I’m a woman, in my 20’s and am from the American Midwest. I’m also currently in college and am going into the medical field. I’m a feminist, a scientist, a musician, a swing dancer, a dreamer, and a million other irrelevant things.
Oh yeah, and I’m a survivor of multiple sexual assaults.
So why am I making this blog? To be honest, I’m not entirely sure yet. I already have a journal. Maybe this’ll be a good way to organize my thoughts in one spot. Or better yet, maybe it can help you recover, help you help someone who is recovering, or allow you to better understand what life is like as a survivor.
Here goes nothing.
My Story (TLDR version at the bottom)
Trigger warning: descriptions of sexual assault.
Turning eighteen felt pretty good, as it does for most people. For me, it meant celebrating my biggest accomplishment to date: overcoming the depression brought on by my parents’ divorce which began the previous year. It meant starting a new life with my mom after watching her being verbally abused ever since I can remember. It was a time of growth for both of us.
It was also a time of fear. I was afraid my depression would come back. I was afraid that I would repeat my parents’ mistakes by either becoming my father or marrying someone like him. Mostly it was a time of determination, because I was doing everything in my power to make sure those fears wouldn’t become a reality even though the odds were against me in both respects. Because of my parents, I learned that respect is the most important thing in a relationship. I knew that because of what I saw my parents go through, I would demand respect in every relationship and show them the door if that didn’t happen.
Well… that didn’t quite go the way I planned. Continue reading My Background and Story
I’ve never bothered to get it diagnosed, but I’m pretty sure I’ve had insomnia for my entire life. It usually takes me an hour or more to fall asleep. It’s been such a persistent issue that I go to great lengths to manage it. My room is dark and cool at night, I wear earplugs, I dim the lights an hour before bed, I try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day, I try and fail to not use technology in the hour before bed, I do some stretching and light exercise before bed… And it sorta helps.
Anyway, I learned recently that having many sleepless nights can lead to anxiety relating to sleep (no surprise there). The body can then actually go into fight or flight as the person is trying to fall asleep. That anxiety affects the quality of sleep throughout the night. The person wakes up stressed and still tired. Continue reading Fight or Flight as a Way of Life
In less than two months, I’ll get to add a bunch of fancy letter after my name. It’s so crazy that I’m finally nearing the end of my program and will get to have my dream job soon. Since my program is winding down, I did my capstone presentation last week. I just presented on my toughest patient — what happened and what I learned.
Back when I was studying biology, we did a lot of presentations as part of the program. For all of my life I had been a bit nervous when public speaking, but having to present almost every week helped me get very comfortable with it as long as I know what I’m talking about. As a result, during the capstone presentation, I was pretty calm. I was just excited to share my story with my class.
After the presentation, I was talking with my teacher and the guest speaker from the previous class that day. They both liked my presentation, and my teacher said “You’re always so calm.”
That honestly cracked me up. Continue reading “You’re Always So Calm”
The chance of getting killed by an asteroid or comet is 1 in 600,000
In regards to being a sexual assault survivor… this last year has been super easy compared to my usual. And honestly, I’m not entirely sure why. This last year has not been marked by many outstanding events, but that’s what makes it so remarkable. Continue reading Luck or Skill?
Additionally, “40% of women with disabilities experience sexual assault or physical violence in their lifetimes (National Clearinghouse on Family Violence, Canada) and more than 90% of all people with developmental disabilities will experience sexual assault (Schwartz & Valenti-Hein, 1995).” (source)