Living Lite

#MeToo ... My Journey From Victim to Victor

September 23, 2018

This is my story. This is not a story about Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, or any other public figures accused of rape. I do not know if he/they are guilty or not, and I do not feel I have the right to be the judge or jury regarding the accusations. I am suspicious of anyone who is sure Mr. Kavanaugh must be innocent or guilty. None of us could possibly know the truth, except for the people involved.

I've Been A Regular Nutrition (Photo by: Katherine Tallmadge Screen Shot) I've Been A Regular Nutrition "Expert" on CNN and Other National News Programs Who Have Sought Me Out For My Analysis of Diet and Nutrition Issues for 20+ Years

But, I believe, concerning any case of rape, how long ago it happened -  or the age of the rapist - should not be an excuse to dismiss it. Raping is no better than murdering. A difference is that the male or female rape victim often goes on living and reliving the assault's trauma (in the case of murder or a violent death, this happens to the family left behind); which is characteristic of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is a source of a host of mental illnesses, phobias, fear, mistrust, humiliation, chronic pain, self-blame/hatred, anxiety, and depression. That kind of trauma can change the course of a person's life from the incident forward.

Compared with non-rapists, rapists are "measurably more angry at women and more motivated by a desire to dominate and control them. They're more compulsive, disinhibited, anti-social, hypermasculine and less empathetic," according to a report describing male rapists by the Civic Research Institute. I would assume a female rapist possesses similar traits (men are not the only rapists). Since I'm skeptical that a person could change these personality characterics, I believe they should be held accountable for their behavior, even 30 years - or more - later, especially if there is no admission or remorse (as long as there is evidence that is beyond a reasonable doubt). But I would be open to scientific research on the issue, and willing to analyze on a case-by-case basis.

My friend, Cindy, Around the Time I Told Her of My Attack (Photo by: The Defunct Washington Woman) My friend, Cindy, Around the Time I Told Her of My Attack

Then there is the question: "Why didn't the rape victim (male or female) report the incident?" This, of course, insinuates that the person is lying. The evidence shows there are many reasons why the majority of rape victims do not come forward. A primary reason is shame. Because being violated and victimized is humiliating and dehumanizing, disclosing it can be too painful. Feelings of helplessness can take hold; the person feels there is nowhere to turn, feels hopeless and gives up. And because rapists are usually people we know or are close to, it could seem like the victim was "asking for it," being manipulative, vindictive, or a gold-digger. Perhaps they were dressing too sexually, they were flirtatious, or being too friendly. Maybe they had been drinking, attending a party, maybe they allowed the rapist into their home or went into the home or office of the rapist. Then there is the dread of criticism, repercussions, fear of losing a job, of seeming weak, of being perceived as promiscuous, or having poor judgement.

In college, I experienced a violent date rape by two men (would this be considered a "gang rape?"). One was a seemingly respectable guy I went out with a couple of times: a Yale and Columbia graduate with an honorable vocation, who loved sports, and who adored his mother. The other was his friend who tagged along with us. For all of the reasons I've mentioned, I never told anyone except my good friend, Cindy, four years later ... until now.

I Finally Published my book: (Photo by: Viggy Parr) I Finally Published my book: "Diet Simple: 195 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations" (LifeLine Press)

When this happened to me, I visited a psychotherapist at Walter Reed Medical Center (I was a military dependent, and please do not misunderstand. I believe Walter Reed is a wonderful place to heal). The doctor recommended I attend group psychotherapy there. In the group, after I described the incident, one female group member became hostile toward me, pointed a finger at me, called me a "slut," and shrieked that I deserved it. No other group members, nor the therapist, defended me (giving them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps they were stunned by this woman's violent outburst). I doubled over in pain; I felt sick and disoriented. It was a shocking blow. I never returned to the group, even though the therapist repeatedly reached out, apologizing and claiming it would be therapeutic to address my situation and face my attacker. I always felt guilty about not returning. It was hard letting go of that woman's accusations. I felt ill and nauseous just thinking about the whole situation. In retrospect, after many years of self-reflection, I realize I made the right decision to not return.

There is a stigma with rape, even if you are the victim.

I made an hilarious appearance on a Daily Show with Jon Stewart segment (Photo by: Katherine Tallmadge) I made an hilarious appearance on a Daily Show with Jon Stewart segment

Of course, I was ultimately able to move on and make a success of my life, though at the time it was devastating. Honestly, I still feel queasy thinking about the rape, and the second attack in group "therapy." I have avoided facing it - at all costs - until recent public discussions unfortunately brought those old feelings flooding over me. If this man, Tim (I forgot his buddy's name), ever became a public - or private - figure in charge of the health or well-being of others, I would feel obligated to speak out, even though this is something I would loathe talking about - privately or publicly. Perhaps I'd be received skeptically, negatively, even violently, and subject to death threats, as Christine Ford, Mr. Kavanaugh's accusor, has been, whether her accusations are true or not.

It is unfortunate that I did not have enough self worth to report the rape when it happened, forcing the perpetrators to be accountable for their actions - and probably also giving me some closure at an earlier stage of my life. I was naive and inexperienced with men. It was unexpected that something so horrible could happen. I was raised to trust people.

An Award-Winning Columnist for Restaurants & Institutions Magazine, I've been a columnist (and am still a contributor) in The Washington Post, Shape Magazine, The Vegetarian Times, and others (Photo by: Katherine Tallmadge Screen Shot) An Award-Winning Columnist for Restaurants & Institutions Magazine, I've been a columnist (and am still a contributor) in The Washington Post, Shape Magazine, The Vegetarian Times, and others

Thank you for reading my story. I’ve received wonderful support from most of you. I’ve even been told that sharing my experience has helped some. But not everyone appreciates it.  This kind of candor elicits anger in some who politicize the pain of many who have gone through similar barbarity. But I believe this is not a political issue, it is a human rights issue. I’ve always been told that if you stick your neck out, there’s always the chance that you’ll get egg on your face. I’ve been sticking my neck out for decades, trying to make a positive difference in peoples’ lives. But when you’re an activist (activist with a little “a” in any case), that is a risk you take. And I’ve always decided that risk is worth it! I'd love to hear your thoughts...

I'm Passionate about Counseling and Teaching People of All Ages, Races, Cultures & Levels of Education. From Presidential Cabinet Members, National Politicians, Journalists & Corporate Executives, to Impoverished Homeless, Recovering Drug Addicts & Convicts... On How to Make Their Lives Healthy and Happy! (Photo by: Lyndia Grant & Associates) I'm Passionate about Counseling and Teaching People of All Ages, Races, Cultures & Levels of Education. From Presidential Cabinet Members, National Politicians, Journalists & Corporate Executives, to Impoverished Homeless, Recovering Drug Addicts & Convicts... On How to Make Their Lives Healthy and Happy!

It Feels Good to Face Your Demons. Meditating, Good Health, and Exercising Helps (Photo by: Katherine Tallmadge Neighbor) It Feels Good to Face Your Demons. Meditating, Good Health, and Exercising Helps

One of my Favorite Past Times: Stand-Up-Paddle-Boarding (Photo by: Robert Arnold) One of my Favorite Past Times: Stand-Up-Paddle-Boarding

Please share my story if it could help anyone out there!


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Healthy Peach Cheesecake Parfait

September 3, 2018

I knew Quaker Valley Orchard's peach deal was great - a huge bushel for $30 - but I had no idea that the peaches I bought two weeks ago would still taste as if they were picked this morning. I gave away as many peaches as I could to friends and neighbors when I got home from the market, but there were still some left. To save as many as possible, as soon as I brought them home from the market, I put them gently into my refrigerator, and in a glass bowl, to protect them from bruising.

My Quaker Valley Orchard peaches stayed perfectly sweet, juicy and unbruised in my frig for two weeks! (Photo by: Katherine Tallmadge) My Quaker Valley Orchard peaches stayed perfectly sweet, juicy and unbruised in my frig for two weeks!

I cautiously tried one this weekend for a recipe I was hoping to make, and I was completely surprised at how perfect, sweet, and juicy they still were. 

I highly recommend popping by the Rose Park Farmers Market on Wednesday to get what may be some of the last of this season's peaches.

Healthy Peach Cheesecake Parfait

This is an outrageously delicious dessert, especially because the main ingredient is sweet, tender, locally grown peaches (It was delicious with strawberries, too).

My Salvation Army Addiction Recovery class made this recipe this weekend, and it was a huge hit. My "Nutrition, Health & Wellness" classes include recipes and tastings to teach how preparing and eating more fruits and vegetables can be deliciously fun. The recipes we make must be healthy, simple, inexpensive, quick, and with no cooking necessary.

For 10 Servings or More

Ingredients:

Use 3 medium bowls, one for each layer:

1 bowl:
Crush in Large Chunks: 9 Graham Crackers or 1-1/2 Cups Granola or Vanilla Wafers
Add Chopped Nuts, if desired

In 1 bowl, toss:
3 Cups sliced peaches
1 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar

In 1 bowl, Blend, then refrigerate until set, if desired:
8 Ounces Low Fat Cream Cheese
1 Cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt
2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Garnish with extra sliced peaches, granola, and/or chopped nuts on top
Optional: Place a Sprig of Mint on Top

In a wine glass, martini glass, or clear cup, place a layer of the crushed graham crackers, a layer of the cheesecake mixture, then a layer of the sliced peaches. Repeat.

This recipe is adapted from "Life Made Sweeter." More peach recipes...

 


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Join Morgan Care Pharmacy's Barry Deutschman's Retirement Reception Aug. 30

August 29, 2018

Barry Deutschman, a Georgetown fixture, a favorite neighborhood pharmacist and owner of Morgan Care Pharmacy (30th & P Streets, NW) for 25 years, is retiring. A reception in honor of Barry will be held Thursday, August 30, 2018. Drinks and light fare will be provided.

Drop by to honor Barry's 25 years of service to our community!

Where: The Bean Counter Coffee Shop; 1665 Wisconsin Ave, N.W.
When: Thursday, August 30, 2018, 5 to 8 pm

 


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