Do You Listen With Your Head? Heart? or Soul?

I find myself sometimes trapped in my thoughts, my insecurities, my fears, and yes even my dreams. It’s easy to get lost in thought. This week I discovered that we don’t always think with our heads or our hearts. This week I discovered, I sometimes think with my soul. I get that it sounds crazy, but let me explain.

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I belong to an advocacy group called Don’t Be Silent on Facebook. An article was posted by a member about Bob Jones University and its dealings with rape victims. You can read the article in its entirety here. This article cut me to my core. How could I let words affect and hurt me the way these words did? It was just an article. Right?

I spent years believing what I went through, what happened to me was my fault, and I punished myself. I cut myself, I attempted suicide, I was hospitalized for eating disorders. I hurt myself in every way I possibly could, because I was bad and I needed to be punished. It was my fault that all of this happened to me not once but multiple times. What did I do in my life to deserve this? Was I freaking Andrew Jackson in a past life? (sarcasm) but seriously why was all of this happening?

I was a child when it first happened. I was called a whore and a slut. What child is a whore or a slut? Big girls don’t cry; good girls do what they are told. Those words haunt me till this day.

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As a young woman it happened again, more than once. I was a runaway. I was homeless. Does that give me fewer rights? Being homeless does that cause me to give up the right to say no, the right to not be drugged and raped? Having large breasts, was that an open invitation to rape me, was it what I was wearing? In reality it didn’t matter, I was a throwaway, no one cared. I could disappear and no one would have missed me. Sometimes I wonder why I wasn’t killed, left for dead. Why did I live through all of this and what was the purpose of it? I often questioned, is there a God and if there is why would he allow this to happen to me over and over? What kind of horrible person was I, that God didn’t even care about me? I believed with all of my heart that I deserved it. I won’t go into details because I have discussed it in past blogs. You can read those blogs Surviving Attempted Suicide and Surviving Life on The Streets by clicking the titles.

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It took years for my head to believe that it wasn’t my fault. Then I read this article, and these words. It was as if someone took a knife and cut out a piece of my soul. Now in my head I know they’re just words and the views of a few religious zealots. Even knowing this in my head, the following quotes threw me down into a tail spin, spiraling into a darker and darker cavern in my soul. I was able to pull myself out of it, but it wasn’t easy. Read below these quotes:

According to Landry, Berg asked whether she’d been drinking or smoking pot and if she had been “impure.” He then brought up her “root sin.”

“He goes, ‘Well, there’s always a sin under other sin. There’s a root sin,’” Landry explained. “And he said, ‘We have to find the sin in your life that caused your rape.’

So what BJU is saying is that what happened to me and millions of other men and women throughout the world is due to our own root sin? It’s our fault. What sin could I have possibly had as a child? OK I was ornery. I was kicked out of public school in the second grade. According to them my acting out as a child, which was a result of other abuse in my home, was the reason I was sexually assaulted? Now my head said, “Hell no!” My heart said, “You just wanted someone to love you. You were looking to be loved. It’s your fault because you made yourself so unlovable this was the only way you could be loved.” My soul said, “See all along they were right. You are a slut. You are a whore. You brought this on yourself. You are a really bad person. You are ugly. You are worthless. You are nothing but a tramp. You will never amount anything. You will never be successful.” Over and over again those words that were branded into my soul so many years ago came rolling up and out like a volcanic eruption slashing, and shredding my soul.

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It wasn’t my fault. I will forever be changed by what happened to me. I will never have my innocence back. I will always be broken, but I am beautiful; I am smart; I am talented; I am kind, I am outspoken; I am strong; I am confident. I am proud of the woman I have become. No one will ever take that from me, and I will do everything in my power to never allow the words of another person’s views to enter my soul and cause that kind of pain again. Do I want to live with walls around my soul? No, but I don’t ever want to feel that pain again, or relive those horrific events from my life.

Blaming the victim is something that our society has always done. What did she wear? Was she drinking? Was she on drugs? Was she flirting with him? It’s not rape, they’re married, they’re dating, and she invited him in. Come on, you know she wanted it; he was the captain of the football team. You get the idea. We have all heard it and seen it. It is time to stop blaming the victims.

BJU’s policies and views are absurd and archaic when it comes to dealing with rape. Why I allowed this to ruin my day, I’m not sure. Perhaps it was a place I needed to revisit; perhaps it was to trigger a blog I needed to write. Perhaps somehow my words will touch or help another soul who is broken as well.

For now it is in the past, it is buried back in my soul and locked away behind the walls I have rebuilt.

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If you are on Facebook please consider joining Don’t Be Silent.

Follow me on Twitter or Facebook and hit me up, I always answer back.

I also have a book out called Silence; it’s available at all online bookstores. Here is the link to it at Amazon.

Also in the next few weeks I’ll have a second book out! Keep your eyes open for Deception. If you read Silence and liked it, you will need a seatbelt for the sequel.

The 100 Question Challenge (It’s harder then it looks!)

Ok I am taking the 100 things about me challenge! You should too! It’s fun to learn about each other. I’ve done this before, and my answers have changed. I guess that means I am growing up! (Hang on while I wipe a tear from my eye) Anyway you can learn a lot about yourself as well when you do this. So this week’s blog entry isn’t too heavy, and yes maybe I still am avoiding the blog on my mom that everyone keeps asking me about. 🙂 Read on, learn about me, take the challenge, answer the questions. Maybe we share something in common?

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1) Top 5 favorite albums: Beatles -Sergeant Peppers, Eagles – Hotel California, Toby Keith –Pull My Chain, Prince – Purple Rain, and Beatles-White Album

2) What was the last song you listened to? Miranda Lambert – Mama’s Broken Heart ( I was also dancing around the room to it! Yes! I do still lip sing into my hair brush)

3) How old are you? I’m 45 but I will be turning 39 again on the 9th (wink)

4) What do you find sexy about the opposite sex? Jaw lines mmmm I am all about a jaw line. I don’t like facial hair on a man that covers their jawline. I also love a man that’s passionate, and has a drive to make the world a better place; that is a total turn on.

5) What are you afraid of? I’m fearless, well unless something involves a spider, a caterpillar, or a cow. If I see any of those things, I will scream, run in place and most likely cry. LOL

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6) What is your favorite TV show? Oh that one is easy The Blacklist!

7) Name three places you want to go before your die. I have always wanted to see the Black Hills, I have known I wanted to go since I was a little kid and saw pictures from a friend’s vacation; I also want to see Ireland. My grandmother’s eyes would light up when she talked about it, and a third place hmmm, does a cruise count? I have never been on one. I wouldn’t care where it went. I want to go on one before I die.

8) Where is the prettiest place you have ever been to? That would be Fall Creek Falls in Spencer, TN. I dream about going back there by myself for a writers retreat and to hike. It is so beautiful there.

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9) Do you have a favorite flower? If so what is it? I love tiger lilies they’re unique and exotic. I also love yellow roses. They bring back happy memories of my mother and I. Together we did my bedroom in yellow roses when I was 5. She was a great artist.

10) How tall are you? I am 5’8. If I am wearing my favorite shoes I am 6’1 🙂

11) What is your favorite drink with alcohol? I rarely drink alcohol. Honest! I talk about it and joke about it on the radio, but it is rare to see me drink. If I am having an alcohol related drink it usually involves tequila, I do like margaritas. I also like Sangria, but oddly I am not a wine drinker. I am happy with sparkling water and a lime when I am out.

12) Someone just called you up and wants to take you out to dinner, where do you want to go? I am not a girly girl that likes to play dress up. Sometimes it’s ok, but I’d rather be in my shorts and a t-shirt so I am going to say Tijuana Flatts or the Avenue, BOTH are my absolute favorite places here in Saint Pete.

13) Top 5 movies? Only 5 Arghhhh Ok Im a Gemini so my tastes in movies change. I love action movies, comedies, and dramas. Ok hmm as of this second (See what I mean) MY top 5 movies are Moonstruck, The Notebook, Conair, any Die Hard, and I loved this Indie film I saw like a month ago, Sugar. I pick that one for personal reasons.

14) What is your favorite vegetable? Cauliflower! I love cauliflower.

15) What is one movie the rest of the world has seen but you have never seen? ONE? There are many of those! Can you believe I have never seen any of the Star Wars or Harry Potters? I also have never seen that movie where Tom Cruise screams Show me the Money. I don’t know what it’s called, but I know when my friends bring it up they are all shocked I haven’t seen it. Maybe I need a weekend alone with popcorn and a dvd player to get caught up! Anyone want to join me?

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16) Who do people say you look like? I am always being told I look like Stockard Channing. There is a photo of Stockard Channing on top and one of me with bed head on the bottom of this. Do you see a resemblance?

17) Do you believe in Aliens? Yes I do, who am I to say we are the only ones in the universe.

18) Do you believe in ghosts? Yes, and I believe I have seen of few of them too.

19) What is the one food that you would blow your diet for? Chicago Dogs or Lemon Meringue Pie. Ohhh or Chicago Dogs WITH Lemon Meringue Pie Uh oh? Am I pregnant again?

20) Where have you been that you never want to go back to? New Jersey. I have too many bad memories left in that state. I love most of the people in New Jersey, there are just so many bad memories there for me. Maybe I should go back and try to make new ones?

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21) Do you believe in Karma? Yes, I have to believe in Karma. I am waiting for it to come around.

22) Do you have a favorite football team? The Buccaneers

23) Baseball team? The Phillies

24) Hockey team? The Flyers

25) Basketball team? Don’t kill me I don’t, but when I was 9 I was in the 76ers fan club!

26) Did you play sports growing up? Yes! Hahaha that is funny because I played basketball when I was younger. I was always the center. I was this tall on my 11th birthday.

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27) Who were you in high school? Hmm I was in the marching band, on the color guards flag team; I was in most of the school plays, choir, the school newspaper, and tons of different clubs and service organizations. I was voted Most Unforgettable when I graduated, but I think that had more to do with my bra size and the fact that I drove my driver’s ed car over the curb and almost on to the football field. I didn’t know if you took your foot off the gas it kept moving, and I panicked when it went over the curb and I hit the accelerator instead of the break…. Ooops LOL That is a picture of me from high school just above this.

28) Did you go to college? What did you study? I studied Theater at WIU, later in life went back to school and enrolled in a pre-law program, but switched to education.

29) Have you ever been arrested? NO! The nearest I came was during an up close and personal search by TSA a few years back. My flight had been cancelled the night prior, and I had to sleep in the airport, then I was told I was flagged for a random check or something. This large woman with a blue glove pulled me aside. She had no sense of humor, really large hands, with fat fingers, and didn’t even offer to buy me dinner first.

30) Tell me about your dream house? My dream house would make most people laugh. I don’t want the big mansion, the penthouse, any of that. My dream house would be in the woods. Have you ever heard of an Earth Ship? It would be like that. Something that is completely off the grid and sustainable. I’d want land for the kids to run on and to be able to grow food. Yeah honest, I’m not a hippie. I just don’t want to have to depend on anyone for the safety or well being of my children.

31) Do you want children? I have children. I have 5 children: 22, 19, 15, 10, and 5. I’ve had 10 pregnancies, 5 resulted in miscarriages. I love being a mom, and I think I am a pretty good one. In all honesty if I could have more children, I would. I almost died delivering my last 2 children. During the last delivery I had an emergency C-section. I had the doctor close up shop.

32) Who is your favorite comedian? Tim Hawkins, but he might be tied with the 1491’s right now.

33) What is your favorite color? Turquoise blue

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34) What color are your eyes? They are the color of blue jeans, but when I cry they turn turquoise.

35) When is your birthday? June 9th

36) Tell me something about your childhood not many people know. I couldn’t keep my panties on. HA HA sadly that carried into my adulthood. Did I mention the number of kids I have? In all seriousness I was kind of a tom boy and my mom would put me in ruffly lace panties and dresses and I would ditch the itchy underwear in the bushes on the way to school. Then my kindergarten teacher would have us sit on the big rug “Indian style” (Do you remember it being called that?) anyway I was the uncoordinated child that could NOT sit that way, so I would sit spread eagle and cause a whole new problem. Yeah, I spent a lot of time in the principal’s office. I was kicked out of the public school system in the 2nd grade. Who would have thought that?

37) What did you want to be when you were 9? A nun. LOL Seriously I wanted to be the pantiless nun! I had been sent to Catholic school after being kicked out of public school.

38) Favorite writers? Tony Hillerman, Agatha Christie, and Shannon Drake/Heather Graham’s works are my absolute favorites.

39) Have you ever waited by the phone trying to will it to ring or send a text? Yeah! LOL who hasn’t done that? I am staring at the phone right now…. “Come on, beep, you can do it…beep” What’s really scary is when you stare at it like that and try to will it to beep and it really does from the person you wanted to talk too. That’s creepy. Come on you know you want to text me right now. Ommmmmmmmmm Seriously text me! LOL

40) Do you like to slow dance? I dance alone in my house all the time or with my kids, but slow dancing? I haven’t slow danced with anyone in over 20 years. Not sure if I would know how. I am sure that it would be a fumbling mess.

41) Do you have a favorite actor? Yes, I have a few. I like Gerard Butler, Bruce Willis, Adam Beach, James Spader (he’s deliciously evil), Wes Studi and I am sure there are many others.

42) Favorite actresses? I love Cher’s acting. I wish she did more. I also like Rachael Mc Adams, Tina Fey, and Emma Stone, again I know I am forgetting some.

43) What brings you joy? My children’s laughter brings me joy!

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44) Can you cook? If so what do people ask you to make? I guess you mean at potlucks and stuff, or what my kids ask for. I make a killer homemade( from scratch) mac and cheese, I also get requests for my sausage and peppers, and I make some traditional Irish dishes that I get rave reviews on like Colcannon and of course Cornbeef.

45) Some people are picky, is there anything you won’t eat? I am sure there is, but I’m always polite. I stay away from almost all seafood, because I have a shellfish allergy that is deadly. I just don’t ever want to take a chance, and because I have had some bad reactions, I actually have a diversion to the taste of any kind of seafood.

46) Do you have any tattoos? No I don’t. I have toyed with the idea of getting a Celtic warrior knot, but I want to earn it. When I feel like I have, I might actually get it.

47) Do you have any scars? Yes, too many to list

48) Do you cry? Yes, I cry often, but I try to never cry in front of those I love. I’ll do it alone in bed or alone in the shower.

49) What is the best part of waking up? Morning sex, duh

50) Name 1 song that would be on the soundtrack of your life? Mellissa Ethridge’s version of Don’t Have to Live Like Refuge http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KONLrSI2_Y0

51) Do you have a favorite indoor activity? Yes! See question 49, it doesn’t have to be in the morning. Hahaha

52) Do you have any favorite outdoor activities? I love the beach! I also love hiking and going for walks exploring new places.

53) Name three things people compliment you on. My eyes, my sense of humor, and my laugh.

54) Describe your perfect date? Snuggling on a sofa and watching a movie with take out.

55) If you could meet anyone living or dead who would it be? Maya Angelou, her writing was inspiring and empowering to me.

56) If you could have any question answered other than what is the meaning of life; what question would you ask? Hmmmm, What does it feel like to be completely and unconditionally loved?

57) What was the first cd/album you bought? ACDC the one with Big Balls and Blondie the one with Call Me. I bought them both on my 11th birthday!

58) Do you have any pets? Yes! I have 2 dogs both Great Pyrenees mixes, 2 cats and a chinchilla. What’s a Chinchilla? Here is a picture 🙂

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59) At what age did you become an adult? Bahahaha anyone who knows me, knows I am still not an adult!

60) Do you like roller coasters? I use to. I like amusement parks. I love going and watching my kids have fun. I enjoy that, and I enjoy log flumes. I like getting wet. Hmm that didn’t sound right did it?

61) What was the last nightmare you had? OMG about a month maybe 2 months ago I had one over and over for like a week straight. I felt like I was being choked and couldn’t breathe. I was struggling, my heart was racing and I was in a total panic. Then suddenly I could breathe and I was sucked like through a vacuum onto a fence where I was watching a horse struggle to be tamed by some man I couldn’t make out. I know that doesn’t sound like a night mare but it was scary. I think I was the horse.

62) If you could go to any concert this summer, which one would you go to? I would love to go to see Toby Keith again. One of the best concerts ever!

63) Have you ever left the country? I went to Canada once. LOL Does that count?

64) Do you look like your parents? Yes! I look EXACTLY like my dad and I am identical to my mom! No they are not related hahahah Right below is a picture of the two of them together.

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65) What is to the right of you? A box of Ocean Spray Craisins.

66) What is to the left of you? My headphones and a diet Pepsi

67) Are you an introvert or an extrovert? When I first meet people I am very shy. I come across quiet and maybe even stuck up; however, when I get comfortable, you can’t shut me up, I’m loud, I laugh obnoxiously, and try to make everything fun. That can be annoying, just ask my close friends.

68) Favorite candy bar? I LOVE white chocolate anything covered in white chocolate!

69) What is one thing a woman should never do? A woman should never, ever spit! Never EVER

70) What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you? Believed in me, even when I couldn’t believe in myself.

71) What is your favorite salad dressing? When I am at home, I use salsa (I know weird) at a restaurant I use ranch.

72) What one thing annoys you most at a restaurant? People who talk on their cell phones. Come one doesn’t that bug you too?

73) What is your favorite movie line or scene? OK it’s so unromantic but I have always wanted to hear a man say it to me LOL “Now I want you to come upstairs with me and GET in my bed!”

74) Do you ever do random acts of kindness? Yes, when I have extra money. I buy $5 gift cards and hand them out to people. Here in Saint Pete it’s against the law to feed the homeless but a $5 gift card to a local fast food place is allowed. When I lived in Nashville, my children and I would buy those premade salads at the grocery store and give those out on our way home from grocery shopping. I know what its like to be on the streets and be hungry. We are all given the chance to be someones angel we just have to see the opportunity and seize it.

75) What are your nicknames and what do you prefer to be called? Well Mercedes is a “stage” name, but everyone calls me Mercy (Even though that is not my real name). If someone calls the house and uses my real name, I know it’s a bill collector. LOL I don’t give my real full name out unless I feel 100% safe in doing so. I have had some dangerous experiences in the past, even this week I had someone make an indirect threat to my five year old son. That is inexcusable and unforgivable. If you have an issue with me, or something I say it should be taken up with me. You do not hide behind the internet and threaten my child. Trust me I am a mama bear.

76) What is your strongest sense? That would be my 6th sense. I am very strong at reading people, the older I get the better I get. It is easier when they are in front of me. Sounds crazy I know. 🙂

77) Are you high maintenance? Me? No! I am lucky if I get to a beauty parlor once a year. I think I have had 5 professional haircuts in the last 22 years. Nope 6 and I know that for a fact! I’d love to have manicures or pedicures, but I can’t see spending the money on it, when my children are in need of something. I think I have spent a total of $50 dollars at Goodwill for clothes on myself in the last 2 years. I don’t think I qualify as high maintenance.

78) What do you think about more than anything else? Safety and freedom for myself and others.

79) What position do you sleep in? I sleep curled up on my left side, on the left side of the bed.

80) If you could eliminate one weakness or limitation in your life what would it be? Insecurity

81) What is your favorite smell? Lilacs and Lavender

82) What do you consider unforgivable? Lying. I can handle the truth, no matter what it is as long as it is the truth. When someone repeatedly lies to me and I find out, it breaks my trust. I have serious issues with trusting people. Once that is gone, it is gone.

83) Do you sing in the shower? Yes, but never in tune or on key. LOL

84) What is an important lesson you would pass on to your children? I want my children to know that the world is a bigger place than just the circles they run in. I want my children to understand and give back to their communities as they grow into adult hood. I already have them volunteer and do service projects. Last year my son Andrew collected new and like new clothing from his friends and family. He had 9 lawn and leaf bags full and he brought it to Clothes to Kids. An organization in the area that provides children with two new wardrobes of clothes a year. My children have had to participate in this program in the past as clients. It was nice to be able to give back.

85) Would you rather have the power of invisibility or flight? Flight, flight would be cool!

86) Boxers or Briefs? Hahaha I am a woman so I am going to assume you mean on my man. LOL Boxer Briefs are sexy.

87) What song will be played at your funeral? No lie I want them to play Last Good Time By Flynnville Train when I am lowered into the ground, anyone who knows me knows that song is PERFECT. Also I was in that video LOL 100% serious!

88) What’s your favorite cheese? Cheddar

89) Are you religious? I am Catholic, but I do not go to church every Sunday.

90) Backpacking/tent or luxury hotel? Backpacking/tent

91) Do you make your bed every day? Sadly no I don’t. (hanging my head in shame)

92) Do you have any addictions? Yes, my first grown up job was being a store manager for Fredericks of Hollywood. It was there I developed an addiction for sexy lingerie and corsets. Sadly, I cannot afford the addiction any longer. LOL

93) What is something you secretly have always wanted to do, but never had the courage to do? OK this is embarrassing but if we are going for honesty, I have always wanted to make love outside in the woods in the rain.

94) Your favorite spot to be kissed? On my neck between my ear and my shoulder, who doesn’t like to be kissed there?

95) KFC or McDonalds? If I wasn’t on a diet KFC! I love their mash potatoes! (Not allowed on my diet)

96) Do you ever talk to your pets or animals as if they are human? Yeah all the time. My dog Teddy is the BEST listener I have ever known. Goldie gives great hugs, and Teddy he refuses to let anyone be sad or cry.

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97) Would you love to visit Hawaii or Alaska and why? Ughhh that’s hard I want to see both places! OK I can only pick one? Hawaii! I have friends that live there that I would love to see.

98) Describe yourself in 3 words. I am strong. I am a fighter. I am blessed.

99) Ask 6 friends to describe you in 3 words. OK I hit facebook and asked 6 of my friends that were online so here goes: Johnnie: (M, Kooky, Amazeballs) Charles: (Courage, Sincere, Loyal) James: (Beautiful, Inspiring, Compassionate) Bobbie (Sedulous, Survivor, Passionate) Caitlin (Empowering, Compassionate, Survivor) Barbi (Mother to all)

100) Did you learn anything about yourself? Yes, I actually did.

Don’t Be Silent

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There has been a lot of talk about the hashtag YesAllWomen. When it began to trend, one of my dearest friends and confidants, Simon, sent me a message. He thought I might be interested in following or participating in the twitterstorm that had begun drawing attention to many of the women’s issues that I speak out and up for.

Now I have been very open on my blogs with my past and some of the events in my life, but I have never disclosed everything, and in all honesty, I am not sure if I will ever be “strong” enough to disclose everything.

That Saturday and Sunday on twitter I along with thousands of other women, opened my heart and soul. It was my hope that if I could touch one other person and in doing so help the course of their life, it was all worth it.

I think I use this mentality to deal with my past. I need to see the horrors as an important tool, or a gift given to me to help another. One thing for sure is, I have learned empathy and compassion. I have learned strength and endurance. I can endure anything. I can take on anything. I always come out on top. I know I will be successful.

Every time I participate in a twitterstorm like this, I feel as if I am ripping a scab and bleeding all over again. People will say to me you are so strong. I laugh, they don’t really know me do they? Yes, I know I am a strong woman, but yes, I know I am a broken one. Yet I live on, I fight, I speak, I yell, I scream; I will be heard whether broken or not, I will be victorious.

I struggle with the thought who wants to be with or work with broken merchandise? I start to cry a little when I think of that. I am valuable even if I am broken; my light still shines. My heart still beats; my voice is resilient and unwavering. My voice can and will change the world for the better. My voice will be heard.

Now many people tried to shut me up during this twitterstorm. At first I was taken aback. Who threatens to rape a woman who is talking about the horrors of experiencing rape? What kind of man does that or has the audacity to ask a woman “Did you orgasm when you were raped and if you did was the rape all that bad?” Imagine my horror when those messages came in. I shouldn’t have been surprised. I have been asked that question multiple times before. Questions like, “What were you wearing? He was your friend, so did you lead him on? Are you a tease? Maybe you deserved it.”

The truth of the matter is no man or woman deserves to be raped. If a person says no, it means NO. Anything other than the word yes means NO, maybe means NO. I don’t know means NO. I am not sure, means NO. It does not mean try harder. It does not mean yes. While I am on the subject women have the right to walk where they want and wear what they want without having to live in fear of rape.

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I had multiple friends receive death threats for posting in this twitterstorm. One of my best girlfriends is an editor for two different native magazines here in the US. Her cell phone number is on her twitterpage. Can you believe people called her and left her death threats on her cell phone? One man went as far as to threaten to “scalp” her. All of this because women stood up for one weekend and spoke up. We demanded to be heard. We joined together and talked about our experiences and our fears. Why did some men become so threatened?

Now not everything from this storm was negative. I learned I have a lot of male friends that not only support me and other women, these men are willing to be a platform and a voice to ensure the safety of their friends, sisters, mothers and daughters. I am proud to call those men friends.

I received messages over the last few days both public and private from women who stood up and left an abusive situation. I have received letters from women who were ready to kill themselves because of the shame they were carrying and and/or the fear that they were living in. Last night one woman posted on my twitter timeline that she had gone 4 straight days for the first time in many years without being beaten. She finally had a desire to live and not die. She got out. She found freedom. She found her light.

I ask you reading this to do me a favor, and be the one holding the match, to create a spark, and help another woman find their light. Speak up no matter who you are. Let your voice be heard. Don’t Be Silent.

I have a book available at Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, as well as Books A Million called Silence. Please consider taking a look at it. You can read the reviews here at my website.

A second book, titled, Deception has a tentative release date of July 1st.

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.