#METOO Movement Hits Home…

… Finally been able to forgive myself.

October 4, 2018, The Today Show was covering the lastest #METOO revelation – it was Connie Chung’s voice. Chung reading a letter she’d written to the media about her rape. Her words, voice resonated with me as I woke. It was like a lightning bolt, remembering an incident long-forgotten – or not.

This was my post on Facebook October 4, 2018:  

#METOO Assaulted X2 – remember exactly where I was and what I was wearing. DO NOT remember dates. The first time, I told someone (female) the same night – crickets – didn’t tell the second time. Wonder Why?

1968 – Leaving home for college was exciting.  Naive, a ‘good girl’ and rule follower, didn’t have a clue about the ‘real world’…so when someone I barely knew trapped me in a car, shocked. He only stopped when someone began approaching the vehicle.  

When I told two others what happened a few hours later, they said NOTHING. Still, remember how awkward and embarrassed that I ‘told.’ Looking back I don’t think they knew what to do any more than I did. BUT NOTHING? YES.NOTHING. So, when it happened the second time I.TOLD.NOT.ONE.PERSON. I remember feeling embarrassed and ashamed. 

Writing this blog helped me remember the 2nd time. Finally said it ‘out loud’ to a male friend during one Sunday lunch.

Realizing my history helped me understand why I began my ‘crazy years,’ and it has also helped me to forgive myself.  Cannot begin to say what forgiving myself has meant for me. 

Is it any wonder my LLC is “Still Talking” because – Good or Bad – always ‘thought’ I owned my voice. Thankful for Parents who encouraged me to do so.

So many dreams deferred, and so many years wasted. I felt like trash. Thankfully my parents loved me through it all.   

Now?

Peace. Peace beyond understanding is what I now know. Finally, feel like I am who I was ‘meant to be.’ It’s about time. 

What is the lesson I’ve learned? My over-riding belief is love conquers everything. There is not one person I hate, and my goal is to be pure of heart.  Believe me,  have to work on it every.single.day. 

This will probably sound silly to some, but GOD is my best friend. If I stay close to Him, going to be just fine. 

How lucky can one girl be?

Someone I admire greatly wrote to me recently, asking What’s next?

Never really knew until now.

“Where One Day Ends, A New Day Begins”


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Rule #5 Be Loyal

Joan Rivers once said “Loyalty” when asked the most important characteristic of friends and family.  I’ve loved her since that day.  Thanks to Bill Reardin, I’ve had the privilege of working with her.  My company, Still Talking is named for her fabulous book.

Joan Rivers

Struggling with how to write about loyalty — knowing — just as with every other post about Authentic Grace that I, too fail.  Writing about my personal journey with Authentic Loyalty will continue another time.  This morning I realized it was the one year anniversary of the death of Diane Reed, Mrs. Wayne Reed.

Wayne and Diane Reed

How does one person/couple elicit such loyalty?  I attended the same church as the Reeds during my time in Nashville, TN.  I knew them for their good works with low-income children.

WRCCC

If not from Tennessee, you may have heard of Diane.  Diane Reed was the third person in Tennessee to fall victim to an outbreak of fungal meningitis after receiving a contaminated steroid injection.

Diane Reed

The Nashville, Tennessean described Diane as someone with unwavering love. Their headline on October 7, 2012 read:

Meningitis outbreak: Victim Diana Reed cared for husband with ALS, helped poor kids read

With her husband, Wayne, Reed helped start a day care in Nashville dedicated to helping low-income children learn to read before they get to school. That center, the Wayne Reed Christian Childcare Center, carries his name. She, meanwhile, was given a permanent seat on the board.

After the 2010 flood, Reed jumped in to help the homeless. That effort morphed into Open Table Nashville, an advocacy group that exists today.

“She was at the center a great deal,” said Steve Grizzle, chairman of the board at Wayne Reed Christian Childcare Center. “She knew the kids by name and by face.”

That type of quiet heroism was a part of their daily lives, even in the privacy of their home in southern Davidson County near the Richland Country Club. Some 20 years ago, Reed’s husband was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Each morning she spent several hours readying him for the day. Everything they did together took planning AND patience.

Pat Ward, a friend of Reed’s for more than two decades, said life was often a struggle for Diana and Wayne, but never a labor.

“This has been a long 20 years together, of watching her husband suffer,” Ward said. “She has had her ups and downs, but her love for Wayne never wavered and her love for God never wavered.”

They made it to church more often than not, said Ward, and for years they worked three days a week, side by side, at an office dedicated to affordable housing.

Those close to Wayne and Diana have long worried about his declining health and have considered how they might try to fill her life when he dies, Ward said. But no one really contemplated the scenario that has unfolded.

“She knew she was sick, but we all were thinking she was just sick and would get better,” Ward said.

Sandra Collins wrote this morning:

One year ago today, Diana Reed died.  Wayne was the only person in the world who knew he could keep on keeping on without her by his side.  And he was right.
But he is fully aware that hundreds of people have been holding up his hands–bringing meals, making repairs, walking the dog, helping with housecleaning, helping with finances, launching a lawsuit, helping with financial reports for the WRCCC, taking off and putting on his stockings, some times spending the nights, being his life group, transporting him to church and to the hospital, sitting by his bedside before and after surgeries, visiting in the rehabs, dressing his wounds, creating a book about Diana, emptying closets and cupboards to make spaces more accessible, building ramps, cutting up trees that have fallen, pulling weeds and spreading mulch, and dozens of other things I do not even know about. He knows and he is extremely grateful.  Though his  gratitude does not “roll trippingly from his tongue,” it can be read in his eyes and his smile.

Thank you, Sandra.

Can I ever be THAT loyal?  Can you?

Loyalty is sometimes difficult. Our loyalty is tested daily.  What will we do?  We must practice loyalty every day.  We can work, day-in-and-day-out to be loyal even when it hurts.   Some day, I’ll tell you how I’ve hurt myself by failing to be loyal, or even being loyal to the wrong idea or person.   For today, I want to bask in the memory of what real loyalty can and will do for each of us.   Thank you Wayne and Diane Reed.

Authentic Loyalty WILL make the difference.

Knowing people like Diane and Wayne Reed exist is buoying to me.  I will tell you of Marilyn Switzer and her loyalty soon.  Just another example of what we can do together.

 

 

 

 

 

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