No, I Do Not Have Proof.

I do not have proof.

But, I know it happened. I know because I remember. I know because I was there. 

I was six going on seven. I remember what time of year it was—summer—and I remember it was at a party or maybe it was a picnic. I remember it happened in my own backyard behind my house.

It happened with people laughing and talking and drinking in the distance—not watching, but right under their noses. It happened in the woods, in broad daylight.

I remember it was quick. I remember his mouth coming down on mine, how he grabbed and squeezed my little girl face. I remember being pinned against a large rock. I remember his hand, how he put my small hand beneath his big one and worked himself over. How he shoved his big fingers up inside me and told me I would like what we were doing a lot more when I was older.

I remember running away and hiding in my bedroom. I remember that I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t get enough air, and I wanted to vomit, so I did, right in my mouth—the taste sharp and sour when I swallowed it back down.

I remember how terrified I felt. I remember being mute, unable to speak, holding my words hostage inside my belly, a belly filled with bile. I remember I had no idea what the f*ck just happened to me. Or why it happened.

Because I was six.

I remember the pain between my legs—but no, I don’t remember his name. I’m sorry I don’t remember his name. I’m sorry I don’t have the proof you are looking for, but does it count—is my story “credible”—if I tell you about the blood? Because I remember the blood. I’m sorry I didn’t save my underwear. And I’m sorry I don’t remember what time it was, but I remember his bad breath and his curled, wet lips.

Does it count if I remember this? Will you believe it happened if I told you exactly what he said? How he snarled and told me he would kill me if I said anything to anyone? How he called me a f*cking brat as I ran away from him? Does any of that count as proof?

I’m sorry I didn’t talk about it. To anyone. What I told my mother that day was I had a stomachache. That I didn’t feel good. I didn’t talk about it that day or at all until I was 45 years old. I still don’t talk about it.

Tell me, was I supposed to keep my underwear locked in a box, tucked away like a keepsake so I could pull it out in the future to prosecute my attacker, someone I knew, someone who would deny my story, call it crazy, call me crazy, and tell everyone I was lying?

Was I supposed to ask someone how to spell his name so I could write it down on a piece of paper? A piece of paper I could put inside the box, pinned to my underwear? Tell me, what was the best way for a six-year-old to handle the situation?

I can tell you how I suppressed it, though. How I buried the memory. How I held it down, muffled it so that it wouldn’t kill me. How it tried to kill me for years and years, and how I fought with it—my demon memory. How I carried it around inside my body. How I ate and ate and tried to stuff it down in order to control it.

And how it just kept coming back up again. How it still does.

If a branch fell on a woman walking alone in the woods, and she told you about it 32 years later, would you believe her? Maybe you would because she could point to a scar on her arm if she had one. If she had a scar, one that you could see, she could call it proof.

7.6 billion people inhabit the planet. Roughly half are women. One in four women and girls have been or will be sexually assaulted, which is close to one billion women. 

When will one billion women be enough proof?

We don’t carry proof around in our purses waiting for just the right moment to “ruin” our attacker’s life. We carry it in our hearts and in our heads.

Our assaults come along for the ride in every relationship we ever have. We carry them on our hips and in our bellies when we turn to food to cope. We carry them in pill containers and wine bottles. They sit next to us in AA meetings. They’re tucked into the folds of our divorce papers.

We carry them like rocks in a sock and we wield them as weapons with our sudden bursts of pent up anger and unexplained rage.

We are labeled moody and troubled and bitchy and unpredictable. We put our proof in a bag and we drag it to our therapy sessions where it sits on the floor, heavy, next to our feet. We pass it down to our children, our daughters—like toxic heirlooms.

Our dysfunction, our depression, our damage are the gifts that keep on giving.

Don’t talk to me or any other survivor of sexual assault about proof. The proof is often invisible, but we are not. We are right under your noses.

A proof is in the moment that haunts us forever, the thing we cannot forget.

We do not “have” proof, we are the proof. Because we were there one billion times over.

AUTHOR: KIMBERLY VALZANIA

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Fahrenheit 451

“Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.” ~ Fahrenheit 451

Faber means here that we have to be risk takers and proactive: he uses the image of “do your own bit of saving:” in other words, see the drowning person, swim out to save him, and if you die while pulling him to shore, at least you are doing the right thing.

This is good advice because it means participating in solving problems, taking the initiative to help others, and being the change you want to see. This is especially important in a society where everyone is taught to be passive and quietly accept the way the world is while immersing themselves in televised fantasies.

Like the Latin carpe diem, meaning “seize the day,” it is saying that you need to take a stand for something – do something with your life!

In this society in which you don’t always have a lot of choice in what you do or what happens to you, you might as well take a stand for what you believe in and start thinking for yourself.


The above article made me think of two of society’s known cliché which I hate the most: Herd mentality and majority win. Most people want to belong they are afraid to rock the boat so they keep their real thoughts for themselves. Smart move you would say but I’m stupid so I disagree.

keeping the church in the middle and compromising for the sake of peace is good_ up to a certain limit and not at the expense of your own principles no matter how far-fetched they may seem.

I know it is hard to swim against the current and no one does it for convenience but you’ve got to stick with what you believe in and go for it even if it means standing alone.

The first paragraph above, I have mix feelings. Mainly this: See the drowning person, swim out to save him, and if you die while pulling him to shore, at least you are doing the right thing. A bit foolish for me. I’m all for saving someone but not if you know you’re going to die for it. Sounds to me like those world wars where so many died for the cause they don’t even believe or understand but been forced or lured to become heroes.

I think in all situations you have to see the big picture first, analyze your chances before making a calculated risk. In other words, follow your heart but take your brain with you.

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The Edge Of Never

“Just that dwelling and planning is bullshit, you dwell on the past, you can’t move forward. Spend too much time planning for the future and you just push yourself backward, or you stay stagnant in the same place all your life. Live in the moment, where everything is just right, take your time and limit your bad memories and you’ll get wherever it is you’re going a lot faster and with fewer bumps in the road along the way.” 

― J.A. Redmerski

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LMAO

I stumbled upon an article while searching for__ basically nothing and everything that made me laugh so hard it made my day. I have never been to the place and there is no way I would or could be there ever because it is in the country which will never ever be in my bucket list. But the author wrote the piece so graphically I could almost imagine how it looks like. She said:

You go there to feel good but you leave broke, disoriented, and with the new-found knowledge that you have a vaginal disease.

Unlike Vegas, Whole Foods’ clientele are all about mindfulness and compassion…until they get to the parking lot. Then it’s war. As I pull up this morning, I see a pregnant lady on the crosswalk holding a baby and groceries. This driver swerves around her and honks. As he speeds off I catch his bumper sticker, which says Namaste. Poor lady didn’t even hear him approaching because he was driving a Prius. He crept up on her like a panther.

Isn’t it hilarious?

Here’s another one:

Next, I see the gluten-free section filled with crackers and bread made from various wheat-substitutes such as cardboard and sawdust. I skip this aisle because I’m not rich enough to have dietary restrictions.

Ever notice that you don’t meet poor people with special diet needs? A gluten intolerant house cleaner? A cab driver with Candida? Candida is what I call a rich, white person problem.

Now, I know that I’m rich (I have lactose and gluten intolerance) and in danger of becoming a white person. (Not that it’s bad. I always dream of having long blond curly hair I can shake in the wind in a slow-motion fashion.)

This one is epic:

Next, I approach the beauty aisle. There is a scary looking machine there that you put your face inside of and it tells you exactly how ugly you are.

They calculate your wrinkles, sun spots, the size of your pores, etc. and compare it to other women your age. I think of myself attractive but as it turns out, I am 78 percent ugly, meaningless pretty than 78 percent of women in the world.

Isn’t she genius!

Her name is Kelly MacLean and if you want to read the whole article, head on HERE. And if you are feeling sensitive while reading, remember this ( directly quoting one of the commenters) Don’t take it literally or personally. The humor lies not in fact but in jest. 

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10 Good Reasons Not to Contact your Ex.

I know how it goes. I have been there, and I will probably be there again.

You’re sitting around, usually at night, and you’re alone.

Earlier that day, maybe something reminded you of them—a song popped up on a playlist, a girl in line at Target looked like her, a mutual friend brought up his name. Being reminded of your ex can happen in a million different ways, and when it happens we can’t stop thinking about them: the good times we shared, the amazing sex, all the things we should have done, everything that still remains unsaid.

It can be easy to fool ourselves into thinking that maybe they were “the one” and they got away.

That’s when we take to social media to find them again and see what they’re doing, or if they’re single, or if the new partner is hotter than we are (they always are). We may still cherish their number in our phones, or start poring over old texts and emails, looking for a sign that there’s still some kind of a connection.

Next, it’s tempting to re-initiate contact with them. Tempting probably isn’t even a strong enough word. This is closer to how an addict in recovery feels. You want the old high back. Like when you first met. So what to do? Call, text, email, Facebook message, comment on one of their Instagram pictures?

None of the above.

I say leave it alone, because realistically it’s rare that a relationship can be rekindled successfully. So here are my 10 good reasons not to contact your ex:

Pride.

When my ex fiancé dumped me, I made a vow never to contact him again because I didn’t want to be the pleading, pathetic, crazy-looking ex. I’d lost a lot with that relationship, but the one thing I knew I could keep was my dignity, and in the midst of a really bad time, that felt good.

We don’t always need “closure” for everything,

and chances are we aren’t really going to get it. The need for whatever closure is, is actually a need to control our circumstances. Accept that we have no control, and live in peace. Allow the distance and separation to heal old wounds, rather than reopening them under the guise of seeking “closure.”

The past no longer exists.

It’s gone. We’ve already lived those moments and replaying them in our heads isn’t healthy or realistic. Don’t dwell on what lies behind you and don’t try to manipulate a future that is based on past expectations. Keep moving forward one present moment at a time. Let life unfold as it will and be pleasantly surprised.

They are exes for a reason.

Chances are, there were plenty of valid reasons why the relationship ended, and most likely, all of those reasons are still there. People rarely change as much as we want or need them to. I realize this sounds cynical, but it’s unfortunately true and it’s better to play it safe and stay away rather than reopen that Pandora’s box of dysfunction.

Resist the urge to write yourself in as the hero of your own tragic love story.

The plots of most romantic comedies involve star-crossed lovers who are continually prevented from being together for a variety of ridiculous reasons, until the end of the story when they finally realize they are meant to be. There is usually a big, climactic declaration of love that takes place at an airport at the last minute before someone is about to leave forever as if phones and emails don’t exist. Good for entertainment, totally ridiculous for real-life, healthy relationships. You are not living in a movie, so stop acting as if you are.

It’s okay to let go.

Period. Think of how light and free you will be. The feeling of finally being over something is ecstasy. Celebrate the miracles yet to come.

We always view the past through a lens of idealism.

We tend to remember the good stuff, and dismiss our ex’s irritating, annoying, or just plain awful qualities. Hindsight has a way of softening things. Try to be realistic about how much of a jerk you thought he was while you were a couple. Think about some of her truly unacceptable behaviors. Don’t get mixed up in that again.

Our exes aren’t really our soulmates.

I don’t really believe in the fairy-tale idea that we have one true love. I think we have several potential soul mates and in a lifetime we can have a lot of different kinds of romantic experiences. The soul mate myth holds us back and keeps us from having a more open mind and open heart about other people and other types of love that are waiting for us to enjoy and learn from.

This is usually more about our own egos than it is about loving someone else.

When we feel compelled to reach out to an old flame, before we act impulsively, it’s a good idea to look at what may be the real underlying cause of our urge. Are we feeling insecure, disappointed, or sad about something? Do we think that maybe this person can help us feel better about ourselves or validated in some way? We likely miss the comfort and familiarity of an old relationship. Do we just want to see if we still “have it” or do we potentially like the sense of power we may be able to yield over our ex’s attraction for us?

Someone is probably going to get disappointed.

Case in point, that time my favorite ex contacted me, for God knows what reason, and I got all excited and thought he was going to profess undying love for me, but instead he asked me if I wanted to have dinner with him and his new girlfriend the next time he was in town, which is absolutely not my idea of a fun-filled evening. It’s possible that we may contact our ex out of curiosity, or friendliness, or to apologize, without seeking to reconcile a relationship with them. But what if they’ve been hoping all along to hear from us and to be with us again? It is unkind to potentially mess with someone’s head this way. On the other hand, what if we are getting back in touch because we are still looking for a relationship, only to find that they are no longer interested? We should try to spare ourselves that suffering too.

When we once had a connection with someone it can be difficult to extinguish that spark, even if it existed more in our imagination than in reality. But it’s important to evolve bravely rather than cling stubbornly to past relationships. Let them be completed, and move on rather than trying to go back and contact ex-loves.

~by Victoria Fedden

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Find your fucking balls and reattach them

This is what I keep telling myself lately, find your old companion guts and get reacquainted damn you!

Where is the girl I used to know? The one who never stops at nothing to follow her heart. The one who didn’t let forces of nature detained her if she wants to gallivant. Now, a mere rain is enough to keep you inside? Pathetic!

You used to be fun, full of ideas and never have a qualm to put them in action. Remember the time you started hiking at four in the afternoon despite the thunder and lightning and the torrential downpour? You had to change clothes in the car because you were soaking wet. How about the time you went into the mountains to search for the missing head of a student who had been raped. You did it at one in the morning so nobody could see and stop you because an unauthorized person wasn’t allowed on the premises and they said it was dangerous. You armed yourself with a big bolo and head on. Where is that brave girl now?

Remember the cemetery? How about the collapsed subdivision where a lot of people had been buried alive. You sneaked in past the guard and spent the night there because you were convinced that where there are catastrophes and human casualties the odds of having contact from the other side are stronger and perhaps you’ll get lucky and could communicate with one of them.

And the time you rowed a boat for four hours to spend a night in an abandoned lighthouse in the middle of the ocean and got caught by a tropical storm and had to find your way to the nearest shore in the dark. How about that?

Others might say it is not bravery but foolishness and it may be so but that is not the point. The point is the fact that you changed beyond recognition. Not even the shadow of your former self which is preferable than totally disappearing altogether.

Where is the spontaneity, the passion, the drive the hunger? The hunger is there alright but you are trying to quench it with pseudo replacements. The doubt, the worry, the fear… where it is coming from?  Is it called getting old, like your daughter stated a long time ago which you refused to acknowledge? Your niece whom you adopted and brought up to keep from following the footsteps of her mother (and failed miserably) told you once upon a time when you first got together with your now second husband that you became boring as hell.  You didn’t acknowledge that too. Now, there is no choice left but to admit it.

What happened? What changed?

Okay, the situation is different so is the status and they go hand and hand with compromises but to forget who you are and become a totally different person is unacceptable. You can make loads of excuses but they will not justify what you have done to yourself. You are an embarrassment to all the free-spirited women out there. You call yourself a gypsy, a nomad? Once upon a time maybe but not anymore. Not for a long time. You become a hothouse flower, an invalid, a kept woman, boring and unimaginative the only adventures you are embarking are those that in your head. I despise you. I hate what you become. Where are your guts? Why you are existing (because I cannot call what you are doing living) against your principle and everything you believe in? For what? For security? For comfort? Bullshit! Nothing is secure in this world. You of all people should know that. And if I recall correctly, it was you who said you would rather live in the streets than be caged. Do you still think that way? Apparently not.

Your son said it is better to live and die than not to live at all. He told you that after you voiced out your fear for his safety backpacking two months in India and going on camping trips to war zones and being in the midst of a rally in Paris. That son of yours is a male version of you in every way. The once upon a time you. The wanderer adventurer fearless you. Look at you now.

Don’t cite age as an excuse. There is no such thing as too old for this and that. Age is just a number. And your condition? All the more reason to live right here and right now before you reach your expiration date. Live now that you can still walk and enjoy. Go out there and live without regret. That is what you supposed to be doing instead of being a prisoner in your own home.

You are not some caged exotic animal. You were born and brought up in the wild. That’s where you belong. Not in a fancy house with a fancy car full of fancy gadgets and designer items. Since you care about them anyway? Big houses and big cars and expensive things mean nothing. You can’t bring them where you’re eventually going. What matters is how you spend your borrowed time on this earth. I am telling you, find your fucking balls and reattach them before it’s too late.

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Lessons on Aging & the Juicy Stuff Beauty is Really Made Of.

“The self-respect and peace of mind you long for is not out there—it’s within. I hate that, I resent that more than I can say. But, it’s true.” ~ Anne Lamott

I fired a part of me the other day that has been demanding I look a certain way, weigh a certain number, and be a certain size in order to be “enough.”

It happened in my closet as I was trying to put on yet another pair of tight pants and felt a twinge of embarrassment that they didn’t fit anymore.

I heard that voice say, “See, you’ve gained weight. How could you? Hurry up and cleanse so you can drop 10 pounds fast.” For the first time in my almost 49 years of life, I finally heard myself respond differently. “No more of this madness,” I said out loud as I grabbed a different pair of pants that were a size larger.

I picked up the journal where I had written my health and weight goals for the month. With fresh eyes, I read what I wrote. The goals sounded great on paper. However, I had been so busy trying to fix what’s on the outside that I was missing the entire point.

It’s an inside job.

Sometimes the longest road we can travel is the one we make from our head to our heart. Suddenly, what I had known in my head for years finally made a direct heart landing. My goals had become barriers rather than stepping stones toward what I truly desired from the inside out.

Our bodies are not problems to be solved.

Anne Lamott once said, “One of the blessings of age is you surrender to the truth of time and life that things droop and sag and it’s fine, and if you worry about it longer it starts to argue a wasted life. You can spend your life burnishing the surface, but in the meantime, you could be on the floor playing Legos with your kids and grandkid.”

I opened a blank page in my journal, took my pen to paper, and set out to write a vision regarding my health and weight aligned with my spirit. I prayed for a bit and meditated for a while, asking God to show me what I needed to know. My hope is that what landed will be of benefit in some way to others who grapple with accepting their bodies and this thing called aging.

The Juicy Beauty Manifesto

I am not the size of my pants or the number on a scale. I am not the comparisons I make or the body I had 20 years ago. I’m not my triceps or once-upon-a-time firm ass or the before-kids flat stomach.

I’m not how I look in my jeans or whether my stomach has a roll or if my hair is turning gray. This confining version of myself that determines whether I am pretty enough or strong enough or thin enough or sexy enough or busty enough…whatever the enough is for that day, is officially fired.

From now on…

I will sincerely apologize to myself any time I want to criticize how my body looks. I will stand still and wholeheartedly soak in the apology so I can continue to really see myself and love all of who I am. The truth is I do not have the body I had in my 30s because I am not 30 anymore. I’m almost 50. I will look at my curves and rounded edges with loving eyes rather than through a critical lens.

It is a privilege to age, one that I no longer want to take for granted.

And, when I look in the mirror at my naked body, I will stop focusing on what I see as lacking, and, instead, I will be grateful for this version of me. This older me, the one who is now filled with deeper wisdom and a more relaxed spirit. I have earned the lines under my eyes and around my smile. I have lived and loved. I have fallen and risen. As a result, I am softening, easing into a gentle way of living and allowing for more grace to move through me. It’s quieter here, simpler, and far more pleasurable.

I will embrace the beauty that is staring back at me and allow it to be enough. Whispering to myself, “There is nothing here that needs to be fixed. Nothing is broken.”

When I begin to find my mind wandering, I will ground it in appreciation for my health. I will give thanks that my legs can walk, my fingers can move, my mind is still sharp, my breath is deep, my eyes see, and my heart pumps. I will mindfully and lovingly nourish my body with foods that breathe life into it. I will choose to live from a place of health and wellness. Eating will be about nourishment, rather than trying to obtain some endgame result of a certain weight or size.

If I make food choices out of love rather than fear or deprivation, the results will organically happen. I will allow my body to find its natural place at this time in my life.

I will no longer scare myself with black-and-white food beliefs or messages.

I will stop telling myself:
“I will never eat that again.”
“Once I start, I can’t stop.”
“I can’t trust myself with food.”

I will replace those messages with:
“Relax, dear one, and enjoy. You can trust yourself.”

I will move my body in ways that bring me joy. I want to do the stuff that makes my heart beat faster and eyes grow wider. I want to do those things as often as I can, creating happy, pleasure-filled moments.

The illusion that if I reach this weight then I’ll be happy or stronger or prettier is just the lie I keep telling myself. As I get consumed with that message, I start to miss all the juicy stuff that beauty is really made of. That’s a price I’m no longer willing to pay. Are you?

Starting today, let’s:

Give away the pants that no longer fit and go on a date with ourselves to find clothes we love and that no longer pinch. Life is hard enough than to be wrestling with tight pants.

Put the scale away and start to focus on what we are feeling rather than what we weigh. It’s flat-out mean to be stepping on that thing day in and day out.

Shut down the critical voice in our heads and replace it with kindness, love, and praise, offering ourselves the same messages we would a child or a dear friend.

Stop dieting, cleansing, restricting, and beating ourselves over the head with a stick that we will never be enough unless we look a certain way. Diets don’t work anyway.

Uncover how to unapologetically love ourselves and celebrate growing older and embracing the perfectly imperfect bodies we all have a right to age in.

There’s nothing more beautiful than a woman who recognizes her own worth from the inside out. From that place she is able to get out of her own way and focus on love and service, living a life from her highest self.

Now that’s juicy beauty.

Who’s in?

AUTHOR: ANNMARIE DEVLIN

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I am, I am, I am.

“I wonder why I don’t go to bed and go to sleep. But then it would be tomorrow, so I decide that no matter how tired, no matter how incoherent I am, I can skip on hour more of sleep and live.” 
― Sylvia Plath

I can’t bring in words how deep this quote from Sylvia Plath resonate with me. I know it all too well, the fear of missing out__ what exactly? For there is nothing a lot going on out there in the night unless you’re one of those people who love to party till___. Yet, that nagging feeling persists, that I supposed to be doing___ what____ instead of engaging with some useless occupation like sleep. When I’m feeling drowsy due to the lack of sleep, still I fight it, scared that something wonderful will happen while I’m dozing off, that I’m going to waste time by going to bed, and time is precious and fleeting I supposed to be using it to do something remarkable, important, lasting… and what is exactly that? I have no idea. All I know is I want to go somewhere, anywhere, see new things watch people visit new places do exciting things, anything as long as it makes me feel brand new and alive and elated and fuelled inspired content and for the moment happy. Am I crazy? Probably so. But so what?

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THE WEATHER OF LOVE

Love
Has a way of wilting
Or blossoming
At the strangest,
Most unpredictable hour.
This is how love is,
An uncontrollable beast
In the form of a flower.
The sun does not always shine on it.
Nor does the rain always pour on it
Nor should it always get beaten by a storm.
Love does not always emit the sweetest scents,
And sometimes it can sting with its thorns.
Water it.
Give it plenty of sunlight.
Nurture it,
And the flower of love will
Outlive you.
Neglect it or keep dissecting it,
And its petals will quickly curl up and die.
This is how love is,
Perfection is a delusional vision.
So love the person who loves you
Unconditionally,
And abandon the one
Who only loves you
Under favorable
Conditions.

― Suzy Kassem

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April Love

“April is the cruelest month, breeding
lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
memory and desire, stirring
dull roots with spring rain.”

― T.S. Eliot

Why it reminds me of a May-December love affair? Or a gigolo manipulating and conning older women for personal gain? Or the grandmother of D. who fell in love with her nurse and holds onto her unshakable faith in his innocence and integrity even after he was convicted and found guilty of cheating his patients out of their money and valuables. Or my mother falling head over heels with one of my boyfriends she was inconsolable and remained in bed for three weeks on ends when he and I broke up. She refused to cook since then till the day she died. Funny people.

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