The Silent Sisters

I had to share this wonderful post from “22 going on 33“. It is stated just perfectly and explains how harmful the silence is for survivors of rape, incest, abuse.

Choosing to Have a Good Day

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It’s been a good day.  It started with a great observation from my principal, which has had me stressed all weekend.  It moved on to some great collaborative work with a colleague of which I’m very proud.  Dinner out with Mr. OneWoman–always delicious!  Ending with a late evening workout and curling up on the couch to watch TV, exhausted, but in a good way.  Very satisfying all around. More

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,200 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 37 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Christmas is for Imperfect

It’s Christmas Eve and many of us are in a flurry of activity, trying to finish all of the last-minute things that need to be done to create that perfect Christmas morning.

The tree is trimmed, cookies are baking, turkeys are thawing.  We’re still wrapping those last few gifts.  The past weeks have been a blur of Christmas card writing and shopping.  It’s a wonderful time of year, but stress levels are very high.  We tear out our hair when things go wrong…and they always do.  Gifts don’t arrive on time.  Flights get postponed.  Family gets snowed in.  You run out of tape.  The turkey burns.  In my own home, the Christmas cards just got mailed yesterday.  We decorated the tree this morning.  There was a great deal of bickering between me and my husband.  And I just finished wrapping the last gift at 9:45 PM.  Hardly a perfect Normal Rockwell Christmas. More

Numbers

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One in five women will be raped during the course of their lifetime.  This is a statistic I have seen over and over since I started this blog and began learning more about rape.  I’ve had almost two years to really let that statistic sink in.  In order to wrap my head around what that number actually represented, I started trying to picture it.  I started by looking at the groups around me.  What would one in five women look like in my world? More

Halloween Ghosts…

It has been a while since I have posted part of my story.  I have many new followers who may not have gone back far enough in my posts to read my story.  For those of you who are new, and may want to read my history, check here, and here, and here.

My relationship with Mark was always a turbulent one.  Looking back, I can see so many warning signs.  There were several episodes that in hindsight I can recognize as precursors to the rape that was to come.  One of these was a Halloween party.  So what better day to share this particular detail with you.  This day illustrates so well the attitude that Mark had toward me–his lack of regard for my feelings, his controlling nature, his cocky self-assurance, and his complete belief that I would acquiesce to anything he asked.  Sit down, get comfortable, and let me tell you a Halloween tale…

Mark and I had been invited to a Halloween party at the home of one of his friends.  More

12 Ways to Support a Survivor of Abuse

Some great tips for how to help if a friend or loved one is a survivor. So often, we just don’t know the right things to say.

Purposefully Scarred

Tips for Being a Good Support Person (from The Healing Center, full article linked above):

1. Listen. Listen. Listen.

Try not to interrupt or overreact with your own thoughts and feelings. You may need to process your own reactions with someone to support you too. Most importantly, the survivor needs you to “be there” for her/him. Let them know that you are open to hearing anything they wish to share, and that although it’s painful and upsetting, you are willing to enter those difficult places with them and to receive their words with respect. Ask how you can be of help in the healing process and honor the answer. Acknowledge and validate the survivor’s feelings. If you have feelings of outrage, compassion, pain for their pain, do share them. There is probably nothing more comforting than a genuine human response. Just make sure your feelings don’t overwhelm theirs.

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When I first started this blog a year and a half ago, I had big plans for building a place for rape survivors to connect and share their stories.  But in reality I didn’t expect anyone to read what I had to say.

Right away, I got 2 followers.  I don’t know who you are, but you were so inspiring to me.  Just knowing that someone…anyone…had read something I had written and connected with it was amazing to me.  I sat and grinned.  Soon I had 5 followers, then 10.  I hovered around 10 for quite some time.  I was content. More

Triggers

triggers

(A special trigger warning applies to this post.  Please take care of yourself.)

Survivors speak a lot about triggers.  We use trigger warnings on everything we write, we say something triggered us, we apologize for triggering others.  Trigger is both a noun and a verb.  And triggers are the bane of our existence.  For those of you lucky enough not to know, a “trigger” is something that brings out our memories of the trauma that we went through.  It can be anything and it draws us back into the original traumatic experience.  A trigger can bring on a full-blown flashback, or it can just set off a series of emotional and physical responses.  Because they are so common an experience for survivors, I thought I would attempt to write a piece about my triggers to help others understand.

Triggers can be anything.  Seriously, anything.  A smell.  A sound.  A seemingly innocuous object.  A place.  An action.  A time of day.  Our friends and family are often baffled by our reactions to what appears to be “nothing” to them.  Whatever the trigger is, for some reason our mind associates it with our rape or our rapist.  When we are triggered, it is a very distressing experience.  This is why we post trigger warnings.   The last thing we want to do is cause our fellow survivors distress.  A rape survivor sees the warning and can judge for himself/herself whether they are feeling strong enough to read on.  It’s a “spoiler alert” of sorts. More

Owning Our Stories

Owning Our Story

This was a Facebook find today.  I think it’s an amazing statement.  We all have a story.  And many parts of that story are very, very bad for survivors of rape and abuse.  But it’s us.  It is part of who we are.  Too often we push that part of our story down and silence it because it is so very painful.  Bringing it forward and owning that part of ourselves takes great bravery and courage.  And with it comes power.  Power over our rapists.  Power over our past.  Power to change our futures.  There is a lot of wisdom packed into this one short sentence.

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