Monday, April 30, 2012

Runaway Innocence

This past weekend I set out on a painting journey. A larger canvas has always scared me away for several reasons. It was mostly the depth of empty space I would need to fill to call a painting worth it. Cost and time weighed in heavily but I over came all obstacles and purchased my first (what I think to be) gigantic canvas.  Something I've never attempted before.

I wanted to paint something familiar to myself. This painting was floating around in my head for a few days. I knew it was going to be personal after all the therapy I've been working on.

What would you bring with yourself if you were running away? A child would be ill prepared for all that's out there in the world. After all, it's a scary and unfamiliar place. Who would you meet on your journey? Where would you sleep? How would you feel once you've realized you were out there, alone?

Maybe it's time I start selling some prints. Any interest and I'm jumping on it.

Runaway Innocence Original Acrylic 20x30 Canvas (about 5 more inches got cut off in this photo)
All Artwork (C)Copyright Rebecca Curtis

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Part one of a giant painting

I started again. I took $40 and finally got myself more canvas and paint. Today I painted for 8 hours. The time flew by and I had no idea where it went. My poor husband was wondering if I became obsessed or something. When you have a huge canvas the possibilities are so endless I just got lost in acrylic.

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Man Actually Turns Away Sex To Call Me Beautiful

This has been a personal thing for a very long time. I have never wanted to open up and talk about it but lately I have been asked by several different close friends and even some not so close friends the hardest question. It's the same question all the time but sometimes asked in different ways. "How do you have sex even though you were raped?" "How has rape affected your marriage?" "How do you feel you are serving your husband in a Godly way despite being raped?" "Can you still have sex like a normal person?"

 Why Should I be like the Veiled Woman?
First, I don't know if all the people asking me questions have been or know someone close to them (besides me) that have gone through some sort of victimization of their sex life. Second, I don't ever want to disrespect my marriage by sharing a lot of details with the world on this. However, I will try to allow God to fill me with helpful words to shine a light into something that would be so dark and evil without him. Also, I should not be taken as a serious biblical quoter of some kind because a lot of what I have to say is my understanding of God's book and his plan based on what is actually written down in the Bible.

#1 thing women need to remember is that God made sex. It was his perfect design and they are a perfect design. Adam was in The Garden of Eden with animals, bugs, plants, and of course God. I'm sure Adam and God hung out all the time. God taught Adam all about the world and had a perfect relationship sharing and discussing mysteries and wonders. God noticed Adam needed a helper and a companion who was a human. God  put Adam in a coma and took a rib from him to make Woman. Adam exclaimed "This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh" Genesis 1:23.

In the Song of Songs Solomon 1-8. The two lovers express erotically their love for one another. They describe each other to one another as being the greatest man and women ever. She calls on the wind to spread her sweetness to her lover so he knows to come into her garden and taste of her fruit. He leaves her garden and exclaims how he has had his fill of her milk and honey. God's plan for sex is supposed to be for two lovers to drink of each other and share intimacy 1. for reproduction. 2. for comfort  and 3. They get their fill from each other and don't wander.

The problem with being a rape victim is that I have altered God's plan for sex and came up with my own based on my own understanding and events in my life.
1. For attention
2. To manipulate
3. Power
4. Forcing someone to do what you wanted.

The problem with my thinking was just that; It was my thinking not God's. For years I have thought on my own and for my own without God and am realizing now that it is painful and difficult to alter my thinking back to a God centered mind set. It is not impossible.

I had thoughts that would eat me up about how I am ugly, wasted, used up, not good enough, and disgusting. God has told me otherwise and through reading the Song of Songs I've come to find that God is actually speaking directly to me and directly to all other women.

How beautiful you are, my darling!
    Oh, how beautiful!
    Your eyes behind your veil are doves.
Your hair is like a flock of goats
    descending from the hills of Gilead.
Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn,
    coming up from the washing.
Each has its twin;
    not one of them is alone.
Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon;
    your mouth is lovely.
Your temples behind your veil
    are like the halves of a pomegranate.
Your neck is like the tower of David,
    built with courses of stone[a];
on it hang a thousand shields,
    all of them shields of warriors.
Your breasts are like two fawns,
    like twin fawns of a gazelle
    that browse among the lilies.
Until the day breaks
    and the shadows flee,
I will go to the mountain of myrrh
    and to the hill of incense.
You are altogether beautiful, my darling;
    there is no flaw in you.
Yeah, it's weird to think that God is a lover but God created man in his own image and likeness with the same emotional scale. God thinks of us like this. When I am terrified of presenting myself to my husband I remember God is watching me and sent my husband to love me in this way and I the same. My husband, bless him, probably cannot come up with these words because he is human but I know this is how beautiful I am.

This does not mean I don't still have PTSD in the bedroom or that certain bedroom events don't cause my husband and I emotional pain. This just means that I've slowly discovered more about God through this process and what it means to be a lover. Being a rape victim is very unique. Sometimes all we do is tell each other we look good to one another and fall asleep in each others arms because maybe it's just not the time to do more and that is okay.

Hey Superficial Party Girl

I am seriously finding this song haunting and depth penetrating into my soul to that party girl I had been. In therapy I'm always asked what would I say to that girl who did ____ at different times in my life. I can never come up with anything to say. I usually stare off or cry. I'd say this exactly.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I cannot believe today is here. I'm trying to stay focused and go out of this place with a bang. I gave my work my resignation yesterday to jump ship and hop aboard a new one. This new job is pediatrics. I have no idea what God has in store next but he will keep me steady. This has been a strange journey where I have learned much and grown strength in myself that would never have been there. I am pretty sure my bosses gave me hell for months and months but they don't realize I am a child of the Lord. There is no amount of earthly grief that can keep me from Him who holds the world and my future. Praying for my next adventures in Peds!

In all you do give God glory the meak are made strong and He will not let you fail.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Caterpillar

How is it so that the caterpillar weeps?

She weeps in her shell
She cries as it rains and her weakness there will never show
laying there trapped tightly waiting and watching for the light
they shout fly, fly, fly. Fly out.

If we could fit two into one and hold each tiny wing enwrapped in the other
would it then be safe and not so unfamiliar?
They two could plan the final escape together
blissfully whispering among the branches, leaves, and winds to one another

How is it so that the caterpillar weeps?

She cries and she weeps in her tiny shell
She cries as it rains and her weakness there will never show
Lying there trapped tightly waiting and watching for the light
They shout fly, fly, fly. Fly out.

We will all become manifests of butterflies and glide up amongst the clouds
there we will see the light and glory shine down upon our sorrow
He will hold the faces as they burst and grow from inside their shells
How marvelous and amazing is this last and final event

How is it so that the caterpillar still weeps in its tiny shell?

Lingering and waiting watching for the light that seems to never come
At last the final breath is breathed and she feels the warmth and light inside of her
Up into the sky higher, higher the glory will carry her out
Among the wisps’ of clouds and stars warmed and dry she looks down

How is it so that the butterfly weeps?

She cries and she weeps in her tiny shell
She cries as it rains for all the rest of humanity
lying there trapped tightly waiting and watching for the light

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Belly Dancing and a Choke Hold

I opened the door. It had black streaks and stains on the outside panel. Security must not have been a worry here. The handle was unlocked and the brass coating was chipped off in places. It felt like ice in my hand even with mittens on. I clamored inside to find everyone taking shots. My bright pink snow coat seamed out of place in the mist of tank tops and torn jeans. I was the second female in this party. College men were joking around in Arabic. Of course I only had learned curse words and picked out a couple here and there as the conversations grew louder with Vodka and Red Bull for fuel. The guy I sort of knew was no where to be found. Standing awkwardly in the door way, I slipped off my black ballet flats. I had on bright pink slip socks that just covered my toes. The other girl there laughed at my feet. "What the heck are those!?" She shouted across the living room. I went to explain the socks but none was needed. I was being beckoned towards the kitchen for shots.

Tiny ceramic tea bowls were being filled to the brim with Grey Goose. The guys swarmed the opening to the kitchen to watch us. There had to have been at least twenty Saudi Arabians watching me hook arm in arm with this other girl. We downed the first shot wedding style and poured another. My eyes burned and I ached for relief. The second shot was downed. The girl tore away and reached into the mini refrigerator. She popped open a can. It made a cool crisp break in the top and sprayed out ready for me to sip away my scorched throat.

My body was unbalanced. I leaned on people and walls to make it around the room. More men had showed up and were playing cards on the floor. Losers were to take the shot in the middle and down it before the next round began. Smoke filled the air and turned it to a heavy smog. I plopped down next to them and asked to join in English. A Saudi responded in Arabic. I had no idea what he was telling me. "How do you play this?" I shouted at him drunkenly. "He says no women allowed to play this game" another answered me. "What?!" I responded aghast, "Teach me". No one made a sound and kept playing. The other girl had heard me upset from the kitchen and came to grab me off the floor. More shots. The several men who had watched us take shots were back. Some had cameras. Arm in arm we downed another shot. Bright lights flashed over my closed eyelids. Everyone was laughing and cheering at us.

The other girl and I started dancing and jumping around the living room. Music filled my head and clouded out the shouts of Arabic. The music didn't have any lyrics I could understand. A woman's voice wailed to the flute and stringed instruments. Bass bumped in my bones. Saudi men filled in the space around us so we were encircled by strong incenses and foreign cologne. They were clapping their hands above their heads to the beat at us. I closed my eyes and just danced in circles hand in hand with this other girl. I tried to block out the idea that I was a piece of meat on a string dangling above a pit of hungry wolves. Screw the world I thought. I'm just going to dance for once in my life without care. I was a drunk blow up air balloon flailing and bending in the wind. I had no idea how to dance to this foreign music.

A Saudi appeared through the cloud of cigarette smoke. He had long curly hair that poofed out to the sides of his head. The jeans he had on were torn at the knees. "Let's see your dance jameelah" he said slyly. The other girl and I pretended to belly dance at this tall dark figure. "I'll give you forty dollars to flash your tits or ass". Butterflies filled my entire body. "What?" I looked at the other girl for reassurance. "He wants to see that ass" she grabbed at my waist jokingly. Standing back arms crossed I asked for proof of the money. A black wallet came through the air. I caught the leather between bother hands and pulled open the new folds. A fifty dollar bill and two twenty dollar bills were in the wallet. I threw it back with confidence. This was not part of the plan when I set out to come to this party. I turned around and slipped down my jeans half way off my bottom. Hot pink boy shorts peaked over the top of the denim pockets. "There!" I shouted. "Now give me the money!" He stood up and said "No." The other girl pulled my jeans down the rest of the way leaving me gripping at my knees to pull them back up. She slapped my ass hard. I turned around and grabbed the two twenties he was waving in the air. The stairs were a couple feet to the left. I ran hard towards them. I took each one two by two grabbing the banister for stability.

The guy I was looking for was in a bedroom with the door open. I flung myself onto the bed next to him. "Hey! I just won myself forty bucks for showing my undies". He didn't respond to me. "Hey!" I jumped up and down on the bed. "We can go out for a dinner date or something now". He rolled over and grabbed me down from my jumping and smothered me with kissing on my neck and chest. "Hey! See". I threw the money down at him. His breath smelled sweet and smokey. "I'm too high for this". He mumbled and put his hands over his face. My harassment was useless. I ran back down the stairs.

" Give me back my money". The Saudi stopped me at the bottom of the stairs. "NO" I hollered drunkenly back at him and continued to push past him towards the other girl in the living room. "Give, me, back, my money." He grew taller and pulled his poofy hair back with a pony tail tie that was strapped to his wrist. "What for? I did what you asked and you made a deal". My mind started to sober with adrenaline. "You are not worth even ten dollars". My heart beat violently and I began to have that moment where in school they talk about fleeing a situation or standing ground to fight. I have always ran from fear or coward ready to ball up and be impenetrable. Never once had I shown the tenacity to defend myself or stand up to anyone. I typically work on the notion of quick make everyone happy so we don't fight. Recalling all of my previous health ed classes none of the options were give up and give them what they want. The alcohol must have been coursing through my veins and limiting my ability to size this man up because my right hand, unbeknownst to me, rose up above my head. My eyes squinted tight and I struck the Saudi, who was much larger than me, square in the side of the face with a strong flat hand. It stung my skin on impact and no sooner did my nervous system pick up what had just happened, I was grabbed by the throat. Tight, hot, hands were wrapped around my trachea. My breath was coming in gasps and I could feel myself being lifted from the ground. Loud shouts of Arabic filled the room as it closed in on me. My arms went up towards his to pull down and release the vice. Several men grabbed at this Saudi's arms and yelled angrily in his face. His eyes were dark and full of hate. My body was thrown hard into the wall and I crumbled down in the middle of the card game. Shot glass and vodka crushed under the weight of my foot. It burned for a moment. "RUN!" The other girl screamed.

Running up the stairs, I fell. He grabbed at my ankles to pull me back down. I held tight to the banister and pulled myself away. I made it to the room full of marijuana smoke again. A wimpy wooden door kept me inside. I pressed my weight against it. "Help me!" I screamed at the top of my lungs at the guy high in the bed. He laid there staring at me. Knock, Knock came the knuckles of the other girl against the wood. "Let me in, Let us in!" She stammered. I cracked the door to see her face and three other Saudi men ready to fall into the room. Behind them running up the stairs, was the Saudi I slapped.

Tears poured out my eyes in the other girls arms. We curled up on the bed together next to the idiot who couldn't tell what was reality. She held me tight and told me it was going to be okay. The three men pressed their weight against the door and groaned in agony to keep me from being murdered. Each bang on the door was thunder inside my chest. This Saudi must have been on steroids. I had never known any of them to be this aggressive or have such a beast stature. He kept attacking at the door and pressing his whole body weight into the fortress.

The window was right behind me. The air coming through the screen gave my arms goosebumps. I jolted away from the nervous grip of the other girl trying to hold me calm. Remembering how my parents had taught us how to press out the screen in the second story bedroom in case of a fire, I punched hard at the corners. Out it went onto the roof in a clamor. The Saudi's were cursing at each other through the door. Their strength was giving up and I had to leave somehow. Not saying a word I jumped up and out of the window. The tiles were like sandpaper on my feet. They stuck to my socks and marked me with black dirt. I crawled towards the top most point on the roof. It was dark out and there was only the sound of a madman perusing me through the window. I could hear him break free through the door. More Arabic. I held the roof tight and shivered. Waiting. Silence took over my head. I buried my face in my knees and held onto my legs tightly. "Take your money back!" The girl screamed.

His car was a black BMW with lights underneath. The bass of his stereo thumbed when they turned the car on. Cursing in Arabic a group of them got in and I could see them drive away. Silence again. My heart rate was coming down some and I realized, Holy shit I'm on a their roof! My body wanted to whimper and cry but adrenaline kept me from releasing my emotions.

A familiar face peaked out from below the steepest portion of the roof. The guy who was too high to help me was now offering a hand down. For a moment I hesitated. I tried to think how am I supposed to trust this pot head to get me down. Nothing mattered now. I just wanted to go home.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Nervous Nelly Survives an Interview

My job sucks. Everyone knows that. I don't think I've under embellished the amount of hell I receive on a daily basis from this job. In all things though I try my best to give glory to God and allow His peace to over flow in my life. I'm full up on peace and my pockets are empty. After being deathly ill for two weeks, I arrived back to work only to be neglected on hours. Oh so they play that sort of game. No hours for punishment. Goodie me. More time for writing and procrastinating on writing and more writing.

I thought things were looking up but again the weeks went by and I was pulling maybe a 10 hour paycheck every week. This moment has been causing me to excessively grind my teeth away at night. I even have two chipped teeth damnit! After consulting with my therapist and my husband...and the Lord God Almighty Himself. The message was clear. Rebecca, you have to look for a job. My whole world came crashing down. For so long I felt that I had control over the environment I was currently in. I knew my place. I knew my steps to take to mask my neurotic behaviors enough to work a full time job. The job was ending. My life was becoming more uncertain by the moment. Fear crippled me. All I wanted was to drown in a bottle of rum.

The 103 degree fever was probably a good deterrent for wanting to consume alcohol. I did want to live and I seriously considered the consequences. Gulping down as much self esteem as I could, which isn't that much anyways, I set out to write my resume.

Literally, I clicked submit resume and thought this is going to an unknown dental office probably looking for someone of much higher ability and skill than me who knows somehow, telepathically, that I'm completely freaked the fuck out. Gasp. They called me for an interview hours later. I set up the day and waited for the time to melt away.

"Oh Lord here I am", I thought. "Going to an interview at a place I don't know how to get to". Ugh. My anxiety pills seemed to be wearing off and nonchalantly taunting me "you're going to mess this up". "No pills, we got this" I thought. I took an extra pill in hopes that I wouldn't die of anxiety. I took a moment to pray. It was more like 30 minutes of deep meditation, some mild crying, and pleading to the Lord that I don't want to do this. Then, I was out the door to my interview.

It seriously took me every ounce of courage to get out of the damn car. In the parking lot I idled. If I don't turn the car off, I can just turn around and go back home. I can go home. I don't have to do this today. They don't know me and won't think anything of it. Maybe they would call and I would just not answer. I would never answer my phone ever again in my life if it meant I could just go back home.

The time was 5 minutes before my schedule interview time. I wiped my eyes and tossed my hair behind my ears. My neck felt hot and my cheeks flushed. I hate this I thought. I'm going to do this and it will be okay. I will be okay. God is literally walking me into the interview and asking the right questions and I prayed for the right answers so He will deliver me.

How could the interview have gone so quickly? This lady was the most boring hard to read stone cold woman I have ever met in my entire life. I felt so judged sitting there. Trauma brain was loving every minute of it. Who knows what I even said to this lady. I completely blanked the entire process. All I remember is shaking her hand and "tell me a little about yourself". I think I told her I had a house, I lived in a small town near by with my cat. I went to school for the position and the rest is blank. I've never bombed an interview before. Honesty has always gotten me a higher.

Back in the car, I started screaming loudly. The windows were fogged. Rain was smearing down the window. My body started to swell up full of the feeling to cry. I just started sobbing and yelling and freaking out. "Lord, let me have done a good enough job". Looking up I realized that I was parked in the middle of the patient loading unloading dock and children, families, mothers, daughters were all heading in to their appointments. I looked like a freak just blitzing out in the car. My purse was on the ground, I struggled to reach the keys from it. I had flung everything around when I was having my little moment of insanity. The metal was cold on my hand and I tried to start the car. We needed an oil change and belt replacements for months. How come now it decided to start squealing and embarrassing me.

My body shook from adrenaline. We hadn't had much food in the house due to the lack of an extra paycheck. My system was trying to crash on me. I had to just get home. I put the thought in my head to just get home. I wanted to reach out to someone. I tried to call out to family or a friend on my fancy new car speaker. No one answered. Silence over took me. The radio was not on. The rain sloshed under my wheels. "God, was I supposed to be victorious over my anxiety?" Silence. "I don't feel very victorious. I feel very anxious and upset about how it went". Silence still. "Hello, God I'm really not sure what your plan is". Then a thought came to me. This thought is still with me days later than when the interviewer said she would get back to me. Was I supposed to interview and find victory in actually doing it rather than accomplishing a new job?

Lonely Bumble Bee

This house was old and had a toilet in the front yard. My ex boyfriend was to drop me off. One of my friends was supposed to be meeting me here. He promised he would take care of me at the party. "He will be here soon, you can go home" I pleaded with my ex to not come inside with me. He refused to allow me to go to a party where I knew no one dressed the way I was. It was Halloween and I had bought the costume weeks before not knowing where or when I'd even wear it. The picture on the package showed a tall girl in stripper heals. It seemed like the dress part would go down to my lower thigh but in reality it was much too short. Bright yellow and black stripes circled around my body. I had bouncing glittery wings that left little glitter presents wherever they touched. My ensemble was complete with a black stinger and headband with wire yellow antennas. "Fine, you can come in until my friend gets here" I compromised.

Bass from the stereo thumbed in my chest and head. I couldn't hear anyone talking to me. I vaguely introduced myself to people around the dank kitchen. Drinks were being mixed up and served out in glowing cups. A vampire offered me one. I took it to the living room where people were lounging around and smoking. We started playing truth or dare.

I downed an entire cup full of cola and liquor, stood up, and did a curtsy. Everyone cheered and thought that was incredible. Laughter filled the living room and more people came to see what was happening. Others joined in the game. Still no sign of my friend.

My fingers were drunk and I couldn't keep a hold of my phone to text my friend. My head was spinning. I yelled at my ex to figure it out for me. The responding text message said that my friend was not going to be coming to this party. Nobody there was familiar to me safe from my ex. We had been together for about a year. He told me he would be stupid to let me break up with him so he promised to be my friend until I changed my mind back. He was sober. Word got around that I was chugging hard alcohol like a pro. More people poured into the living room with drinks and bets to see who could drink faster. There were many people I out drank. Problem was, the more I won the drunker and more disoriented I became.

"We should leave" My ex yelled towards my ear. "Why?! It's just starting to get fun!" I hollered back in his face.

My foot slipped in the wet grass by his car. He had to help me in and buckle my seat belt. We started driving. Lights and cars flew past my window in a blur. I felt like we were traveling at hyper speed towards death. I kept screaming to slow down we are going to fast. My stomach filled and throbbed. My mouth started to prepare for the inevitable. Hot fizzy vomit rushed forward and out my nose. I tried to hold it back and put my hands up over my face. We pulled over at a gas station. He marched me in the front door past security cameras and to the back restroom. "Wash your face and hands, go pee and come back out."

The bathroom floor had a crazy design on it that messed with my head. The pattern danced wildly below my feet. I vomited again on the toilet. The sink only had ice cold water. I loaded up on soap and washed vigorously making squealing sounds as my skin froze.

When I marched back out to the front my ex was laughing with the guy standing at the counter. I heard them say that I was drunk and going home.

Darkness started creeping into my head in the car. The engine was loud. My body felt limp and helpless. Double racing seat belts held me tight but I felt like I'd be thrown from the car. "I think I'm passing out, don't let me die" I started crying.

Bright light poured over my face when the car finally stopped. I looked around for a moment but couldn't recognize where we were. My head was pounding and my eyes burned. A blurry figure came at me from the passenger window. My ex opened the door and un-belted me. I just stared vaguely up at him without saying a word. The trees were blurry green waving in the background. I could smell his cologne when his shirt was pressed to my face. My body was weightless in his arms and then darkness overcame me. I was falling and spinning away into the abyss. "Look what I found" I heard as we went over the threshold. Darkness again.