I was feeling anything but safe, but I was sitting at the kid’s table at my Mom’s church with my daughters, using watercolors on construction paper, painting the word “SAFE.”
My cell phone started receiving text messages from my boss, Marco Gonzalez.
We had recently met with Irene McCormack. Donna Frye sent her our way, and we heard from her firsthand how terrible the working environment was with then-Mayor Bob Filner; how he was verbally and physically sexually harassing her and others on San Diego City staff.
After meeting with Irene, Marco, Donna, and Cory Briggs called for Filner’s resignation. He responded with a vague video apology. We all knew it was his desperate, Tom Shepard PR-team-attempt to avoid accountability and continue forward with no change to protect the women in the Mayor’s office and broader community.
Irene then decided she would allow her name to be used, but despite her respect and credibility among local media, Marco knew the naysayers would immediately attempt to discredit her.
I went out in the quiet church parking lot to speak with Marco. His voice was full of grief and urgency, saying Irene needed others, even anonymously, to share their stories of Filner’s harassment to bolster her account. “It’s completely up to you, Sara. But Irene needs you.”
I definitely didn’t feel safe.
Original post: https://timesofsandiego.com/opinion/2018/04/05/metoo-democratic-women-will-not-be-quiet-at-annual-party-dinner/
By Carol Kim and Alexis Olbrei
The #MeToo movement marches forward in San Diego with this weekend’s “we will not be quiet” action at the 38th annual Roosevelt Dinner, which is the San Diego County Democratic Party’s major gala and awards event.
Local Democratic Party activists, members and elected officials will dress to impress and show up at the designated union hotel to network, share the latest news and celebrate our victories, as wells as raise money for the party’s operations and activities in the coming year. Unlike past years though, you’ll be seeing women and their allies wearing buttons bearing the statement, “I will not be quiet.” Continue reading
It can feel gratifying to fight. To win a protracted debate, point by point. But this can quickly become counterproductive if we’re not careful.
Loving our enemies, as I was reminded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s sermon, does not mean silently standing by as injustice continues to reign.
But if we operate in hate and bitterness, if we cannot envision the more just world we are trying to create, creating it first internally, we will never achieve our goal of peace. Continue reading
If “hurting people hurt people,” and the people they hurt react in ways that cause further injury in return, is that some kind of karmic cycle of deserved pain?
Is it possible for one person to disappoint and wound another so completely that they “earn” unlimited destructive retribution at the hand of the one whose pain they caused?
What if two people hurt each other in this pattern for years – then one finally puts the cycle to an end despite the other’s continued attempts to manipulate and inflict pain? Continue reading
My junior year of college I took the most collegiate class ever, at my Christian university, from Dr. Leffel. It combined principles of Nazarene (Wesleyan) theology and psychology, and included challenging deep texts and high-level conversation. I loved it.
But one premise in the class bothered me. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs seemed in conflict to me with the teachings of Jesus. Leffel told us that humans cannot live to their fullest potential if they do not have not only food, clothing, and shelter, but also don’t live with fear of wanting for any of these basics. At the time, I felt this was in conflict with the Beatitudes. “Blessed are the poor…” I’ve pondered this over the years, observing the experiences of myself and others. Sometimes financial insecurity forces us to value our families and relationships more. Sometimes wealth comes with a whole host of other problems. What’s best? I don’t know. But of course: food and shelter are necessary to basic heath, regardless.
There was one time I really stumped my professor, unfortunately, because I really wanted an answer.
Dr. Leffel was talking about the power of personal narrative. He gave the anecdotal story of a mother and her son. The father had died when the boy was too small to have many memories of his dad. Continue reading
Last night as I was pretending to sleep during a bout of insomnia, some of my worst memories resurfaced.
My early adulthood was traumatic. I was married at 20 and had my first child at 21. We scraped by on food stamps, his full time service industry job and my two part time, slightly better than minimum wage jobs. Before I was done nursing my first daughter, by some miracle (because the relationship had deteriorated by then) I was pregnant with the second.
That pregnancy was the most isolated I have ever been. My Aunties, cousins, and Grampie were my only local family, and I didn’t tell them or my Mom, Dad or Stepmom that I was alone with my toddler every day. That things were combative or sullenly quiet every evening. That many evenings he would go back out and I would be alone again with my suicidal thoughts. Only the love for my growing, talking, snuggly child kept me going.
In that state, I mostly felt shaken, broken, and vulnerable, but a couple times I lashed out in ways I deeply regret. Continue reading
So, how does one apologize?
If things have become so broken and toxic between two people that the parties no longer speak, and either via spoken or unspoken agreement there is no contact, how does one extend a for-real, heartfelt, growth-evident, highly specific apology, perhaps seeking but not expecting forgiveness?
And if such deep wounds require layers of cyclical healing to mend, such that additional apologies over time would deepen accordingly, how can complete peace be achieved in the absence of communication?
If a heart-wrenching “I’m sorry” is cried in the middle of the wilderness and there’s no one there to hear it, does it do any good? And is it still helpful if no forgiveness will ever be offered?
Often, social norms and our stoic legal system prevent healing. The icy, quit-cold-turkey separation that is necessary for a time serves to sever unhealthy connections and cycles, but that’s a tourniquet. It serves its purpose to stop the bleeding and prevent re-injury. Continue reading