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Found 5 results

  1. I think it’s time. Let me back up a bit. First, I want to say hello to all of you and say that I hope you’re enjoying the impending holiday season! I love the holidays and I’m looking forward to my mini vacation next week. That being said, I want to let you all know that I am taking a few days away from AS. If you’re someone that I see around a lot on the boards, or talk to frequently, just know that I will return! I am leaving next week to drive to Nashville, Tennessee for a church conference. I am SO looking forward to this! I’m going to meet new people, see old friends, and enjoy a break from the normal struggles life presents. Yes, I will be away from home on Thanksgiving and I will not see my family as they are not going with me on this trip, but I really am okay with that. There’s been a lot of brokenness in my family lately and I’m looking forward to not having it rubbed in my face. Being away will let me escape the fact that things are bruised right now. I’ll be gone for 5 days but will be back by December 1st so I can participate in the Holiday Buddy Program here! If you’re a member here and you don’t know about the Holiday Buddies, you should check it out! It’s an amazing way to get and give support during the holiday season. You can find the information as a pinned thread in the News and Updates forum. I would recommend looking into it if you’re even just the tiniest bit intrigued! You never know what kind of relationships you can make here and this is a great way to get to know someone. Now, I know you’re wondering about that first sentence up there. You’re probably thinking I’m referring to Thanksgiving, or my trip, or Holiday Buddies. None of those are what I’m referring to. I think it’s time for me to share my story here. I’ve shared fragments of my childhood assault, but I have yet to share the story of my rape. I posted it a couple of months after I joined this site, but I immediately had it hidden because I was too ashamed and afraid. I felt too exposed and I wasn’t ready for the opinions or backlash that I was sure I would receive. I feel like I am in a different place now than I was when I posted it the first time. I’ve done quite a bit of healing and I know my truth now. The self-doubt is fading little by little and the self-blame is slowly dissipating. I’m not saying that I am fully okay with what happened and that I will never struggle to think this was my fault again, but I am saying that I know my truth for myself now. I know this was rape and I know better than anyone else how it made me feel. I’ve dealt with the aftereffects of the trauma, I’ve lasted the nights with the nightmares and flashbacks. I’ve sat through EMDR sessions that I couldn’t handle because the pain was just too much. I know I was hurt and I know what he did was not okay. Because I’ve come to terms with this now, I can share my story in hopes that I gain more power over it. In hopes that in some way, this might help someone else. Before I get started, I want to issue a trigger warning here. I am not planning on holding anything back. I want to tell this story as my truth and I want it to be told the way I want. This happened to me, and I want the freedom to tell it as I would like. So, PLEASE don’t read ahead if you’re feeling sensitive. There are very graphic depictions of rape and sexual trauma. Take care. This story begins when I was 21 years old. I am 22 now. It’s been 1 year, 5 months, and 5 days since I was raped. I was very naïve and I never thought something like this would happen to me. I had just turned 21 three months prior to this and had just started going to bars. It started off simple. I would meet up with an old co-worker after work and we would have a couple drinks, then I would go home. Alcohol was new to me and I wanted to know more about it. I tried several drinks during my first few visits to this bar. I always went to the same bar with the same person. I drank quite a bit on these nights but never felt much from the alcohol. Turns out, I’m not a lightweight! One Friday night, I had several people cancel plans on me. I wanted to go for drinks, but I had no one to go with. I was frustrated and mad and I decide that I didn’t need anyone to go with me – I would go alone. It didn’t seem like that big of a deal. I had been here many times before and I wasn’t going to drink a lot. During some of my previous excursions to the bar, I would make sure I was prepared for sex. Just in case I met someone that I wanted to have fun with. I never ended up having sex with anyone I met in the bar. While it was something I anticipated, it never happened. On the nights I thought there was a possibility of it happening, I would make sure I was freshly showered, shaved, and my bra and panties matched. I would wear something a little revealing and I would put myself out there. This night was not one of those nights. I remember that I didn’t shower again after work, I remember than I hadn’t shaved in a couple of days. I remember that I didn’t care what bra and panties I wore, I actually had on a sports bra, and I didn’t put on anything revealing. I told myself that I did not want to have sex that night. I wanted to have a few drinks to take the edge off, and go home. I wasn’t even in the mood for conversation. I made my way to the bar, ordered a drink, and lit a cigarette. I was content with being alone. I stared blankly at the wall or the TV. I made a couple of casual remarks to other people there. But above all, I wanted solitude. There was a man sitting to my left. He kept trying to talk to me, but I politely gave him one-word answers and directed my attention elsewhere. I did not want to speak to him. He continued to push. I relented and figured some conversation wouldn’t hurt and maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. He was older than me. I would guess maybe late 40s or so. He had greyish hair that was all messy and out of place. He had quite a bit of a beer gut, but he was not obese. He looked as if he had just rolled out of bed. I think he was wearing sweats and a sweatshirt or something similar to that even though it was the middle of June and not cold outside. For the sake of the story, we will call him Clay. Clay was annoying, but he was also nice. He was drinking beer most of the time and decided he wanted a shot of fireball because he loves it. He asked if I wanted a shot and I declined. Not only had I never taken a shot before, I had also never tried fireball and I wasn’t sure if I would like it. After this, he continued to drink his beer and push conversation on me. I don’t remember anything we talked about aside from the alcohol. He would ask what I was drinking, and he would tell me what he liked and didn’t like. I was VERY careful to always finish my drinks before going to the restroom. I had read about people being drugged and I didn’t want that to happen. Although Clay seemed harmless, I wasn’t taking any chances. After about my 3rd or 4th drink, Clay offers me a shot again. I take it. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Maybe because I already had some alcohol in my system, or maybe because I really like fireball, I don’t know. I can say that I’ve not had fireball since this night. Before he ordered the shot, I told him I would take it and then I was going to have a beer and be done. I didn’t feel drunk, just a little tipsy. He ordered our shots, we took them, and I went to the bathroom. When I was coming out of the bathroom, I remember hearing the bartender ask Clay if I said I wanted a beer. He was double checking, I guess. I made my way back to my seat and the beer was there. I drank it and at this point, was feeling a little drunk. Not wasted, but drunk enough. Clay decided we would have one more beer. I told him no, but he ordered it anyway. This is where my memory gets fuzzy and I only remember fragments. I remember him ordering the beer and the female bartender going to get them. Right after this, a male bartender comes over and asks if we need anything. Clay tells him that we ordered 2 Corona’s but we thought maybe she forgot because it was taking a while. The male bartender goes to get us one right as the female bartender brings over the ones we ordered from her. The male bartender decides he’s going to stick the others in the freezer to keep them cold and we would drink those too. I felt bad because Clay was buying these and I knew I HAD to drink them. I didn’t want to waste his money. Somewhere between my second and third beer, I quit remembering to finish my drink before going to the bathroom. I left my drink unattended at least once that I remember for sure. I remember coming back from the bathroom and Clay was talking to another guy. We’ll call him Adam. Clay and I had been taking turns going to the bathroom so the other person would watch our seat. I came back and Adam was in my seat. He got up and let me have my seat back, likely because I was getting a little unsteady on my feet. I don’t know this for sure, but it seemed like Clay and Adam knew each other. I remember Clay introducing me to Adam and I don’t know if they had just met or if they knew each other. Adam was by himself – he didn’t come with friends or anything and neither did Clay. I remember that now, it was loud. There were suddenly so many people in the bar and I didn’t remember any of them coming in before I went to the bathroom. Adam was 23 and was wearing the ugliest pastel yellow polo I’d ever seen. His hair was black and curly, but still messy. He had some facial hair, but not a lot. He was slim and kind of tall and he had just ordered his first beer. Clay says he needs to go to the bathroom and I tell him I will watch his seat. At this point, I can barely keep my eyes open, I’m swaying, the room is spinning, and I know I’m not okay. Adam sits in Clay’s seat and starts talking to me. I remember giving him my phone number. Then I remember that he kept running his hand up my thigh under my skirt. I had my hand under my head holding myself up on the bar. I felt really off. I couldn’t hear anything or see anything. It was all really fuzzy. Clay came back and I remember him saying something about wanting his seat back, and then he left. But he kept his eye on me from a distance. He never wandered off too far. The next thing I remember is ordering water. I knew I needed to sober up so I could drive home. After I got my water, Adam took it from me and said, “don’t drink water, it makes you more drunk,” and I knew this wasn’t true. I ALWAYS drink water to sober up. I listened to him anyway and stopped drinking the water. I remember sitting there a little longer and he asked if I wanted to leave. I think I said yes. I’m going to pause to insert my thoughts here, then I will continue with what happened. This is where I feel like it’s possible that I was drugged. I was so out of it and yes, I had a lot of alcohol, but I’ve been super drunk before and this is not how it felt. It was different and I know I was leaving drinks unattended. I also think it’s possible that this was planned. Not toward me specifically, but in general. It seemed like Clay and Adam knew each other and Adam didn’t show up until after I was already pretty gone. Clay was too quick to leave after I met Adam and he seemed to linger after Adam started talking to me. I’m thinking it’s possible that Clay put drugs in my drink, and then Adam sweeps in to take me home. I don’t know any of this for sure, but this is stuff I have thought about since the rape and these are things I think could have happened. Or, it could all be coincidence and I’m making it into something that it’s not. I really don’t know. Anyway, back to the story. I remember paying my tab and not being able to see the lines to sign my name. I’m not even sure I actually signed my name. I remember trying, but everything was spinning and I couldn’t see straight. We got up to leave and I couldn’t stand. Adam had his arm around me and basically carried me out. My eyes were mostly closed and my body felt really heavy. We made it outside and he took me to his car, put me inside, and then went to my car to get my phone charger. I was texting a friend through Snapchat – it was the friend I usually go to that bar with – and he said he was coming to get me. I told him no. He was almost an hour away. I don’t remember how I convinced him not to come, but he never came. Adam drove me to his house. The entire time I was in the car, I was falling over onto his shoulder. I just couldn’t hold myself up. I think he thought I was doing this in a flirty or loving way, but I was just so tired and my body felt so heavy. We made it to his house. He came around to my side and got me out of the car. I still couldn’t walk and I was stumbling across the lawn. He carried me inside and took me down the hall to his bedroom. I immediately fell onto the bed. I just wanted to rest. I physically couldn’t hold myself up any longer. He plugged my phone up to the charger and then tells me that he needs me to get up. I stand up and he pushes the mattress back on the bed – I guess it was falling off. It seemed like something he was used to doing. His room was messy. I remember navy blue sheets on the bed. I remember the room was small and there wasn’t very much room to move around. His nightstand was covered with empty water bottles, a bong, and other things that I didn’t take special note of in my head. I think the wall opposite the bed was like a bookshelf. Maybe it had books, but I think it was filled with video games, DVDs, and other things like that. At the foot of the bed was a television on a TV stand and all kinds of clutter around it. I remember there being clothes on the floor that he tossed aside and I think there was a window by the bed. It wasn’t very appealing. After he fixed the bed, I asked for the bathroom. I walked down the narrow hallway, made a left, and found the toilet. I pulled my skirt down and sat down. I almost missed because I was still so out of it. I held on to the counter and somehow managed to not fall over. I have no idea how long I was in there. Time seemed to stand still and everything was moving in slow motion. I made it back to the room and he was laying in the bed. He had no shoes on, but was still fully dressed in his jeans and ugly yellow polo. I fell onto the bed beside him and started drifting. After what seemed like a few moments, I had to go to the bathroom again, only this time, it wasn’t to go pee. I made it to the bathroom and knelt at the toilet. I proceeded to throw up bright red while swaying and holding my entire head into the toilet. I got up, rinsed my mouth, and stumbled back to the room. He asked if I was okay and I honestly don’t remember if I answered. I was feeling better having thrown up which is another reason I think I could have been drugged. Being drunk and throwing up has never made me feel more sober. It doesn’t change the blood alcohol level, but I’m thinking throwing up if it were drugs would make me feel better, but again, I don’t know. This is just speculation. I laid back down on the bed wishing for sleep. I had my head on his chest and he had wrapped his arm around me. He was watching New Girl on Netflix. I had kind of fallen asleep at this point. I was in and out of consciousness but never fully gone because I knew I had to get home. I remember resting my hand on his abdomen – maybe just to steady myself. The next thing I remember is him lifting up his shirt and unbuckling his belt. I was just catching glimpses because I was still not fully conscious. I think he was asking me questions. Maybe he was asking if I wanted to have sex or maybe I was asking if he wanted to. I don’t remember. A lot of my thoughts I can’t remember if I said aloud or just in my head. The voice in my head was so loud that I don’t know what was verbalized. He proceeds to unbutton his pants and expose himself. He guides my head onto himself and makes me give him oral. I didn’t fight him off, I never said no, but I was also not fully aware or conscious. I also knew that I wanted to go home and to do so, I had to have sex with him. Even in the state I was in, I knew that I wasn’t getting out of that house without giving him what he wanted. The oral seemed quick maybe because had me stop because I wasn’t doing a good job. I was still drifting and I wasn’t aware of what I was doing so I’m sure it wasn’t good for him. He removes himself from my mouth and gets up. I remember losing my shirt and bra at this point. I was on autopilot – survival mode. I was doing what I had to do so I could get home and sleep. I was tired, I didn’t want to be there, and I wanted this to be over. I laid back down on the bed and closed my eyes. I don’t know how much time passed but when I opened my eyes, I looked to my right and he had completely undressed and was standing there looking at me, fully erect with a condom on. I will never forget this image. The picture of him standing there naked, staring at me with a grin on his face. He makes his way back over to me and gets on the bed in front of me on his knees. I closed my eyes and drifted. I remember my legs being in the air and resting on his shoulders. I don’t think I had shoes on, but I don’t remember taking them off. I don’t even remember what shoes I had on that night. He didn’t bother to undress me the rest of the way. He was seemingly uninterested in my breasts or seeing my naked body. It was like he just wanted somewhere to stick his penis so he could feel some pleasure that wasn’t done by his own hands. To my memory, he never made comments about my breast size or the tattoo on my ribs. He never made mention of the way I looked while he raped me. The lights were still on and there were no blankets or pillows around. He pushed my skirt up to my waist, lifted my bottom off the bed, pushed my panties to the side, and inserted himself. I felt nothing. No pain, no pleasure, just the feeling of something happening. I could feel him inside, but I was numb. I was frozen and I wanted it to stop. He leans over me while my legs are still on his shoulders. His face is right in front of mine and I can feel his heavy breath on my face. I could hear the way he panted like a dog on a hot summer day. I don’t remember how rapidly he moved in and out of me. It seemed like it was in slow motion, but his breath made it out to be like he was going fast and hard. He moved his head down onto my shoulder, so his face was right next to mine. I wasn’t in pain from my legs being pulled so close to my face or from him ramming himself inside me. I was still numb from the alcohol or dugs or maybe just from fear. I remember staring at the ceiling while my body moved up and down and wishing it would stop. I wanted to go home. I never wanted to have sex that night. I remember making it a point in my mind before leaving my house that night. I actually told myself that I was NOT looking for any sexual activity. Yet, here I was. He stops. His penis is still inside me as he lifts his head and looks at my face. I don’t know what he saw in my eyes. I don’t know if he saw pain or fear or even a blank stare. I was completely frozen. I was breathing hard but not from physical exertion – I was panicking. He removes himself from inside me, takes my legs off his shoulders, and strokes himself. My legs are folded and tossed to my side, my underwear is still out of place, and I’m frozen on the bed. Stuck. I can’t move. He moves to my left and gets next to me on the bed while continuing to rub his penis with his hand. I thought it was over. I close my eyes and try to catch my breath and calm myself down. I look to my left and he’s looking at me, smiling. I start to get up and me moves my hips to where I’m straddling him. He puts me down on his still erect organ and moves my hips up and down. I do as he showed me. I want him to finish so I can go. After a few minutes of me moving up and down on him, he says, “I’m not going to cum again,” and stops me. He lifts my hips to remove himself from me again and tosses me to his left toward the wall. He gets off the bed and I start to get dressed. I’m still on autopilot. I find my bra and my shirt. By the time I have my shirt on, I look over and he’s fully dressed again in that hideous yellow polo, sitting in a chair, and watching television like nothing happened. He no longer cared to help me with anything. Before the rape, he helped me walk, carried my phone and made sure it was charging because I was worried about my dying battery. He would touch me in a seemingly careful way like he actually respected me or cared about me. Now, he wasn’t even looking at me. He was silent. As I fixed my hair, I asked for some water. I still didn’t feel well. He grabs a mostly empty bottle of water from his nightstand and offers it to me. I tell him I don’t want it anymore. He sets it down and goes back to watching television. When I’m done, I stand up to put my shoes on and he’s already left the room. I grab my things and follow him. We walk down the narrow hallway toward the living room. When we make it to the living room, I see his roommate sitting in there on the computer. I only saw him for a split second but in that moment, my only thought was ‘this guy just heard everything that happened and he won’t make eye contact.’ Adam let me walk out the door first and he followed. I stumbled across the lawn toward his car. I was still unable to walk straight but I was feeling more alert. I fell into his car and we drove away. I don’t really remember the drive back to the bar. I don’t know if I was still fuzzy from the alcohol/drugs, or if I was just dissociating the whole time. I never knew what dissociating was until after this, but looking back, that could be what happened. We made it back to the bar and he stopped in the middle of the street and dropped me off. He didn’t make it to the parking lot where my car was, he didn’t help me out, he didn’t even say anything. He left me in the street knowing that I was not coherent. I made my way back to my car and got inside. I knew I had to puke again but didn’t want to do it outside because there were 2 men behind my car talking. I had no choice. I opened my car door, leaned outside, and vomited on the ground. One of the guys outside came to me and asked if I was okay. I told him I was fine. He offered to give me a ride or call me an Uber but I refused. I couldn’t leave my car at the bar. He brought me a Vitamin Water that was cold and unopened. I’ve never been so grateful. I was still so thirsty from before and now my mouth tasted like vomit and I needed the drink. I told him thank you and he left. I was feeling even more sober now that I had thrown up again. I drank the water and sent a message to my therapist. At the time, I was doing online therapy and my therapist was always online in the evenings. I told her that I had sex and I was freaked out. I didn’t know that I was probably just in shock about what happened. She told me to let her know when I made it home, and she made sure I was okay to drive. I stopped at McDonald’s to get some food to help soak up the alcohol. When I made it home, I let my therapist know. It was a little after 1am at this point. She stayed up late waiting for me to get home. She said goodnight and said we would talk later. I changed clothes, ate, and cried myself to sleep. I wanted to die. It took me some time to come to terms with what happened. It took a lot of time talking to my therapist. She was the one that told me I was raped. I told her what happened and she apologized to me for not being there the night it happened. I was confused because she WAS there. She said that she thought I had consensual sex, she didn’t realize I was raped. In all fairness, I didn’t know either. I talked with her a lot about what happened and eventually had to stop seeing her because she wasn’t specialized in trauma. I sought out a trauma therapist and I see her now every week. I’ve done a lot of work on my healing since this happened. I am still struggling and I still have days where I feel ashamed and disgusted. I still have days where I feel like this was my fault and there were so many things I could’ve done differently to prevent this from happening. There are even still days that I don’t think I can call this rape. I have lived this. I have survived this. I know this was trauma, and I know I was taken advantage of. There was no piece of me that wanted to have sex with him. I’m still working on forgiving myself for what happened, but it’s getting better. To anyone that has struggled with their own story, or anyone that doubts or deals with self-blame, just know that you are not alone. I wish I could go back in time and heal this before it happened, but I can’t. So I’m looking toward my future and I’m trying my best to move on. It’s the best I can do. Thank you for your time and for reading this. As always, I appreciate you for listening to me and hearing me. I will be back soon. Until then, keep your head up and let your voice be heard. Hugs, Poppy
  2. Well, folks, I think I’m making progress! In some areas, it seems things are really regressing and I feel like a failure. In other areas, I can feel healing happening and trust blooming and progress being made. I took a HUGE step with The New Guy this weekend. I mean – huge. It may seem insignificant to some of you, but for me this was a really big deal. I was going to keep this private, but I’ve decided that I want to share. I haven’t updated you all since I posted my story and it’s long overdue for me to post. I’m going to start at the beginning of this weekend. No, actually, I’m going to go back to last Thursday. I don’t know if the events of Thursday REALLY influenced the activities of this weekend, but it may be important to include them anyway. As always, I’m going to submit a trigger warning early because this WILL get graphic. If you’re sensitive to self-harm, this may not be a good post to read. Take caution reading ahead. So, Thursday. For me, Thursday is Therapy Day. I see my trauma therapist every Thursday and this week was no different. After posting my story here, I decided to share it with my Thursday T. I shared this before Thanksgiving and had not seen her since she got to read it, so I was already a little on edge going into the session. She didn’t even really bring it up, but later she mentioned some details from the story and I felt okay about it. We decided that it would be a good day to do some EMDR processing. The last time we tried this, it was too much for me to handle and I freaked out so I was a bit nervous. I was able to push through 2 sets, but the last one we had to stop. She said she was proud of me for pushing as much as I did and then she helped me to center and re-focus before leaving. All in all, it was a good session. She even gave me a hug (which she rarely does) at the end of the session because she knew it was a hard thing for me to do. For the remainder of the day, I felt pretty okay emotionally. I had a lot of stuff to do so my brain was constantly busy and focused on something. It was later that night when things settled down that everything hit me. I started having impulses to hurt myself or do something very self-destructive. I don’t know if it was related to the EMDR but that was all I felt that I could tie it to. I messaged one of my friends to talk it out and she told me I should email my T. So, I did. I sent Thursday T an email and told her what I was experiencing and told her that I thought it was related to the EMDR processing and maybe I was just feeling too much after that session. She told me that she wasn’t sure if it was related to the EMDR, but gave me some guidance and told me some things to do to keep myself safe and cope with the thoughts. I felt better by the time I went to sleep that night and Friday I was feeling a lot better. Still a little drained, but better than I was feeling the day before. Friday night, though, things changed. I don’t really know why I made the choice that I made. I’ve thought about it a lot and I don’t know what it was that made me want to do this. I decided to go out drinking with a friend Friday night. I made a promise to myself a little less than a month ago that I was not going to drink anymore. I use alcohol as a way to be self-destructive and put myself in danger. I’m not really supposed to be drinking anyway because of the medication I’m on. I was feeling reckless and decided I didn’t care – I wanted to go out. After making the plans to go, I almost cancelled. I had his sick feeling in my stomach and I knew it would be better to stay home and have a quiet evening to myself. I ignored my gut feeling and I went anyway. The night wasn’t fun. I didn’t have a good time. The whole night, I just kept thinking about how sad I was. My T has told me that I really shouldn’t be drinking because alcohol is a depressant. Mixed with my already lingering feelings of depression and my medication, alcohol is likely to push me over the edge. At some point through the night, I thought about cutting. It was a quick thought. It just popped in my head and I tried to dismiss it, but I couldn’t. It stayed in the back of my mind for the rest of the night. I put on a happy face and acted like I was having fun. I danced, I smiled, I laughed. But once I went to the bathroom and I was alone, I just sat there in sadness thinking about how all I wanted to do was hurt myself. The more I drank, the worse I felt. There was no pulling myself out of the hole I had created for myself. I couldn’t wait to get home and just be done with this. Done with myself. I got home around 2am. Everything from here on was done without even thinking about it. It was like I was a robot doing what I was made to do. It all happened so fast and without a second thought. I made it inside and set my stuff down in my bedroom. I immediately turned around, grabbed the shed keys out of the drawer, and made my way to the backyard. I unlocked the shed, walked inside and found the toolbox that I knew was holding the boxcutter I had placed there less than a month ago. I grabbed the tool and went back inside. I walked into the bathroom and grabbed my roll of paper towels from the cabinet. I tore off 2 towels, ran one under the water and kept one dry. This was how I always prepped. I walked back into the room, took off my pants, pulled down the side of my underwear to reveal my right hip, and sat on the bed. I picked up the boxcutter, opened it, and removed the blade from inside. I knew this was a clean blade because I had put it in there not too long ago. In hindsight, there’s no way that blade was sterile. The inside of the boxcutter was filthy. The blade LOOKED clean, but that likely wasn’t the case. I proceeded to put the cold blade against my hip and slide it across. I was anticipating a rush of relief – to feel the weight and heaviness lifted from my shoulders as it has always done in the past. That didn’t happen. Instead, I started feeling worse. So, I repeated the process. It still wasn’t working. I tried again, and again, and again and at this point tears are flowing, I’ve lost control and I just can’t stop. I was feeling so much worse. There was blood running down my leg, soaking through my damp paper towel. The cold, wet cloth felt soothing over the stinging cuts that were now covering my hip. I continued to push the sharp blade into my skin and pull. At this moment, the thought crossed my mind. The thought of how EASY it would be to move the blade to my wrist and just be completely done. To end it all. The pain, the hurt, the shame. How easily I could forget about the rape and the sexual abuse in my childhood. How easy it would be for me to reach that sense of peace that I’ve been longing for. To end this race that has exhausted me in every way possible. I didn’t do it. I stopped. I set the blade down and I cried. I couldn’t believe what I had just done. There was blood everywhere, on my hip, my hand, my arm. The paper towel was no longer white, it was bright red and I was still bleeding. I cleaned up and tried to get the bleeding to stop because I didn’t have enough bandaids to cover what I had done. I pulled the side of my underwear up above the cuts so they could breathe while I cleaned up the mess I had just made. I returned the blade to the boxcutter and set it on my nightstand. I grabbed my paper towels and walked to the trashcan to toss them. Once I felt I could go to bed, I checked the cuts to make sure they weren’t bleeding too much. There was still some blood so I cleaned it up and then placed the side of my underwear back over the top of the cuts. It hurt. I grabbed some shorts off my bedroom floor and carefully put them on so they wouldn’t move my underwear that was protecting the fresh wounds. I hoped that with two layers of clothing covering them, if they opened in my sleep, the blood wouldn’t get on my sheets. I crawled into bed, laid my head on my pillow, and silently sobbed until I fell asleep. The night was restless. I barely slept at all. I had to work the next morning so I got up, got dressed, and headed out. It felt like there was a cloud of shame over me the entire day. I was a mess. While at work, I had to excuse myself because I couldn’t stop crying. I felt awful about what I had done and I was feeling so unsafe. I just wanted the nightmare to end. I made it home, slept for a couple of hours, and cried some more. It was like, no matter how much I cried, I was never out of tears. I had no energy to do anything. I talked with one of my friends for most of the day and that was helpful – she was the only person that I wanted to talk to that day. Aside from that, I just wanted to sleep and do nothing. I felt so broken. My heart was hurting, my hip was hurting, I couldn’t keep the tears from clouding my vision, and I was truly regretful of everything that happened the night before. I was wishing I would have taken my own advice and moved the blade to my wrist so I could be done feeling like this. There was no relief from the pain I was in – nothing was helping. I felt like I could barely breathe and no matter what I tried, I couldn’t keep my mind off of it. I was drowning. Sunday wasn’t much better. I was still in a lot of physical pain and I just felt like there was this weight on me. Everything felt heavy. The only motivation I had that day was knowing that I would be seeing The New Guy and I would be able to tell him what happened. I knew I would be seeing his wife and while I felt she would be disappointed in my actions, I needed comfort – especially from her. I needed to hear that I was okay and that I was safe and that the moment had passed. I wanted her to reassure me that I was loved and cared for. And above anything, I wanted someone to tell me that they were happy that I didn’t end my life that night. Things didn’t go exactly as planned. The New Guy had just gotten back to town from a trip and I KNEW he was exhausted. I could see it on his face, hear it in his voice, and I know that he only slept for a couple of hours the night before. I offered to let him cancel my session and move it to next week. As much as I did NOT want him to take me up on my offer, I insisted that he take the time to rest if he needed it. Luckily, he declined and I was able to have my session that day. The New Guy’s Wife was absent from the session. Part of me knew this would happen, but I asked about her anyway. The New Guy informed me that she had other things going on and would not be present. I was sad, but I knew I would still be able to talk to The New Guy so I was okay. This in itself is progress though. This is only the second time I’ve had a session alone with The New Guy and I wasn’t afraid. I felt comfortable being in the same room as him without The Wife being present. This was a first. He asked me how things were going like he usually does. Instead of my normal ‘everything is great’ line, I told him things weren’t very good. I wasn’t doing well. After he asked what was going on, I did some beating around the bush but eventually told him what I did. I barely got the words out before the rivers started flowing from my eyes. He talked. A lot. I listened and I cried. I was so overwhelmed, but I finally felt that safety I was longing for. Being there with him – it felt safe. Talking about what happened and knowing that I made it through that and it was over, it made me feel that rush of relief that I needed. I was finally feeling all of the things I was missing, and I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. It was like a breath of fresh air. At the same time, I was still feeling that brokenness. The need for him to wrap me in his arms and tell me I would be okay was strong. I knew it wouldn’t happen, I just wanted to feel that kindness and the compassion that is shown with a hug. It was nothing inappropriate that I desired, I just wanted to feel whole. During the session, he mentioned hospitalization. Yikes. That’s not something I ever wanted to do. Honestly, I never thought I was to the point of needing it. It seems that things may be worse than what I can really see right now. I spoke about this with a friend of mine last night and she agrees with The New Guy – she thinks it’s a viable option. That scares me. I told her that inpatient is for people with real issues. People that are truly at risk for killing themselves or are very depressed and I’m just not in that place. She told me that I WAS in that place. To me, it seemed like it was just one bad night where I got a little carried away and lost control. But I’m OKAY. I’m fine. Nothing happened. But, it would appear that I’m not as okay as I’d like to believe that I am. I suppose, from the outside, I’m doing a lot worse than I realize. Yeah…that’s terrifying. The bottom line is that I don’t want to go inpatient. That scares me. I just can’t see that I am to that point yet. I’m hoping to get control of this now so that doesn’t happen. I’m also very nervous to tell my Thursday T about what happened. I don’t know what she will say about it. But, I suppose that’s a story for a later date. I know I said in the beginning of this blog that I was making progress. Everything I’ve told you up to this point was the opposite of progress – I realize that. What I’m about to tell you is the part where I feel I’m making progress. At the end of the session, I tell The New Guy that I need to ask him a question. He tells me to go ahead. I preface my question with telling him things he already knows. I told him that I don’t trust men and I don’t like to be alone with men which is why I always have his wife present. I also told him that men make me nervous and I don’t like physical contact. I barely even hug my own father. Men scare me. Then I asked if he would give me a hug. He said yes. It was the most sincere, healing, safe hug I have felt in such a long time. He was so kind to me and he said he was so honored that I trusted him enough to ask for that. He said he knows my feelings towards men, and he was so grateful that I opened up to him like that. There was a time not too long ago that if we were talking and he took a step closer or inched towards me, I would back away. I never wanted to do therapy with him because he was a male. I’ve been so hurt by the men in my life, I didn’t trust that someone could be kind and gentle with me and be so sincere. I am so glad that I asked for that hug and I’m so glad that he was so receptive. It was safe. So, I guess in closing, I want to say that I’m proud of myself for trusting The New Guy the way I did. It has taken a lot of work for me to build this relationship. I’m just happy that he’s been so constant and didn’t leave when I was apprehensive or when I tried to shut him out. This feels...safe. I don’t know where I stand emotionally right now. This weekend was a roller coaster and I have tally marks on my hip as a constant reminder of the darkness that consumed me Friday night. I don’t know WHEN I’ll be over this. It’s still pretty fresh. I know this blog wasn’t very friendly and I apologize for my sad story saga. I will try to post something a little more lighthearted next time! I hope that you’re all doing well. Hugs to everyone! Love, Poppy
  3. Poppy_

    Puzzle Pieces

    This post contains very graphic references to sexual abuse. I ask that you would not read ahead if you are not in the mind to do so. Please proceed with caution. I know what you’re thinking. ‘Poppy, this isn’t a Friday! Speaking of Friday, where the heck were you this week?’ My apologies to everyone that keeps up with my blog entries weekly or those of you that were looking forward to a post from me. I was taking a small break from AS after some events that transpired and caused me quite a bit of emotional and mental pain. I don’t feel that I really have the liberty to go into much detail, but I was very hurt, and I needed some space to heal. I am back now and hoping to be as active as I was before my mini vacation. I’ve missed you all! Now, there isn’t much to update on as far as my dieting endeavor. I have lost more weight, though, so I am headed in the right direction! My glutes are also very sore right now and I’m tempted to stand up while I type, but… my laziness outweighs the pain so, seated I shall stay! Aside from that, I have no more lighthearted news to fill you in on. This weekend has been a lot for me to process and I’m hoping that by typing this blog, I can get some big chunks of this stuff processed and I can feel better. There have been some new realizations coming to light recently, and it’s been a lot for me to take in. I started seeing a second therapist this weekend. The reasoning for two is that my main therapist specializes in EMDR and my new therapist is really experienced with DBT – both are therapies I need right now. So, I am seeing the male therapist as a supplemental therapy along with my main therapy. I know – I’m all kinds of messed up. I was very nervous about meeting with The New Guy. I already knew him and his wife before I started seeing him for therapy, and I was already pretty close to his wife, but still – I was so nervous. Also, seeing a male kind of freaked me out. I have personal issues with most men, especially men that are in some sort of authoritative position, so I was very apprehensive to tell him about everything. I was so nervous, in fact, that when we first spoke about me doing counseling with him, he mentioned that his wife could be present if I wanted her to be and I immediately said yes. I found comfort in knowing that she was sitting right across the table from me. She already knew most of the information I gave, but not all of it. The conversation took an unexpected turn and I told him things I never thought I would tell anyone. I will get to that stuff in just a minute. I’m going to go ahead and insert a trigger warning here for references to sexual assault and CSA. Please don’t read ahead if you don’t feel like you are in the mind to do so. You can always come back when you feel you are in a better place. My appointment was set for 1:15pm. I arrived at the building and parked my car at 1:14pm. I wasn’t expecting anyone else to be there, but I saw other vehicles and got nervous. I was texting The Wife and telling her I was nervous because of the other vehicles, but she didn’t respond. At 1:20pm, I finally worked up the courage to go inside. I got to the door and it was locked. I called The Wife and she came to let me inside, then proceeded to tell me what office The New Guy was in and that she had to use the bathroom. I mean, of course she did. My only source of comfort was leaving me so she could pee. I walked into the office, which was a conference room with a long table, and The New Guy told me to sit wherever I liked, so I sat across from him. A safe distance and The Wife could sit on the end to next to me. We started on preliminary paperwork and The New Guy says he can’t sit so far away from me and moves to the seat I had reserved, in my mind, for The Wife – my safety blanket. Had she not decided she had to pee, she could’ve already been sitting there. I inch a little further away because, well, a male presence so close to me made me more nervous than I already was. The Wife finally comes in from her potty break and sits across from me. Although I had named her my source of comfort, I was immediately MORE nervous. My legs wouldn’t stop bouncing, my hands would stop shaking, and my breath was shallow and rapid. I finish all the paperwork and The New Guy says to me, “So, what’s up?” I had no words to use to respond. I mean, what do I say? Do I just spit out all of my secrets, or do I say, ‘not much?’ What answer was he looking for? I responded with a “you have to ask something more specific than that,” and he did. He asked why I was there. Truth is, I was there because The Wife said she thought he could help me. I told him that and he asked why she felt that way. I darted back an “I don’t know, ask her,” and, well, he didn’t. Instead, I told him that the first 5 sessions with main T, I barely said 4 words to her, and he said he didn’t want that to happen here. He switched gears a little bit and opened up an actual conversation. I don’t remember exactly what he asked, but I remember it got us on the topic of self-harm. I told him that I am a cutter and have been since I was 10 or 11. He asked what happened to me that made me hurt myself for the first time and why I was doing it. We talked about that for a little bit and then landed on my eating disorder. After that, we moved to alcohol abuse. This is where things took a turn that I didn’t expect. He asked me about the rape. He already knew I was raped, but he knew no details of it – just that it happened. He asked if it was violent or if there were weapons involved. I said no, but that I was very intoxicated and possibly drugged and consciousness was drifting in and out. He asked if the monster that did this to me, also took my virginity – I told him no. I lost my virginity when I was 11 or 12. He seemed taken aback by my response. I guess because I was so young when it happened. He asked if the boy was my age and if the sex was something I had thought about before or if I had been exposed to any pornography or anything else like that prior to my sexual encounter with the boy when I was 12. I told him he was my age, but it wasn’t my first sexual experience. He asked me to describe my other sexual experiences to him. This is the part where it gets pretty graphic and uncomfortable and BELIEVE ME, I was BEYOND uncomfortable when I had to talk about this out loud. I was also really ashamed. This isn’t a part of my past I wanted to relive. I proceeded to tell him about the boy I knew in 4th or 5th grade. The boy that wanted me to sit with him in the back of the daycare van after school and give him handjobs. The boy that would convince me it was okay and knew I couldn’t say no. The boy that only talked to me to get his fix. The New Guy asks how I knew what to do. I say I don’t know. Then he asks if this is my first sexual encounter. I tell him no – but the other one was with a girl. He asked for details. I told him about the girl I knew when I was 7 that was mt best friend at daycare. I tell him that we were watching TV while the younger kids napped, and she leans over and asks me if I’m horny. I tell The New Guy that 7-year-old Poppy didn’t know what that meant, so that girl explained it to me. I told her I didn’t feel that way, but she said she did. We went over to lay down beside the vending machines in the corner. I tell The New Guy that we put coats over ourselves and touched each other. I don’t remember if I told him that this became a regular occurrence, or perhaps he knew from the way I spoke about it, but this became something we did every day at naptime. It was routine. Prior to this, I had told him that I didn’t remember anything from before age 6. I really don’t. My memories there are completely blank. He thinks I may have been sexually abused before then and I just don’t remember. There were more situations like this when I was young that I negated to tell him simply because it didn’t matter. He knew the base of what he needed to know. I didn’t tell The New Guy about my dad’s girlfriend’s daughter when I was 10. I didn’t tell him about how she was much older than me and when I shared a bed with her, she would give me candy to kiss her and let her touch me. I didn’t tell him about how no matter how many times I said I didn’t want to do it, she pleaded with me to say yes. I didn’t tell him about how we got caught, and she didn’t get punished. I didn’t tell The New Guy about the other guys that I obliged with handjobs and lap dances and sex. I kept to myself all the other girls that touched me because I touched them back and I knew that meant it was consensual and it didn’t matter. The New Guy tells me this was all sexual abuse. That I was abused and taken advantage of and that people have been using my body for my entire life and it makes him so angry. He said it infuriates him. I told him that I told my other therapist about this and she told me it was normal. It was normal for kids to explore like this. The New Guy says, “it is not normal for 7 and 8-year-olds to be doing things like this,” and I was confused because I was told that it WAS normal. The New Guy says even now, my body is being used as an object for other people’s enjoyment or pleasure. I’m hurting all over right now. The weight of his words sits so heavily on my shoulders that I can barely hold my body up. I didn’t know that any of this was wrong or that I was abused – I thought it was normal. I feel dirty. I feel disgusting. I feel broken. I feel so, so alone. I’m too afraid to try to uncover the memories before age 6. There must be a reason why my mind has blocked this out. I thought it was because I had a crappy memory but now.. I don’t know. I never thought much of this stuff until The New Guy asked me how I knew how to touch the boy on the daycare van. I can’t remember if he told me what to do, or if it was my idea, or if I just ‘knew.’ I don’t know where I learned it – I only remember doing it. I don’t remember if at 9 years old, that was the first penis I touched. I don’t remember if the boy was old enough to get hard, but I knew he wasn’t old enough to cum. He couldn’t ‘finish,’ so we would stop when we got close to being at the daycare. I had several memories come back to me while I was typing that out. I had to put the writing down for the rest of the day so I could process. I am here now, and I’m going to share the new memories I have. Funny how that happens, right? New memories just come flooding in. Anyway, here’s what I remember now. When I was typing about the boy on the daycare van and how he couldn’t ‘finish,’ I was thinking about how there was no ‘clean up’ to get done before arriving back at the daycare. That made me remember that there WAS clean up to be done, but it wasn’t cum – it was my saliva. At 9 years of age, I was giving a boy blowjobs on the daycare van. That thought didn’t sit well with me. In fact, it made me so uneasy that it brought back another memory almost immediately after. For a while, I couldn’t remember if this was something I wanted to do or if it was something he told me to do. I know I’ve already mentioned that, but now I remember. I remember that every day I would get on the daycare van and hope to God that the boy wasn’t there. If he wasn’t there, I was free. On the days he WAS there, I remember my heart sinking to the bottom of my chest and holding back the tears because I didn’t want to touch him, but I felt like I had no choice. I HAD to do it, or he would be mad at me. I have always been a people-pleaser. My whole life has been about making other people happy. Aside from that, I HATED getting in trouble. I have always been a rule follower because I hated it when my parents were disappointed in me. This is another reason I KNOW that there’s no way I would have voluntarily put my hands on his organ in the back of a daycare van. It’s another reason I could never tell anyone and I lied about it when my parents asked me what was going on. I didn’t want them to be mad at me. I was talking about this with a dear friend of mine last night because I was trying to process everything. It seems the more I try to process, the more parts come back to me. It was hours after I decided to put the blog down, but there was another new memory. I remembered that not only did this boy want me to put my hands and mouth on him, but I remember that he put his hands down the front of my pants and into my panties. I can’t remember if I wanted this or if I asked him to do it. I don’t know if he thought he was being nice because of what I was doing for him. I don’t know if my 9-year-old blowjobs were too stale for him and he needed a little extra play to get himself going. I have no idea if I protested this. Perhaps that will come to me later along with more puzzle pieces that I can fit together to get a full picture. I don’t know if The New Guy was right. I don’t know if this was sexual abuse. I don’t know if I can claim that I am a survivor of CSA or not. Maybe this is something I’m rejecting because it hurts or maybe I still haven’t fully processed it. I DO know that I would not like any comments to reflect that it was NOT sexual abuse. I will gladly accept the support or your opinion on if you think this was, indeed, abuse, but I don’t need the invalidation right now. This is all still very new to me and I’m still processing things. My mind is too fragile to accept any negative feedback as it will impact my thoughts too heavily right now. I feel like I should go ahead and end this post because I could probably type all day. I want to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to every person that read this and is sitting here supporting me. Your kindness means the world to me. I’m happy to be back on AS and to be surrounded by such wonderful people. Thank you all for everything you do. Soon, Poppy
  4. "Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday dear MOTHER, Happy Birthday to you." Ah, it's mother's birth-month again. August, for me, has this kind of... 'haze' around it. It's a full month of my dad saying, "your mom's birthday is coming up," or "your mom just had a birthday," or on the day of, "it's your mom's birthday, she shouldn't have to do this." I GET IT. She's the queen of the universe and the world falls down at her feet. She can do no wrong and deserves everything even when she gives nothing. She's perfect and all that. I get it. But can we talk about how much sense that doesn't make? Because I'm sure I can't be the only one to see how unconventional this is. Haven't you ever heard the phrase, 'you reap what you sow' or even 'what goes around comes around' or how about just plain old KARMA? A lot of people here know that I have issues with my mother. I love her to death, don't get me wrong, I mean, she IS my mom. But her being a mother and me loving her doesn't mean that she does everything right. I sometimes think that my love for her is more of a requirement - if that makes sense. Like, I have to love her because she's my mom? That sounds shallow but it's the truth. You know, emotional abuse is a funny thing. You can't see it, it leaves no physical marks, but it's so damaging. I'll be honest and say that this is the first time I've admitted to calling it 'emotional abuse.' The word 'abuse,' to me, has always meant something violent and severe. I was taught my whole life that I was too sensitive and over dramatic about everything under the sun. So I always thought that the way I was treated was normal and I was overreacting by saying it upset me or just being unhappy about my life. In my adult life, I've come to realize just how dysfunctional my family really was. With the help of my T, I've realized that my home houses a lot more emotional abuse than it does a family. Of course, there was a period of time where my parents had split up, and that is what triggered the alcohol abuse for my mom. As an adult, I can see how much pain she was in, but as a scared 11 year old girl, I had no idea. I didn't understand why she had to bring home those stupid brown paper sacks that meant I wouldn't be getting any sleep because I had to protect my sisters and keep them from being scared. I didn't understand why mom would get so angry and turn the music up so loud. I couldn't possibly understand what she was gaining by hitting us because she had too much to drink. Even as an adult, I don't understand it. My adult mind can't grasp the concept of hurting a child. I do not have my own kids yet, but I do have a niece and I know that no matter how old she gets, I could NEVER lay a hand on her. I could never do that. I love her too much. So how a mother can do that to her own kids? I'll never understand. I know the alcohol played some part in that, but I've been drunk and I still don't see how alcohol makes it okay to hurt a child. I may have been close to being a teen, and my older sister WAS a teen, but that's no excuse for my mother to connect her fist to my sister's face. So, I guess that's more the physical abuse aspect of my childhood. But, it goes hand in hand with the emotional abuse. My mother was too busy drinking to do any of the normal 'mom' stuff. I didn't get hugs or 'I love yous' before bed. I didn't get a 'be safe' when I left for school. My mom was usually sleeping off the previous night's binge when I left for school. But you see, my mother was careful to make sure she looked like an A+ mom. She came to all of my volleyball games, all of my band concerts, and all of my sister's choir concerts. She showed up. So I will give her credit for that. But to me, all I wanted was to feel like she loved me. I just wanted her to hug me or to tell me she loved me. I wanted her to care enough to memorize the clothes on my back when I left for school just in case something happened. For once, I wanted her to act like my feelings mattered and not teach me to push them down until they dissipate. I was 11 years old the fist time I intentionally hurt myself. My mom was angry. I was 13 when she found out I was doing it again. She was mad again. I was 16 the next time she saw the cuts on my thighs. This time was different though. She didn't understand it so I pleaded with her and cried and told her how sad I was. This time, she said I was doing it for attention. I asked if I could try therapy and she told me no. She told me no to getting help with a problem that she didn't understand and told me she couldn't help me with. That, to me, also didn't make any sense. If she couldn't help me, why couldn't I seek professional help? I was trying to get better. To this day, I am laughed at and mocked for having emotions. I am taught not to cry when I feel like everything is falling apart. I have to be the same statue that she is, otherwise I am a disappointment and an embarrassment. So being that her birthday was yesterday, I've had some tough decisions to make. First let me say that I don't care who you are or how old you are, EVERYONE likes to feel important on their birthday. Everyone wants their social media to blow up with birthday wishes and everyone wants to blow out every candle on the cake. My birthday was less than 6 months ago. My mom had told me that when my dad got back in town, they would take me to celebrate. On the day of my birthday, I received a text from my father, my mother said the words "happy birthday" to me, and I got to FaceTime with my niece. That was it. Dad came back to town, but there were no celebrations. No dinner, no gifts, no cake. And that hurt me because they KNOW how much I love my birthday and they told me we would be doing something and we just never did. I'm fine with it now. What I am not fine with is the fact that this woman who has NEVER been what I needed her to be, who never did anything for my birthday, now wants me to hand her the world on a silver platter. She expects gifts and cards and dinners. But what about me? Am I being too petty? She is leaving in two months to go to Hawaii for her birthday/anniversary gift from my dad. So I don't think she needs much more than that. I've had a couple of people tell me that it's my decision what I do and that I should only do what I feel comfortable doing for her. I've had other people roll their eyes at me when I say I'm not doing anything because I'm being too childish. Well, here's the deal. I'm going to do SOMETHING because if I don't, the guilt will eat me alive. Regardless of if I want to or not, I have to do something. It won't be big, nor should it be because again, you reap what you sow. I'm sure my father will do something for her when he gets back in town. I think from me, a nice Facebook post and some flowers will suffice. I always plan some elaborate thing with my sisters for Mother's Day and for her birthday, but I'm not doing it this year, and that will just have to be okay. So I hope she has the best birthday ever and blows out every candle on her birthday cake. I'll be waiting for my turn with the candles next year. Until then, I'm going to feel how I want to feel about her and her birthday. And at her party, I'll cry if I want to. Until next time, Poppy
  5. **TRIGGER WARNING** alcohol, abuse ---- I am a drunken fool. I was leaving a party and was offered a lift to the station. A friend was going in the same direction, and said he would walk me the rest of the way to the station. He didnt take me to the station. he took me to his house. "Its not safe, the last train has left, you cannot get home. This area is not safe" "you stay here, I will look after you" I didn't know where i was, where the station was. Was it really dangerous outside? I went into the house. I was uncomfortable. I tried to leave. he restrained me. physically stopped me from leaving. and, as i drunkenly passed out, he used my body for his pleasure. i would come to semi-conciousness and feel him on my body. Pushing him off. telling him no. drifting into unconciousness. The cycle repeated. and afterwards, lying there. In shock. Frozen. I dont know how long I was lying there for. But eventually i came to. I ran. It was 4am, in a place I didn't know. But it was safer for me on the streets.
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