LOVE, USE & ABUSE

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——————- ONTO TONIGHT’S POST! ——————–

I’ve got to be honest here, I really have been avoiding talking about the topic of tonight’s post.

The current social climate around everything that has come to light with Harvey Weinstein and the myriad of other alleged sexual abusers is not something I was too enthusiastic about covering.

But given Matt Lauer’s recent allegations, I can no longer avoid addressing the inevitable.

And my approach avoidance was not for a lack of caring or outrage, but rather, because I felt that I didn’t really have anything of value to add to the conversation. Nothing that hadn’t already been said, anyway.

But eating breakfast this morning, the words finally came to me.

And it came in the form of a quote by none other than the great John Paul II.

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Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, Roy Moore, Matt Lauer and all the other men facing sexual assault accusations… aside from the despicable lack of respect, abuse of authority and predatory behavior, what it boils down to is this fundamental truth:

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s use.” – JP2

The very act of sexual abuse is so painful because it bastardizes the core human need for love, and the very act of love itself. It takes the beautiful expression of love and twists it into a predatory manifestation of use.

It is the epitome of John Paul II’s quote.

It is the use and exploitation of another person for their own personal benefit. The women were (allegedly) a means to an end for these men. And it is a complete violation and disregard of the dignity and honor that is present in each person as a creation and child of God, in His image and likeness.

It’s the same with pornography.

Whenever we’re using another person for our own selfish desires, we’re distorting authentic love and deeply hurting others in the process.

Because we are all made for love. God is love, and as children made in His image and likeness, we too, have a deep desire for it.

It is in our distortion of that love where the trouble arises.

I think it is heartbreaking that this abuse has been happening for so long, and that it has taken a “strength in numbers” situation for women to feel safe coming forward with their experiences.

What has our society come to where it has come to that? Where we fear for our jobs and reputation if we speak up about abuse or assault?

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But what’s more, is how has this behavior become something we could even conceive of? How has a woman’s sexuality become something that can be taken without consent?

And hear me when I say that this is no way, shape, or form an excuse or minimization of what these men allegedly did, but I do think that it’s time that we as a society need to take a cold, hard, look at how we may be inadvertently responsible for the mindset that would allow such horrific violations.

And I think the results are quite sobering.

What kinds of things are we absorbing in our media, or on our computers? The pornography business is a $97 billion dollar industry, with porn-sites getting more traffic than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined. It has been normalized – nay, glorified! – in our culture, perverting the minds of those exposed to it.

Think about all the pro-rape lyrics in the rap songs we listen to on the radio and in the clubs? What are our advertisements communicating? What kind of behavior has the dating-app culture been normalizing, glorifying, and encouraging?

We have created a society where sex has become a transaction – minimizing  and dehumanizing the people involved to mere objects. And frankly, I’m deeply saddened, but not surprised at all by the fallout.

None of these are excuses for a person’s decision to sexually abuse another human being, but with the outpouring of allegations and heartbreaking stories, it begs the question, “What is going on here?”

Something’s gotta give.

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My heart and prayers are with all the victims during this time. And especially those who are holding onto their own story, out of shame, or feeling afraid to come forward for fear of repercussion.

I, personally have been the victim of sexual assault, and know that the shame is very real. It happened at a nightclub in the Meatpacking District in NYC, and I wrestled for a long time with the feelings of shame and the constant thought of, “maybe I brought it on myself.” Longer than the bruises lasted.

There is a swell of courageous women coming forward, and I pray that we all can support those brave souls, and help to bring about a change.

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153 thoughts on “LOVE, USE & ABUSE

  1. Well said Triple B and appreciate JP2 quote. Which reminded me to repeat that no one deserves abuse. Anyone who has been abused (in any way) doesn’t deserve to be abused. I wasn’t at fault when I was abused as a child; neither were you at fault and I’m sorry you had to endure abuse. And as always you and your family remain in my prayers.

    1. Thank you friend. I really appreciate your prayers and kind words. And thank you for sharing that – i am so sorry that happened to you. You absolutely weren’t at fault, nor did you deserve it. Sending you such big hugs. Thanks for stopping by. Xox

  2. Have a look at television cable channels, all manner of scum is on them today. Hate, murder after new murder program and of course all of the sex on television. It’s a powerful tool for the devil. A good start would be removing so much of this garbage from the airwaves. Is it any wonder the United States is in the shape it’s in? God has had enough. Seems we are heading toward the Sodom and Gomorrah all over again. Thanks for your courage in posting this.

  3. Big thoughts there. Not limited to pornography and how it’s influenced dating as we interact with it today. So much more to it than just that. Porn is perhaps the biggest one but it isn’t the only one.

  4. Hi Caralyn,

    There is a brand new documentary coming out that I was fortunate enough to see last night at the Duke Divinity School. It is called *Speaking to Sparrows – A Film for Women* and it covers much of what you have written about, not only in this post, but from the beginning. Here is their website: https://speakingtosparrows.com – I think you’d really be encouraged to know this sort of film is available. I met the producers just before the screening and have just now contacted them to let them know about your blog. I see a lot of common ground in what you are all doing.

    Grace and peace to you…

    dw

    1. Hi DW, thank you for sharing this. sounds like a really interesting film. thanks for passing it along. hugs xo

  5. I have started to write something on this topic about 3 different times and have gotten bogged down each time, not completely sure where to go with it.

    I started when Hugh Hefner died, picked up again after the Weinstein mess and again last week. But the news keeps exploding and messing with the narrative in my head.

    I love the JPII quote! It is right on the money. And I am glad you addressed this issue. More people need to do so from the perspective of faith.

    1. thanks JP, yeah it is definitely a tough topic to embark upon. and it’s so true – every day brings a new layer. so sad. thanks for stopping by. hugs xo

    1. thank you so much. yeah, it is sadly a topic that is all too common these days. i appreciate you stopping by! hugs xo

  6. Caralyn, your post has some good points. Your honesty is refreshing. Due to many years working in the justice system with sex offenders, I found their attitudes very similar. Part of the root of sexual abuse is making people (males and females) sexual objects. The perp looks on the victim as something to satisfy their cravings and do not see them as people with feelings and rights. It all revolves around what they selfishly want and fulfilling their lusts that are fueled by pornography. Their viewpoint is warped and they think the victim (even infants) are “asking for it.” Having them held accountable for their actions is the first thing that needs to happen. Our society is permeated with sexualization of everything, including media and entertainment. xoxox

    1. thank you so much for sharing your story. What an interesting perspective. yeah, it calls to question…what can we do about it! hugs to you xox

  7. This is all so true!! Excellent quote by St. JPII. I had never thought of these terrible things in that way, but he was right, its a sick use of someone else. It all makes me wonder if this was years ago, there would have been even MORE well known personalities found out like this. The trouble was, years ago it was thrown to the back burner. Its good that now people will listen. There is no excuse no matter how great you think you are within your career realm, no matter the gender who commits it or receives it. Porn has become so much messier in our society than ever. I still remember in the 90s the FCC could have issued tighter limitations on tv shows, the net, all of it, but nobody wanted to go there because that would have been a “violation of rights”. People forget that with rights there needs to be self control. Its not all a free for all of what somebody or a group can do. There needs to be self control, self respect, and respect for others. Love, big hugs, and have a great weekend!!! xoxoxo

    1. thank you Migueltio. Leave it to JP2 to really bring home the truth. you’re so right- there is no excuse. thanks, and same to you! hope it’s an awesome weekend! hugs xo

  8. I believe we are witnessing the disintegration of a civilization. But take heart, A safety net has been placed underneath us. God is still on His throne…and He’s rolling up His sleeves.

    1. Hi GW, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. you’re so right – He is on His throne! hugs x

  9. This was foretold in Humanae Vitae as Pope Paul VI wrote in 1968 as the Sexual Revolution was at its peak. The concept of “sexual freedom” was being celebrated what he spoke about is how transactional sex was becoming back then. Hugh Hefner’s death was a clear indication of how far we have fallen as his life was honored and remembered, I do not recall hearing much in the mainstream about his degradation and objectification of women. I have always found it ironic that the most difficult thing to say is, “I love you,” even after having had sexual intercourse which was meant to be a spiritual act to be protected in the boundaries of marriage. Unfortunately, sin enshrouds the hearts of humanity and women are often victimized by men forgetting that they too are created in the image of God. It saddens me the state we find our world today, but I also carry my scars and sins of the past that both hurt. I am thankful for the restoration God offers to all and I pray for these women. Our world continues to move further and further away from Christ and in full rebellion against God. In a world that believes that there is no sin, there is no grace. My prayer is that all of this opens hearts to Christ and offer relief to penitent souls. For the sake of my daughters and sons, my prayer is that they are not confronted with this in their lives. Sadly, my heart is heavy that this will not be the beginning of something better, but a major shift out of reaction which usually does not end in correction, but overcorrection which only lands one in the opposite ditch. May the pain of your encounter find healing as so many wounds that you struggle against. God is the only cure for the sin sick world.

    1. thank you so much for this thoughtful response. lots of powerful food for thought here. yeah, that’s the truth – God is the only cure. Hugs and love xox

  10. First of all I’m so sorry you were sexually abused, it was not your fault. Your quote on the opposite of love being use not hate is brilliant. Satan uses people and those who walk around on his ground follow his lead and use others. Not just sexually, but racially and in social strata societies such as the caste system the exploitation of others. While I feel capitalism has more freedom than the opposite even that has a tendency to use unless there are rules in place to offer some kind of protection to those who can’t fight back. The bottom line is by contrast heaven is safer than this world and I can’t understand why more people don’t choose that as their objective.

    1. thanks Ian, I really appreciate that. you’re so right – heaven is safer…isn’t that the truth! big hugs xox

  11. Girl, yes yes and yes. Thank you for speaking up and speaking out about this. What value you have added! My heart hurts so deeply too in the conversations surrounding these tragedies… But the incredible thing is that we serve a God who is not the God of prevention but He is the God of redemption. So corny but SO true! And even all this, all the shame, all the guilt and all the feelings of being used up and rejected He certainly can redeem. What hope there is to have in the face of these situations!

    1. thank you friend, I’m so glad this resonated with you. and i really appreciate your kind and supportive words. it means a lot. amen! He is the God of redemption indeed. hugs xo

  12. Thank you for your commentary, especially for my daughters’ sake. May these recent revelations make the world just a little bit safer for all women. God bless.

  13. Hey BBB – there are so many ways to view this issue that it really requires several different topics or categories if you will.

    The Media moguls that are in hot water is the classic dominance over another – trust me it happens to men too just not as often. It also has to do with greed – they have been idolized, praised, made to feel exemplary in some obscure way, and they feel as if they can do this and no one can stop them.

    You touched on the other type of exploitation which is just as bad only slightly different in my opinion. It’s everywhere – sex has become so much of our daily lives that you can barely escape it even by trying. Like you said – lyrics, commercials, marketing, and don’t even get me started on social media – I can jump over to my IG feed and pull 100 pictures of nearly naked females and males alike for no other reason than to drive traffic to their page. Absolute craziness is what it is. Sexuality and the intimacy of it are being corrupted constantly.

    This topic will be around for a while now and maybe things will change – not likely though.

  14. Such a moving and heartbreaking post about the abuse of sexual assault against women! Thank you so much for sharing and all my sisters and also brothers out there that are facing this calamity are constantly in my prayers in Jesus Name! God bless you much love and kisses Xx 🙏😘💚👐😊

    1. thank you so much Tammy. I will definitely join you in that prayer. biggest of hugs to you friend xox

  15. Another great straight ahead between the eyes post.
    Migueltio comments were right on. It has taken decades and decades to get to this point. A little here a little there but no one wanted or wants to have old fashioned Godliness or purity anymore. So, we sow to the wind and reap a whirlwind. That’s the bad news. Jesus said it’d be like this. And man it sure is. The good news is this won’t go on forever. Not long at all.
    Those who choose Christ are going to exit stage left soon.
    As terrible as all this scandals is good can come from it. Your post alone proves that.
    xoxo
    Roland

    1. Hey Roland, oh thank you so much 🙂 yeah – you’re right – Jesus said it would be like this. thanks for stopping by 🙂 big hugs to you xo

  16. Mello Yellow! Oh my goodness dear. How have you been? I’m back to catching up on the usual – BBB. Sorry to hear about sexual assault. I know the shame. Me – sexual abuse. So its real. I’m glad is coming out. Great post by the way. Looking for to reading some more. I hope the podcasts picks up. Wishing you a marvelous weekend. This time, don’t be mello. Bloom. Be refreshingly Yellow. You are awesome!

    1. Thank you so much Ish. I’m sorry to hear that you can so personally relate. I really appreciate your encouraging words 🙂 recording this podcast right now, actually! (I was at a christmas party last night and couldn’t record!) haha big hugs to you friend, great to hear from you as always. xox

  17. North India is in a tizzy about a film that has been made. It shows, allegedly, a sort of romantic feeling expressed by the Muslim King in the 13th century, towards a Hindu Princess. It is not even clear if she ever existed in real life. Yet, a bounty has been offered, of almost 2 million US dollars, for the head of the actress.

    People who are in a tizzy have not seen the movie, and Parliament spent a full day yesterday discussing the movie.

    Yet, in North India, incidence of child rape has increased by 82%

    Hypocrites? Yes
    Warped? Yes
    Warped sense of leadership priorities? Yes

  18. Thanks for sharing your heart, sister, especially at the end there. Your experience must have been horrific. But that’s not who you are!
    When the foundation of a building is compromised, the building will eventually crumble. That is what has happened to our society today, our Foundation has been compromised and it’s been happening for a long time. When God is no longer our Foundation, or at least He’s just a concept, then society crumbles. For years, Billy Graham spike this from the pulpit, but very few listened. Now we’re paying the consequences.
    Let me leave you with this. Our goal in life is not to be loved, but to become Love. If our desire is to just be loved by someone then we’re only doing as good as we being loved. But if we become Love then that’s a whole different ball game.
    Think about it.
    KEEP THE LIGHT ON!

    1. thank you so much friend. Oh Billy Graham was such a great man and warrior of God. To become Love- wow how powerful. thanks for sharing that. Hugs and love xox

      1. My name is Greg, by the way.
        Billy Graham is, definitely a great warrior for Christ. He may not be preaching anymore, but his presence is still strong. 99 and still going.
        You’re welcome, Caralyn. Your passion for the Gospel and for people shines thru. Know who you are in Christ and don’t allow other people or things to become your identity. Don’t allow other people’s sin to become sin in you.
        Think about it.
        KEEP THE LIGHT ON!

  19. First, it tears me up to think you were assaulted. Hold on while I get an extra box of ammo for my semi-automatic friend and head that way. As if you haven’t had enough adversity. How can you be such a joy after so much suffering? Oh, yeah… God is your strength, a very present Help in times of trouble.

    I, too, am sick of the sexual abuse stories topic; one headline after another. However, your article tonight does a great job of making it personal to all of us. When you look at all of the cultural choices we are all part of, we all have some culpability somewhere in the spectrum of abuse, whether it’s up close and personal or through the entertainment we choose.

    I used to avoid Friends like the plague because of the way they handled sex. It seemed that everyone had everyone else at some point in time! Julie and the girls enjoyed the laughs, and it was well-written in a lot of other ways. I eventually became complacent – “If you can’t fight ‘em…”

    I looked at an old series on HULU a few years ago; Remington Steele, starring Pierce Brosnan. I was amazed at how tame the show was just in terms of costumes. The women were all modestly dressed. No nudity of ANY kind. RS premiered in 1982.

    Sexual objectification of mostly women – and some of men – is so pervasive I think we often don’t see it for what it is. So a big THANK YOU for coming at this topic from a very original, loving perspective tonight. I really appreciate it!!

    1. Hey Jeff! Aw, thank you friend. yeah, it was “minor” – if that can even be attached with the concept – but yeah. Yeah – objectification has become so “normalized” and mainstreamed that you’re absolutely right – we don’t see it for what it is, which is a terrifying thing. Oh Jeff, we live in a fallen world. Thanks so much for your kind words and sharing your thoughts 🙂 always great to hear from you, friend. big hugs to you and Julie x

  20. Depravity is out of control in this world, it seems almost hopeless to try to speak against it. How can we make a dent? We must push back. We must keep our eyes open. We must speak out. Because this stuff isn’t just national news, it’s happening near us. When you see it, speak up. Thanks again Caralyn for sharing you and speaking out. Psalms 111:10
    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.

    1. you’re right about that, Jennifer. thank you so much for this thoughtful response. you’re right – we must keep our eyes open! hugs to you friend xox

  21. We are, actually, living in a good time. Things that were once hidden are now coming to light. We are no longer accepting bad behavior as appropriate, or not to be spoken of. Child molestation, sexual abuse, bullying, are now being brought out into the light where they can be handled instead of allowing the activities to continue.

    I have to put the blame for a lot of this on schools who routinely turn a blind eye to inappropriate behavior, usually with the adage, “Boys will be boys.” Well, undisciplined boys can turn into men who think that since they got away with it in their youth that they can continue their behaviors into adulthood. Until now they have gotten away with it.

    I applaud the women and children who have put everything on the line to make people aware of what is happening, and who is doing it.

    1. thanks for this powerful perspective. you’re right – people are coming forward and that is an incredible thing because it has the potential to ignite change. thank you for sharing your thoughts. big hugs x

  22. Very sobering, challenging and convicting, thank you my friend for bringing these dark issues into the light. Thank you for your bravery. Women shouldn’t be in any way, shape or form be abused. Women are image bearers of God just much as men are. You were right when you said “something has got to give”

    1. Thank you so much friend. That’s so true – we are all His children in His image and should be treated as such. Hugs and love xox

  23. Thanks for adding your insights into this: very good post and so agree … very brave to mention how somehow we explain that that does not allow any excuse that it has …nor does it condemn the victims (sometimes, often, people can’t or won’t hear any critique of society – but we do have collective responsibility, and we have to all work to change things, as well as planting the shame and the responsibility on those who carry out abuse, and acknowledge that the victims did not ‘ask for it.’)

  24. I’m so sorry you were assaulted. Prayers and hugs! So many times I have heard people who are atheist or whatever label they give themselves who don’t want God in their lives, try to say they can be moral without religion. Apparently we cannot. The moral fabric of our nation has been torn apart and continues to do so as we turn our backs on God and traditional family roles. Now, sex robots are becoming more and more popular and soon, they will take over bedrooms across the world in countries where people can afford them because we are forgetting how to interact with each other. I feel the same way about pornography but also about video games. People are desensitizing themselves to reality and the consequences of their actions and decisions. This is what happens when you can hit a ‘reset’ button and not have to deal with the reality of taking a life or that you do not actually have super powers- you are a regular person, or engage in sex without actually incurring the agony of rejection or the responsibility and joys of family, or the consequences of STD’s. We are robbing ourselves of living life. I think all of this and more has contributed to the attitude in our society of ‘so what’. You are not real to me so I can do whatever makes ME feel good and to heck with the fall out. People are no longer real to each other. If I hurt you in the process of getting what I want, that is YOUR fault. This is some of the fallout from the ’60’s ‘feel good’ movement. So much of American society is suffering from what was started in the ’60’s. It was the beginning of the end of so much that was good. We are becoming more and more morally bankrupt.

    1. Thanks Melissa, i really appreciate that. Yeah this world definitely needs Jesus, that’s for sure! Yeah the objectification and dehumanization has got to stop. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Hugs and love xox

  25. Caralyn, great post, as usual. First, I’m sorry about your bad experience. Sadly, depravity is running wild in America, and elsewhere. But, this is nothing new. I was molested as an adolescent, way back in the 1960s. I was so naive that I didn’t realize what was happening. But that was a (really) long time ago.

    I would like to say that I share your outrage at all the alleged sexual abuse, but let’s not forget that in America a person is innocent until proven guilty. As we’ve experienced in the clergy sex abuse scandal, many who have been accused have been found not guilty. I think we may be seeing some piling on, especially when there’s the potential for financial gain.

    We are a Church of forgiveness, after all. God bless you and your family.

    1. Thank you friend, that really means a lot. And gosh i am so sorry that you had that happen to you. Gosh that just breaks my heart. You did not deserve that friend. Gosh sending you so much love. You bring up some really great points here. Thank you for sharing. Hugs and love xox

  26. Caralyn, it’s incredibly brave for you to come forward! It’s not easy. You are a very talented writer and u have no doubt that God will continue to redeem your story and shine through your life!

    1. Thank you Sierra, i really appreciate your support. It means the world. Hugs and love xox

  27. God’s original ideal has never ever been realized on Earth yet and it is a hard fact: the life we live these days the best humanity ever could. And well, we feel it: still not enough good.
    Is there any other country, where sexual misconduct would be on front page? Only now, because the God-given land of the USA still has something to be the number one – on the good side, too.
    There are extreme failures in the western world, yet, incredible potential exists as well, to make this life a worthy one, for each and every one of us, even for those whom we have never met, because that is, what was Jesus teaching about, that is what siblinghood about.

    Heavenly Father knows the dark side in us way too well, yet, He believes in the spark in each and every one of us which is an eternal opportunity to manifest our true selves, to bring it on, to co-create the land of active, true love, care and mutuality which result joy in every aspects of life.

    There are unspeakable, horrible deeds even today. Now, a few started to come up to the surface as it was the Last Days. And there will be way more and more.

    And the next question will be then:

    How can we forget, love and unite?

    Since there is no real Heaven on Earth, until anybody is left out…

    Have a Blessed Night!

    1. Hey friend, thank you so much for this thoughtful response. You’re right – i do have hope in that little spark. Big hugs xo

  28. I love the quote by John Paul II. This thought crossed my mind in a similar way the other day when looking at instagram. You know when I say what I am about to say I am not blaming women in any way. I will say that we have women on instagram that have scripture on their bio and espousing their Christianity. Then you look at their pics and they are as close to being nude as one can get. They are getting followers not for their faith proclamation, but their skin. The flip side to that is so-called Christian men following these same women. Coming from a background of abuse I have to admit that your post was worded very eloquently. As usual. Maybe one of theses days, I will become half as well rounded as yourself. Not kidding! You put out great content. Keep it up.

    1. Thanks Tim. Yeah it’s really powerful quote, isn’t it? And yeah – it’s pretty sad about Instagram. Thank you for your thoughts and encouragement. means a lot. big hugs xox

    1. Hey William! hahah oh it was SO heavy! No, I didn’t! Couldn’t fit it in the car!! haha thanks for stopping by! hugs xo

  29. Preach Caralyn preach! I’m so glad you talked about this in your post. I have a daughter that’ll be off to college next year and the thought of anything like what’s been happening lately truly sickens me. That’s why I’m teaching her how to be strong, independent and smart to the ways of the world, so she’ll be ready if anything like this should ever happen. Thanks for sharing.

    1. oh thank you Mark. I really appreciate your encouragement. It sounds like you’ve raised your daughter to have a really solid head on her shoulders. 🙂 I’ll definitely keep her in my prayers as she prepares to start that new chapter next year! big hugs to you x

  30. I’m glad you wrote on this topic. The more we all talk about it, the better it will be for women and men in the workplace. Abusers will be frightened now they know they can’t get away with what they do.

    Every woman in my family has been assaulted, raped or groped. (Except my granddaughters, unless I haven’t been told). My mom was groped by a Bible salesman when she was 13, in 1940! My sister was raped twice in college, once by a professor and once by a fellow student. My youngest sister was molested at 9 years old by a man who met her on a city bus. I was molested by my father as a little tot until I was 10.

    I’m not sure if sexual assaults are worse now than in my mother’s day, but with all the pornography out there, I would think it would be worse. And yes, TV has made our teens think sex can be just for fun. You don’t have to even like the other person. That is such a lie. Someone always gets hurt from recreational sex.

    One of my granddaughters is still a virgin. She says all her friends are amazed at that because they are all sleeping with multiple partners. She told me her girlfriends told her they don’t even enjoy it. She says the boys don’t know anything about sex or how to treat a girl. She said, “Why would I want that in my life?” I was happy to hear she had a head on her shoulders. I think the other girls do it because it is expected.

    1. Oh Belle, that just absolutely breaks me heart to hear. Gosh, I wish i could give you a hug right now, friend. i am so sorry that that happened to you and the women in your family. You did not deserve that. You deserved to be cherished and protected and honored, and I am just so sorry that he violated you. He was supposed to protect you, and I am just so sorry that you’ve had to go through that and live with it for all these years. Yes – your granddaughter does have a good head on her shoulders. I will definitely keep her, and your whole family in my prayers. thank you for having the courage to share you story. Love you, friend. big hugs x

      1. Thank you, Hon. I appreciate your compassion. Yes, it has been hard living with the after – effects of what my father did. I used to think he ruined my life. But perhaps that pain is what has pushed me to God since I was 19. I don’t know, but I do know God has been beside me all the way.

    2. It sounds like you have a granddaughter who is destined to break a generational curse over the women in your family. When I read “Every woman in my family has been assaulted, raped or groped”, that’s not coincidence. Demonic forces have seen a spiritual mark upon all of you that tells them something to the effect of “Use me!”, and a man driven by the flesh in that moment can be made to recognise that. Have any of you considered the spiritual aspects of this tragic trend, and addressed it with a pastor or counselor?

      1. My sisters and I do come from a family that was filled with child abuse. My father’s brothers we both abusers. One had his children taken away, the other one was never stopped. No one realized what he was doing until long after his death. Yes, I’ve had lots of counseling and been prayed over about my family. Thanks.

  31. I didn’t know you had been assaulted. Did you pray and counsel with a friend or pastor (or Mom and Dad) to address the spiritual bruises?

    I’ll tell you what I’ve told a new friend in Redding: guys have a high capacity for being stupid and/or insensitive, even good men (Romans 7:18-20). Including me. That’s why I need stronger union with Him.

    1. Thank you Steve. I did process it a little with my parents. Thank you for sharing that encouragement. Hugs to you xox

  32. Thank-you for writing this, Caralyn. You’ve seen my post Babylon out at Love Returns, so I hope that you are heartened that recent events are a sign that we’re getting close to the hoped-for transformation. I was thinking about this today w.r.t. the wonderful connections in spirit that I have to women such as yourself, and all the beautiful gifts that I have been offered. It is my sorrow to be aware that – both among men and among women – our competition for physical comfort and ecstasy leads us to withhold the God-given strength that we should share freely with those of our gender. It ends when we look at our beloved and ask “What is the sacred purpose God has invested in this man (or woman), and who among my sisters (or brothers) would participate most fully in the realization of that end?” If the answer is not “It is I,” then we turn our desires elsewhere.

    1. Hi Brian, thanks for this reflection. Lots of powerful food for thought here. Hope you’re having a nice weekend. Hugs and love xox

      1. I am grateful for your affirmation, but I won’t be truly satisfied until you’ve settled into the relationship that you deserve. I feel that it’s time for you.

  33. Recently I have been on the receiving end of such allegations, I was interviewed by police under caution with a duty lawyer for an hour and the case even had to be reviewed by the CPS I had to wait 9 weeks for a reply, but thankfully (thanks be to god!!) the case against me has been closed! These accusations were completely untrue by the way! X

    1. Hey Bennie, gosh I’m so sorry you had to go through that. I’m glad the outcome was good! Thanks be to God! Hugs and love xox

  34. And let us not forget:

    “You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything…
    Grab ’em …”

    Though the excruciatingly embarrassing end of those comments received the most attention (in itself commentary on your discussion of depravity as entertainment), perhaps the phrase “they let you do it” is actually the most disturbing. And also, illuminating insofar as the deluded thinking of so many harassers – they seem to believe that their monetary and/or positional power renders them irresistible, or barring that, untouchable. No, they don’t “let you do it.” You force yourself upon them, devoid of respect and decency.

    I also hope that the current surge of voices being raised will lead to real change, and give pause to would-be harassers and molesters.

    1. Thank you so much for this powerful response. Yes, i pray for that real change as well. So glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox

  35. Here is the challenge, woman did not report this previously because it was truly a “man’s club” and in order to succeed, they felt and knew if they spoke up their chance at what they felt was their success would most probably be terminated. But here is where we should ask ourselves a very profound question. Why did the woman not have enough value of themselves, to extinguish these events by 1) reporting them then, and 2) and by staying in the business after the abuse. If woman put a greater value in God/self over success, then this behavior of men may have never gotten this far. Does this make sense.

    Since most of these allegations are coming from 20,30 and more years ago, I am hoping the industry has changed and we won’t hear allegation from 10 or less years ago of the same magnitude we are hearing the ones of years ago.

    As a Christian, we are required to make this decision everyday, and like many, we fail to put God/self before success. Even many Pastors, famous ones, who speak the word of God better than any of us, have fallen victim to the success and what it buys.

    I know it’s a tough thing for me to say and being a man, you might be mad at me, but I have this challenge with my children. They so quickly buy into the world of things. Having the nice shoes, the game system, the family car, and so many other things. Trying to get them to understand that their God does not value these things is very, very hard. They tell you they go to school each day and get laughed at or they feel embarrassed having to wear old shoes or second hand pants. And so many of us are raised on the concept of having to “pay the price” in order to succeed.

    The benefit, if there is one, of the woman who did live through these very ugly and brutal time, they have succeeded and most likely the reasons this behavior is not as relevant as it used to be, or at least I hope so. I send this comment fearing I will have stepped on toes, but I hope it is taken with the understanding that we can reject the path we are going if it is offensive to us or if it calls you to offend your God.

    God Bless,
    Leland

    1. Hi Leland, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. It really is so sad that these women didn’t speak up for fear of their job safety. I pray that we can build up a society based on respect and human value. Hugs x

  36. So much truth in that JPII quote, and a stark reminder that that’s where we are now, our society is obsessed with the material to the point where it uses people and only loves things. Strength and Peace to you.

    1. You’re so right. Ours is a society of users, and it’s really sad. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

  37. Well said! I was wondering what your thoughts were about this issue, and really appreciate that you waited until you knew what they were. I will probably be quoting you!

    1. Thanks so much, for your kind words. Yeah i didn’t want to say anything prematurely. This issue is obviously complex and really emotional so i really wanted to be intentional and think through my thoughts in their entirety. Sadly the situation is continuing to evolve, i just hope and pray that it can bring about a positive change, and i have hope that it will. So glad you stopped by. Big hugs to you, friend. Xox

  38. Strangest thing, I just wrote a blog, “American Graffiti – The Old Model of Sex” https://wp.me/p1qZOe-JU

    I think you are right on many facets of sexual abuse, except, maybe, one. The domination of women by powerful men goes back to prehistory. Every age of men and women have it. Look in the bible for examples, if you have time. In the past, this attitude was the accepted rule (Mad Men).The abuse of subordinate women is still the rule, rather than the exception in most of the world. I think this phenomenon is another level of “sufferage” for women in America.

    Your outrage is righteous; your example is encouragement to women; use this breakthrough to stand up to anyone who abuses you; let them know you will report them for all the past abuse, if they do not treat you right, if they fire you, if they misuse the power of their position.

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. Yeah it’s really sad. I appreciate you stopping by. Hugs and love xox

  39. I have to say, that I would not know the first thing to say about an issue like this. There is a distortion of human dignity in our society and to point a finger at any one source is difficult, until you put the quote from Saint JP II into this very context and it is revealed what is really at stake here.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this. Yeah- there’s definitely a lot more at stake than what meets the eye. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

  40. I started to respond to your post. I wanted to respond to your question, “What is going on here?” As I began writing about the influences from the past that have brought us to where we are today in US society the words began to flow. After a few pages I determined that this was to in depth a response for your post. What is posted is the short version.

    I was surprised by the questions in your post, i.e. “What has our society come to where it has come to that? Where we fear for our jobs and reputation if we speak up about abuse or assault?… But what’s more, is how has this behavior become something we could even conceive of? How has a woman’s sexuality become something that can be taken without consent?” These are important questions but I thought that most people were well aware of why this is happening. Men (and women) have been taught to do this.

    I am a cradle Catholic who at 55 years of age has done in depth literary research of Catholicism, the Biblical text, etc. for the last 30 years. One of the things I love about life is that I run into ordinary people every day who tell me something I didn’t know about the religion of my ancestors and the scriptures used in the Catholic ritual of the mass.

    Women being treated like sexual property has been the unspoken law of the land since before writing was invented and obviously still holds weight in todays culture. The evidence runs through ancient literature from many cultures but since you favor the religious traditions that call Abraham “Father” I will point to a couple stories from the biblical text that when read closely should send chills up the readers spine.

    One is found in found in Genesis 19 that tells the story of Sodom and Gamorrah. Keep in mind that many of the stories in the Genesis narrative are recordings of stories that where passed down orally for over 800 years before the words were recorded. So the story of Lot / Sodom and Gamorrah are somewhere around 3500 years old. At verse 8, Lot offers his two daughters to a mob of violent rapist in place of his newly arrived male guest. The chilling part of this exchange is Lot’s immediate willingness to sacrifice his daughters in a tone of complete indifference. Treating women in this way is not even worth a mention from the scribe who recorded the story. I have not found any mention of the treatment of Lot’s daughters in this story until the 20th century AD. If you want a more contemporary version of this type of treatment by a father to his daughters just visit a porn website. Porn producers provide what sells. This scenario is what men or women want to see when they visit the site.

    Another similar story is seen in Judges 19, albeit told in more graphic detail. In this story we have another father who offers his virgin daughter to a lust hungry mob, but before the mob can react, a male guest who is staying at the father’s house with his “concubine” immediately “thrust” his concubine outside the house to the mob. She is gang raped to collapse and found the next morning unresponsive at the door step of the house where she was staying. Her owner/husband throws her unconscious body on a mule and they travel home. Upon arriving home, to convey his disgust at how -HE- was treated as a guest in that town; he dismembers her body into twelve pieces and sends the parts throughout the territory of Israel. Again, the author makes no mention of the plight of the women.

    The women who have come forward recently to expose this disease in our culture are brave to announce the moral outrage that was inflicted on them. I pray that each woman is able to regain peace within themselves and that every offender goes to jail. However, many of their stories seem quite tame compared to the stories that I here on a regular basis.

    I am a meditation instructor and you don’t offer private instruction to people without getting involved in some from of spiritual counseling. The abusive histories of child and adult assault and rape from both men and women often come to the fore. What follows is one such story. The story of “L”.

    L and I sat down at the kitchen table after a meditation and we began to talk about how past events can place mental obstacles in the mind preventing the clearing of the mind during meditation.As we talked she began to tell me of some of the anguish she faced growing up. Her mother was the secret mistress of a married man and L was her father’s hidden, unwanted child. Her father was a raging alcoholic who would vent his frustration through repeatedly beating and raping her mother. On many occasions before her 10th birthday she would go to the neighbors when her mother was being beaten and beg them to help. None would directly intervene for whatever reason. She would use the neighbors phone to call the police. The police came to the house many times but would always leave when her father told them that nothing was going on as they stared at her mother who stood in the background her head sunk, blood on her face, and blackened eyes. On some nights she would sit at the kitchen table during supper next to her mother. As an argument would erupt she would cover ears as her father would pull out a pistol and begin firing bullets into the wall behind them narrowly missing her mother’s head. When L’s father grew tired of her mother he would start in on L. As we worked through L’s past she relayed that her mother eventually shot her father do death.
    I have heard hundreds of stories of this severity in the past 20 years. Each has been carved into my mind and heart.

    1. This is the saddest story I’ve heard in a long time. I want to say God bless you in your job as you minister to these people, but I also want to say that I’ll pray for L and her situation, wherever she finds herself today. Thanks for your comment. hugs x

      1. Dear BBB, thanks for the response to my reply. L has found some sense of peace. What that means is these past violations do not imprison her mind and heart as they did before. Her psychic/spiritual wounds are healing. I never know how people are going to respond to some of the raw stories that emerge out of the counseling sessions. I am sorry if I offended. You have to spend time in the face of the suffering of others to make since of your own. I would guess that you already know that considering your battle with anorexia. I have a niece who went down the same path 15 years ago and survived. She now thrives.

        These horror stories are only apiece of a persons life. Many of these life stories are mixed with incredible incidence of hope and caring. Violence and abuse are embedded in our culture through past influences but, many (not all) people are working their way out of their crippling affects. Consider some of the stars that shined in the past and those that shine today that repudiate the notion that people have to succumb to anger,violence,judgement, and condemnation. To be clear, sexual harassment is another form of dominating, controlling, violence.

        One of my favorite stories of healing that includes on of my favorite stars is seen in the Gospel of John -Chapter 8, In this story Jesus turns the male dominating social attitude of the time period, and the violence and judgement that comes with it, on its head with one statement. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” These are powerful life giving words from a man who had suffered and strongly identified with the suffering women in the story. The words immediately placed everyone in the scene on a level playing field. The words removed any ability for the accusing men to attempt to continue to dominate and control the women in the story or the situation in general. When God gets involved things can turn around in an instant!

        These wounded women who are coming forward recently to share their stories of abuse and the outrage that has followed are a definitive indicators that most people in the world will no longer willing to tolerate this evil.

  41. Great post BBB! And truly, it’s a sad state of affairs. And especially sorry to hear you’ve been through such assaults!!

    I often wonder, though if pornography is playing a role in keeping even more pent-up sexual impulses concealed within the privacy of teenagers bedrooms rather than out on the streets where even more people could be damaged by it (similar to the argument about how violence has decreased as the use of violent video games has increased). I’m not really arguing in favor, just curious. But either way…. given the extensive traffic porn and violent entertainment is getting, it should at least give us pause to wonder what the hell is going on with our culture that has made these pent up desires so prevalent to begin with. Japan is even moving onto sex robots where at least nobody is getting harmed (other than their depleting and aging population which will ultimately lead to their extinction of course).

    1. Thank you Kamal. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this. Very scary state of things. Hugs and love xox

  42. Sorry to be away from reading blogs for soooooooo long… too many distractions and other commitments…

    As to this topic, I have had thoughts rambling around in my head for a month, but have avoided writing them partially because the complexity of the issue and my uncertainty of what tone to take. My wife & I have had long conversations during our commute about the historical progression of sexual activity which has lead up to the accusations going back 40 to 50 years (though sexual exploitation goes back thousands of years). And, we are fascinated about what has contribued to the current wave of public attention to the subject. One idea we heard discussed on NPR was how we use language to protect the perpetrator while emphasizing the woman (usually) as a victim… “She was raped, abused, etc.” rather than “ML/RM/DT/AF/et al abuse her”. As we move into the Advent season, when we should be venerating the miricle of birth of love, we do need to address the sin of selfishness. Isn’t that why Jesus had to come in human form? To teach us to be loving humans? – Oscar

    1. Thanks you so much for sharing your thoughts on this, Oscar. That’s really interesting and sad about the language. True. Hugs and love xox

  43. It’s scary actually where the world is heading. These days, every page on the newspaper is making me lose hope in humanity and I’m starting to fear the safety of our future generations. I still don’t understand how people could perform such barbarous acts with zero remorse.
    Your post is touching and true. The media really is partially responsible for promoting rape culture. I’m so sorry to hear about your experience. Its tough to forget but we shouldn’t let an incident diminish our strength and faith. You’re inspiring in all levels.

    1. It really is scary. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Shilpa. And thanks for your kind words. I am truly touched. Hope you’re having a nice week so far. Hugs and love xox

  44. Yes thats true sexual abuse is turning someone into a thing. I wonder when the paedophilia in the Catholic Church will finally be expunged and when Donald Trump will be brought before the courts for his flagrant use of women

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. sadly, there is abuse in the catholic church, and in the government and politics and really everywhere. It just makes me sad though, that the few isolated priest abusers — which don’t get me wrong, what they did was *horrible* and awful and sad and disgusting and wrong — but it makes me sad that those few men have literally tainted the reputation of the overwhelming majority of *good* men who have literally given up their lives and their ability to have a family, all to earnestly and totally serve God. It makes me sad. It’s the whole, “few bad apples spoiling the bunch” sort of thing. But all those people need our prayers. And obviously, so do the victims, and those who are keeping in their victimhood for fear or shame. it just is an all around tragic situation. Hugs and love xox

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