Desensitized America


Donald Trump’s words are not just “naughty” or “dirty” but are the epitome of rape culture, and it’s an insult to women to compare his remarks to a fictional story.

Let me put it simply for those that cannot seem to grasp the difference between talking about sex and boasting about sexual assault.

  1. He boasted about forcing himself on women!
  2. He boasted about forcing himself on women because he’s famous and can get away with it!
  3. He boasted about forcing himself on women!

I can’t say it louder or more clear. Any time someone forces themself on you, grabs you without your consent, kisses you without your consent, does anything to you without your consent, it is SEXUAL ABUSE!

50 Shades of Grey is a fictional novel about a girl and a guy and all the sex they have . . . together . . . consensual . . . not forced. We can definitely say the sexual relationship in this novel is not entirely healthy and there is definitely a power struggle between the two characters. The man is rich and powerful. The woman is not. But we don’t need to go into all the semantics of this fictional relationship and the fictional sex that goes on in this FICTIONAL story. This novel and all the women who have read it, are not on trial here. Trump’s disgusting, perverted behavior is on trial. We have proof of him bragging about committing illegal acts. Why is this okay? The fact that this rapist (yes, I said it, if you have any doubt, read this article) is still in the running for President of the United States just shows how rape culture is a real thing. And the fact that this grotesque blob of a vile human being can’t even give a proper apology without trying to defer blame or minimize his transgressions, shows how manipulative and abusive he truly is.

Let’s recap. He bragged about how his power allows him to just walk up to a woman and kiss her or grab her by the pussy or whatever, because they just “let” him do it. Yet he says he doesn’t even wait. So I have to ask this ignorant little man, in what time between you not waiting to move in on a woman and just straight up kissing her or forcing yourself on her, does she have a chance to “let” you do these things? Oh, that’s because she’s not LETTING you do these things to her, she just has to take it, because you’re a star. No, you’re a rapist and a pervert and need to be in jail.

To compare degrading remarks, blatant sexual assault, and the exploitation of his own daughter to a fictional story is just as insulting to women everywhere. It is the reason rape culture exists. Everyone who is ready to find some type of excuse as to why his actions weren’t “that bad” are also part of the problem. Until we expect men to be held accountable for their actions, instead of blaming the victim for either being too drunk or dressing too provocatively, men like Trump will continue to have “locker room” discussions about exploiting those weaker than them.

We have become desensitized, expecting judges to show leniency on privileged white boys who rape women behind dumpsters. We are growing numb to the continued injustice of it all. Like a woman in an abusive and manipulative relationship, we are losing sight of our individuality and have made too many compromises in order to keep the peace. No more. We must break out of this dangerous relationship with rape culture and start holding men like Donald Trump accountable for their actions.


~Christa G. & Lindsey V.



Tender Hearts



We live in a self-centered society, where a good amount of the people in it refuse to see past the nose on their face. Where selfishness and personal gain outweigh the ability to show compassion and kindness. A society that can be toxic for the tenderhearted.

I have always been one to pour my heart and soul into everything and everyone around me. I encourage friends and loved ones to follow their dreams. I support local businesses and friend-owned businesses, and pour my best into always uplifting and promoting them. I try to be a light in a, far too often, dim world. Unfortunately, when the realization sets in, that not everyone upholds these values at the same level you do… it can be disheartening. You never know what someone is going through at any given time, and social media profiles are the worst way to gauge whether or not someone has it all together.


Don’t let the callousness of others drain the ability to always see good, from your heart. Don’t allow a bitter spirit to take away your joy. Continue giving. Continue loving. Continue being you. You may just be the bright difference that someone needed in their day. Light and love to you all.

~Christa G.

Better With Age



I’m a recovering chameleon. I lived mirroring those around me. I dared not show my true colors for fear of being rejected or humiliated. I conformed to my boyfriend’s ideals and lifestyle. So much of my time and effort was spent emulating those around me that I barely knew myself. I had no idea how to be myself and I’m still learning.

I was watching an episode of Grace and Frankie today, on my lazy Sunday. It’s the episode where Jane Fonda’s character, Grace, is trying to impress a new boyfriend by pretending to like golf. Lily Tomlin’s character, Frankie, calls her out on it and reminds Grace how much she hates golf. Grace admits that she is afraid her new boyfriend won’t find her interesting enough if she admitted to him that she despised his favorite sport. This really hit home with me and it broke my heart. Here was a 70-year-old woman (yes, fictional, but definitely relatable) who still feared rejection to such a degree that she continued to lie to herself, as well as others.

By the time I’m 70, I want to be that lady that dies her hair hot pink and says whatever the bleepity-bleep she wants to say. I’ve earned it. Like a mature Cabernet Sauvignon, I will just get better and more unique with age. I want to give wise, no-nonsense advice to poor younger girls still figuring things out. And when I do, I want to sit back, adjust my hot pink wig, and think how damn lucky I am to have lived through all that bullshit, whilst sipping a glass of Bordeaux. Because you see, life is too short to pretend to be something you’re not. And some people are too shitty and petty to waste your efforts on.

So right now, I am going to channel my inner 70-year-old Cabernet self just waiting to be aired out in a glass carafe and say, “How do you want to live the rest of your life? Forever comprising yourself for the pleasure of others? Or are you going to focus on what makes you happy and content and let all that other bullshit follow? Because, honey, when you get to be my age, you’ll wish you had stayed true to yourself.”

*sips glass of Bordeaux and cackles softly*

~Lindsey V.

Through the Cracks


On June 1, 2011, my friend, Jacque Waller, went missing. While I prayed fervently for her to be found alive, I still had that terrible feeling that something far more cynical had happened. Everyone knew that her soon-to-be ex-husband was a ticking time bomb. I took care of her triplets for a short time, in her home, and always felt uneasy around him. I had heard stories about his outbursts from a few friends that worked closely with him. We suspected him from the very beginning. Two years later, he finally confessed and gave the location of her body and she was laid to rest. Unfortunately, this happens to more and more victims of abuse every year.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice in 2007 intimate partners committed 14% of all homicides in the U.S. The total estimated number of intimate partner homicide victims in 2007 was 2,340, including 1,640 females and 700 males. With statistics such as these, why have we not seen a decrease in these numbers? Why aren’t there higher measures in place to ensure the safety of those that have filed claims against their abusers? What can be done to help keep victims safe from their abusers? These questions are finally being addressed after the brutal torture of one woman by her estranged ex-husband who was arrested, then freed on bond, and given the opportunity to kidnap her again. By then, it was too late, he followed through with his threats in shooting her and then himself.

Hopefully, one day, these abusers won’t be allowed to fall through the cracks. Hopefully our justice system will increase laws to ensure that these highly dangerous cases aren’t allowed out on bail. Hopefully the system will allow higher safety measures to victims that need help.

Thank you to Lindsey V. for the inspiration behind this post.

~Christa G.

Wuv, Twu Wuv

“Mawiage is what bwings us togevah today…”

Had I been asked 5 years ago if true love really did exist, I would have said absolutely not. Love seemed like a struggle to me. The term “love-hate relationship” was definitely the only thing I knew of. And if so much hate could be prevalent where there was supposed to be love, then it wasn’t true love in my opinion.

Love was a fairytale. A fantasy that could never be achieved in the real world.

Little did I know, the reason I felt that way was due to the fact that love was absent from my relationship. Love cannot be found where abuse is present.

When I was able to free myself from that toxic relationship, it was as though a veil was lifted. I was freed from the thoughts that I was worthless, ugly, and unsuccessful and found a strength I didn’t know I had. I gained true love for myself. It took some time, but I eventually realized that everything I thought a relationship should be like was a lie. When I discovered what love should actually feel like, I was changed in so many ways. Bitterness and resentment were wiped away and replaced with a newfound confidence. When you receive pure love, you are able to give so much more. The best description for love, that I can think of, can be found in the bible…

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

When love is present, so is hope, trust, faithfulness, and honesty. There will be disagreements, but compromise should always be achieved with civility. With true love, we respect each other’s time, beliefs, morals, goals, and wishes. Through it all, I have realized that true love should not come at a price to my own happiness and self-worth. Where there is happiness there is love.


~Christa G.




I stumbled across this story on Facebook the other day and was inspired by the courage and passion in this woman. Melissa Dohme, a miraculous survivor of domestic violence in which her ex boyfriend stabbed her 32 times, leaving her for dead in the middle of a road. Thankfully, two teenagers heard her screaming, called 911, and managed to stop her attacker, who then drove away and attempted suicide. Dohme now dedicates her life to educating others on domestic violence. She recognized a great need to spread awareness. Luckily her attacker is facing a life sentence with no chance of parole, but other women in similar situations have not been so lucky. Dohme knows that she is a miracle, saved for a purpose to use her voice to speak for those who no longer have a voice. I am so humbled after reading her story, yet also enraged.

Let me explain. I only heard of Melissa Dohme because the article on Facebook was about how she had just become engaged to the man who saved her life. I normally don’t get into stories about grand proposals where the man has set up the perfect stage for popping the big question. I was attracted to the article because it mentioned her surviving being stabbed 32 times. 32 times! And I can’t help but ask the question of why am I just now hearing about this woman and her experience? Did it have to be accompanied by a crowd-pleasing story of her agreeing to marry the EMT who saved her life that horrific night? Why not celebrate this woman solely for her heroism and work with Hands Across the Bay? Yes, it’s an incredibly romantic story of her finding love again under such circumstances. And it is possible that I didn’t hear about this story before because it wasn’t circulating on Facebook. But it doesn’t change the fact that there is not enough media coverage on domestic violence. This is not a topic that is discussed openly at school or at home.

Parents, you need to talk to your kids about abusive relationships. Schools need to talk about abusive relationships. It’s not a complicated subject. It’s quite simple really. Abusers do not actually love you. They do not relate to you as a human being. They cannot empathize with you. You are an object to be controlled or manipulated. Melissa Dohme expressed the fact that no one talked about domestic violence in school. Lack of education on this matter is exactly why so many young girls or boys find themselves stuck in relationships that are destructive. They do not recognize it as abuse. They think that they are the problem. They think that love is something that is a deep long-suffering struggle. And they believe these things because it never entered their mind, until it was too late, that they could even be a victim of such a thing. They believe this because they grew up hearing others condemn women or men, like themselves, for never leaving such a relationship. They believe that the victim is at fault. They believe that they would never let themselves be with such a person. So they clearly are not with such a person. Because it could never happen to them.

~Lindsey V.

Game of Life


I’m all for second chances. Lord knows, I gave my ex a million.

But how do you know where to draw the line?

I think most of us want to see the best in people. We are optimistic when they promise change, promise to get help, or promise they won’t hurt us anymore. What we don’t realize at the time, is that usually those promises are empty. We’re told what they know we want to hear. They know exactly what to say to pull us back in and have worked too hard to mold us into their puppet to lose us. And we’re left gambling our life away, taking a risk that they’re being serious this time. This time they mean it, this time they’ll get help, this time. . . how can you tell if they’re sincere in their desire to change their circumstances?

Yes, occasionally, the person causing you emotional pain wants to change. . . but it is a rare occasion!

Here is what I did, and suggest to others experiencing these issues:

First, if they can’t discuss your fears and concerns in a civil manner, they will not be willing to seek help for the problem at hand. Whether it be a drug addiction, constant abuse, discord (we’re talking about seeking help and change for toxic behaviors that are tearing down your relationship and possibly even endangering you). Asking them to change their personality because you’re embarrassed by how loud they are, or you don’t like it when they’re lazy is never okay.

Second, if they are willing to sincerely seek out rehab, counseling, family counseling, or therapy to overcome their addiction or problem and they are not abusive to you during the process, it may be worth it to give them another chance. However, if this is the umpteenth time you’ve been through this they are never going to change.

Third, always ensure that you are not in danger staying in your environment.  If you are in danger, seek out help immediately. It is not worth it to risk your life. Healthy relationships will never put you in danger, make you feel worthless, or feel like your concerns don’t matter.

I endured the roller coaster for so long that I exhausted every bit of my ability to forgive my ex. I reached the point to which it was easy for me to walk away because the constant emotional abuse left me depressed, resentful, and cold. Don’t wait until you are so miserable you would rather die. Don’t wait until you are no longer able to lead a happy, normal life. Don’t wait until your kids can read your pain on your face.

Your happiness is the most important because without it you cannot successfully make those around you happy. We can only pretend for so long until exhaustion takes over. Do what you need to in order to find peace.

~Christa G.

Abuse Under a Bushel



This week’s post is by a very special guest . . . our mother.


Any form of abuse is not okay and you should avoid such relationships if you can. This article comes from a situation that a friend of mine is currently facing. I’ve been disciplining myself to not make Facebook a platform for discussion on religion and politics. I still need to work on that discipline. I try to be positive, most of the time, but this incident has really shaken me to the point of needing to write or do something to make us aware, not only as a person, but as Christians too. I confess, if I lived in the Victorian era I would be the mama chained to the wheel for Women’s Rights Movement. So, here I go.

A friend recently explained to me about certain issues her family is facing with their church. There is one thing about my friend that I know, they have put their life into serving the people and pastoral team. Several families are the backbone of that particular congregation. Are they perfect? No, but neither are we.

I realize every church faces different circumstances and every pastor has their way of handling these situations. I would not want to be a pastor, as I know this job is very stressful. Let’s face it, when you pastor a congregation, you are dealing with people. And dealing with other people’s problems has got to be the hardest and most frustrating job in the world. That is why it is important, that it is really your calling from God.

1 Peter 5:1-14

The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

Not much else needs to be said, this verse wraps up the calling of a Pastor, but the fruit of the Spirit is also key for any Christian.

Galatians 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against, such there is no law.

Abusive situations can and will arise and there are abusers even among church leaders and church members. Here are some things to look for in an abusive situation:

1) Public or private humiliation
2) Angry yelling
3) Afraid to invite others to church because of what may be said from the pulpit or by other church leaders or members
4) Ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments
5) Blame you for their own abusive behavior
6) See you as someone that can be ordered around
7) Intimidation or threats
8) Accusing and blaming
9) Judging and criticizing
10) Shunning

If you are a church member, leader, pastor, teacher or if you feel that you are in an abusive atmosphere, respect yourself by walking away. If you are enlightened and find yourself being an abuser in either one or more of these areas, you can change. We all have moments where some of these characteristics need to be squashed. However, when it is reoccurring, then we need the grace of God to change us. Self-help books, counseling, prayer…whatever it takes to help us to not abuse those around us.

I too, have taken on the mindset to be more positive, more caring, more respectful to others. It’s not always easy, as there are some times great aggravations when dealing with people. However, God is the only one that can change a heart. The only thing we can really do is encourage and support.

~Cindy C.



When I was a little girl, I was described as a giggle box, deliriously happy, always smiling, and a bundle of joy. I was the little blonde thing bouncing around, skipping along, singing, playing, imagining, and creating. I couldn’t sit still, but I’m pretty sure I was a bucket of fun! Always mischievous and getting into something.

And then. . . I grew up. Growing up changes us. Through our teens and early twenties, we are the most impressionable. Soaking up the actions, words, and advice of others like sponges. It only takes one insult to bring in doubts. A few jabs at your looks, intellect, actions, or opinions and your self-esteem will drop fast. And sadly, in most cases, it’s only one person wreaking havoc on your self-worth.

My unhealthy relationship took its toll on me and left me stripped of the ability to find joy. I soaked up the degradation, name-calling, and misery. And it left me feeling worthless, depressed, and confused. I began believing all of the insults and twisted stories.

I lost myself in his version of me . . .

There was a time when I heard my mother say that I was like a zombie. I showed no emotion, and seemed to be walking through life aimlessly.

My father, at one point, told me he missed my care-free spirit and the girl that laughed at everything, even the things that weren’t that funny.

I had been molded into a woman with no confidence in myself or my abilities to overcome obstacles. I was quiet, compliant, never spoke my mind, looked at myself as plain, unattractive, and unable to achieve success.

This is what happens to people that are continuously put down, and made to believe their opinions don’t matter.

This is what happens when you’re told you would look like a guy with a short haircut.

This is what happens when you’re blamed for everything that goes wrong.

This is what happens when your life is dictated by your partner.

Today, three years free of that relationship, I have found that bubbly little girl that can laugh freely. My grandfather, rest his soul, recently told me that he was glad to see me so happy and successful. People that have only recently met me can’t believe I ever struggled with low self-esteem or confidence, and can’t even begin to imagine that I was ever depressed and suicidal.

Once I was free from the manipulation, I was able to find myself. I was able to see that I am smart, confident, and successful. I was able to be the mother that my children needed. I no longer allow the degrading criticism of others to dictate how I should feel about myself.

Don’t get lost in the opinions that other people have about you. Don’t let your abuser define you.

Find yourself. Find your inner-child. Find your happy ending. . . and free yourself from those that hold you back.

I decide who I am.

~Christa G.



Slipping Away



Sister night. Girl’s night. These were impossible to have with my sister while she was still in her abusive marriage. He always had a reason for keeping her from spending time alone with me or her friends. The only chance we had to hang out was if we went to her home, unable to speak candidly or even relax because she was still the one to have to watch the kids. I didn’t understand it at the time. I thought he was just being selfish and lazy, not wanting to have to deal with the kids once we left. I thought his reasons were more innocently mean. I thought he was just a jerk. Until I actually lived through an abusive relationship, I never realized his underlying motives.

On the surface, isolating a partner from friends and family may just seem like an act of selfish disregard. And at first, the abuser may disguise this type of control as flattery . . . “You look too sexy in that dress, I don’t want any man lusting after you . . . I don’t want you to spend time with your friends tonight, I want you all to myself . . . You’re too smart for those friends of yours, how can you hang out with them? . . . If you stay in tonight, I promise I’ll make it up to you this weekend . . .” Early on, this type of possessiveness may seem a compliment. But as the abuse continues and worsens, the isolation is a way to maintain that control. By destroying the victim’s support group, by breaking it down, it increases the victim’s dependency on their partner. This is exactly what the abuser wants, he has her right where he wants her.

Eventually, with the loss of a support group, the victim loses their individuality. My sister was able to be molded into the wifely drone that her abusive husband desired her to be. She could not express herself outside of his manipulative grasp. This is vital to obtaining complete control over someone, because they will have nowhere or no one to turn to.

I felt my sister slowly slipping away from us. She was no longer the bubbly, optimistic and loving woman I used to know. I attributed it to exhaustion, to taking care of the kids and cleaning and working all on her own. I had no idea she was little by little forfeiting her identity over to her abuser. I had no idea she was having to keep the peace in her marriage at such an expense to herself. And then one day, after I left my own unhealthy relationship and began researching patterns of abusive behavior, did my eyes truly open to the reality of my sister’s situation. It was heartbreaking, but it was like suddenly stumbling across the cure to a disease. I knew she had to leave him. He was the tumor. He was the cancer destroying every cell in her life. I knew it was a life or death matter.

Years later, I have my sister back. We now can unabashedly drink wine and eat chocolate and drunkenly sing as many Phantom of the Opera songs as our little tipsy hearts desire. I will cherish these sister nights for the rest of our lives, because there was a time when I truly thought we would never have a chance to spend time together again. There was a time when I thought her husband would keep her from us. And there are those who have lost family members to an abusive partner. Verbal abuse most often leads to physical abuse and physical abuse most often leads to death. And if verbal abuse does not lead to physical abuse, it can lead to serious depression or suicide. If you know someone who is in an abusive relationship, please go to our helpful links section of our blog, there is plenty of material out there that helped us learn how to best help our loved ones. If you have a sibling or a loved one, treasure your time together.

~Lindsey V.