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.

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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.

Emotional Abuse is more than just yelling

Seems like all I do lately on here is update how things have been lately. I guess this will be another one, with a twist.

Been going through divorce and custody battle (which is HELL), dealing with my baby being gone for the allotted summer visit time, and dealing with memories and emotions of the past… all while trying to get doctor visits, court dates, school, and birthday stuff done all within the last month. I don’t know how parents do this every year. I don’t see how anyone deals with a divorce or having kids with an abuser either. Before, when I was in (more of) denial, I could handle it easy-peasy, lately, seems to be more a struggle… especially since he threw a girlfriend into the works.

The more I deal with life and am reminded of things, the more I see how abusive he was and it becomes harder to deny it. To call it rape? Still haven’t gotten there. Sexual abuse? Financial abuse? Spiritual abuse? Emotional abuse? Yes, on all counts. No person deserves to be controlled the way I was. No one deserves to feel like a sex object or be demanded to do whatever someone wants and then feel guilty when it doesn’t go exactly how they want. Shoot, the other day, I was folding towels and out pops his criticism about how I was folding towels wrong.  Is there really only one way to fold towels? Am I wrong if they are neat and folded and put away? A few years ago, yes… today, hell no!

The one phrase that kept going through my mind today? ‘I am human, I stick my foot in my mouth sometimes, I’m not perfect. I asked for forgiveness, there’s nothing more I can do.’ I have to remind myself I am not perfect because for so long I had to be and I am afraid of not being a perfectionist. Emotional abuse is horrific. It’s not just someone screaming and yelling at you. It’s those who diminish everything you do, criticize you, and make you feel incompetent (among many other things). Sometimes its difficult to understand how things can be so complicated and how so many people don’t see that as Domestic Violence because the person did not hit them.

My ex said all the wrong things in the right tone of voice. He would tell me he loved me in the same sentence he would tell me that I was getting fat or was I sure I wanted to eat that or how I shouldn’t correct him or how I needed to let him be right at least once. I thought it was my fault. I thought I did things horribly wrong. He used to tell me that I was gonna leave him for a younger person, how if we ever got a divorce or separated that he would do anything and everything to get his child, and make comments about the people I dated in my past because they were a different ethnicity. Along with making comments about our daughter not being his, she being the mailman’s (which was a woman) and making other homophobic comments. All of this was “funny” to him. This was his sarcasm. He thought he was so funny. What he didn’t realize was that he was squashing the person I was and trying to mold me into what he wanted.

Even after speaking about my rapes, I asked him not to say comments about sexual or homophobic comments towards me as they trigger me and make me uncomfortable. His response? I’ll try but I cannot promise anything. Before I dealt with being raped by my female abuser, I used to lay in bed worried that I was gonna talk in my sleep about it, that he was gonna find out about what happened and blame me. I was going to go to my grave with her abuse because of the comments he made towards me. Eventually, he told me as his wife, he had a right to know about my abuse, then when I wrote it for him to read, he told me that he didn’t need to know because he knew how to handle rape victims (he used to be a cop), which was an obvious lie.

Who speaks to their spouse this way? Who thinks this is appropriate? A narcissist, controller, manipulator, abuser.

If anyone reading this has been put down by their partner and they think they have a right as your partner, please know that is not the case. The more I hear about guys and the games and relationship issues, the more I realize that I have no time or energy to deal with bull ish. After years and years of abuse, I realize that I do NOT have to settle for whoever looks my way. I am a loved individual, just like everyone else, and no matter who or what gets in my way, as long as I push forward in my healing and speak my mind when something bothers me, I can get to a better place… we all can! We don’t have to live this life silenced or confined into someone else’s mold of us. Speaking up is difficult, but so worth it in the long run.

I have never been more relieved to be away from my ex. I feel bad for his new girlfriend, but am relieved that the majority of the abuse has finally stopped… now if I can just get through this divorce in one piece 🙂

Messaged My Rapist

My message to him:

Hi Jack.

Do you remember me? Cause I sure remember you. We only dated for 6 weeks in high school. But for the last 8 years, I have been plagued by the memory of you. I have held so much blame and guilt for the night that I couldn’t comprehend. On March 5, 2004 (yes, I remember the day), you raped me. I told you over and over NO, I’M NOT READY and PLEASE STOP but you wouldn’t. I was so petrified of what my first experience would be like, and in no way, did I want my first time to be rape. I did NOT consent to have sex with you. It was like you couldn’t even hear me. You barely said two words to me and couldn’t even acknowledge my pleas for you to not pursue me. Not to mention how crappy you made me feel (all over again) the next morning when I found out you were trying to have sex with other girls. They begged me to break up with you after they found out I was your girlfriend and NOT your stalker, but you took something precious from me and I didn’t feel like I had any right to break up with you. I felt like a slut for “giving it up” at such an early age, but the FACT is, is that you took it. I guess in the three weeks we dated, I didn’t “put out” soon enough for you. You stole my virginity from me. I didn’t give it to you. I wanted to wait. I wanted to do it when I was ready, and I guess it was dumb of me to expect you to RESPECT my wishes! I wish I never met you! You were only after one thing the whole time we were together, weren’t you? Time after time, all I can ever remember is how you kept trying to get me to pleasure you. Why, when I said no those times, you stopped? Why couldn’t you stop the night you raped me? Did your friends think you were cool when you told them we had sex? Did it make you feel like a man when I laid there pleading with you to stop? You have kept me silent for too long. I have held this burden for 8 years, and I will no longer hold this in anymore. I am not to blame. I am not the guilty party here. What you did was a crime. You have no right pressuring someone when they tell you they are not ready. NO MEANS NO. Not once did I say yes or consent to anything that happened that night. Because of you, I now have to find a way to put back the pieces of my life. Because of you, I am in therapy trying to undo what you did. Because of you, I struggle to find that happiness that I so deserve! I want you to feel remorse for what you did to me and how you have made me feel for the last 8 years. I want you to know how violated you made me feel and how sick I get when I think of you. I never could understand how a boyfriend could rape his girlfriend. If so, I probably would have told someone. I wish I did. I trusted you. You came into my house and used all those vulnerabilities against me to get your way! I want you to admit what you did and sincerely be sorry for raping me. This is not my burden to bear anymore… it’s yours. This is all on you. Stand up to it. You can only run from it for so long. You might not have thought that much of me, but that doesn’t mean I am worthless. How do you live with what you did? Oh I sure hope you didn’t hurt anyone else too!

Sincerely,
Your victim no more

His response:

Im sorry you feel like this after 8 years but I was a virgin too. In no way did you act as if that time wasn’t consensual. We then repeated the act. We also went and ate years after and you said nothing. I do not know what this is exactly about. It was high school, relationships don’t last that long. Im sorry you feel this way.

My reply:

Wow. This isn’t surprising at all. EXCEPT for the fact that you told me that you told me that you had been with someone before. For the fact that I told you I wasn’t ready. You know know what, I wasn’t even mentally there the that night because I couldn’t believe what was happening. It’s called shock. I was hoping someone would walk in because that’s how petrified I was. Oh boy i wish i reported you. You don’t know what this is about? It’s about rape jackass. The FACT that I said no and you couldn’t respect my wishes. After that night it didn’t matter what anyone did to me because I was a slut for “giving it up” to you. I was damaged goods. You did that to me. And NO we didn’t go out to eat years after. You told me through MySpace that I was the best girlfriend you ever had at the time. I’m not stupid. I know high school relationships don’t last. But really why could I say no the other times and you not listen that time. I told Krystal back then but she told me she didn’t wanna think it was a possibility that you raped me so I suppressed it for a long time. THAT’S what this is about. Because every time people mention old boyfriends or something is said about virginities I breakdown and cry. Do you even remember what happened that night? I told you my mom was going on a date and told me I could go to the movies with you. You were helping your sister move and said you could come over real quick and tell them you were doing to the store to get drinks. Why would you think I would wanna lose my virginity by a quickie. You think that it was fun for me to watch you run to the bathroom (doing who the heck knows) and then grabbing your clothes and leaving? Then to wake up the next morning and find out that you were trying to hook up with priscilla. Yeah. If you hadn’t raped me the night before, I so would have broken up with you. The only reason I stayed with you was because you stole something from me. Something precious to me. I couldn’t believe that a boyfriend could rape a girlfriend. I looked it up and looked it up and couldn’t comprehend what you did to me. I felt so much blame and guilt and shame because of that. It might have taken me a while to come to grips with your actions, but I refuse to stay silent because you think I’m a slut or whatever you think of me. Do you remember me consenting? Saying yes? From what your response was, doesn’t seem like you remember anything. Maybe you should look up stuff about rape victims because you’d see how you’ve made me feel. Stay in denial if that’s what makes you sleep better at night. Just hope nobody you know is ever raped. Denial might save you for a bit. But I know the truth and God knows the truth. Own up to it.

If You Are Healing from Sexual Assault

Someone shared this with me and I thought it was perfect. I hope this helps someone reading it. This was found from Pandys.org (Pandora’s Project). I, myself, haven’t searched through the website, but I have wanted to… Maybe one day.

If you healing from sexual assault and you get out of bed in the morning, you are doing well.

If you healing from sexual assault and you hold down a job, you are amazing.

If you are healing from sexual assault and and you are still remotely pleasant to others, you are a lot nicer than me.

If you are healing from sexual assault and you cannot always be there for a friend, you are still a good friend and a strong enough person to know what is best for you.

If you are healing from sexual assault, and find it difficult to care for yourself, but still find the strength to care and love your family than you are strong as well.

If you are healing from sexual assault and you decide to tell your story, you are brave.

If you are healing from sexual assault and you decide that you are not ready to tell your story, you are also brave.

If you are healing from sexual assault and you cry daily or have nightmares, you are normal.

If you are healing from sexual assault and seeing happy, healthy people makes you sad, angry, jealous and worse, join the club.

If you are healing from sexual assault and you decide to press charges against your perpetrator, you have incredible courage.

If you are healing from sexual assault and you cannot or choose not to press charges against your perpetrator, your perpetrator is still the one to blame, and you are smart for knowing what you can handle.

If you are healing from sexual assault and think that what happened was your fault, you are wrong, but you are not alone.

If you are healing from sexual assault and are jealous that some survivors put their abuser in jail, you are one of many.

If you are healing from sexual assault and feel like your significant other truly understands and is 100% supportive, he or she is rare and a keeper.

If you are healing from sexual assault and you have a good support system, it will help A LOT.

If you are healing from sexual assault and you don’t have enough people who understand what you are going through, I strongly recommend joining a support group.

If you are healing from sexual assault and were not believed or supported when you found the courage to tell, you still deserve to be heard, no matter how long ago it was.

If you are healing from sexual assault and you feel like you hate your body, remember your spirit is held within your body.

If you are healing from sexual assault and feel painfully alone and isolated, please know that there are thousands of people healing with you in spirit.

If you are healing from sexual assault and there are days where the only thing you are able to do is exist, remember, we are existing with you till you can live again.

If you are healing from sexual assault but still looking to the future, you are a survivor.

© 2009 Pandora’s Project – By: Shannon

Seeking out Help for Emotional Healing

Going to bed in a few minutes, but I wanted to thank everyone for reading this blog and for their concern. It truly touches my heart. Just wanted to share two things before I crashed.

1. Monday, I went to a mental health facility to help me with the loads of emotions I have had lately. I’ve had many times in the past months where I just cry out I need some help. So that’s what I did. I sought out help. Now, my therapist and psychologist (at the clinic) are going to work hand in hand to make sure that my therapy helps, along with the antidepressant they prescribed me. Therapy IS what will help me recover and heal from what has happened to me, but temporarily being on Zoloft should help control the mood swings where there’s a possibility to feel actual happiness. I did not come to this decision lightly. I just know that if I cannot actively seek avenues to heal, I will never get there. I’ve noticed how I have been, and so have others. The clinic classified it as PTSD, but I think it’s more depression and anxiety. I could be wrong though. Who knows.

2. I was on Facebook the other day and saw a link from Emerging from Broken. Darlene talked about how Emotional Healing Does NOT Depend On… I thought it was perfect. And SO TRUE! With the current situation I am going through, one part stuck out to me (ok maybe two lol).

“My emotional healing did not happen because my husband stood by me. In fact he DIDN’T stand by me at all.  He fought me and he fought the process. My healing and taking my life and individuality back threatened his control over me. It threatened his orderly little world where he was King and I was his servant.  He had his life all organized the way HE wanted it. He liked me messed up and compliant and he is the first one to admit that today.”

“Overcoming dysfunctional relationships and emotional healing depends only on ME. Not on results, outcomes, negotiations, agreement from others, the law, or whether or not I lost or gained weight. Emotional healing does not depend on people or on “things”, money, or circumstances.”

Her insights and thoughts were so inspiring. I can so relate to what she said and hope that one day, I can finally heal from all of this and look back stronger and happier. I’ve seen other victims who think that “if this” or “if that” they could be healed, but the honest truth is that this is all about EMOTIONAL healing. The physical stuff is behind us. The law could be working with us, failing us, or not even be in the picture, but it CANNOT heal us. The law is for what little justice it dishes out, and that’s it! Whether our perp is dead or alive doesn’t heal us. I know some who thought it would, and they are still as stuck as ever in their own misery. We all have to have the will and fight to move past this. Don’t rely on anyone but yourself and your support system. Keep those who will help you close and push all others away. Be selfish a little. My big problem is I never felt “worthy” to be first, second, third, or fourth on anyone’s list. But how can I have them so high on mine, and they not even feel I am worth more than the last slot on their list? Their list doesn’t matter… mine does. And I come first on mine. HEALING is PRIORITY!

Anyways, my medicine is finally kicking in. Think it’s bed time now. Hope everyone can push all the other voices around you out of your head and focus on what you feel will help you in your healing and recovery. I have had to do a lot of seeking out on this, as I used to be in a group on Facebook, but the negativity and lack of uplifting brought me down and kept me stuck where I didn’t wanna be. What is right for some victims isn’t right for others. We all progress in our own time. As long as we keep moving forward, we are doing the right thing. All I can do is imagine the day where this doesn’t affect me like it does. The day I can say yes, I used to be a victim, yes I still have my days, but I am STRONGER because I DIDN’T let them win. I am a fighter. Are you?