Have I shared this before?
I've been thinking about what's going on with Kesha a lot lately.
Amid everything going on with Kesha, I wanted people who don't already know how wonderful her voice is to check out her Deconstructed EP. It is one of my favorites. It's just her voice and her lyrics and I love it. When I first downloaded it a while back I wondered why she wasn't making more music recently and hoped she would make music similar to this EP. Now knowing about the legal battle she's going through, not to mention everything personally she's going through, I hope so much that she'll come out bigger and stronger and brighter on the other end. Here's hoping she'll make songs infused with heart and soul. I listened to one of her songs (Dancing with Tears in My Eyes) over and over and over when I was going through some personal stuff years ago.
And then there is the topic of sexual assault. Which happens so, so much that it's staggering. Considering how wonderful and beautiful sex is with a consenting adult - especially in a loving relationship - it makes me so sad that assailants either don't understand what sex really is and should be or they just don't care. I don't understand putting someone else in a situation where they are asking you to stop or telling you no and you disregard their wishes and their words. How can the sex that comes from that situation be fulfilling? What are you asking people for? At that point you are taking so much more than sex.
I was fresh out of highschool and was going to a community college. I was visiting a friend in her dorm and I was so excited to check out what life on campus was all about! I was single at the time and too young to be legally drinking, but we were drinking anyways with a few people. My friend was dating a guy she was going to college with so it was us hanging out plus her boyfriends friend. I wasn't even particularly interested in the guy I was hanging out with that night and really, I didn't even want to kiss him. Maybe that's just me feeling so repulsed by the thought of him now... maybe I felt differently at the time and don't remember. Me and this guy ended up in a dorm room, just the two of us, and we kissed. He kept trying to do more and eventually completely pulled my pants (and underwear) down. I let him know I didn't want to do that and pulled my pants back up. He scoffed it off and pulled them back down. I told him, again, that I didn't want that. At all. At one point he tried to pin me with his body so that I couldn't pull my pants back up. He told me it would be perfect for us to have sex since we were both virgins. I don't remember what I said or did to sever things or to indicate that NO, this was not happening. But it was a pretty awful experience. What bothers me so much now is that I was even kissing this guy I wasn't interested in... why was I kissing him? For the attention? Yuck. I didn't value myself enough then and I wish I would have. It bothers me that I didn't tell this guy to go screw himself from the get go. Or that I really never did. I told my friend what happened and that was the end of it. Well, a couple months later she told me that he did the same thing to another girl later in their college career. Was she the only other one? Was she as "lucky" as me to get out of the situation mostly unscathed?
It kills me to think about the situation I put myself in. To think about all the things that could have gone even more wrong and the ways I could've been putting myself in an awful lot of danger. It hurts me to think about the sheer number of people in my tumultuous teen years that I kissed and thought nothing about it. Most of it was completely harmless. But it added to me devaluing myself. I was so lost as a person and I guess I felt that throwing myself at someone else would make me feel worth something more. And I know they were "just" kisses (thank God!) but it still matters to me now and I wish I had done MUCH less kissing of the frogs and acting so reckless. I hate that I felt like I couldn't ever talk about this situation after it happened. I felt like, well, I put myself in that situation so I deserved what happened. Or rather, I feared getting that response from other people. But that's not true at all. And as a 28-year-old I understand that now but it sucks that ten years ago I didn't get that. I got myself into too many crappy situations that I didn't ever want to be in in the first place because I was such a damn people pleaser, likely stemming from a fear of being rejected.
It's so important to me that I raise my girls to have an opinion and to have a voice and to use both of them regularly. Even if it's not going to make them any friends, even if it means going against the majority of people you're standing next to at the moment. Even if it means being labeled or called a bitch. Being a people pleaser is one of the worst things you could wind up being and I don't want that for my kids. Most of the people in your life will fade in and out, they'll come and go, and honestly, they don't matter in the long run. And the people who love you and work to understand who you are and where you're coming from will care for you amidst disagreement. If they don't then they probably aren't your people.
So... young people or single people or just any people, please don't devalue yourself the way I did. Don't think that what someone may or may not think of you will ever matter more than what you do.