Who Is Responsible? Personal Thoughts On The #MeToo And #Kavanaugh Cases

Women vs Men

 

I hesitate to say anything in response to the #MeToo movement and the #Kavanaugh hearings, but I feel my viewpoint and feelings are important and need to be put into the pile of “thoughts”.

 

While I am not yet going to disclose the details of my experience, because I do not feel ready nor do I feel it will truly benefit anyone yet, I am going to say that I have experienced sexual trauma. One of the fall-outs of my experience was a deep feeling of war between men and women. I wanted to have power over men and feel superior to them.  A very common result of having a victim mentality.  As a result, I manipulated and used them, without much regard for their feelings, needs, or desires.  Sound familiar?

 

As a heterosexual female, this feeling, urge, reaction, whatever you want to call it, hurt me far more than it did me any good. I dream of having a family one day, and treating men like they owe me something has not exactly made for the healthiest and happiest of relationships.

 

I also fell into the other side of post-traumatic thinking and believing that it was my fault. This belief has been the one I have clung to and internalized the most in recent years. There were many things I could have done to help myself, and I was too scared to do many of them. I struggle with being my own abuser and shamer now.

 

In the last few years though, I have begun to find another path of thinking and believing. I started to listen to men share their stories of why they acted the way they did and how greatly they struggled with shame, fear, and a desperate sense of emptiness and disconnection. I found a great deal of freedom and healing when I realized that many of them felt similarly to how I did.

 

Then, the war stopped. It was no longer a matter of us vs. them (women vs. men). So many of these men were just as sexually broken as me and other women I have shared experiences with. My eyes were opened. This was far more than simple accountability and injustice, this was an epidemic of sexual sickness and spiritual brokenness. Almost no man or woman left unaffected.

 

So, when I see all the conflicting posts supporting one side or the other (Men need to learn their lesson! …. Boys will be boys! …. Making mountains out of molehills! …. Down with the patriarchy! … etc.) it does not help me to maintain the healthy and healing thought patterns and beliefs I have worked so hard to find. In all of these sexual assault cases, no one wins and everyone is left with wounds–whether seemingly deserved or not.

 

I don’t want to hate men, and I certainly don’t want to fall back into a victim mentality and sense of entitlement. I don’t want to reawaken the terrifying rage I have inside towards myself and the persons that traumatized me. I don’t want to live everyday like I am fighting a war anymore. None of that actually helps me heal. What does help me heal and find peace is working toward a solution for both sides.

 

Alleged male sex offenders, as well as convicted sex offenders, need healing just as badly as the people they have victimized.  If a woman accused you of a sexual offense, wouldn’t you want to be treated as “innocent until proven guilty” and not immediately made out to be the enemy of womankind? Imagine what it must feel like to carry around the weight, condemnation, and shame of being labeled an abuser. Wouldn’t you want to still be seen and treated like a human being? Wouldn’t you want to believe that redemption and forgiveness are available to you too? Wouldn’t you want to know that it were possible to have healthy relationships with women again and that you weren’t “damaged goods”?

 

Obviously, I am not advocating that people (men and women) NOT be held responsible for their actions and face appropriate consequences. What I AM advocating for is rehabilitation, forgiveness, understanding, compassion, and freedom for ALL who have been affected by this epidemic of sexual and spiritual brokenness–whether abused or abuser.

 

Let’s be real: Every single one of us has been abusive to someone in some way–verbally, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, sexually. None of us are without blame. That is the reality of the human condition. We all have fallen short, and the best news of all, is that we can all heal and grow no matter what we have or have not done in the past. We don’t need anyone else to be condemned, we don’t need anyone else to validate our pain, and we don’t need to go to war with our abuser(s)/accuser(s) in order to find that healing.

 

My healing didn’t truly start until I realized that becoming restored to a sense of wholeness had absolutely nothing to do with anyone else’s thoughts, decisions, or actions.  It was all about me, my thoughts, my decisions, and my actions.  While I may not be responsible for the loss and trauma I experienced, I alone am responsible for recovering from it and healing.

5 thoughts on “Who Is Responsible? Personal Thoughts On The #MeToo And #Kavanaugh Cases

  1. This is a phenomenal take on how we can forgive ourselves and grow without holding on to all of the pain. When we hold resentments agaist those who wronged us, and stay connected with the pain, we are violating ourselves. It is the freedom of forgiveness that always a starring point for healing. I look forward to your next post!♡

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  2. I love that you call this an “epidemic,” it’s such an accurate word for what is going on. When we eliminate chastity in a society and “liberate sexuality” the natural result is chaos, and humans are beings of great order, our bodies function on laws and rules and we inheritently like life to be that way as well. We like a world with rules, to know everyone is playing the same game so we can enjoy it! (Imagine a soccer game where each person got to choose the rules!…this is something I read from Jordan Peterson) well we made sex lawless, anything goes..and many have been hurt, like you say actually MOST have been hurt…no amount of recognition or court cases will solve the issue or even heal like you say, it’s all much deeper in the character we value in society…

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  3. I don’t understand when you say, “Every single one of us has been abusive to someone in some way–verbally, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, sexually. Most women have abused men.” Abusing others is not normal behavior, and if you’re doing that, you really do need to seek some help. I worked as a psychiatric nurse for decades and can tell you there are many healthy people out there who are not abusers….but they don’t usually get much attention.

    Never in my life have I abused anyone, including a man. I certainly have never sexually abused a man…..yet I have faced sexual assault a multitude of times. Even if someone HAD been verbally abusive to a man, or manipulated a man, or used them for sex as you say you have (I’m assuming this was still consensual sex), I don’t understand how any of those things can be equated to RAPE.

    I’m not saying men haven’t been raped or sexually assaulted either (usually by other men, but on occasion by women too). I think though, that your take on this rather minimizes the trauma women as a gender have faced when it comes to enduring violent sexual assaults and rape.

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    • Hey Violet, I totally hear you. I experienced pretty intense sexual abuse in my late teens, so I am in no way comparing or minimizing rape. It completely changed my life and was very difficult to overcome.

      My point is that I still see too many suffering women more focused on vilifying men then they are on their own healing. The way I healed was to understand the deep brokenness that leads certain men to act this way and to forgive them. I also had to admit to all the ways the brokenness of my trauma had lead me to treat others poorly/abusively (mainly men—due to my anger and pain).

      Deep trauma and loss can be deeply isolating and divisive. Neither of those things help heal the wound! What DOES help us heal is forgiveness, making amends for our wrongs, and expressing gratitude.

      I wrote this because it breaks my heart to see so many women still hurting and trapped in rage, fear, and vengeance. Those emotions and the behaviors they fuel don’t fix the actual problem! I hope more women will focus on healing their hearts, minds, and souls first before they cause more damage and destruction. The men who commit sexual crimes need rehabilitation and healing just as much as the women they victimize. I hope both sides will focus on healing so there will be no more division and abuse. ❤️

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      • Forgiveness as a path to healing is a very Christian kind of belief, but in my experience as a counselor, it’s not the right path for everyone (or even most people). That being said I’m truly happy it worked for you and that you’ve been able to move on and return to function (no small victory!).

        We are all broken by various things in life but only some of us become abusers/criminals. There are plenty of less serious issues where people can be more conciliatory with each other, but with very serious crimes (sexual assault, rape, mass shootings, murder), compassion always belongs with the victim. You certainly have a right to your own opinions, but don’t be surprised if some women push back when you make statements about having compassion for perps.

        Thank you for the conversation….I wish you well on your journey. 🙂

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