Rough Draft- Rape: One of the Most Challenging Crimes to Prosecute

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So I have been working really hard on my Rape paper for my Psych and Law class. The rough draft is due this Wednesday. I have a full draft done and wanted to post it because, one I am proud of tackling such a tough subject, and two because I think it’s an interesting paper that talks about something relevant in our society right now. So, if you take the time to read this paper, I would welcome any feedback to make the paper better for a final draft. Thanks in advance, XOXO Anna!

*I put all my block quotes in the block quotes button at top because the formatting was strange without that.*

Rape: One of The Most Challenging Crimes to Prosecute

Introduction

One of the most challenging prosecutions, both criminally and psychologically, in today’s courts is the question of rape. The very definition of the crime varies from state to state. The issue is further composited by the evidence and a prosecutors confidence that is sufficient to sway a jury. Ironically, when fight or flight instincts kick in, no one talks about the freeze instinct, thus leaving no physical evidence behind. If a trial comes out of a reported rape, the question of “who really is on trial” arises. Victims often become objects of intense scrutiny, having their character, motivation, and possibly their sexual history questioned. When on trial, the focus should not be questioning the victim’s character, but rather questioning the perpetrator’s character. Solutions to rape are not clear-cut. Some possible solutions could be addressing the definition of rape, making it universal across the country, having education on rape and consent at a younger age, and having psychologists as expert witnesses explaining why a victim might freeze over fighting when questioned on the stand. Rape ranks as one of the most challenging crimes to prosecute in today’s courts: the absence of a unilateral definition of the crime, the too frequent lack of compelling physical evidence to prosecute, and the likely attack on the character and integrity of the victim, all contribute to the difficulty of bringing this crime to trial.

Part 1

When someone is raped, how do they know they have been raped, legally speaking? Living in New York versus Connecticut, two people could experience rape, yet the legal definition is different in each state. Connecticut, for example, does not have the word “rape” in their definition. Connecticut’s laws on rape are defined using the term “sexual assault” (Attorney S.N., 2005). Using the terms “rape” and “sexual assault” interchangeably is confusing to a victim. Some states define sexual assault as everything but penetration, but if one lives in Connecticut, sexual assault includes penetration. In Georgia, a man cannot be raped because they definition is gender specific. Some of the definitions are old fashioned based on gender stereotypes of men being the aggressors and the women being the victims. These definitions were so outdated that if one were married in some states their husband could rape them and legally it would not be considered rape because the definition goes back to when women were the property of men (Deisen & Diesen, 2010). This is why definitions are important. Someone who has been raped might not come forward because they might feel that what happened to them does not meet the criteria, or they might think they were only sexually assaulted- which has a connotation of being a lesser crime than rape- based on the state’s definition. Definitions also challenge the prosecution. If what happened to a person does not meet legal definitions then the case cannot be taken. With legal definitions, there are two types of definitions, ones based on consent and ones based on violence,

“Rape has been commonly viewed as a crime involving assault with a sexual dimension, in which the violent force is the punishable component . . . modern rape laws are based on non-consent . . . indicating that the crime is viewed as an offense against personal integrity” (Deisen & Diesen, 2010, pp. 331-332).

The rape laws involving the definition of the use of force or threat implies that the woman is accessible until there is violence, and evidence is left, meaning the crime has officially occurred. Most rapes are assumed to be violent, and when they are not, the second problem arises- lack of physical evidence. When there is a lack of physical evidence then there is a lack of confidence in the victim reporting the crime.

Lack of physical evidence is one of the reasons rape cases can be so difficult to prosecute. Most rape victims are raped by someone they know, which increases the shock in the victim, and could lead to the victim having a “freeze” response. Most people, when talking about traumatic events, mention the “fight or flight” instinct but often forget the third response of “freeze.” This is where psychology comes into play to explain why there are many rapes that are not violent. Neuroscience is the best way to explain what happens when a person is attacked. Essentially the pre-frontal cortex is incapacitated and the person is relying on survival instincts and habits. James W. Hopper, PhD., wrote an article for the Washington Post explaining the neuroscience behind trauma explaining that, “Freezing occurs when the amygdala – a crucial structure in the brain’s fear circuitry – detects an attack and signals the brainstem to inhibit movement. It happens in a flash, automatically and beyond conscious control.” During this instinctual reaction, the pre-frontal cortex is overloaded with stress hormones, inhibiting rational thinking. This author makes a great point when mentioning that humans evolved as prey. Humans were not always the most dominant species, and so, humans have prey like instincts to survive a predator. When someone gets raped the three survival instincts kick in- fight, flight, or freeze- and that is how one rape might have left no marks and another rape could leave the victim covered in bruises. Police often believe a woman who reports the rape immediately and has physical evidence, leading to a stronger case for the prosecutor, making them more inclined to take the case. Women often wait to report rapes due to the trauma, causing emotions of deep humiliation, shame, and self-hatred. Often after such a psychologically detrimental attack the women may not feel strong enough, psychologically, to report the rape, or might fear not being believed by the police.

Police play a huge role in rape cases. Prosecutors may not take cases they believe to be too challenging to prosecute, but the police are the ones who determine whether the claim is unfounded, which means, “A complaint is considered founded when it meets state or federal crime standards; therefore, unfounded claims are claims that are not considered true crimes” (Mennicke, Anderson, Oehme, & Kennedy, 2014, pp. 814- 815). Society has many stereotypes about rapes and rape victims, so it is extremely important to make sure officers do not fall into the false beliefs out there, and yet most do, which often proposes a challenge. A study done in Florida with 148 officers on attitudes towards victims and rape resulted in,

“Most officers (79.7%) only provided a partial definition of rape, leaving out at least one of the four key components. In addition, most officers (80.9%) reported that the rate of false rape claims was much higher than current best estimates (2%–8%; Lonsway et al., 2009). These two findings taken together suggest that law enforcement officers still hold stereotypic and harmful attitudes” (Mennicke, Anderson, Oehme, & Kennedy, 2014, pp. 824).

The fact that officers leave out parts of rape definitions and believe that false rape reports are higher than they actually are, indicates a problem for victims. If police officers are having biased or stereotyped beliefs then that is going to affect their ability to handle a rape case. Police, using the training they have for dealing with other crimes, might come off as insensitive to a victim, or ask questions that make the victim feel as if it is their fault they got raped. Cops often are not trained in psychology, and may not have had the correct training to understand a victim’s reaction to rape, so when cops see a victim who is emotionless while describing the rape they might assume the victim is lying- “Cops learn to interview victims based on interrogation practices, which emphasize establishing a timeline and key facts” (Ruiz, 2013). Reasons victims do not report their rape not only can come from not knowing whether what happened to them legally is a crime, but also from the simple fear of police not believing them or making them feel guilty for a crime committed against them. Some “lucky” victims have their case taken to trial, but what really goes into the decision making on the prosecutors end? “Some studies suggest that prosecutors attempt to predict how the background, behavior, and motivation of the suspect and victim will be interpreted and evaluated by other decision makers, and especially by potential jurors” (Beichner, & Spohn, 2012, pp. 4). Not only do prosecutors look at the legal facts of the case -seriousness of the crime, amount of physical evidence, responsibility of the defendant- they look at the victim and make sure the victim has a “good image,” and if all the boxes are checked off that gives them confidence in prosecuting the case, that is when prosecutors take the case.

“CJS personnel often prosecute cases in which they believe the victim will make a credible witness. Therefore, a case might not be prosecuted if officials do not think that the victim will make a credible witness even if they believe that a rape occurred” (Patterson, 2011, pp. 1350).

Prosecutors also fall into stereotyping like cops. Our society has this image of rape being a stranger jumping out from a hidden place and attacking a victim with a weapon, and if a rape case that comes to the law enforcement or prosecutor does not line up with that “real rape” case scenario there is often hesitancy, “Because simple rape cases are not considered real rapes, such victim characteristics would play a more important role in determining the outcome of these cases” (Beichner, & Spohn, 2012, pp. 6). Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners play a role in the justice system as well, and the nurses often witness the treatment of victims from law enforcement, and they

“described police, medical systems, and legal system as wielding power to revictimize rape victims. In fact, SANEs felt that rape victims were particularly traumatized when members of such systems engaged in victim- blaming behavior or questioning, did not believe them, pressured them to recount the events multiple times to multiple people, failed to give them adequate information, or refused them help or treatment” (Maier, 2012, pp. 297).

The nurses who care for the victims even witness the harsh behavior that can come from the criminal justice system.

Part 2

Solutions to rape are far from simple. There are many parts to the solution to rape that will be discussed because rape is such a complex issue -criminally, mentally, and psychologically speaking.

Definitions of rape, as mentioned, are not universal. Each state has their own definition and statute of limitation. Why does rape have a statute of limitation when rape is the second most heinous crime that can be committed against another human, following murder, which has no statute of limitation (Giacalone, 2013).

“The crime of rape is not considered the most heinous crime (number 2) . . . but some, including myself would disagree. When someone is murdered, the pain and suffering lives on with the family and not the victim. Often rape is a crime that leaves the victim violated, their life and relationships in ruin and sometimes emotionally distraught. Sometimes the victim takes her own life because of it” (Giacalone, 2013, pp. 189).

Seeing that rape is such a monstrous crime, the definition and statute of limitations need to be changed. Bill Fitzpatrick, New York District Attorney of Onondaga County says,

“In terms of atrocity, in terms of the breaking of the social contract by the defendant, in terms of the impact on the victim, does it really matter to her at the end of the day if it was a penis or some kind of foreign object? . . . In my judgment, no” (Cowan, 2016).

By having a universal definition of rape, sexual assault, and all other sex crimes, people can avoid the confusion, and victims can be more confident coming forward, knowing that the definition does not discriminate against gender, object used, or what body part was penetrated. Adding to those standards, rapes, whether there was a weapon or not, should be treated equally by the law. Just because one rape did not involve a weapon does not take away from the fact that the rape was a horrifyingly traumatic experience for the victim. Along with a definition change, the statute of limitations should be abolished. Having a statute of limitations on a crime that violates the very soul of a human being is adding injury to insult at best and at worst just plain insulting.

Changes should not only be made in the law, but also in the preventative care. Instead of focusing all the efforts on after the crime has occurred, efforts should be put forth to educate the youth better. When teenagers are taught sex education in school, they should also be taught about consent and body language. Not all victims scream, struggle, or say no. Some victims freeze, dissociate. That should be part of the sex education taught. The younger generations should learn not only about STD’s and safe sex, that only skims the basics of having a healthy sex life. A healthy sex life requires two consenting people that are of legal age. Teaching teenagers in sex education about the psychology of rape and consent would be beneficial in preventing this crime from taking place.

“Enthusiastic consent essentially means that both people want to have sex with one another…If a person is unconscious, unresponsive, or not providing any sign of a ‘yes,’ then it definitely means no. No one is entitled to sex, Stamoulis states, and ‘even during sexual activity, you should check in with a partner if you feel that their interest has waned’” (Bushak, 2017).

When talking about rape,  another problem must be addressed that is considered “taboo” to talk about, which is porn. These days men and women are exposed to hypersexual images in our culture and are further exposed to pornography at such young ages, that it impacts their brains development in their sexual tastes, that our culture has become desensitized to rape, and

“regular exposure to pornography increased risk of sexual deviancy (including lower age of first intercourse and excessive masturbation), increased belief in the ‘rape myth’ (that women cause rape and rapists are normal), and was associated with negative attitudes regarding intimate relationships (e.g., rejecting the need for courtship and viewing persons as sexual objects)” (Anonymous, 2010).

Most people do not like to talk about porn, and think porn is harmless, but,

“this study showed the strong link between men’s viewing pornography and behavioral intent to commit sexual assault. Furthermore, when men view sadomasochistic and rape pornography, their danger to females increases concurrently. Using these two types of pornography makes men significantly more likely to report intent to rape, stronger beliefs in rape myths, a decreased willingness to intervene in a potential sexual assault, and a lower sense of efficacy about intervening in a potential sexual assault situation” (Foubert, Brosi, & Bannon, 2011, pp. 227).

Along with adding in consent education, education about porn and the harmful effects should be another addition to sex education in high school. If the younger generation has a well-rounded sex education, that goes into all the complexes of human sexuality, there will be more informed people that will hopefully be respectful of those around them.

Educating the criminal justice system is needed as well as educating the youth. As mentioned earlier, cops and lawyers might not be well versed in psychological knowledge, and thus treat victims skeptically or not give victims the chance to get justice, letting a criminal go. All police should be trained at the basic level in how to respond to a rape victim because detectives might not be a responding officer to the crime, and if a responding officer does not know how to create a safe environment to get the information needed, then that can affect the entirety of the case. Detectives should have more in-depth training, and there ideally should be a special victims unit in police departments, where those detectives are highly trained in rape psychology.

“[A] victim will attempt to avoid reminders of the rape or the offender for a long period of time following the rape. Therefore, a detective who questions a victim in a forceful, blaming manner is likely to resemble the offender, creating an uncomfortable and intimidating interview environment” (Patterson, 2011, pp. 1367-1368).

If someone is to help a rape victim, they must understand the psychology of rape for victims and perpetrators. Victims lose credibility because they report late, yet most victims have signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and thus, they avoid any reminder of the traumatic experience, leading them to report late. The detectives that handle rape cases must have education in psychology, rape, and trauma, whether it is a class that they sign up for before they become a cop, or whether a psychologist comes into the department to teach the cops over the course of a couple weeks to months depending on how extensive the material is.

Along with educating the police, lawyers should have at least the very basic psychological knowledge of rapes, and how rape can impact a victim, so they know why a victim they originally might think would not be credible would actually be credible if presented in a psychological perspective. This is where the use of psychological expert witnesses come into play. In rape cases, there should always be a psychological expert witness to testify to explain the neuroscience behind trauma and the extent to which rape myths are rampant and should be excluded from people’s minds because it is not legally nor logically relevant to why a person might rape. Expert witnesses in rape cases are not limited to just testifying, they can even help the prosecutor evaluate the case and come up with strategies, help with voice dire questions, aiding in jury selection, and helping to prepare the victim if they are going on the stand (Lonsway, 2005).  It is important for people -police, lawyers, civilians, victims, and jurors- to understand the neuroscience behind trauma so that rape myths can be challenged head on in the courtroom. Mentioned earlier, the three survival instincts were described – fight, flight or freeze. People know of animals that play dead, like opossums. They go into a state called tonic immobility, and humans go into that state as well, usually during rapes and sexual assaults.

“One such response is tonic immobility . . . the body is literally paralyzed by fear – unable to move, speak, or cry out. The body goes rigid. Hands may go numb . . . Some people describe feeling ‘like a rag doll’ as the perpetrator did whatever he wanted . . . Sadly, many investigators and prosecutors still do not know some or all of these brain-based responses.” (Hopper, 2015).

Expert witnesses should be assigned to rape cases, and be included as part of the criminal justice “team” that is involved in rape cases, that way the victim can have hard science on their side as evidence.

The criminal justice system is in place for a reason, so why is it that college campuses have started taking on the responsibility of the police when it comes to rapes and sexual assaults? The idea may have started out positive, but in reality, the schools are more about protecting their image (and star athletes) than protecting the victim (The Hunting Ground, 2017). “So now colleges are conducting trials, often presided over by professors and administrators who know little about law or criminal investigations . . . The process is inherently unreliable and error-prone” (Rubenfeld, 2014). Having schools have rape trials has many problems being, the “judges” are biased because they work for the school and protect the school first, they do not have the legal knowledge that is necessary to conduct a fair trial, and because of those factors rapists walk among the campus raping other girls as they please.

“Rape on campus is substantially enabled by the fact that rapists almost always get away with their crimes. College punishments — sensitivity training, a one-semester suspension — are slaps on the wrist. Even expulsion is radically deficient. It leaves serial rapists free to rape elsewhere, while their crimes are kept private under confidentiality rules. If college rape trials become a substitute for criminal prosecution, they will paradoxically help rapists avoid the punishment they deserve and require in order for rape to be deterred” (Rudenfeld, 2014).

With campuses handling rape cases, it leaves rapists at large to rape again, and it essentially protects the rapists, which means having cases go to the proper authorities would be the best for the safety of the campus.

Conclusion

Rape is one of the most complex crimes to prosecute because of the psychological nature involved. There are no easy solutions to the problem, but if steps are taken to change the culture, definitions, education, then maybe one-day rapes will go down. Having universal definitions for the different sex crimes with no statute of limitations would make reporting the crimes less confusing, and victims might feel more confident that what happened to them is a crime. If teenagers have a well-rounded sex education, that is one preventative measure that can be taken against rapes to hopefully reduce the crime. Cops and lawyers having education in the psychology of rape and the traumatic reactions will have a huge impact on how they treat victims and more importantly, see victims. Having the police handle rape cases instead of college campuses would be more beneficial because cops are supposed to be impartial, whereas the school might have their best interest at heart instead of the victims. Finally, having an expert witness in rapes and trauma alongside them would be beneficial so we have all perspectives involved – investigative, legal, and psychological- would help improve the problem with rapes being one of the most challenging crimes to prosecute.

Reference List

A. (2010, March 31). National Review: Getting Serious On Pornography. Retrieved April 17, 2017, from http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125382361

Attorney, S. N. (2005). Retrieved April 13, 2017, from https://www.cga.ct.gov/2005/rpt/2005- R-0857.htm

Beichner, D., & Spohn, C. (2012). Modeling the effects of victim behavior and moral character on prosecutors’ charging decisions in sexual assault cases. Violence and Victims, 27(1), 3-24. doi:10.1891/0886-6708.27.1.3

Bushak, L. (2016, June 17). After Brock Turner, How Should We Teach Boys Not To Rape? Retrieved April 17, 2017, from http://www.medicaldaily.com/brock-turner-rape- consensual-sex-education-389909

Cowan, S. (2016, June 29). See How Your State Legally Defines Rape (or Does not). Retrieved April 17, 2017, from http://www.takepart.com/article/2016/06/29/state-rape-laws

Deisen, C., & Diesen, E. F. (2010). Sex crime legislation: Proactive and anti-therapeutic effects. International Journal Of Law And Psychiatry, 33(5-6), 329-335. doi: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2010.09.018

Foubert, J. D., Brosi, M. W., & Bannon, R. S. (2011). Pornography viewing among fraternity men: Effects on bystander intervention, rape myth acceptance and behavioral intent to commit sexual assault. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 18(4), 212-231. doi: 10.1080/10720162.2011.625552

Giacalone, J. L. (2013). The criminal investigative function: a guide for new investigators. Flushing, NY: Looseleaf Law Publications.

Hopper, J. W. (2015, June 23). Why many rape victims do not fight or yell. Retrieved April 13, 2017, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/06/23/why- many-rape-victims-dont-fight-or-yell/?utm_term=.d08c30e6a1b4

Lonsway, K. A. (2005). The Use of Expert Witnesses in Cases Involving Sexual Assault. Retrieved April 14, 2017, from http://www.ncdsv.org/images/ useexpertwitnessessexassaultcases.pdf

Maier, S. L. (2012). Sexual assault nurse examiners’ perceptions of the revictimization of rape victims. Journal Of Interpersonal Violence, 27(2), 287-315. doi: 10.1177/0886260511416476

Mennicke, A., Anderson, D., Oehme, K., & Kennedy, S. (2014). Law enforcement officers’ perceptions of rape and rape victims: A multimethod study. Violence And Victims, 29(5), 814-827. doi:10.1891/0886-6708.VV-D- 13- 00017

Patterson, D. (2011). The impact of detectives’ manner of questioning on rape victims’ disclosure. Violence Against Women, 17(11), 1349-1373. doi: 10.1177/1077801211434725

Rubenfeld, J. (2014, November 15). Mishandling Rape. Retrieved April 17, 2017, from https:// http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/16/opinion/sunday/mishandling-rape.html

Ruiz, R. (2013, June 19). Why Do not Cops Believe Rape Victims? Brain Science Explains. Retrieved April 13, 2017, from  http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2013/06 why_cops_don_t_believe_rape_victims_and_how_brain_science_can_solve_the.html

The Hunting Ground (2017).The Hunting Ground Book. Retrieved April 17, 2017, from http:// thehuntinggroundfilm.com/2016/05/the-hunting-ground-book/

I’ve Been MIA

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I know I’ve been MIA. I haven’t been on for many reasons. One being school, and the second reason I will reveal next week. School has been keeping me quite busy. I am writing a paper on Rape for my Psychology and Law class. I am writing about how rape is one of the most challenging crimes to prosecute in today’s society. I am very excited and passionate about my paper.

Through doing research and reading articles for my paper I feel much more informed than I was when I was sexually assaulted and then raped two times. I truly wish I had the knowledge I have now, so I could go back and make sure I didn’t shower, or wait too long to report. I also have gotten quite angry, thinking back to when I did report. I could tell the officer who was taking down my statement and interviewing me for Monster didn’t take anything I said seriously or thought I was lying. I hated that feeling. The worst part was weeks later when he called me to tell me the DA didn’t want to take my case, and that Monster said he didn’t rape me. As if my rapist saying he didn’t rape me equivalated his innocence. That officer took my rapist’s side. The second rape that I reported was for Owen. The initial report wasn’t with the officer who I would be getting a formal interview from, but the first officer wanted to take down as much information to pass along to the officer I would be meeting with. The officer I eventually met with seemed kind, sensitive, and understanding. I really had hope. This officer seemed to, at the beginning, want to investigate the case. Of course, once we did the recorded phone call, and Owen denied everything and attempted to gaslight me, the officer said he would call me with more information. He never called. I called, he said he didn’t have anything and that he would call me. Again, he never called back. Another officer lets me down. I only hope that my rapists don’t go on to rape other women. I hope my sexual assaulter, Peter, doesn’t go on to assault other women, though I would think that Peter would be. I regret not reporting Peter because I personally feel like he had done that before to other women and that I wasn’t the first.

The first part of my paper I am addressing the problems that make rape difficult to prosecute, such as different definitions in each state for rape and sexual assault, the fact that victims are the ones that are often questioned on their character rather than the suspect, and the lack of physical evidence in rape cases. The second half of the paper is on trying to offer solutions to the issues. I think rape should have a universal definition across the country, and sexual assault should have a universal definition across the country. There should be education at a younger age about rape. I think the first time rape was really talked about and explained was in college, possibly high school. When kids have sex-ed they should also learn about consent and rape. Then, police should be trained, or have a forensic psychologist or neuropsychologist present in interviews so that the psychologist can explain the victim’s behavior instead of the cops just assuming the victim is lying.

I’ve only gotten my introduction done so far, but next week is spring break and I will be working on the paper all week.

XOXO Anna

It’s Been 2 Years…

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Yesterday marks two years since Owen raped me. I didn’t blog yesterday because I ended up being busy. In fact, I forgot about the rape because Cody and I were doing so well. Cody gave me the perfect night last night and didn’t even realize it was the anniversary of one of my rapes.

It’s honestly crazy to think two years have passed since I went to SCAD. Time seems to have flown by. I definitely believe everything happens for a reason. I know that if Owen hadn’t have raped me, I wouldn’t have left Savannah and moved back home, and then I’d never have met Cody.

Having gone through a sexual assault and two rapes in the course of three years completely changed the way I viewed myself. The aftermath of those trauma’s was me thinking I was trash, worthless, an object, and unlovable.

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Though Cody had his own issues he brought into our relationship, Cody has given me the gift of knowing I am lovable. The guys I dated bailed on me with time due to the PTSD I had. Cody never even thought to leave when I had flashbacks. He held me and reminded me where I was. I never thought I would have come to the day where I forgot I was raped. In the past  each anniversary had so much hold over me.

I have grown so much over the past couple years, and I am so proud of myself for doing all the hard work of recovery. I do still on rare occasions have flashbacks, or relive feelings from the trauma’s, but they don’t disable me the way they used to. I used to feel handicapped every day. I feel much more free and confident these days. I know that I am worth more than sex, I am a human being that deserves respect. It took a while to get here, but I am glad I’ve gotten here.

XOXO Anna

“Nice Titties”

I need to blog about this right now if I’m going to make it home on the train ride without crying. 
For those who read my blog, you know I have been sexually assaulted and raped twice. I have PTSD but have been treated for it with EMDR and I have been doing really well. 

After I got out of my Cognitive Psych class, which I got an A on the exam, I was walking down the stairs and when I got to the bottom a guy said “hey” to me, I nodded and kept walking unsure of why he tried talking to me. He said, “stop” so I stopped, and looked at him and then to his friends who had smiles on their face. 

I asked if they were doing a psychology experiment because of the strange behavior they displayed. He said no, and that he stopped me because he thought I was very attractive.  I said thank you and was going to keep walking but he kept talking. He kept saying how attractive I was and if my eyes were real or colored contacts. I said real. He then proceeded with saying, “don’t slap me when I say this.” I said ,”okay” and he said “you’re very attractive, your eyes and hair, and I noticed you because of your blouse and well, you have nice titties.” He also asked for my snapchat and I told him I was in a serious relationship and he gave me his name and said if he saw me again he would stop me and talk to me.

I feel completely objectified and gross after that. I wear the outfit I’m wearing today (jeans, low cut tank top and a jacket) every week. It’s nothing new or flashy, just my every day casual clothes. I am so jumpy and scared and just stupid PTSD reaction… I just want to be home with Cody so he can hug me and I can feel safe. 

I know most girls like getting hit on, but I don’t at least not like that. That was very vulgar and gross. It made me feel so uncomfortable. Especially given my history. 

Is this normal behavior for a guy? I’ve been hit on but never like that…

XOXO Anna 

The Hunting Ground

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I just watched the documentary The Hunting Ground on Netflix and it was amazing. As someone who has been sexually assaulted, and raped twice, it really hit home for me. Honestly watching the documentary was terrifying. Terrifying because of how rampant a problem it is, not that I didn’t know, but hearing their stories, and seeing how poorly College Universities handled it was sickening. It makes me not want my kids to go to a college one day, because I would hate for my kid to have the same fate as me.

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I went to the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia and I somewhat reported what Peter did to me. I talked to a therapist who was extremely helpful to me through the situation, and when going to the person who handles reports, she explained to me what would happen if I ended up reporting through the school or through the police. I know that if you report through SCAD it protects them, and when if reporting to the police I believe they don’t reveal that the student went to SCAD because it’s a private college. Personally I think that’s stupid. I went to SCAD and yes, it was a SCAD senior at the time who sexually assaulted me, but it wasn’t on campus but at his apartment. I ended up not reporting Peter, as you know if you’ve read my blog.

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I did end up reporting Monster, the boyfriend who raped me, a year after it happened. He went to GCSU (Georgia College and State University) in Milledgeville, GA. I remember reporting was not fun. The police officer was a man, and I could tell how skeptical he was of me reporting. He asked why I waited and I told him it was because I thought no one would support me, and at the time I didn’t have anyone who would come with me to do it. Milledgeville is a three hour drive from Savannah, so it’s a long trek to go alone, especially when I could have run into Monster… In the room was the officer, myself, and a person from the university who handles cases within the university. In the end the police didn’t convict. They said they didn’t have sufficient evidence. The school however said they were still looking into it. I remember, and still have, the letter I got from the school saying they didn’t find sufficient evidence. I do have to wonder if they talked to any of Monsters friends who were there that night who witnessed how drunk I was and the fact that I had a flashback and I couldn’t walk…

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When I reported Owen to the Savannah Chatham County Police, that was a completely different experience. I remember going there with Ramone and the woman at the desk was very supportive as I was breaking down crying waiting to talk to an officer. Ramone explained to the desk officer why I was breaking down, because my parents told me not to report. The woman told me I was doing the right thing. Eventually we saw an officer and he took down my statement and said he would pass it onto the sexual assault officer and I eventually got a call from that officer a couple days later. He again took my statement and worked with me. We did a recorded phone call and of course Owen had known I reported and played as if nothing happened that night. The officer told me he would do what he could and still investigate after that. He called the Rape Crisis in Savannah since I was in a suicidal state after that phone call. I went to Andy’s apartment where Quick Silver was also at. That night was terrifying and sad. Andy and Quick Silver kept me from doing anything to myself and helped me through the night.

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The officer lied to me, I believe. My police professor at the college I go to now told me that a recorded phone call, if the perp denies anything happened then the case is ended. So I was pissed to know that my officer gave me false hope. I wish he was straight with me and told me there was nothing else he could do.

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I obviously am being more open about my experience with my assaults in this post, and that’s because I want to be. Before I was scared. I mean, why do you think my blog is anonymous. I fear the repercussions of standing up for myself against these men. I fear what people will think of me if they knew who I really was.

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Cody, India, Ramone, Quick Silver, and Andy are the only ones who gave me the reaction I was hoping for after telling them. My sister obviously told me it wasn’t my fault. Cody said the same thing and cried with me and held me and told me he couldn’t believe anyone could do such terrible things to me and that he wished he could hurt them in my defense. Ramone was horrified when I told him and he took me to the station, gave me the courage and support I needed to be able to report. Quick Silver told me that Owen raped me and reporting was my choice. Andy got angry and was about to go defend my honor. No one had shown anger for me when I told them except for Andy and Cody. Most just blamed me or asked why I did what I did, or what could I have done differently, or was I sure it was rape. Those were people I thought were my friends.

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For those who are reading this and have been through similar situations I am sorry. I wish that rape and assault could end and not exist. It is so prominent in our culture and it makes me angry. That is why I am posting and being open. This documentary made me so angry to see all these women and hear their stories and know how terribly the colleges handled it. If anyone ever needs to reach out or talk, I’m here to listen. Seriously, my email is on the side of my site, feel free to shoot me an email if you need someone to talk to. I know how crappy and terrible it is to go through such a scary experience. I know how scary PTSD can be. I’ve been through it and still sometimes suffer from it. But there is hope and recovery is possible. Also, I’ve written this before, but those of you have gone through this…you are not a victim but a survivor. It takes tremendous courage and strength to keep going after such a traumatic violation. Especially when people turn on you. So know that you are not alone and you are strong. I believe in all of you and know that you can get through this.

XOXO Anna

Tired and Want To Cry

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I am so tired right now, I can’t focus, and I feel like I’m about to pass out. Luvas kept Cody and I up all night last night. We also moved into our apartment yesterday. Luvas was crying because he was in an unfamiliar place, and he was extremely cuddley and affectionate.

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Also some stuff is going on with Cody. So if you’ve read my blog you know about his misstep or betrayal. Due to that, and wanting to rebuild trust and intimacy there are certain rules or understandings. If you read my post about his LARPing you will know some of those rules. So the other one is to tell me who he is hanging out with. There was this girl that was a friend of his friends. She friend requested him on Facebook. Cody and her barely know each other, besides in game(where they are characters) and so with my separation anxiety and Cody’s history I was annoyed that Cody didn’t tell me about this. More like hurt. If he had told me, there would have been no issues, I wouldn’t have thought too much of it, but it was the fact that I found out when checking his phone that was the trigger. It brought back all those memories from the past and feelings from the past. Our deal was total honesty and openness. Not omitting (which is a form of lying). I just …I can’t wrap my head around it. I think about it and make excuses for Cody to not have told me, but then I go back and realize there was no excuse. Then I’m hurt and mad.

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Actions like these make me feel like I’m in this alone- that Cody doesn’t care to keep us moving forward from the misstep. And I’ve been making steps forward. The other week a porn thing came on with a show we watch and because of everything he usually turns his head away for those scenes, but this time he didn’t and I didn’t say anything. That was me trying to move past it but I eventually broke down and said I couldn’t handle it and needed more time. I also accepted he was going LARPing, which causes anxiety. Then the LARPing girl thing happened and it made me feel like I just was right to be worried.

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If Cody didn’t have his history, if I was never with Monster who I really think was cheating on me during our long distance relationship, him going LARPing wouldn’t be an issue except for the missing him (which is normal). So yeah. I don’t know, I am so sleep deprived and cranky and upset right now. I can barely concentrate or think.

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All I know is that I’ve shown Cody articles on how most couples rebuild trust and there are certain things we have done and moved on from, but then there are key things that Cody keeps tripping up on, meaning I start worrying and getting anxious again, and it’s like we are back to the beginning. Also Cody is the first person I’ve ever tried to rebuild trust with. I’ve never done this before. It’s incredibly challenging. In the past, before Cody, if someone fucked me over there was no going back from that. That person was either out of my life, or if they were in my life it was never the same. Ethan for example. If you’ve read my blog you will know that our friendship was forever changed when he asked if Monster really raped me. After that we were never as close. It was because only one of us cared. I cared and wanted to have that friendship, but Ethan obviously didn’t care. So I want to know Cody cares, and if he does he will follow through with that we decided on. That is very important. Keeping his word is key to healing. It builds trust and assurance and a sense of reliability.

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Cody and I have been talking on the phone and I haven’t eaten at all today but he helped me distinguish that Ed was the one who didn’t want me to eat, and that I did want to eat. So I am happy he helped me with that. See, that, that act showed me he cares. That changed my mood by a lot. Even Cody being at our apartment right now to check on Luvas means something. Knowing that he is actually moving Luvas’s water and food into our bedroom and Luvas’s litter is something that makes me happy. I know it’s small and simple but it means everything. It shows me that Cody cares. He didn’t have to go home to check on Luvas during his lunch break, but I asked Cody to, and he did it. That is him keeping his word. That is an action that makes me feel like I can trust him. If he keeps that kind of stuff up we will be fine.

But I am hungry and I’m guna go get food.

XOXO Anna

 

Everything Happens For A Reason

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If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know the things I’ve been through since I went to college. It’s been over three years since my first sexual assault, over two years since my first rape, and over a year since my second rape. Going through that, I honestly thought my life was pretty much over. At least romantically… even friendships seemed too hard to have.

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This past year, being with Cody, he has taught me so much. I honestly never thought I would be “over” what happened to me. I live with it everyday, but it’s not as bad as it once was. Sure I have my off days where I will blame myself, or hate myself, or tell myself I deserved to be treated that way, but there are days where I know that it wasn’t my fault, and I love myself, and I know that I should be treated with respect.

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The progress I’ve made…I never thought I would get to such a good place, especially in the after math of it happening. Especially with friends either blaming me, taking the rapists side, or leaving me. I didn’t think I could heal. But I did. I have, and am still healing every day.

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There are days where I want to still curl up under the covers and cry because when I think back to it or if I have flashbacks -which rarely happen these days- I feel unsafe and scared. But those days are rare now. They are not my everyday experience. It’s taken a long time to heal, to really think that I can be loved after what I’ve been through. To believe that I should be treated with respect. For me to be able to believe that…it’s huge.

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Because of what I’ve gone through it’s made me want to do something. Do something to help other survivors, and yes if you’ve been through this or any type of trauma you are a survivor. It takes an enormous amount of strength to get through a trauma. Be proud of how strong you are. Acknowledge it. I did. That is probably one of my favorite things about me, is how resilient I am and how strong I am. I wouldn’t change a thing about what I’ve been through. It’s shaped me into the person I am today. I am strong, determined, resilient, brave, courageous, and I don’t back down and cower. For me, going through those trauma’s really in the end made me a better person. It took time to understand that though.

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After my trauma’s I hated myself, thought I was worthless, and wanted to kill myself at times. It’s taken a long time to get to this point of self-love, and acceptance. I still struggle, but for the most part I am okay.

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I am still not at the point where I feel I can be “out” about it, but I’ve made a lot of progress with it. I am pursuing a career in justice because of what I’ve gone through, and because of what almost every one of my girlfriends tell me they’ve gone through. I want to help the survivors and stop the perpetrators. I want things to change. I want there to be better sex education in schools. I think that over the past couple years, that there have been a lot of steps forward regarding rape issues, and talking about it. Rape used to never be talked about. Now it’s everywhere.

In my police class, my professor when talking about rape, I could see how disgusted he was. He hated how hard it was to convict a rapist, and he really was upset that rape is the only crime where the victim is accused. I personally didn’t have the best experience with the police and my rapes, but just seeing my professor be so affected helped.

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I know I can’t be a cop, due to my anorexia, and I don’t know if I could cut it as a lawyer. I do want to pursue my forensic psychology studies, but I also want to be a therapist. I have helped a lot of my friends, and even my own therapist said I would be a good therapist. That meant a lot to me. She was the therapist I saw for my traumas, and I worked with her until maybe a month ago.

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I want to be able to help survivors in some way. Whether it’s helping them through therapy, or emails and talking to them, or being a volunteer at a shelter. To me, helping others is the best thing I could do with my life. I love when I can really help  a person, and keep them from making mistakes I’ve made or I know others have made. I like seeing other people succeed. That is what brings me the greatest happiness. With going through what I’ve been through, it just made it so much more clear that’s where I want my life to go; to helping others.

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Hopefully through some of my blog posts I’ve helped people or at least they’ve learned through my own mistakes. If anyone ever wants to reach out, or even just ask me a question that you would want me to post about, or have a topic you want me to write about, email me and I would love to. I want to be able to write about things you guys want to read about.

Email: anonymousannaxo@gmail.com

(anything emailed to me will stay private if you want me to answer a type of question. I will just say Reader X asked this. As you know by my blog I like to keep things anonymous because it is safer and a more open environment)

XOXO Anna

Breakdown, a Call from my Sister, and Tough Love

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Last night was bad. Really bad. I broke down and it was extremely painful. I was really triggered. Cody and I were getting a drink before we headed home when he picked me up from the station, and I don’t know how but we got onto the topic of sex and blow jobs. Cody got turned on. We went home and I knew he wanted one, and he told me so many times that they weren’t important to him, that I shouldn’t ever give one if I don’t want to ( and he has said all this before, almost every time it’s mentioned) but I felt like I had to. Not because of him, but because of my past. So I gave one to him. When I stopped he knew right away from the look on my face I hadn’t wanted to do it and he got upset because he knew I wasn’t okay.

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I told him I was, he went to parkour, and I had a huge breakdown. I went to the shower to feel clean and I cried. I cried and cried. I screamed a horribly painful scream, that if one heard, they would think that person is in severe pain or being tortured. My screams even scared me. I texted Cody that I wasn’t okay. I eventually called my sister when I got out of the shower because all I wanted to do was self-harm or end it all because I didn’t want to feel all the feelings of abuse from the past.

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My sister had to talk to me, and I could tell something was off. I explained that Cody had told me not to if I didn’t want to, but because of my past I did it anyway. I then told her about Eric and how he shoved my head down and forced me to do that to him, and I think that’s when I could tell something was off with my sister. Eventually I told her I was okay (meaning I wasn’t going to end it all) and I went back to the bath with a safety pin and just cried again, not doing anything to hurt myself but crying. Cody came home and grabbed the safety pin, I screamed because I didn’t realize he was home.

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We ended up talking. My sister texted me for Cody’s number so she could call him and say things she figured I would never say to Cody, and she said she wasn’t going to yell at him. I stupidly believed her. Cody called India and took it in the game room while I sat in the bedroom still trying to calm down from the intense breakdown. At first I thought it was going okay and then I heard Cody say, “Of course I love her. I would never do anything to hurt her, I just want to protect her.” I knew it was going downhill from there. I didn’t hear everything but I was outside the door by the end of the conversation and Cody called me in.

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I sat on his lap and he said, “You’re sister really hates me. She hates me so much that she either wants me to leave you or for me to die.” Cody looked shattered. I know India can be very mean when she is angry. Cody said that from the conversation he had with her, he thinks that a guy forced her to go down on him. It’s true, out of all the times I’ve called her crying because of a trigger she has never called or wanted to talk to Cody until now. So maybe that is what happened. I don’t know, but it’s a suspicion. Cody and I are still shaken by what India said to him, including that he is a terrible human being who is breaking another human being (referring to me) and all this other shit, and saying that he doesn’t deserve me and that he should leave me, or that she thinks I want to leave him but wouldn’t and such. It was a really really intense bad conversation.

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This morning I had another talk with Cody. What my sister said really did hit me. I told Cody that he needed to put more effort in. I told him that if things keep going the way they are now, we really are not going to make it and won’t have a future together. I said that I deserve to be treated with respect, love, and care. I told him I don’t want to leave him, I love him, but I refuse to be with someone who does not respect me or care or love me (not that he doesn’t, he does, he just isn’t or hasn’t been showing it at all.)

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Cody agreed he got complacent, and he isn’t sure what happened or why, but he has promised that he will make the effort. I gave simple examples to him from the beginning of the relationship to now, like how if something was wrong, it didn’t matter what time it was he would be up and talking to me to make sure I didn’t go to bed crying. These days he says he is tired and goes to bed, and I sometimes cry myself to sleep a bit. Cody hated knowing that. That example made it clear to him that he really has gotten lazy with our relationship and he promised me he would do better.

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I really hope he keeps this promise, because I love him, and I would do anything for him, and I just hope he can do the same for me.

XOXO Anna

Dinner with Mom

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Last night’s dinner was hell. I haven’t had time to post for the past couple days and finally I have time. My parents have been on my ass to get either a job or internship this summer once school gets out. Also because my parents have been constantly criticizing Cody and me we wanted to move out. I don’t know where Cody and I stand on that at the moment, but I personally think I still want to move out. I just can’t take my parents treating me like I’m in high school. I’m 22 years old and I should be able to make my own decisions.

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But last night at dinner Cody, me, and my mom were drinking and eating while talking about me. Talking about how my mom thinks I am weak, a child, and dependent. It’s true that I am financially dependent on them. But to call me a child and weak? I feel like that was uncalled for. Also she said my life is a mess right now and I need to get my shit together.

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If you’ve been reading my blog, you will know that right now my life is the most together it’s been in over three years. I am going to school and am in a healthy relationship. Back at my old school I was dealing with my trauma’s and stuff. I was not in a good place. But I finally am. I haven’t self harmed in almost six months. I’ve basically stopped drinking aside from the occasional drink with dinner, and I am going to school. I feel like my life is pretty together at the moment.

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Cody couldn’t believe that my mom didn’t pick up on my sarcastic acting last night. I basically just agreed with everything my mom said to please her and she loved it. She loved the me I was faking. She said, “Where did this Anna go? I’m glad she is back.” That implies that I used to be a kiss ass. Which I wasn’t. I am raging pissed because now my mom and dad are going to be infuriated if I don’t find a job or internship for the summer. Their definition of an acceptable job for me is being a waitress where I make $300-$400 a night in tips. That’s not possible for me to do.

I just hope that when I tell my mom last night was a huge lie she doesn’t freak on me. There’s just all this pressure and I feel like I’m drowning in it.

 

XOXO Anna

Cigarette For Head?

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Last night wasn’t good. I was suicidal. So much so I had a plan. Cody and I talked though and he got me to calm down. But what I really want to talk about is the reason I was so down.

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I am sick and tired of seeing men disrespect women. Honestly it makes me sick to my stomach sometimes and makes me want to smack them when they say ignorant or misogynistic crap. Yesterday we were hanging with Cody’s two friends. They are well… let’s just say I would not want to ever date a guy like that. One is a complete asshole when it comes to women, and the other just stupid (as in intellectually stupid.) Sorry if that sounds harsh but it’s what I’ve witnessed. Then we go to Bass Pro Shop and this guy wants a cigarette. He asks the asshole friend if he can have one and says, “she will give you head for it,” referring to the girl he was with. Luckily she didn’t hear that, but my fucking god that was insanely disrespectful. That infuriated me beyond belief but I stayed silent. I stayed silent mainly out of fear, and only today did I realize I was angry that I stayed silent. Someone should tell that asshole off. But no one did.

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Then later we were all playing pool at this club, and there was this stupid tv show on and it referred to these hookers as bitches and that also didn’t sit well with me. I just… I hate seeing that men think its okay to call women names like “bitch”, “slut”, “cunt”, etc. It really drives me crazy to hear that…also calling women “crazy”. It also makes my blood boil when I see that in TV or even like that man who wanted a cigarette, just treats women as objects, or something tradable, or just there to please a guy. Like I am sorry, but I’m not, but seriously guys need to understand the BASIC concept that women are people too. They are human beings and they are equal.

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Yes I am ranting right now, but I really need to get these feelings out. It also sucks to see Cody’s friends sometimes acting so ignorant about women’s rights and just treating a woman with basic dignity instead of treating them like “disposable pieces of ass”. Yeah, I really needed to vent. It just gets me really depressed when I see this day in and day out. And when Cody laughs at some of the sexist asshole humor that is honestly seriously offensive just makes it even worse. It makes me think that he is just like those other ignorant guys. But I know Cody isn’t and I am teaching him a lot about women and their rights and how to treat them or not make those kinds of offensive jokes. Like, honestly before we met Cody thought it was okay to joke about certain topics that are obviously not okay to joke about *cough* rape *cough*. Yeah. But Cody has learned a lot from me. I just wish more girls would tell their guys about this stuff. Cody told me that no girl ever spoke up about anything like that in the past that he has been with.

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I know that sometimes guys say that girls shouldn’t let the guy treat them so badly but sometimes it should be the guy knowing not to do it in the first place, right? I admit that after my rapes, I let guys treat me like absolute crap…because that’s what I thought I deserved. But no one, regardless of gender or sex, should be treated with inequality or like an object. We are all people, human beings with emotions. Sometimes it makes me sad to see that so many people don’t get that concept. Why can’t people treat others nicely and with dignity? What makes someone better than another person? We are all human, trying to live life, and make the best of it with the hands we were dealt. Some have great hands from the start and others unfortunately don’t, but that doesn’t mean that someone with say money is better than someone with out. We are all just people, trying to make a living and enjoy life.

Sorry again for the rant. Just really, really, had to vent.

XOXO Anna

Sex and Anorexia

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When we are younger we grow up thinking sex is something amazing, flawless, and something you do only when you love the person. At least that’s how I was introduced to sex. Sex seemed like this special thing that happened once you were mature enough to experience it. The way society portrays sex in movies or in TV shows further pushed that message. In the movies, there are two attractive people, and the experience is perfect and amazing. In reality sex is not always so smooth. What society fails to portray is that sex can be awkward. It can be funny, it can be intimate, it can be embarrassing, it can be scary, it can be violent, and so on.

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Sex for me was awkward and pleasurable for the most part before the rapes. Sex then turned into something scary. I was terrified by intimacy and never wanted it. Anorexia also built up a wall between intimacy. I remember every time I was doing anything sexual with Ethan I was so self-conscious about my body that I couldn’t really enjoy whatever we were doing. With other guys, like one night hookups, it wasn’t as much as a problem-mainly because I was intoxicated to some degree I couldn’t be bothered to think about that. With Eric sex was intimate at times, which was new for me. It was scary.

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Sex with Cody these past eight months has been amazing. There have obviously been the ups and downs. The times were it ended because of my flashbacks, or times I would start crying in the middle of it. But besides those times, sex was something that was intimate most of the time, which I had never had. Anorexia has sometimes gotten in the way. This past week it has gotten in the way. I have been super self-conscious of my body, like insanely so that the anorexic voice in my head has been beating me all week. I’ve definitely restricted this week.

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Last night sex sucked not because Cody isn’t great at sex, but because I was so disgusted with myself and how I looked that I couldn’t get into it, thus not feeling anything. Today we had sex and I started crying a bit, and then we talked and later had amazing sex. But that amazing sex we had…I was damn exhausted. After we were done and went to clean off, I was dizzy. I still am. I’ve been doing my sociology homework, kind of. I should do my police work but I don’t know if I have the mental energy to concentrate on that podcast. Also we are going to see a movie later, so I have to get my work done now.

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I just want to sleep. But I can’t. My memory sucks right now, I’m exhausted beyond belief, my moods are everywhere, and all the other stupid anorexia stuff slowly is coming back. Anorexia is a killer.

XOXO Anna

3 Year Anniversary

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Two nights ago I drank a lot and was black out drunk. I was really down, like suicidal down. I was thinking about Peter, and that just got to me. Cody told me not to keep drinking but I didn’t listen. I regret it because Cody filled me in on all the blanks and it wasn’t good. Apparently I grabbed a kitchen knife, threatening to cut. But that’s what I wanted before I drank, I wanted to cut or do worse. I also, when completely intoxicated, ask for sex and say that “I’ll do whatever you want.” I only know this because Cody videoed some of it. He videoed me because he wanted for me to know what it was like when I got drunk and had flashbacks and stuff. It was very rough to watch. I told Cody to delete the video. He did. I didn’t go to school today. Since two nights ago I’ve been incredibly down. I think, or I know, that I am going to go back to AA for a bit so I can remind myself why drinking doesn’t solve anything. Peter sexually assaulted me on February 26th and it was a tuesday night. So, though the date anniversary is friday, to me it’s today. Cody and I are going to cuddle and watch TV when he gets home and have a relaxing night, and on wednesday he said he would go with me to an AA meeting because I am too scared to go on my own. How did I get so lucky to find a guy who not only takes care of me when drunk and doesn’t do anything sexual to me, but will go to an AA meeting, or goes to eating disorder treatment with me? Again, he is a unicorn, and I am damn lucky to have him.

XOXO Anna

Cody Truly is a Unicorn

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In all my sexual experiences, no guy has ever put my needs first or has there been a time where we had sex and it was all about my pleasure instead of his. In my experiences it’s been all about the guy. I would be lucky if I came or even enjoyed the experience.

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Last night Cody and I had sex but it was all about me. Cody did whatever he could to pleasure me. He practically made me come internally while he was on top, which was new. After I said I couldn’t take anymore, he said, “Okay, wanna go to the shower to clean off?” I was shocked and said, “But you didn’t even get off.” He said, “I know, this time it was all about you. I wanted to pleasure you.”

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Cody has done that for me once before and I guess I had the same reaction I had this time. I was in shock. I am sorry, but in my experiences with guys, they don’t seem to care or consider the fact that the girl may not be enjoying it or may not have climaxed. Usually the experience is the guy taking lead until he gets off. It didn’t really matter if I enjoyed something or not. With Cody every time we’ve had sex it hasn’t been about just him. It’s been about us. Of course there are times where I just want to pleasure him, and I guess there are times where he just wants to pleasure me. I just am not used to that.

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I honestly felt like I didn’t deserve it, and maybe that has something to do with my trauma’s but I don’t know. I just couldn’t comprehend why he was doing that. Like, to me, it felt like that had to be a huge sacrifice because in my experience it was always annoying if I asked a guy for what I wanted…and Cody just gave me amazing sex and wanted it to be all about my pleasure. It really was unexpected. He said it wasn’t a sacrifice at all, but something he wanted to do. I kept asking about if he wanted to continue so he could get off but he said no. I couldn’t comprehend that. I just kinda tried not to cry afterwards but I kinda did. I was just so shocked in a good way. It was honestly one of the nicest things Cody could have done for me. He said it was one part of him trying to make it up to me that be betrayed my trust. He apparently is coming up with some surprise for me. That’s sweet though. I just can’t wait for saturday! I am so excited yet so nervous. Cody feels like he doesn’t deserve everything I am going to do for him on saturday.

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My dad made me realize two nights ago that I made Cody feel like I was going to leave. When Cody did go on that porn site on Christmas eve, I was really hurt and I said that I wasn’t sure if I could handle it and that if he did it again I might want to leave but I wouldn’t have the strength. So Saturday is my way of showing Cody that I am here no matter what. I am not going anywhere. I will stay with him through it all.

XOXO Anna

Sick, Talking, and Sex

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Last night after I posted I got sick; I didn’t throw up but I had an upset stomach and felt nauseous. It sucked and I didn’t let Cody know. He was gaming and I dealt with it for three hours. Cody went to check on me and found me holding a trash can. He wished I had told him. I didn’t want him to worry. But he made me tea and got me water and stayed with me for a bit before going back to gaming. That kind of created some tension though for me.

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I wanted for him to not go back to gaming after he found out I wasn’t feeling well, but he said, “why can’t I do both?” I get it, he can game and care about me at the same time, but I just wished he would have stayed with me, but I didn’t tell him that, so I don’t blame him for not knowing.

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Before he left though I told him I was only going to be mad at him if he didn’t read the post The Story With Peter later that night. I told him I was waiting all night for that. He obviously wasn’t going to read it that night by his reaction. I told him he could go game but that I was expecting that he would read it later. He said that he said he didn’t want to read it because he didn’t want his mood to change, and I said I thought he meant earlier. I told him I was giving him the night to do gaming and whatever before he read it. In the end I felt disappointed and told him not to read it and to go game.

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He left looking pathetic and probably feeling bad. He did check on me after five minutes to make sure I was okay and I said I was starting to feel better. He left and I was about to write a post when he game in and sat on the bed. He looked really emotional and I was confused by that. He told me he read the post and was extremely angry. I wasn’t sure if I believed him so he told me some things I wrote and I new he didn’t skim but actually read it. We ended up talking about it, and honestly it brought up a lot. I was so happy that he didn’t blame me. In fact, he said what some others said when it first happened and I told people. He and others said that Peter sounded like a predator. It was just interesting how Cody used that word because others had too. It felt good that Cody didn’t blame me, believed me, and was angry about it.

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I did feel ashamed though. For the longest time Peter felt like a dirty little secret. Now it’s out for everyone to know or read. I am not sure how I feel about it completely. Part of me is happy that I feel like I’m not carrying that around like it is something to hide…and part of me feels very vulnerable because I shared that experience. I do feel embarrassed, humiliated, and ashamed because of what Peter did to me. I don’t like feeling those emotions, but that’s the emotions that come up when I talk about Peter.

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This morning before Cody had to go to work we had sex, but I got slightly triggered so we stopped. I felt like crap because I got triggered again. It sucked. Cody told me that nothing changed when I asked if he looked at me differently. He still loves me and all that. I was just scared that if Cody knew all that then things might change or maybe he wouldn’t be able to look at me the same or that he would leave. Cody thought I was being ridiculous with thinking that but understood.

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I’m feeling better this morning though, besides still feeling a bit sick. Even though I was triggered, Cody and I talked. I went to grab breakfast and I am quite relaxed now. Hoping the rest of the day goes well! I’ll be grabbing lunch with Cody, and I should go grocery shopping… but probably won’t. Then tonight Cody and I will go out to dinner and come home for netflix and cuddling…so it probably will be a good day.

XOXO Anna

Unexpected

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I got a letter from RCC (Rape Crisis Center) today. It brought up some stuff. Cody and I had amazing sex, but eventually I got somewhat triggered and we had to stop. I felt bad, but I did say that I needed to stop. I wish we could have continued, but I knew I did the right thing by telling him that I needed to stop. I love that he respects that. I feel like most guys would get pissed or frustrated with me and my stupid PTSD. I still am in awe of Cody’s understanding and patience.

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Cody said he would read my post The Story With Peter later. I asked him if he was going to read it and he said he didn’t want to be in a bad or angry mood for the night. He said he would read it though. I don’t know when though. But yeah. I don’t know how to feel about that. Part of me understands and then part of me is like, “well what do you think I feel like?” but I don’t know. I just want to be able to talk to him about stuff like that without it being hard or I don’t know…

XOXO Anna

The Story with Peter

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I never really have talked about Peter on here. I’ve mentioned him sometimes, but never really talked about what happened to me. He is why my life took an unimaginable turn. I never thought that anything bad could really happen to me, not like sexual assault. When I went off to college I was optimistic and hopeful. I thought I would maybe finally get a boyfriend and enjoy my classes. I never imagined that the happy, innocent, good girl I was would be taken away from me. I will never be able to get that girl back, and that’s okay. I’ve improved over the past three years. I’ve also changed in many ways that I have wanted to.

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I’ve written about Monster and Owen, but not about Peter. I think it’s because I have the most shame and guilt surrounding him. I have tried to tell Cody about what Peter did and what happened, but Cody stops me before I get five minutes into it because he can’t hear it. It hurts him too much to think that Peter assaulted me from midnight until eight in the morning. I have wanted to talk about Peter and what happened for a while now, but never had the courage. I don’t blame Cody for not being able to hear my story, but I would still like to tell it, and this is the only way I know how.

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So warning, this could be triggering. If you’re not comfortable hearing this, then stop reading. If you’re okay with reading about this, then continue.

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February 26th, 2013

That day I went to Intro to Dramatic Writing. I talked to Peter about the movies that were on his computer and how I hadn’t seen any of them. He said I could come over to his place that night to watch them. He also said there would probably be weed and alcohol. I thanked him for the warning and said it would be fine.

I went back to the dorms and asked Ethan if I could go. It was our one month anniversary, and I really hoped that he would say no and want to spend time with me. He had work to do though, like always, and said that I could go as long as Peter knew I had a boyfriend. I texted Peter and told him, and he said, no problem because he had a girlfriend.

Peter was an hour late. I had been hanging out in Ethan’s room until Peter got there. I remember Ethan thinking it was douchey of him to be late. I remember my stomach growling as I walked to Peter’s car. I hadn’t really eaten that day. When I get to the car there’s another guy in there. It’s Peter’s roommate. I sit in the back seat in the middle. I remember not knowing where we were driving because it was dark and I didn’t know the town well.

We got to Peter’s apartment. He set up the movie on the TV and his roommate gets the weed ready to smoke. His roommate takes a hit, and passes it to Peter. Peter takes a hit and passes it to me. I didn’t know what to do, so Peter instructed me. I didn’t get much of the hit I tried. Peter lit the lighter the second time, and he told me to inhale, inhale, hold, hold, hold…and breathe. I got a real big hit off that. I was never one to relax. I didn’t really feel the affects during the first movie we watched which was Rise of the Guardians. Near the end Peter helped me take another hit. I was feeling the affects near the end of the movie. A friend of theirs came over at the end of that movie. I can’t remember his name, but if I saw him I would recognize him. They put on The Hobbit. I was so high I couldn’t really pay attention to the movie. Alcohol was mentioned, and they were out. I got excited about that. I wanted some alcohol, I wanted to feel cool. Peter started getting ready to go out. I sat there, and Peter asked, “Well aren’t you going to put on your boots?” I put them on and we headed to the car.

We stopped for gas at Parkers gas station on MLK. We then went to Parker’s Market on Drayton to get the alcohol. We stopped. We passed a police officer I remember, because I knew we were high and it was illegal, and that made me nervous as we walked in the store. We browsed, and Peter was looking around at the beer and asked what I liked. I told him I hadn’t drank anything except for Budlight at a senior high school party. Peter got Miller’s lite for me, and I can’t remember what he got for himself, but it was stronger. I mentioned I was hungry and Peter said I could grab something if I wanted. I grabbed Nacho Dorito’s. Peter paid, and I carried the bag to the car.

I opened the Dorito’s and Peter took some and we drove back to his place. The friend was gone, The Hobbit still playing, and the roommate saying he was going to bed because he had an 8 AM. I also had an 8 AM and it was midnight. I knew I wasn’t going to be going to that class. So we put on Hotel Transylvania and I tried Peter’s beer and decided to go with the Miller Lite. Maybe we took another hit, I can’t remember. But I finished one beer and so did Peter. He got up for another, I asked for another. I was sitting on a couch and didn’t know I was already drunk. I drank the second and so did Peter. He got another, and we split it.

Some how relationships were mentioned. I told Peter that Ethan was my first relationship and I had no idea what I was doing or if I was doing anything right. Peter asked me further about it and I told him Ethan never wanted to do anything and Peter couldn’t believe that. He told me I was pretty, and cute, and sexy. I had never been told that by a guy and couldn’t believe an older cuter guy was saying that about me. Ethan said I was pretty but sexy? No. I told Peter I was clueless and I started feeling spinny and I couldn’t really comprehend what Peter was telling me. Like part of me knew what he was saying but I wasn’t in the mind set to interpret what he was saying. He was telling me that I should bite Ethan’s lip when we kiss, and I didn’t really get that. Peter demonstrated on me. I was shocked but I was like okay…

Peter then told me to do it to him. I was shy and said I couldn’t. Peter said I could, and put his hand on my face and kissed me, and so I bite his lip and Peter said, “Good, you got it.”

We continued talking. I told him I didn’t really feel anything with Ethan when I was on top making out. Peter said it was because I was a Sub. He said he was a Dom. I didn’t understand those terms back then. He said I was submissive and that was why I wasn’t getting anything out of making out with Ethan. Peter got on me and kissed me. I felt something. Peter said, “yeah you’re a submissive.” Peter said something about choking and I didn’t get it so he put his hand out to demonstrate and I remember squirming, but Peter said, “Stay still I am not going to hurt you.” He put his hand around my neck and gently tightened a bit. I kind of liked that. So Peter got on me again, and kissed me and “choked” me. He then bit my ear. That was interesting…

I knew this all was not supposed to be happening. I couldn’t believe this older guy thought I was cute. He even told me, “If you were my girlfriend I would make time for you.” Peter was over me and pinned me down, and I liked that and he was saying I was definitely a submissive. He continued demonstrating. He said I was wet when he felt my body up and down. I got nervous and felt embarrassed about that I remember. Peter said it was good, it meant I was enjoying myself or something like that. Peter then asked, “Has anyone ever gone down on you?” I replied, “No” shyly. He unzipped my shorts and said “is this okay?” and I shrugged nervously and pulled them off. He came back up and was kissing me while feeling me down there. He was getting hard. He slipped his finger in my underwear and fingered me. It kinda hurt at first but then felt good. He then went down on me. I had never felt anything like that. It was strange, I was nervous and scared. I remember he looked up at me while doing it. “I want to try some things to see if you like them,” he said and he did a lot of things down there. I won’t go into detail because I personally don’t want to recount that. He put my underwear back on. We continued watching the movie. I asked to be pinned down again to see if I did really actually like it. He did. He said he could “pin me against a wall to see if I liked that” and I said “I don’t know.” He continued making out with me and he then put on Brave when Hotel Transylvania ended. Eventually I was pinned against the wall. I felt like I was on a storming ship, everything was spinning even though I couldn’t move my arms or legs because Peter’s arms and body held me tight against the wall. I was so out of it. I remember wondering if I was going to puke.

We eventually went back to the couch, and I was falling asleep or so out of it I don’t really remember anything. Peter was hard, and he was like, “You’re doing that to me.” I couldn’t believe that. He felt my underwear again and was like, “You’re so wet.” He liked that. Then more stuff happened, like making out. He showed me different positions, and I only remember that because I remember being upside down at one point but I barely remember that. He asked if I had ever seen a penis before. I hadn’t. He pulled his out and was stroking it. He asked if I had ever given a hand job and I said no. He said it was easy and I was like I don’t know. He grabbed my hand and put it on his penis and put his hand over mine, guiding it. He eventually took his hand away and I stopped and was going to pull my hand away but he said to continue. I did for a second and stopped. He asked if I’d ever given a blow job, and I said no. He asked if I wanted to, and I said no. He said, “Okay, but if you ever want lessons, just call me and I’ll show you everything you need to know.”

Eventually we went to his room. I laid in his bed. He started kissing me again. I remember him having his shirt off and having a tattoo of a tiger head on the back of his right shoulder. He went down on me again in the bed room. He took my shirt off. Kissed my neck and chest. He said, “I want to see something,” and he pulled my bra down and sucked my nipple, and said, “Yeah yours are sensitive too.” I remember feeling very violated after that. He continued doing stuff. Eventually we passed out at 8 AM. I didn’t wake up until like 4 PM.

I told Ethan that stuff happened with Peter when I saw him later that evening. Ethan thought I cheated. I thought I cheated. At the time I didn’t know what sexual assault or rape was. Only when I told a friend what happened did he tell me I was sexually assaulted. That was hard to hear. Peter forever changed my life. I was always the good girl. I was into relationships, not smoking, not drinking, not partying. After Peter I felt tainted, like trash, I felt disgusted and ashamed with myself. It took me months to understand that I didn’t want Peter to do that even thought it felt physically pleasuring. I was so confused by that. I felt guilty. Ethan and I eventually broke up.

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The reason I was so hesitant to share this was because I’ve already gotten so many opinions and comments from people about what I’ve gone through. I’ve gotten blamed, and had people say not so great things about me. But I am sharing this because I believe what happened to me was wrong. Peter was older and knew what he was doing. I even remember having one of the doctors at the school health clinic warn me that older guys loved to take advantage of the freshman girls. I remember thinking that it couldn’t happen to me. But it did. It changed my life forever.

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I started drinking, and partying and hooking up thinking I wasn’t worth anything but sex. I wasn’t anything but an object. I still think of myself like that sometimes, but it’s not as often. It will be three years since Peter assaulted me this February 26th. I’ve come so far since that incident. I never thought I would be going to a Criminal Justice school. I never thought I would be in a healthy relationship. I never thought anyone could love me. I didn’t think I was ever going to be okay. But three years later and I’m doing much better. Yes I was raped by Monster and raped by Owen, but I am doing alright given all that I’ve been through.

XOXO Anna

Date Night!

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Last night was awesome at the theatre! They had reclining leather chairs, and they were in sets of two’s so when both chairs were reclined it was really easy to cuddle. Dinner before wasn’t that good though. I am not a fan of buffalo wild wings, but Cody loves it. Also there were some triggers on the way there, so I was definitely off until we got to the theatre. But let me tell you, watching a movie like that was amazing. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go to a normal theatre again and enjoy it as much.

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School starts next week and I am extremely excited! I can’t wait to see what my police class is like. I started reading the textbook too because I’m just that much of a nerd. I am just so ready to get back into school.

XOXO Anna

Blackout Drunk

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I got blackout drunk last night and I am very upset at myself. I felt invisible with Cody and his friend and let them have their night, but Owen stuff was coming up for me since I was raped last year on the 18th.Cody filled me in this morning on what happened last night. Once his friend went home he came to check on me and I started breaking down crying. I also after that apparently wanted sex. He of course didn’t have sex with me. I remember that. I also told him to leave me. The truth is I have been trying to push him away, since last week. I have been doing that because I felt like pushing him away during my trauma stuff would be better, that way he didn’t have to deal with it. But as Cody has told me a million times, he wants to help me and be there for me.

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I apologized for getting drunk, and for trying to push him away. He said he understood and wasn’t mad at me. He said he just wanted to help. Jeez, he is seriously so good. I honestly don’t understand how he can love me so much…through it all. It’s pretty amazing though. I feel extremely lucky to be with him.

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Tonight is date night. We are going to this movie theatre where you can bring your own alcohol. I am not drinking, but he will be. You can even have ice cream at this theatre. And they have reclining chairs. It’s going to be a fun night.

XOXO Anna

What do I do?

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It’s officially one year since Owen raped me.

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I’m drunk, I’m crying. I’m not coping at all. I don’t know what to do to get through this. I am sorry but I am stressing majorly. I don’t want to remember it. I don’t  want to remember him at all… I know drinking doesn’t solve shit but I don’t know what to do.

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I am feeling like crap. I hate that I got raped. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it!

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I don’t know how I could be so stupid as to trusting a guy 10 years older than me… I hate it. I hate the memory. I hate him. I hate it all… How could I be so stupid?

XOXO Anna

Mind Blowing Sex and Separation Anxiety

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Last night Cody and I hung out with some of his friends and then we came back home and had the most amazing sex. Cody has told me many times through out our relationship that I am sometimes too much for him to handle sexually because he is so pleasured. I always thought he was just being nice because I didn’t really get the idea of being pleasured so much that you actually couldn’t take it…that was until last night. I now understand why he says that.

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I was so happy to not have any PTSD thing come up last night. We had the best time and I honestly thought sex with Cody couldn’t get better but it just keeps getting better. It’s been seven months of having amazing sex, having an amazingly supportive partner, and finally realizing what a healthy relationship is.

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I can tell you that before Cody I did not have a healthy sex life at all with any of the past guys. I didn’t realize that I had it so bad until I met Cody. I never really realized how much guys manipulated or guilted me into doing things for them. I just thought, “Well, that’s how guys are, and that’s how it is.” But Cody never pressures me and he always says I can say no. He respects when I say no, and he listens if I say I want to have sex but to take it slowly because I don’t want to get triggered.

Cody works for my parents, and they had an Atlanta show last week, and this week they have their Dallas show, and next week they have their New York show. I didn’t realize they had the Dallas show this week. I’ve always had separation anxiety from my parents when they are traveling. I was really shocked to find out that my mom wasn’t coming home last night, and that my dad was leaving this morning for Dallas. I mean, it’s nice that Cody and I have the house to ourselves, but I miss my parents when they’re gone.

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I called my mom this morning after my dad left because I could feel myself starting to panic and she talked me down. I told her all about how my PTSD had been acting up and how having them gone was hard. It helped though to talk to her. I know I have my issues with my mom, but one thing she is good at is getting me to calm down. It also helped that Cody went out to breakfast with me. I am having a pretty good start to the week, excluding the anxiety. 

Hope everyone else is having a good monday!

XOXO Anna