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My 1st Interview as a Advocate against Domestic Abuse for NOYO

 (No Longer Silenced Movement)

 

 

In a manner in which you are comfortable, will you please describe the type of abuse that you endured? 

 

Absolutely I will happily describe the abuse I have endured! I have gone through multiple types of Abuse in my past. I was molested at a young age, I was a victim of a Gang Rape at the age of 13, and was in a very Abusive relationship that was so bad  that he actually had beaten me so badly that I actually lost my life (Thankfully, I never gave up hope and they brought me back). The relationship was so bad that I was trapped and there was no way out, I remember the moment I realized how bad it was the first time and thinking to myself “This man is going to kill me, there’s no way I can get out”. That does not mean I never gave up hope, but I lived in a constant state of fear. I developed something that is called Stockholm syndrome. I knew if I tried to leave the room, I would be beaten or hurt in some kind of way so I learned not to try because I knew the outcome. I could not have my cell phone, car keys, anything to call for help. I would be locked in a room for hours at a time and could not even leave to use the restroom. I was not able to leave the bed until he was awake, which sometimes was hours. I could not read in bed because turning the pages was too loud and would disturb his sleep and I would be punished for waking him. I would have to stare at the ceiling in a catatonic state just hoping he would not wake up. I can tell you so many stories, but it would be a novel! I remember I turned on the fan one time because it was summer and 90 degrees and because I did not have permission, he picked me up and through me across the room right into a wall.  It was a rough time to say the least.

 

What inspired you to advocate about domestic violence and help others heal? 

 

I was inspired to help others with Domestic Abuse when I was going through the court process of putting my Abuser in jail. This man had actually taken my life, I was left with over 30 broken bones, a concussion that left me unable to walk/talk and took my short-term memory and permanently disabled and he got 2 years in prison (He got out after a year and half without parole). I was furious that Abuse was brushed off and not taken seriously at all, so I decided to dedicate my life to help others and spread the word and awareness of Domestic Violence.

 

How have you healed yourself? 

 

It has been a process, I am still physically disabled. I went through a period of time when I could not retain any information and reteach myself to function again. I was very aggravated and my patience was decreasing by the moment, but I realized that was not the answer to my problems. I started reading books, but I had to rewrite down everything I read in order to absorb any material. I started making jewelry for my friends and family while physically healing. My injuries were so severe that physical therapist would not even work with me. I remember my fourth time I tried, the doctor would not even take my consultation money because they said they could not help, and they just wanted to drug me and go through surgery. I pleaded just to give me a chance, which is when I realized I have to do it on my own. My chiropractor suggested trying to go do stretches in water. I have always loved swimming my whole life, so I signed up for a membership at a local gym with a pool, and I remember the moment I first stepped into the water I started to cry. I could walk and do things in the water that I could never do on land. When I was in the water, all my pain went away and all my problems disappeared. After that, I started yoga and Pilate’s rehabilitation slowly. Baby steps my advocate said, and that is exactly what I did.

 

 

 

What do you believe is the most important aspect of recovery in an abuse survivor? 

 

This one is an easy answer! The most important aspect of recovery is NEVER give up hope! The doctors said I would be in a wheelchair within 5 years (I am 24 years old) and I told them NO!  I have completely changed my outlook and have a positive attitude about life and I bring love into every situation in my life.

 


What advice would you give to a teen or young adult who is currently in an abusive situation? 

 

No matter how hard it is and how much hope you have that he will change…Find your strength and realize that you cannot change them no matter what you do or how hard you try. GET OUT while you still have the chance, even if you think you cannot live without him. Life will go on and you will be thankful you did!

 

What do you aim to accomplish through your blog Through the Darkness…There will always be Light? 

 

I would like to spread awareness about Abuse, share my personal story about the trauma I have endured and made it through to give woman hope and help they realize they can make it through it.

 

What do you like to do for fun? 

 

I love to read and write in my free time. I am writing an autobiography on my life to share my story, and currently have a website with resources and my personal experiences with Abuse

 

 ( Survivors725.blogspot.com)  Swimming is still one of my favorite things to do. I am very artistic and enjoy drawing, and still make my jewelry. I try to take everything I do and take a positive thing from it and have fun.

 

If you won the lottery, what would you do with your winnings?

 

Oh Boy! If I won the lottery, I would go back to school and get my masters in mental therapy. I would like to be a therapist/Life Coach that specializes in Domestic Abuse and open my own practice. I would donate/start programs to help other woman that are in or have been in my position. That is my dream! If I could save one life, it would all be worth it to me.

 

 

 

 

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Maxine’s Story

I have had many abusive relationships. That was my pattern. The most destructive by far was my marriage to a minister. I was not physically abused, but was emotionally and mentally tortured. I lost friends and family. I abandoned my own children. I was destroyed financially. My entire life became ground zero and when I left him after 10 years, there was nothing left of me. I had been erased as a person. I had to change careers, and rebuild everything. It has been challenging, but I have done it.

Thank You Maxine for Sharing your Story and giving hope to others!

 

Christys’ Story of Abuse

If I was meant to be controlled, I would have come with a remote.

As a survivor of domestic violence, I consider myself a victor, not a victim, as I survived being traumatized by my ex-husband for 20 years; of being paralyzed emotionally and being held hostage by the fear of abuse. I lived in an emotional prison. I no longer suffer in silence nor do I no longer live with a person who I felt I had to crack a code to find his humanness. I no longer walk on eggs shells and I no longer sleep with a golf club underneath my bed. However when I left, even though I got the monkey off of my back, that didn’t mean the circus had left town.

Making sense of the nonsense of abuse is baffling as you are too immersed in the abuse to realize that along the way, you become lost in the abuser’s dysfunction and part of you ceased to exist. You get spun in the dizzying dynamics of abuse. You give up your identity and sense of self-worth in order to meet abuser’s selfish needs. Abusers are not interested in showing empathy or building a relationship. They are interested in being on top. They are interested in being right and making you wrong. They are interested in winning. Verbal and economic abuse all help abusers to do that without laying a hand on you.

Emotional abuse can be mentally crippling. It robbed me of my ability to think clearly. Emotional abuse aims to damage the very core of who you are as an individual; you feel unwanted and unloved. On the other hand, love shouldn’t hurt.

No one should wake up every morning wanting to die. Sadly, I did. I yearned for dignity and some sort of peace that never seemed to come. The love I craved didn’t come either. My marriage of 20 years had more twists and turns than a Chubby Checker contest. When we married, my ex lied when he said “I do” because he didn’t.

My purpose in life is to empower. To share my strength; to pass along my survival of trauma and drama associated with domestic violence and to give survivors validation. To move survivors of violence from crisis to confidence. My mission is to be a ripple of hope for those who have not yet found their voice, or for the survivors of domestic violence, a source of answers and compassion for what they have suffered. To be a positive inspiration to show people that life goes on and you can have all wonderful things in life that you so deserve! To say believing in yourself can change your whole world. Also, it is important for people who have been abused to know that they are not alone. Don’t be ashamed what you went through. I want to get the message to society that domestic violence is not something we should tolerate as a society. Domestic violence is a violation of personhood and human rights. People not directly involved in domestic violence do not see domestic violence as the serious social problem it is. I am sure I join anyone reading this that we need to speak in a unified voice of domestic violence. One voice may speak but many unified voices can roar. Domestic violence is truly a public disgrace and is a hidden reality. Animal cruelty gets more public attention than domestic violence. Why are there more shelters for animals than there are for humans who needing to have a safe haven? What’s wrong with this picture?

Voicing your opinion is your prerogative and you have a right to be heard. If nothing is said, then the issue stays in the background. Your prerogative means your right and your power to make a decision or judgment.

When I reach out to survivors of domestic violence, the first thing I tell them is this: A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Take one day at a time; sometimes just moments at a time. Take back your life one-step at a time. While you cannot get the days, months or years you suffered by being abused, survivors just want to go back to a time in their life when they were not broken. You can move on in life after being traumatized from an abuser. Even though you were battered in spirit, may have low self-esteem from being told by the abuser you are not worthy and feel dehumanized, you must know this: you are worthy, you are important; you do have rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It takes raw courage and determination to break free of the mental stronghold of this kind of person. As you uncover layer by layer of the jam-packed deep hurting of what the abuser has done to you, I say “don’t look back unless it is a good view’.

At some point in your relationship with the abuser, you realize that you have done too much for someone who doesn’t/didn’t appreciate you that you realize that the only next possible step to do is to leave them alone…walk away. It is not like you are giving up; it is more like you know when enough is enough. You have to draw the line of determination from desperation. Sometimes we need to walk away, not to make anyone else except our self-worth, but for ourselves to realize how worthy we are. To survivors, I say the following “Unless you pull the weeds from the roots, they will keep coming back.” Adult bullies/abusers involve people who seriously excel at being vindictive, manipulative and deceptive and they excel at bulling. They usually display arrogance and fully expect to get away with it. They will exploit other people’s negativity to ensure their own survival.


~Never estimate abuser’s deviousness, ruthlessness and cunning ability to deceive. Abusers do not share the same moral values as you.


~You are not the cause of your partner’s abusive behavior.


~When you ex says “you’ll never find anyone like me”, reply with “that’s the point!”


~Don’t give to anyone the power to put you down. Haters are losers pretending to be winners. Rudeness is the weak person’s imitation of strength. No one has a sense of entitlement to judge you. Do not fall victim to those who blame you; they simply do not understand. Stay away from people who do not support you.


~Your partner promises to stop their behavior and note when facing consequences, abusers often plead for another chance, beg for forgiveness and promise to change. They may mean what they say in the moment but their true goal is to stay in control and prevent you from leaving. Most of the time, they return to their abusive behavior once they have been forgiven and are no longer worried that you will leave.

Sadly abusers tap away at the essence of you until you don’t know who you are any more. Toxic people will steal all your joy and find satisfaction in your pain.

You feel that all of your energy was zapped trying to live with an abuser and not an ounce to go on. You will surprise yourself with the courage, strength and determination inside your soul. Don’t give up and don’t let anyone who put you down define who you are. Don’t be afraid of storms. Learn how to sail your ship.

When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.

Thank You Christy for Sharing your Story and giving hope to others!

If you would like to share your Personal Story, please email me at

Survivors725@gmail.com

Thank you!

How to Recover from Codependency

How to Recover from Codependency

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In a Previous entry, I wrote about Codependency and it’s symptoms (If haven’t read, I highly suggest reading before this Article to be familiar what codependency is.) Now I’ll explain some steps to take to Recover your true self and kick the habits of being Codependent. It won’t be easy, but I promise it’s worth it. As I said earlier, I myself had a huge problem with being a people pleaser. I to this day find myself slumping back to old habits, but the difference now is that I realize them and can CHANGE them when happening. Goodbye! To putting others before my own needs! And Hello to my happy, loving self!

The term “Codependency” can mean different things to different people. My definition is a very simple one; to me “Codependency” occurs when we put other people’s needs ahead of our own on a consistent basis. In truth, when we are codependent, we are also often people pleasers who will go to virtually any lengths to avoid unpleasant conflict with others.

 

DOES THIS SOUND LIKE YOU?

  • You are tired of giving and giving to other people, without getting much in return.
  • You are concerned about the pain and/or abuse that you are experiencing in your relationships.
  • You feel sorry for yourself, baffled about why this is happening to you but not knowing what to do about it. “BUT I’M SUCH A NICE PERSON!”
  • You try to convince yourself that the problems you are experiencing aren’t really that bad (RED FLAG!)

Because codependents consistently put others’ needs ahead of their own, they often believe that they are “nice” people.

“I’m doing what everybody wants me to do,” you tell yourself, “so why do I get mistreated so much of the time?” Indeed, this will be a real dilemma for you as a people-pleaser. If you are codependent, it probably doesn’t make sense to you that you are being treated abusively by the very people you are trying so hard to accommodate.

 I had a tough time after and during my Abusive relationships with this. I would always think to myself “I know I didn’t do anything wrong, WHY did this have to happen to me? Is there something wrong with me? I thought I was a good person” I would just put blame on myself. NEWS FLASH: There’s NOTHING wrong with you! It took me a while to realize that. I was a people pleaser that had gotten myself into a pickle. I realized I needed to change the way I handled myself, I needed to take care of my needs too. I was so lost that I didn’t even know what my needs were anymore, or what I wanted!

 My whole life I put others before me, that’s when I had a wake up call. It was like almost as if I heard someone yelling … “Shannon, get your shit together, heal and focus on yourself for the first time in your life!” That is when I decided to make some major changes in my life, and finally do some healing.

When you say yes (especially when you really want to say NO), you are actually protecting yourself from having to face the potentially painful consequences that can result when someone is angry or disappointed with you for not agreeing to do what they want you to do. I always agreed with others, ESPECIALLY during fights, for a few reasons.

  1. I hated confrontation or drama of any sort, so I’d rather be unhappy and agree to get the argument over or avoid an argument altogether.
  2. I knew my physical safety could be at risk. If I said No or said how I truly felt, I knew that could result in a black eye, broken bone, or locked in a room for hours.
  3. It was just plain out easier.

Even though you are really trying to look out for yourself by side-stepping these negative outcomes, which could be seen as a self-caring intention, it is unfortunately not a healthy form of self-care when it is done out of resistance to unpleasantness.

 

WE TEACH OTHER PEOPLE HOW TO TREAT US

In order for codependency to be part of any relationship, two things have to happen:

  1. The people-pleaser has to say yes a lot more often than no.
  2. The other person has to not only accept this but also begin to expect it in the relationship.

 

Once that dynamic is in place, it is difficult to break the cycle.

When you say yes consistently to another person, and when you accept any form of abuse as part of any of your relationships, you are essentially teaching the other people that it is all right for them to treat you that way (RED FLAG!) Although you might not be aware of it, you actually do have as much power and control as the other person does, because all of us can really only control ourselves. They then think it’s alright to treat you this way, because you never tell them otherwise, and eventually you will lose sight in what you want and who you are. That is exactly what happened to me, I never looked after my own needs and I lost myself (no worries, I ended up a better version of myself!)

It is only when you choose to give your power and control to another person, which you begin to feel the sting of codependency. The truth is that no one can disrespect you without your permission.

 


SHIFTING OUT OF PEOPLE-PLEASING INTO HEALTHY ASSERTIVENESS

 HOW TO BEGIN


If you are experiencing codependency and people-pleasing in any of your significant relationships (which can include those with parents, children, siblings, spouses, partners, friends, bosses or co-workers), then there has likely been a cycle established in which you have been reacting in a “passive” manner while the other person has been acting “aggressively” toward you.

The healthy balance is one of “assertiveness.” This occurs when both people speak and behave toward each other in respectful ways, taking full responsibility for themselves and their own choices without resorting to blaming, shaming or threatening each other in any way.

But change always has to start with oneself. If you are in relationships that are already entrenched in codependent dynamics, you will need to make some important changes within yourself before you can expect to see any change in the behavior of those around you.

You can begin by deciding that it is time to learn new ways of being in relationship with yourself, such as treating yourself more respectfully and saying yes to yourself more often. You will also need to become willing to learn how to deal with the negative reactions you might encounter when you stop being so accommodating and available to the others in your life. This will prevent you from reacting from a place of fear in your relationships. In other words, take some ME time!

When you are starting the journey away from people pleasing and seeking a new level of emotional health, you may find that self-help books about codependency can be a great aid. You may also want to check out some self-help groups such as Codependents Anonymous to find others who are on the same journey as you are. As well, you might want to reach out to a skilled counselor for help, as you begin to test out new boundaries and healthier ways of relating to others.

When I first started to change my ways of Codependency, It was like a tug a war contest with my counselor (My Therapist is as Blunt as I am so it was fair game, Thank goodness). I always used to make excuse after excuse. I finally did it when I was truly ready 100%, the truth is… you’re the only one that can change it and you have to be ready and want the change first.

THE GIFT OF ASSERTIVENESS

Becoming more real and genuine in your relationships is a gift you give to both yourself and to the others in your life. Learning how to tell people the truth about how you feel, as well as about what you are (and are not) willing to do for them is an act of love, honesty and personal integrity.

As you learn how to deal with potentially unpleasant reactions from others, you can begin to change your people-pleasing patterns. This is the key to unlocking a completely new world of being a self-respecting, authentic and genuine person in your relationships.

The term “Codependency” can mean different things to different people. My definition is a very simple one; to me “Codependency” occurs when we put other people’s needs ahead of our own on a consistent basis. In truth, when we are codependent, we are also often people-pleasers who will go to virtually any lengths to avoid unpleasant conflict with others.

I can honestly say without shame, that I had a huge problem with being Codependent. My whole life, my needs were put last, and especially in relationships. I always felt the need to help others first, never take in consider my needs because “He’s more important” “I want to make sure he’s happy” There is so many bullshit excuses that we make up. I did not learn until recently, that it is not selfish to put YOUR needs first. You have to take care of yourself and be happy. Otherwise, how can you be in a happy/healthy relationship if you are not yourself? It WILL NOT work, sorry to be blunt about it. However, it is the truth, and I still struggle to this day…and then kick myself in my ass when I see myself doing it because now I know better. I know I cannot truly be happy in any relationship unless I take care of my own needs and am happy myself.

Following is a list of symptoms of codependents. You do not have to have them all to qualify as codependent.

Low Self-Esteem: Feeling that you are not good enough or comparing yourself to others are signs of low self-esteem. The tricky thing about self-esteem is that some people think highly of themselves, but it is only a disguise — they actually feel unlovable or inadequate. Underneath, usually hidden from consciousness, are feelings of shame. Guilt and perfectionism often go along with low self-esteem. If everything is perfect, you do not feel bad about yourself.

People Pleasing: It is fine to want to please someone you care about, but codependents usually do not think they have a choice. Saying “No” causes them anxiety. Some codependents have a hard time saying “No” to anyone. They go out of their way and sacrifice their own needs to accommodate other people.

Poor Boundaries: Boundaries are sort of an imaginary line between you and others. It divides what are yours and somebody else’s, and that applies not only to your body, money, and belongings, but also to your feelings, thoughts and needs. That is especially where codependents get into trouble. They have blurry or weak boundaries. They feel responsible for other people’s feelings and problems or blame their own on someone else. Some codependents have rigid boundaries. They are closed off/withdrawn, making it hard for other people to get close to them. Sometimes, people flip back and forth between having weak boundaries and having rigid ones.

Reactivity: A consequence of poor boundaries is that you react to everyone’s thoughts and feelings. If someone says something you disagree with, you either believe it or become defensive. You absorb their words, because there is no boundary. With a boundary, you would realize it was just their opinion and not a reflection of you and not feel threatened by disagreements.

Caretaking: Another effect of poor boundaries is that if someone else has a problem, you want to help them to the point that you give up yourself. It is natural to feel empathy and sympathy for someone, but codependents start putting other people ahead of themselves. In fact, they need to help and might feel rejected if another person does not want help. Moreover, they keep trying to help and fix the other person, even when that person clearly is not taking their advice.

Control: Control helps codependents feel safe and secure. Everyone needs some control over events in their life. You would not want to live in constant uncertainty and chaos, but for codependents, control limits their ability to take risks and share their feelings. Sometimes they have an addiction that either helps them loosen up, like alcoholism, or helps them hold their feelings down, like workaholics, so that they do not feel out of control. Codependents also need to control those close to them, because they need other people to behave in a certain way to feel okay. In fact, people pleasing and care taking can be used to control and manipulate people. Alternatively, codependents are bossy and tell you what you should or should not do. This is a violation of someone else’s boundary.

Dysfunctional communication: Codependents have trouble when it comes to communicating their thoughts, feelings and needs. Of course, if you do not know what you think, feel or need, this becomes a problem. Other times, you know, but you will not own up to your truth. You are afraid to be truthful, because you do not want to upset someone else. Instead of saying, “I don’t like that,” you might pretend that it is okay or tell someone what to do. Communication becomes dishonest and confusing when you try to manipulate the other person out of fear.


Obsessions: Codependents have a tendency to spend their time thinking about other people or relationships. This is caused by their dependency, anxieties, and fears. They can also become obsessed when they think they have made or might make a “mistake.” Sometimes you can lapse into fantasy about how you would like things to be or about someone; you love as a way to avoid the pain of the present. This is one way to stay in denial, discussed below, but it keeps you from living your life.

Dependency: Codependents need other people to like them to feel okay about themselves. They are afraid of being rejected/abandoned, even if they can function on their own. Others need always to be in a relationship, because they feel depressed or lonely when they’re by themselves for too long. This trait makes it hard for them to end a relationship, even when the relationship is painful or abusive. They end up feeling trapped.

Denial: One of the problems people face in getting help for codependency is that they’re in denial about it, meaning that they don’t face their problem. Usually they think the problem is someone else or the situation. They either keep complaining or trying to fix the other person, or go from one relationship or job to another and never own up the fact that they have a problem. Codependents also deny their feelings and needs. Often, they don’t know what they’re feeling and are instead focused on what others are feeling. The same thing goes for their needs. They pay attention to other people’s needs and not their own. They might be in denial of their need for space and autonomy. Although some codependents seem needy, others act as if they are self-sufficient when it comes to needing help. They will not reach out and have trouble receiving. They are in denial of their vulnerability and need for love and intimacy.

Problems with Intimacy: By this, I am not referring to sex, although sexual dysfunction often is a reflection of an intimacy problem. I am talking about being open and close with someone in an intimate relationship. Because of the shame and weak boundaries, you might fear that you will be judged, rejected, or left. On the other hand, you may fear being smothered in a relationship and losing your autonomy. You might deny your need for closeness and feel that your partner wants too much of your time; your partner complains that you are unavailable, but he or she is denying his or her need for separateness.

Painful Emotions: Codependency creates stress and leads to painful emotions. Shame and low self-esteem create anxiety and fear about being judged, rejected or abandoned; making mistakes; being a failure; feeling trapped by being close or being alone. The other symptoms lead to feelings of anger and resentment, depression, hopelessness, and despair. When the feelings are too much, you can feel numb.

There is help for recovery and change. The first step is getting guidance and support. These symptoms are deeply ingrained habits and difficult to identify and change on your own. Join a 12-Step program, such as Codependents Anonymous or seek counseling. Work on becoming more assertive and building your self-esteem.

Common Reactions to Trauma

Common Reactions to Trauma
What are some normal reactions to trauma?

It is normal for people who have been through trauma to have some troubling feelings. Fear or anxiety.

In moments of danger, our bodies prepare to fight our enemy, flee the situation, or freeze in the hope that the danger will move past us. But those feelings of alertness may stay even after the danger has passed. You may: feel tense or afraid

  • Being agitated and jumpy
  • Feel on alert
  • Sadness or depression
  • Sadness after a trauma may come from a sense of loss—of a loved one, of trust in the world, faith, or a previous way of life. You may: have crying spells
  • Lose interest in things you used to enjoy
  • Want to be alone all the time
  • Feeling tired, empty, and numb
  • Guilt and shame
  • You may feel guilty that you did not do more to prevent the trauma. You may feel ashamed because during the trauma you acted in ways that you would not otherwise have done. You may: feel responsible for what happened
  • Feel guilty because others were injured or killed and you survived
  • Anger and irritability
  • Anger may result from feeling you have been unfairly treated. Anger can make you feel irritated and cause you to be easily set off. You may: lash out at your partner or spouse
  • Have less patience with your children
  • Overreacting to small misunderstandings
  • Behavior changes
  • You may act in unhealthy ways. You may: drink, use drugs, or smoke too much
  • Drive aggressively
  • Neglect your health
  • Avoid certain people or situations
  • If these symptoms last longer than three months and cause you distress, you should seek help

Journal Entry #1

He’s My World

Journal Entry #1

This is the first Journal Entry to stop the thinking to keep you in an Abusive answer. Keep a separate journal and be true to yourself. Also I’m going to put each journal entry in a drop down section on top. Good luck!

 

In your Journal ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I really love about my partner?
  • What would I change about him?
  • Do I really love him or do I love an image of how I think he could be, or how he has been for short periods of time?

Truths

  • Sometimes we must close our hearts to people who hurt us.
  • Although I love him, that does not mean I have to stay with him.
  • As wonderful as the honeymoon period is, the abuse will follow
  • His past behaviors predict his future behaviors
  • Without this cooperation, the only way to break the cycle is to leave
  • Taking care of me is not selfish
  • Loving and respecting myself is not conceited
  • I am worth loving and I am worth being treated right

Things to Explore

  • Why I feel I must make him love me?
  • Why do I fear taking control of my own life?
  • How can I change my role in the cycle of abuse?
  • How would it feel being in a loving relationship?
  • What a loving relationship would really look like

Hello, my name is Shannon. I have been writing a lot about the effects of Abuse has and have not really told you a lot of my history. I am in my mid 20’s but believe me I have crammed many experiences in those years. Just to let you know before I tell you some of my stories, I am very upfront and brutally honest with what happened to me. I tell you this because it is the truth and this goes on in life, and we need to put a stop to it and spread the awareness.

I grew up with a close family, I am an only child and my parents are still happily married and my biggest supporters to this day. I grew up with them always telling me “Never let a man hit or harm you in any kind of way no matter what.” I never thought at the time I would go through such traumatic events, but you never know what life throws at you and as I said, you have to make lemonade out of lemons, or smash them with a bat like baseball as they come flying towards you! My past has made me the woman I am today and stronger than ever.

It all started when I was in middle school and started to get attention from boys. There was an incident before that when I was younger, but we will talk about that later. I was a chubby little Tomboy when I was younger but the transition into the middle school I lost weight and those boys that thought of me as a friend had different intentions now that I had lost weight and was more “girly”. I started to hang out with more people and I have to say I liked the attention. I group of my friends introduced me to a few boys a couple years older than me, and I started to see one after a while of hanging out. He was a little bad boy that all the girls want. I thought he was harmless and after a few months everything was great, I was smitten.

Then one day he asked me to go his friend’s house to hang out, which we always do. This was a different friend though. They had stopped and got Beer and a 7-up for me, which at the time I thought, was thoughtful. We went back to his house, except we went in the backyard and into a shed that had a couch and music, which I thought, was weird but didn’t say anything. They started to drink and the guy I was seeing handed me a glass of my 7-up…Why not just give me the bottle right? Well I will tell you why, because after a few minutes, everything started to get Blurry and I could not move. They had slipped something into my drink. That is when He and three of his friends gang-raped me. I blacked out and do not remember much but a few snippets and enough to know what happened. After they were done with me, they threw me out of the shed along with my clothes, oh and by the way…This is how I lost my virginity (Not exactly the way I pictured it.)

Here I was, 14 years old, drugged, no idea where I was or what to do. I called my father and he eventually found me. However, I kept to myself what had happened because I did not want to hurt my parents. Therefore, I pretended as if nothing happened but everyone at my school knew about it and thought that I intentionally slept with these boys (which if you knew me, you would know that would NEVER happen.) Therefore, I was shunned by everyone, and called names.

A few weeks later, I remember I was in math class and got a phone call and my teacher said it was a family emergency and I need to go to the nurse right away. My mind was racing; I thought something happened to my parents. Those 5 minutes I spent waiting seemed as if time had stopped…Then I heard someone in high heels running, which I knew was my Mom. I looked at her and could tell she had been crying her eyes out, so I asked if Dad was ok. She would not talk to me until we got into the car, she turned to me balling her eyes out and said, “Shannon, the police just called me and I know you were raped, we have to go to the station and give your statement right now.” My heart stopped, not only did I hurt my parents even more by not telling them but they had to find out by the police calling them. I felt horrible.

I went in gave my statement, turns out someone felt horrible and tipped the police off what had happened. They gave their statements, but they also collaborated and said that the one guy that was over the age of 18 was not there. Which made me so mad because one of the memories was I remember specifically waking up and seeing him rape me because he had a tattoo around his stomach that said his name. They all confessed and were charged with rape. Nevertheless, the one got away with nothing. I did not want to go to trial because I was so young.

After that, I went I started to get threats and phone calls from their friends saying they were going to come after me because I told the police. One day I got a phone call saying someone was on my street waiting for me and they had a gun. I told my parents and we decided to move to a different city and start over. Little did I know, that move was going to change my whole life.

Now you know one of my traumatic events but that is nothing to the other that I will soon tell you.

I’ve read many amazing books that has exercises and makes you realize your situations and your in an unhealthy relationship.
So if your in a relationship that you being abused or may have your doubts…
Grab your journal because I’ll be posting questions to ask yourself!!
Stay tuned!

journal

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