Cristal & James Lowe💛
Happy Friday readers!! We are happy to have you back; And if it is your first time visting, welcome!
Last week, laid the ground work for this month's series as we introduced a new topic called "Rape Culture" we will be discussing in our Rape Culture and Relationships series. For the next two weeks, Cristal and I will be taking turns interviewing two people who have been an incredible support system and ample part towards supporting us in our healing, love for self, and growth of Herstory.
Our most intimate realtionships reveal a LOT about who we are, and we wanted to begin with Cristal this week as she speaks with her wonderful husband, James, on her journey and its affects on their relationship.
Seaking out is nerve-racking...I had to find the strength as I controlled my heart beat, but hearing my husband response and how he felt is nerve-racking also. I'm not sure what to expect but I know it will bring us yet even closer than we already are.
So for this week's blog, I interviewed my husband with a few questions about the intense moment I open up about being a rape survivor and what it has been like in my healing process.
1. What has been your impression of rape or sexual assault? Did you know much about it in your personal life or outside of that?
Initially I though rape only happened in foreign countries where laws are in men's favor. Did I know much about rape, no I never met someone that has experienced such trauma like rape.
2. What was your first thought when I open up about being a rape survivor?
I was cought of guard at first but my thought was to be there for you at the same time I felt sad that you had to experience such a thing as rape.
3. When I opened up to you about my experience, how do you think it changed our relationship?
After knowing your story I feel it made our relationship stronger because our trust became stronger and were able to open up more with each other.
4. How did you feel about expressing your feeling towards me? Where you unsure or afraid I would react a certain way?
I felt guilty to express my feelings because I felt I would put you in the mind set when you got rape, and didn't want to make you feel bad about the pain you had endured. I was unsure of your reaction I didn't want you to think I was like every other man or that I didn't care about you I just wanted you to see I love you and you can always trust me.
5. Did you feel like walking away? Why did you chose to stay?
I didn't feel like walking away but I knew it would be a difficult relationship to be in because I didn't know much about rape and didn't think I would be able to help you with the trauma.
I chose to stay in our relationship because I felt you needed someone who would understand you and truly love you for who you are with out judging you for what you had gone through, it seemed like you would judge your self and were really hard on yourself for being a victim of rape when initially you didn't make that choice for yourself.
6. Do you feel my experience interfered in our relationship and how?
Yes, because at first you wouldn' t want to go out with me if it was just you and me you would always ask to bring a friend because your friend would be with you. At that point I was unsure what was the reason why but after you opened up about the rape I thought you would never really trust me and some how sabotage our relationship to not being together. Although time had past and we were starting a new chapter in marriage I felt your experience of rape would limit our intimate time but I knew healing took time.
7. Knowing my experience of rape did it change your view of me?
Yes, I felt like you were a strong woman because although your family didn't know and only a handful of people knew your story you still smiled everyday went to school and work, and you never gave up on life, you never gave up on your dream even though you shared how you felt like throwing in the towel....you never gave up and that in itself inspired me to follow my dreams no matter what obstacles cross my path.
8. What advice would you give someone dating/in a relationship with a rape survivor?
I would tell them to be patient and kind never judge them because you never know what they may be capable of doing if in their weakest moment. Know that healing takes time and it will be worth being patient and helping the person you love rebuild.
9. What do you think is needed in relationships when experiences like sexual trauma are involved?
Firstly, I believe trust is needed in order to be able to help each other and most importantly something that help my wife and I was God and prayer. Loving God first and a prayer life will help stay strong and together through the hard times and loving times.
10. How will you teach your children or future children about sex education/sex boundaries?
I will teach my children to always respect boundaries of other people and no means no.
As to my daughter even though she's only 3 we have taught her and continue to teach her to always respect her body no matter what situation she may experience, to know her voice matters and to always speak out!
11. How you feel about Herstory?
I feel Herstory is an amazing organization to help victims have a voice and build themselves back up stronger than before even those who have not experienced sexual assault to be aware of the reality that people don't talk about. I'm proud of my wife and sister for putting all their fears aside and stepping out in faith to have their voice heard you two are strong and courageous women of God.James Lowe
After thoughts from Cristal Lowe:
I didn't know what to expect from this interview...but for sure if we thought we were strong before, we are stronger going through memory lane of how our relationship became stronger even through the trauma, and all though not mention in the interview I thank my husband for being my rock through every moment in life every step needed to rebuild and heal from the trauma of rape.
For the longest time, I felt as if I had to be strong...smile and act as if nothing was wrong all by myself, but he became my shoulder to cry on, my listening ear, my rock, my soldier protecting me in every step. He stood by my side when I spoke out and shared my story with my family even when I wanted to walk out and keep it to my self; he was there to remind me that I can do it and no matter what may happen he still stands by me always.
One thing is for sure, when you are patient and wait on God's promises he will send the right people to your life who will never judge you but yet help build you and make you stronger.♡♡♡
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.