* Relate value systems and critical thinking to your sexual decision making before and after this course. * Describe the effect of environment and historical perspectives on your sexuality. * Discuss the development of your gender identity.
* Analyze the effect of attraction and love in your relationships. * Discuss another topic of this course that is interesting and useful to you. Relate this topic to your life.
When I first started this class I had no idea of what I was in for and then the first class took me back to when I was a young girl and had no clue about what I wanted or who. I never thought about boys much when I was in school and that made think maybe I was different than other girls, because they dated and I didn’t, was there something wrong with me or was I just waiting until I met the right person. I now know that I was just waiting for the right guy and the right time to even think about sex.I have learned in this class that even though I am not confused now that back then it was a normal thing to be confused and wonder if I was different.
Back when I was young the fear of being different was about the only thing that we ever had to face (besides getting pregnant), I was raised Catholic and being different was and still is frowned upon, so when I would talk to my mother she would simply tell me that my body wasn’t ready and now after this class I can see that what she said was right, my body and my mind wasn’t ready to make that choice and when it was I knew what I wanted. That is still what a lot of the youth today have to face and understand, if their bodies are ready they have to make sure that they understand everything that goes along with being sexually active.
The biggest thing that helped me understand my sexuality is that I grew up watching “Little House” and my parent’s, and also my grandparent’s. These things made me realize that I was meant to be with a man and to love only one person for life. I know that before I started dating I thought at one time that maybe I was meant to be with a girl not a boy, but then I went to church more often and after reading the bible (a lot) I was to be with a man if I wanted to be part of my family. Even today if I was to be with a woman not my husband my family would never talk to me again. That is a lot for one person to have to deal with and that is what a lot of people have to deal with on a daily basis. I believe that if you want to be with the same sex then you should do what is going to make you happy, not everyone around you. In history if you laid down with the same sex as you everyone thought that you had something wrong with you and wanted you locked up, to make you change. I never wanted to be a problem for anyone, so I choose to do the right thing and go along with what everyone in my Catholic family told me that I should be like.
I don’t regret it, but sometimes wonder if I gave in to easily and was too scared to be different. History has not been kind to people who are different and the same goes for people these days, if you’re different than them then they want to change you and make you like them. I was always told that I would go to hell if I ever even thought about women the way I was to think about a man, today I tell my daughters that if a women can make them happy and not hurt them then go ahead, I wish that that had been said to me. When I first started to date me only went out with people that I knew my parents wanted me to date, I never thought about being attracted to them or even interested in them. I know that being attracted to someone is one of the most important things when thinking of going out with them, but sometimes people do it (have sex) without thinking about it or any feeling at all. That is what I did for a long time and that took me some time to realize that I was only hurting myself and the men didn’t care why I was doing it.
When I first fell in love with my husband we weren’t even dating, I met him at my sister’s and felt my heart beat faster every time he was around, that made me want to change for the better and the more I thought about him the more I wanted to be with only him. I know that love doesn’t always happen when you want it to or for whom you want, but it does happen. People I think need to be patient and kind to others and learn that putting yourself out there (so to speak) is the only way that you will realize that someone can love you and once you know that and learn to love yourself in spite of everything that has happened in the past, love is a wonderful thing and so is just being attracted to someone. Just knowing that my husband is going to be there no matter what I do or say gives me the sense of self that I can’t control.
The topic that hit home really hard for me during this class was: Sexual Abuse of Children. This hits home on two different levels, first I was abused as a child by my uncle and my grandfather. No one believed me and I felt completely alone and scared all the time. I do believe that this was one big factor on me not knowing who I was or what I wanted when I was the dating age (as my mother would say), I wouldn’t look or talk to any of the boys and got into fights with the girls, I always tried not to be home when my uncle had to watch us, but it never worked. So I ran away and that was when I started talking to someone who could help me deal with all the feeling that I was having. It took me (what seemed like forever) some time and at times even today I think about it and just want to cry, I still to this day don’t have anything to do with that uncle and never have forgiven him and never let him around any of my daughter’s.
The second reason for this topic is that my daughter was raped when she was 15 and that brought up all of the feelings that I had as a young girl. I did everything that I could, I got her counseling and we pressed charges against the man who did it to her. She is doing some what alright,except she only wants to date a lot older men and started being sexually active shortly after that happened to her, she still has night terrors over it, but is getting the help that she needs and is talking more about it which is one of the best ways of dealing with childhood trauma. After taking this class my daughters and I are a lot closer because we talked about my assignments every week and they seem to want to talk to me more about what is going on with them. I never really talked to my mother about what I was feeling and that did more harm than good in my eyes.
No day’s you have to be open and honest with young people and then maybe they will want to be open with you. Telling my girls that no matter what is going on with them I will always be there for them is the best thing that I could do for them. If there was one thing that I could change about the way that my thinking was before this class, it would be to be more open minded about things that I wonder about, like how can someone who has been with a man/women all there life’s change and flip it.I mean that I was always confused as to how someone would be gay,bi,and how did they know without a dought in their minds. I never really had any friends that were not straight and this class helped open my eye’s as to maybe why someone would be the way that they are without passing a bad thought about it.I’m really glad that I had the chance to get to know myself a little bit better and understand a few other things that had me wondering.