. She defended, until death, our sacred earth home and taught me the power of grit, grace and empathy for all beings.
My mother taught me to be the kind of woman I am today. Thank you, Mom.
My best friend of nearly 30 years, Orla.
Orla has been my most shining example of the fact that we shape our own realities.
Growing up in extreme poverty, running the streets of Dublin as a child and struggling through a cultural history of tragedy, Orla has risen to be a gentle and sweet example of grit. The only person to graduate from college in her family, she took her experience as a troubled youth in Ireland, and with a heart as big as the moon, uses her experiences and her intelligences to help guide struggling youth on their own journeys towards healing and self-actualization. As a teacher and mother, friend and sister Orla models true selflessness, empathy, compassion and is always there for the people in her life, no matter what’s going on in hers.
We met as teens, and with our shaved heads and crazy pasts, we formed a bond that would grow through the years. We’ve seen each other through boyfriends, weddings, childbirth, parenting, divorce, more boyfriends and career hurdles, and successes. Through all those times we have turned to each other for support and encouragement and held each other accountable to our goals and for our mistakes. Now, in the middle of our lives, we recognize the special bond we have and the hard work of remaining close friends we have dedicated our time and energy towards.
Orla is my lemonade girl.
She taught me that we are the sum of our choices, that life is filled with joy when we look for it, that I don’t need to struggle all the time, that life is for the living. Orla has mirrored for me the accomplishments I have made and shown me my true value as a human. She’s my cheering squad, my wing girl and inspiration to be the best version of myself I can be. The most steady person in my life, Orla knows me in and out and has reminded me again and again of my value as a woman, mother, daughter, friend, and human. We walk this path together, as sisters, friends, and co-parents and have shown our children what it means to keep a relationship and friendship alive and thriving. Our children are better people for the examples we set.
Today, and every day, I honor all women of this world, past present and future. With humility and pride, I take my place amongst us as a leader and a follower while I acknowledge and celebrate all that women do every day.
Today is my dad’s birthday. He would be 73 years old, except that he took his own life in 1982 after a lifelong struggle with depression and loneliness.
Suicide is a complex and painful issue confronting our society in higher and higher numbers. The World Health Organization estimates that almost 800,000 people die by suicide globally each year. While suicide is often seen as a mental health issue, it is, in fact, a very complex problem with multiple variants and causes, including genetics, mental health, socio-economic status, physical health, and cultural identity. I want to take a moment to talk about suicide from the perspective of a survivor of someone who has lived through the loss of a suicide and as a person who has lived with the demons of depression and self-harm since adolescence.
My own story.
I’m committed to ending the stigma around suicide, mental illness and to raising awareness about the loneliness epidemic and the need for true human connection. So, in the spirit of transparency, I’m gonna spill the beans here.
I didn’t really know my father, he was not in my life until I found him at the age of 9. We connected and began communicating and I had the opportunity to meet him at the age of 10. When I was 12 he took his life. The shock and horror and grief was not buffered by the lack of him in my early years, it was a devastating blow to my world and one that changed the course of my life.
I had so many questions, so much pain, and anguish. I was deeply hurt that he didn’t love me enough to stick around. I felt guilty that I couldn’t make his life good enough to stay alive. I was shattered at the idea that the father that I had finally found was gone forever. I was confused because I still had so much to learn about him and his family. And I was in the dark because no one in his world knew about me and I had to seek him out a second time when he stopped communication, only to find out from a stranger that he had died the year prior. All of this at the age of 13.
The grieving process led me down many twists and turns over the years. One path I found myself on was the path that disallowed anger. I found that I had so much compassion and empathy for his pain and suffering, that it was nearly impossible for me to be angry. I also found that the anger I did experience felt inappropriate (women are often taught that anger is inappropriate for us to feel, so I’m guessing there’s more on this topic than this one instance) and I worked hard to get to the bottom of the feeling of not being able to experience anger, employing my spirituality as a means of understanding more deeply what I was processing. More on this in a minute…
Let’s take a step back in time. I began to experience depression around the age of 11. By 12 it was in full force. I had suicidal tendencies, made two (thankfully) unsuccessful attempts and practiced self-harm for most of my teens. I was a troubled teen without a healthy network of support and there was no information about mental health available where I lived, nor did anyone think to check into why I was “sleeping” all the time. When I got the news of my dad’s suicide I was jolted into a decision. While I had empathy for his decision, the pain I experienced as a result of that led me to understand how much it hurts to be left behind and I decided I couldn’t do that to my family or friends.
That decision I made was a good one but it didn’t end the cycle of self-harm I was engaged in. While I was committed to life, I was still dealing with depression and low self-esteem and a lack of resources to help. My head is a lonely place to be, I’m guessing yours is too. But I didn’t have the courage, nor the understanding to realize that reaching out for help would mean relief, rather than increased stigma. After all, the responses I got to the admission that my father had taken his life led me to understand how much stigma there was around suicide.
Fast forward to 2003, when I went through a very tough divorce and subsequently found myself out of work for 9 months, causing my daughter and me to spend 6 months without a home, couch surfing and relying on the kindness of friends to get us through. During this period I had daily thoughts about ending my life. Yes, you read that correctly, at the age of 31 I considered killing myself every day, even with a precious 3-year-old depending on me. I’m telling you this because I think it’s important to understand that suicidal thoughts are not confined to people who act on them. Nor are they a sign of weakness. I was committed to life and refused to act on those thoughts, but I was in so much pain emotionally and the feelings of failure and despair were so intense that I wanted to escape them and there was nowhere to escape.
I think that’s the key. The feelings we have when we consider ending our life are the feelings of despair or pain (including chronic physical pain) so overwhelming that it’s not possible to see any way out, except ending our life. End of life = end of pain.
Because of my own personal journey and lived experience with both surviving my father’s suicide and experiencing my own suicidation, my feelings on this topic have evolved.
I’ve never shared this extremely private story except with my most trusted friends and family. Why share it now?
Because we have a literal epidemic of suicide in this country, and for me, this is the perfect day to help change the way people think about suicide in general.
First, I think it’s important to recognize the normal feelings that arise in the people who lose someone to suicide. The survivors are often overwhelmed by guilt and feelings of responsibility – the feeling that they could have, should have done more. There is a deep sadness and sense of waste – wasted opportunities, wasted life, wasted chances. Sometimes anger arises – anger at the person who took their own life, anger at the situation, anger at one’s self for failing to stop the suicide or see the risk factors in time to intervene. Many more emotions arise in the process of acceptance – shock, denial, confusion, blame, shame, despair, betrayal, and even relief. All of these emotions are normal reactions to a traumatic event and when experienced should be understood as such and the person who experiences them needs to have access to support and resources that help them parse and understand these feelings while processing their grief.
The stigma surrounding suicide muddies the conversation around the underlying causes and can lead to confusion in how to prevent suicide. This is a complex issue; there is never an easy answer as to why someone takes their own life. We need to have more education and open discussions around the multiple factors involved in suicidation.
There are many misconceptions about someone who attempts or completes suicide. Let’s dive into a few:
In addition to misconceptions, the topic of suicide is considered taboo in many homes and cultures. The lack of public awareness around the causes and prevention strategies of suicide creates a challenge in developing effective preventions.
It is imperative that we change the narrative around suicidation in order to make progress in preventing suicide.
As an example of how complex, confusing and devastating suicide is to the loved ones left behind, even after experiencing tremendous loss as a result of suicide, I offer the following perspective:
I believe that in some cases, suicide is an intensely personal decision made by those who can no longer bear suffering and pain.
Whoa. I know, you’re confused. I’m talking about prevention and then I just made that statement? WTF? Here’s the thing. I don’t ever want to lose another person to suicide. I want to prevent people from taking their own life, I want to ease the sense of despair or pain that drives people to end their pain through suicide and I actively work on doing so.
But here’s where my perspective has evolved:
Each person’s lived experience is unique, we develop diseases that shorten our lives or lessen our quality of life. Some of us develop cancer or another chronic disease, other of us develop mental illness. Still others live with chronic pain, emotional and physical. Thus, my question becomes “If, as a society, we are moving toward acceptance of a person with end-stage disease choosing when they die, can we also move toward this idea for people with chronic pain or despair?”
I know this is a big and shocking question. I’ll go back to my dad to look at this further.
From the age of 9, when his mother died suddenly, my father experienced deep emotional and physical trauma that left him emotionally and physically scarred. With a family history of mental illness and alcoholism, he faced a world where trauma was a daily occurrence and he did not have the support to navigate the trauma in a healthy way. As an adult, he failed time and again to develop long-term emotional ties to people. He also failed to find “success” in the typical measure. He was an artist and was unable to find financial stability. By the time he made the decision to take his own life, he had several failed business attempts under his belt, many burned bridges and was destitute and starving.
My father had done his best, everything he could do, to pull himself up by his bootstraps (which is a concept that deserves further consideration, but that’s another post, on another day), to find healing and to find happiness and financial success. He was never able to achieve these goals and the scars from his unhealed trauma tortured him. So rather than feel anger at my father for killing himself, I developed a sense that his death was his only option. That he deserved the right to choose to end his life when he found there were no other answers. Much like I would defend a terminal cancer patient in dying with dignity, I learned to see my father, and many like him, as having an incurable illness- the weight and pain of which only they could understand.
I don’t advocate suicide, and I continue to work to prevent it, especially in children and teens. But I think it’s important to have a full and honest discussion about suicide and its effect on our world, which for me includes the idea that some people may opt out and that is their choice- and if they have made that choice, there may be very little you can or could have done to stop them. Like Amy Bleuel, who gave the world the gift of Project Semicolon, before finally taking her life after a long battle with trauma and subsequent mental illness.
Amy’s gift to the world has saved many lives, my father’s gift to me saved my life.
Today, on my dad’s birthday, I write all of this in an effort to alleviate the horrendous guilt that weighs heavily on those left behind after a suicide. Each person’s life is their own journey, and ultimately they own that journey, no matter how much we want the truth to be otherwise.
So the next time you think of suicide or are confronted with its tragic reality, consider taking a moment to educate yourself on the complexity of the issue and on ways to offer support and help. In a hyper-connected world, we should be able to make sure everyone feels a sense of belonging and connection and that everyone has the opportunity to find the support and resources needed to be able to choose life every day. Below are some simple steps you can take today to help prevent suicide. (Credit to Project Semicolon for these ideas)
Thank you for reading this. How does it sit with you? How do you feel about the idea of suicide being a choice or the only option for some people?
And don’t forget to take a peek at the resources listed below, they just might help you save a life.
US national suicide prevention lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
US national suicide crisis textline: text TALK to 741741
Suicide risk factors and warning signs
Statistics on suicide in the US
World Health Organization fact sheet on suicide
Resources from Check Yo Mate to help make connections with people and end the stigma around mental health
So many people came and sang for mom in her last days, she delighted in the music and the melodies. This song was especially poignant for me as I have been listening to this voice my whole life, and the comfort it brings me is akin to a warm bowl of soup on a cold winter’s day.
My mom’s close friend (and my Auntie), Sandy wrote this song, inspired by a conversation with Mom about how The Work is not always done in one’s lifetime. Mom passed on from the world, leaving her latest project, restoring the Similkameen River, to her husband and community. Leaving her Work was very hard for Mom, but knowing she was a link in a chain of action allowed her to feel that she could rest, even though she worked right up until her brain could no longer function enough to write an article, or critically follow a conversation thread.
As I sat on Election night of 2016, with my mom and sister on the phone, looking at a bleak future, all I could think of was the 40 years of Work that Mom and the rest of the environmental community had done, all of the sacrifices the families of those doing The Work had made and the gains we had received as a society, were in jeopardy.
My mom’s legacy was in jeopardy.
For all of the links in the long long chain, and all of the future generations, for my mom and those like her who have served this country, this world, and The Work, for Mother Earth, who gives us all life, I’m voting for Her next week.
May we gain a representational leadership that protects the ability of future generations to live and love freely, rather than the monied interests of corporations and billionaires.
Thank you, Auntie. This song warms my heart.
We buried mom on Thursday
Thor’s Day, God of Thunder
Ruled by Jupiter and Sagittarius
Fitting for the Warrior she was
Defender of Earth
Her body, dressed in the splendid purple silk Autumn bought her years ago and
Unpolluted by fluids meant to preserve her flesh
Laid to rest in a simple pine casket
Handcrafted by a Colville man
Lined with a Pendleton blanket
A cedar filled pillow for her beautiful brain to rest on
Tucked into her time capsule were special stones
Her feather and staff and
The dragon box she cherished, filled with farewell notes of love and gratitude
Her community gathered
Friends, allies and
Hearts filled with gratitude for her tireless optimism in the fight for Justice
They spoke of her journalism
Her quest for Truth
Her penchant for framing conversations in a way that can be heard by those in power
Her commitment to Community, also
Barter Fair committees, the Tonasket Co-op, the Tonasket Community Cultural Center, Annual International Mother’s Day March for Peace
The list goes on: co-founder, board member, advocate, volunteer, ally
They spoke of her commitment to our Earth and
How she inspired them to take up action, that
Each citizen of the planet can make an impact, that
Everyone shares responsibility to keep our home for the next generation
She was honored by the Similkameen People of Canada for her dedication in
Helping restore ceremonial rights on the River
For helping them understand how to fight the Okanogan PUD in the US in
Their corrupt bid to build a new damn and
Destroy the sacred salmon run
This honor is great, as
Mom deeply respected the Indigenous Peoples, and yet
The white environmental community has historically not
Aligned with the needs or ways of
She was honored in song by the Hyde Family and
Upon Mom’s request, everyone sang Amazing Grace
I was overwhelmed by, and also grounded in,
The women, my Aunties
Those who had grown the food,
Made the birthdays and weddings and so many parties, and
Rituals of Life happen, they
Came together and made the wake, funeral, and meal afterward happen
The men, my Uncles, they
Carried the casket, set the site, made the prayers and
Many quoted her in saying
“It takes a village” and
All honored Mom
Builder of Community
James did the rope science and tied the knots and
That way we didn’t need a machine so
We hoisted her into her Beloved Earth
Clutching the ropes tightly
Bracing our legs, we
Gently touched her down into that 10 foot hole
We shoveled the dirt
The huge mountain of dirt
So much dirt on top of Mom
Forcing myself to shovel and
Knowing it was only her husk, still
Fighting every moment to not yell
“Stop! She’s gonna suffocate in there!”
I continued to shovel with my brothers and my dad and sister and
As we slowly made our way home
I kept the panic at bay
No, we hadn’t forgotten Mom under all that dirt
That’s now her Forever Home
Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust
Friday morning dawned bleakly, what
Would I do with myself now that 7am wasn’t the time to get mom up and dressed?
I binge watched Netflix
“She’s Gotta Have it”
While drinking pots and pots of tea
At 4:30 am
I worried most about Rick
Lover, Partner, Husband, Coparent, and Ally of 35 years
Inseparable from almost the first day they met, together he and Mom
Raised children, founded and published a magazine for 20-plus years, made bread, stopped a mine and saved a mountain and a watershed, grew food, sued the Army Corp of Engineers and won, canned pickles, taught on the Colville Reservation, cared for and nursed many loved ones through death, volunteered in the community and
Loved each other passionately
Now, still young and healthy at 79
He mourns the love of his life
A love few are blessed enough to know
He is the strongest kind of man there is
The embodiment of feminism and
True Equality for All
A male who supports the females in his life
Not just with words, but actions and
Supported Mom in all ways, including
Nursing her during her six year battle against cancer and
Always protecting her right to make her own choices
Mom’s love of and study of geology went far beyond
Simply learning how to read an Environmental Impact Statement
Everywhere we traveled by car Mom would explain and
Recite the geological formations and processes of the local landscape
She was enamored with stones and
Collected a few thousand pounds of rocks
During her 34 years in Chesaw
Delighting in the geology everywhere she went, she
Surrounded herself with stones and
People gifted her with stones and
Her favorite stone, a granite erratic boulder
Uncovered during a backyard excavation project
She had placed upon the hill behind her house
Her Sitting Stone
She chose it for her Headstone
Friday, after rising
All in a daze
We made plans to clean and decorate Mom’s grave
We collected some of her stones and
Headed back to the cemetery
In tears we raked and built a mound of the remaining dirt
Brainstorming how to make her gravesite
Insisting that it had to last a couple of hundred years I
Wanted Mom’s descendants to know who she was
When they came looking for their ancestor
Chris took the biggest of stones and began digging them in
Building a rock fortress around her edges
We worked at it for four days
Collecting rocks from the house and yard
Loading the truck
We brought at least a thousand pounds of those rocks to the cemetery
Amongst the hazy fog of grief and shock we
Discussed and ideated
Hugged and cried
Drank booze and smoked ganja
All the while steadily, but without a clear plan, moving forward
I like plans
I need plans
Plans make me feel better
We couldn’t make real plans without the erratic in place
Late on the third day
We had just placed the stones the erratic would rest on when
We spied Leroy rolling down the road with
The erratic in the bucket of his tractor
Of all of the days he could have delivered it
Like a miracle it showed up just then
Sometimes plans are less than Flow
On the fourth day
Still without a plan
We collected and delivered the
Mother Lode of stones
James and I bickered
Still no plan
I just wanted to collaborate on a plan that
Incorporated everyone’s ideas, meanwhile
Rick began to place stones with his usual quiet gentleness
Randomly placing with Intention
He led us as
One by one the rest of us followed him
We picked up Mom’s beloved rocks
Stone by stone we
Placed the rocks mom had collected
Circling inward with each stone we
Built a Cairn
An ancient Irish burial mound
She was very happy with our work
Covered in the rocks she loved
The rocks and Mom
Nestled between the mountains she loved and fought to protect
Now in their Forever Home
The building of Mom’s cairn was centering and
The process we needed as a family to bring to a close
Our collective journey in Mom’s disease and
In the nine weeks we spent together helping her die
A beautiful, dignified death
Now the five of us are bonded in
Our shared experience
Our collective grieving
Our love of Mom
Uniting us from her side of the veil
Where we shall all pass one day, but
For now we live and carry on her work
All of us
In our own ways
Ok [deep breath], the first time I was 5. My parents had family friends over, their 12-year-old boy managed to get me away from everyone else. I haven’t been able to think about that family without hot shame flushing my face or disgust making me shake, ever since.
The second time I was 11, I was swimming when an adult family friend signaled me out of the water, I ran up to him all smiles before he grabbed me, right where our president likes to grab. It took years before I could look at that side of Osoyoos lake again.
The third time I was 13 and sleeping over at a friend’s house. She shared a room with her older brother. In the middle of the night, I felt his hand creeping into my sleeping bag. I never went back for another sleepover at that house.
The 4th time I was 12, in my orthodontist chair, he liked to cop a feel as he adjusted train tracks. I later learned he was banned, or whatever happens to dentists who aren’t allowed to practice because they’re perverts.
The 5th time I was 14 and my Uncle tried to kiss me. I’ve never told anyone about that before now.
5 times before I could even be considered a consenting adult. I’m guessing you’re thinking this is excessive and I must have asked for it. Maybe it was because I was curvy early? Perhaps my attitude? I was too friendly? It must be my fault somehow, right? After all, boys will be boys.
When I was in my early 20’s the one friend I had told about the incident at Osoyoos spilled my beans to the powers that be. The people of my community discussed this amongst themselves and I was forced to speak to a council of my parents and other community leaders about what had happened when I was 11. I was told that the man (at least 20 years my senior) was facing deportation back to his country, based on my account of what had happened, where he would face certain death. The pressure was overwhelming and the questions kept coming, I kept looking at my parents, desperately wanting someone, anyone, to be on my side. I was made to feel alone and this was almost worse than the violation I had experienced as a youth.
My daughter is 17, they refuse to ride a bike because they get constant catcalls. What I want for them, more than almost anything is to never experience what I and so many women experience, All. The. Time. I’ve lain awake nights, worrying about how I can protect them. I’ve not allowed sleepovers unless I knew the family and never if there’s an older brother or mom’s boyfriend around. My child deserves to be unmolested, whole, innocent and complete amongst themselves. This is a basic human right.
Why do we have to teach girls to be careful and safe? Why don’t we teach boys to respect girls and not to rape? It seems so simple to me. I am working hard to raise the kind of man I would want my daughter to marry, one who values and respects women, understands that everyone’s diverse strengths make up a strong team and most of all, one who understands what consent means. May he live in a world that values all people and one where respect for all life is paramount.
I wrote this post exactly a year ago, when the Access Hollywood video was released. I decided it was too private for me to post then, and buried it away. But here we are, a year later and the same story is circling – 1 in 3 women have been sexually abused or harassed in their lifetime. I’m not a victim, I’m a warrior… and a survivor. So this time I am sharing because perhaps my story can help swell the tide that will create a change in our world?