Family Bonds: Blood Isn’t Always Thicker Than Water

Family can be such a tricky thing. Many of us were raised under the blood is thicker than water belief system, yet I have found that is rarely the case. For me, during my time I have found more loyalty, more compassion, more of a family amidst my collection of friends whom I know both in person and online than I have from much of my family members. After my father had molested me when I was young his entire side family had all but abandoned me. Interestingly, the only people who stuck by my side, who I have maintained any relationship has been my stepmom and one of my stepsisters. Once again, they proved to me, how blood isn’t always thicker than water. Then several years later when my cousin raped me and a legal case seeking justice was levied against him after he had a nervous breakdown and admitted what he had done, he managed to turn much of my family on my mothers’ side against me. While that side of my family has always been wrought with strife and struggle, they were the ones I leaned on most heavily in the years after my father had molested me and I lost his family. To once again, have people who I though were family, people whom I considered family, turn on me because of the actions of another was truly devastating. Outside of a few specific family members we hadn’t been as close as we once were, but to have them turn on me in such a way still hurt, still shocked me. Even now some odd years after their dissent from my life, there are only a very select few whom I maintain any sort of relationship with. There is one, who no matter how much time or distance may separate us, no matter what forces may try to tear us apart, will always stand by my side, will always be in my corner.

Because much of my extended family proved to be such a disloyal bunch, I clung desperately to and relied heavily on my immediate family members, which consists of my Mom and my sister who is 3 years older than I am, to give me that sense of family, of being loved and accepted. Try as I might, my sister and I were never close, we never had this unshakeable bond, we rarely hung out together outside of the times when it was expected, or we were forced to. Our differences stemmed from far more than just the meager 3-year age gap between us. At our very cores we are very different people, and nothing will ever change that. Yet, despite our glaringly vast differences I always maintained hope that maybe one day we would find that bond, that connection, that sisterly love. Yet, it would seem that hope would be for not. For us, it would appear these differences are too far apart to create any sort of bridge between. To say I am saddened and disappointed would be a serious understatement, but as I have learned over my life, there are simply some things we must accept. When it comes to her and I, we will never see eye to eye on the one thing that has created the deepest rift between us. Despite our differences, I will always love my sister and a small part of me will hold out hope for a chance at a real relationship. I also cannot completely blame her for how she feels as there were times where due to my mental health I made life anything but easy for her and my mama.

 

 

I have reached a point in my life where I only want those in my life who wish to be here, who will love and accept me despite any areas in which they may feel I fall short, who will meet me with the same empathy, compassion, understanding and forgiveness in which I meet them, who will want to be a part of my life as much as I wish to be a part of theirs. If someone cannot see me for who I am, as someone who is so much more than my struggles. If they fail to see the unwavering love and compassion, I have developed from all that I have overcome. If they do not see all the successes I have had, but instead choose to focus on my failures. If they look at the life I have lived, the wars I have waged and are not proud of me. Then they have no place in my life. I spent far too many years feeling worthless, feeling like I was undeserving of love and respect simply because my life doesn’t look how people expect it to, because I don’t follow their rules, because of all the other reasons I have been made to feel inferior.

Yet, something profound happened to me in the last few months during my reclusive time. Instead of just bullshitting my way through my healing, like I have done nearly every other time. Instead of compartmentalizing the things which were too hard or too painful to deal with. Instead of running away from the darker side of healing. I chose to face it all head on. I’ve put in an immense amount of time and work into my healing process. It hasn’t been all bubble baths by candlelight or facemasks and pretty makeovers. It has been wrought with sleepless nights, days where I felt like I was suffocating, hours locked in my room with the curtains closed, months of hard truths, and so much more. I am still far from where I wish to be, but I am better than I have ever been.

Now that most of the difficult part of my healing is done, it is time for me to refocus my energy onto my present moment, onto what I can do in order to create the life of abundance now know with every fiber of my being I deserve. My goal over the next few months is to really sit with myself and figure out how to create a true financial independence, what career path is the one I TRULY want.

 

As Always My Beautiful Badass Unicorn Phoenix Goddesses,

I Hope You Have A Magical Day

Life With Endo: Robbing You of Pleasure, Instead Giving You A Lifetime of Agonizing Pain

(*Image Credit: Endo Awareness )

In our last post we talked about the pain experienced during a flare-up from endometriosis. For this post, we are shifting our focus to a different kind of pain. As if dealing with the boundless torrent of pain ripping throughout my lower body is not bad enough, to add into that the agonizing pain and complications of having intercourse with endo is enough to frustrate one to no end.

For years, before I knew I had endometriosis, I had experienced painful sex. I always just thought it was because of me, because of the way I was built, because of how tiny I am. I convinced myself that this was my life, that sex would always be painful for me, that I would never be able to experience the pleasure others have. I tried to address the issue with some of my previous partners to no avail. Our society has raised us with the antiquated belief that for women our sole job it to reproduce, that our pleasure matters little, but for men their pleasure and orgasm is paramount. The porn industry hasn’t helped that mindset either as it gives men unrealistic expectations within the bedroom. As I got older, I learned it is difficult enough for a woman who doesn’t have endometriosis to achieve an orgasm, which meant for me that is basically an impossible task. Even something such as masturbation yields little to no pleasure for me because of the pain my body experiences at all times.


Having sex with someone who suffers from endo is complicated experience filled with a lot of trial and error, with lots of foreplay, and excessive amounts of lube. What does and doesn’t work changes with each partner as no two people are built the same. It is a lot of exploring different positions, adding pillows, switching angles to find the right ones. For many of us, any chance of us obtaining any discernable pleasure comes from a heavy emphasis on foreplay. The more time we spend getting aroused without insertion, the better chance we have of that arousal continuing throughout the entire time. Another issue that many of us run into, is how quickly we dry out, no matter how much we may be enjoying ourselves. Far too often, partners do not wish to stop in the middle to add more lube as they feel it kills the mood, but for us we don’t have a choice. Many of my most painful experiences with intercourse were a direct result of the friction caused by my dryness. So often men get into a specific rhythm or get so close to their climax, that little else matters to them in those moments.

At this point, I have all but given up on the idea of ever achieving true pleasure, of experiencing an orgasm, of having sex without pain. I have never had a partner who was willing to work with me, with my limitations of my body, of the ways in which endometriosis effects my body to find what feels right, what feels great, what feels pleasurable. Far too often, they may start off seeming to be willing to work with me, but then after a short period of time, they stop caring about my pleasure and focus solely on theirs. Over the years, I have learned to just bury my head in the pillow to stifle the cries of agony, to wipe the tears from my face, to make my suffering as silent and unnoticeable as possible. Each time, with each partner though I hold out hope that just maybe they will value my own pleasure as much as theirs, yet that is never the case. It shouldn’t be like this. I’ve talked to far too many women, who share the same stories as I have, of painful sex, of partners who seem to care little for them or their pleasure. Far too often, we are silenced because heaven forbid you give them advice, heaven forbid you try to assert yourself. I am sure there are those of you out there who are saying, “just be assertive, just say you don’t like it, find better partners, etcetera.” While that is great in theory for those of us with anxiety or whom have survived abusive relationships, using our voice and confrontation are not always viable options for us. Although, in recent months I have become far more comfortable with using my voice.

By writing the posts, sharing my story it is my hope that it helps myself and others like me feel comfortable and safe to open the dialogue between them and their partners. It is my sincerest hope, that with the series I am doing on endometriosis, life and the complications that come with it, will help to raise awareness, to help those who suffer with this horrible disease to not feel so alone, it will get people talking. I know for me, personally it is incredibly cathartic to write these posts, to share a little bit of what daily life is like with endometriosis, to find my ability to use my voice to ensure that my sexual experience is that of pleasure rather than pain.

As Always My Beautiful Badass Unicorn Phoenix Goddesses,

I Hope You Have A Magical Day

Shattering Societal Norms and Expectations

Earlier today I got to talking with a very good friend of mine about societal expectations vs reality, especially for those of us whose lives dwell somewhere on the mental health spectrum. We specifically were touching on work and sleep patterns, how society expects us to be one way, but how we are creating and living life on our own terms, in a way that not only works for us as people, but also within the confines and limitations of our mental health. Society has very strong opinions about how people should live their lives, we see it reflected every day in movies, media, posts online, within our families, and beyond.

For some they are in the mindset that having a college degree automatically sets you up for success, that somehow that degree makes you smarter, better, more reliable. However, for those of us with mental health, college may not always be the best avenue for success. Between the pressure and expenses of college, it can become very overwhelming very quickly. I am in no way knocking college nor am I denying the benefits of having a college degree, but rather saying a degree doesn’t necessarily guarantee you success. Several of my friends have various college degrees across many subjects, but few of them actually work in the fields in which they have those degrees for. Instead, they have mountains of debt, but are unable to enter their desired field due to various factors such as a lack of the necessary experience, an over saturation of prospects vs positions available, and more. Then there are those who work within their desired fields, but it is not enough to make ends meet, or they are working so much, they have little time for a life outside their jobs. I tried the college thing a few years ago, but mentally I wasn’t in the place to be dealing with the stress that comes from college. A part of me would love to go back to school, but the money required is a major hindrance for me, as I already have an exuberant amount of medical debt, as well as a lack of consistent income which I will touch on later in this post. Times are far different than when our grandparents or even our parents pursued higher education, as the cost of living and tuition have gone up significantly while the minimum wage hasn’t risen enough to account for the rise of expenses of everyday life

For others, they have the mindset if you are not working a full-time job, you are lazy, you are a plight on society, you are worthless. Yet, for those of us with health conditions, and even those without, there are a plethora of reasons for why we may not be working. For myself, and others who live with mental health and/or chronic illnesses, we are unable to work full time or even part time hours. Many of us have to rely on friends or family to survive, use programs such a SNAP/Welfare (which comes with its own strong opinions from society, we will touch on this later), or we have to start our own companies or get creative with ways to make money. I did the working full-time thing, for quite a while, I was even working 2 jobs at one point, but was still hardly able to afford my bills and worse I was putting my health in serious danger. Eventually after pushing myself so hard, after putting my health on the bottom of my list, I broke. I found myself in my mid 20s physically and emotionally broken and unable to work. I tried to apply for disability, since I live with severe mental health, but was denied more times than I could count. Despite having a lawyer and years’ worth of proof, they still kept denying me. I also applied for programs like SNAP and state insurance, but that only covered groceries and left me less than desirable options for doctors. That didn’t help me with my regular expenses like shampoo, conditioner, rent, etc. Then there were the comments and the looks you get anytime you pulled out your EBT card. People would scoff, they would call me lazy, they would say that I am abusing the system, they would tell me to just get a job like everyone else. So many more comments were made, but you get the idea. Then there are those who want to or even are able to work, but there are no jobs available for them. To which most people respond with, “Just move to an area with jobs,” yet they fail to grasp the fact that moving is expensive and it isn’t always a viable option.

Since, I stopped working in the manner in which society expects me to work, I have bounced from one work from home job/idea to another, with little to no success. I have had idea after idea for ways to create income, for businesses to start. I have even tried starting a few businesses but have once again have little to no success. You see, when for those of us who live with mental health or any chronic illness, we live life by a whole different set of rules. The never-ending struggle and battle is to find/create a job that works for us on both a monetary level, but also within the limitations our health conditions places upon us. To the outside observer, I may look flaky and unreliable, I may look flighty, I may look like I am unmotivated, or even lazy. Yet, few realize how hard I am working to create consistent income. Few take the time to understand, that each of these ideas, each of these attempts, each of these businesses are my efforts to create income. While they may fail or it may seem like I give up too quickly or easily, that is rarely the case. I have lived with my health for long enough and spent far too long getting myself to a more stable place emotionally and physically to risk my progress for a job/company that will ultimately do more harm than good. Initially the idea, may seem viable, but as time progresses, I may come to the conclusion that for one reason or another it isn’t actually as viable as I had hoped, predicted, or expected it to be.

For those of you, who wish to comment something along the lines of, “just suck it up and stick to something,” as I said above, I REFUSE to risk my well-being for money. I did that before, and it nearly cost me my life. I vowed to myself I would never do that, I would never put myself in those sorts of situations, I would never put money above my health. That, however, doesn’t mean I am giving up on creating consistent income either, as anyone who knows me, knows that I have an abundance of ideas for creating enough income to give me the financial independence I seek. I will exhaust every idea until I find one that works for me. There are also those who think, I am okay with my life like this, that I just sit on my ass all day doing nothing. Yet they do not understand how hard it can be to just get out of bed some days, they do not see the massive amounts of work I am doing on myself, on my health, on so many things. Many fail to realize just how exhausting life is with mental health, or even how much work it is to function more days. MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT, THIS IS NOT THE LIFE I ENVISIONED FOR MYSELF, NOR AM I HAPPY WITH HAVING TO RELY SO HEAVILY ON OTHERS. What people do not see is the hours spent on my computer writing, working on business ideas, researching viable work from home jobs, working on myself and my health, growing, and more. Every single day I work towards my goals, even if some days they are small steps, even if I get knocked back several steps, even if I fail at one idea, I refuse to give up.

For others they have the mindset that if you sleep all day, once again you must be lazy, yet for many of us, especially once again with mental health ailments, sleep quite frequently alludes us. For many of us, like myself nighttime is when we are most active or when many of our diseases are at their worst depending upon the day. I personally have tried just about every remedy, idea, medication, and solution out there for getting consistent sleep, but sleep still alludes me a lot of days. I am far from lazy, but insomnia has always been a massive issue for me. For years, I have tried to force myself to get on a more “regular” or “acceptable” sleep schedule, to absolutely no avail. It may work for a few weeks or even a few months, but eventually I revert back to my wonky schedule. Most nights, I was/am lucky if I get an hour of sleep, which is spread throughout the night, depending upon the day. A few months back, I decided to stop fighting my sleep schedule, to give myself permission to find a sleep pattern that works for me, society be damned. Let me tell you, that was the best decision I have ever made. While, I may be sleeping my day away according to some, I am getting real consistent and restorative sleep for the first time in my life. By allowing myself to go with the flow of what works for me I am no longer fighting sleep, I am no longer forcing it. I find myself falling asleep easier and staying asleep. This is not to say there are not days where I still struggle either, but I am getting more sleep than I have had previously. Small steps in the right direction are something I will always take. Part of this is due to discovering a new CBD which helps to manage my pain, anxiety, PTSD and other health ailments while I sleep, but part of it is also due to allowing my body to work at its own schedule. Here’s a little fact for you as well, for those of us who are considered “night owls,” this is not on accident, but rather a leftover biological response to the times of cavemen. Back during those times, we had to have someone watching the village/livestock/family 24/7 to prevent attacks from others, from predators, etc. For those of us who find we work better during the night, we never fully evolved out of that mindset, that need to be awake to protect. While my sleep schedule may not be societally acceptable it is a schedule that works for me, far better than anything I have ever tried, and for me that is more important than anything.

Far too many years of my life, far too many days, far too many nights, were wasted worrying about what others thought, were wasted trying to fit within the limiting societal expectations, molds, and boxes. I spent so much time risking my health, my life, my peace of mind, and more trying to be what everyone wanted me to be. Little by little, I started fighting against those expectations, I started breaking free of the mold, I started making myself the priority. Over time, I have started caring a whole lot less about what people think of me, what they say about me, what they expect of me, and a hell of a lot more about what works for me, about what is right for me, about putting my health and well-being first and foremost. I’ve stopped trying to justify myself, the way I live my life to others, because quite frankly, I just don’t see the need in it. I still try to educate people, but I no longer take what they say or think so personally. I think that is the most difficult thing for all of us, but especially those with invisible, chronic, or mental health ailments. There is something incredibly freeing about not caring though.

As always my Beautiful Badass Unicorn Phoenix Goddesses/Gods,

I hope you have a magical day!

I Have Loved Many

I have loved many who did not deserve my love,

Many who did not return my love,

Many who did not need my love,

Many who did not understand love,

Many who feared love,

Many who did not love themselves…

But there was one whom I didn’t love,

One who needed my love,

One who deserved my love,

One who was crying out for my love,

One whose very existence was dependent upon my love,

One who, once I learned to love them, would never leave me….

I did not love the one who was most important,

The one whose love was exactly what I needed,

The one whose love was the answer I had been searching for all along,

The one whose love was the saving grace I had needed so desperately,

The one whose love was the key it all…

That one, was myself,

For you see,

We find it so easy to share our love with others,

To give them all of ourselves,

To love them unconditionally,

No matter how little they deserve it,

No matter how many reasons they give us to take it back,

No matter how much they hurt us,

No matter what,

We give them our love…

But, we rarely give ourselves that same love,

Instead we move onto the next partner,

In vain we hope and pray they will the one who changes it all,

They will be the one who returns our love,

They will be worthy and deserving of our love,

Yet, we still withhold that love from ourselves,

So things go great for a while,

Or by some miracle we do find someone who returns our love,

But along the way through their love we learn to love ourselves.

For many of us though, that is not the case,

For many of us, in order to find that love we crave,

We must first learn to get it from within…

To give it to ourselves,

We must explore the depths of our soul,

We must heal the wounds of our past,

We must lovingly run our hands over the parts of our bodies which we have deemed unworthy,

We must give ourselves the same loyalty and respect we give so freely to others….

Then, we invite the world back in,

Then, we venture back out,

Then, we give our love to others…

When we learn to love ourselves,

We attract those who deserve us,

Those who want to be with us,

Those who motivate us to be better,

Those who enrich our loves,

Those who we have been seeking all along…

As Always My Beautiful Badass Unicorn Phoenix Goddesses,

I hope you have a Magical Day!

Affirming Your Dream Life

Affirmations are a powerful tool that is vastly underused, yet can bring incredible results when one is trying to make positive changes in their life. I love to use affirmations in the morning right when I wake up as an amazing way to start my day off on the right note. That one positive thought can change my whole day and outlook for the day.

Affirmations and mantras can be use to alter one’s perception of themselves, their situation, their life and many other things. They are a fantastic way to raise your vibes, to manifest your desires, to boost your confidence, and much more. I have been using affirmations for the better part of 20 years, as I was introduced to them by a therapist. At first, I didn’t understand their power and I felt silly doing them, yet as I have grown older and wiser, I have seen first hand how effective a daily affirmation practice can be. Now they are an integral part of my daily routine and something I refuse to go a day without.

Affirmations are most effective when use daily, especially multiple times a day, when spoken aloud, and when said in front of a mirror (GASP, time for a bit of awkwardness), and/or when written down. When looking for or picking an affirmation/mantra that evokes real feelings and emotions from you. Whenever you pick or create an affirmation, you must make sure you are using I AM rather than I WILL or I CAN. You want it to be present tense or past tense. I like to have a mix of things I want to manifest in my life as well as things I will to believe about myself (Confidence boosters)

Some examples of affirmations that I use:

I AM HAPPY & HEALHTY

I AM BEAUTIFUL AND BADASSS

I AM WORTHY

I LOVE MYSELF

I AM A SUCCESSFUL LIFE COACH

I LOVE MY JOB AS A LIFE COACH

I AM SO HAPPY THAT I AM FINANCIALLY FREE

Mantras like affirmations are one of the easiest tools you can implement into your daily routine, they can be one word or multiple words. I generally prefer one word ones as I keep the longer ones for my affirmations.

Some examples are:

EMPOWERED

WARRIOR

SURVIVOR

HEALTHY

PEACE

LOVED

WORTHY

Affirmations are especially powerful when combined with gratitude, especially gratitude rampage, which we will discuss in the next post.

The biggest tip for affirmations is consistency, like anything I recommend on here, the more you do something the better results you will see. If you truly want to change your life, you have to make a commitment to yourself to have that follow through.

Scripting Success

I was recently introduced to scripting by one of my best friends and let me tell y’all, it is amazing! This is the perfect way to manifest your desires while also helping to seriously raise those vibes. I love starting my day off with some scripting as it puts me in the perfect mindset to get my day going! Although a little intimidating at first, once you do your first one, you realize how easy it is. This is one of the best additions I have made to my daily routine. This is one of the simplest but also most effective tools I have ever used.

First things first though, what exactly is scripting? Scripting is where you write out your day, how you want it to go, the things you want to manifest, all the wonderful aspects of it. However, you write it as if it already happened. This is very important as it helps it to manifest quicker, that intention and belief are essential.

For example:

Today I had the absolute best day ever, my blog got 15 new followers! It feels amazing to know that all the hard work I have been putting into it is paying off, that I am able to reach more people with each passing day. I also managed to walk 3 miles which is a huge accomplishment for me, as the longest I have been able to go is 2 miles. I am so proud of the progress I have been making in regard to my exercise. I am so over the moon at all the growth I have been making recently. I look forward to seeing what other changes are in store for me. Bright and beautiful things are on the horizon for me right now! I am manifesting all the desires and then some!

As you can see, I am writing about things that I want to manifest into my life such as a better workout routine and followers for my blog. What you script is up to you, there is no wrong or right way to do it either. The best advice I was given is to use a mix of stuff that you know will happen as well as things you want to happen. By having that mix of things, you know plus what you want to happen, it will help the later become more believable. Above is a very short example for what my scripting typically looks like, but how long or short you make yours is up to you.

Another great thing to do with your scripting is to voice memo it or video it! You could even take it one step further and do a daily scripting conversation with a friend. By doing this, you can help to keep one another accountable while also ensuring that you both start your day off with super fucking awesome and positive vibes.

 

As Always My Beautiful Badass Unicorn Phoenix Goddesses I Hope You Have A Magical Day!

Why I didn’t Report It….

People don’t report it because of B.S. like yesterday’s hearing, because of the weeks leading up to it, because in this society we seek sympathy for the attacker while simultaneously trying to discredit the victim and putting them on trial.

People don’t report it because rarely is justice served, especially if said person is in a position of power, a celebrity or athlete, or of “good moral standing” (basically rich white boys).

People don’t report because boys will be boys ( which apparently means they do not have to be taught to control their urges), because people change and they were just teenagers, she was dressed inappropriately, because “no” isn’t really no, because we don’t value consent, because they were under the influence, because they hooked up or kissed before.

People don’t report it because they are ashamed (being assaulted makes you feel dirty, makes you feel so many tumultuous emotions, no matter how many showers you take or how hard you scrub you can never wash it away, trust me I have tried), they are wracked with guilt (freezing is very common and the guilt of not being “strong” enough to stop it is very real and very hard to come to terms with), many times their safety is threatened, as mine was one of the times I was raped, I was told to shut up and be quiet or else he would go shoot my cousins in front of me and still rape me, he held a gun to my head.

I didn’t report any of the attacks after my first one because I never got justice.

My father molested me when I was 9, we sought justice, but because I was far too traumatized to speak at his trial he got to plea bargain and hardly served anytime in jail. We are talking he got out in less than 4 months because of “good behavior.” For months afterwards I had nightmares, I had to sleep with my mama, I checked every door and window several times to ensure they were locked, I was convinced it was my fault, it was because I wasn’t a boy (he always wanted me to be a boy, told me as much and cut my hair and dressed me up like a boy, even after my brother was born.) I was so traumatized and that incident as well as the ones which have preceded it have had a dramatic impact on every facet of my life, but especially my romantic and physical/sexual relationships.

So the first time my cousin assaulted me,he forced me to give him a hand job, tried to do more, but he only stopped because my other cousin saw and because I broke down asking him why he was doing this to me (this was within a year or so of my dad molesting me.) We never pursued it because I didn’t want to go through another trial, the first one was traumatic enough, because we chalked it up to childhood curiosity, because I didn’t want my family to hate me.

The second time when he raped me the morning of my mother’s wedding, I told no one… for years I kept it a secret. I was getting ready to leave for the Navy in a few weeks (I had worked my whole life to enlist, signed up for 8 years right off the bat and everything), I didn’t want to go to a trial, I didn’t want to have to recount that morning/night (it happened between 3 and 4 am) over and over again, I didn’t want to remember that morning, I just wanted to forget, I wanted to get away, to get as far away as I could. I wanted to go somewhere that he couldn’t touch me. The military could also give me the knowledge and ability to protect myself better (a definite bonus, although not my reason for enlisting)
While away at basic I had a massive nervous breakdown while there and ended up having to leave. I ended up losing out on my lifelong dream of being in the military, I had to choose to walk away from something I had spent my life working for, because I knew that I needed to process the trauma and wasn’t willing to risk my own life or the life of my fellow sailors (did not want to have a flashback during an important mission.) I had compartmentalized the whole attack which I thought would be enough, but the military is designed to break you physically and mentally and it shattered the fortress I had built around that fateful day. Losing the military nearly broke me, I lost a piece of myself that day, a piece I have yet to recover, I was devastated. It has been 13 years since I enlisted and not a day goes by that I do not wish things had turned out differently.

The only reason I broke down and told my mom, was because she had been thinking about allowing him to live with us. This was 2 years after the attack, 2 years of sitting in silence, 2 years of pretending like nothing had happened, 2 years of guilt, of shame, of flashbacks, 2 years after losing my whole world, 2 years of failed relationships, 2 years of a failed attempt at college, 2 years of so many emotions.

Even when I told her, we still decided to never take it beyond that point. My family had been through so much, I had been through so much, still I was trying to forget it ever happened. I wanted no one to know I had been violated, I wanted no one to know I had been weak, I wanted no one to know I was damaged goods once again….

Yet, even when he had a breakdown (while in the military himself, such ironic bullshit I lost my own chance to serve due to the trauma of his attacks, and yet, he who decided pretty much last minute to enlist unlike myself who worked my whole life for it, managed to serve quite a few years) and admitted to detectives that he raped me, I still received absolutely no justice, instead I was put through a year plus of hell while he changed his story, while I had to recount that night several times, while I spent my 25th birthday with a detective giving him every sordid detail from that night/morning, while many of my family turned on me (most still believe him over me). Because of the trial I was unable to go to my grandfather’s celebration of life ceremony, he was the most important person in my life, next to my mama, I still haven’t fully processed his death.

The others times before, between, and after those incidents, I didn’t report it because the justice system has proven over and over again they do not care about the victims. To me there was no point.

Traumas like this don’t just affect one part of your life, they weave their way into the deepest and darkest of crevices. Even when you think you have healed, you have processed it, you have moved on, it is ALWAYS there. They do not go away because of therapy, they do not go away after years, they are never forgotten, they become a part of you.

It is for those and so many reasons we don’t report it.

Unless you have been a victim you cannot begin to fathom the emotions that come with being assaulted.

Unless you have been violated on such a deep and personal level you do not understand the depths to which that shame, guilt, and fear can run.

Unless you have had someone make you feel dirty, weak, and like nothing more than an object you can never begin to grasp how that affects you for years, it leaves deep scars that will never heal. To this day, even after tons of therapy, writing about it, and having a very open discussion and dialogue about my own experiences I still feel all these emotions and more. I still get flashbacks, I can still feel their hands upon my skin. While it is better than it was, you never forget.

Even if you have experienced this, everyone processes trauma differently, it is not your right or your place to tell them how or when they should process their trauma. You do not get to decide their way of coping.

***TRIGGER WARNING- This section of this post may be very upsetting***

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It was the summer of 2006, I had just graduated high school early, had returned home from spending a few months back home in California with my family, and was getting ready to leave for the Navy. Several of my family members were visiting because my mom was about to get married to my stepfather. It was supposed to be a happy time for us all, an occasion we could look back on with joy, but for me that joyous occasion has been tainted.

It was the morning of my mom’s wedding, somewhere between 3-4 A.M., my cousins and I had been up playing manhunt, hanging out, and just spending as much time together as we could. With my leaving for the military soon and us all living on opposite ends of the country, we valued the time we got to spend together. With the hours quickly dwindling until the big affair a few of my cousins decided to try and sleep, while the rest just hung out and relaxed in the house. With a lot on my mind from my moms pending nuptials to the love of her life to my leaving for the military in a few weeks and having just ended a relationship with my partner I had quite a bit on my mind. Sitting down just inside the tent where we would be having the reception for my moms wedding, I stared off at the pond, took a few deep breaths, and allowed myself to just relax and be in the moment. All thoughts of the Navy, of my partner and their drama, of the jitters for my moms big day drifted away as I sank further into a state of relaxation.

After several minutes my cousin, who was 3 sheets to the wind sat down next to me, sat down next to me. We sat there talking for several minutes after which he leaned in and tried to kiss me, I turned away, but he pushed my down onto my back, putting his full weight on top of me. I told him to stop, I fought back, I tried everything to get him off me. But he had at least 50 lbs probably more on me and he was all muscle, I weighed maybe 100lbs. Pulling my pants off with his one hand, while his other had mine pinned above my head, he inserted his penis into me as he proceeded to rape me. Tears streaming down my face, I fought back with every ounce of myself, I thrashed around until finally I managed to slip out from under him. I scrambled to my feet, my pants and underwear still around my ankles, I tried to get away. He grabbed me by my ankles, yanking my feet out from under me, as I feel face first onto the ground. Mind you there is a small hill in my parents back yard, so it is already kinda difficult to go up without this. He flipped me over, pinning me down again, he went back at it. Again, I fought back with everything I had, and once more I managed to get away. But, that wouldn’t last as he grabbed me a 3rd time, slamming be back down on the ground nearly knocking me unconscious. This time he managed to keep his hold on me until he finished, although thankfully he didn’t finish inside me. When he was done, he just got up like nothing had happened, while I sat there in a crumpled heap, unsure of how to process this. The first 2 times were about 5-10 minutes before I managed to get him off me, the final time was over 15 minutes.

I just laid there for a few minutes trying to collect myself, because I didn’t want anyone to know what had just happened, I didn’t want to ruin my mom’s big day. I cleaned myself up, wiped the dirt and mud from me, wiped my tears away, gathered my strength and went back inside. I briefly stopped to talk to my other cousins, but then went to my room to finish collecting myself because my mom was getting married in only a few short hours and I wanted to make sure she had the best day possible.

The wedding went off without a hitch, I had to pose for picture with him, my family stuck around for a few more days, most of which I spent trying to avoid him, but not fully being able to because I didn’t want anyone to suspect anything. In the weeks after my moms wedding as the photos came back and we recalled that day, I had to put on a brave face whenever I saw his picture, or his name came up.

As Always My Beautiful Badass Unicorn Phoenix Goddesses,

I Hope You Have A Magical Day