Thursday, October 31, 2013


When everything first happened all the comforts I had before were gone. Things I would not have given a second thought to before. Being comfortable to walk outside of my apartment. Walking to my car at night. Trusting my friends. Trusting strangers. I was comfortable for a 22 year old. Nothing was going to happen to me, until something did. I didn't even consider that I might of been "putting myself in danger" just by being comfortable.

But all of the above still doesn't mean that I deserved it. Nor does it mean it was my fault. "I had it coming." was my favorite of all the times he had admitted to raping me (sarcasm). None of us "had it coming."

When I say us I mean the survivors. I use the word survivors because that is exactly what we are. We survived something that was supposed to kill us and we have to fight like hell, everyday to make sure it doesn't ruin us. From the moment it happens, its life changing. We have to start over, and our old lives for the most part wont fit our new ones. We have to reconsider friends and other people in our lives to make sure they are the people that will be there for all the struggles we are now facing. Sometimes you even leave your town. Either you are ran out or you are so uncomfortable you feel like leaving is the only option. We survive our nightmares, our own minds playing tricks on us. We survive our depressing thoughts. We survive minutes that feel like hours. We wake up every morning not knowing how hard our upcoming day is going to be.

All of our situations are different, but it all hurts the same. We all share this bond, that no one else will ever understand. Whenever I meet another survivor, I instantly feel a connection Its then I realize that I am not alone, and that someone else is feeling what I am. Someone else has taken steps in my shoes and I instantly consider them my friend. That's the whole point of these blogs and I hope that the survivors read this consider me a friend, even if we never met.

I hope you all connect with me and I hope reading this helps you not feel so alone. Because I know exactly what you are feeling and exactly how hard it is. I can't sit here and tell you that the situation is going to get better, but I can promise you that you get stronger. Taking myself for example, I know that for the rest of my life, I am going to have some hard days but I know that the sad emotions will pass and so will yours.

Rape is highly under noticed but it comes with the strongest survivors and the most resilient fighters. I have met and heard of some of the most amazing people from doing this. That is what makes my experience worth the hard times. I have bonds with people and friendships that I would of normally overlooked in my old life. Now, I wouldn't take this for granted to save my life.

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Hand To Hold

Today I want to talk about families. I have already talked a little bit about mine but I'd like to go into more detail. I don't know if most of my family knew what had happened or if they didn't. Or maybe they knew but didn't really know what to say when they saw me. It was really hard not knowing how my family felt or if they even knew. Rape isn't really something that has been the topic of conversation at the thanksgiving dinner table, but I think I was in such a bad place at the time I was almost looking for someone, other than my mother, to tell me I was doing the right thing. To make me feel like what I was doing was worth it.

I don't blame any of my family, and if your reading this please don't take it that way. I'm using myself as an example so everyone can see how it really affects you to not have people around you who know how to deal with rape. Now, after Maryville, everyone is talking about it. But two years ago, no one knew how. It wasn't a bandwagon that everyone jumped on to. It was silenced and eyes were closed to the idea of it, let alone talking openly about it. I didn't help. As a victim myself, I didn't even know how to talk. So, when no one knows how to talk about rape, no hands can be held and no help can be given.

Since I have opened up, so has my family. It's a team effort. Now, I'm surround with support. It feels pretty amazing to hear all my loved ones tell me how proud they are of me for speaking up. I just needed to drop down my guard so they could see that it was okay to talk to me about what happened. Basically I'm saying that being open and staying open is extremely important. But, some girls can't open up as much as I have. That's when others really need to step in.

I've had a lot of girls tell me their stories when they haven't even felt comfortable enough to tell their parents or their best friends, because I am a stranger. I won't judge them because I don't know them. I think as human beings we should be better than to make our daughters, our family members, and our friends feel more comfortable talking to a stranger than to us. All I can hope for is that this topic doesn't die down when the headlines stop. It deserves more than that, and so do the survivors.

Now, I want to talk about the other side of the line. The rapists families. They hurt a lot more than anyone can see I'm sure. As for my experience, I know it hurt me to watch his family go through what we were all dealing with. When it was time for him to be sentenced I had to leave the court room for a while to collect myself. I knew whatever was about to happen was going to not only effect me and my family, but his as well. Even when they were defending their son. I had to remind myself that they didn't want to be in this situation anymore than I wanted to. My mom felt like she had lost her daughter out of all that happened, and I'm sure that they felt like they had lost their son.

It is heartbreaking to see all the lives that are effected by rape. The only way to stop it from ruining a person is to talk to the people around you. We have to remind our loved ones that our support systems are strong. If you cannot bring yourself to talk openly about rape you can still help. It doesn't take words to hold a hand or give a hug. Do what you can, that's all that counts.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wild Fire

It's sad that it has taken a house burning down for everyone to pay attention to how much rape can ruin someone. I am extremely happy that people are finally paying attention but to be honest, its doesn't say a lot for humanity that it has taken this long for people to open their eyes. This has been happening for years now and that girls life was ruined long before you all saw it in the Kansas City Star. I hope this story sticks with everyone and I do believe that rape is finally getting the support it should have gotten a long time ago.

It's crazy to me on how similar all these case are to each other, including mine. With the girl drinking too much and the guy taking complete advantage. I'm going to let everyone into some of the things that were told to me because I was drinking. "You put yourself there." "How did you not know what was being done to you?" "It wasn't rape because rape is someone being held down and beaten..." "How did you not wake up?" "How did you not expect him to think you wanted it?" "You didn't say anything, being passed out isn't an excuse... you shouldn't have drank so much, so it was consent." This is the real world people. 85% of rapes involve alcohol. Nowadays, rape isn't defined as someone being forced down and beaten. Nowadays, people who have not been taught what is right and what is wrong, are taking advantage of situations. When are people most at risk to be rape? When they are not sober. Plain and simple. We live in a world now where a girl cannot drink and trust someone.

The world we live in now is a scary one, and one where lives are being ruined because we are not teach our children right from wrong and how to be safe. When is a child old enough to be taught these lessons? I have had so many people open up to me and you would be shocked if you knew how many people this is happening too. And, its only getting worse. The parents of these young boys who rape, are so busy victim blaming that they are teaching those boys that what they did is okay. Which in turn makes other young men think that kind of behavior is expectable.

As for my rapist, he was a college student. Old enough to know better but to dumb enough to care. Why would he stop doing what he loves, when no one is coming forward and when one finally does, his money and his parents get him out of it. Which sends a message loud and clear to him that he can do it, and get away with it.

As a community I'm glad this Maryville story finally sparked something in all of you. But, there are many stories not being heard. Horrifying ones. You die a little you know. All of us that have been raped go through something that words can't describe. It takes something away from you that you can never get back. So talk to your children, teach them. Also, talk to the loved ones around you and make sure that they haven't gone through what I have gone through and what Daisy Coleman has gone through. Their are so many girls fighting their battles by themselves, and no one should have to experience the awful pain of rape alone. All I can hope for with the new stories coming out is that the awareness spreads like wild fire, and never stops. Maybe my hopes are too high, but that's what this topic and all of these victims deserve.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sparking Things and Hanging On

Since I've started blogging my mind has gone into overload. Ideas have flooded my brain on ways to raise money for Safe & Sound Refuge.

But, along with the good comes the bad. The nightmares have been waking me from my sleep for the past couple of weeks. To be honest with all of you, my journey is far from over, and I still have my own weaknesses. After being raped I don't think a person ever goes back to the person they were before. Everything changes, and I don't think that our situations are ever easy after that. We just become stronger. I think everyday is a survival in our minds, even if we don't say it out loud. At least, that's what I think.

The nightmare are all apart of that. I think now, by me opening up my world I have to also be honest with myself and in a way, I posted a target on my back. Him and his family/friends probably know by now that I am doing this, and I'm sure they aren't happy about it. I would hope they wouldn't go as far as to shut me up, but I never thought in a million years that he would of done what he did in the first place. So, I need to adjust my life accordingly just to be safe.

In my dreams, the situation shows itself in many different ways. Me being punished for talking, or my family and friends being punished… because of me. It's truly horrifying. I have to tell myself that the worst is over but how can it be over when all my head does is play it back to me everyday? Play different outcomes because of my newly found voice as well. Before my life changed, I never worried about my safety, not like I should have. I'd like all of you reading to ask yourself if you have in the past, or now, always put your safety first? I used to be very trusting in others, strangers even. I never had a plan on what I would do if this ever happened. Or anything bad for that matter. But, I should have. Now, I have plans for everything life might want to throw at me. I also have things to protect myself if my nightmares ever seemed to become a reality. Now, I'm not telling all of you to go buy a million guns. Let's stop that controversy in its tracks. I'm just saying be aware of what's going on around you before having to learn how I did. At first I questioned myself by asking, are you doing all of this because of what happened to you??? But I think I have known that answer the whole time.

This journey has taken every bit of emotion and every bit of strength that I have. There is not a day that goes by where it doesn't. Still. The truth is, I wouldn’t be able to survive it again. From the night it happened, to the defensive team ripping me to shreds on the stand, the fear I have daily, to all the counseling. All of it balled into one situation that happened two years ago. I could never experience it again.

Rape feels the same no matter how it happened. Like your world got ripped away from you and all you are trying to do from there is hang on. That's what every victim needs to do. Hang on and wait for the experiences that aren't bad ones. The moments in life that put a smile on your face. Hang on to the people that hold you up, and hang on to the happy memories that are still to come. Hang on until you realize that that there is so much more to this life than that one horrible situation. This is what I tell myself when I see myself slipping a little. Because, I still do, and I always will. But, I've become stronger than my situation and I will hang on to all the amazing moments in my life. To basically outweigh all the bullshit.

I hope you all continue to read and support because, I’m holding onto this, and the awesome things I want to do with Safe & Sound Refuge. So please, keep the support coming. I hope these blogs are sparking something in all of you, like my situation has sparked in me. If it has, please share these blogs with the people you love, and support a company that I know is going to do amazing things. <3