Hannah in NW Pennsylvania.
We rode all day and I only talked to one man at an antique store when we stopped to look at a map. Otherwise I spoke with no person. But, I did get an email from a rural woman who was upset with a story I told at a recent presentation.
She recalled I spoke of rape in a humorous story and that I was insensitive to women in the group who have survived the violence of rape. I took total responsibility for my insensitivity to the topic – what was humorous to me was out of context and truly insensitive, and not funny.
Her email left me feeling terrible. I said something hurtful to the very population I love and support.
On the back of a motorcycle, I have a lot of time to think. The rural woman was so correct in her challenge to me, but it was also evident that she has unresolved abuse in her past. It was an awareness of the consequences faced by rural women where mental health resources are not readily or conveniently available. Many rural women are alone when it comes to getting the help they need.
It is my hope that having a site for rural women to write their stories, and hear from other women who might have similar challenges, will bridge the gap for services not easily available in rural America.
I learned a hard lesson from Hannah.