Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How I used planned parenthood. My only regret is not going sooner.

After I was raped, I spent the next few days in a fog. I struggled to come to terms with what happened and thought that I could move on as long as I didn't tell anyone.

Still through my denial a thought lingered... what if?

What if I became pregnant?

What if I had gotten an STD?

What if there was damage than needed treatment?

I shivered at the idea of going to my family practitioner. I had known that doctor for most of my life. Telling her what happened, felt like admitting the horrific event had happened to a family friend. I knew that I couldn't ignore my physical health  anymore, so I called a local planned parenthood to make an appointment. Making the appointment, felt like impending doom. I spent the last few days just wanting to forget and now I would have to face what happened head on. I would have to say the words out loud " I was raped". I would have to allow a doctor to do blood work and even worse an internal exam. I could barely wrap my head around the idea of allowing anyone near me, let alone there. I was still sore. I was still shaken. Someone touching my hand slightly, could make me jump out of my skin. How was I going to get through this?

I have always been pro-choice but I never thought that I would one day, possibly be in a position where I may have to choose abortion or not. I lived a life with a plan concisely drafted for success and an unplanned pregnancy was never part of the plan. I made the decision not to date until I graduated high school and  even once I started dating I practiced abstinence because I didn't feel ready. When I was 17, I went on birth control to regulate my menstrual cycle and PMS symptoms, but also because I knew that sometimes things don't go as planned and if I ever chose to be sexually active, I wanted to be covered; I just never thought I would need it for a situation like this.  I am so grateful that I made this decision to utilize the discounted birth control I had access to. Although there was a low chance that I could fall pregnant after being raped while on the pill, I still had to confront the chilling thought of what if?

If I fell pregnant, would I chose to stay pregnant? I wrestled with the idea in my own head. I believe everyone has the right to chose but what would my choice be? AT LEAST THIS TIME I HAVE A CHOICE REGARDING WHAT IS IN MY BODY!

On the day of my appointment I felt sick to my stomach. I didn't know what the outcome would be and I didn't know if I would make it through all the testing but I forced myself to go. I sat in the waiting room wondering how my life would change after this appointment. I watched the other patients and their loved ones waiting as well. I wondered why they were there. There seemed to be no age or gender common denominator, there was even a pregnant women  gleefully reading baby center forums to her partner. Finally when it was my turn I went into the back office with the doctor. When I finally got the words out I felt completely and utterly naked. It was the first time I had told someone and the doctors reaction was something I wasn't prepared for. It was empathy, with a touch of anger; the anger was not directed at me though as I had prepared myself for. She wanted to protect me, she wanted to help me, she wanted to scream because she has probably seen too many patients come into her office who had been victimized. She couldn't do anything to stop these acts of violence all she can do is provide the care and resources/information that is needed after wards. She can try to help us put our lives back together for the short moments we are there with her but she couldn't stop them from falling apart in the first place.

She gave me all the information and time I needed to comprehend what was going to happen next. When I was ready I went down the hall and did the recommended testing. It was scary. It hurt. I don't know how I would have been able to do it without my doctor. With tears in my eyes as my body jumped off the table at the touch of the metal instrument, my doctor took a moment to pause, she asked for consent to continue at every sign of discomfort. I can't put into words what a pap smear feels like after being raped but I am sure you can use you imagination. This appointment needed to be handled with the utmost delicacy and unbounded empathy. I knew that I made the right decision for me, by going to planned parenthood.

After my appointment I waited for all my results, reading the packet of information I was given including numbers for counseling. When the day came that I received the call I was told  I was not pregnant and had not contracted any STDs.

Years later, I still think about those what ifs....

To this day I do not know what I would have done. I believe that I would have chosen not to carry a child of the man who raped me. Now, that I have had children years later with my husband, the man I love, and I know the toll a wanted pregnancy can have on you, I do not think that I could have emotionally or mentally  handled carrying a pregnancy from rape to full term. The thing is, this is all speculation, until you are truly faced with the decision you can not know what you would do or what you are capable of doing. Luckily I was not pregnant and I didn't have to make that decision. I may not know if I would have followed through with an abortion but I know that if I had been pregnant, it would have been even more traumatic to once again not have a choice, if abortion was made illegal.

Just like trauma, you can try to hypothetically prepare yourself but you are never truly prepared once it happens. I always thought that I would call the police right away if I was ever raped but when it happened, I hadn't taken into consideration the switch in your mind that is flipped that puts you into survival mode.

Now I have heard rape victims should be the exception to the rule for abortion, if abortion is outlawed. I would like to know how this would work? Does a girl who needs an abortion after rape tell their doctor that they were raped, then they are allowed to get an abortion? I foresee a slew of people claiming that women are "calling rape" just to get illegal abortions. To avoid giving abortions to women you don't believe are victims, do we wait until they have reported the rape to police? Well what about the small percent of people,  that make false accusations. Do we wait until there has been a trial and the rapist has been convicted, to deem a victim as a "real rape victim" that is now able to get an abortion ? Well trials take time, if you are against late term abortions this wouldn't help prevent them but instead could post pone the abortion until the fetus has developed further or even forcing the women to carry to term and give birth, when an investigation, then trial takes months, or even almost a year or longer to conclude. Is there truly a way to take away a woman's choice to abortion while still supporting the healing and future of victims?

Sometimes what works for one person will not work for another. My story and thought process may not fit your belief or what is right for you. You may know someone who had an abortion, or carried an unwanted pregnancy to term  and gave the baby up for adoption, or maybe you know someone who was assaulted who decided to keep the pregnancy then keep the baby. The "it worked for one person, so it should work for everyone" mentality is harmful. We are all individuals who have different circumstances, beliefs and limits. That is the thing about having a choice; there is no "one size fits all"  solution that is right for everyone; therefore, there should be several options available that keeps the individual in mind.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

How PTSD Affects the Brain and How Mindfulness You Can Help Gain Back Control

 Image credit Ninamunha/ Adobe Stock
When some people are exposed to a traumatic event, they are able to bounce back from it with relative ease. Other people, however, have a more complex response to traumatic events. They can suffer for months or years with debilitating depression and anxiety. They may also experience flashbacks and nightmares so vivid that reality becomes distorted.
Interestingly, and unfortunately, trauma can change the physical landscape of the brain. Research has found that PTSD sufferers tend to have an overactive amygdala and an underactive hypocampus. The amygdala is like the brain’s smoke alarm. It is the part of the brain that is in control the fight/flight/freeze response, and it has been shown to be in overdrive mode in trauma sufferers. This accounts for the tendencies for trauma sufferers to be easily startled, anxious, or irritable. In contrast, the hippocampus--the part of the brain that controls memories-- can shrink and lead to partial or imperfect memory storage. This is why many people who experience a traumatic event have a difficult time describing exactly what happened.
The hippocampus’s shrinkage may play a role in why flashbacks occur, according to some studies. In my work with people who suffer with PTSD, one of the most frightening symptoms they describe is the vivid flashbacks that put them back into the heart of the traumatic event. Flashbacks can be one of the more difficult symptoms to control due to their ability to distort reality. As a result, many people may feel that they will never get over PTSD because the flashbacks make them feel helpless!
Mindfulness is one tool that can greatly help trauma survivors avoid, and pull themselves out of, flashbacks. Mindfulness, at its core, is simply being aware of yourself and the present moment. Because flashbacks can cause PTSD sufferers to feel displaced, being grounded in the here-and-now can help trauma survivors to better regulate their emotions, challenge their thoughts, and feel better quicker.
Mindfulness is an exercise that should be practiced firstly when the trauma survivor is feeling safe. It should be practiced regularly to build confidence and mastery so that when a flashback occurs, survivors feel equipped to ground themselves. Here are some simple mindfulness tools that can be used to gain awareness of the present moment.
  1. Grounding exercise
Sit on the floor and feel your connection to the ground. Look around. Find all the physical indicators that you are safe and say them out loud. Hearing your external voice can connect you to the present moment rather than what is going on in your head. Tell yourself out loud that you are safe and that the traumatic event is not occurring right now. Provide yourself evidence using the facts around you.
  1. Use your five senses
Use your five senses to connect you to the present moment. Find 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste.
  1. Use extreme sensations
Extreme sensations can connect you back to the present moment. Remember to be cautious and do not do anything that could cause you physical harm. For example, take a very hot shower. Hold ice cubes in your hands. Eat spicy foods.
  1. Focus on your breath

Your breath is always part of you and can connect you with your body. Use the 4-7-8 breathing method. Take a deep breath to the count of four, hold for the count of seven, and exhale for the count of eight out your mouth as if you were blowing up a balloon. Complete four cycles. This breathing method regulates the central nervous system and can bring you back to the present moment.

  1. Body scan and progressive muscle relaxation

Check in with each part of your body from the toes to the head. Notice any tension you may have in your body. As you move through each body part, tense the muscles for five seconds and release. Become aware of the physical sensation of the tension leaving your body.

  1. Observe and describe
Observe your thoughts and feelings as if you were watching the clouds pass. Don’t try to change or judge your thoughts or feelings but simply notice that they come and go. Thoughts and feelings don’t last forever. They will pass.

Though mindfulness can be an excellent tool for reducing the symptoms of PTSD and trauma, consulting with a doctor and/or a mental health professional is always recommended. These tools are intended to help reduce symptoms of PTSD but are not recommended to replace the advice of health professionals who are familiar with your unique circumstances.

This blog ws written by Amanda Frazier. Amanda is the founder and writer behind, a wellness blog focusing on mental health, personal growth, and healthy living. She works full-time as a Licensed Professional Counselor.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Bill Cosby's rape trial

As many of you reading this may already know, today marks the start of the highly publicized, and closely followed, rape accusation trial of 79-year-old actor, Bill Cosby. To many, he is a beloved staple of their childhood television experience. To others, he is just the Jell-O spokesman. To me however, he is just another symbol of America’s unexplainable need to place celebrity before morality. It is common to give someone the benefit of the doubt when there is a single accusation, but when 60 people come forward with similar rape accusations, it makes me wonder how those that still support Cosby can rationalize their decision to keep him propped up on the pedestal he built with his fame. It makes me wonder if it were someone else — someone who isn’t rich and famous — would they get the same support?

This case also demonstrates the glaring issue with the varying state-to-state statute of limitations laws that are diminishing the severity of what Cosby is being accused of. Each state sets a limit for how long someone can be charged with certain crimes. Rape and sexual assault, in a lot of states, are among the highest when it comes to the number of years allotted for statute of limitations, but in some places, that still only equates to a 3 or 4-year window of time. This case, from the start, has opened the eyes of many state lawmakers and has helped them realize that major reform of the statute of limitations laws in their area is necessary. There is nothing about statute of limitations that supports the victims of rape and sexual assault. It only works to provide the accused with a get out of jail free card once the accusation has hit its expiration date. Why is there not an equal law that supports the victims in the same way?

Well, it’s probably because a lot of people refuse to believe that victims could be scared enough and intimidated enough to not file a report right away. In fact, that is the case in more instances of rape and sexual assault than people realize. Most victims don’t want to see the person who raped them again, let alone spend countless hours with them in a courtroom rehashing the events that took place not to mention having to defend their own actions and personal character. Rape and sexual assault are not only damaging to a victim’s body but it takes an unbelievable toll on mental health and the way they perceive themselves afterward. In some cases, it can take years for people to come forward when they are mentally and emotionally prepared. Having a support system in place is also very important, and can also take years before one is in place. It’s easy for people who are not victims to say, “could have, should have, would have”, but an alarmingly low number of them try to put themselves in the victim’s shoes and try to understand why they don’t come forward right away. In a legal sense, there are consequences from not coming forward immediately or doing a “rape kit” within the first 72 hours. There is no DNA evidence or physical evidence to support the accusation. Although that can have a negative impact on the outcome of a rape trial, it most certainly should not be used in a manner that discredits the victim. Somewhere between 2 and 8% of rape allegations are proven as false accusations. Where along the line did that small of a number constitute the need to institute more protection for the accused?

Some have said the statute of limitations were created so that the accused weren’t living their lives wondering if they were going to go to jail. Isn’t that just an inadvertent admission of guilt, though? If someone knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they are innocent, it seems more likely they wouldn’t be living their life wondering if they are going to prison. It’s more likely one would try to live a normal life because they know they haven’t done anything wrong — someone with a strong moral fortitude, anyway. Now, because of this idea that there should be a time limit on people getting the justice they deserve, more than 50 rape accusations against Cosby will be null and void and deemed inadmissible. In my observations, talking with other rape victims and reading countless other horror stories, there aren’t many people that forget the details of what happened to them ( if they haven’t mentally blocked out the assault altogether, which a small number of victims do). Most often victims recant what happened in vivid detail. So, why is it that under the statute of limitations, the victim’s memory of the events isn’t held in higher regard?

As we continue to watch the Cosby case unfold, I am sure we will all be left with a sour taste in our mouths. Some will be upset that he is on trial at all, some will be upset he’s being portrayed as innocent, and some will be upset at the disappointingly low amount of time he will likely serve, if any, if he is found guilty. I for one wish that it didn’t take a high-profile celebrity case for lawmakers to realize just how detrimental the statute of limitations is to ending the rape culture problem that plagues our world.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

My Survivor Story

Although I had published this on a tab I realized it wasn't easily accessible for readers scrolling through my main page so I am posting a copy here also.

Hi Everyone,

My name is Ashley and here is my survivor story:

When I was 19 years old and I had just finished my freshman year of college I went to an off campus party near my hometown. I had just gotten off of a shift at work and arrived at the party several hours after it had begun. I was trying to find two of my friends in order to drive them home since they had been drinking but I didn't know the layout of the house or anyone else there. A young man about my age offered to help me find them. He seemed nice and I welcomed the help. I remember he asked for a piece of gum but I informed him I was chewing my last one. He told me he would take that one. I thought it was odd, it probably should have been a red flag but I was naive and spit out my gum and placed it in his palm. I remember thinking how gross it was that he was so desperate for a piece of candy that he would chew a used piece. He led me through the kitchen as we searched for my friends. I was looking for the second patio when he suggested we check a room to make sure they weren't in there.
I followed him into the dimly lit room and began to feel uneasy. Before I knew it, I tried to exit the room as it was obvious, no one else was in there. The door was locked. I fumbled with the handle and then the nightmare begun. He began to pull me into him groping my neck. I was disgusted and confused. I yelled at him "What the fuck are you doing" “I’m seeing someone I am not interested! Leave me alone! Let me out" A wave of panic started to take over my body as I realized how much bigger and stronger he was than me. He had no intentions of letting me out.  I struggled to get free recalling my years of Shotokan karate training. Breakaways, kicks, punches, deflection it didn't work it seemed like he was catching my limbs as I moved them. He seemed to get enjoyment out of the struggle laughing at my failed attempts to hurt him but then he became angry. He grabbed my hair and threw me onto the floor and kicked me. I scrambled to get back up each blow I dealt was met with an even stronger opposing force. I questioned if I would make it out alive. No one was coming to save me. How could no one here me screaming?

I don't want to get too graphic so I will sum it up like this:

 At some point I chose to get out alive and stopped fighting in order to do so. I disconnected with my body and felt like I was floating over myself watching it happen to someone else.

That night I lost my virginity to a monster. A stranger that felt he could take me like a conquest or a shiny object for his collection.

When it was over I pulled up my pants and ran out of the room where I was greeted by a guy who mocked me "What were you doing in there slutting around?" he slurred. I was horrified. I ran until I found my car, I got in and drove off. I wanted to leave this all behind me I just wanted to reach safety.

I didn't call the police. I wish I had. I drove frantically for almost an hour lost. My sense of direction was completely gone.

The months and even years after the event was not something I was prepared for. The first year after, I lied to many of my friends and family and told them I had gotten away. It was easier and I wanted it to be true. I spun out of control at the beginning, doing anything I could to shut my brain off. I lost many friends and set up my relationships for failure before they begun. A year and a half later I met my husband. I was heading for a downward spiral and he brought me back to life. Meeting him was unexpected and wonderful. I was honest from day one about the hardships I faced and the fractured state of my mind. He stayed by my side during the highs and lows. We had a world wind romance. It’s now been over 7 years together and I feel as strongly about him, as I did at the beginning. Although we live an enchanted life my PTSD still creeps into my daily life. I am extremely proactive in my recovery/ healing and have a strong support system. I have found that connecting with others has been extremely beneficial in moving forward and that is what I am hoping to do here with my PTSD blog.

Here is a picture of me 8 years after the trauma ( my husband on the left and our two beautiful children) in a completely different place in my life. My happiness comes from finding my perfect balenance and remembering to cherish the good moments big and small.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Salt float therapy for PTSD

For several months I have been researching salt floats/sensory deprivation tanks for a holistic and natural treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I finally got the courage to book an appointment at a semi-local facility, (Hiler Chiropractic and neurology in Naples, Florida ) to try it out for myself. 
Salt floats have been boasted to reduce stress levels, lower anxiety, depression, chronic pain and enhance the effects and experience of meditation. Recently anecdotal evidence has been collected for the benefits of floating for Veterans with PTSD sprouting several Veteran focused programs at individual facilities. So I wondered does it work for PTSD from different traumas too? The more I dug through the internet for information the more I realized I needed to try it out for myself I couldn't find any published articles relating to PTSD and Sensory deprivation that didn't focus on veterans alone.

Going into my first floating session I tried to keep an open mind. I didn't want to come into this experience with too high of expectations just to be let down. The thought of finding relief from the sometimes overwhelming anxiety that comes with hypervigilance or pain relief from my sore muscles from having flashbacks was so appealing that even a small improvement would make this experiment a success.

After filling out our intake paper work we watched the following video to prep us on what to expect.

We then walked into the ocean float room it looked like a spa suite. In the entry way was a sit down area where you could decompress after your float. The next room housed a large walk in shower where you rinsed off before stepping inside of the "tank. In this case the float area was behind a recessed looking door that opened up to a room/ large bathtub. The tank/tub ( different style than shown in video) was 8 feet long by 4 feet wide and filled with about 2 feet deep of water. The water was mixed with 1,000 pounds of Epson salt which is the element that would make you float effortlessly. 

My husband was the first to try. As I waited I prepped by trying to center myself and listen to guided meditation videos on YouTube. Once Greg was done I was mentally ready to step into the tank. After a quick rinse off I stepped into the tank with earplugs in. The tank had several different light features for anyone who didn’t want to lay in the dark including a light up constellation above you a blue lights to light up the water. I particularly liked this style of tank because the ceiling was high (7 feet verses some pods that close only a few feet from your face when you lie down.
I chose to leave on the stars as I adjusted to weightless floating. At first I had trouble allowing myself to float without trying to hold my neck up but soon I realized I could relax every muscle in my body and the Epson salt would handle the rest. I closed my eyes and let my body melt into the water which was the same as resting body temperature.

The lack of temperature difference gives you the illusion that you are one with the water, almost like you are floating in space or having an out of body experience. The pain in my knees, back and shoulders began to disappear. Then the pain in my neck became dull, at this moment the dull pain was all I could focus on because I couldn't feel, see or hear anything else to preoccupy my thoughts. But quickly this dull pain subsided too. Once all my senses were deprived I was left with nothing but my thoughts. I lost track of time and couldn't decipher whether I had been floating for 5 minutes or two hours. I embraced the lack of restraint and let my mind clear itself. When I meditate I try to picture a white dot that slowly grows. I visualized this white dot at the center of my body as it expanded it felt like my body was glowing in a way an aura would appear. I don't know how long it took before I was able to completely clear my mind and replace it with white space but it felt like I was in a sleeping/ dream state while being aware of the euphoria. Out of nowhere my leg twitches and I am brought back for a second but almost immediately fall back into nothingness. My leg twitches again it happens almost 5 times I think it was my brain trying to verify I was still connected to my body. At this moment I had a wave of nausea and sweating that lasted maybe 2 minutes. We were warned that nausea could be a sign of must have been because I felt great after! I spent the rest of my time picturing tranquil scenarios.

When my time was up I spent the last few minutes enjoying the water by pushing myself from top to bottom of the tank like I have seen my children do as babies/toddlers in the bathtub... laying on their back pushing with their feet and then catching the other side with their hands. I let myself do a couple twirls in the water like a seal and came to terms that it was time for me to get out as my 60 minutes had ended.

I exited my cave and my senses heightened. As I acclimated to life outside the tank I showered off the salt then exchanged stories with my husband about his experience.

It has now been 6 hours since I completed my first salt float session for PTSD and here are my take aways:

·      I left with a sense of overall calm
·      Hypervigilance was dulled
·      Anxiety had melted down to a easy to handle level
·      I was left feeling happy
·      The first hour I felt a little dazed
·      Although soreness in my knees did come back (may be from the rain we are currently experiencing) the pains in my neck, shoulders, and back are still gone
·      My skin is dry...definitely need to moisturize after but I thought I didn't need the provided lotion, lesson learned
·      Do not touch your face while in the tank or you can get salt in your eyes! Next time I will keep them closed cause I am incapable of not touching my face.
·      And finally there definitely will be a next time! I can't wait to go back (from what I read first float can help reduce symptoms temporarily but the float effects last longer the more treatments you attend.

Is this something you would like to try? I highly recomend looking for groupons in your area I was able to buy this session at almost a 70% discount! with a coupon code it was $26 for an hour session usually priced at $85 at this facility!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

17 Years young by Leah R.B.

(Trigger warning: graphic desciption of forced sexual acts)

I was 17 years young
Acting old
Feeling grown.

I was drinking vodka.
You bought it for us.
We took shots we got drunk.
We smoked.

Slyly got the invite over.
After all.. you did buy us the booze.

You were 21.  
We were only 17.

The flirting started
I honestly welcomed the attention.

We kissed in the hallway.
                                            I liked it.
You led me to another room.

We kept kissing                     
                             I was having fun.
You backed me up and lifted me on the the bed.
I had liquid courage.
I was having fun.

Your hands went to my jeans
I said NO.
I knocked your hand away.
                                       I buttoned my jeans again.

You persisted.
I said NO...     
                    just kiss me.
I giggled uncomfortable
and pulled your hands away.

You didn’t stop..
I said NO!
                    You broke my button.

I held them on,
                         Still telling you NO!
                        Still letting you kiss me.

You were pushing yourself against me,
you were turned on.
                                   I held my pants on white knuckled.

                                                               Was I afraid?..... I can’t remember.  
                                                                    I’d been drinking.
You pulled your pants down.
                                                I sat up in protest.
I am playing it cool.
                           I don’t want to make a scene.
I feel bad I led him on,
        I’m not that type of girl.
                                                                             I’m a virgin.

You came in to kiss me...I let you.

You shoved me down.
My hands still holding my pants on.
                                                  Pinned to my sides.

You forced yourself in my mouth.
I gagged and froze.
I didn’t know what to do.
              I thought at least he’ll stop trying to fuck me.
                                                                                                       I felt relief

He tries for my pants another time.
                                               I grip tightly, I say NO.

He came back to my mouth.
You’re okay Leah at least he didn’t fuck you.
Time passes I focus on breathing.
                                 I don’t like this…. Am I even doing this right?

                                                  Maybe if I pretend to like it, it’ll end soon.
                                                                                   At least he didn’t fuck me.
                                                                     I’m holding my pants on.
                                                                                    I’m still a virgin.
                                                                                              Leah you’re okay.

I squeeze my eyes shut and pretend to like it.
Time passes minutes...hours I’m not sure... I’m praying.
                                             I’m pretending to like it.
                                                          I’m holding back tears.

I swallow when he finishes.
                 It immediately comes back up,
                              I swallow again.

He’s off of me.
                                        I play it cool.
I excuse myself to the bathroom.

I throw up,
                   I must be drunker than I thought.
                                                          I don’t like vodka that must be it.

I look myself in the mirror.
                    You’re okay Leah,
                                             At least he didn’t fuck you.

I pulled my shirt over my broken button.
I go to join my friends.

He stops me and kisses me in the doorway.
EVERYONE Is watching.
He squeezes my ass.
                                                 I play it cool. Leah you’re okay.
                                                                                   At least he didn't fuck you.

I rally everyone to take a shot with me.
I sit down next to my sister.

I tell my friends we hooked up.
I’m not sure what else to say.
                                               You’re okay Leah
                                                       At least he didn't fuck you.
                                                     You’re still a virgin.

Weeks later...
I’m not sleeping well.  
I always sleep well.
                                        It’s okay Leah.  
               If you didn’t let him put it in your mouth...
                                                                Well he wouldn’t have stopped.
At least he didn’t fuck you,
                                       that’s good.
Leah you’re okay, you led him on
                                       You were asking for it
I hear from a  friend
He bragged that he forced me…
                     He laughed when he told...
The truth sets in.
The tears finally flow

I didn’t ask for it.
I never said YES.
                     There was no consent.
                                                                   And he knew it.

How I used planned parenthood. My only regret is not going sooner.

After I was raped, I spent the next few days in a fog. I struggled to come to terms with what happened and thought that I could move o...

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