Monthly Archives: March 2010

This is really cute!

I got this in my email from a magazine I’ve been blogging a bit for.  It’s called ‘Skirt!’, and it’s all about and for women. It’s very witty and fun. This was from their newsletter called ‘the Daily Muse’.

The Bra Bag:

It’s a bag for your bras that looks like…well, you can see it…cute!

http://skirt.com/daily_muse/bra-bag

While you’re there, check out the rest of the magazine. I don’t have many blog posts up yet, but I use the same username there as I do here.

Enjoy!


Here’s what I’ve been up to:

I’ve been trying to get my foot in the door with writing…I figure I could at least *try* to make some money or keep up my skill while I’m not working otherwise. Factoidz is a site for short instructional articles…I can do ‘short’!

http://factoidz.com/profile/shannonrichey/

This is another womens’ magazine I’ve blogged a bit for:
http://skirt.com/

Feel free to visit and tell me how much I suck! 🙂

I’ve also gotten a bite on some other stories…I found an ad on craigslist asking for certain types of stories, and so I wanted to more information. Anyway, I sent one of the stories to the address in the ad, and they want to publish it! It’s a web-zine that is coming up called RacyBunny…it hasn’t been launched yet but they want more stories, and the contract I was given to sign says that I will be credited with authorship and could make some money off of royalties. Exactly how much remains to be seen, but I am so happy that I can do something with these stories!  As the name implies, the stories are of a sexual-fantasy nature. I’ve given my pen name as Danielle (what my parents were going to name me until they found my name), so while I would still get the credit for them in terms of the admins, the readers wouldn’t know who I am or be able to trace it back to me.  I don’t let anyone other than my husband and a few select friends know about this for two reasons: 1) many people who know me see me as the ‘sweet and innocent’ person and this might creep them out, and 2) I don’t want people who don’t know me well to think I’m some kind of slut or something.  I’ve had it happen where if even the slightest indication is given that a woman might think about sex or whatnot, men will then see her as a sex object and treat her accordingly. It doesn’t even have to be anything she does; I’ve gotten those sorts of looks and comments since I was about 14 and developed large breasts. If I wore a tight shirt-and lets face it, most shirts that aren’t mu-mus or hockey jerseys are tight on me-that has been taken as an ‘invitation’. Of course, not all men are like this.  I really probably shouldn’t complain, since I *did* write those stories.

When I worked at a local restaurant a couple of years ago, a friend made a joke to me that turned into a sort of ongoing  .  I think I said something like that I was a virgin when I got married (which is true), and she said something like, oh yeah right, we all know you’re a freak, it’s always the quiet ones, etc. It was funny, and we all had fun with it. I laugh at myself all the time, so that wasn’t a problem.  When we were at a ladies-only party at this person’s house we all got rather silly and, since there was a vendor from Slumber Parties (http://www.slumberparties.com/)  there, it was kind of like a ‘bachelorette’ atmosphere.  I’m married, so it’s not like I’m ‘not allowed’, and it was a ladies’ party where others were acting even sillier than I was.  I actually was pretty tame. I’ve always come across as the ‘innocent’ type, and this was actually true in a lot of ways, so the silliness was particularly funny coming from me. However, at one point it went too far. I don’t remember exactly when that was, but it came to my attention that some people in the staff didn’t realize it was a joke (or, not to the level that it was).  It seemed to me that some of the men who didn’t know it was a joke thought that I was ‘easy’ or that it was acceptable to talk to me in that sort of way. Of course that’s not acceptable in a work environment, period. However, this wasn’t the first time something of this nature had happened, or the first time someone got the wrong idea about me because of a joke or a passing comment that was heard out of context. I’m not a prude or anything, and I like knowing that I’m attractive.  I also once made the mistake of showing the blog to someone who was a fellow writer in the ‘can you proofread this’ sense…I thought he would be professional enough to know that I wasn’t hitting on him, not to mention the fact that we are both married. Or so I thought. He doesn’t hit on me anymore or talk to me in a sexual manner because I shut that down rather quickly, but I’d rather not have that happen again.  I would *never* do anything to hurt my husband like that. Never. I guess I’m still a lot more naive and trusting than I should be.  Oh well, live and learn.

I figure the writing is a much better way to deal with the hypersexuality stuff with bipolar and everything else than going out and screwing whatever moves.  Of course, they’re all fictional.  I was offered a job a few years ago writing for a sex-toys catalogue, but I turned it down…I just didn’t feel it was right, that it was very ‘Christian’. That, and it was an hour-and-a-half away! I don’t have as many misgivings about this for some reason, but back then I *was* a lot more conservative. My family still picks on me about that. 🙂

On another, unrelated note:

I thought about participating in a lawsuit regarding one of my former medicines.  The birth control I was on before has recently been linked to several problems like heart and gallbladder issues. I did have gallbladder issues in 2007, but it took a few months before anyone could figure out what was wrong. Three ER visits, several doctor visits, not being able to eat (and thus my Geodon for bipolar didn’t work…I ended up suicidal)…it was an awful time. I didn’t participate in the end because I did my homework and was concerned that I wasn’t getting a good deal with the firm that was handling it.  I got a contract and tried to read it but didn’t understand all of the ‘legalese’…I just didn’t feel right about it, not morally but I was afraid some of the ‘legalese’ would put me on the hook for costs or other things I didn’t want or couldn’t afford to do.  They explained to me that they weren’t going to get paid unless I did, but the contingency was waaaaaaaayyyyyy more than charged by many other firms and I just didn’t trust them. Lawyers, I mean. I can’t afford to have *anything* go wrong, so I figured I should just stay out of it. I know, I know, feel free to tell me how dumb I was here too…:)

Anyway, I’ve gone on long enough. Have a good day!


What would you call this? Possibly triggering and annoying babble…

The part below-above the asterisk row-was written a long time ago, but I got the idea to post it here because I’ve read several stories from my friends about similar issues and thought I’d add my ‘me too’ and let them know they’re not alone.- PQ

Okay, many of you who know me have heard me talk about this. I had an idea of what to call it, but some conversations with a friend made me wonder. What would the name be for this situation:

I was in a relationship in college. It lasted about 3.5-4 years. We did not have intercourse. But there were many things of a sexual nature that I did that I did not want to do. Stuff like fondling, oral sex, ‘dry humping’, using his fingers on me, etc. There were times when I did want to do things, but there were many times when I didn’t. Sometimes he would do something like touch me sexually and I would say no, but he would continue. Sometimes I would end up enjoying it, but not always. He would make sexual comments about me and other women, and some of his friends did too. When I would say something about it, he would make me feel as though I was wrong, too ‘prudish’ (I had been told before by other friends that I was too judgemental about sex), that I needed to ‘loosen up’. Toward the end, I would get quite angry and would not want to show any part of my body to him, would be very ashamed that anyone knew we did stuff, etc. He would make comments about it to argue with me and seem/get angry, knowing that I didn’t want to hurt or make people mad. Basically he was playing on my good nature.

He would manipulate me into doing many things. He’d use tactics like lying/pretending to be sad that I didn’t want to fool around, arguing with me, giving guilt trips, etc. If I were talking to anyone else I’d call it “coercion”, but for some reason I draw a blank when it comes to myself. We got along well sometimes, so I basically did things because I felt like I had to. I thought that that was just what you do, that I had to have a ‘tradeoff’ and give sexual favors to get the good things like support, etc. There were several times when I would wake up and he would be touching me sexually.

He would occasionally say something like an apology and that he was doing wrong, and stop for about a week or so. But he would shortly go right back to the same old thing. I stayed mainly because (as I see it now) he manipulated me and got me to where I felt dependent on him or didn’t feel strong enough to leave. Once, when I did break up with him, he would come up and try to be my friend. He would give advice to me about guys I was interested in, tell me how I deserved better and swoop right in when they left me alone. Come to find out, they mainly did that because he was harassing them and interfering.

I know the emotional and psychological stuff would be abuse, but what about the sexual stuff? At the time I didn’t know it had a name or that anyone would believe me or think it was wrong because he was my boyfriend. Also, there were times when I did want to do things, or ended up enjoying it.

Would that be a separate type of abuse? I thought that ‘rape’ had to be forced intercourse, and there wasn’t any of that.  I was talking with a friend, and she said something that make me reconsider that perhaps it really *was* rape because of the use of fingers. She also said that my eventual enjoyment of it was irrelevant, that it was the fact that he did not take no for an answer and that he did this consistently over a long period of time that was problematic. That prompted me to start reading on the internet about the subject, but I got different ideas and definitions from different sources.

What do you think? What would the name be for this, if any? I was using ‘sexual abuse’, but my friend’s comments made me wonder.

******************************************

The above was posted on Beliefnet.com a while back in the form of a thread on the Sexual Ethics board:

http://community.beliefnet.com/go/thread/view/43931/13270689/What_is_the_name_for_this

As  you can see here, I got some good responses and some nasty responses. They all told me things I’d already thought of: that it was my fault because I stayed with him and because I had done things in the past; that it didn’t matter what happened in the past, that it was still wrong for him not to take ‘no’ for an answer; that I didn’t set clear enough boundaries and gave him mixed messages, and so I was just as wrong; the whole ‘why didn’t you leave him?’…same old same old.

I don’t want to go on about how I’m a victim…I *hate* that word! I’ve managed to have good relationships with men since then, even if my view of sex might have changed a bit. What’s strange is that this whole thing still effects me, 10+ years later…probably affects me more now than it did around when it actually happened. I’m told that is fairly common.  I just hate how, even now, even seeing his *name* or someone who looks like him shakes me up.  In fact, I was working on a project about abuse in relationships a while back, but had to table it for a while because thinking of it all started weighing on me and I would find myself thinking or talking about it so much that it got in the way of other, very important things- things like taking Facebook quizzes and drooling over blonde male Aussies on TV. 🙂  Can’t have that, now, can we? 🙂

I tend to make jokes to try to deal with things, even if some don’t think I should.  I refer to this ex as Psycho Rapist because I think it sounds funny but I also don’t want to say his name. There are just *so many levels* to this relationship.  I had low self-esteem, didn’t think what I wanted was very important, thought I had to please people or else I was a bad person, thought it was a matter of taking the good with the bad, etc…typical thought patterns of a person in an abusive relationship. However, sometimes it still hits me. Not at this moment, but sometimes it takes very little to bring thoughts back up.  Now, there were some decent things and some fun things, and I keep trying to tell myself that, but I still keep going back to the negative, especially when I read about a friend having a bad situation. I hate that my friends have had these sorts of things happen to them.

Seriously, though-a few months ago he sent a friend request to me on Facebook. He sent and I ignored them three different times (he even sent them two days apart from each other), and ended up blocking him.

I’ve asked myself, friends and spiritual advisers about forgiving him about three or four times in the past few years, but for some reason I can’t seem to drill anything through my head. I’ve wrestled with that sort of thing many times, although lately I haven’t really.  It comes and goes. I just feel so weird because I know he can’t hurt me, probably doesn’t want to, he’s married, it’s been about ten years since I last saw him, etc…but still seeing his name kind of ‘kicked me’. This is what sometimes goes through my head: I keep going back and forth in my head remembering how I thought I had forgiven him a long time ago…actually, more than once…but every now and then I’m reminded of things, and back to square one. I feel bad because he didn’t hit me or anything…besides, it’s Facebook, what could it hurt? But I don’t like looking at another friend’s picture because that picture resembles PR…I still use that name…but it was so long ago and I should be past this by now…Round and round and round it goes…

But anyway, my question is if there something wrong with me spiritually that I keep thinking I forgave him but still feel shaken up by seeing his name.  I know forgiving doesn’t always mean that you have to have a relationship with that person and I don’t necessarily want bad things to happen to him, but shouldn’t I be at the point where I don’t feel nervous when I see him? Isn’t that kind of holding everything against him all over again? The verses about God not forgiving us if we don’t forgive others keep coming to mind.

As you see, I’ve become an expert in self-flagellation. I would *never* suggest to anyone else that they weren’t going to be forgiven if they didn’t forgive, or that they had to have a relationship with someone who hurt them. He just brought me back in so many times by using that, by manipulating me and appealing to my good nature. Appealing to my faith, basically anything really he could find a foothold.

I’ll stop babbling now; I’m probably not making sense anyway.  As you can tell, I’ve copied and pasted from other things I’ve written before, but I’ve thought I might as well because I keep going over the same things in my head over and over again. Most of it has never been published before, so it’s kind of like writing it for the first time.


What about men? *potentially angering*

This post might piss some of you off.  It’s a post I wrote a while back in response to a thread on Beliefnet.com about sexism…it’s kind of an old rant but it’s been brought back to mind lately because of some other things I’ve heard said. I love men, but I don’t like some of the attitudes I’ve seen among certain ‘church groups’, which I mention below.  Get your vomit buckets ready. 🙂  -PQ
I used to be a Christian fundamentalist. I live in the South. I have heard a lot of prescriptions of how women need to be and how anyone who deviates even slightly is ‘sinning’ or ‘rebellious’. I’ve recently been subjected to two such lectures on a thread about anti-male sexism and others-one poster saying he hates ‘feminists’ (defined by him as any woman who doesn’t do whatever her man tells her to do, all the time, without question), and another one who might seem a bit more progressive, but has talked about us in such sexualized terms that it is very clear that he has no respect for us as anything other than sex objects. The second one claims to be ‘fakeposting’, but no one is laughing at either one.

So, we have plenty of talk about how women ‘should’ be. I have heard many, many lessons from conservative ‘church people’ about how women should be, and the world tells us every message in the book about this.

But what about men? Why don’t the conservative evangelical/fundamentalist* churches here spend much time at all talking about how the men should be? Why don’t we hear anything about men being expected to love and respect their wives, rather than hearing how we somehow deserve it if our man doesn’t treat us well? We have heard men say on discussion forum threads about how the abusive relationships some of us have been in were wrong, but why do we only hear this on threads, rather than having evangelists and preachers teaching men how to behave properly toward women?  I can honestly say that, in all my time as a fundamentalist (roughly 10 years, give or take) , I never once heard any preacher or teacher talk about how treating your wife badly is wrong. I have heard a lot about how we women can earn the respect and love of our husbands….which is basically saying that it is my fault if my husband beats the crap out of me and runs around behind my back.  Why doesn’t the world talk about how a ‘real man’ treats women and behaves? Why don’t we see magazine articles talking about how a man can treat a woman well, without sex being used as an incentive?

And no, I do not have issue with men in general. Most of my friends are men. I will say, though, that I was really apprehensive when my husband mentioned that his family is part of a conservative denomination, because I thought he would end up being like my ex and making me feel like crap for not fitting some mold while not making a single effort himself to contribute at all.  The passive-aggressive shit really gets old. But by the grace of God, my husband is more like my father than like my ex, and is a *real man*, not threatened by my having a different opinion.

Call me a bitch all you like. Apparently I am the worst kind of woman around, or so I have been told. 🙂

*conservative evangelicals/fundamentalist are a somewhat different breed here in the southern US/Bible Belt than they are in other countries.  Most are good people, but their beliefs are much more rigid than you might see people called by the same name elsewhere.


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