Having Worth

I have been working on being stronger, emotionally and physically.  I am losing weight and improving my nutrition and today I focused on my mind.

I find myself thinking about a trip to Rhode Island. I went on assignment for the agency I was working for when I was an exotic dancer. They asked I take two other girls in exchange for fuel, room and board. We arrived to find out that place we were working was not exactly for me. I told the two girls I was going home, one of which had already paid her fuel and the other had said she would pay for her part of the fuel when we got there.

She loved working there, but said she wanted to go back with us and would work a day to get the money for the fuel. Not a problem. We hung out at the house they set up for the girls while she went to work. She came back that night high as a kite having spent her earnings on drugs asking we spend another day, give her a chance.

The other girl was a friend of mine, someone I had known a long time.  To understand her surprise at my reaction you need a bit of history. She also was an abuse survivor and had some pretty odd behaviors that would make any other person walk away from her. The biggest one being sleeping with anyone I dated, with the exception of one guy who said no. She though I was a pushover, but didn’t realize I actually didn’t care.  If any of those guys meant anything to me or if I to them, they would have said no, and surely wouldn’t taken advantage of a girl who had heavy emotional issues. Plus sex and love to me are two very different things.

But back to the pushover.  She though I was a bit of one and though, oh well Jo will just take this girl home… but I had already packed the car and was ready to go.

I grabbed my keys walked out of the house and said Deanne, are you coming?

The other girl, I cant remember her real name, just remember everyone called her Scarface because she had been in a few knife fights while high, followed us out screaming you can’t leave me here and I rolled down my window and said yes I can. She went to punch me through the window barely grazing my face as my car moved forward. I didn’t need to say anything to her. I also was there to support my children, not party or raise money for drugs. I wanted no part of that life.

It wasn’t about anger, it was about saying I am not putting myself in this situation. I choose to help when I can and I am not a victim. I am not blind. If I love you and  I see that there is hope, I will do my best to stick by your side, but don’t mistake that for being a pushover or weak. (There is the exception where I do love a child of someone who is not exactly friend material hoping to be an influence, but it never lasts.)

After this, Deanne never slept with any of the other guys I dated,  eventually moved out of my house, and from what I heard managed to get her life together quite nicely.

This all has a point. Today I was supposed to start a job.  But they tried to put me in a situation of being less than, into a role of victim, someone to be used and not appreciated.

I thought about this very carefully, discussed it with my husband and some close friends as I wanted to make sure I wasn’t making a rash choice and in the end it is about being strong and having self worth.

I was very honest in the interview about being an abuse survivor and although I have had some friends who say don’t tell people that, don’t tell people the truth, I am always honest about anything I am asked.

Here is part of what I wrote to them today about leaving.

This has already put me in a situation where I feel that I am being asked to prove myself as an abuse survivor and I found that I was feeling like I was being pushed back into that slot of “victim” which I am not.

Also some of the comments were outright insulting. To think that I would ever discuss my personal history with a child is horrific.  I can’t imagine even having to ask someone not to do that.  Perhaps because you are working with abusive parents where this may be an issue is why you would consider doing so, but I did not come to you as a parent who was court ordered, I came to you as a loving parent who thought she could help others by being an example of what a loving nurturing human being could be.

Under the volunteers do’s & don’ts there is be friendly, be courteous, be a good listener, be non judgmental.  I was judged by being honest and saying I was an abuse survivor.  Immediately my worth went down and concern became the focus. I do not need to put myself or my family in that situation. It is emotionally detrimental to all of us and my focus has to be on making a strong family and a strong community.

I am sure you will find the right fit for your group. Someone that doesn’t raise concerns or have a history that causes concern.

Sometimes children who go through abuse can not only survive, but come out strong, intelligent loving adult beings.  The cycle can be broken and no one in this world has gone through life without some damage.  I choose to not step back into that cycle. I deserve better and so do you by finding someone you don’t have to even consider being so precautionary with.

SOOOOO What does one story have to do with the other.

I had that same feeling after leaving that girl in Rhode Island as I did today hitting send on the email. It is weird because neither situation is similar in any way from the outside, but from the inside it just felt familiar. In both of these situations the women were in control of the situation. The outcome for either of them could have been different. They made what I consider poor choices and assumptions about me and though I would accept less than pure respect and in both cases I chose to walk away.

If you are not sure of me, then don’t waste my time or yours. I know how I am and wont allow anyone to undermine my value and worth.

Added after… A dear friend also said something wise about why it feels so odd right now.

Growing pains darlin – morphing into your next state of self feels great, post morph. During, it can feel all kinds of odd.

January 07 2010 12:19 pm | Attachment Parenting and Children and Journal and Rants

2 Responses to “Having Worth”

  1. Jeffery Odiase Says:

    Great site I?m happy I stumbled onto it through my friend?s blog. Going to need to add another blog to the morning routine

  2. Samantha Says:

    I just wanted to say that I applaud you for you strength in the situations that you were in. You knowledge and understanding of life and the feelings you felt proves that you could have be a valuable asset to the group. Survivors are often the best for helping vicitms deal with their situation as they can understand, be compassionate, supportive, and non-judgemental approach. I’m sure that you will be able to find somthing that will allow you to help other victims become survivors!

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