Life is a Balancing Act

Between being a wife, a mom, a student, a relationship coach, and a victim advocacy intern, life is a bit crazy right now.

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When I am home, I am with Baby A or working, and if I am not home, I am at school or my internship learning and working. I also, with my relationship coaching, have to run the blog side, which entails of accepting and reading guest posts, making sure my regular contributors are meeting deadlines, making sure the content calendar is solid. I feel like I don’t get a moments rest most days. Oh, and don’t forget reformer pilates and couples therapy somewhere in all there!

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Last night was different, Cody and I were able to have an amazing date night at home. My mom got him a wok and a cookbook for Asian foods since that’s our favorite. He ended up making an amazing meal and we watched “Life As We Know It.” The funny thing is, we watched that movie when we were first dating and I was thinking I am not having kids, and Cody figured kids were far off in the future. Little did we know that Baby A would be arriving only two years later! But we loved the movie, even more, this time around. We appreciated those new parenting moments and laughed at how accurate some of those scenes were.

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Given that I’ve realized how busy we are, I decided to make my coaching hours between two days instead of three, that way we have one weekend day to ourselves. Cody, once school starts wants to work Saturdays from 5am-1pm. Which means I coach on Saturdays from 2:30pm to 8:00pm if I am 100% booked that day. I love the scene with Holly and Messer and the scheduling board because honestly, with how busy we are, I can’t keep track of Cody’s schedule as well. I used to be able to know both our schedules, but with a kid, it’s been more challenging to remember.

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My goal, though, is to make sure Cody and I get “us” time every week. Last nights date was amazing and honestly, with the holidays and finals, we were just running around constantly. It was so nice to just sit down with him and relax. Plus…the amazing sex afterward didn’t hurt as well! Seriously, making sure your sex life is stable while having a baby is a HUGE challenge. It takes planning. Yes, planning. Cody fought that concept for so long, but because we did cave to it, it’s been so helpful for us to stay connected.

What are some ways you make sure to make “you” or “couple” time when your life is busy?

XOXO Anna

Finals, Holidays, and Work… It Never Ends

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Finals are this week. I have two classes, and one of them ended last week because we, as a class, agreed to turn in the final early. My other class, I have a presentation tomorrow. A bit nervous and hoping it goes well. Cody’s presentation for his class is tomorrow. So tonight, after couples therapy, we have work to do!

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Holidays are… up and down. First, we haven’t even decorated the house for Christmas at all this year. It’s been crazy busy. Second, we are so behind on getting people gifts, and three, we don’t have much money to get people gifts…. so it’s going to be interesting this year. We got Baby A two gifts so far and that’s it. We still need to get my mom and dad gifts, his dad and siblings gifts, and each other gifts. Then we are going to Cody’s aunt’s house for Christmas eve… and that hopefully will be a fun night!

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My business is going well in my opinion. I am having a lot of fun with it. My clients love my coaching programs and are seeing results. The one thing I just hate about business is the advertising and marketing. That’s my struggle. I’ve always struggled to put myself out there, so it’s been challenging to “promote” my business. I am all about honesty and I want to make sure that readers and clients can see the genuineness. I just am always working. If I am not at my internship or doing school work, I am running my business. There are so many things I’ve learned in this journey of creating a business… and one thing that I learned is I need to make some money so I can get a freelancer to do some of the work that I am not a fan of doing and not as skilled at doing.

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Cody and I have been doing really well for the past month. For those who have been reading my blog for a while, you may think, “Wait, didn’t they get married over a year ago and she is saying only for the past month they’ve been good?” Yeah. Well, there have been the ups and downs, but if Cody wasn’t facing his addiction and damage, we weren’t moving forward. Cody and I have been doing the Intimacy Anorexia books. I am not an IA though closed off because Cody seemed to not care, and so we are doing them together, and I can’t even tell you how amazing we have been doing.

Cody actually talks to me, has been less angry and facing his past, and it’s been nice. I even told him it feels like we have “us” back. So, fingers crossed, we are going to keep this upward trend.

Another thing, Cody has been inspired by me creating a business that he wants to create his own business too. I want to support him in it, but also, given that I am trying to run a new business, I personally feel adding on another new business at this very moment wouldn’t be ideal. I think it’s great he wants to do it, and I want to help him, create his website for him and more, but I think we need to be more strategic about it. So I’ll be mentioning that over the holidays as we continue to talk business.

How is everyone else doing with Holidays and family this year? Hope you’re all doing well!

XOXO Anna

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

 

The Flu, School, and Treatment

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I woke up this morning coughing with a runny nose and lots of nausea. I am supposed to have my treatment assessment on wednesday. I am really nervous for that. I really hate that I have been restricting. I have been eating slightly more normally but still  the anxiety is crazy.

I can’t believe this semester has been so crazy. I was doing amazing in the beginning then I was sick, and also restricting, and then I am looking into treatment then I possibly get the flu and will be starting treatment soon while being in school. I’ve never been in school and in treatment at the same time so a bit nervous. My grades already got hurt from my absences. I just hope I get through this semester without getting bad grades.

XOXO Anna

Progress, ER, and Stressful Paper

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Cody and I have been making a lot of progress. I’ve started trusting him again with certain things and I feel a lot more love for him without anger. We’ve talked a lot and I’ve been more open about my feelings and our communication is doing very well.

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I have been having abdominal pain for the past week and I went to the ER monday night and they found a 3 cm simple cyst on my right ovary. That explains why I’ve been in so much pain. I went to the OBGYN and she gave me 800 mg ibuprofen but I have taken that and I’m still in a lot of pain. Luckily I don’t have classes this week except for friday. I just hope the pain gets better, and if not what to do…. I am supposed to get an ultrasound around thanksgiving to see if the cyst has gone away because apparently simple cysts usually go away after two period cycles.

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So being in this much pain hasn’t helped me get my social psych paper done. I have a 7-12 page paper to write about a goal I want to achieve. I started the paper then went to lunch with Cody and didn’t get much done, and with the amount of pain I’m in it’s extremely difficult to concentrate, half the time I just want to cry because of the pain and how frustrated I am that the 800 mg of ibuprofen isn’t doing much. Cody said when he gets home he will help me with my paper and cuddle with me to make me feel better. Just hoping the pain goes away soon!

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 

Slowly Getting Back to Normal

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Since I last posted, Cody’s anxiety has gotten better. I assume the zoloft has started to take some effect. We also had a really good talk this weekend. I opened up a lot, finally about a lot of things I guess I’d been holding in. This weekend was honestly a gift. We had a lot of fun, and we communicated a lot better. Even this morning, I got upset about something and I was able to tell Cody what I needed and wanted, which has always been something I struggle with.

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School has been good, I really enjoy my classes, and even better, Cody enjoys his classes. I have a lot of hope for us this semester with school and grades. I worry, though, that Cody might have urges for porn or actually use at some point if he gets too stressed since school was one of his biggest triggers…only time will tell though.

XOXO Anna

Ups and Downs of Living on Your Own

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I remember when I was back at SCAD and I enjoyed being away from my parents for the first time. The first two years I lived on campus and had some interesting roommates, some great and others that were not so great. I still stay in touch with two of the roommates I’ve had over the years. Third year I lived in an apartment, with one of the roommates I still talk to from time to time. That was my first time I felt like I was living on my own, because it was an apartment and not a dorm. I learned a lot about my living habits that year, and Cody and I moved into our apartment three months ago and the experience has been bittersweet. So let’s see some positives and negatives that come with living on your own.

Positives:

  1. Freedom: You don’t have to listen to your parents nagging you to clean or do homework. You can be free and make your own decisions, and be an adult. If you want to clean the dishes twice a week instead of doing dishes right after you use them, that is now your choice.
  2. Less Conflict: You have less people to fight with. When at home you have parents or siblings, and for my house, the more people that were there, the more fights. With just Cody and myself we don’t argue a lot, unless we don’t know who is doing what chore.
  3. Independence: You get the sense that you are independent and growing up. You start having to deal with real life things like learning how to budget, taking care of a place, and making choices on your own as an individual.

Negatives:

  1. Bills: That is something you and a roommate or partner will have to talk about and not forget. Knowing you and your roommates strengths and weaknesses are key. Since I know that Cody gets distracted, I make sure to keep track of when payments are due and make sure that we have enough money when bills come up.
  2. Budgeting: That is still something I am trying to get the hang of. I have this app, Wally, that is great. I can keep track of what I spend and make and same with Cody. You can see how much you’ve spent in a month and what you spend your money on. Once getting an idea of what you spend and on what, you then can make cuts or adjustments.
  3. Responsibility: This can be a positive or a negative, but in my case it sometimes feels like a negative. Living in an apartment means you are responsible for whatever happens to the apartment while living there. If there is any damage done you have to fix it or pay for it at the end of a lease. If any issues happen you have to take care of it, instead of having someone else do it. You have to do your own laundry, cooking, and cleaning, which isn’t always fun.

Living on your own is a great accomplishment, though, can be strenuous at times. I personally love living in an apartment with a roommate or partner better than living at home because I feel more grown up and feel independent. Being out on your own makes you learn a lot of things about life very quickly, which isn’t a bad thing. Anyone else have any positives or negatives to living on your own?

XOXO Anna

Last Week of Class

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These past five weeks I have had barely any time to relax. I have been working on the papers for my summer class, and this is my last week. My final paper is due tomorrow, so I’ll be working on that tonight. This english class has been amazing though. I have learned so much and I really like the teacher.

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Ed has also been ruling my head lately. I have had a lot of anorexia panic attacks these past two weeks, it’s exhausting. I am trying to stick to a meal plan I wrote out, and Cody is going to do it with me, but I am honestly terrified to do it. I know that if I eat balanced and exercise two times a week for 30 minutes on a treadmill I should be fine, but the irrational thoughts still are here.

XOXO Anna

Progress all around!

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My summer english class has been very interesting. My first graded paper is due this week so I am a bit nervous, but the teacher and I spoke one day after class and he said that there was something there in my writing. I told him I used to be a dramatic writing and creative writing major and minor. He said that was it, he could see that I am creative, have good grammar, and know what I am doing. I was shocked because I have never really had any teacher tell me I am good at grammar.

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Then this weekend with Cody was AMAZING. I mean, I am still in awe of how much progress he made, but also us as a couple made. Sex had been a issue for about two weeks. This weekend, well suddenly Cody wasn’t depressed any more and he wanted me. It was amazing to feel wanted. He also, when we hung out with his dad this weekend, told his dad about his porn addiction. I mean, we were sitting down at lunch with his dad, talking about  his parents divorce, and then he told his dad the reason we had been having issues in Ohio was because I had found out he was a porn addict. We explained how I have anorexia and how I told him that couldn’t be a part of the relationship from the beginning, and how he hid it from me until I found out like two months ago. His dad did not judge either of us. In fact I felt like his dad respected me more because I stayed and have been helping him get through this. But the progress we made is amazing. Personally I am really struggling with my anorexia, Ed keeps telling me I am not skinny enough, so that sucks, but I am getting through it.

Over all things are turning around!

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