I like a good challenge. I really do. It keeps me feeling awake and alive. Last week, the insanely talented Marianne Morris challenged me to share my art journaling on Facebook for 5 days, I thought “No Big Deal! I share all the time.” But I decided to really step up and challenge myself: no picking and choosing my prettiest or coolest pieces. Just share what’s happening right now. No Big Deal.
So I shared my daily art journaling. For four days, I showed my day-to-day boringness and my works in progress that probably won’t ever get past some pretty awkward stages.
Then I got hung up on something. Emotionally. And I knew I had to journal about it. And then I had to share it. It came from this little blurb I read in TheSkimm January 29:
“Sexual assaults on college campuses. Again. Yesterday, a former Stanford University student and swimmer was charged with raping an unconscious woman. The attack allegedly occurred outside and on campus grounds earlier this month. Two bikers riding by reportedly saw what was happening, stopped the student – a 19-year-old male – and restrained him until police arrived. Meanwhile, in other news you wish didn’t exist, earlier this week two former Vanderbilt University football players were convicted of raping an unconscious woman in 2013. Even though the victim has no memory of the attack, Cory Batey and Brandon Vandenburg were convicted thanks to photos and video Vandenburg had on his phone. Two other suspects, also former football players at the school, are facing similar charges.”
I just kept thinking, “That’s not okay. That’s not okay.”
The horrific violation of sexually assaulting someone is NOT OKAY.
I’m not a great writer or researcher. I’m not well versed in the statistics that tell appalling numbers. But I will say, I have my own stories, my own horrible experiences. I wish they didn’t happen. But they did. And it wasn’t okay.
I won’t share the gory details here. No names. I will simply say, bad things happened to me. And to the thousands and thousands of people who have their own terrible memories of being sexually assaulted and/or raped, I am so sorry. If you want to have a conversation, we can; I will. Because secrets steal power and make nightmares and fester disease, depression, and horrible self-hatred. Talking empowers and heals.
It’s a Big Deal.
I can share my art journaling. I can stand up to the challenge. I can have the conversation. It’s a Big Deal.