Grief lasts a lifetime. It can be grief for your loss of innocence, your loss of trust in the world, your loss of self.
It has never been my intention to get political on this blog since it is about helping folks grieve in a healthy manner. But, the past few weeks the hullabaloo about Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford has stirred up a lot of grief for just about every woman I know. I truly believe that one in three women has been assaulted in some way or another and most of them sexually. I sat down one afternoon and jotted down 14 instances of sexual assault such as when I was groped while walking through the concourse at a Seahawks game minding my own business and some jerk grabbed my breast. I couldn’t even discern who it was since there were so many people. My earliest memory though was when I was six years old and my family first moved to Seattle. We were staying at a large hotel, and my brother didn’t wait for me so I got lost. I asked a man if he knew where my mother was and he scooped me up and put me on his shoulder like a pirate’s parrot. I remember how I didn’t like the feel of his hands and where they were. He started going in what I felt was the right direction but when he stopped and reached out for the doorknob to his room, I knew that I was in serious trouble. I screamed for my mother and he panicked choked me and threw me down in the hallway and ran into his room. That was the end of my innocence about the world. I couldn’t stand to have anyone touch my neck, or even wear scarves or turtleneck sweaters until I was in my thirties. My second earliest memory was being harassed in the classroom by a boy who would not leave me alone. He kept trying to kiss me. When I rejected him, he poured it on. I don’t know why the teacher didn’t notice because the other kids sure did and just like Dr. Ford, to this day, I can still hear their laughter. Now, some people would say, “Oh, he just liked you. And you were in the first grade.” Well, to me even at six, it was unwanted attention. I said, “No.” and he didn’t stop. That is sexual harassment. And his unwanted kisses was assault. When I was 14 years old I worked at a restaurant and a dirty old man patron grabbed my buttock while I was refilling his water glass. I poured the ice water in his lap. When I was in high school I had injured my ankle and was on crutches. An older student whom I didn’t even know grabbed my buttock and I instinctively whirled on him and hit him in the face with the top of my crutch. He was angry and accused me of not being able to take a “joke.” In my first year of college, I went to ask my Spanish professor a question. He tried to embrace and kiss me. I smacked him and pushed him away. He gave me a failing grade even though I had been hailed in class as his “star pupil”. I never reported it because I knew it was his word against mine. Then there was the lechy dentist who gassed me up and felt me up while he worked on my teeth because his tools were on my chest, the drunk friend who decided I needed him to teach me how to be a subservient woman by trying to rape me, the former boss whom I admired who offered me a job in another city and when I went to meet with him about it he knocked me off a stool and tried to rip my clothes off, and the other so-called friend who roofied me and did rape me while I was pretty much unconscious. It took me a while to even realize that I had been roofied. I didn’t report any of these assaults. These instances didn’t break me, maybe because the worst offenses occurred when I was an adult. They just made me angry and more wary of men. That anger all came roaring back with all the disbelief and threats and horrible treatment Dr. Ford suffered for trying to stop an unqualified jackhole from being shoved onto the bench of the highest court in our nation.
The women who made nasty comments about Dr. Ford are worse than the men. Obviously, they represent those who were lucky enough to have escaped the experience of sexual assault. But, why do they feel the need to throw shade on her? Are they feeling superior because it has never happened to them? It still could but they wouldn’t be innocent teenagers like she was at the time Kavanaugh assaulted her. People don’t report for many reasons. A teenager who felt as if she put herself in that position would feel as if it were her fault. 35 years ago and still today, women are held accountable when victimized–she shouldn’t have been there…look at the way she dresses…she has had sex with other guys…she was a tease…she can’t take a joke…he wasn’t serious…boys will be boys. Our silly faux president spewing hate and ‘boo-hooing’ about a war on men and how rough it is for boys. Puhleeze. If parents like him would teach their sons and daughters to respect one another we would not have such problems. The entitlement of the males and the disrespect of females has to stop. Kavanaugh should not have been confirmed. Purely politics as usual. So, I urge you to think long and hard about voting for those who ramrodded this whiny, entitled, crybaby, victim of a conspiracy in his mind, unqualified judge in as a Supreme Court justice. Especially since they refused to release his files which would have shown how unqualified he is for the position. Vote for those who care about our country, the environment, human rights, animals, and the planet.
As I have mentioned before, grief is different for each of us. It can be for any number of reasons or situations, not just a physical death. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others.