Sexual Assault Awareness Month

This month is sexual assault awareness month.  I would like to let everyone know about sexual assault. As you all know, I experienced it. Most people don’t know how to respond when someone tells you they’ve been assaulted. Truth is, we just want you to listen, understand, not judge, and be there.  That is usually all.  Most of us are judged. I have been told it was my fault so many times.  People have said the most stupid things to me.  I’ve lost friends.  I found out who my real friends were and I thank them for being there for me through good times and bad and will always be there for them too!

Sexual assault is painful. It’s a loss of control and we feel powerless.  It’s not something we want and we cannot say otherwise.  It’s not about the physical pain during though – it’s about the aftermath. The aftermath and the years of therapy thanks to someone’s needs. It takes awhile to learn to be yourself and happy again.  Whether you block it out or not, It’s still there. The powerless feeling will haunt you.

So to all those survivors out there, know it’s not your fault. It’s their fault. The ones who did this to you.  You didn’t deserve to be hurt.  You are a survivor and you are strong! Hang in there! There is recovery and there is hope whether we see it or not!

Just get over it

Oh the amount of times I’ve heard the line “just get over it.” I wish it were that easy. I wish for a day I could not have a flashback or a nightmare. I wish I didn’t have to worry about the next breakdown I’ll have. It’s been over a year since I left my very abusive ex. I just wish it didn’t haunt me. I have supportive people, but I have also learned who my real friends are. It’s just people don’t understand. They don’t understand the pain of rape and abuse. It’s not just an overnight thing to heal from.

I know people don’t always know what to say, but I can tell you this: Don’t tell a survivor to “just get over it.” 

EMDR

I keep meaning to post, but life has been so busy. I started EMDR. My first real session was last week. I know it will help me. It was just a bit scary to uncover feelings. I couldn’t describe what I was feeling. I felt a bit numb and dissociated for awhile afterwards. I heard it’s common to feel like that. There’s a lot to uncover. I don’t know if I will, but hopefully I will come to peace with it. If anyone wants to start EMDR, try it! I think it helps and I’m also learning stress relief techniques which help me during the session. Life’s been busy though. I think I’m finally starting to move on!

I am a survivor!

I am a survivor because I fought back.

I am a survivor because I’ve survived pain.

I am a survivor because I told him no.

I am a survivor because I lived his pain.

I am a survivor because I get out of bed and fight depression.

I am a survivor when I have my daily panic attack.

I am a survivor when I have a nightmare.

I am a survivor when I can’t sleep.

I am a survivor because I have survived trauma.

I am not a victim of sexual assault, rape, and abuse! I am a survivor!

How I left

I left over a year ago. I wasn’t living with him, so financially I was still under my parent’s house.  Still, he was able to do all he did around our parents.  I don’t even want to know what it would be like if I did move in with him.  He would talk about getting married and that scared me.  I didn’t know why at the time, but it just did.

The thing is, I didn’t know how bad the abuse was and he tricked me into believing that it was my fault so I didn’t believe it was  abuse some of the time.  I remember asking him if it was rape if I’m this scared. His response: “No not in a relationship.” Well apparently it is under the law.

Anyway, I had trouble leaving. He stalked me for two weeks afterwards. He left my parents two emails, my friends all messages, messaged me, and mailed me two letters within those weeks. I was only 21 so I didn’t have a place of my own. I was living at school and I was scared he was going to come find me. I managed to move dorms and changed my locks and alarm system at home.  My parents helped me get a restraining order.  He stopped stalking me then At the rate he was going he would’ve showed up at my doorstep with flowers and later raped me that day.  My mom saved every letter. The letters admitting to him forcing me into sex, but he still refused to call it rape.  He didn’t think he was a rapist.

I broke up with him because we had a huge fight that he needed help. This was after he had choked me almost to death.  I told him that if he didn’t go to see a therapist, that I couldn’t be with him. Eventually, he agreed to one time but I knew he wouldn’t get better going one time. I was sure he would lie and not say he did anything bad. I had bruises all over my body and a sprained shoulder from him at that point.  Apparently, it wasn’t his fault.  His mom knows somewhat about the strangle, but I’m sure he didn’t tell them that he’s a rapist.

In all honesty, I am so thankful that I was still living with my parents and not him at the time.  I know now that if you are ever in trouble, tell someone I trust. If you trapped, tell them to tell the police.  Once you escape the house, then plan the financial part.  Always save up some of your own money in a private account and don’t let your husband/boyfriend/abuser get to it.  If not, have someone who can be financially responsible for you for the time being such as move into a safe house (parents or friend’s house).

That’s just my suggestion, but I know there are many websites with information on how to escape.

This is the website that taught me the law system. It’s a great website to learn how to escape: http://www.womenslaw.org/index.php

I hope that everyone is able to be safe one day!

Inspirational post!

Sorry I have not posted. I got in another car accident a few days later and was actually hurt that time.  I’ll post more about the second accident later.  Just been having a stressful week. I’ll post more later this week. I’m also in the process of moving so I will not be able to post as much in the next 1-3 weeks.

On a happy note, i have decided that I want to dedicate part of this blog to the happy and inspirational things that happen.  I may gather quotes and poems and post them here as well. I’ve realized that snce I’ve been raped, I’ve lost some of my positive sense. This is a way for me to gain it back.  Look for the inspiration to come!

Here’s my first inspirational post and this is how I feel this week:

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Found on Pinterest

first car accident…

Everyone is okay. I don’t drive that much, but I decided to drive in ice and at night and it’s my fault. I crashed my car. There’s a scratch and a cracked bumper.  I started panicking because I got lost and hit a car as I pulled onto a side street.  I was fine emotionally at first, but later my PTSD kicked in. Car accidents really don’t help my stress levels. Thankfully neither of us were hurt. I started remembering the time my ex got into a car accident. His car was totaled and he blamed me for that because he was coming to meet me.  I try not to let it bother me, but it’s hard.  Since the accident, I have been grinding my teeth and my mouth has been hurting really bad.

So drive safely this winter!  It’s scary out there!

Red flags

I didn’t realize at the time, but there were many red flags in my relationship with my ex.  I never really learned what red flags are.

I know now that the ones I saw were:

  1. Jealousy – right from the start he was jealous. He didn’t let me have a celebrity crush. He thought I was hooking up with his best friends when I am very loyal. There was so much jealousy that it scared me.
  2. Snooping – He looked in my phone. Most times he searched through my stuff without asking and would blame me if I said one word (even a good word) about him. It wasn’t his business to read my friends messages.
  3. Hatred – He hated children. He hated my friends. He hated my family.  He once told me that he would kill my children if I had any with him.  He said he hated children and would make sure I never had any.
  4. Mood changes – One moment he’d be perfectly calm and the next he’d be yelling.  I’d have to tell him to step out of the room at times.
  5. A secretive past – He never told me about his past.  He would say he was bullied and that people didn’t like him, but he wouldn’t tell me details for months.  I told him, but he wouldn’t open up. I know he’d never been with a woman before, but now I really don’t know what’s the truth.
  6. Keeping me from my activities – He wouldn’t let me go to my sorority because I had to spend time with him. He wouldn’t let me ride my horse because I couldn’t “love” anyone other than him.  Every time I had plans to be with someone other than him, he’d get mad. He could go out.  It was different for him.
  7. Controlling – He’d say that he had the right. I was a girl and he had the right to do what he wanted.
  8. Isolation – He didn’t want me to hang out with my friends because he hated them. He didn’t want me to ride my horse because he said it was me or the horse (as said in #6). I was stuck with him. I had to answer my phone every time he called or else I’d hear it from him.
  9. Constant communication – He would constantly call me. I remember I’d tell him that I was going to eat dinner and I’d call him after I’d done. He’d call and text 20 times within an hour.  I’d have to tell him when my meal came. I’d have to tell him when I was getting up. Every single time. It got really bad too
  10. Sexual nagging – He’d nag me till I’d say yes. It didn’t matter if we had it 7 times in a weekend. If he wanted it, he’d get it. If I was tired or sick, he didn’t care and he’d still nag.  That is rape I realized…

Remember you shouldn’t have to feel scared or to watch what you say. I’ve learned that there may be a reason why we might be scared. Also, animals sometimes know when someone is an abuser. I know my dogs never liked him…

There are so many signs I saw. He’s a textbook case of an abuser.  If you’re wondering what flags are I’ll post a few websites:

http://www.theredflagcampaign.org/index.php/dating-violence/red-flags-for-abusive-relationships/

http://nnedv.org/resources/stats/gethelp/redflagsofabuse.html

http://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/abuse-defined/

What are the red flags that you saw if you were in an abusive relationship?