Sexual violence survivors are welcome to join us on a new forum. We will be discussing everyday issues that affect survivors. Please check out the introductory page and request an invitation. I hope to see you there.
I have always believed in God. I have been a Christian my entire life. Some conservative Christians might say that my beliefs are unconventional, but I call myself a Christian.
When I was a child, I imagined God as a projection of my parents. This is actually quite common among children. I assumed that if God was an authority figure, God must use that power like my parents used their power. Obviously, this did not bode well for my relationship with God. I saw God as the old testament God on steroids. My God was punitive. My God did not forgive. My God had rules that were inconsistent and hard to understand. My God was angry … even raging. My God was not happy with me. My God didn’t love me.
I am not a super model, but some think I’m pretty. I have been called all the words for a woman who meets the generally acceptable societal standards of attractiveness: pretty, beautiful, sexy. I have had male attention. I have dated. I have married.
I know that the way I look has been an advantage for me because women are judged by the way we look. I have probably been offered more help in stores. I have probably made more money in my career. I know I have been judged far less than others. I know there are advantages I cannot see because that is how privilege works. I get that.
Here is a link to my original article about boundaries on Everyday Feminism:
I didn’t have a childhood. My childhood was stolen by emotionally, physically and sexually abusive parents. My nonexistent childhood has caused struggles in my adult life that seem insurmountable. I battle with the feeling that something is missing … something that I will never find in my adult life. Although my situation was particularly harsh, I have realized that most adults have unfinished childhoods. They may have lost someone close to them, experienced abuse (which is more common than we think), or just spent far too little time being a kid.
During the past seven years, I have been devoted to giving my children a safe and nurturing childhood. I have spent time trying to understand what a real childhood looks like. I cannot rely on my instinct. Parental instincts tend to come from our relationship with our parents. And I didn’t have parents. I had abusers. So I research. I read parenting blogs and articles. I ask questions … many questions. What do kids need from parents? How do they interpret our discipline approaches? What activities help them discover who they are meant to be? Continue reading