Blogs

Surviving Assault

And she’s back, since I obviously can’t keep a consistent blog uploading schedule.

Hi guys! I wanted to come here and chat about something really serious. It’s something I feel like not enough people talk about, and the after affects that literally ruin your life. I want to talk about this because I can feel it eating me alive. I have people I can talk too in my life about it, but for the last month that’s been the focus of my life and I feel like I’m annoying everyone around me.

Let me walk you through what happened.

On September 18th, 2021 I was sexually assaulted. And it’s absolutely ruined my life since. So let me give you the back story of what happened.

I was on bumble, because I used to love swiping through that dumb app, and I happened across this man I thought was super attractive. He also had a pretty funny profile so I was super intrigued. I swiped and we ended up matching. So we started chatting. I think we had talked for like two weeks and decided we should meet up.

Just a heads up, the next part I feel super, super stupid about, and I blamed myself constantly for what happened because of these next few details. Back to the story.

So we set a date. We were going to head downtown and grab some drinks. He had the idea to get a hotel downtown because he has kids and he wanted to have a spot to hang out after we got our drinks. He asked me to book it since I used to work for this specific hotel company and I can get discounts still. So me being the naive idiot I am, I booked the hotel.

The day comes to meet up and I’m a nervous wreck. Now that I look back on it I think my intuition was trying to tell me something was off about this date, but I chalked it up to being nervous. As I’m getting ready, I’m shaking super bad. I realized I had this feeling something wasn’t right but all my friends kept telling me it’s just nerves so I pushed through. I am finally finished getting ready, so I head downtown to check into the hotel. I wanted to be the one to check in just in case things went south, I’d have a place to go back too and not have to worry about finding a ride home. So I get to the hotel, get checked in and I wait for my “date”. He finally gets there and we take a few minutes to figure out where we wanted to go. He asked if I wanted food (which I did) and we head out to find a place to eat. He notices a piano bar and decides we are going to do that instead of getting food. So we head in. The first thing he wants to do is get some drinks, which he did all night. I was never allowed to go to the bar to get my own drink. Being naive I though this was him being a gentlemen, but now I’m thinking it was something else…

Honestly, at first I thought things were going great but at some point in the night I blacked out. Let me just say that no matter how drunk I’ve gotten in the past, I have never blacked out. I always remember what’s going on around me. However, this time was different. I don’t remember leaving the piano bar and everyone I was talking to that night said in an hour span I went from sober as could be to completely and utterly wasted (which is weird for me because even when I’m absolutely plastered, I can still carry on a conversation and I know what’s going on around me).

So we leave at some point, I don’t know when but we do. We went back to the hotel and I had texted my friends I was going to sleep. Next thing I know, there is a huge man on top of me and I felt severe pain. I remember yelling “NOOO!” But I still felt the pain. It was awful, and terrifying. I couldn’t do anything, I felt like no part of my body was working. I didn’t feel in control of anything which led a lot of people I’ve talked too about this think I was drugged. I have never felt more scared than in that moment when I felt I had zero control over my body and something terrifying was happening to me.

I think at this point I chose to zone out because the next thing I know I was texting my good friend that I was just raped. Said friend, who we are gonna call James, starting blowing up my phone, I’m sure he was scared to death too… He said at some point I answered the phone but I was whispering and sounding scared before “someone” took the phone and hung up on my friend. James said he just kept calling, blowing up my phone like crazy (which we appreciate and love him for). James said one of the times he called, my rapist answered, this is when James asked where I was and my rapist said I was showering to which James replied, “she said you raped her”. At this point I can remember his rage. The anger that was coming from this man was insane… and I never want to experience something like this again.

Let me bust in to the story really quick and say, I don’t remember showering at all. I don’t know if it’s a coping thing or if I really was drugged and just kept going in and out of consciousness.

Anyways, the next thing I distinctly remember was me laying in bed. I just remember banging, things slamming and my rapist yelling, “WHAT THE FUCK REBA” “GOD DAMNIT” “WHO THE FUCK IS JAMES SMITH” and more things like that, he also mumbled things under his breath. At this point I’m curled up in the bed and pretending to be asleep just hoping this man will leave. Absolutely terrified of what would happen next.

I finally heard the door slam and I jumped into action. I’m running around this room looking everywhere for my phone so I can call my mom, and then I realized one of the worst things ever… he stole my phone!!! He not only stole my phone though, he took anything that wasn’t my personal items like cloths and my purse.

The thing that scared me the most at this point was my only source of contact to the outside world, this man had stolen from me. Being that I was very in and out, it took me a second to remember that hotels still have phones in the rooms, thank God!! So I grabbed the hotel phone and just called my mom over and over and over until she finally answered.

When I tell you hearing my moms voice was the most incredible feeling ever, I’m not kidding. I was in that hotel room, bruised and hurting, feeling absolutely terrified because I didn’t know if my rapist took a key to the room and would come back. But as soon as my mom answered I started bawling from the relief and just said he raped me. I told her where I was and she said she was on her way to get me. After I got off the phone with my mom I threw on whatever cloths I could find and ran downstairs. I told the hotels front desk agent what was going on and he hid me in the back office. I should give that boy the biggest shout out because he listened to me cry, hid me while I was terrified and gave me his number in case I need anything from the hotel for the legal case.

My mom finally got to the hotel and I was a mess. Crying, hurting, terrified. Her and my brother went up to the room to get all my stuff and make sure I didn’t just misplace my phone (I didn’t, my rapist did steal it) so we could leave. I don’t remember everything that happened after my mom got there, I was in and out. I think that was due to my survival instinct kind of calming down and I was hit with this wave of unimaginable exhaustion. Anyways, my family gets my things and we get ready to leave, but not before my mom and James convinced me to go to the hospital.

I wanted absolutely nothing to do with getting the rape exam. I know that 99.9% of the time, sexual assault cases don’t get a conviction, so in my mind the rape exam was just a waste of time. I didn’t want to go through it, not with the way rape is looked at all the time. I have to say though, my dear momma was able to get me to go. It did take a lot of convincing though. My mom asked me where I wanted to go and the only place I trust is the hospital I work at. So that’s where we went.

The exam took around 4 hours. It was so traumatic. Having the relive everything to ensure the police had the most information for the case. During the exam my nurse found so much evidence. Things that are to personal to discuss, but when I say I was beat up down there, I was beat up. My nurse thought I might need stitches. It was awful. However, I had the best team of people around me. My rape exam nurse was incredible and I owe so much to her. I don’t know how I can ever thank her for what she did for me that night. I had so many of my team leads protecting me every step of the way and it made me feel like I might actually be able to get through this.

Now let’s get into how the assault has had this lasting, miserable affect on me…

No one really talks about the after of sexual assault, in my opinion anyways. These are the things that I feel like I can’t get people to understand. I am never, ever going to be the person I was before my assault. I am never going to be as bubbly and outgoing as I was before. Everything has changed. My mental health is on a steady decline and I don’t know how to make things better.

The after I think is worse than the actual assault itself. Ever since the assault I’m terrified all the time. Every little noise when I’m alone, outside of my house obviously, absolutely terrifies me. I can’t go out by myself anymore because I get the most intense panic attacks. If I hear or see anyone who reminds me of my rapist, I have a panic attack. The room I had my sexual assault exam in is a huge trigger for me, so anytime I’m at work and I have to walk by that room, I power walk. I get freaked out in public now, so I avoid being out by myself. I’m hyper aware of everything going on around me. It’s been miserable since this happened to me. Constantly being on edge, constantly being ready to run and constantly thinking everyone is gonna do these things to me.

The previous statement makes the next information, that my mental health has also hit the lowest of low, seem pretty normal. I’m so beyond depressed that I can no longer find the light in my life. I can’t find anything that is worth living for. I am so depressed I genuinely think that I would be better off dead. I mentally can not handle what this man did to me. He took more than just my phone from me. This man took everything from me. He took my sense of security. He took my ability to trust other people. He took my ability to be a social butterfly. He took my ability to be alone and go places. He took my joy. He took my happiness. He took the parts of me that I loved the most. He took me… This man has absolutely destroyed what I used to be, and I don’t know how to get that back.

I don’t feel happy anymore. It’s like every positive emotion I’ve had in my life no longer exists. I get moments where I feel okay, but for the most part now my life is just sad. I don’t feel like there is a reason to be alive anymore. No matter how hard I try to not think about what happened, it has consumed my life. Everything I do has been completely reworked because of the fear this man left inside of me. I’m just tired. I’m exhausted from fighting this, I don’t want to do it anymore. I don’t want to feel like there is nothing in this life to look forward too, yet that’s how I feel. I feel like I’m not only fighting what this dude did to me but like I’m fighting myself too. Trying to be happy in a body that refuses to forget what happened. Constantly reminding me that I am small. That a man could overtake me at any point and I can do nothing about it. That no matter where I am or what I do, something bad could happen.

I know this is a lot of very personal, raw and emotional content. But this is my safe space. The space I created to talk about everything I want/need too. And this is something huge that’s taking over my life, so I need a safe space to let out these feelings. Don’t be rude in the comments and remember; every women knows another women who’s been sexually assaulted by no man knows a rapist.

PS: I did give the cops all the information I had on this guy. And this dumbass dude left my “find my iPhone” on so I was able to track my phone to his address. And if this ever goes to court, I am prepared to take this man down.

Hope this wasn’t too much. Kisses…

Reba G

Blogs

Struggles of Life

Do you guys ever struggle with your own decisions? Do you ever beat yourself up because you made dumb choices that landed you where you are? Do you have regrets about anything you’ve done in life? Because for me the answer is yes to all of those questions.

When I graduated high school I wanted so badly to be a cosmetologist. I had my mind made up that that was the career path I wanted to take. Prior to that all I ever wanted to be was a nurse. When I say my entire life was planned around me being a nurse, I’m not exaggerating. But I feel in love with the beauty world. Hair, make up, nails, skin care. I loved it all. So I went to cosmetology school. And about 5 months into that I realized that wasn’t what I want to do.

So I of course applied for a nursing program. I was going to be a nurse if it was the last thing I did. I was almost a year into my program and my school shut down. I found out not a single credit I earned was transferable, so I had to start completely over. And during that time when I was redoing all my pre-req classes I fell in love with psychology. I decided I wanted to be a therapist. I worked for two years trying to get a psych degree. But once again I realized I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life doing that. I love psychology still, like I research and learn about everything psych related. But something inside me was telling me that wasn’t my path.

So I took a year off. I spent that year working, trying to figure out what exactly I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field because the human body just fascinates me, but I was worried I’d never get into a nursing program. I researched everything I could possibly be in the medical field and I found an interest in radiology tech. I thought imaging was so cool. I thought it was so interesting to see the human body in real time, things we can’t see just by looking at someone. So I applied for that program, and of course, I wasn’t accepted.

After I received that rejection letter I realized that everything I loved was a part of being a nurse. Cosmetology: making people feel good/look good, psychology: understanding the mind and the disorders of the mind, radiology tech: seeing internal injuries and finding a way to fix them. everything I love is a part of the career I always dreamed of having. I hate that I didn’t just stick with nursing to begin with. I feel like I’ve wasted so much of my life. I feel like I lost part of my life to bad choices. I feel awful and ashamed that it’s taken me this long to figure things out.

But then I realize, if I had stuck with nursing I may have regretted never trying anything else. I may have hated it because I wanted to explore other career paths. Part of me is sure God had this plan for me. He made me so of course He knows how regrettable I can be. I think he lead me to where I am now so I can appreciate the career I always wanted and dreamed of.

I think it’s so important to remind ourselves that everyone has a different journey. Everyone is on their own pace. No two humans are the same with the way they think. There is no way to predict anything. And as much as I hate that it’s taken me years to find what I want to do, I am thankful for the experiences that got me here. I keep reminding myself that this is just the journey I am on. I am not behind or slacking or useless because it took me 5 years to choose a career path, I’m just learning.

Remember to be kind to yourself and appreciate the journey you are on. Don’t give up on your dreams. Always remind yourself that God (or whatever/whoever you believe/ don’t believe in) has a plan , everything will work out the way it should. 💕

Blogs, Uncategorized

Sexuality

I have a lot on my mind today. I keep wondering why sex is so taboo, why is it such a taboo thing to talk about? Why is it something we don’t celebrate more often? I have so many questions. My mom was always so honest with me about everything. She had this motto that if I am old enough to ask the question, I am old enough for the answer. No matter what I wanted to talk about, she was there for those sometimes awkward moments. But then I went out into the world, ready to have these discussions and it was such a taboo naughty thing to talk about.

I never understood why people are so hush about something that everyone does. I truly in my soul believe that if adults were more honest with us about things when we are in those developmental years, things would be so much better. I mean sex ed classes are pathetic. They don’t teach anyone how to safely have sex, it’s basically teaching abstinence until marriage when you are ready to procreate. But EVERYONE likes sex. Okay, not everyone, but there are people who love sex that never want to get married and never want kids. So why aren’t we teaching them how to be safe with multiple partners?

It’s not about personal beliefs like right or wrong, it’s about teaching young adults about sexuality. We should be teaching people that exploring who you are is okay. It shouldn’t be this shameful thing to explore your body. I had a pelvic floor therapist tell me that I needed to be comfortable with who I was because that’s how I was going to be comfortable with a partner. But no one ever taught me how to explore my own body. It’s frustrating when you think about statistics, 1 in every 5 person has an STD, 90% of them being completely preventable.

I mean look at HPV, it is such a common thing. Almost everyone who is sexually active has it even if they don’t know it. This is something I truly believe could have been preventable had sex ed classes taught us better. I just think it sucks that there are so many adults still struggling with their sexuality. Not even the battle of LGBTQ+, I am talking people that aren’t comfortable with sex. I am one of them, some things happened in my life that made me feel shameful and guilty for it. But no one taught me that I can take back that power.

Rape victims are often so traumatized they don’t ever want to be touched. Why aren’t we working to better accommodate them. Why aren’y we giving these men and women tools to take back control. Why aren’t we doing more to teach people about sexuality. Even if you are the most conservative, by the book, religious person, you probably enjoy sex. So why are we not having conversations? Why is sex such a taboo thing? Why is sexuality something to be ashamed of instead of something to liberated by?

Stop making it taboo. Talk to your children when they ask questions. Be open to dialogue even if you don’t approve of a decision. Be honest with yourself. Everyone is sexual, it is a biologic trait. Even animals have this need to mate. Stop making something everyone does a shameful thing. Sexuality is beautiful. Sexuality is empowering. And as a victim, taking back that power was an HUGE part of my healing.

To anyone out there struggling, explore yourself. Take baby steps to become comfortable with you. Once you can take back that power and enjoy yourself, you will be unstoppable. I am with you, I understand, I have been there. I think had we been given tools or just given the option to open up a dialogue I think so many people would have been spared diseases, or years of trauma.

PS. If someone wants to be a “hoe” let them. Stop trying to control everyone else’s lives. Let those people express themselves and be who they are. As long as they are being safe and no putting anyone in harms way, it should be no concern of yours.

Blogs

Living with Chronic Pain

I completely forgot what life was like before Humira. The swollen joints, pain so excruciating it hurts to move, crying constantly from the pain.
I unfortunately can’t take Humira 2 weeks prior to surgery until my surgical wound is completely healed, so I’ve been without my medicine for over a month. The pain i’ve been experiencing the last few days is pain I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. My left hand is pretty much useless aside from my thumb due to stiffness and swelling in my joints of my fingers. My left shoulder is so inflamed moving it even slightly sends fire hot pain shooting through my joint. And now my knee is so inflamed that I can’t even roll over in bed without shedding a tear.

I don’t know how I ever lived every day of my life in this amount of pain. Sometimes I think the pain I live in now is unbearable, but there were years that I was living with such excruciating pain and chances are no one ever knew. I got so good at hiding the sheer torture I was going through everyday. I never wanted to feel like a burden so the majority of the time I never talked about it. Then of course I’d get so fed up I’d explode on social media and then be completely fine the next day.

It’s crazy to me that I was able to be functional in this amount of pain, and this amount of stiffness. I can’t even move right now I’m so miserable.
If you’re struggling with an autoimmune form of arthritis, I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone and that it isn’t “just arthritis”. I’ve had people tell me that so many times over the last few years of my life and every single time I’ve wanted to kick them in their teeth. There isn’t “just arthritis” every form is painful. But do a quick little google PsA and RA are some of the most painful diseases out there.

Let me get off my soap box now. I just needed to come here to vent because I’m tired of people thinking I complain too much. Until you’ve lived with any sort of chronic pain condition, you will never understand the struggles of someone who does. Not just my conditions. Which also include endometriosis, central pain syndrome and Ryanaud Syndrome (which you wouldn’t think hurts, but my fingers when I’m cold… it’s not a good time).

I’m just tired of people thinking chronic pain suffers are just attention/drug seeking. I’m not even on any pain medications. All my medicines are to suppress/treat the actual condition. But times like this, I wish there weren’t people out there abusing the system because at this moment in time, I’d rather be dead than suffering.

Is there anyone else out there who feels the same way? Like people don’t take you seriously because they can’t see your pain? Had doctors treat you differently for being honest about your symptoms? You’re not alone. My sister and I both suffer daily, her more so than me, but everyone’s struggle is different. But we are all in this fight together.

Blogs

Why am I blogging?

I’m sure people are wondering what is the appeal in blogging? Well, for me, this is an outlet. A way for me to express all of my emotions in a space where I feel safe. I can talk about anything and everything without judgement from others, and if there is judgement… why are you here?

I love the idea of being able to just let everything out. Someone may happen upon this blog and find some sort of comfort in what I am saying, and I absolutely love the idea of being able to help even in an indirect way. I think the world could use more acceptance. which is why I want this blog to be a space where not only I can let out my emotions, but people can come and find comfort knowing they aren’t alone in their feelings.

I am a very complex human, as everyone is (of course). There are so many things I want to let out. I have a lot of things that I deal with, as I am sure many of you do. So I would like to write about things that people can relate to. Even if the things I write aren’t 100% something you understand, I know we can all understand feelings. Situations may not be the exact same, but the emotions can be.

So blogging for me is something I am doing mostly to express myself, but also to allow other humans a space where they feel comfortable. I have my social media linked on here too, so if I write a blog post that you’d like to talk about, there is a way for us to do so.