Beauty, Dating, Domestic Violence, Equality, Feminism, Ideals, Life, Life Lessons, Military, rape, Relationships, Self-Help, Sex, Sexual Assault, Tragedy, Violence, Women, Women Empowerment

Shannon’s Story: Virginity Stolen

A common denominator in all of the stories I have published so far is that the survivor of the attack knew the victim in some way. Domestic violence is VERY REAL and sexual assault DOES HAPPEN in COMMITTED RELATIONSHIPS. Many times it can even happen in an engagement and marriage.

This is Shannon’s story. Her name has been changed to protect her identity.

You can check out the other stories in this series here: Callie’s Story: A Silent Cry for HelpMary Kay’s Story: When Pressure Turns to TortureAshlee’s Story: Repeated Abuse Since ChildhoodKayla’s Story: When Friendship TurnsTasha’s Story: A Six Year Grooming

The main blog links here: It’s 2017 and We Still Aren’t Safe from Sexual Assault

What compelled you to share your story?
This world has become so unsafe for women, I hope it makes more woman aware that sexual assault or rape can happen to anyone, and that self-defense and being assertive is very important.

Where did the incident take place?
A hotel in Clearfield, PA.

Did you know the attacker?
Yes, we were engaged, and no one knew I was engaged at the time. I just said it was a promise ring because he was deploying.

What happened?
I had met him when I joined the military, he was 18 and I was 17. He went to basic training a year before I did, while he was home on leave my Godfather had fallen very ill and was dying. We had plans to have dinner with his family and then to spend some time alone because he was deploying to Afghanistan. The morning of our dinner I received the phone call that my godfather had passed away. He was my hero, and also the first person close to me that I had lost. I was completely devastated and I did not want to do anything that day except crawl in a hole and cry. My mom convinced me to carry on with my plans because he was deploying. I carried on throughout the day and just dealt with it.

After dinner with his family, he began driving me home and pulled into a hotel parking lot. I asked him what he was doing because I wanted to go home. He proceeded to tell me that he had paid for the hotel room and was going to use it. He was not going to deploy a virgin. I told him I didn’t care what he wanted my godfather was dead and I wanted to go home. He forced me into the hotel room, proceeded to take off my clothes and started having sex with me.

I felt like I didn’t matter, and I gave up fighting and saying no. I just stared at the wall and cried the entire time until he was finished. I immediately took a shower and he finally took me home.  We stayed together for a few more months until I was over my godfather’s death and broke up with him. I thought I would never see or hear from him again.

Did you seek legal help?
Not immediately, I did not want the day to be any worse for anyone else because my godfather had died and I didn’t think anyone would be believe me because we were dating.

And if so, how long did you wait before getting the courage to come forward?
Two years later I came forward and made a statement, because he had tracked me down on Myspace while I was in school and knew I would be home on leave from Christmas. He was also going to be home and wanted to see me. I told him I wanted nothing to do with him and to leave me alone. He asked me why, and I told him he raped me and asked him, “Why would I want to see you?” He apologized for being an ignorant asshole, and said he should have listened and been there for me. I told him I still did not want to see him and spent my leave in fear he would come find me because he knew where I lived.

Later while at my first duty station, he found my email address, which is not hard to do. He emailed me stating he would be nearby training for another deployment and that during non-training hours he would be able to go off base and do whatever he wanted. I freaked out and told my supervisor everything. He sent me to counseling and to make a statement against him. He also helped me get a no-contact order so if he tried to contact me again he would get in a lot of trouble. It was too late to press any charges, but at least if someone else made a statement against him, mine was on file. He was also not allowed to leave the training base until it was time for him to leave.

How were you treated by your law enforcement representatives?
The people I spoke with were very nice and understanding, I told them before I made my statement I knew it was too late to convict him; I was just terrified of him finding me. They understood why I waited so long to say anything, but were glad that I did in the hopes my statement could help someone else down the line.

How has this affected your life?
Since I am back at home, I live in fear of running into him anywhere because I know it’s a great possibility. I suffer from PTSD, and BPD. I have difficulties showing love and affection. My virginity was stolen from me, so I am very detached from sex. I also have a hard time having sex; it must be dark so I can see nothing otherwise I will have flashbacks and see him on top of me and not my fiancé. I’ve been in counseling and therapy for almost 10 years and have tried 20 different medications to no avail, but I can finally say I found a therapist that is actually helping me and not pushing medications and understands that medications make everything worse for me.

If you had any advice for other survivors, what would it be?
Speak up immediately, and if you’re too afraid to speak up at least find a counselor or therapist and get help as soon as possible. The longer you wait the worse if makes you feel. I’m 28 now, and just coming to terms with this, and it happened 11 years ago.

If you could say anything to law enforcement that dealt with your case, what would it be?
Stop being assholes and blaming the victim, and start placing the blame where it belongs: The attacker. It doesn’t matter who the attacker is, or what the victim is wearing.

No means NO. End of story.

If you could say anything to your attacker, what would you say? 
I honestly don’t know what I would say to my attacker other than I will never forget his face and name and that he made my life a living hell because he was a selfish prick. I still worry about running into him somewhere and him trying to talk to me. I would probably cause a scene and punch him in the face.

Resources: Military Sexual Assault FactsRAINN

Assault, Beauty, Crime Rates, Dating, Domestic Violence, Family, Feminism, Life, rape, Relationships, Self-Help, Sexual Assault, Violence, Women, Women Empowerment

Tasha’s Story: A Six Year Grooming

We have seen this before.

Many times our attackers are members of our family, and we are afraid to speak out. To make matters worse, we want other people to know the signs we are giving them and they either ignore the signs or do not pay attention. This can lead to a survivor surviving YEARS of abuse from one perpetrator.

Please be aware of who your children are around.

The first stories in this blog series are: Callie’s Story: A Silent Cry for HelpMary Kay’s Story: When Pressure Turns to TortureAshlee’s Story: Repeated Abuse Since ChildhoodKayla’s Story: When Friendship Turns

The main entry can be found here: It’s 2017 and We Still Aren’t Safe from Sexual Assault

This is Tasha’s story.

What compelled you to share your story?
I have two small children. I want to raise them to be aware of the dangers of the world, but not be fearful of what they can do to prevent them.

Where did the incident take place?
The short list – everywhere: my home, my room, my mom’s room, a vehicle, a semi truck, the living room to name a few.

Did you know the attacker?
He was my mother’s ex husband.

What happened?
When I was 11 years old, the first thing I remember him doing was teaching me how to properly use a tampon because, at 11, I, “Didn’t need to smell gross.” I needed to, “Learn how to properly take care of myself when Aunt Flow came.” He took me into my mom’s room, laid a towel down on the bed, and inserted his fingers and then a tampon. I think I knew it was wrong, but I didn’t know how to tell my mom. After he was done and cleaned himself up, and he had left me in there to clean myself up, I went to my room to cry. When I went downstairs later that evening, there was an apple in the trash with a hole in it and a tampon. He told me he was going to tell my mom he demonstrated on it for me. I’m not sure if he ever did and I never asked.

When I was 15, was when he actually raped me for the first time. I had to go on a trip with him to Florida from Michigan and back. It happened in a Detroit parking lot. A man beat on the door asking for a donation as I cried, “No”. He didn’t stop but the man left. No one came for me. I made him call my mom, but he told me not to say anything or I’d be dead.  I just cried like I never did before. She never picked up on it. She never realized all of those signals. So, I never told.

It stopped Christmas Eve when I was 17. Yes, 17, six years he did things like this and groomed me along the way.

Yes. I knew it was bad at this point, but I felt so numb at that point that I just couldn’t deal.

Did you seek legal help? And if so, how long did you wait before getting the courage to come forward?
I spoke to the police. I wrote up my seven page statement. My officer cried for me.

I came forward when I was 23. I had just given birth to my son. I didn’t want that monster to touch him. My mom was finally divorcing him so I finally told her. When I did, her reaction was shock, and I’m not sure why. I remember her calling him. She said, “I know what you did to my daughter!!! I know you raped her!!” His response, “If it was my daughter, I’d believe her.” He hung up and that was all he said. Within days, he moved out-of-state with his new wife and her children. Mom told her and told his family where they moved to. They called me out by name. Funny this is though, mom never said it was me and I have three sisters. So his guilty conscience told on himself.

How were you treated by your law enforcement representatives?
The officer was so kind, but the justice system itself failed me. Nothing could be done because I didn’t still have the underwear he hid. I didn’t have the photo he took of my vagina. I didn’t have proof. Even in a state that doesn’t have a statute of limitations, I was denied justice. I just wish I had come forward sooner

How has this affected your life?
I’m married now. My husband was the first person I told. Since I have, I don’t like to be touched. I’m more comfortable with him, but not with some things that he does that triggers me.

If you had any advice for other survivors, what would it be?
Don’t ever fear you are alone. There are so many of us, unfortunately. If you need help now, please reach out to me, I understand and I’ll do what I can to help you.

If you could say anything to law enforcement that dealt with your case, what would it be?
Thank you for trying, but why couldn’t you have done more??

If you could say anything to your attacker, what would you say?
Fuck you.

 

Final note — I don’t blame my mom. I used to feel like I did. I remember being so young watching a lifetime movie with this exact scenario in it & her looking at me saying, “If this ever happens to you, you can always come to me.” I never felt comfortable doing so. She was always more interested in the men she was with than us. She didn’t focus on the signs. BE AWARE of the signs your children are giving you. BE AWARE of who you have around your kids.

Assault, Beauty, Dating, Domestic Violence, Equality, Feminism, Ideals, Life, Life Lessons, rape, Relationships, Self-Help, Sex, Sexual Assault, Violence, Women, Women Empowerment

Kayla’s Story: When Friendship Turns

Trigger Warning:

 

Many people are assaulted by people that they know very well. Often times, it’s a person that they have known for years and come to call a friend. Then the betrayal ensues. This can make it difficult to process the events because not only can you not believe that is happening, but you literally trusted the person to not act this way.

This is Kayla’s story. Her name has been changed to protect her anonymity.

If you have been following, you can read the other stories here: Ashlee’s Story: Repeated Abuse Since ChildhoodMary Kay’s Story: When Pressure Turns to TortureCallie’s Story: A Silent Cry for Help

The main story can be found here: It’s 2017 and We Still Aren’t Safe from Sexual Assault

What compelled you to share your story?
For five years I have kept my story quiet. The recent events of other young women being assaulted made me realize I should tell my story. The only person that knows is my boyfriend. I can’t bring myself to tell my family members just yet.

Where did the incident take place?
My sexual assault happened in 2013 when I was a senior in high school.

Did you know the attacker?
I knew my attacker, he was a “friend of mine” at the time

What happened?
The night it happened I was so scared that I actually froze. I didn’t fight. I didn’t scream. I couldn’t bring myself to tell him to stop. I didn’t have the fight or flight response. I had the freeze response, which is more common than I thought. I have blamed myself for my assault because I never stopped him. I feel as if I let it happen. Though I wasn’t penetrated with his penis, he did other horrible things to me. It happened at his house. He had texted me a few days before asking if we could hang out.

I trusted him. He was a friend of mine. So, I agreed to go.

We went for ice cream at the local ice cream shop. Then we went back to his house to watch movies. He invited other friends over that night so I was very comfortable going back to his house.

It didn’t take long before I felt very uncomfortable.

Two of the kids decided to leave and two other ones fell asleep on the floor of his basement. As I go up to leave he pushed me down and told me, “I was the only hot cheerleader he hadn’t been with.” Once that happened my body shut down on me. It was the longest and worst moments of my life. It felt like forever, though I think it lasted all of 15-20 minutes. I could have screamed and awakened the other two kids sleeping, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t even make a peep come out of my mouth. When he finished, I simply walked up stairs, out the door, and got in my car. I went to my grandmother’s house because she lived close and showered off.

Did you seek legal help? And if so, how long did you wait before getting the courage to come forward?
I chose not to go to the police for the simple fact that they wouldn’t have believed me. I just know they wouldn’t have. This boy, and I call him a boy because no real man would do this to anybody, was well-liked at school and in the community. Who was going to believe the girl who was already having troubles at school?

How has this affected your life?
This has affected my life because I became extremely depressed and anxious. I also have guilt for not turning him in.I have blamed myself and it’s even affected my sex life. That’s why I told my boyfriend in the first place. He has been so understanding and showed me so much love. He taught me to not blame myself.

If you had any advice for other survivors, what would it be?
My advice for survivors would be don’t blame yourself. Don’t you dare blame yourself. And seek support from whoever you feel comfortable. Trust me you’ll need it.

If you could say anything to your attacker, what would you say?
If I could face my attacker again I would just simply ask him why he did this to me

 

Assault, Beauty, Dating, Domestic Violence, Equality, Feminism, Health, Ideals, Life, Life Lessons, rape, Relationships, Self-Help, Sex, Sexual Assault, Violence, Women, Women Empowerment

Ashlee’s Story: Repeated Abuse Since Childhood

Trigger Warning:

 

Many times a person’s first encounter with sexual assault is when he or she is a child. This scars and shapes who they are and who they become for the rest of their lives. Protecting the lives of children should be one of the most important things we can do because children cannot speak for themselves. We need to do better for our children.

This is the third story in my Sexual Assault series, you can read the first two here: Callie’s Story: A Silent Cry for Help and Mary Kay’s Story: When Pressure Turns to Torture 

The main blog starts here: It’s 2017 and We Still Aren’t Safe from Sexual Assault

This is Ashlee’s interview:

What compelled you to share your story?
I’ve held it in for years and the only people who know are my therapist and my fiancé.

Where did the incident take place?
My first account with rape happened in Punxsutawney, Pa. at my biological mothers house. The second time, my own apartment in DuBois, and then the third time it happened in DuBois at a friend’s house I was staying at.

Did you know the attacker?
Yes with all three. The first incident I was attacked by family members, and the second and third time they were people I thought I could trust. It can come from anyone even if you know them.

What happened?
At the age of three I was sexually assaulted by my three older brothers. They took me and my little sister upstairs to “play.” The oldest had thrown me on the bed and pulled my pants down and did his things to me. Then my two other brothers did the same thing. After they were done with me they did the same to my younger sister. At this time they were 11,9,5.  It was reported and then we were put into foster homes, but nothing happened after that.

At the age of 18, I was living on my own after getting out of the group home in DuBois. I had a male friend that I knew so well and was a friend of mine for years come stay because I was sick and wanted company. I had taken my medication and passed out on the couch. I woke up with him inside me and his hand around my throat. I tried to say no but he covered my mouth and told me that if I refused he would get rougher and hurt me.

Finally, at the age 20, my father kicked me and my daughter out the week before Thanksgiving. We moved back to DuBois with a friend who was renting rooms out in his house. I was in the process of looking for a job and fixing things with my now fiancé. It started two days after I moved in. He would pin me up against a wall or the bed while I was trying to do laundry or getting ready for bed along with my daughter. I would repeatedly say, “No I have a boyfriend,” or just, “No.”. He kept saying if I didn’t give it to him then he would kick us out on the street, and if I told the police that he would lie. Everyone in the house knew what was going on and wouldn’t help. Soon enough I made my fiancé move in with me hoping it would stop, but because he worked night shift it continued to happen. At first I didn’t tell him what happened, and when I did he threatened to leave me and wouldn’t help me because I wasn’t upfront about the abuse in the first place.

Did you seek legal help? And if so, how long did you wait before getting the courage to come forward?
Not for all of them. I was too scared to know what they would do to me and how it would affect my life more than it already was. I’ve only told my therapist. I wish I would have got help and got justice for what has been done to me.

How has this affected your life?
It has affected me in many ways. My fiancé and I can’t even have sex because I have flashbacks and I start crying.  I suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from this and other things that have happened to me.

If you had any advice for other survivors, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to get help. Just don’t wait as long as I have. Get all the help you can to get justice.

If you could say anything to your attacker, what would you say?
I hope other people come forward if you’ve done it to them so you can rot in jail.

Assault, Beauty, Dating, Domestic Violence, Feminism, Ideals, Life, Life Lessons, rape, Relationships, Self-Help, Sex, Sexual Assault, Tragedy, Violence, Women, Women Empowerment

Mary Kay’s Story: When Pressure Turns to Torture

Trigger Warning:

 

One of the most common things I have found in conducting my interviews is that these women have stayed silent for years and the events happened when they were quite young.

This has an interesting effect on me because I want to make sure my children are safe, but I also want my children to be able to experience life. I think as parents we can sometimes not know if we are doing the right thing.

If there are any young men and women out there reading this, please know that you can get help. Please know that you can talk to someone. You do not have to give in to peer pressure. If someone is pressuring you, please tell someone you trust and avoid contact with that person. If you’ve been pressured into doing something, tell someone you can trust. Bullies and Attackers thrive on fear. They lie and manipulate to get what they want. Parents and children, I ask you to please have an open line of communication with each other. This can be a life-line to your child. Parents, please listen to your kids.

This is Mary Kay’s interview. This is the second interview in this series you can read the first part here: It’s 2017 and We Still Aren’t Safe from Sexual Assault and the second part here: Callie’s Story: A Silent Cry for Help

What compelled you to share your story?
I felt compelled to share my story because I’ve been silent about it for so long. I feel like an impostor when I tell other sexual abuse survivors to not feel ashamed, yet I feel extremely ashamed about my own story. It was time.

Where did the incident take place and did you know the attacker?
The first incident took place at my attacker’s house. I was 13 and he was 15. He was my boyfriend at the time.

What happened?
We were alone in his house and he was pressuring me to have sex with him. I adamantly told him I didn’t want to. I wasn’t comfortable. I wasn’t ready. I was afraid of sex. I was only 13. He became very angry and dragged me up the stairs to his bedroom by my hair.

He threw me onto his bed and I was screaming and crying and told him I wanted to go home. I wanted my mom. I wanted him to stop. When he got on top of me, I kicked him. It didn’t slow him down at all. Nothing made him stop. I felt helpless. I silently cried while he pushed himself into me. When his mother took me home that night, I ran into my bedroom and closed the door.

I was a happy, peppy girl before that happened to me. When I closed my bedroom door that night, the peppy, happy girl died and a sullen, frightened girl emerged. I was never the same.

Do you have any advice for other survivors?
Like I said earlier, I tell others to not be ashamed. But I am. So it’s hard to say that and mean it. I’m not even sure that I have advice. I really just want to say that you’re not alone. And you are loved and whole and beautiful ❤️

Did you seek legal help?
I didn’t speak a work of it for years and years. When I did, it was to my mother. Nothing was done. She comforted me but legal help wasn’t sought after.

If you could say one thing to your attacker, what would it be?
If I could say anything to my attacker, it would be this: your selfishness made me selfless. I know what pain and anger and loneliness is and I cannot stand to see anyone else feeling those things. I feel that any selfishness I had inside of me, your demon-self absorbed when this took place. So thank you for that, you piece of shit.

Assault, Beauty, Dating, Domestic Violence, Feminism, Health, Ideals, Life, Life Lessons, rape, Relationships, Self Defense, Sex, Sexual Assault, Uncategorized, Women, Women Empowerment

Callie’s Story: A Silent Cry for Help

Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

This is Callie’s story. The name has been changed to protect her identity. She was comfortable enough to share the location of the events. This is in an interview format. Here is the link to the first part of this series: It’s 2017 and We Still Aren’t Safe from Sexual Assault

Here are the other stories in this series: Mary Kay’s Story: When Pressure Turns to TortureAshlee’s Story: Repeated Abuse Since Childhood

I’m compelled to add that if you or anyone sees domestic violence or sexual assault happening, you should report it. Please do not turn a blind eye. So many people are in precarious situations and they are silently begging for help. HELP THEM! Here are a list of resources: RAINNDomestic Violence Coalition

What compelled you to share your story?
I have never told anyone but my now husband about the abuse.  I just had our child and I feel like it is my responsibility to come to terms with what happened to me and try to be strong enough to one day publicly speak out.

Where did the incident take place?
There were too many incidents and locations to count. His home, the high school, my home, the city park, restaurants and stores.

Did you know the attacker?
He was my boyfriend at the time.  I was freshly 16 and he was 20.

What happened?
I met Chris at Community Days in DuBois, Pa.  I was with some girlfriends and he came up to us with a group of his friends.  He was so charismatic and handsome; I was immediately smitten.  He would build me up and make me feel so wanted.  About two months into our two-year relationship he changed.  He became physically, emotionally, and sexually abusive towards me.  Physically he would push me, hold me down, and hit me.  One night when I was at his home he pushed me down a flight of stairs. His mother watched it happen and just walked away.  He would tell me no one but him would ever love me and that if I left him he would kill me and my family.

I truly believed all the things he said to me; I was so young I didn’t know better.  I was basically screaming for help without actually telling anyone, and no one noticed.  I was sent to psychologists and put on medication, and still no one helped me out of this relationship. 

When I had just turned 18, his brother punched me for absolutely no reason one day.

I somehow got the courage to put an end to our relationship.  I stopped answering any kind of communication from him.  He started standing outside of my home and work and would just stare me down. He would send me terrible threats through Facebook and text.  My now husband would walk me to and from my car at work.  I actually moved to Pittsburgh for a bit because I was so scared.  Eventually he stopped contacting me, but he found out I had moved back to DuBois several years ago and told a mutual friend that he was going to get me back.  I began seeing him walking in my neighborhood, my husband and I decided to move out-of-town. We’ve kept our address a secret for this reason.

Did you seek legal help? And if so, how long did you wait before getting the courage to come forward?
I did not. I knew I needed help but I didn’t know where to go.  I also felt people would not understand why I couldn’t just leave for so long.

How has this affected your life?
I am constantly looking over my shoulder.  I have run into him three times in stores, and each time I was able to make out to my car before having a full blown panic attack.

If you had any advice for other survivors, what would it be?
You are not alone, and you are worth so much more than you think!

If you could say anything to your attacker, what would you say?
You took advantage of a young girl. You knew what you were doing and you are still doing it to other girls.   You shattered everything about me into pieces. I lost who I was.  In spite of you, I have found a good and kind man and I have a wonderful life now.  You were wrong!

Assault, Beauty, Dating, Domestic Violence, Family, Feminism, Ideals, Life Lessons, rape, Self Defense, Self Improvement, Sex, Sexual Assault, Suicide Prevention, Violence

It’s 2017 and We Still Aren’t Safe from Sexual Assault

Trigger Warning:

I remember my assault distinctly.

It’s a story I have shared with many people and have written about on this very blog. But, I count myself lucky amongst survivors because my attacker didn’t get the chance to follow through on his actions because one of my friends rescued me. You can read about it here: Keep To The Code

However, there’s a staggering amount of people that don’t have that luxury.

I have been absent from blogging for quite some time. My days now are spent chasing around my beautiful daughter, and growing her little sister inside me for a few more weeks. They are the reason I decided to start typing again.

Well, them and all the women in my local area that have decided to come forward with the stories of their sexual assaults, is what I should say.

Last year a friend of mine was drugged and almost died because a young man decided to make her a target. Though there was video evidence from the bar they were both at, the police refused to pursue the matter. She went to local news stations and no one would pick up her story. She felt terrified and alone.

A few days ago, a story surfaced in my area of a young woman that was shamed by our local police for reporting her rape. Instead of being taken seriously, she was cuffed and taken to the psychiatric ward of our hospital.

Incidents of victim shaming happen every day. It’s 2017 and people still have to worry about being assaulted! It’s absolutely ridiculous. On top of worrying about being assaulted, we can’t always depend on our law enforcement officials to defend us, and we are left there alone and made to feel stupid.

Over the next two weeks I will be doing an interview series with those willing to come forward and share their stories of their assaults.

It may be 2017, and we may have a long way to go.

But it’s time us survivors be taken seriously by our peers and by our law enforcement.

As I publish the stories, the stories will be linked back to this blog. I will also be including this link in the other stories.

Let’s fight back together
Here are the stories:

Tasha’s Story: A Six Year Grooming
Kayla’s Story: When Friendship Turns
Ashlee’s Story: Repeated Abuse Since Childhood
Mary Kay’s Story: When Pressure Turns to Torture
Callie’s Story: A Silent Cry for Help

Beauty, Bucket List, Family, Feminism, God, Ideals, Life Lessons, Relationships, Self Improvement, Self-Help, Women, Women Empowerment

Fighting Your Own Demons

I am a selfish person.

Yes. I said it.

I don’t know exactly how or why this occurred, but I know I’m not happy with it. Allow me to explain.

Last night as I was laying next to my fiance, we were having a minor argument/discussion about the time we spend together. I was complaining that we don’t spend enough time together, to which he responded with that we do, but I always want more. I didn’t believe him. He came back at me with, “I’m always trying to make you happy but it seems like I can’t ever meet your expectations and it’s frustrating.” Again, I didn’t really think about what he was saying. I then told him that it’s not like I’ve changed as a person, and he said, “No. You have changed as a person.”

So we sat in silence for a little bit. He passed out and I was left to my own devices. I started reflecting on my relationships over the past few months and went back even as far as a year. I examined my relationship with him, my mother and my sister. And I realized something.

He was fucking right. As much as I HATED to admit it, he was right.

I can’t exactly pinpoint the event that made me become this way, I just know that I don’t like what it’s done to me. I have been selfish to the point of it being exhausting, exhausting enough to cause unnecessary problems in my relationships with everyone.  I could defend myself until the cows came home, but there really isn’t any justification for the person I let myself morph in to. Instead of thinking of what I can give to the people in my relationships, I focused on what I could take. That’s not fair. I continued on by allowing myself to have expectations of people, but they weren’t allowed to have any of me, which also isn’t fair. I think it came down to a combination of me trying to prove to everyone that I couldn’t be walked all over and trying to prove I didn’t need anyone.  I inadvertently then pushed people away.

On this day, October 10, 2013, I’ve decided that I need to become a better person and cast away the demons I have let myself create. I had a dream last night that I literally had to fight the devil (Yes, I know that sounds weird). And I woke up before I ever found out if I won the battle. I think that’s symbolic in the sense that I will always have some fight inside of me raging on, but the fact that I’m fighting it proves I can keep evil at bay.  I’m at a point in my life where I really, REALLY need to move forward and not look back. I don’t have to forget the past, but I can’t let it affect me any longer. I know somewhere along the line I would like to have children and if I want to raise them correctly, I have to change how I act. I can’t expect them to not vibe off of my attitude or my demons. So I need to learn to battle them now.  I’m going to start out by trying to do something nice for a person every single day. I’m going to actively engage all of my customers at work and make an effort to learn more about them. I’m going to give of myself more instead of take from others.

I don’t think they have “Selfish Bitch Therapy,” so I am going to have to take this day by day, and change a little bit each day to become the person that I used to be.

Yesterday I said there was nothing quite like change. There isn’t. And it’s time I made a change into a better person. It certainly isn’t a battle between heaven and hell, but it’s a battle worth fighting.

Adventure, Beauty, Bucket List, Family, Feminism, God, Health, Ideals, Life Lessons, Love, Relationships, Self Improvement, Self-Help, Tragedy, Women

I Did Not Live Until

The internet is a vast source of information. One can pretty much get anything and everything he or she wants instantly, that is with the exception of things he or she must order and receive within four shipping days. There are pictures everywhere: pictures of cats, pictures of puppies, memes of television shows (personally, I love Gordon Ramsay memes) and quotes from your favorite movies. You can stream live videos. You can steal people’s identities……..

And now I have gotten completely off of my original topic.

Back to reality. Okay, the other day I was browsing the internet.  I had up tabs from Facebook to used car dealerships, to quotes about life, to pictures of various animals, to Game of Thrones spoilers……You name it. I happened across a saying that said, “You haven’t truly lived until you have created life.” I can’t even remember what search engine or quote site it popped up in because I had to leave right after I saw it. Nonetheless, the quote stuck with me…..

and it left a terrible taste in my mouth. There are two reasons why it did.

First, the whole notion of, “You haven’t lived until….” is rather crazy and stupid in my eyes. I mean, I could end the sentence rather easily and say, “You haven’t lived until you have died,” or rather literally with, “You haven’t lived until you have been born.” The notion that someone else could possibly live the same life as me is completely ridiculous; it’s my life and it is lived my way for a reason. That reason is not for someone else to try to tell me what I should be doing. I could compile a list of things that I have done that I think are the greatest things in the world, like, going to Walt Disney World. However, I am not naive enough to think that every, single person on this planet should go to Walt Disney World.

Second, the statement itself is just completely and totally ignorant. There are millions of women in the world that are physically unable to get pregnant. Millions of couples try to get pregnant each year, whether it be by intercourse or insemination. Guess what? A good portion of those women don’t ever get pregnant. Some of those women get pregnant but are never able to carry to term and miscarry. These couples then look to adoption to care for a child. My point is, how can anyone in the world have the nerve to say a statement like that when there are millions of women out there that cannot have that blessing. Motherhood isn’t defined solely on carrying a child in your womb. Yes, the blessing in and of itself exists, but to be a mother takes something more than just carrying a child for nine months. Being a mother is a calling, and I know many people who were called to it though they were unable to have children. I know some women that carried their babies and didn’t take care of them. Being a mother does not always mean just “carrying a child.” There is far more to it than that. With that being said, I feel it is apparent that it is grossly unfair to say that creating life is the pinnacle of living.  Many people do not get to create life, and they live. Many people who have created life abandon life.

And don’t think I’m one of those people who thinks that being in love is the pinnacle of life either. It is for me, but I know it isn’t for everyone.

Instead of everyone telling each other what that major, life-changing, “I lived” moment is, we should all have our own moment.

For me, “I did not live, until I understood death.”

What’s your moment?

And whatever it is, make it your own, not someone else’s.

Enjoy the Memes:

Ld9X6Cm

game-of-thrones_o_425329

Gordon Ramsay Meme
Gordon Ramsay Meme
Abercrombie and Fitch, America, Beauty, Controvery, Feminism, Health, Ideals, Life Lessons, Self Improvement, Self-Help, Weight Loss, Women

Dear Mike Jeffries

As many of you have seen in the news over the past week, Mike Jeffries has come under fire for his comments about so-called “not cool” people shopping at his stores. He is the CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch and many people think because of his statements of not cool people that he is a certifiable asshole. Well, I can’t say that I disagree with that statement. But when he is talking about what it means to be “not cool”  and “unpopular….”

Plus-sized models in Glamour Magazine
Plus-sized models in Glamour Magazine

………..he is talking about what he deems to be “fat people.”

According to him, anything for a woman bigger than a size large is “not cool.”

According to various articles, the one I clipped this from was in the Orlando Sentinel and can be read here, Jeffries says:

“We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends,” Jeffries said. “A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”

As someone who studied media and ethics, I understand that he is going for a certain branding technique. But since when is decency a sacrifice for branding?

One of my 36DD breasts would not fit into a shirt that comes out of Mike Jeffries store and it’s why I don’t shop there. However, I do remember being a teen girl and wanting so desperately to fit into their jeans when it was absolutely out of the question for me to even squeeze my calf into the pant leg. So I pose a question to Mike Jeffries and ask him, “What kind of message are you actually sending?”

Male models for the "popular" type of people
Male models for the “popular” type of people

Eating disorders are a serious problem in the United States and I’m sure they are in other parts of the world as well. I do not understand why he feels that it is okay to make clothes so small that you would possibly need to result to those measures to fit into. Nothing screams I’m cool more than ,”I threw up countless times to wear this tee shirt” right? NO. It’s wrong. It’s wrong to brand yourself to the point where you’re morphing people’s minds. Eating disorders are not cool.

I don’t shop at Abercrombie and Fitch because I’m “too fat” to do so. And even if I was thin, they are ridiculously overpriced anyway. If this store still exists when I have children, my children will not be shopping there or supporting that store.  And when I googled a picture of Mike Jeffries, he looked like someone who was judged harshly as a child and is trying to get back at the universe by making a clothing line for what he deems to be “beautiful people.”  He also looks like he shoves a crap ton of botox into his face in the efforts to look more attractive, and sadly, it’s morphing his face. Your definition of beautiful is pathetic. Beauty isn’t something that can be attained by the clothes on your back. Beauty comes from within, and THAT is what you should be telling all of your “popular” people. That’s the message you SHOULD be sending to the rest of the world.

With that being said, I feel like I should write a letter to this CEO.

Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch
Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch

…………………………………………………………………………………………

Dear Mr. Jeffries,

I am an American. I work almost every single day of my life. I am a daughter, granddaughter and sister. I am a niece and a cousin. I also am a girlfriend.

Yes, a girlfriend. You will probably be surprised to hear that considering I tinker between a size 12 and 14 in pants. My boyfriend is quite handsome as well, even though according to you he isn’t because he doesn’t have washboard abs.

But he did spend five years in the United States Marine Corps defending your right to say what you want to say.

But according to you, I’m not beautiful and neither is he.

I work out on a daily basis and have numerous health problems. I love with my whole heart. I donate my time and money to causes that I care about. I try to give more of myself to others than what I give to myself. I try to make the world a better place.

But according to you, I’m not beautiful.

I graduated from high school and college. I kept a very high grade point average. I survived a lot in my childhood bullying wise. My father was a drug addict on top of that bullying. I remember when a boy I liked called me a whale. I remember not having dates to dances by people who had worn a lot of your clothing. They too believed what you believe, that I am not beautiful.

"Let the beauty we love be what we do."
“Let the beauty we love be what we do.”

You must change your appearance quite frequently. I think it’s because you don’t feel beautiful. You think by branding yourself into this clothing line that you can be beautiful. But, you’re wrong because beauty comes from the inside; beauty isn’t about your clothes.

Beauty is a personality trait.

And you are not beautiful on the inside. I feel sorry for you. I hope that someday you feel beautiful because it is apparent from how you brand your clothing and act that you do not feel beautiful at all. Maybe people bullied you when you were in high school and you need to talk to someone about it.

Maybe.

You see, none of us are really that different. We all have trials and tribulations independent of the size of our clothing. You’re no different from a girl who has anorexia or a guy that weighs 400 pounds.

We are all beautiful.

I only hope that someday you can see that.

Sincerely,

Ali Prescott