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View Some Results, October 2005

Here is the second updated sample of how women are responding.

Before I share the responses, I want to say to the women who have participated: you have blown me away with your openness. In reading your answers as they roll in, you have made tears well in my eyes, made me nod with understanding, and you have made me laugh. The responses have been exactly what I had hoped for, because they reflect the realities of life. All are forthright; some brave; some tragic; some highlighting the day to day; some funny. I have included an array so that you can begin to get a sense of one another, with some questions showing multiple responses and others showing just one that represents others. You should also know that the women who have participated thus far range in age from 19-105.

TOPIC: Relationship with Your Mother
QUESTION: How do you feel when your mother hugs you?
1. "Uncomfortable."
2. "Wonderful!"
3. "Safe."
4. "Great!"
5. "What hugs????Didn't happen."
6. "I don't remember my mother hugging me."
7. "It depends. I often feel creepy or icky. I fear she will get emotional. I also feel anger and resentment towards her and am frustrated having to pretend that those emotions aren't there."
8. "She wasn't a hugger."
TOPIC: Depression
QUESTION: What do you want others to understand about your experience of depression?
RESPONSE: "Don't criticize-listen. Don't say you understand -listen."
TOPIC: Marriage

(Responses to both questions are from the same woman.)
QUESTION 13: In your most intense moments of love, what are your thoughts about your partner?
RESPONSE: "That he is the most wonderful, caring, kind, passionate man I could have dreamed of."
QUESTION 14: In your darkest moments of anything approaching hatred, what are your thoughts about your partner?
RESPONSE: "That he is an absolute ignorant asshole with no social skills."

TOPIC: Relationship with Your Father
QUESTION: What is the quality of your relationship that pushes you furthest away from him, and why is this what stands out to you?
RESPONSE: "He raped me when I was 7. Tried again when I was 10. Molested me as far as I can remember from the time I was 3."
TOPIC: Masturbation
QUESTION: How did you feel responding to these questions? How do you imagine other women responding to this survey felt?
RESPONSE: "I felt scared and brave. Other women might feel the same."
TOPIC: Anxiety
QUESTION: What do you want others to understand about your experience of anxiety?
RESPONSE: I really want people to know that I don't choose this way of living, it has chosen me, and that I am doing the best I can. I want those close to me to know that I'm trying...I'm trying to be more patient, to love life again, to love people again, to be more adventurous...in general just to be HAPPY again. I want people to understand that anxiety is often coupled with depression because when I have panic attacks, I lose hope in happiness."
TOPIC: Body Image
QUESTION: How do you wish you felt about your body image, and what, if anything would make that easier for you?
RESPONSE: "I wish that I could look at my own body and see its beauty rather than its flaws. I think that it would be easier if there were women in advertisements that have cellulite."