Long Awaited Update… This Blog Will Continue!

It’s amazing how long I have been away from this site. So much has gone on in the last year. Here is just a short list of what I am up to.

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  • I stepped away from religion altogether. I do not identify as Mormon or Religious. I still say I am Christian, but opening up my eyes to the whole world has made me want to continue to look at things and learn from everyone, not stay in the restraints I was put in during my marriage.
  • Took on my ex’s car so I don’t have another repo on my credit report. Not the best thing, but I am keeping my credit in good standing, after I paid off all of my debt. Within 1 year, I paid off 9,600 dollars worth of debt!
  • Got into Habitat for Humanity. I have 150 hours of sweat equity so far. Only 200 more until I get my own home! I was approved for a 2 bedroom home. Just big enough for me and my daughter. Plus, I have friends and family who want to help me get my hours. It’s hard doing it on my own, so my loved ones are motivating me 🙂
  • Started talking to a man. Letting a man in emotionally is scary. i have had many tears so far, and I am not even dating him yet. I know there are good guys out there. I have met one. I get to help him in his abusive situation, and he gets to support and uplift me. What more can I ask of right now?
  • Got into a lifestyle that fits me. Made friends and became more social. I went from having one friend to having many, many people who I get along with. It has busted me out of my shell and helped me open up.
  • Have faced my fears of same-sex friendships after my abuse. I have gotten more comfortable around girls and women. I have friends, can hug them, can be close and goofy with them. I am not healed, but I am far into my recovery. Maybe one day, I will talk about my new life fully and explain.

In all of the growing and changing that I have done, I have not forgot about my passion. In fact, my passion has become stronger. It’s great to have people in your life that makes you want to do better. That is what I have come across the last month.

So, I am picking up one of my biggest projects. Finding helpful organizations and getting the information to those who need it. I haven’t figured out how I will get this to people, but I think resources are important. The reason this is so important to me is because those who need it have difficulties getting the resources, especially if they are afraid to ask. So that is what I am going to do… share and post and get the information out!

Abusers on the State Sex Offender Registry

Possible Triggers

The last 24-hours have been amazingly crazy. I just dog sat at my mom’s house. I was very apprehensive about doing so, as my abusers mom lives down the street, and I saw my abuser last week by my mom’s house. I was there Friday night to Sunday afternoon. No sign of K, which is a very good thing.

Saturday night, I was contemplating all that has gone on with K. I guess being there brought a lot up for me, which is, I assume, to be expected. I found out a few days ago that K’s case went in front of a grand jury but they found no reason to press charges against her. They even mentioned my statement, but chalked it up to “kids experimenting” just because she was my age. Makes me sick to think back at that. If it were just experimentation, would I be so traumatized? Hmmm, I think not!

Anyway, I was so upset that she wasn’t at least charged as a sex offender. I mean, she admitted she had a sexual relationship with a student. So I decided to go onto the state sex offender website just to see. What I found shocked me. I searched for K’s name, nothing. I then decided to search for my other abusers name. I started out with J’s, nothing again.

So I searched my other ex-boyfriend. And… HIS PICTURE CAME UP! He was charged back in 2009 for “Rape Using Force” against a 27-year-old female. My heart sunk. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I tried to contact my friends and support but wasn’t having much luck. THIS was another guy that I was told raped me. Just one I never dealt with or addressed or even admitted it happened. I am still stunned. It brought back so many memories and so much confusion.

I brushed this “rape” off to the side because I didn’t feel anyone would ever think it was rape or that it was bad enough to have anything even done. I know that’s horrible of me to say, but I have made statements about past abuse of two of my abusers already and nothing came of them. Two have not been reported and I don’t know if I could ever go about doing that again.

This abuser was my boyfriend for 3 months until he decided it was too much and just wanted to be f-buddies. Every time we went over to his house, it was to have sex or “do homework” as my parents thought.

One day, he dropped me off at my house with a friend. He said he needed to use the bathroom, so I very hesitantly said yes. I didn’t want any guys in my house after what J had done to me 6 months prior. He went to the bathroom and then started advancing me to have a quickie. I kept telling him no, that I didn’t wanna do it in my mom’s house, and resisting. I was pinned between him and my bed. Kept resisting and telling him no, but after his persistence, I stopped saying no. He lifted my skirt, did his thing, as I lay there upset that I let it happen again. He finished and left.

Of course I felt like shit and was confused, but I stopped saying no. I never once thought that me saying no, even once should have had him stop. I am told differently now. In light of the new information I have, it has me questioning everything that happened between me and this guy.

So here is the scenario that keeps running through my head. This guy contacted me back in 2009. He wanted to meet up with me and apologized for being a jerk. He said he just got out of the military and was dishonorably discharged because of some crap that was going on. I didn’t think to ask as I hadn’t heard from him in over 4 years and was newly married with a baby and didn’t want to bring my past into my present.

Now I want to know why he contacted me back then. My friend says it was to cover his own ass. None of it makes sense to me. Plus, he has two Facebook accounts. I didn’t think sex offenders were allowed to be on social media. Obviously I will report him on Facebook, as that is against their rules, but what else do I do? Do I do anything?

I have been fighting the urge to send him a message asking him why he contacted me, and such, to find out more information, but why would I want to talk to someone who hurt me? What if it makes things worse? As much info as I want to know, I know you can never get information out of a liar.

I just think this is such a crazy time in my life. Between my ex and his idiocy, and K and JR, it is a lot to take in. I am glad that he was changed and is a sex offender for raping that woman. Now it will come to my own processes of how I handle my own abuse from him (far more than the little blip I mentioned here). I will take this new information as a good thing and “run with it” to help my healing.

New Things and Unfortunate Encounters

I have been meaning to post here in the last few months as much has changed in my life. If I could find the time in this busy world, I would have written a lot. I am going to try to dedicate time on the weekends to posting.

  • I now know what sex is, not abuse
  • Thinking about telling my mom about my first abuser and the extent of her abuse
  • Possibly, find different avenues to break the silence
  • I tried to find out what happened with my first abusers case
  • Ran into her the next day, outside my mom’s house
  • Looking for volunteer opportunities to help abused people

I will talk more about the first one later on, and the others at a different point. I think its very difficult to process where I with all of that. My religious standing has been non-existent for months now. I struggle spiritually and need to take my own time and not have anyone force that part of my life. Seeing my abuser after 14 year was a bit chaotic in my brain for a day or two.

So, I have been trying to contact the police department to see what happened to my abusers case. I talked to a prosecutor secretary and went last April 4th to the police to speak to a corporal and then a detective. I then met with the detective to give my evidence that I had from the year 2000! Surprised I held onto it. But anyways, I did all that and kinda shut down. Talking that much about something I never dealt with really affected me, especially since I had just started a new job a week before. Crazy timing!

Well, months had passed. Friends and support asked how the case was going, but I never responded because I could not get up enough courage to find out. I did find out back then that they had found the three or four people I had mentioned and that they had confirmed my statement. But as far as her trial, still nothing.

So I went to the police department, instead of calling, because calling got me nowhere. In the past, the detective said he didn’t know and would look into it and call me back, with no results or communication. So, I went. Shook the whole time, had a mini break down on the way home. And then tried to tell myself that what I did was a good thing, even though I didn’t feel strong enough.

Without that being in my head at all, I was at my moms house going grocery shopping with my step dad. When we returned home. My abuser and her mother were walking down the street. By the time we turned the corner, she was at my car door. I stared down, didn’t do anything but look at my phone. I couldn’t react because my step dad had no clue the trauma this female put me through. And it was not the time to mention it.

I am still shocked that I saw her. So many thoughts ran through my head. Is she living at her moms? Is she on bail? Is her agreement with the courts that she has to live at home? Is she a sex offender? Is she not? Does she know that I am the one that told on her? How will I ever stay the weekend over there knowing there is a possibility that she is down the street? I promised my mom I would house sit this weekend, but was I strong enough to do it?

I have no answers.

I talked this all out with my therapist on Monday, and I still have no answers. I shut down. I can’t handle it or process it. Maybe part of me doesn’t want to deal with it. Maybe I am trying to see how far I can hide from this before I HAVE to deal with it.

I don’t have any or all the answers. I know that I will get through this. I will work through it. I am stronger than I was over a decade ago. I have support and strength behind me that will push me forward. My therapist continuously asks me what it is that keeps me on the path I am on. I don’t know what it is. I have a passion and strength and determination to move on with my life and help others. I will continue to work on my own healing and help others when I can. That is just who I am.

This little bump in the road was going to happen no matter what. It was only inevitable. Her mom lives down the street from my mom. I am surprised it took two years for that fear I had to catch up with reality. I know I need to confront things and there is a reason why it happened now, just like there was a reason I found about it last year. I will face this. It wont hide, no matter how much I want it to. Anyone who thinks they can hide from their abuse is only fooling themselves.

One Year and One Day Later

One year, one day ago (November 3, 2012), I was a stay at home mom recovering from leaving a mental hospital, separated from my husband, who left that day to go to Oklahoma, with no money, no job, and no way of providing for my daughter. Within the last year, I found a job that supported my daughter while living at my moms house, fought for custody of our daughter and won. We moved out of my moms in august and my little one is striving in kindergarten after a few rough weeks. And I have now started a new job making 1/3 more money. I got my car back (after 9 weeks without), working on getting my meds straightened out, and was blessed with a larger working interview pay than what was originally offered. I now have a job that is suited towards my skills and utilized, and have the whole support of my old job which wants to stay in contact with me. And I have hope that I will be able to pay off debts and debtors and save for a new car to get back on track. I don’t know how I got here because I was scared to death to step up. As my lawyer said, I was a beaten down woman who they had to get onto for not making decisions. Along with the new job I started today, I was just asked to be a part of the newly formed Women’s Resident Council with three other women. And I shared my story with my a woman here who is just now talking about her rape and gave my story to my caseworker. This day couldn’t represent more of the person in becoming if I planned it all myself. I just have to be so grateful for all the help I had along the way because without support and standing up and speaking out for myself, I would have NEVER made it this far. Staying silent will never work. And I promise anyone who stands for what they believe and refuses to keep his or her “dirty little secret” to protect the abuser will not only help themselves heal but help others accept their own abuse. As much as I’ve wanted to cry lately (for my own abuse from my ex), I wanna cry just as much for the person I am today. I just wanted to share some positives as not everything in our life will always be negative.

The Enduring Marriage… Marital Rape? IPSV?

My friends often wonder why I feel so bad for those who were marital raped, when I too was. They couldn’t understand why I did not see what was happening in my own relationship, but could see it in others. Only thing we could come up with was the strength of my denial at that stage. I majorly minimized my own abuse and continually defended him and tried to make sense of something that made absolutely no sense. The longer time passes and the more my ex does, the easier it is to get out of denial, not that dealing with the truth is easy though. He has a pattern and it’s made me realize that he never loved me and only used and abused me.

And now the stuff with my ex is really starting to get to me. I think its time to share some of our 5 year history and get it out once and for all. Honestly, I don’t know what you want to call it. It makes me feel vulnerable to even think about. So I am just gonna lay it all out there. All I know, it wasn’t loving. He wasn’t loving.

PLEASE NOTE.
ONLY READ IF YOURE IN A GOOD PLACE TO READ. I DON’T WANNA TRIGGER OTHERS. ITS NOT MY INTENTION.

When we were dating:

We were friends as he was 37 and I was 18 when we met. He was also married. We were coworkers and I told him, after his wife left him, that I would never date a coworker. I didn’t know he liked me until two months later when he kissed me.

For the first three weeks, he slept on the couch and gave me his bed. But then he had a party with me, my friend, her bo and his roommate. He bought $100 worth of alcohol and by the end of the night, we were all wasted. I had just turned 19. Since my friend was over, Marc slept in the bed with me. He started kissing and rubbing and taking off my clothes. At one point, he was on top of me, about to go in me, when he asked, are you sure? I just nodded. He did all the work. I just laid there. Afterwards, for months, he made me feel guilty saying that he wished we would have waited and weren’t drunk.

About three months later he asked me to marry him. And two months after that, I got back into church. We had one month before the wedding. During that month, I asked him for us not to have sex until then. Part of me wanted it to be special and the other part knew how the church frowned upon sex before marriage. I asked, he said ok.

Within those 4 weeks, he kept advancing me for sex. Telling me how it was ok and trying to convince me. I would continue to tell him no, I didn’t want to, I wanted to wait, over and over again, but in the end, I stopped saying no and it happened anyways. Nine days before our wedding, I broke down in tears begging him for us to please not have sex anymore until the wedding. That it was only 9 days. It finally stopped. I shut this part out of my brain until years later it surfaced. I was so ashamed. He still denies that we had sex during that time. Just told me to pray and ask for forgiveness.

After we were married:

Six weeks after we were married, I found out I was pregnant. Which was a shocker for me as he told me when we were dating that he had a vasectomy and couldn’t have any more kids. When I showed him the test and asked him about it, he told me, “no I told you I went to the doctor but I never got it done.”

Throughout the next 4 years, I was going throughout life like my past abuse and rapes didn’t affect me. What I now realize is that they affected me very much.

During intimacies, I would check out and never realized it. My husband never asked if I was ok or stopped to check on me. It took 4 years to realize this happened, and when I talked to him about it, he said, “I know. I could tell when you didn’t want it or wanted if to be over with, so I just tried to hurry.”

I had to rub him to “get him in the mood” (even if it wasn’t my intention, remember I rubbed him every night, so there was no saying when). But on the nights he mentioned having sex, I would have to rub him and bite on his nipples (which I HATED doing). Sometimes this would get him to the point of already wanting to cum. But he would still want “sex” to cum in me. I didn’t realize. And then the other times, when he felt like it , would climb on top of me and start pushing his way into me. He was turned on I guess but not me so it took a bit of time and energy for him to get in me. Instead of easing in or getting me aroused for sex, he would put a lot of pressure on me to get himself in me. Sometimes he would be more gentle, other times, not so much. I would hurt days later, but thought it was normal. Between the two scenarios, sex lasted between 15 seconds to 2-3 minutes. It never did anything for me, most of the time I was checked out anyways.

He usually wanted on top, missionary. But on certain occasions, he wanted me to be on top. Or, his most lazy position was laying on his side trying to spoon me (vaginally or anally). Both hurt, were uncomfortable, and extremely less intimate. This became sex for the longest time. Most of the time in the late hours of the night, him with his eyes closed half asleep but trying to get sex because he was horny. Sometimes I would be out and he would wake me enough to start it. It did nothing for me, sometimes id be barely awake but after he was done he’d be asleep and I’d be awake. He liked “having sex” and getting off because it helped him sleep. So I was a means to that.

I would rub him almost ever night. Sometimes he wanted to get off, sometimes not. When he did, I would either get him off or he would jump on top of me, as he was about to get off, and cum inside me. He would tell me that he wanted to feel him inside me and then proceeded to say how guilty he felt that he wasn’t able to get me off (in that, not even, 15 seconds). I felt like he had used me because he didn’t wanna clean up the mess. He had withdrawn from sex around that time and would jack himself off in the shower, so the only “sex” we ever had was when he jumped up and came in me. It was always a surprise and I never knew when it was or wasn’t going to happen. It happened so quickly that I didn’t know what to do or say. Besides, he was my husband.

He would want me to go down on him or do things I didn’t want to do. I did give in to the oral at times just to make him happy. Sometimes when I did that, he would push my head down farther on him during. He liked to pull my hair extremely hard and then tell me I liked it. I didn’t. It hurt a lot, but I just thought he did all this because he was enthusiastic. In the middle of kissing once, my husband tried to go down on me. I begged him not to, tried to push him away, told him I didn’t want him to. He was stronger, told me that it would be ok, that he wanted to. And he did. I didn’t know what else to do. He also told me that I was enjoying the sex, the more difficult the sex became. He said it was because I was tight, but because of the pain and the fact I was dry, that wasn’t the case. Anyways, I thought it was part of my wifely duties to do all this stuff.

One part that stumps me all the time was the anal sex and how much he hurt me and didn’t see it as a problem. There were a few times I jumped up off the bed in pain and in tears. I would ask him to go slow, ease it in, but he wouldn’t. He would say ok, and then next thing I know, he would thrust hard or at a bad angle. I don’t know what he did but I was crippled over in pain. He still wanted to continue, so he waited until I managed to lay back down in bed. He would try anally again, but if I was in too much pain, he would want to continue vaginally instead.

He also didn’t use lubrication most of the time which could have added to the pain. I was never aroused for sex anyways and he never eased into with any type of lubrication. If there was, it was me grabbing whatever I could find to help with the pain.

I was embarrassed because I never wanted to do it. He would play oops wrong hole all the time. So when he stopped having sex with me, I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. So I did something that hurt me. And didn’t vocalize my pain. Not like he could see my face anyways. Other times it hurt, but I didn’t jump up like I did. I would just pull away. Or tell him to stop. Or endure it. When he did stop, it was for a few seconds until he would do it again. But then again, he always told me that “if I started it, I had better finish it.” Oh, and Marc always said, it’s weird, never acted like he liked it. But then after a year of stopping it, he started up about it again.

Nearing our separation:

It all started because I wouldn’t have sex with him one night and I didn’t like him touching me. I was being triggered and having nightmares and all he cared about was having sex, since our daughter was with the grandparents. He was emotionally void and couldn’t even hold my hand but he could touch me in my private areas and try to have sex. When we were laying in bed, he kept advancing me and I tried to get him to hold and cuddle me instead. He kept on so I told him no. He threw a fit and went to sleep on the couch. Thirty minutes later, he came in and threw the biggest guilt trip telling me “let me know when I can touch my wife again” and how much I don’t want him anymore. In the past, when he did that kind of crap, I would give into sex and feel shitty about it afterwards. Mainly because after I spread my legs for him, and he did his thing, he would tell me how crappy of a person I was and how I changed and whatever fight we had would continue afterwards. But in my head, anything to “fix” our marriage or make him happy would allow me to pretend our marriage was fine as long as the sex was still there. But this time he threw the guilt trip, he walked out of the room and all I could think was I am glad I didn’t have sex with you. I guess he wanted me to chase after him like I did in the past. But I was done with the games.

I hope if anyone reading this can relate, please know you aren’t alone and it’s not your fault. None of this is consensual. No matter how much they tell you it is or was. It’s not a wifely duty. It’s not about inflicting pain on your spouse. It’s about love and respect and care. None of which I received. Rape is not love. Abuse is not love. It took a while to open up about this and realize that it was not right. I’m not perfect, it still scares me to death to share this. But his actions and control are not my fault. Luckily, I got out of it. And hopefully by sharing parts of my story, others will find that they are not alone.

Beyond the Outward Appearance

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A picture I drew at 12am, in the dark, upset and couldn’t sleep.
June 2012, Kris Hannah

One year ago, I hit a devastating low that I never thought I would ever reach. No one knew the turmoil I was struggling with, as I hid it from everyone around me. Many knew some details but couldn’t handle or comprehend the depth of my struggles. I was in an abusive relationship, dealing with being raped in my past, and trying to take care of my little girl while holding down a job. We had just moved to Wyoming, where I was isolated from everyone and had zero support. When I hit that low, I had no clue where to turn or what to do.

After begging my husband to take me back down to Texas for a week, he finally drove me and I went into the hospital. I was super scared. I went to the Emergency Room at 5pm on Friday, was going through intake Saturday at 2am, where they searched everything and took whatever was prohibited, and by 5am, I was in my bed crying myself to sleep wondering if I had made the right decision. I didn’t wake up until Monday morning. I didn’t want to go to group, and only woke up long enough to speak to my doctor. Things felt hopeless.

I was only inpatient for 10 days but it felt so much longer. They had activities scheduled for most of the day. Group was 2-3 times a day, activity therapy, one-on-one therapy once a week, and we could choose to do family therapy if we wanted. Every morning, we filled out a sheet on how we were feeling and what we wanted to accomplish that day. And after lunch, we had journaling time for an hour.

The problem was we weren’t allowed pens, and the pencils they supplied were smaller than 3 inches. We were allowed to use markers, but they were worn out and run down or went missing. Even though journaling was encouraged, the circumstances weren’t ideal for anyone who truly wanted to journal.

The best moments inpatient were when I was laughing and coloring with the other patients. I realized that many were also depressed, just like me. When I went inpatient, my parents saw me as weak, but in actuality, the strongest thing I could have ever done was get the help I needed. This was the first time I was allowed to not pretend to be stronger than I felt. As I started reaching out for help and journaling, I finally felt a strength I hadn’t felt in such a long time.I flourished and finally found something enjoyable for myself. I took notes in every aspect of therapy, journaled like crazy, and even started drawing again. I went through FOUR composition books and my pages looked like rainbows. It felt great doing such a ‘childish’ thing.

I know many people don’t understand what would send someone into a mental hospital, but it is time to break down those walls. The people in my unit were not mentally insane. They were not crazy or psychos. They were seeking help in the best way possible. Just because their troubles were not physical, it doesn’t make them any less. Just imagine how many don’t get help and choose a more permanent solution. It saved my life and helped me get out of my abusive relationship.

When I left, I vowed that I would help future patients in the same way I was helped. I never realized how significant those markers and composition books were in my recovery, but they were. And I hope that by donating what I can, others can feel that also. Each month, I would love to be able to deliver washable markers, composition books, coloring books, and a set of resources for those inpatient.

If you have any suggestions or would like to help, please let me know by commenting or emailing me at krisahannah @ gmail.

The Defining Moment: Was I Really Raped?

Many times, when I speak about those first few moments that I realized I was raped, people are shocked by the reaction I received and the insincerity of someone not believing such a horrible act. I’m not speaking of the remainder of that night, I’m not even speaking of that week. It took me a while to realize what happened to me and to open my mouth to someone about it. In my heart of hearts, I knew what just happened, but when I finally spoke about what happened that night, I was looking for someone I could trust to work through those emotions. What I got? My best friend telling me that she didn’t want to think that was a possibility and turned me down from speaking of it further. I stayed silent for seven years because of that day.

So what if this happened to you? What would you want that trustworthy person to say back? There’s a campaign called Start by Believing, and I think that’s one of the core issues survivors face. No one wants to believe such an act can happen to someone they know. They don’t want to believe someone they know could commit such an act. Or, the most devastating one, they want to know what the victim did to make them get raped. This needs to change. Society needs to change.

I could only imagine what would have happened differently in my life if my best friend believed me. I know I cannot change the past, but what a difference it could have made if one persons reaction was in support of a survivor. I believe its like a chain reaction. If that first person takes the news well and supports you , then you could tell another and another and another until one day that silence that at one time bound you was finally loosened. The more chain links (i.e. positive reactions) you have, the freer you are from burdening this alone. This was never the victims fault, but once that first reaction couldn’t withstand the pressure it was placed under, the more likely the rest will crumble.

We cannot deny that rape happens. In fact, I’m sure many people know at least one person who has been sexually abuse. Some may not even know about their family or friend. It’s not rare for a victim to stay quiet. Sometimes the fear of not being believed is stronger than the fear of people knowing what happened to them. Not because they are ashamed necessarily, but because they don’t want to be blamed.

I, unfortunately, got the worst reaction I could have expected from my ex husband. Someone who was supposed to love and care for me. Yes, it was years after the fact, but if someone doesn’t deal with it when it happens, it will creep into their lives eventually. That’s how it was for me. It actually amazes me that an old friend could be infuriated by what happened to me, finding out years later, but my own family and spouse are more concerned about how it affected them instead.

Where does that come from? Why do people do that? What happened to sympathy and empathy for the person who endured a traumatizing experience? We all need to be cognizant of how we come off to people who are sharing a deep pain of theirs. Believe them, care for them, let them know the survivor didn’t deserve it, and that they are upset at the attacker and not the victim.