A group of my friends and I went out one evening in Venice Beach recently, to celebrate one of my girlfriends' birthdays. After dinner we decided to hit up the bars, and had a fun night dancing. A few of my girlfriends with me that night are single, so my husband and I played "Wing-Team." It's always fun playing wing-woman, because there are no reservations about approaching anyone, but for the first time I had one of those moments where I thought, "I'm too old for this"--not so much the wing-womaning, but the scene. First of all, most people in the bar we ended up in looked like they were home for the holidays from uni. Secondly, it felt like for the first time I saw with my own eyes the lack of understanding and respect for boundaries and consent that some people have. Now, I'm sure it wasn't really the first time I had ever witnessed inappropriate and borderline behavior, but it was the first time I saw and comprehended certain behaviors to be inappropriate that I might not have at eighteen or twenty.
I recently spoke with Mickie Zada on her podcast Surviving Abuse Network. Mickie lived in abuse for 34 years and essentially restarted her life at 50. She started Surviving Abuse Network, to create a positive and supportive space for survivors, and also offers a helpful tool for helping those who many not realize they're in an abusive relationship.
Brett Kavanaugh's Confirmation is not a Surprise but Don't Worry Gen Z will Make Sure Handmaid's Tale Doesn't Become a Reality
Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation as a Supreme Court justice is not a surprise because we as a society still have centuries of misogyny and abuse of power and control to unlearn. It's sad and disappointing that still, many people do not take sexual assault seriously, but look at who's sitting in the oval office. What concerns me more after seeing Kavanaugh's and the Republican party's response is that people still support Brett Kavanaugh is that people still support him as a Supreme Court justice after he behaved completely unprofessionally and abhorrently. If they're not concerned with having a potential sexual predator serve a lifelong appointment in the highest court of our land, if they're not concerned about his position on certain major issues, his behavior and responses should have given pause to those that support him. Even the way he responded to questions about his position on different issues outside of the sexual assault accusations were concerning, though he certainly showed his true colors when being questioned about the sexual assault claims. All we saw was an entitled, privileged white man with a tiny mouth behave like a childish, egotistical maniac. Although maybe I shouldn't be surprised by that either, since again, look at who's sitting in the oval office. There's now officially a boys' club of "Tiny Mouths with Big Entitled, Privileged Egos." Despite all this, I have hope. I have hope, because I went to speak to about sixty eleventh graders at High Tech High North County in San Marcos, California--yes, that's the actual name of the high school--and these students showed me they won't let Handmaid's Tale happen to us.
Trauma is something that stays with us our whole lives. Even when we're doing great, it lives with us in different ways, sometimes triggered in unexpected ways and sometimes affecting us in unexpected ways. Traumatic events like this week's mass shooting may re-trigger trauma for many. One of the ways it can affect us is in our sleep, but there are ways you can treat trauma related sleep issues, and of course other PTSD symptoms.
When the Time's Up Legal Fund was announced, I felt a fire in my heart. It was like a light finally shining through at the end of the tunnel, because after #MeToo, I wondered what we do now to actually affect positive change. We've broken the silence, so what's next? Seeing Hollywood use its platform and microphone to start the change made me really proud, because it's important that any person or organization of influence use that power to create positive change.
One busy afternoon, I was rushing on foot down Wilshire Blvd in Beverly Hills, from the office to the bank a few blocks down, trying to get to it before it closed. At some point some guys driving by hollered at me, and another guy walking in my direction asked me in surprise if those guys just hooted at me. It was like he was so surprised to witness such a display of behavior. I was surprised by his surprise, but I did not have time to waste, so I quickly responded with, “Oh, I don’t know, I’ve learned to ignore it.”
My husband once said to me, "You know, everything you're saying and a lot of what you believe goes against the Catholic Church." I was quick to respond, "Maybe some of the PEOPLE of the church, sure, but NOT the Catholic faith." Where we have seen the church fail, we have seen man fail, not God. All I know is that I am here to love and be love, and that is the basis of Catholicism...or at least how I have learned and understood it.
It feels weird to say this, but I'm really proud of you. Thank for being everything everyone needs to witness right now. You inspire confidence and strength.
Russia has decriminalized domestic violence in cases where "serious bodily harm" is not found. Basically, if your injuries don't result in a hospital stay, then the abuser can get away with his/her abuse with a roughly $500 fine or up to 15 days in jail if the victim presses charges. Moreover, as long as an abuser does not commit more than one severe beating a year, the new law offers this easy out to the abuser. Sadly, I'm not entirely surprised to see Russia do this, but I am incredibly enraged.
I don't think trauma ever goes away, nor would I necessarily want it to, because it has shaped a huge part of who I am today. How trauma is handled is really the key. Along with taking care of yourself, choosing happiness, and finding forgiveness, I have learned that one of the most powerful things you can do in the face (or aftermath) of trauma, is to show the causer of trauma compassion.