This blog is called, “Sexual Healing” for a reason-by talking about my sexuality I am taking out my pain and bringing instead some healing.  Writing about what I have been through also helps give me some clarity and insight.  A few weeks ago, I got to witness some sexual healing that happened during my book club that was really wonderful and special.

Seven months ago, I created a feminist book club and advertised it on meetup.com.  I wondered if anybody would attend and there were a few meetings with very low attendance.  But now after several months with a steady attendance, I am sure that my book club is a success.  We get along really well and we stay and talk so long that we had to move our location to one that stays open later!  That certainly gives me a good feeling.

Like I’ve said, we’ve been having really great meetings for several months now, but at the March meeting I think I helped to create safe space.  “Safe space” is a term often used in feminist circles meaning that a group of people respect each other’s experiences, opinions, and confidentiality.  The members recognize their own privilege and are willing to step back to allow the more disenfranchised members to talk.  They try not to use oppressive language and hopefully all of these things help bring a feeling of inclusivity and freedom of expression.  It’s a tall order and unfortunately, it doesn’t always work.  I started a book club and I wanted us to go deeper into the feminist material and be more intellectual than the other book club that I belong to.  Secretly, I also wanted us to become a freeing feminist community, but I also knew that that may not happen.  To my wonderful surprise, I think we may be on our way.

The funny thing is, is that we never discussed our group as being a “safe space”-we were just going to discuss books, but a feeling of safety seems to have evolved out of the space naturally.  I credit this to the wonderful women in my group.  We all seem to internally monitor how much space we are taking up and we purposely try to draw the ones that are more reticent to speak their truth.  I am proud to say that I also credit myself for speaking my truth.  The topic turned to reproductive rights and I wanted to talk about my abortion, but I was a little afraid-not because I was afraid that they wouldn’t approve, but because it would make me vulnerable.  I am so glad I did, though!  Fortunately, I am stable enough to be able to talk about my experiences without getting extremely emotional or triggered and I was able to clearly share what was on my mind.  My vulnerability was rewarded when the newest member, who was sitting right next to me, then opened up about her abortions.  Then another started talking about being a young mother and her reasons.  We then proceeded to talk for at least another hour about reproductive rights, our hard choices, relationships and life lessons.  Being abandoned by men was a common theme, but there were also stories of men who stepped up and were supportive of their wives’ decisions.  We talked about tough times, but we laughed too.  We had started out that evening as a book club that dared to call itself feminist and I believe our feminism helped us heal.  I went home that night with a feeling of wholeness and healing such as I had not experienced in a long time.  Just thinking about it makes my heart feel full.  Blessed be.

Advertisements