Ray Rice and Dometsic Violence

I’m sure by now everyone has heard about Ray Rice’s assault on his then finance Janay.  Another video was just released showing what actually happened in that elevator and his contract with the Ravens has been terminated and he has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL.

Unfortunately some people don’t understand the severity of domestic violence until they see it with their own eyes.  They can be told she was knocked out but after seeing a man hit a woman that hard, it has much more of an emotional “Oh my God” impact.  Then people understand.  I don’t think he would’ve been fired if that video hadn’t gone public.  If the NFL saw it but no one else, I think they wouldn’t have said a word.  Public outcry is the only reason they terminated his contract and suspended him.

Even though that may be true, I don’t think the video should have gone public.  First of all, it makes the victim relive that moment over and over again.  Second, survivors should be in control of their own stories.  They determine when or if it is ok to talk about their assault and what details to share, not the media.  The survivor always has to be in the forefront of our minds, not the scandal or ratings.

I read yesterday Janay’s reaction, blaming the public and media for her husbands termination and it breaks my heart.  It was his conscious choice to hit her twice and knock her out, it was his fault.  I wish she could say “The media shouldn’t have made that video public, that is my story to share, not theirs.  It is a shame what happened to my husband, but he shouldn’t have hit me.  There is no excuse for that.  His decision made him lose his job” because that’s the truth. 

I was also reading on Twitter a wonderful hashtag #whyIstayed and #whyIleft.  I hope that really shines light on domestic violence.  I’ve read so many people saying she stayed for his money….there are a lot of reasons why a victims stays even if their partner doesn’t have a dime to their name.  It’s a strange mindset to be in a relationships with someone who hurts you or doesn’t respect you.  At the time it makes complete and total sense to you when the rest of the world wonders why.  Living in fear, living with someone where you always have to watch your back becomes an every day habit, you get used to being afraid like it’s something normal.  That’s the point where you feel so worthless than you actually believe you deserve the way you’re being treated, that you did something to cause your partner to treat you that way, so you just be careful as to not to set them off.  That becomes your life.

There have been some very positive changes in society and as we all work together we can make a difference, we can make a change and we can fight this.

Side note: There is still space at the seminar I’m hosting with Jessie on October 11th at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL.  If you’d like to register, please visit www.1is2many.eventbrite.com.  If you don’t live in the area but still want to make a difference, I’m doing a walk for Mutual Ground, a local domestic violence/sexual assault shelter and am currently fundraising.  If you’d like to contribute please click here.

♥ Meggie

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Hard Work Pays Off

For the last few months, I’ve been working my butt off.  A lot of things have happened recently.

First of all, the wonderful manager of WAR Chest took a well deserved trip.  So for the past 6 weeks, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to work in the store on Friday’s.  It was so much fun!  I absolutely love talking to people and doing everything in the store!  I can’t think of one thing I dislike. 

She has also asked me to help plan events for the boutique, which I am so excited about!  Event planning is one of my favorite things to do.  It’s challenging, keeps me busy and I love coming up with creative new ideas! 

Not only that, I’ve been taking some photographs of volunteers as models.  This is something so new to me.  I love photography, but I don’t typically take photos of people so I’m learning the best ways to pose people and how to direct them to create the perfect shot.

Through that work with the boutique, I’ve been contacted by a local fashion blogger to potentially take photos for her blog!!  I should be meeting with her soon and I am so excited!  Also, a volunteer wanted to hire me to take photos of her grandsons.  How exciting is that?  I can maybe start making a little extra money doing something I love and continue to perfect my skills.  With student loans to worry about, any extra income would be wonderful.

I’ve taken over the Instagram account for Feral Fixers, a local cat rescue.  I’ve also been working more of their events and trying to help with marketing as best I can.  They’ve been working so hard to place so many cats and kittens in a home.   If you live in the Chicagoland area (especially Dupage County) check them out!

On top of that, I’m still doing a fundraising walk with my sister, my best friend Kristiii and my sister’s friend for Mutual Ground and I’ve just signed on to run a 5k for Traffick Free.

Finally, my pride and joy.  The last few months I’ve been working on a seminar to raise awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault.  I have been emailing back and forth with Benedictine University and finally scheduled a time and reserved a room.  They have been so immensely helpful, I can’t even put into words!  It’s been really long days and nights, scheduling photo shoots for marketing material, editing those photos, adding our information, writing event details, setting up accounts, sending out press releases hoping to be picked up by someone, creating contact lists and so much more. 

I’ve been working so hard to get everything together and it is finally happening!  So far 9 people have officially registered and we are hoping for many many more.  I am getting to the point where I am almost completely exhausted, but so excited at the same time.

If anyone is interested in coming you can register at www.1is2many.eventbrite.com

I can’t thank the people who have been helping enough and I’m so excited to see the outcome of this event! Keeping my fingers crossed!

♥ Meggie

Second Thoughts and Letting Go

What do you do in that moment when you start second guessing yourself? Part of you feels as though you’re being unreasonable, there are all these signs, moment that simply prove you wrong. How dare you over think, over analyze this!

However there is this feeling, something from deep inside of you, like a small ember starting to burn, of self doubt. This horrible creeping fear that you are actually wrong, you shouldn’t have trusted, you shouldn’t have believed this.

Thats the problem with us, we sometime lose ourselves in our fear. We let that ember grow into a raging inferno and it completely negates the positive moment we’re in. Why do we sabotage ourselves like this?

That’s a question I always ask myself, just like I’m doing right at this very instant. I don’t know why I over think things. Sometimes I’m just so incredibly afraid that I’m wrong, that this is simply too good to be true, that what I have, that moment that I’m in, it’s not as real for the other person as it is for me.

I’ve always been anxious, I’ve always worried, but when it came to relationships with the people around me, that was never a concern of mine. I was always able to trust without fear, without second thoughts. I think this is just one of the remnants if what I had to go through because I always knew he wanted other girls, that he was constantly looking, that he never cared about me therefore it was always a concern. I could never trust him, especially when he told me he only wanted me. When you hear that so many times, the words just become empty, no matter who says them. My biggest fear is to be lied to by someone I care about, I would prefer anything in the entire world rather than being lied to.

So right now, blogging on my phone, in an apartment that isn’t mine, I am suddenly gripped by this fear and I hate it. I want to trust like before and I know that will happen again, eventually, but until then, this is frustrating. So maybe by sharing my thoughts, writing them as I experience them, I can silence my busy mind and release my tension, anxiety and second thoughts.

The first thing to do, well the first thing I always do when I feel any negative emotion, fear, sadness, anxiety, nervousness, is acknowledge what I’m feeling. I don’t ignore it, I don’t pretend its not happening. I open my self up to it and take a second to think why am I feeling this way? Is it really what I should be feeling? To be honest most of the time that answer is no and at that moment I it let go. If that doesn’t work, I write it down, more of physical release rather than a mental one.

So now it’s time to let go and enjoy my evening. Thanks for listening!

Meggie

Just a Kiss

So I rarely follow celebrity news, but I heard on the radio about Jason Aldean went to a bar and he had too much to drink and kissed Brittany Kerr.  He left the bar alone and then the photos surfaced.  Kerr received so many ‘hate tweets’, I guess that’s what you’d call them, that she had to shut down her Twitter account. This is all from what I’ve read.  For the most part, from what I’ve read on Aldean’s Facebook page, the response toward him was fairly positive, agreeing that he just made a mistake.

I have a few things to say about this that because it really bugs me.  First of all, I”m a MASSIVE Jason Aldean fan.  I”ve seen him the past 3 years in a row and 1 time before that and the seats I paid for to see him, they were NOT cheap because I love his music so much.  I have every CD he’s released, clothing with his name on it and can quote any song on the spot.  Needless to say, I’m a huge fan.

The thing that bothers me so much is the negative response to Kerr.  She claims that she didn’t know he was married with 2 kids.  IF this is true and she wasn’t just saying that, then nothing is her fault!  If I thought Aldean was single and saw him in a bar the first thing I’d do would be to take a shot and go right up to him and pray I’d be kissing him by the end of the night!  He’s JASON ALDEAN!

IF she really did know he was married, then I still think it was Aldean’s fault.  As a single woman OR man (if the roles were reversed) you have the right to hit on whoever you want.  I personally think it’s sleazy to hit on a married person (or committed if you are just in the boyfriend/girlfriend stage) and I don’t think that makes you a nice person, but it’s the married person’s job to say no.  The one who is making the move has no responsibility to the person’s family.  In this case Kerr can be a sleazy person if she really wants to be but it is Aldean’s responsibility to his wife, the woman he swore to love and cherish for the rest of his entire life and had two children with, to say no, I’m a married man.  It was HIS responsibility to say no because HE was the one in a relationship.  If he did drink too much, it’s still his fault.  If you can’t handle your alcohol, then don’t drink or don’t drink so much.  At his age, he should know his tolerance and how many drinks it take for him to act inappropriately in public.

It seems as though women get the brunt of the hate in these situations.  Another well published event was Kristin Stewart and her director.  I’d like to point out that I am not a fan of Stewart and it is mind-boggling why she even gets paid to act because she is awful.  Yea she acted like a really sleazy person, but it was the director that was married with kids, it was HIS responsibility to say no because he was the one who devoted his life to someone.  All you heard in headlines was Stewart is so bad for sleeping with a married man, not a married man slept with Stewart.  Stewart should have received some of the negative comments because I believe, if I remember correctly, that she cheated on Pattinson.  It just seemed like most of the blame was laid on Stewart.  It would be the same if it was reversed if Stewart or Kerr were married and the director or Aldean were single and hit on them, then it  would be the fault of the women in my opinion.

Sometimes I think men and women are viewed differently in these situations.  In most cases, I feel, women are called sluts and home wreckers and men have just made mistakes or were too tempted.  To me, whoever is in the committed relationship, whether they are male or female, it is 100% their responsibility to deny those who hit on them.  The other party, the single person who does the ‘hitting on’ to me is not a good person, but they can hit on whoever they want.

I will still buy Aldean’s music, he didn’t kill anyone or commit an offense so vulgar that I feel I can’t still like his music.  In this situation, it’s not my place to judge him, I’m not the woman who’s heart he broke, that is his wife and her place to decide if she wants to forgive him, not mine.