abuse

Redefining a Person

I wrote The Worth of a Soul a couple of days ago. This is more of her story…

I spent some more hours talking to her yesterday. Now I know more than I expected to know…I really don’t have a clue where to start writing this…I’ll just try writing my reactions to what we talked about and see what happens…

I’ve never met someone that was so open about their sexuality to me, not a woman. Guys brag, she was just blunt and matter of fact. I know details that I think she shared for one of two reasons, either as a test to see if I’d judge and be pushed away or because she is just not willing to lie to me. Probably a bit of both.

There’s a part of me that says, “fail the test and run away fast as you can”.  She is a “complicated”, for lack of a better term, person. There’s a different part that says, “you promised that you would not.”

Keeping my word will win…not because it’s merely keeping my word, though. Let me try to express what I see. *editorial, I am going to let her read this before posting so she may correct any misconceptions I have*

I see, and said publicly, that there is steel in this Lady. Yeah, like a blade still on the forge or hot from the furnace, it needs some work but, the metal is good…

I see someone that has been betrayed by people she should have been able to trust and that taught her to test EVERYONE so, when she does, she’s just following what makes her safe…when she tested me, this time, there probably will be others, it was with more answers than I implied in the questions…

I also see someone trying to like themselves, really trying, and getting better at it…why would I do something as cynical as to not want to see it through because she’s “complicated” and it would be easier not to deal with her baggage?

*****

Realistically, let’s look at this from the other perspective, her’s…

Why put up with me? I mean, what does she stand to gain?

Every time she trusts someone, they screw up and she takes the fall. People have denigrated her for enjoying being her. They shame her for something THEY encouraged. They ask questions and when she answers them truthfully, they tell her she is wrong. How does she know I won’t do that? My generation has caused the grief and baggage she deals with, so why would she expect any more from me?

All she has to go on is that I haven’t let her down…so far… I have not given away her secrets…yet…I haven’t judged her…yet…I haven’t told her she’s worthless…yet but, what reassurance does she have. The only other things she has to go on are one cryptic and disguised reference in a blog post last August and the one on the 12th of this month. Those and my, unproven, promise that I won’t intentionally cause harm or betrayal. That is not a huge sample size. *editorial, I suppose she could ask Aj and Z, see previous posts about those two, if I’m worth trust but, why believe them? She doesn’t know them*

*sigh*

*****

If she’ll have me as a friend, I’ll let her. She IS a survivor. Sure, she comes with a ton of baggage and a self-image that needs some work, to put it mildly, but, no matter what she thinks of herself, I see something different… I think she wants to see herself as ruthless and cold but, even when someone deserved it, she expressed regret. She thinks she uses people, age tells me that the majority of people that think they are getting something for nothing allow themselves to be used.

Interestingly enough, and I think she WILL disagree with this one, I see innocence and naivety. Yeah, she tests but, she hopes, too.

I see a person that used the word “slut” because that’s the word she was told and shamed into  using but, the way society uses that word doesn’t apply. She enjoys sex. So fucking what? Sex is fun. She’s working with me to find a better description *grins* The only thing we’ve been able to come up with starts with “cute” and ends with “plays barefoot in the rain” and has a bunch of words in the middle… *editorial, if anyone that reads this has a better word, please let us know*

She’ a person I’m willing to trust. I can type events from my life here but, you don’t get a chance to come far enough inside to cause grief. I’m willing to give her that chance, that means she’s the fifth living person that has that ability…if she’s willing to accept it…yeah, that’s my “test”, her word, of her…

In my mind she is a fellow “survivor”. We survived different things and different monsters but, we both know what it’s like to crawl out of a pit you believed was too deep to get out of…

In her I imagine seeing  someone I want to watch grow up. *editorial, from an emotional perspective* I want to see how much she’s grown in ten years. There is coming a person that has greatness in them…

It isn’t fun being the blade on the anvil but, the great humans in the world have been that blade. Until steel is hammered and tempered it’s soft and useless. After that, the blade must be ground, polished, and honed to be worth something other than a pry bar. Finally, it must have had the flaws removed by the smith or it’s fragile and wants to shatter. When all the work is done, there is something unique and beautiful. Right now, the blade is on the anvil…In ten years, the smith will be finished. I want to be around for that…

If you might think there’s no steel in her soul, no greatness, ponder this, the last blog about her, the one ONLY about her, I was going to delete. I wrote it and decided that it might cause her emotional harm by saying that stuff publicly. She refused. She told me I had to publish it even to including the line, “And deep down, we had a masochist, a young, teenage slut, who wanted nothing more than to curl up in a hole and die, because she was dirty, scared, and shamed.” KNOWING that was the first thing you would read about her. Whatever her quirks, she’s no ones emotional masochist. Even a masochist wouldn’t allow that to be written. Only strength shares that with the world so that she might help them…

In the end, this, she survived. She will keep growing. She is learning that she isn’t what she thought she was. She’s far greater and is beginning to see it…

Like I have said through this, she’ll be able to edit but, I suspect not. I think the points of the whole thing are this, no one has to be trapped in the places they believe they are. If we give ourselves a chance to quit believing the lies, we can grow. She could. She did.

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The Worth of a Soul

 

I was talking to someone and she said this, “And deep down, we had a masochist, a young, teenage slut, who wanted nothing more than to curl up in a hole and die, because she was dirty, scared, and shamed.”

Does something ever put you in a spot where you want to simultaneously hug and protect one person and beat the crap out of everyone else that surrounds them? This did…

Let’s take this from the top. Why would you want to harm someone you allegedly love? Meaning who taught her to be a masochist? Who convinced her that she was a “teenage slut” and forgot that we don’t have a problem with teenage “boys will be boys”?

When she wanted to “curl up in a hole and die”, who was there to hold her and tell her that she was more than a “slut”…and while I’m at it, why is it so wrong to enjoy sex?…

That’s the last part, “dirty, scared, and shamed”…

Why?

Dirty? Not this young Lady. Nope, that isn’t what I see. I see smart, hard working, ambitious, attractive.

Scared, yeah, because society says she should be…of what, though? Not that what I think should matter or that my opinion should make a difference in a far away life but, if she’s scared of what the people close to her think, it isn’t her that’s messed up, it’s them…

Shamed, who told her that? Who told her that the standard that made it ok for her partner made it wrong for her? What idiot hypocrite said that because she’s a girl she’s not supposed to enjoy sex and if she does, it’s wrong? What bunch of morons decided that she deserved shame?

I have to ask myself, if she was my daughter, how would I react?

She is young enough to be my daughter. I think my reaction, knowing it now, would be to tell her she’s beautiful. That what happened TO her was because people are stupidly judgmental. That what she sees and what I see are different. I did tell her that, and will again. I said this, “You are more than an object to be owned and discarded or manipulated.” I also told her that she has greater worth than just being “a good fuck.”

People don’t get to own people. We don’t have the tiniest right to create what she thought of herself.

When did we forget that? What mom tells her kid that she’s dirty forgetting that the same mom had to get laid to have the kid. What dad tells her that she has no worth when he must have thought her mom was worth getting naked with to create the kid? What part of “it takes two to tango” makes half of the people dancing worth less than the other and holds up one as being a “man’s man” and calls the other a “slut”?

Yeah, this pisses me off because now, someone that DOES NOT deserve it and has not earned it, has to learn that she wasn’t wrong. That there’s no harm in enjoying sex. That she has worth beyond just being used and manipulated.

Truthfully, I think she’ll get past the things that were inflicted on her. I think there’s strength and resilience in there. It won’t be over night but, I have faith in the young lady’s ability to listen to reason…

The problem is, some people aren’t her. Some don’t have the chance she had to escape. Some don’t have someone to tell them that the lies are just that, lies.

It is NEVER our right to take away someone’s humanity.

*****

I wrote the part up there before work and was going to end it there. I changed my mind because some things occured to me…

I wonder if some of the reason I am so angry is because I never had any children? Is it because I see someone that would make a fine daughter, one that I would be proud to call my own, treated like she was not worth anything?

Or is it because I see someone that, even given what she’s been through, that were I not happily married and 30 years younger, I would look at as a potential spouse? One that a husband would think “I’m not worth this woman…”

Or is it that I see a friend hurt and I can not do anything to prevent the damage that was done before we met?

Or a combination of all of the above?

*****

These things also crossed my mind while I was at work…

Why do we teach that they deserve to be worth only a spread set of legs and nothing more and then blame them for doing that? They deserve far better. They are far better. A woman is more than a body. If she does get laid then we don’t tell her it’s wrong unless we condemn her partner. We have to be honest with ourselves and ask why we taught them to be masochists? Is it to make ourselves better than them? Why do we have to make them feel bad for us to feel vindicated?

I rarely make promises. This is one of the rare times I will. I promise that no matter what you think of yourself, even when you are old and gray, in my minds eye, there will always be the perfection of that pic of a young mother I pointed out to you. That, in the mirror that is MY minds eye, you are perfect just the way you are. That there is nothing you have ever done that will ever make me think any less and it’s not possible to make me think any more because you need NO improvement. That’s my promise, that with me, just one stranger, you precious and worthy of love and respect.

Why Is a Pagan a Better Christian Than I Am?

Why does it take sending my best friend to Hell to make a point? Why should I have to portray her as a “poor damned soul” to get attention? What part of our Christian Values gives us the right to only reach out to the “lost” or our church? We try to help the poor because we feel like we have a duty to do it. We attempt to “convert” the “lost” out of pity.

*sigh*

Right now, this instant, my attitude is not very “Christian”. I’m not so much angry as disappointed. Christians, not Christ, have let me down. People claim to worship Jesus and do not act like it. He fed the hungry, embraced whores and tax collectors, spoke of loving his fellow man, whipped the money hungry in the temple, and ultimately was misrepresented and was killed for that. He said that we are not to question the condition of someone’s soul unless we want our soul to also be called to the same judgement; which of us could face that and NOT the mercy we want? What part of following the ACTIONS of Jesus is persecution? What part of embracing outcasts and marginalized people is causing them to be pushed farther out? Where is the sense of self-sacrifice that cost Him His life when you are busy spouting your own righteousness at the expense of someone else? He went willingly to his doom while you play the “victim card”. I’m not questioning that you think you believe, I am saying your actions do not show it.

*sigh again*

Do you own a hammer? Right now I feel like a b****rd for using one. I don’t “own” the hammer I am willing to use because, I’m using a human I love. My best friend does not have to write these words but, she is the hammer. I am willingly and knowingly USING the life of a human…and it hurts. It is coldly calculated. I have to point out that she has been abused, threatened, and cast away by people that claim love and Christianity. If they were really what they claimed to be, she and I would never have known each other. Yet, I am taking my best friend in the world, the second person I did not marry and call “best friend”, and treat her as an object used on nails. The good news is that it is harder on the nail than the hammer. I would pound flat those that would dare to stick their heads up and claim virtue. They have no reason to claim it and neither do I. I do not pretend to be better than they because, I am far from perfect. This post and the temper that flares are as much proof as the years of addiction that I survived that I lack perfection…or even coming close.

*exhale*

Look, guys, how we treat people matters. What we do to people that are not like us is what proves our Christianity, not how we act to Christians. I am not an “uber-Christian”. I am a weak, fallible, mortal, sometimes confused, sometimes angry, human. I use another human to drive my temper to write words for her. I feel guilty for doing that because it merely reinforces, if she reads this, that she is cast out. It tells her that not many people outside her community, Pagans I mean, are willing to see her for what she is not what they presume she does.

Let’s talk about her for a bit…She’s a better “Christian” than most I know. She adopted and is raising a daughter, after her kids are adults, because it is the right thing to do. She has a chronic illness and goes to work every day to make a life for her and the young lady. She is constantly physically exhausted and persists. She would give her next breath, and every one after, to her daughter. She helps people, I mean, physically does things to help. She accepts and embraces me even though my faith pushed her away. She honors and reveres her gods with nothing to gain while Christians plead and implore a God they fear. She, by the standards of her faith, “prays without ceasing”. She is kind, tender and, loving. In truth, she can be a stone b***h and highly opinionated but, given her past, that’s fair enough. I don’t know how she goes on. Yet, she persists. She lets herself be a hammer…and I love her enough to use her as one. I wish I were half the man she is a woman. I wish I were as true to my moral code as she is to hers. I wish I were as brave and tough.

*breath*

Here’s the point, when a Pagan, Aj, is a better Christian than most Christians I know, the issue isn’t that Pagan. When we regain the moral standing, quit claiming to be victims, walk our walk, and finally follow Jesus and not our stupid views of others, then we get to push people out…and it’ll still be wrong. I know God loves her. He created her to be what she is. *she’ll disagree and I ENTIRELY respect that different view* When we are able to live the standard she does, then we are all better for it. Then her world, and ours, are more worth living in and, maybe, our souls are not in question. Till then, I sometimes, worry for mine but, never for hers.

I’m trying to calm down. It hurts to use my best friend as a hammer. The word “use” itself feels wrong. The fact that I have to do it to my own faith feels worse. I don’t wish Aj had not been forced out of Christianity becuse I would not have ever known her. I just wish Chistians would act more like that one Pagan.