Tuesday Truth

It didn’t hit me until today that I’ve been super shitty. Almost two years ago I was sexually assaulted by someone at college. He was my boyfriend for awhile. Last year I reported him for sexual assault.

But I forgot. I didn’t realize. There was a couple other girls who he assaulted but only one other who would go forward.

And I’m shitty because I forgot it had an impact on her. All I could think about was how having two of us might get me justice. That’s so disgusting. He sexually assaulted her too. I only thought of myself although the reason I went forward was because I heard about the multiple other girls.

But during it all…and after the fact…I forgot she was feeling how I felt. I forgot she was also let down by the justice system because he faced no charges. I forgot she was also let down by our college because they found him not guilty even when there was proof and admission from him.

And I think that’s the worst thing I’ve ever done. I feel so so shitty..and I’ve apologized to her and she’s fine with it but I feel like so much shit right now.

I think I almost feel worse than I did after I realized he assaulted me. Because how could I ignore and invalidate another survivor. I’ve been through this before so I know what it’s like, so how could I do that to someone else. How could i be so selfish…I could have done so much more…and I didn’t.

The Truth of the Monster

I thought I had found the man, third time’s the charm right?

You looked at me with something in your eyes – something other than lust.

Wanting something more than domination, manipulation, and control.

But you ripped me apart, leaving a bloody mess.

 

I became yours for the taking – I felt dirty.

You never asked for consent and you didn’t stop when I said no.

Only physical force saved me – my physical force.

Once again I was violated by a man who wanted to be a pastor.

 

I blamed myself for every girl after me – every one who you hurt next.

But I wouldn’t let the monster of what you did escape from my lips.

I wouldn’t let the bile rise up – I swallowed it down.

I prayed that the others are fine and that no more will be hurt.

 

I justified what you did to me and to them.

Over and over I justified the things you did.

But then some days my head is clear from your grasp.

And I know – I know that what you did can’t be justified.

 

So one day my mind was crystal clear.

And I made my choice in that clarity.

Phone calls were made and cars were borrowed.

A long night in the police station after hours.

 

So I told – I opened my mouth and the monster came out.

The dark mess came out slowly, then all at once, like bile I couldn’t keep down.

I told the police but I didn’t want charges.

I wanted a record for those after me, for those who might come.

 

But then I went back and I told home – our home – yours and mine.

Because even there I needed there to be a something for those to come after me.

I knew there were some to come – I was the frontrunner.

I was the trailblazer for those hurt by you.

 

I told and the monster came out in our home.

Bile rising up – tears pouring out.

I spoke those words you begged me not to.

The truth burned out – I don’t know if even I could have stopped them.

 

In the end even you – even you admitted it.

No punishments happened to you, not a single one.

And I was the one who received the backlash.

Maybe that was the truth of the monster.

Bethany

Don’t Get Too Close: It’s Dark Inside

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When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

– Imagine Dragons

So my anger and pain finally caught up to me and I wrote “to” the guy who sexually assaulted me and who I tried to get justice against. I feel like a horrible person. I feel crazy. I feel ridiculous. But this is what’s inside. My pain and my horrid disgusting inability to forgive. My problem with playing victim. My demons. So here they are; no more hiding.

Letters to Carson: Day 1 through Day 40

College, Yik Yak and Twitter

I’m so done with my college. So so done. To start it all of some people at my college started Twitter accounts to post “gossip” (but basically it was all slander and just plain lies.) They accused someone of rape (or it sounds like they accused the accuser of accusing of rape.) Which these girls came forward and said they never accused him of rape (they’re like best friends so why would they lie? And why would they publicly defend him if it was true?)

Then the person running the account posting screenshots of who had been sending them “tips” (information? Gossip? I dunno it seemed like gossip girl to me.)

And wowwie. A friend of mine send it something awful about my roommate and her guy friend, and something horrible about me. Neither of which were TRUE but they had some truth to them..

So basically now everyone knows  some guy tried to get me to kill myself for months…so now I feel like I’m going to viewed like a crazy person.

Oh and the best part of it all? Apparently people think it’s me who started these pages. Like the the heck. It’s going around that it was me? I’m pretty sure the person who hates me on yik yak started it and now it’s gotten out of control. Like do people not realize what these rumors can do to people? Even baseless accusations can ruin my standing at this college… I’m sick of people talking badly about me. I’m sick of rumors I can’t do anything to stop.

Gotta love college..Right.

Bethany

College and Anxiety

Colleges and their professors on a basis, are not inclusive or highly aware of students who struggle with either or both, depression and anxiety. However to allow students to get the most out of their college experience

  • In 2011 30% of students surveyed said that they felt “so depressed it was too difficult to function” in the past year at least once.
  • In 2011 6% of students seriously considered suicide.
  • In 2011 1% of students attempted suicide
  • Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in ages 15-24.
  • Anxiety is the top concern among students (41.6%) followed closely by depression (36.4%) and relationship problems (35.8%)
  • Panic disorder is the top reason women drop out of college.
  • Anxiety rates have risen to epidemic proportions in the past couple years among students.

So what? Is anxiety and depression actually an issue that should be addressed? Why yes of course! As shown by the survey done in 2011, sometimes depression can make it impossible for students to even get out of bed and function correctly.

Those with depression may experience:

  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • Lack of energy
  • Problems with concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Problems with decision making
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Staying asleep for too long
  • Loss of appetite or eating more than usual
  • Aches, cramps, headaches, and persistent digestive problems
  • Thoughts or attempts of suicide

Those with anxiety may experience:

  • Feelings of apprehension or dread
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Feeling tense and jumpy
  • Anticipating the worst
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Watching for signs of danger
  • Feeling like your mind’s gone blank
  • Pounding heart
  • Sweating
  • Stomach upset or dizziness
  • Frequent urination or diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tremors and twitches
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia

Those having an anxiety/panic attack might experience:

  • Surge of overwhelming panic
  • Feeling of losing control or going crazy
  • Heart palpitations or chest pain
  • Feeling like you’re going to pass out
  • Trouble breathing or choking sensation
  • Hyperventilation
  • Hot flashes or chills
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Nausea or stomach cramps
  • Feeling detached or unreal
  • Feeling unreal or detached from your surroundings
  • Sweating
  • Feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or faint
  • Fear of dying, losing control, or going crazy
  • Numbness or tingling sensations

As seen, it would be extremely hard for a student to function in class or even make it to class while having anxiety. Many students end up failing classes or having to drop out because panic attacks might make it so they can’t go to class. There are things professors can do to that will allow students to have an easier time in class.

These things include:

  • Being predictable
  • Format of class up front
  • Allow for some student control
  • Being flexible
  • Understand they can’t always be there
  • Set up fallbacks in case they miss class
  • Be trusting; they aren’t lying about anxiety

There’s so many reasons why I believe professors need to become more educated on the effects of anxiety and depression. For me especially this is important because this year I had several professors who yelled at me for missing class, when I informed them upfront I have extreme social anxiety and that this might happen. I have had college professors who actually helped me through my anxiety and got me into the counseling center. However, this semester I had two professors who told me that the only option was to drop out, grow up, get over it, or take online classes. It’s extremely difficult to get excused absences for anxiety attacks. Most colleges don’t recognize it as an actual medical hindrance. This means college professors need to take the initiative to help their students through college. It’s not just about stress, it’s an actual problem that needs to be helped.

Bethany