Believability in unbelievable times…

Why didn’t she report it?

WHY?

WHY?

WHY?

In this day and age, after all that has been revealed by many, many women and men to ask WHY their pain and embarrassment and shame wasn’t paraded about for all to judge, criticize and tsk tsk is tantamount to siding with the abuser.

After all, when our own president vacillates between acting like a wronged man-victim and a cruel bully all within the course of a day it’s not hard to see where the inspiration for all the other abusers and powertrip seekers to assert their new found dominance came from.

But, it’s the supposedly conflicted fence riders that get me the most. If you can’t muster the strength of mind to speak up when you see blatant harassment and abuse occurring in real-time, right before your eyes, then what goddamned hope do we really have?

This is how I see this topic playing out in my mind:

Fence Sitter: But, I NEED to hear all the sides here! 

Empathy: Are you the judge and jury?

Fence Sitter: Well, no but I can’t make up my mind who to believe until I know all the dirt about the accuser.

Empathy: Hasn’t she been hurt enough by this? You do realize that by bullying her into revealing things that aren’t your business just to satisfy your gory car crash mentality is a form of revictimization right?

Fence Sitter: Hey, she asked for this by going public.

Empathy: Wow, can you hear yourself?

Fence Sitter: Hear what? I need to know more so I can make up my mind. She is making some pretty damaging allegations that could ruin a man’s life. You have to admit, she probably just wanted to be with him and he rejected her or something. Scorned woman syndrome.

Empathy: So, you actually have already made up your mind that she’s lying but you just want to tear her apart further by laying her personal life out on the table for the world to mock? 

Fence Sitter: Oh, I bet you weren’t perfect in high school or college either…

Empathy: Great job deflecting and playing the worn out tune of whataboutery. Bravo! Time to get off the fence dude, we all know where you stand now.

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Hey judgemental people, why do YOU do THAT? This is the question I pose to everyone out there that immediately casts doubt upon any woman (and men too but for this piece, I will speak to that which I know) that dares to talk about being sexually harassed, assaulted, molested or raped. Does the subject hit so close to home that in order to hide your own shame its easier to lash out at the person already knocked to the ground by years of keeping their trauma to themselves? Whatever happened to reserving judgment until all the facts are weighed while also remaining neutral AND respectful of both parties?

Wouldn’t that be nice? It would but it doesn’t happen that way. Not that I have ever personally experienced anyway. To mock sexual assault victims with jokes about their appearance, intelligence and morality is plainly a dick move. A big, bullying, shaming dickish move committed by both men and women, which is a huge head-scratcher in itself.

Women have the unenviable position of being shit on mentally and emotionally by both sexes while also juggling the fear of potentially being assaulted, raped or murdered should they dare venture out by themselves after dark to get a fucking chai latte or walk alone to their car doing any number of banal things men just DO without any thought to potential personal risk. Want to talk about something not being fair? THAT right there is hugely fucking unfair and it shouldn’t have to be this way.

So, what can women do to be believed when shit goes down? Start acting like men? Hmmm.. so if some dude tries to pussy grab me at a concert I should just do a sack clutch, squeeze and twist for fair measure? Okay, sounds cool to me! Of course, this is said in jest as I have no desire to touch strange sack but the point is this: WHAT GIVES YOU THE FUCKING RIGHT TO TOUCH ME IN THE FIRST PLACE? Who taught you that it was even remotely an acceptable thing?

Or…were you just taught that if you were going to do it then make sure you don’t get caught? Boys will be boys…until they assault and rape and then they are just criminals. Pretty simple to understand right?

If not, read up on it here

I am tired. Tired of always being on guard. Tired of having to check my facial expressions, emotions, and attire against the preconceived notions of how male society thinks a woman should behave. I’m fucking tired and no longer care if I hurt your feelings by speaking up when you say shitty things to me. I will no longer sit idly by while certain men tell me what a “lady” should be.

YOU’RE NOT A FUCKING WOMAN SO HOW THE HELL DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT WOMEN!!! I would never proclaim to be an expert on men but, yet…women aren’t even allowed to be experts on their own minds, attitudes, likes, dislikes, jobs, education, pay scale or their own vaginas. Fuck that!

Lady? Why should any of us be a LADY when abusers, molesters, and rapists hide behind the mask of GENTLEMAN all the time. Women have very legitimate reasons to not believe or trust men yet we are vilified as bitches, she-devils, banshees, sluts, whores and on and on just because we might have wounded a man’s pride somewhere down the line 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 years ago?

Your pride? I would take a bruised ego and dented pride any day over being choked unconscious, slapped, hair ripped out of my head, drug across a room, thrown down stairs, beaten, stabbed, shot, raped and murdered any day. Pride! Get out of here with that!

Seriously, get out of here with that nonsense and start doing better. We are better than this and I’m ashamed at how little we have progressed. Boys can be tenderhearted, kind, loving and considerate just like girls can. It’s how they are taught to interact with others that makes the difference.

The issue of abuse of women will never end until men are taught to value themselves enough to invest in their hearts and stop being so fearful of women taking over. Aren’t you tired of this shit yet? I know I am.

© 2018 L.A. Askew
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Lying Tree…

I do not have a conventional family tree. I have a lying tree.

For as long as I can remember the “facts” behind who my blood relatives really are have been blurred and carefully edited to fit a narrow narrative of acceptability. What will the neighbors think? What will random strangers on the street think? And, finally, what will the people at our church think? That last one always created pause for me since church implies certain moral values and the very act of lying to cover personal embarrassment from fellow churchgoers is ironic and laughably hypocritical.

But, don’t say this to the patriarch and matriarch of this fabricated fable!

In modern times there is this little thing called the internet. On this construct exists a massive online newspaper archive called Newspapers.com ( and I am sure there are many more) where anyone willing to pony up a few bucks a month can search the names of relatives, friends, ex-friends, and ex-lovers to see if they ever “made the news” from the 1700’s to the 2000’s.

On this website, I found out that my paternal grandfather was charged with and eventually found guilty of misappropriation of funds while a Justice of the Peace for Cook County, Illinois in the 1960’s.  He was sentenced to 6 months in county jail and not once, in all the years I have known my mother or father have either said one word about this.  Not surprising really since my mother said once, in church, that my older brother was “away at college” when he was actually in jail.  Being a scofflaw runs in the family you see but, Que sera sera, there is not one thing that can be done about it now. The fibbing branches just keep falling…

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Several years ago, after a few glasses of wine around my younger sister’s kitchen table, my older sister mentioned a conversation she had with our mother that included the words, “That was the time when your grandfather was away in jail.” Wait! What?  “Oh, didn’t I tell you that?” was my mother’s response to my sister’s shocked surprise. No, you sure as hell did not!  Much like the various health conditions relatives had that were not shared with us or the fact that she had been borrowing on life insurance policies our maternal grandmother purchased for us for years without our knowledge. I’m sure there is more but will stop at the tip of the ice burg for now. What they don’t know won’t hurt them right?

THIS is the kind of thing I am talking about here. This is also the kind of thing that the truth-impaired bemoan as  “ancient history” and “what’s in the past is the past” but my argument is that this very shit stabs right at the heart of what is wrong with my family and many others. Lying just for the sake of lying, lying for personal financial gain and finally, lying to save face. Once you have protected your image to the point of alienating and potentially physically harming family it becomes clear what is more important to some people:

Not us. Not me. Not my daughter. Not my partner. Everyone is fair game for an attack apparently. I have the letters, emails, Facebook posts and text messages to prove it.

My family is a sad stomach churning potluck of avoidance, delusion, resentment, and selfishness. And, I too have experienced and participated in all of these things over the years and will make that clear. In order to write this I have to be honest and in order to write this, I also have to shore myself up for any pending attacks on my recollection and character. I have been attacked on both fronts by both my mother and my younger sister so any further vitriol is easy to shrug off. They will do what they do and have always done and I will do the opposite because to do anything else is a sure recipe for self-harm and I’m too old for this shit!

As you, dear reader, peruse this little essay I am sure that there are other eyes scanning as well. Eyes that are looking for any mention of them, any mention of blame, any mention at all. Hello! Despite our falling out, I am glad you are here and I am even gladder that you might be reading my words. Take them in. Mull them over for a bit before responding and, might I add, before firing off in a flash of keyboard courage consider picking up the phone to address any grievances with me personally. I will take your call and I will listen to what you have to say. I may hang up without saying more than an initial “hello” but I will listen none the less.

So, for the foreseeable future, I will be HONEST. Everything I write about will involve confession, confrontation and, finally the search for redemption. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t need to be redeemed in my family’s eyes but in my own. I am looking for peace, nothing more and nothing less.

Stick with me on this journey okay? I might need a cheering section when the wolves arrive…

© 2018 L.A. Askew
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The fluidity of change…

Everyone has the capacity to change. Everyone has the inherent will to do better. It’s the motivation factor that trips us all up.

Do I really want to change or am I just saying this because its what people want to hear?

I’m sorry.

I won’t do that again.

I learned my lesson.

Mere words. Without conviction, determination, and drive, these words, hammered into the human engine compartment are meaningless and just fill uncomfortable silences.

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Meaningless words fill our heads all the time. Okay, that was an awkward moment…what can I say to ease the tension? What trite quip can I toss out to bridge the gap? Sometimes, it’s better to suffer the silence, to feast on the uncertainty until our bellies ache and we are forced to seek relief.

And now, we get to the CHANGE chapter in life.

What I Have Learned From My Mistakes…

Am I going to invest all I have in changing my habitual patterns? Am I going to live up to my mantra of Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say?  Honestly, I am trying. It’s hard. I absolutely want to view change as a river that flows from my heart to my brain and out through my feet and hands with the kindest of intentions. I want that!

When I was a child I remember my father saying something to the effect of: “I don’t make mistakes. Everything I’ve done, I meant to do it so it wasn’t a mistake.” And, at the time, I thought it was just his way of getting around having to say he was sorry for being abusive but now I see that he truly thought he was right and everyone else was wrong. Changing anything about himself was never a consideration. To my father, “change” was for the weak, the godless, the ignorant.  Now, I realize I was none of those things and he feared the day when I would come to this conclusion and rise up. And, rise up I did.

Why People Have Such A Hard Time Changing

Whats so awful about change anyway? Why is it so maligned, so rejected, so ridiculed?

In thinking back, I can now see a clear picture of how I have always been seeking change.  I wanted to change my home life, my parents, my relationship with my siblings, my looks, my way of thinking…change it all! If I could just change then maybe those beating me down would finally love me. God, how pathetic right? Except, that version of “change” was not realistic because I was seeking to change into a person that I thought these other unchangeables wanted me to be. In hindsight, I suppose I was really just looking for approval and never needed to change for these people at all. Truth right there!

Today, I view true CHANGE as a breath of fresh air, a new way of looking at life and not negative at all. It IS fluid and it does move and bend and grow with time, just like me. I am working on moving the obstacles out of my path, releasing the barriers that have kept me stuck in the past. I am also working on a new mantra because saying what I mean and meaning what I say is no longer effective. Now…..

Everything will work out to my advantage…

Everything will work out to my advantage…

Everything will work out to my advantage…

It will because I deserve this, I earned it and I worked hard for the life of purpose that I am living now. No one can take it away from me.

Love, Light, and Peace

Reverie

© 2018 L.A. Askew
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.