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About angelakempe

  • Birthday 04/03/1979

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  • Interests
    music, outdoors, exercise, watching my kids play, and writing
  1. A few deaths

    Sorry that it's been awhile since I blogged on this site. I've been stirred back into action by two recent deaths. The first, was my favorite author and aspiration, Maya Angelou. She wrote about her own life, rape at an early age, and recovery. Her words were poetic and her life was inspiring. I was truly sad when I learned about her death. I always wanted to meet her and as someone who isn't famous or anything, just never had the confidence to try. Then I learned about the second death. She was right in front of my very eyes. Tamisha Evette Ridge (DIYMeesha) was someone on Youtube that taught me and a great number of other followers to Sew. She was upbeat and sweet and put little bible excerpts at the forefront of all her videos. She spoke to us like she was right in the room. So, when I saw the comments that she was murdered in her bed while she slept by an ex-boyfriend, I was astonished. I couldn't believe that she was right in front of me this whole time... And smiling. Her last video mentions that a lot has been going on. Who would have known. I cried horribly at her death. I felt to blame. Here I am with my book and my website and my Facebook page, and no one is reading. And I am sitting here in my life in total peace with my husband and kids, like I've gone on and enjoying my peaceful life and recovery. It's hard to get up and talk about my experiences. It makes me feel all the feelings again. But I refuse to get lazy when others are in trouble. Maybe one day I can help, just like Maya Angelou. So anyway, I've started hitting the pavement once again. This time for Tamisha.
  2. Tomorrow

    The night before my SHARP performance, at precisely 7:35pm, my sub bassist cancelled on me. Luckily, I was able to find someone a half an hour later and we did a quick rehearsal together, but I had to pay him double what I did the drummer. (The drummer really deserved more money.) It must have been the topic of rape. I've never had so many musicians cancel before a gig. I got about two hours of sleep, I was so excited. I awoke at 4am and started getting ready. Things came together and the presentation was great. I think that I even got some people to notice me that might be able to help me get other performances. My mom was in town. Before the show, she read what I was going to say and said that I should tell everyone that I was sexually tortured and raped instead of just raped. I added it last minute and didn't practice saying it. So when I said it on stage, I actually cried a little, said sorry, gathered my courage again, and started a song. If it wasn't for the music, I probably couldn't have said half the things I did. The music made me feel comfortable. Afterwards, some army people (I think Officers) came up to me and shook my hand. They told me thank you and that I was very brave. The director from the shelter was also there and my mom came in support of me, which was awesome, and a friend. I got a lot of positive feedback from people and one woman came up to me a shared her own story. I know in my heart that I helped a lot of people by standing up. I'm really glad that it is the day after now. Now that it is "tomorrow" I can eat without getting sick and had a good night sleep. I was thinking about doing this a lot, but it takes a physical toll on me. I'll try this for a little while and see what happens. I know that Jehovah God is with me. The first time speaking out is always the hardest. Now at least I know what to expect.
  3. Please hang in there. We must keep strong. That is the beauty of life. To overcome adversity and enjoy simple moments.
  4. Im sorry about what's happening to you. I think it's time to leave. This same thing happened to me when I was sixteen with my first boyfriend. Sorry for the self-promotion, but I wrote a memoir about it called, Lupin. It's on and I wrote it especially to help other people in similar situations. You are capable of soooo much. All those little things like getting kids to school will fall into place. Have faith in yourself.
  5. Using art to heal

    I've been reading some of the blogs here and I love when people post their poetry. Does anyone else write to heal? Let's connect. I am an author and a songwriter, so I love hearing other peoples expressions. Here is some of mine today: What makes a flower beautiful? Does the sun have to shine? Does the breeze toss it gently? Do the insects come to dine? Does the scent spread cross the field? Yet it is humble in Gods eyes? Standing totally revealed, Simplicity defied. Because without a sound, Just by rising from the ground, By choosing to stay open, A flower is profound. And that is why it strikes us, So beautiful each day, It is not so simple, to everyone's dismay. -Angela Kempe
  6. Feeling better

    I feel so renewed today. Yesterday, I didn't do anything but play with my kids. We went to a splash park and ate a cinabon, and I spent time with my husband. I really can't complain too much about life. I feel bad that sometimes I cry, but I guess it's part of the process. I think it was my mom who told me that I am grieving right now. And as I do things in the area of rape outreach, there will be times that I have to grieve. She says she still grieves about Grandpa sometimes. I can live with that. I'm sorry I cried, but it's okay that I did. And now it's time to move on.
  7. Two sides of a coin

    I had a meeting today with the director of a women's shelter here in town. I didn't realize that it would effect me so much. Now, I will depart from this to tell you that the way I choose to go about the next few paragraphs is difficult for me. I can tell you that we had a great discussion. I spoke to her about all my plans and she was very positive about working with me on many different levels. This will make me seem like the hero and someone who is strong and accomplished. But I want to tell you the truth. And I'm going to tell you the truth because as survivors, I believe that you deserve the truth. My friend, who is also a survivor of incest, looks up to me. She thinks I am strong. But more importantly, she sees that if I can speak out, then she can as well. If I can get through my day, then she can as well. But what if she cries? Do I cry? Today I did. I was taken by surprise that we actually met on the shelter grounds. People who were living at the shelter were coming in and out of the hallways, although we were in the offices section. That shook me a little, but I still entered her office very confidently. Then, she began telling me stories about her day, etc. Now, I felt like, wow, I'm on the other side of things. I'm not the victim anymore, but the helper. Things were still okay. I told her about my musical outreach program. Then we got interrupted. She left the room and I realized that I had started to get excited about talking to her. I thought to myself, calm down, Angela, said a quick prayer, and then she came back into the office. We continued, but every so often she would get up out of the room and do other things. I felt like the focus was gone. We hadn't spoken about the book and she was already saying we should book another time to talk. I told her about the book quickly. Then she was on to talking about other things. So, I started to lose focus. I started to feel under-confident. I realized that I was using passive language to describe everything. She was listening to me like a counselor does, with that reaffirming, "aw... uh-huh." It was like a bad interview. I told her too much about my life. I felt exposed. She said, "I have to go because the shifts are going to change," and got up. There was no validation or closure. No, I'll meet with you on this day. No, I'll purchase 5 books. I smiled and left. The look in my eyes was screaming, wait, are you going to call me? So, when I got home, all I could say to my friend, who is not a victim that I know of, was that it was awkward and strange. Ten minutes after she left I was sobbing on the phone to my other friend. My husband came home and I sobbed some more. I cried all the anxiety that I've been feeling for the last month out. My husband said, "If you are going to do this, you have to know that everything's going to come up." "I know," I told him, "But you don't understand. I have to. If I don't, he has the power. I have to change from victim to healer." Now to you, I have to say that if this goes somewhere, tonight I almost gave up. I felt like maybe this is too hard. Maybe I can't do this! But it's like two sides of the same coin. You can look at it in a negative light and see how hard it is to take a stand and be honest about what happened to me. Or I can think about all the people who are getting excited about my performance next friday: The three hundred people who might get touched by my story and performance. I haven't felt this scared in awhile about this. Tonight was a minor set back. But as I type the last words to this blog, I will get up and sing for the next hour to prepare for my show. I will not give up, even if Im crying on the stage as I tell my story. I will keep fighting to the other side.
  8. Speaking to the past

    I actually spoke to the healthy boyfriend from my past yesterday. There were two that coincided. I was with an older man (there was no sex) when my perpetrator manipulated me into a relationship with him through telling me that I was part of an evil society and needed to join his "family". I told my healthy ex that I had written a book and that he was in it. I also told him that I needed to find closure by giving the book to him so he would know that I was being sexually abused and suffering from PTSD all that time. He was very supportive and said to me that he kind of had a feeling, but it was hard to approach me. I feel like I am really working through the last part of my healing process. The funny thing is that now that I am ready to move on, I'm finding out that relationships afterwards will most likely have to be dealt with. I hadn't considered them abusive because in relation to my first, nothing seemed bad, but they were in fact abusive.. What is this journey that we're on? It is certainly a life long lesson that I'm learning. I'm so thankful that I have a good husband now!
  9. "Being safe for me means being in a position when there is no chance of sex. So DH has gone away today, back late tonight, and I feel a real sense of relief that there will be no chance of sex. How sad is that?" You are not alone. I felt the same way with my husband. I never thought that I would be able to enjoy sex again. I had to learn not only to let go and forgive my perpetrator, which took years of grieving and therapy, but then to learn how to live in the present moment again. I had to see my husband as a man who is not my perpetrator and then how to learn to trust him and experience the sexual experience again differently. It takes a lot of time, but you seem like you are very motivated to heal. You can do it! And if you don't feel like being around anyone today, value that.
  10. Yoga is supposed to be really helpful. Don't stop taking meds, but try yoga and see if it helps. (Make sure it is a traditional yoga class that teaches you how to breathe) Also exercise releases endorphins. Good luck!
  11. My meeting with the SHARP rep on Friday led to very good things happening. I told her about my memoir and about the musical outreach program I was hoping to start in conjunction with it, and she said that she would buy some of my books and wanted me to speak out to her battalion. So on August 9th, my first major appearance as a speaker of domestic violence and rape awareness will be to about 300 soldiers. I've heard from several people that the general attitude is pretty bad among the soldiers about the classes, that they feel singled out as potential rapists and glaze over because they feel like it doesn't apply to them. This unusual audience has caused me to rethink my approach. I've taken "you, he, and him" out of my entire dialogue. My two points are one, that I'm here to put a face to the statistics and tell them that rape not only happens in clubs and in dark alleys, but in the bedroom. And two, that there are things they can do in a healthy relationship if their partner is suffering from PTSD. I believe this it the beginning of something really rare. May God give me the strength to tell my story through music in a way that doesn't point needless blame.
  12. Big Day

    This is a somewhat big day for me because I have an appointment at 1pm with the lady who represents the SHARP program (Sexual harassment or Assault Response and Prevention) at Fort Sill to speak about selling my book to the army and helping her with an umbrella musical outreach program that I've been putting together. My phone conversation with her earlier this week was simple and positive, although I was so shocked by her approving to meet me that I didn't hear what she told me and had to have her repeat herself a few times. Today I will take a shower, put on my best business attire and take my book in hand. This is a turning point for me, because I will be promoting and selling my memoir, Lupin. For so many years Lupin was something personal, that helped me to dig out of those nights overcome by pain. The question is: After all these years of writing, 16 total in writing and editing the manuscript, will it sell like I dreamed it would, and is it really a healing book? I know that sometimes it's not good to dwell on these issues. If we are having a good day or early on in our recovery, why read a book that reminds us of a painful event? But I know that there was a point in my healing when I was ready to seek out others who were like me. And I read several books, but was left with only this feeling of shame, because the books were about violent rapes by a stranger or incest. Neither of those two cases applied to me. I thought that I must be the stupidest victim, because my rapist was my boyfriend for two years! So why did I stay with him? But then I realized that if I felt this way, then others must feel the way that I do. And I began to glimpse some of those victims, sitting in their rooms, alone, up until their fifties. I guess this memoir is for them. But it is time for the public to judge this memoir's worth and for me to finally let go. Wish me luck!
  13. Thank you, Julee. Me too!
  14. Sweater (Trigger)

    It was 100 degrees out last night. "Go get some frozen yogurt," was my husband's request. That was easy enough. But before going into town, to the local Walmart, I gave myself a quick size up. I was wearing a sleeveless sundress that came to my mid thigh. That wouldn't do. Although, I don't perceive myself as being pretty enough to be on anyone's rape radar anymore, I would make double sure. I put my black tights on and my sweater and went out the door. Okay... I was sooo uncomfortable. Why was I going to Walmart in the middle of the summer in my sweater? By the time I got into the car and a block down the road I had put all the windows down and was squirming with discomfort. But no... I would not take my sweater off. I was sure that the moment I took my sweater off, then someone would see me and they would all know. That girl is just asking to get raped. And then all the rapists would look at me with big smiles. "I got you now!" No way! But then again, that is a preposterous thought. I never asked to be raped. I don't wear a sign around my neck with the written advertisement "I'm a victim." Still, old habits die slowly.
  15. It makes me sick that rape keeps happening over and over in this world. I am truly sorry.