Tuesday, April 1, 2008

TRUE LOVE TUESDAY:NO MEANS NO! APRIL IS SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH

My Blog Brother Xavier Pierre, Jr. bka Alize is doing his best to raise the awareness of sexual abuse. He and I are survivors of sexual abuse. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Long before my sexual abuse was revealed to the press through my federal sentencing, I worked for Rape Crisis Services out of our local YWCA (now Sexual Assault Crisis Services). I was the Assistant Director for Direct Services. I trained and staffed the 24 hour hotline as well as provide support and advocacy--meaning I went to the hospital with women who were raped to have a rape kit done--yes they called it a rape kit for evidence. I have gone to court to support women who were testifying against their attackers and I would coordinate support groups for family and significant others. I started at Rape Crisis as a volunteer. My Sister Lo was actually working there part-time doing peer-to-peer training.

During my time there I divulged for the first time in my life the abuse that I endured as a child. My father raped me and then decided to sell me to people for money. This went on for about 2 years before it came out. In those days there was no family services to intervene, the police weren't called and no one thought it necessary to send me to a therapist. I was however taken to a Doctor who told my Mother that I was so damaged that it was unlikely that I would ever birth children--in those days Doctors did not intervene in child abuse cases, even if they suspected they did not report it---thank God for all the recent legislation regarding mandatory reporting. My family thought it best to never speak of it again. We went on as if nothing happened. Needless to say that this fucked me up pretty good and damned near cost me my life. I was so angry and so wounded and confused, that I drank heavily and I was promiscuous and I trusted no one and I wanted to die. My teen years were tough and My mother tried everything even threatening Boarding school. It wasn't until I was a grown woman that I began to deal with this. There is a whole series of events that propelled me to self development and reflection. I will say that it was my great intention to not have that time in my life haunt me for the rest of my life. I decided that I wanted a happy life and I wanted love in my life. I have that and the road was long and hard and I do not regret the high price I had to pay to stand in this space with love all around me. I am a mother and I was a loving wife, by design. And I am still in awe of the power of love to heal and to overcome. My Blogging Brother Xavier Pierre, Jr. says he is not a survivor but an OVERCOMER. I love that! I too am a OVERCOMER!

28 comments:

Xavier Pierre Jr. said...

You really should have warned me: crying at work is not a good look. But I kept it together. You and I need to talk.

866-230-5692

Peace and Love,

Alizé (LoversA.blogspot.com)

PS: April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). I am PASSIONATE about this issue and I’m determined to do my part to help educate as many people as possible. Please join me in spreading the word. Sexual violence must stop!

Xavier Pierre Jr. said...

Oh, and THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR STANDING WITH ME! :-)

Together we can do ANYTHING.

Lovebabz said...

Yes Xavier,

We indeed need to talk my friend. And I am so sorry I didn't give you a heads up! I just wanted to stand in solidarity with you sharing your stories--your personal story and those of others.

Together we can do anything!

Xavier Pierre Jr. said...

It's ok Love. While I did hold back tears, that statement was meant to be a bit tongue in cheek. I don't do speachless very well and your post just blew me away. I have instantly become your #1 fan.

Peace and Love

Alizé (LoversA.blogspot.com)

Don said...

My father raped me and then decided to sell me to people for money.

Wow.

I will send you an email.

Marcella Chester said...

Thank you for this post which shows how those who didn't get the help they needed can overcome and go on to provide that help to others.

the prisoner's wife said...

thanks for the info & beautiful post sis. thank you for sharing yourself so openly.

btw: april is also National Poetry month. mosey on over to my spot to share your fav poems & read some of mine.

bless.

The Bear Maiden said...

Which is why I've added you to my list... these things need to be said. Bullies exist in secret, and the more people talk the more we can banish the bullies who pray on the young and the small and the weak.

I know so many people... men and women, boys and girls who were abused. Way too many people. My upstairs neighbor sponsors a freind... now a roomate, who suffered abuse similar to your although she was also passed around her older brothers. The result was that she developed multiple personalities (and I've seen some of them... so I can assure you this is a real deal). She's in her 50's now, and is only NOW able to deal with some of these things. Its awful.

I will have to add my voice on this issue sometime during this month.

Oh, and I have already taught my Sun that "NO means NO"... and I reinforce that with every day decisions. So that he understands in the very basic sense, that no means no.

Lovebabz said...

Xavier,
I am your #1 FAN! You inspired Me!

Hey Don,
I am well, so not to worry and you owe me an email anyway!!!!! (LOL)

Marcella,
Thank you for encouraging me to post this at The Carnival Against Sexula Violence

Hey TPW,
Ohhh I am so excited---it's national poetry month...hmm I may have to post a few! I absolutely will swing over to you! And ofcourse I will pour over your poetry! I love the way you write!

Bear Maiden,
Crimes against children exist because they are easily threatened and often not heard. I know that I was extremely lucky. I know that God for whatever reasons allowed me to come through and allowed me to live a life that is more joyous than I could have imagined for myself. I am profoundly grateful that whatever scars I bear they have NOT deterred me from a joyous life.

CapCity said...

First off - I am too shocked to cry - not shocked by your experience (sadly too much of that goes on & too many suffer silently then EXPLODE) - but Sistah Love - u exude such cyber warmth it's heart-wrenching to know that a sistah as beautiful as u has had to endure such atrocities. God is INDEED a HEALER & U R an OVERCOMER!!

Now, Brother Zay - u know u gon' have a heap a women folk using that number - specially w/ the HOTNESS u write every OTHER month;-)...

Tony OH said...

Wow Love....Amazing testimony...Just know that you are truly blessed and expressing it is a point of healing...You are truly a Queen.

Lovebabz said...

Capcity,
I know! I am baffled that Xavier put his number out there like that! I refuse to be responsible for all the booty calls he IS going to get!

Hey Tony OH,
I have long since been healed over this episode in my life. I am so not the child that experienced this atrocity. All I can do now is hold that time with reverence and respect and honor. It has truly been apart of my personal development. I could not love the way I do, I suspect, if I did not have that experience. I happily accept the title of Queen!

Xavier Pierre Jr. said...

@Marcella: I agree with you. LoveBabz is a living beacon, showing that no matter what, there is always hope!

@TP Wife: Yes, April is indeed poetry month. Last year I proclaimed both on my blog. This year, I want to focus exclusively on Sexual Assault Awareness, but I will definitely crash your party and invite myself over to your post to read and share poetry. I have not been over there in way too long :-)

@Bear Maiden: True cases of multiple personality disorder are extremely rare, however I an incredible woman who as a result of abuse developed multiples and I was absolutely humbled and honored to sponsor her and help her personalities “merge”. She is today one of my closest friends and well on her way to living a happy, joyous life. What you are doing with your Sun is the single greatest contribution you can make to this cause. I salute you!

@LoveBabz: I inspired YOU!?!?!?!? You will have to explain that one to me some day. You said to Tony, “All I can do now is hold that time with reverence and respect and honor. It has truly been apart of my personal development. I could not love the way I do, I suspect, if I did not have that experience”. I know exactly where you are coming from.

@Cap: The amazing thing about my toll-free number is that I’ve had it for many years and not a single person has ever abused it. I make myself available 24/7 to anyone in need. God makes sure the load never gets to be more than I can handle :-)

Peace and Love,

Alizé (LoversA.blogspot.com)

Lovebabz said...

Xavier
Yes indeed you inspire me. You make no bones about championing a cause that is deemed a women's issue. Not only that but you share with us your own abuse. That is very gutsy my friend. A Black Man shaing his abuse! WOW! I am not skiddish about my abuse. I have spent a great dela of time and travel talking in gerat detail about what happened to me. I am not overwhelmed by it. It is an experience, it is not the sume total of my life. Yep years and years of self analysis and soing the work I need to do to move me forward. You have to fight for love and you have to be willing to break in order to heal. Once I surrendered to the experience and realized there was nothing I could do as a child to stop it, then the real healing began. As an adult I could could choose to be anything I wanted. I could have the life of my dreams, so I set out to do just that!

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

Like i told xavier. u as well as he should be aplauded. this is no fly by night topic. wish more men would respond and admit they never get to the point of rape

Lovebabz said...

Thank you Torrance,
It is not an easy subject to discuss. There is still this ugliness that traps people into silence. It is that notion that allows this crime to be so prevelant and invasive. Children don't tell. They are afraid and they are intimidated...easily.

The Artist In Me said...

I read this blog last night before I went to bed, but I was too tired to blog. But as I was awaken by the kiss of my Heavenly Fathers grace, this song resonated within my soul and I knew it was for you, xavier and all those that have been abused...sexually or otherwise.

Inside my head there lives a dream that I want to see in the sun
Behind my eyes there lives a me that I've been hiding for much too long
'Cause I've been, too afraid to let it show
'Cause I'm scared of the judgment that may follow
Always putting off my living for tomorrow
It's time to step out on faith, I've gotta show my faith
It's been illusive for so long, but freedom is mine today
I've gotta step out on faith, It's time to show my faith
Procrastination had me down but look what I have found, I found

Strength, courage, and wisdom
And it's been inside of me all along,
Strength, courage, and wisdom
Inside of me

I close my eyes and I think of all the things that I want to see
'Cause I know, now that I've opened up my heart I know that
Anything I want can be, so let it be, so let it be:

Strength, courage, and wisdom
It's been inside of me all along,
Strength, courage, wisdom
It's been inside of me all along, everyday I'm praying for:

found it in me, I found it finally
I'm sure to keep it' cause I like it, I say thank you

Be blessed and continue to encourage those that don't feel like they have a voice as of yet!

The Artist In Me said...

That's India Arie by the way! :)

Lovebabz said...

Dear Artist,

You truly have an artists soul! Thank you for thinking of me fo rthis song! It is so what I needed to read and pay attention to!

K.O. Johnson said...

I find myself at your post, just hours from being totally immersed in the book (& DVD) offering from Louise L. Hay entitled, You Can Heal Your Life.

I haven't officially been missing, but rather a self-imposed exile. I've been experiencing much, but seem unable to capture the gist of my feelings in writing. As one of my former girlfriends regularly lamented, "what's with all this feeling stuff? Why does everything have to be about feelings?"

I bring this up because I am a feeling person, and rely heavily on feelings and intuition.

I bring this up because as I've told you before, and I'll repeat it here out loud for all the world to bear witness:

I HAVE A FEELING ABOUT YOU LOVEBABZ.

Your love of life, love, words and healing are more than your passion. I sense a greater mission, and it's clear here in the land of blog that you're willing to offer the world a bit of you so that others might dare believe that they, too, can be healed. Imagine that? By all means LoveBabz, I need you to do just that... Imagine that!

I am sooo looking forward to working with you in the very near future.

CapCity said...

K.O. Johnson! U have officially been deemed my First Blog-Crush! A feeling Man with a cute smile;-)!! LOL!

Lovebabz said...

Hello K.O. Johnson!
I am way too moved to even comment on your post. You take my breath away. I will say, that I too am highly intuitve and very much a feelings person.

Capcity---ahh am I going to add matchmaker to my blog! That K.O. Johnson has me swooning too!

Sharon said...

Twin you leave me as close to speechless as I've ever been before.

As a person who pays attention not only to what happens to me in this world but also the patterns according to which the things that happen to me occur, I am currently intrigued by the fact that I was given the gifts of you (my twin sister) and my twin brother (Xavier) at almost the same moment in time. You two leave me astonished everytime we interface b/c of the amazing sameness of spirit we all share even as the differences of experience couldn't be further apart. What is there to say to you other than this, "I LOVE YOU!"...you too Zay!

@Capcity & Lovebabz: Okay now, the both of you need to
STEP AWAY FROM THAT JOHNSON BOY!
You see ladies, I am the original crusher when it comes to this rare and precious GEM! In this post (http://justwritenow.blogspot.com/2006/02/bamboozledhoodwinkedtagged.html) waaaaaaaay back in February 2006 I said about him:
"That Johnson Boy Said What?: I just found my way to this site a week or so ago and was immediately hooked. Thankfully he hasn't been up for very long because my OCD [obsessive compulsive disorder...yeah, another disorder I'm owning up to] kicked in, and I felt compelled to read every post he has written to date. I'm telling y'all, the brotha's got a gift and boy am I glad he chooses to use it! (He ain't using this gift as often as I wish he would, maybe I'ma havta jump on his head like the triple threat mentioned above did me to get his post consistency up!)"
and later that year in answer to this question "7. Which blogger would you most like to cuddle with on the beach? (and don't defer to your current signif other either. Infidelity won't count against you. Duh.) posed to me in a tag, in this post (http://justwritenow.blogspot.com/2006/06/sick-in-atlanta-with-nothing-else-to.html) I answered:
"I don't know exactly how cuddly he might be, but my brain could most certainly cuddle up with the beautiful prose that springs from the brain of That Johnson Boy...."
So once again I say to the both of you and anyone else out there trying to move in on my virtual turf:
"STEP AWAY FROM THAT JOHNSON BOY DAMMIT!!!"

;b

Lovebabz said...

Sharon,

You are outrageous! Thank you for your kind and supporting words. I absolutely LOVE YOU TOO!

I am not sure Capcity will give up her crush! I am absoultely stepping back...I am adminring from afar! But you gotta love the view of That Johnson Boy!

dejanae said...

Overcomer u r
maaaaaan
i dont even know what to say
there really are no words
thnx 4 sharing
you've got a beautiful spirit

Lovebabz said...

Hey Dejanae,

Thank you for your kind thoughts. It does tend to leave folks a bit speechless. But know that it happened a long time ago and I stand as a fully grown woman not so haunted by the abuse.

CapCity said...

Hey Love - Sharon gotta catch me first! LOL! I know that was so mean/taking complete advantage of my temporarily "lame" Sistah! Only U two could ack up in the comment area of such a serious blog-post. HUGZ!

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

You've overcome so much in your life, from the mistakes of others to your own. That's extremely empowering, and inspirational to others who have a ways to go. Keep on keeping on, sistah.