My Story of Survival

On August 29, 2014, in Survivors of the Sexual Revolution, by Betsy

by Randali (not her real name)

After years of conflict between my experience and the sexual revolution narrative, I stopped being sexually active and focused on rebuilding myself. I sought alternative views on sexuality and discovered Theology of the Body [by St. Pope John Paul II] which rang very true. I wish someone had told me these things earlier instead of having to re-invent the wheel alone in the 21st century.

I was born and raised in Lebanon. I was baptized Maronite but I grew up in a secular, progressive bubble. I used to read Western magazines and brainwashed myself into the sexual liberation ideology. Sex was like a pleasant massage and a healthy physical activity I was eager to try. My only hard limits were age and consent. But everything was permissible between two (or more) consenting adults. This was the official party line.

When I moved to Paris at age 18, I decided to put these principles into practice and hit reality. Intercourse wasn’t that pleasant, and I discovered that whenever I slept with a man, even a man I didn’t care about, a switch would go off in my mind and I would consider myself married to him. What was supposed to be fulfilling left me feeling cheap and depressed. My friends told me this emotional attachment was something I had to outgrow, but I was afraid of becoming jaded and losing my ability to love.

I came to Paris in the hope of finding both intellectual and sexual fulfillment and sought relationships with intellectuals. I found broken homes and broken hearts, and the dogma of the meaninglessness of life. I tried a threesome once and one of the two men I was with that night was commemorating the first anniversary of his mother’s suicide. The other hoped a threesome would save him from his depression. I hoped my enthusiastic participation would buy me their love. Deep down, I wasn’t looking for sex but for love, support and mentorship. I gave myself physically in the hope to be loved. Nobody had told me that sex doesn’t buy love.

I grew up hungry for any form of meaningful interaction. Both my parents saw me as an obstacle to their self-fulfillment. I myself saw children as an obstacle and resorted twice to the morning-after pill. I wasn’t pro-choice at the time. I didn’t think: “abortion is O.K.” I thought: “sorry little one, but the power balance is in my favor.” I didn’t think it was right. I thought I could get away with it. But that idea was just another lie, and I suffered the consequences for years before going on a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat that helped me forgive myself.

I wouldn’t call myself a victim of the sexual revolution. To live is to make choices, and it is difficult to make the optimal choice in a context of limited time and information, and I’m one of the “all is grace” folks. However, I do consider myself a survivor of the sexual revolution. I struggled with bulimia and spent years eating and throwing up. Food was the closest thing to unconditional love I could find. Nobody was there when I needed a hug, so I turned to chocolate. I almost died of grief and despair and will probably miss my calling for marriage and childbearing. I’m already 30, and maybe the only children I’ll ever have are already with Jesus.

What I can say about my past sexual partners is that: we never really met. In addition to all the sexual revolution lies I had been fed, my mind was clouded by my unmet needs. I simply blanked out any indication that my “partner” couldn’t give me what I wanted. I had no idea of what was going on for him.

I often think of all these men who knew me without knowing me, and I use it as an opportunity to pray for them. Let my brothers in brokenness remember me as a notch they can boast about. Maybe, someday, they will repent and change paths like I have done. That day, we will really meet for the first time. In the meantime, I want to share my story with other people whose experience doesn’t fit the sexual liberation narrative.

Readers, if you have a story to share and would like to help others learn from your experiences, please email us.



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