This is a very difficult subject for me because I have never known respect. Growing up I guess we respected my grandparents by watching what we said, and never smoking in front of my grandmother. In my mother’s house everyone just screamed and yelled, my mom has the mouth of a sailor, and used it often towards my stepdad. My “father” was no better, whenever he came around he was always rude, and disrespectful towards both my parents. Being the oldest of 8 I was in charge of teaching my siblings what was missing from “normal” human interaction. At 17 my mom had my respect as did the first man I ever came to love ,but at 17and 37 once he found out that I had lied about my age a week before my 18th birthday ,kissed me good bye and killed himself with a Heroin over dose. December 2007, I meet the only man I thought I would ever be with for the rest of my life, and the first person to ever show me any real respect. He listened to my thoughts, I kept him free from the cops. He said “I love you more than the moon and the stars in the sky.” Over a decade we showed respect for each other the wrong way, between the drugs, and the alcohol we were the perfect mess, he broke my nose, I cut his hand, we choked each other out several times in 8 years. My blood was shed in front of our then 1 year old son. Then later that year we got married it was not long before we were divorced. So no I don’t know what society’s standards of respect mean.

Ashley Hensley


Photo Credit: Respect by Sebastiano Pitruzzello on Flickr; used under Creative Commons License.


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