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.

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Shame of Being a Rape Victim

I think many have thought this but no one wanted to say it. Glad someone did. We’re so worried about falsely accusing someone of rape that victims are the ones that are hurt the most. Shamed into silence. I was for almost a decade. This picture was shared on Facebook and it is so true. When will society change? We need to educate the world about rape and abuse. It is not ok, never should be ok. Speak up speak the truth. Don’t be afraid. You are not alone.

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Simply Said…

The simplest truths we could teach our children are the hardest ones to understand after someone doesn’t respect us. Teach your children now. Let them come to you. Stop blaming the victim. No means No!

Where do the lies end and the healing begin?


After I was raped, I had the hardest time calling it what it was. Every time I would look something up or try to figure out what was going on (by myself), I realized it was all in my head. It must have been true if it was on the internet and people told me not to tell them it was a possibility. It must be one of those things that don’t really happen. Eight years later, I know it was rape… they were wrong for telling me otherwise!

Just a Little Angry

Rape is not an opinion. Rape is a fact. A cruel and emotional damaging fact.

‎”No” is not consent, “Please stop” is not consent, Fighting back is not consent, Silence is not consent. Rape isn’t always fighting back, screaming, and saying “don’t rape me”. No is enough. I’m not ready is enough. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Instead of teaching sex education. How about teaching rape education. Apparently, many don’t know what it means to rape or be raped, and they definitely don’t know how the effects harm the victim. Teach them that no really does mean NO. I.E. You pursue further, you are RAPING someone. That you don’t have to fight back for it to be rape. In fact, it could make it worse. How about teaching boys and girls how to respect each other AND themselves.

I don’t think I am making any sense, as I am a little angry, but hopefully yall can get what I am trying to say. It just amazes me that nobody knows what rape is until they have to confront their past or what just happened to them? How do we get this to change?

After Reading My Rapists Reply

I do have to admit, although we know rapists are dumb, they are pretty smart too. They seem to get everyone on their side, play the victim, and get the REAL victim to blame themselves and hold onto their guilt. They don’t live with the consequences, the victims do. And only a small percentage are ever reported and even fewer put in prison. About 5% is a pretty tiny number. What other crime happens that the victim and everyone around them say it’s their fault? None. That’s right. So no wonder they don’t get convicted. In the court room, the guilty party is the victim who has to practically prove their innocence. This needs to change. Society needs to change. Rapists need NOT to rape! Nobody asks for it. If they didn’t say yes, it was rape. I don’t care what you “think” the person wanted. They HAVE to give consent! And we have HAVE to start believing the victims. The trauma never goes away. The survivors need to be accepted and given time to put their lives together. I don’t care if it was 1 month ago or 8 years ago. Rape is rape. And we all heal at our own speed. Will you stand up for your loved ones?