Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lets Talk About S*E*X!!!..and why some of us just cant say NO!!!

In an ideal world everyone would wait until they are married to have s.e.x. All s.e.x would be govt approved and God sanctified and everyone who wasnt married wouldnt even think about s.e.x...much less engage in it.
Yeah....right...this isnt an ideal world by far.
When it comes to unmarried s.e.x Im torn between not wanting my kids to engage in it of course...but knowing full well that they are human, after all, and no ones's perfect. The most I can do is advise them of all the pitfalls and potential for harm...and watch them walk out the door hoping some of what I said sunk in.
I have to admit though that when it comes to s.e.x in and of itself Im not one to judge a person who has led a sexual life before marriage as ruined or promiscuous etc...s.e.x is one of our basic needs along with food and water and to deny it to ourselves when the urge hits is quite difficult as anyone who has possibly been "caught up in the moment" can attest to. Of course it would be better for us not to even approach a situation in which s/e/x could possibly happen...but thats not always something we leave the house thinking about but possibly find ourselves facing before the day is over....for whatever reason. Ive done many things in my life Im not proud of and wish I hadnt Im in no position to point a finger at someone else and call them immoral...weak...whatever.
Some people do find ways to get past the moment without "failing morally" while others dont even try....and some just arent capable of making that choice...the choice to say NO!!! because of how they were raised or the things they have suffered in their lives. Victims are routinely silenced and held accountable for what happens to them...consequently if the situation arises again in which they are about to be made a victim...quite often they can no more open their mouths and say NO this time when they DO have a choice...then when they didnt...understand?
I will give you a "for instance" just so you get where Im coming from.
I was raised by my father to never question his authority. Besides the abuse he rained down on my head on a daily basis...he also had me do some very dangerous things (another post Im sure)...things no young girl (or I dare say young boy) would ever engage in on her own free will...but of which I did without questioning my own safety...merely because my father left me no choice. I literally did NOT have a choice as to whether I would do it or in...
My whole family went camping one summer in the Rocky Mountains. I was about 11 at the time. My father was fishing in a fast moving river and his line got stuck. He was in the habit of using very expensive lures etc in hopes of catching a fish (he was a very bad fisherman) and when his line got stuck he was thoroughly pissed off at the thought of losing he did what any father would do...ordered his 11 year old daughter into the fast moving river to retrieve his line. Not only was the water extremely cold (Summer had just started) but the rocks were slimy and slippery and the water was chest high...but I didnt even hesitate and in I plunged. To NOT go into the water never even crossed my mind because to refuse would have just resulted in father hitting me to some degree...then picking me up and throwing me in the water where was my choice? I had I went. Needless to say I was nearly swept away in the fast moving water time and again...and yet my fathers only concern was that I had "better not drop the lure" or dont even think about coming out of the water...sigh!
This is only one of many many incidents in which he endangered my life and in which I had no say whatsoever in my own fact, the ability to say NO never even occurred to me...not even in my head. I was trained from an early age to just DO...and dont think or hesitate. That "dont question authority" is pretty much how I ended up married to the abusive man I did...simply because I felt I had no awareness of my own right to say ...NO!...I dont want to marry you. A man was telling me "lets get married" get married we did...the end.
So I have complete sympathy for people who say "I couldnt say NO" cause Ive been there...I understand. Sometimes we can sit back and say we would have done it differently...we would have said this or acted like that or whatever...but unless you have been a victim...unless you can stand in his or her shoes and say "I know what you mean...I understand how you feel"...then you cant stand there and point a finger at him or her and say "how could you do that...why didnt you just say NO?".
Some of us just cant say NO...instinctively we KNOW its wrong..or that we can be hurt...or that others will make us feel ashamed...or nobody will ever understand or care or listen or sympathize or forgive us....we know all that...and yet we still cannot say NO...
It takes a very strong person to overcome childhood conditioning...believe me I have walked that path myself. Much of the troubles I have had in my life I have brought upon myself simply because I could not say NO...and people took advantage of that fact...and I let them. It took me 40 years to reach this point where I do have the ability to look someone in the eye and say NO...I wont do that...and its my right to refuse to...and then walk away. Ofcourse this doesnt just pertain to s.e.x...the inability to say NO refers to anything that you dont really want to do but feel you have no choice in...even if it means a co-worker asking you to do a job thats not yours...or a neighbor asking you to watch her pet while she's gone and you feel you cant say no...or your spouse telling you to do something you dont feel comfortable doing but dont believe you can refuse. We all have the right to shake our head in the say firmly and loudly...NO!!! but not all of us are capable of doing it for various reasons.
For those that havent yet found their voice...their strength...their right to sympathies are with you...and I will support you...and will never judge you or turn my back on you. People have used and abused each other since the dawn of man and we suffer physically, mentally and spiritually because of it...because of that why do we compound that misery and suffering by throwing recriminations, accusations and judgment into the face of those that have suffered from abuse?
Why do we finger point and name call when it could very well be one of us some day...forced to be a victim in some way...having that complete and utter feeling of helplessness and complete loss of control wash over us as someone else takes our self respect and self esteem and tramples it in the dust...without so much as an apology or a look back in regret?
As a former victim....Ive been there...I understand. I sympathize and support you...just give me a chance to prove it.


Anonymous said...

I think being a victim or a hero is a choice. Being a victim is easier, you can just say; it wasn't my fault. Being a hero takes work and you deal with your own consequences...pissing someone off.

I think the majority of people have been a victim at least once in their lives, some find it easier to continue, others say, never again.

As far as sex. Most of that is on the woman. Not many men get honor killed. My opinion is this. IF you have daughters that are becoming sexual, buy them a good vibrator. Don't know why we expect men to know how to pleasure us, we're complicated. It's not like most men can even get the woman to climax so she thinks there's something wrong with her. I wouldn't leave that in the hands of a boy. Let her find her pleasure and she won't go looking for a fumbling, bumbling fool. It's easy to say no when you can do it yourself. Makes ya calmer, too, and more confident, and more choosey, and no pregnancy.

I'm sure everyone will disagree, but I don't care.

Chiara said...

Coolred--well said. Childhood abuse "impairs the judgment" of the abusee because they are left with no experiential knowledge of what constitutes normal: normal risk, normal anger, normal parenting, normal family, normal rights. Finger pointing is easy, especially when you don't know the person.

Anonymous--re: choosing to be a victim--I don't believe anyone chooses to be a victim, though some do things that seem to reinforce that role despite themselves. I do believe you seriously underestimate the impact of being raised in a highly dysfunctional abusive family.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chaira,

Why do you assume I've not been abused? My dad 'tried' to mess with me from 12 on, no one believed me. Near drowned in a pool as he held me down to feel me up. I had to deal with him myself. Before he died, he apologized to me, but denied it to my mom, my brothers and sisters and my aunt...who still don't speak to me.

Also, had an abusive boyfriend who put me in a closet with a riffle pointed to my head. People asked what I had done to piss him off. I wore lipstick.

Not many women get through life withoug experiencing some abuse. But we all have choices, whether we like them or not is irrelevant.

Saying no, and, leaving, made me stronger, smarter and wiser.

Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, swelling feet!!


janice said...

CoolRed, I just found my voice after 39 years.

I cried when I read this, came back and cried again.

I too, stand with those looking for their voice.

Chiara said...

Anonymous--I didn't suggest you hadn't been abused, and of course I am sorry to learn that you have. I merely stated based on the comment you first made, that you seriously underestimated the impact of childhood abuse. I would add that the earlier it starts the worse it is, because there is less chance to develop a normal identity, personality, and coping strategies.
Not all women,or men, fortunately, experience the type of abuse you describe or that Coolred has described. In fact, reliable statistics still put this level of abuse in the minority.
I don't think anyone invites or deserves abuse, but as Coolred described, sometimes out of their abusive experiences find themselves in new ones,and don't know how to extricate themselves.

I'm glad you did extricate yourself.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Chaira :)

I'm not saying it was easy to leave either situation, I really didn't want to leave, I wanted things to improve. I did everything I could to be perfect thinking that would make things better. It didn't. In fact, it still hurts, probably always will.

But I've come across many grown women who stay, trying to make things perfect and not succeeding. Having baby after baby, most of them abused also.

Seems it's easier for (most) women to make others happy than it is to make themselves happy.

Do you think it's harder (for women) to make ourselves happy-- as opposed to making others happy? I have my own opinion, but I'd like to hear yours.

.::Tuttie::. said...

i am weird. I was raped from age 4-7 every day, by my caretaker during a civil war where even nuns were being raped and murdered. I am not sure if I have found my voice and I am saying this because Alhamdulillah I haven't been placed in a situation like that since converting to Islam. HOWEVER, I did find it hard to say no. During high school Allah swt must have protected me because I was so vulnerable. My mother continued the abuse and made me feel like crap. She basically set me up for failure. The first moron to have said "I think I love you or you are kinda pretty" I would have given them everything.

After Islam my religion spoke for me. Like NO I am not going to the club I am a hijabi and we don't do that, my religion doesn't allow me to drink alcohol and NO I won't have sex with you because it is not allowed in my religion. kwim? So have I found my voice? i am not sure but Islam is totally awesome.

Anonymous said...

Oh Coolred! This is by far the best I've read of you! The new you from your 'troubled' self.You actually 'captured' my heart when I read the line,

"and will never judge you or turn my back on you."

I knew I didn't make a wrong choice of choosing you as a friend.
Thank you for sharing parts of your life, which people normally chuck away at the back of their minds.

Chiara said...

Anonymous #1--Most people stay in a negative situation too long, hoping it will improve, or wanting to leave only if they know they have tried everything to make it work. One of the brightest, strongest feminist psychiatrists I know stayed in an abusive work place so long she needed therapy to be able to see that she should get out, and then how to do so. She went on to a far better career than she would have had by staying.

In a way it's like saying "you always find a lost object in the last place you look". Almost by definition if you are in an abusive situation any amount of time is too long, and in fact if the abuse is severe enough or catches the person at a particularly vulnerable moment even a brief time can do lasting damage to a previously healthy person.

To the gender question, there is no doubt that both Western and Eastern cultures condition women to put others ahead of themselves, making it harder to leave for a variety of reasons: no career or money because husband's was put first, won't leave children for fear of them being abused or out of love or duty, etc. After a while even the strongest get ground down into thinking they can't leave because there is nothing better or they don't deserve better.

Tuttie--I am very sorry for your experience. Unfortunately war and rape go together. I am glad you found strength in Islam, especially since your mother was parenting so poorly, perhaps as part of her own trauma. I hope you continue to find your own voice within Islam.

Janic and Lat--beautiful! This is such a sensitive topic that Coolred has addressed with such grace, and you have responded in kind!

Coolred--see what you started! :)

coolred38 said...

Anon...being a victim is never a choice when your a child. Im speaking mainly from that perspective...its hard to overcome childhood abuse for some people and to find their voices and become that you said. Not everyone can do it....quite often those around them dont have enough sympathy or support for them to allow them to find their voice. Harder still to do it alone.

Funnily enough I was JUST going to do a post called Why Every Girl Should Have a read my

Chiara...thats right. We are led to believe that our normal is everyones normal...and if it isnt then we shouldnt call attention to ourselves and point out this difference. So the victim is silenced in many ways.

Anon...Im sorry to hear about your life...ranks right up there with the truly horrible (like many of us). Im glad you found your strength and got out and made something of yourself. Its not always the case with many women who continue to circle the "open door" of freedom...but cant quite get past the threshhold due to ingrained learning about what they have a "right" to in life.

FT (fat too?) I was just looking at that site before coming here and seeing u link Great minds think alike...or is it sore feet think alike...hmmmm?

Janice...glad you offer support when and where its needed. Im sure someone will or has appreciated it...maybe in ways you dont even know.

Chiara...I will be the first to state that statistics dont mean anything to the one suffering...far as YOU (me, you, anyone) knows...your the ONLY one suffering in such a way. Abuse is very isolating.

Anon (can you leave some sort of ID) women are raised in just about ALL societies to be the sacrificing party in a relationship. Its pretty much expected of her to put her life aside and raised the babies or be support for her most do that and dont ever worry about other options....however...some of us are given NO other option. Our sacrifice is not only expected...but taken from us whether we accept or not.

btw...sacrificing for your children is NO sacrifice at all as far as Im concerned.

Tutti...Im so very sorry to hear of your abuse...but Im very glad you found a solid rock (Islam) to cling to and get you through it. Whatever helps is exactly what we need. For everyone its different...and not everyone finds that inner strength. Its always nice for those that turn back and offer a hand up to those still struggling.

Lat...well gee sis...that was awful nice to hear from you. Im glad you liked it...but it came from the heart you know...personal experience and all. Sometimes personal experience isnt all its cracked up to be...sigh.

Chiara...what did I do?

btw..."the last place you look is the first place you find it"...speaks to me...the last place I looked to find ME...was inside me. Imagine my surprise when I found out I was there the whole time.

coolred38 said...

oops...I paraphrased your quote and didnt even come close...but I know you know what I

Chiara said...

Coolred--What did you do? Surely you jest--you opened up communication about trauma and healing, in an elegant way, proving you are on the healing side of the curve! All abusers are discontent! LOL :)
Nice paraphrase, a Freudian might call it a slip that reveals your inner thoughts, but I'm not, so I won't. LOL :)
Yes indeed the self in connectedness with others is the key! Oooh I feel an academic paper coming on. LOL :)

Anonymi--do you realized that Coolred provides a wonderful commenting option that allows you to name yourself anything you want? no email required, no URL required? just click Name/URL and invent a name of your choice. It really helps the rest of us follow, enjoy, and learn from your comments. This has been a public service announcement. LOL :)

Suroor said...

So happy for you, Coolred. So happy that you found your voice. Blessings and love your way.

Anonymous said...

What Tutie has been through is by far the worst kind of abuse. She was a child. I'm so very sorry you had to go through that horror.

Sexual abuse by a father, family member or care giver to a child is the worst crime on the planet. Children have no voice, and that experience changes them forever. I don't even put that in the same category as marital abuse. And I didn't go through the horror that Tuttie did.

In the age of Dr Phil, Oprah, the internet, those over the age of let's say 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, who stay in an abusive relationship and keep having babies, stay because they are getting something out of says Oprah, dr. phil and others. It's easier to stay, --hard work to leave and start over, with or without kids.

Sorry Ms Red, I've only read this page of your posts, but I do think at your age, you should be over the childhood stuff. It might not have been pleasant but you've been out of it for quite some time. Your friends here find you to be a strong confident woman. Smart and funny, too, even you say so.

I think you have a lot to offer, maybe if you donated time to battered women's shelter, or girls surviving sexual abuse, you'd see how valuable your experience have been.

Chaira, you remind me of the very women who kicked me in the ass and said, it's done with, get on with YOUR life now. Best words I ever heard. Now I'm working towards being a social worker.

btw, I left the link for the feet :)
vibrators and

Best of luck to you all!!

..especially you Tuttie!!

maryam said...

hey girl u look gorgeous i like ur new pic,, lol

Chiara said...

Anonymous social work candidate--congratulations! I hope you will be working in your chosen profession soon.

Coolred--contemplative and colourful! A nice followup to the "this is my first try at a photo of me" photo LOL :)

coolred38 said...

Chiara...the number of academic papers you have lined up for production is staggering...better hop to is

Anon...on one hand you say childhood sexual abuse is by far the worst kind of offense, especially when committed by a father etc...then on the other hand you say I should "be over it by now"...somethings just arent so easy to get over...and somethings are NEVER gotten over...everyone is different...which was the point of my post actually.

And btw I was not referring particularly to myself in this post...but to someone else (or lots of someone else's)...I was just saying I can relate...Ive been there...I understand. just saying that cause you love me girl..ha ha.


The Queen said...

As long as that 'sympathy and support' is not enabling them to continue with their self destructive behaviors by excusing them.

coolred38 said...

Queen...your right. Support and sympathy still has conditions attached.

Chiara said...

Coolred--no worries, I attack one pile, while I plan the next!
LOL :)

Anonymous said...

Ahhh coolred,I like the coloured pic of you! You look contemplative.
What do you want to capture next?! :D

Yasemin said...

I totally disagree with anonymous comment number 1. Sometimes there are accidental heroes who didn't do any work.

And leaving and saying no is very difficult. It takes an average of SEVEN times to leave an abusive relationship...

Coolred, I LOVE reading you. I often feel I am reading myself in a way if that makes any sense. But you are the myself that I would LIKE to be.

I am finding my voice, but strangely it's leading me BACK to Islam and my husband.

Thank you for adding me to Facebook. I am very much enjoying reading you over there, and wish mroe bloggers would reveal their true identities and join it. Love you so very much.

coolred38 said...

Chiara..a good philosphy Im sure.

Lat...thanks. It was taken against my will and without my thats me unposed and unprepared. lol

Yasemin...if your path leads you back to where you started...nothing wrong with that as long as thats where you really want to be...Your Choice is whats important here...yes?

prashant said...

It's easy to say no when you can do it yourself. Makes ya calmer, too, and more confident, and more choosey, and no pregnancy.
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