Destination North is a heartfelt, funny, honest and insightful book. You will laugh. You might cry. But with his unique writing style you will definitely be touched. C. J's inspiring narration will encourage you to reach for and find the happiness that you deserve and not just settled for.
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STILL FINDING OUR WAY
By C. J. FROST
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2013 C. J. Frost
All rights reserved.
Okay, there it is. This is how I believe a woman should see herself and how a man should see a woman. Unfortunately, that is just not the world we live in. But there are guys out there like me who think the way I do. As women, you need to believe in yourselves, change the way some of you think, and stop settling for less. Since I finished writing the first book, I have been called a lot of things. I've been called a hypocrite by some of the church. I've had women tell me that I was a feminist. Some have called me a male chauvinistic pig. Now I always thought that being a feminist was probably a good thing. But my understanding as to what it means and what some women actually think I believe it to mean are two different things. You know, I believe that women should be treated with respect as equals. I don't even know if I would call myself feminist so much as I would call myself chivalrous. It's okay to get a door for a woman or pay for dates or allow her to enter a doorway first. I have no problem with a woman making more money than me or being my boss. I was told by some women who have read my book that I obviously believed a woman should have to work and others that thought I was saying they should be home barefoot and pregnant, and that is just not true.
If a woman would rather stay at home and be a mother, then I believe that is what she should do but only after getting out of college and having a career in place, and here's why: I believe that women who get married and have kids right out of high school are (1) being unfair to themselves and (2) possibly setting themselves up to be poorly prepared for what could possibly go wrong. Because some men (actually a lot of men) will leave women and their kids the second a new smell of perfume blows their way. Which are the ones I like to call the batrastards. I've actually known women whose husbands have bailed on them after fifteen years of marriage, and these women never saw it coming. One particular woman only had a high school diploma (which is still a good thing) and was not ready to be in the working field and balance work with taking care of kids. She then had to spend five more years working part-time while going to school part-time while juggling two kids and their needs. It was not an easy road, and it really took a toll on her, her kids, and the life they had to live until she graduated college. That is why I always tell young women to go to school first, get an education and a career, and secure a place to live that you can afford on your own before you even start to worry about finding a man. If you decide to become a stay-at-home mom after that, then do so. But do so with the knowledge that if for any reason something should happen, you are ready to do what's necessary to get things done and go on with your life without having to think, Oh, no! What am I going to do now?
Now not all men cut out on their wives. Sometimes it's the wives who cut out and leave. Sometimes it is the wives who are the abusive ones. Trust me, though, that is an entire different subject to address. Right now, I am just trying to help women learn to become proactive and not reactive. (You will see these two words a lot.) I guess that comes across in some women's definition of me as a feminist. I'd almost apologize except for the fact that I truly and honestly believe that everything I'm saying needs to be said. And it's not just women that I tell this to. I tell young men the same thing—school and career first. Everything else will fall into place. Here's the thing: I believe it takes us well into are twenties to figure out just who we are and what we believe and where we want to be in life. And it is so much easier to do when we take the time to do so. Let's quit being in such a hurry to secure relationships or get married and have kids. I believe rushing things to be the reason there are so many divorces today. We marry at such young ages and then later realize that it's not where we want to be or that there is so much more we wanted to accomplish. For some reason, we have come to tell ourselves that we have to do all this stuff (marriage, kids, house, etc.) before we turn thirty, as if after thirty, sex is something you would only see in a dirty movie and only have three times a month ... twice by yourself. And having kids would be like having to sit through anything starring David Caruso or having a hemorrhoid removed with duct tape, lighter fluid, and a cotton swab. Actually, I don't believe there would be much difference in the latter two. Both a Caruso movie and a hemorrhoid have the same attributes. They both make it hard to sit on your butt for more than five seconds, and you can't help but to pray to God for the pain to quit or that someone will put you out of your misery.
I'm not sure how all of this hurry up attitude gets started, but it starts young. I know a couple whose little girl is six, and she is already saying, "That's my boyfriend. I'm going to marry him someday." (That could just be a girl thing because my son at six was more along the lines of this: "Eeeww, Dad, she has cooties, and I just farted. Can you smell it?") And her mother is constantly asking her, "Is that your boyfriend?" Her mother also asks if she likes any boys at school. This is my personal favorite: "Little boys don't like little girls who don't comb their hair." So why do we do it? Why do we feel the need to groom our kids for marriage at birth? Is it in our DNA? Did God somehow engrain the impulse into the very makeup of who we are? Or is it as simple as something we are taught by society and the media as just the way things are supposed to be. What happened to just enjoying life as kids and having fun? I hope I talk to my son enough and teach him to not worry about finding that right woman until after he finishes college and has a career in place. Dating is fine, but don't tie yourself down at a young age. Experience and explore life with all its amazing wonders. Take the time to find out who you are, travel, and chase some dreams. Don't get me wrong. I've met couples that have been married since high school and have kids and careers and are still together and happy. But a lot of them have told me how hard it was being so young and having kids while trying to go to college. Most have said they wish they would have waited till after they had graduated. I also know that people seem to think there is something wrong with us if we are not out there dating and searching for that one, that one that is our soul mate, our destiny, our true love. I remember one day when I was about sixteen or seventeen, I had went to see my mom at work and have some lunch with her. We were sitting there, eating, and she got this really serious look on her face and said, "Can I ask you something? And please be honest."
I stopped chewing because the look on her face was so serious. I replied, "Okay."
She then point-blank said, "Are you gay?"
I almost passed out! "Gay! How can you think I'm gay?"
(Of course, in the back of my mind, I thought, a lot of guys listen to Barry Manilow and comb their hair like Shaun Cassidy.) After I sat there for about five minutes, I said, "No, Mom, I'm not gay! Why would you even ask me that?"
She explained how she had never seen me with a young woman, how I was never on the phone talking to girls, how I never asked girls to go out on dates, school dances, or functions. That was true. I never attended one school function. See, even my mom had the idea in her head that there was a process, a certain order in life. And part of that was being in a relationship or at least looking for the woman who would mother my children and help make sure I was wearing matching clothes and clean underwear.
I then proceeded to explain how I was just not worried about dating and just wanted to enjoy everything else at the time—golfing, playing horseshoes, and video games with my dad. Football and basketball in the neighborhood after school was part of the rest. Girls had just never hit my radar. (This, of course, was only half true.) If you read the first book, you know that until the age of twelve or thirteen, dating was never an issue because I had the pick of the litter with all my female cousins as the batrastard who was taking advantage of them and using them as my sexual toys. (There's more on my abusive tendencies later. It's complicated, and I was only six.) And that is something that I have to try to live and deal with every single day—so much so that I have had nothing to do with my family for over fifteen years. This is the main purpose for the books that I have written and the reason that I am now writing—to teach and to show and to hopefully help women to see that they don't have to put up with an any kind of abuse or stay in a relationship that is harmful and degrading. Hopefully, this will help them change the way they think about their lives and relationships.
Now I was never physically abusive. Nor was I really mentally abusive either. But I was sexually abusive. Even though I had talked them into agreeing to the sexual acts, I always thought I was respectful and kind and loving. I know that is wrong, but I was a very young kid when I started and thought I was just doing what I was supposed to do. But it does not change the fact that it was still abusive. So now I am dedicated to trying to help abused women try to overcome the mind-set of "This is just how it supposed to be. It's my fault. I somehow deserved it." No one ever deserves to be treated badly ... ever! Not because of how they speak, dress, look, or act. Not because of nationality or education. Not even when some women seem like they are going out of their ways to put themselves in really bad situations. No woman deserves to be beat, abused, or raped ever! Period!
Okay, about me being labeled a male chauvinistic pig. I know why I'm being called that, but I honestly do not think I am one. I am just saying what I believe needs to be said and what a woman needs to hear. I'd almost apologize if it weren't for the fact, that if I was a woman saying this, it would probably be okay. In the first book, I was telling a story about a woman I had been talking to and trying to help, a woman who had been raped. And it had been a while since it had happened. She had a lot of anger toward men and God. And I asked her a series of questions, one of which was this: "What were you wearing?" According to a lot of woman, that was a male chauvinist remark, and I should have never asked her that. So I'd like to go into the reasoning behind the question and hopefully make a better argument for asking her. Now I only asked the question because she wanted to talk. Because it had been about three or four months since it had happened, I felt we should go back and think about that day and the events that led up to her getting raped. And unfortunately, what she was wearing, I believe, was one of those questions. Like I've said before, what a woman wears in public is her business and should not change the way that we as men see her or treat her. But we do not live in that world.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where more men than there should be believe that woman deserve what they get because they asked for it or they were teases or whatever other stupid idiotic reason that floats through the gray matter between their ears and that seems to be directly linked to their penis. And that was all I was trying to get her to understand. That when you walk into a nightclub in a see-through blouse with a sexy black lace bra underneath, there are going to be men who take this as an open invitation to do more than just look and touch. And it doesn't have to be a see-through blouse. It could be a dress showing lots of cleavage or shorts that show off your butt cheeks or a miniskirt that shows the top of your G-string. Lots of guys, especially the batrastards who think women are nothing but toys or slabs of meat, see the way you dress as a business card. And sometimes that business card says, "Shelly's meat hub. Everything you see was made for your pleasure and "no" is just a joke I use to tease. No respect needed. All unwanted advances welcome" And I know it should not be this way. Once again, I believe that all women should be able to dress however they feel they need to in order to express themselves and never be raped. Ever! But that would be me just putting on blinders about how this world really is. I know there are women out there who are reading this and picturing me sporting a mullet, wearing a wife-beater with a picture of a rebel flag on the front and the words "It's not abuse if I follow it with the words I love you" on the back, sitting in my leather La-Z-Boy recliner with a beer in my hand, a six-pack on the floor, admiring my picture of Dick Masterson. (No, I don't have a picture of Dick Masterson.) It's funny. A man who looks at dirty magazines or watches adult videos is sometimes considered a pervert by some women, yet if it were not for the women posing and starring in these movies, men would have nothing to watch. In essence, the women who work in the adult entertainment field actually create the perversion that makes men the perverts they tend to be. (And men who pose for and star in porn are just as bad, if not worse. And I believe, that only work in the adult entertainment field, just to have dominance over a woman they couldn't normally have.)
And no, I'm not saying women who pose or dance nude or star in porn films are evil. That's their choice to make. I'm just saying that you can't sit and say, "That guy's such a perv for staring at my ass like that," especially if your shorts allow your butt cheeks to hang out or if he's staring at your chest because you chose to wear a blouse and no bra and he can see your nipples or if you're wearing a dress that is open so much that your boobs are practically hanging out, like you're a walking got milk commercial looking for hungry children that haven't been nursed and this is cheaper than sending the five cents to the feed a hungry child foundation. You might as well just tape a tip jar to you hip, pat the men whose staring on the head, push their eyes back in there sockets, wipe the drool from their chin, and say, "Thank you."
If a man is held accountable for his actions and what he says to a woman or how he treats her (as he should be), then women need to be held to the same standard.
I know you're thinking, that insensitive batrastard just did it again! Blamed the woman and how she dressed as an okay reason to be raped! I'm really not saying that. I know there are lots of men who are perverts, men who are going to rape a woman regardless of how she is dressed, how she acts, or where she hangs out. And personally, I believe a bullet to their family jewels isn't punishment enough. I just want young women to stop and think of ways to stay safe. And I believe that the way she dresses sometimes influences that.
I knew a young girl who would come into this certain service station all the time. She was probably in her early twenties. Every single time I saw her, she was wearing blue jeans that were slit on both sides from the outside knee all the way up to the waist. You could see her thighs, and depending on how she was standing, you could see her G-string and sometimes butt cheek. I'd be lying if I said I didn't catch myself looking at times (not proud of it), and it always scared me that one day the wrong person would see her and her God-given wares and see that as an invitation to have sex, offered or not. Does it mean she wants to be raped or that she deserves to be? Hell no! But she would still have to accept some sense of accountability for the attention she attracted, good or bad, for putting it out there like that. Look, all I'm trying to say and all I wanted to convey to this woman who was raped was that sometimes if you want to figure out what went wrong in a situation, you have to follow a basic equation of analysis for the root cause. You must say, "Let's look at a problem by going back to the beginning and take a step-by-step look at the events that led up to whatever it is that has happened and figure out how to not let it happen again." So when this young woman was raped and mad at God and men and asking how and why God would let this happen, I had to ask her to start from the beginning which would in tale, where were you going? What were you doing? Who were you with? Depending on where you were going. Were you going there alone? Did you know the person you were going with well? Was the place crowded or secluded? Did your friends know where you were going? What were you wearing? Did you go to their place or invite them to yours? As a woman, these question need to go through your mind because you and only you can make sure you take the steps to protect yourself and keep yourself safe.
It's sad, I know, but you cannot just assume that the person or the people you are with are all great, nice, decent people. There are a lot of bad people out there, some of whom just want to hurt and control you, people who do not care or have any of your interests or your dreams in mind. You might have known some of these people for a long time.
Here's the thing, and it is true of everyone. We all have parts of our lives that we do not share, that we keep hidden. Most the time, it's innocent. Sometimes it's embarrassing. Sometimes it's something were ashamed of or something that we went through, and sometimes it's something that is within us that is just evil and bad, an evil just looking for an excuse to set it free. Why do you think on the news there is always someone saying, "Man, I knew that guy for ten years and never knew!" Okay, all that just to say this: As a woman, you need to make sure that you stop and ask yourself, "Am I doing everything to ensure that I'm going to be safe? I will not be disrespected. I will not be a victim. I will not put myself in situations where I might have to react out of fear or self-defense. Rather, I will always try to have a proactive stance and mind-set so that I don't get into that predicament in the first place." And sometimes that means you must stop and take the time to acknowledge that our actions have consequences. And sometimes that means thinking about where we are going, what we are wearing, who we are hanging out with. I wish that the world was not full of the hatred and apathy, that rape and abuse were not even words that had a meaning. But the cold, hard truth is they do have meaning. There are men (and some women) out there who prey on women or children they feel they can control or break or make afraid or take advantage of. Men and women who have an evil inside them are always looking for a reason to set that evil free.
Excerpted from Destination North by C. J. FROST. Copyright © 2013 by C. J. Frost. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Labels.................... 5
Chapter 2: Damned the Consequences.................... 23
Chapter 3: It Is What It Is.................... 35
Chapter 4: The Truth and Nothing but the Truth.................... 41
Chapter 5: Life Was Supposed to Be Fun.................... 47
Chapter 6: So Where to Now?.................... 57
Chapter 7: The Box Theory.................... 71
Chapter 8: Forever Connected.................... 77
Chapter 9: Lists and Contracts.................... 85
Chapter 10: More about Me.................... 93
Chapter 11: Final Thoughts.................... 103