Becoming a Parent

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I never thought I would be becoming a parent before I turn 24. My mom always had this vision for me. She knocked into my head, school, career, marriage, kids. I am currently close to getting my bachelors, only 9 classes left after I take 2 summer classes. I also want to possibly do volunteer work at a rape crisis center or the center for family justice in my county. Of course, I would have to wait a year or so to do that. Hopefully, I’d be able to do that while getting my Masters in Counseling, though I really have no idea what my life is going to be like at that point.

I am 14 weeks pregnant, and though the changes in my body make me squirm with discomfort on those days I feel insecure, the days I feel excited I see my body as something that protects my unborn child. I can’t wait until I have that ever so popularly known baby belly and can feel the baby kick. I think that will make it “more real” in my head. Not that I don’t think it’s not happening, it’s just there’s no obvious sign I’m pregnant. I’ve been lucky with minimal nausea and no vomiting, and some light cramping that probably is due to the uterus growing. Other than those discomforts and no period, my life hasn’t changed that dramatically.

We did pick out names! Cody and I liked Xander for a boy and Violet for a girl. I can definitely say that I didn’t expect to have a kid so young, mainly because I wanted to be financially secure and in my career beforehand. I am coming to the acceptance that I have to be flexible and rework the plan I had in my head for myself.

I cannot tell you how ridiculously excited I am to actually be a mother. I honestly wasn’t sure when I would feel the excitement but over the past week or so I’ve been having more exciting moments than anxious moments. The thought of seeing my baby and bonding with the baby just makes me smile. I plan to love this kid with all my heart. I only want the best for my kid, and for my kid to have good values, and be a kind person. I know that my kid won’t have all the newest and nicest toys or electronics, but I would hope that the love that Cody and I provide will outweigh the desire for the new things.

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The one thing I am struggling with is giving all the love I can to this child and balancing school. Also if I want to volunteer at a center (it’s only 2 shifts per month) I would have to make sure that Cody, my parents, or a babysitter could look after the child. Is it possible to do it all? Finish a bachelors, start a masters, be a mom, and possibly volunteer, and be a wife? And yes, I caught Cody buying the ring, and also know that he has the ring somewhere hidden in his car.

I know that being a parent means sacrifice and that it means putting your child first. I also know that I want to help people, hence being a counselor and wanting to be a volunteer at a crisis center. I just don’t know how to balance those two things. I also know that I want Cody to not feel like I’m giving the baby all of the attention, I’ve read that some husbands feel neglected when a baby is first in the house because the baby does need a lot of attention. I know Cody and I will work something out.

I guess it’s the perfectionist in me worrying about doing or being it all. I don’t want to let anyone down – Cody, the baby, my parents, or myself- and that’s what I am struggling with.

Any moms want to comment and share how they handled juggling the many demands of life?

XOXO Anna

I’ve Been MIA because…I’m Pregnant

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I haven’t been on posting because I found out I was pregnant a month or so ago. I am 9 weeks and had the first ultrasound this week. Everything looks good. Cody and I are really excited! I just didn’t want to post this until I got the first ultrasound, hence the radio silence on my end. I am not sure how I’m going to tell people. Our families know, and now it’s about telling friends. I am not sure how they will react. I hope positively. I’ve told maybe 3 close friends so far and they have been positive about it. I know, I am 23 and most people will think that’s young. Hell I think it’s young, and this wasn’t planned but we are really excited for this. That is why I haven’t been on, trying to hold this news in until the first ultrasound and everything was cleared by the doctor.

XOXO Anna

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

Online Classes

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I’ve never taken online classes, but I am doing that this semester. The Peer Counseling Program is in NYC, but my other two classes (Psych and Law, and Theories of Personality) are online.

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This is week two of the semester. I am very anxious about the Psych and Law class, mainly because everything in that class will be new to me. Theories of Personality, however, is much easier because I’ve already come across most of the theorists in other psychology classes.

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Has anyone ever taken online classes? If so, was there anything that helped with time management or focus? So far I am doing pretty well to actually sit down, do the readings, and do the assignments associated with the readings, but I do wonder if I will be able to keep that up.

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

Relationships in Society

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Cody and I were sitting down and talking about relationships these days. Given that we have had our struggles, ups and downs, and gotten through some really tough times, we noticed that most people around us don’t stay together. While we have been working on our relationship, most of our friends have gone through two relationships since we’ve been together. We’ve noticed the miscommunication, the cheating, the emotional disconnection when our friends talk with us about relationships and the breakups.

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Today’s “Hook up Culture” has, in my opinion, made commitment seem like the “uncool” thing to do. It’s not cool to show you care anymore it seems. That saddens me to see most people around me being so nonchalant about relationships and commitment. Now, I understand most people that are young want to explore, have fun, enjoy the now. At some point, however, people can realize that they focused too much on the now, and not enough about the future -their wants, needs, and goals. I know people who are 30 and they are thinking, “where did my life go?” The common theme among them was how they didn’t fully grow up, and enjoyed life not thinking about the responsibilities, and the things they really desired- they numbed out their emotions. They wanted so much to enjoy life, that they ended up missing out on things they wanted. They focused on the partying, and sex, and social scenes, and now at 30 are thinking about relationships and marriage and kids, thinking that they are not where they wanted to be at at that age.

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Personally, I have found that being in a relationship has been a very enriching experience, both for personal growth and for learning. I have learned a lot about myself that I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t been in a serious committed relationship. I also learned a lot about communication, compromise, and caring.

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I can look back at my days at SCAD, and I think to myself, “how could I have let myself think it’s cool not to care?” Back at college, most guys didn’t see a girl as more than a couple months of companionship and sex. I honestly hated that environment, given that I want someone who wants commitment. I do know that these days, women are more financially stable and much more independent than they were many years ago, and so marriage isn’t as important a factor. Back in the day, marriage was for financial stability, and now a days women are financially stable without a man. Marriage is now more for emotional happiness and romance than for money.

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I have written about marriage before, and of course, with time my opinion has shifted. Today, I want marriage. Not as in I want to be married today, but I know that I would like to be married one day. Marriage, to me, is the sign of ultimate commitment to the person you love. I am not sure if that is “naive” but that is how I view it. Marriage is a responsibility. That is not something to take lightly. Cody and I have talked about marriage many many times through out our relationship. We’ve talked about our goals, our needs and wants, and our views. We’ve talked about children, and yes, I do want children one day, and we’ve talked about careers and over all goals of living in the future. I also am glad that we’ve been living together for year and a half. I personally feel that you don’t know someone until you’ve lived with them. I know that if I had never lived with Cody and we got married and suddenly lived together, that would be a strange and difficult adjustment. Living together before making the commitment to marry, to me, shows me how the person lives -their habits, needs, financial spending- which is important for marriage. Without all that knowledge, a marriage can be quite the gamble. But that’s just my experience and opinion.

What are your opinions and views on relationships in today’s society and marriage and divorce?

XOXO Anna

Finals are Over! Education Still On the Brain…

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I am so happy that finals are over! No more stress, finally. Cody and I are also doing really well since last wednesday when we had a therapy session together. We were having issues with initiation of intimacy, and we solved it with if the candle is lit one of us is in the mood and open to the other person initiating. It’s solved a lot of our arguments.

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Even though finals just happened, I am thinking about next semester already. I am even thinking further than next semester. I am really excited about school and my education, and yeah I am a nerd. I fully admit it and am proud. For the longest time I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do with psychology. I love psychology, law, and law enforcement. So when talking to one of my professors earlier this semester about his study on jurors and then my mom suggesting watching Bull, I realized there was a whole field in psychology I didn’t know about. Trial science. I know it’s nothing like the show Bull, but from what my professor and articles online have explained, it seems very interesting. Something that I might want to pursue or look further into.

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Treatment has been going well, and I have 3 weeks left before I discharge, which is really great. Center for Discovery definitely is an amazing treatment center for eating disorders. Much better than Renfrew in my experience. Tonight is family night, and Cody and my parents are coming. Also, my relationship with my mom has improved ten fold because of the family sessions we’ve been having. It’s nice, especially since Christmas is coming up.

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Speaking of Christmas, I got presents for my parents and Cody. I don’t have any for his family, and neither does he, so later this week we have to go do that. Christmas is a great time of year but also extremely stressful the week of. So many people are rushing around shopping, driving recklessly, and so set on getting everything on their list. I know that I haven’t gotten everything I wished I could have gotten for everyone but I am doing my best not to stress about it. In reality Christmas should be about spending time with those you love more than the gifts. I know that I got Cody things he wanted, and I got my mom something she wanted, and got my dad something that I personally think he would like, but I didn’t shower them in a million gifts. It will just be nice to have Christmas morning with all of them and have a nice family breakfast.

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season!

XOXO Anna