The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

The Day I Stand Up. The Day I Begin to Speak March 20, 2014

In Memoriam: Jarrae Estepp

Hello all.  My last post was about bullying and how we as humans need to stop hating people who are different from ourselves, and more than that we need to learn to love ourselves and reach out to people.  Today’s post seems like it is probably connected to that in some basic way.  I stumbled across this article in the L.A. Times that just broke my heart for a number of reasons.  One, the girl featured was only 21 years old, less than a year older than my daughters.  Two, she was from my home state.  And three… dear God, after a life of violence and prostitution, this beautiful girl was found naked and dead on a trash conveyor belt!  How could anything be more heartbreaking than that?

*

I don’t even have words.  Everything in me is screaming:  STOP hurting women!  STOP selling ourselves!  STOP!  Just STOP!!!  I started to post this on my Facebook, but I decided I wanted it here instead.  What was this poor girl’s early life, that she ended up this way?  What is the root of this, and how can we rip it out of wherever it grows and obliterate it forever?!   I don’t even know where we could begin.  More love, more life, more words, more beauty, more peace, more kindness, compassion, strength, tenderness, care… more SOMETHING.  Something that touches people’s souls and teaches them that life has value and inflicting pain is wrong and USING people is just WRONG.

*

The knowledge of this girl’s life and how it ended has touched me in this moment.  I can’t say “I’ll never be the same” because odds are, I’ll forget her name and face in a few days, and whenever something makes me remember the story, I’ll think, “Oh, yeah, that was really, really sad.”  But maybe her story should serve as a catalyst for action, a jolt out of an existence characterized by apathy, an inspiration to stand up and shout against something.  I have noticed an unsettling tendency in myself, and that is… I don’t stand up lately.  I don’t support causes, and I don’t oppose causes.  I don’t say what I believe very often.  I don’t agree and I don’t disagree.  I smile and nod, or frown and shake my head, but I don’t use my voice.  I don’t engage and I don’t confront.  I don’t fight.  I think it’s time I started working toward moving in the opposite direction from that.   Some things are worth fighting for, just as some things are worth fighting against.   I have feet, and I need to start standing.  I have a voice and I need to start using it.   It’s past time to choose a side and speak.

*

Jarrae Nykkole Estepp can’t use her voice anymore.  What would she say if she could?  What could we say FOR her, to help make sure nobody else ends up like her?  I urge everyone who reads this to use your voice.  Speak up for something, speak up against something.  Use your voice and your hands and your feet and begin to fight for your beliefs.

*

Until next time,

May We All Stand UP.

D.

 

EDITED TO ADD:  Here is a website that lists activist websites for women’s issues:

http://userpages.umbc.edu/~korenman/wmst/links_actv.html

 

11 Responses to “The Day I Stand Up. The Day I Begin to Speak”

  1. LeeAnn Says:

    THANK YOU. Jarrae was my cousin. She wasnt just a prostitute. She was so many great things too. I wasnt around her a lot but I know she was very loving . I cant begin to tell you how sick ive been over this… I dream about her I see her I have been ignoring my family . Please get her story out there so we can find this killer so my family and I can get some closure.

    • Please accept my sympathy in the loss of your cousin and know that her story will inspire me and others to begin to speak up for what is right and for what we believe in. Thank you for reading and may God give you and your family peace.

  2. KC Says:

    Very well written…wonderful captured voice…and increasingly clear insight of self…don’t stop writing.

  3. Touching. This is why I started lifewall.org and hope I can sustain it and people join it. Each life must be remembered. She walked this earth and there should be an acknowledgment of it. I am like you about the war on women. President Carter has a new book out “A Call to Action” about the inequality and violence against women.
    I hope someday someone who knows her puts up a tile for her on our lifewall, and she exists and belongs to human history.

  4. Moving and very well said. Sometimes we just have to speak out.
    Hope to see you around during the A-Z challenge.
    Silvia @
    SilviaWrites

  5. CA Heaven Says:

    Hate is a word I don’t like, and hardly ever use, because I don’t hate anyone or anything. Dislike is strong enough for me in almost all situations >:)

    • Hi. It took me a minute to figure out why you mentioned that word, and then I noticed I used a form of it in my first sentence. Sometimes I think it is probably an exaggeration to say people “hate” people different from themselves, and then I look around and I think, ‘Nope, hate is pretty accurate.’ A lot of people truly do hate others who are different or believe differently. Not everybody, of course, but some. Thanks for reading!


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