Tuesday, April 29, 2014


                                                                             picture source: http://recoveryisbeautiful.tumblr.com/post/10123971849

Monday, April 28, 2014

9 Crazy Simple Ways to Beat Depression

9 Crazy Simple Ways to Beat Depression
By:  Dale Partridge, Via http://dalepartridge.com/surprising-truth-escaping-depression/
Have you ever been surprised to find that a simple activity drastically lifted your mood? Sometimes it’s the prodding of a good friend that gets you out of your pajamas. Other times it’s simply waking up early (when you usually sleep in) to catch the sun’s first light.
Over the years, I’ve struggled with bouts of anxiety and depression. It’s tough, but there really are beautiful, simple ways available that can help us escape the clutches of feeling like crap. Over the past 10 years, these 9 strategies have allowed me to beat bouts of depression and steal back my life.
We all have bad days, but one thing is true; no cloud is so dark that the sun can’t shine through.
Here are 9 Crazy Simple Ways to Beat Depression:
1. Sleep and Don’t Feel Guilty About It. Sleep is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Insomniacs are 10 times more likely to have depression than their well-rested counterparts. I know this is true of me. When I’m tired, I’m more emotional. When rested, I’m more even-tempered, less prone to act irrationally. (My wife appreciates it when I get a good night’s sleep.)
2. Reconnect with Friends. Be around people who can make you laugh when you don’t even feel like smiling. The worst thing you can do during depression is isolate yourself from the rest of the world. Although you think, “I have nothing to give. I have no energy to connect with anyone right now!” that’s not true. Being around other people actually energizes and revitalizes our souls. It gives us the energy to make it through the day. The less people you see, the longer your depression will last. So think back to best times of your life and reconnect with those people.
3. Avoid Alcohol for a Season. First off, I love beer. It’s one of my favorite things. But I’m sure you know this: alcohol is a depressant, a downer. If you’re struggling with depression, stop drinking for a time and see if it makes a difference in your moods and emotions. It did for me.
4. Journal At Least 3 Times Per Week. Try to practice this discipline for a month.  The healthiest people are reflective, not reactive. They take time to process the day’s highs and lows and to understand their own emotional responses to stressors throughout the day. Mine consisted of three questions. What was your high today? What was your low today? What are you excited about for tomorrow?
5. Watch Only Funny Movies. Laughter is literally healing for the soul. When you laugh it actually changes the chemistry in your brain, releasing happy hormones. Laughter is a drug free antidepressant. Go watch Brides Maids, or Anchor Man, or even back to the classics like Dumb and Dumber.
6. Change Your Radio/Pandora/Spotify Diet. Are you depressed because you’re alone? Or going through a breakup? Probably best to get rid of “love songs” from your musical diet. Is there a type of music that lifts your mood? Listen to only that type of music or nothing at all. Silence is golden (for a time). It gives you time to think and reflect. You can work on #4 as you make yourself a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy the silence. Or you could listen to Weird Al Yankovic…
7. Find A Creative Outlet. What floats your boat? Figure it out and go do it. This can be writing, painting, gardening, or fixing motorcycles. The only requirement is that it’s creative, making or doing something with your hands. It’s physical and experiential. Your whole body is involved, not just your mind. The key here is to access different parts of your brain besides cognition, or thought, because when we’re depressed, we get stuck in certain thought patterns. Mine was rock climbing :)
8. Volunteer Somewhere to Help Someone Less Fortunate. Get out of the narrow focus called “me-myself-and-I.” Best way to stop thinking about yourself? Think about someone else. Happy people are people who serve others. They are reminded that their glass is “half full” (not “half empty”) when they serve someone who’s got it worse than they do. Go find something like a convalescent home, a food kitchen, or a homeless shelter and get your hands dirty. One of my favorite quotes comes to mind, “someone is praying for the things you take for granted.”
9. Take Time to Play. Children know how to play. If you don’t remember, go hang out with a friend who has kids or observe kids in a park (without being creepy). They’re natural explorers and adventurers. As adults, we need more of that in our lives. So figure out a way to build play into your day. Play can include a walk through nature, a bike ride, a board game, or sports. The point is, it has to be fun. Be spontaneous. Be anti-boring. Be stupid. Think like a child and go have some fun!

I'm sorry

Sunday, April 27, 2014

My first boyfriend

Thought I'd share a little story I wrote, because I don't want all of my blog to be sad, because life isn't sad. There is happy things all around, flowers, children, puppies, ice cream haha what ever it may be. There is always happy things around you just need to look around you and find them. I believe laughter really is the best medicine when I'm sad so hopefully you like my story :)
The story of my first boyfriend.

I still remember his name. Ben.
Man, was he hot stuff.
When he walked the playground, the ladies fell to his feet. Those blue eyes that matched the color of my favorite crayon, and that flippy hair…I swear that got him extra snacks at snack time. He was gorgeous.
Well, as gorgeous as a six year old could be.
We had never actually talked but I knew someday he was going be the father of my children. I use to spend all of math looking at his beautiful face, besides the fact that I hated math any way. I knew one day I would gain the confidence to talk to him or maybe if I stared at him enough he would talk to me. You see that’s what boys like, when you stare at the back of their heads for hours.
That special day was Valentine’s Day. I made sure to wear my best dress and made sure my power puff girl valentines were in tip-top shape. Today was the day I would confess my love to my future husband. I walked in to that 1rst grade classroom ready for change; I was going to get my man. After an enormous amount of sprinkle covered heart cookies, Mrs. Robertson said it was time to hand out our valentines. My stomach sunk to the floor and the butterflies in my stomach seemed like they were doing the Macarena. This was it. I decided I would give him his last. I went to every glue soaked and glitter filled box, carefully placing every power puff girl valentine in each box. I wanted to make sure to keep Ben’s separate; it was special unlike the other ones it said “I LOVE YOU THE MOST” and had a piece of chocolate on it. Boys like chocolate, so at least if he didn’t fall in love with me for my charming good looks he’d know I could be a good woman, with my birthday money, and bring home the bacon…or well the chocolate. After I came to the last box I wanted to act cool and dilly dattle for a little bit before going to Ben’s, a girl doesn’t want to seem too desperate. I decided to get some fruit punch then coyly make my way to his box, but soon the butterflies in my stomach seemed like they were on a trampoline, and I knew it was time to go. I dug into my box for the last very special valentine. All my fingers touched were air. It was gone. The color drained from my face. I felt like I was going to cry. This was the worse day ever. Worse than when I feel off my bike when learning to ride, worse than when Katy-Lynn drew all over my Barbies’ with her markers, worse than the day my dog ate all the eyes off of my stuffed animals, worse than the day I got stuck on the fairs wheel in the rain. This was six year old dooms day. This was my only chance and I blew it. Now Ben would never know my feelings for him, because Valentine’s Day is the only day you can really confess your love for somebody. I sulked back to my desk, defeated. Not knowing what else to do, I put my head down on my desk, closed my eyes and waited to die.
“Mary?” A voice said.
I opened my eyes startled by the sound and glanced up.
Sweet Jesus. It was him.
Like a thousand sunshine beams on my face, his smile gleamed before me. My mouth turned to mush, even if I wanted to speak, no words would come out. I was play dough in his hands.
Oh shoot, this was really life and I had Ben standing before me as I stared at him like a lunatic looking at a piece of meat. I had to say something. Something good.
That was good. Very thoughtful. But why was he here? Talking to me of all people?
“Umm..this is for you, from me.”
He nervously said handing me a piece of paper. It was a holographic picture of a sky diver, with a tattoo that on the bottom said “Will you be my Valentine?”
Oh. My. Goodness.
This was it the moment I was waiting for, the moment I could confess my love to Ben.
He knew, I knew he knew as he walked away from my desk smiling. We had to be dating now, I just knew it. Ben was my boyfriend. I imagined growing old together sitting by the fire with, little Ben and Mary Jr.
“Aren’t these valentines from Ben cool, Mary? I got the same one!” said my best friends Stephanie and Brooke.
That lying, cheating monster.
 Not only was he cheating on me, but with my best friends?!? I knew this relationship was not going to work out; I could never be with such a player. I dropped Ben like a wet animal cracker and made my way to new, better men.
That is the story of my first boyfriend.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

To anyone who needs it..

picture source:http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/77/16/41/7716412dc74666225c913c368dbc1169.jpg

Thursday, April 24, 2014

So broken, but I will not give up

Found out my abuser didn't get charges today .
I feel so forgotten, that every thing that happen to me doesn't matter, that he gets to just get away with it. I feel so broken.

But I refuse to give up. I will fight. I refuse to be silent. I refuse to not be heard, forgotten, I will not give up.

                                                      picture source: http://vialangi.blogspot.com/2012/11/ill-be-ok-just-not-today.html

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Sometimes the worst thing was feeling alone, not wanting to trust people, trust anything. Even now I usually distance myself at moments. Feel safer alone. Try not to get too close to people. I take it slow. Study new people first before I talk to them. Or put on a mask and fake conversation. Sometimes I don't know if they're going to understand, I can't say how I really feel, because when someone asks "how are you?" who really wants to know? Next time someone asks I dare you to tell them how you really feel. They're look at you like you're bat shit crazy. Even for my past friends before my abuse I'm afraid, I've distanced myself from a lot of them, and I hate it. I'm afraid for the one's I have even started talking to, when will enough be enough, I try to hide my abuse/PTSD systems, but it's hard, you don't know if you're welcome to talk about it, or if you should just conceal it, again, what if they don't like this new Mary? Sometimes it's easier to be alone.

and that's ok.

now I'm not saying completely distance yourself, move out to a cabin in the woods and live off the land. NO, I'm saying take it slow, focus on yourself, because when you do those people, good relationships will come. 

There's a big difference between being alone and being lonely.

I could be in a room, world of people with my abuser and feel so lonely. Even when I got home I felt so lonely. So many people around me and it was like I didn't exist. You have to accept that it's ok to be alone. No one wants to be your best friend or boyfriend. Screw them be your own best friend or boyfriend! Buy yourself flowers or something nice once in awhile! Celebrate yourself, because you deserve it. It's hard to be alone sometimes but it will be ok.

There's a big difference between being alone and being lonely.

Also an interesting blog post about a woman's take on how to be alone without feeling lonely, a nice little post.

And that is an abusive relationship...

Picture source:http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/4a/20/f5/4a20f530ae531959f75580bed76539e6.jpg

Monday, April 21, 2014

Find Yourself

Sometimes what seems hardest is trying to find myself again. What I'm good at, who I am. 

When you have PTSD/ depression/ anxiety sometimes the hardest thing is just to get moving. It just wants you to sit there and feel bad for yourself, continue to be sad. Like a dark cover trying to keep you from the outside world. You have to push yourself to get up and doing anything, it's freaking hard, but when you do you feel better. It's like you've won a piece of your self back.

Below are some link of fun, free, uplifting things to do. If you try to do at least one thing a day for yourself you can feel the difference.

You can find yourself again.

56 things to do besides spend money:

7 ways to instantly get happier:

50 ways to take a break:

15 easy ways to beat anxiety:

59 awesome free things to do to feel amazingly alive:

Morning Reminder

picture source:http://unbrokenbygrace.tumblr.com/post/53512920923

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Even through the darkest times I knew God was there, he had not forgotten me.

He has a plan for me. I believe there's a reason for everything. Yes I was abused and it was horrible, but he brought me out of it. I believe God choose me so I could help others. I'm sure it pained him to put his daughter through this, but he knows I am strong, That I would take what's happened to me and try to make the best of it.

He has a plan for me, even if I don't know what it is yet,

He has not forgotten me.

picture sources:http://www.etsy.com/listing/80315640/joshua-19-strength-and-courage-8x10in,http://www.etsy.com/listing/158981937/black-bible-verse-canvas?utm_source=Pinterest&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share

Friday, April 18, 2014

No Means No

Picture source:http://weheartit.com/entry/15816370

I Will Not

                           Picture source:http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/originals/93/81/68/9381687b702d8ca41eb2fd7a33792ec1.jpg

What No One Told Me When I Left My Abuser

A really cool post I found online by Amanda Oleson on Sheismore.com.

"You’ve seen it a thousand times before. Those motivational pieces about getting out of an abusive relationship. They’re touching. They’re helpful. They all say the same thing:
“You can leave. You should leave. You deserve more than this. You are better than this.”
And the articles are right. They are all right. Don’t think that anything I say in this will discount those truths or the nightmare that is an abusive relationship. I’m just saying that there are a few parts of the story that have been left out.
No one tells you how it feels after the big moment. After you’ve left and you’re on your own. You’re strong, you’re empowered, and you can handle anything. But now what?
Here’s what happens next:
You will see the look in your father’s eyes when you tell him what happened. You’ll watch his heart break in front of you as he realizes that, despite his best efforts, he couldn’t protect you from the evil in another man.
You will- at some point- be ashamed of yourself. For who you were and how you acted in that relationship. For letting someone do that to you. Most of all for being ‘that girl’.
‘That girl’ is the one who sees the look of pity in the eyes of nearly everyone she knows, and some people that she doesn’t. ‘That girl’ was stupid enough to believe that he wouldn’t do it again. That it was an accident, and he didn’t really mean it. You’ll be ‘that girl’, and for a while, everyone that looks you in the eyes will do so with pity.
When you eventually find someone that you trust enough to let in to your heart, you realize that you will have to find a way to tell them. Tell them that at one point in your life, someone else controlled your every move, your every thought. They may want to hear every soul-crushing detail. And you will have to relive it all over again.
The people you love will try to understand, but they’ll still forget the little things. They’ll forget that they can’t slam the door, can’t touch your face- definitely can’t touch your face. Everyone around you will forget and then get confused when you jump at something they did.
Finally, of all the things that you need to know about leaving your abuser, this is the most vital: you will finally be happy. Truly happy. Not happy like you were when things were good with him, but happy with yourself. After fighting through abuse and everything that comes with it, you will end up happier and stronger than you ever realized possible. And if for no other reason than that, everything else will have been worth it. Take strength in knowing that you can come back from anything."

source: http://sheismore.com/what-no-one-told-me-after-i-left-my-abuser/

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Last night I had a nightmare. It's been awhile since I had one. They even put me on medicine to stop nightmares. It was him and he came for me. His family, his friends. They all came for me. I couldn't stop him.

It feels real.

The fear when I dream these things. Crying out but no one will help me. No one will listen. They're all angry.

At me.

He screams at me. His voice is always spot on. I cry in my dreams but no hears me. No one believes me. My anxiety swarms around me.

Sometimes I remember the whole thing, sometimes it's just the feelings.
They carry with me through out the day, at the back of my mind.

The scenes flickering before my eyes.

In my dreams

He always wins.

picture source:http://langleav.com/page/8


Just some inspiring pictures I found thought they'd be nice to share.

                                           Picture source:http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/originals/fa/9b/95/fa9b95336b16e831dc7793ef6ed659b5.jpg

                                             Picture source:http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/originals/fa/9b/95/fa9b95336b16e831dc7793ef6ed659b5.jpg

Picture source:https://twitter.com/MissMeJeans
                                                                   picture source:http://phoenixrisingcollective.org/2013/06/19/self-love-affirmation/

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Safety Plan

Leave abusive relationships with this safety plan

Signs of being in an abusive relationship

Signs you may be in an abusive relationship.

1. Jealousy/possessiveness
Jealous over your family or friends. May become jealous over children. Wants you to be isolated. Accuses you of cheating or flirting. Calls constantly, visits often unrepentantly, always wanting to know where you are/what you are doing. Sees you as his property. Isolates you keeps you away from your family and friends. Deprives you from a phone or car, prevents you from holding a job.

2. Control
Must be your center of attention. Makes you ask permission to do or go anywhere. Controls finances, car, and the activities you are involved in. Takes extra precautions to check up on you, such as counting mileage on car, checking all shopping recites. Becomes angry if you show signs of independence or strength.

3. Unrealistic Expectations/Superiority
He is always right, has to win or be in charge. He blames his actions on others or you, it is always someone else's fault if something goes wrong. Makes you feel weak so he can feel powerful. He expects you to be the perfect person, and meet their every need. They are always more important than you. Has a bad, uncontrollable temper. Thinks there is nothing wrong with him, doesn't want to seek help. Disrespects women.

4. Manipulates/ Punishes You
Physically, emotionally, sexually punishes you. Humiliates/yells at you. Belittles, threatens and puts you down. Makes you fear him or his rules. Plays the silent games with you when he doesn't get his way. Destroys belongings. Threatens to commit suicide if you leave. Mood swings that switch from aggressive to abusive to apologetic and loving after the abuse.

Sources: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Abusive_Men_Top_10_Signs_of_an_Abusive_Man.html, http://www.yourtango.com/experts/wendy-kay/avoid-abusive-relationship-15-signs-abuser-expert, http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm

It Is Still Abuse If . . .

  • The incidents of physical abuse seem minor when compared to those you have read about, seen on television or heard other women talk about. There isn’t a “better” or “worse” form of physical abuse; you can be severely injured as a result of being pushed, for example.
  • The incidents of physical abuse have only occurred one or two times in the relationship. Studies indicate that if your spouse/partner has injured you once, it is likely he will continue to physically assault you.
  • The physical assaults stopped when you became passive and gave up your right to express yourself as you desire, to move about freely and see others, and to make decisions. It is not a victory if you have to give up your rights as a person and a partner in exchange for not being assaulted!
  • There has not been any physical violence. Many women are emotionally and verbally assaulted. This can be as equally frightening and is often more confusing to try to understand.
Source: Breaking the Silence: a Handbook for Victims of Violence in Nebraska


Picture sources:http://marshill.com/2012/02/27/stats-on-sexual-assault, http://femaleimagination.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/domestic-abuse-at-christmas/

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

24 hour advocacy phone support toll free, very cool website too. I also find my local Eau Claire domestic abuse shelter very helpful and caring, also 24 hour advocacy.
Bolton Refuge website: http://www.boltonrefuge.com/
24 hour advocacy phone line:  (715) 834-0628
Also they are always accepting donations! So I'm sure any donation would be appreciated by these brave woman and their children! I know I always well great when I can bring them of my unneeded old clothes!

How to Escape from Zip Ties

How to escape zip ties...
Just in case so you are prepared.
This website link has great demonstrations and videos!
picture source:http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Flt1GJJ9M30/UaRHUDZkBdI/AAAAAAAAC9Q/FSLNBz_oOKI/s1600/bound-by-zip-ties-300x217.png


What I suffer with as a consequence of abuse.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), once called shell shock or battle fatigue syndrome, is a serious condition that can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic or terrifying event in which serious physical harm occurred or was threatened. PTSD is a lasting consequence of traumatic ordeals that cause intense fear, helplessness, or horror, such as a sexual or physical assault, the unexpected death of a loved one, an accident, war, or natural disaster. Families of victims can also develop PTSD, as can emergency personnel and rescue workers.
Most people who experience a traumatic event will have reactions that may include shock, anger, nervousness, fear, and even guilt. These reactions are common; and for most people, they go away over time. For a person with PTSD, however, these feelings continue and even increase, becoming so strong that they keep the person from living a normal life. People with PTSD have symptoms for longer than one month and cannot function as well as before the event occurred.

Picture source: http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/a8/10/42/a810426df9712501f1d4258b29068ebe.jpg

Your Life Is A Blank Canvas

                                                Your life is a blank canvas,
So bare and empty,
You can hear the sound of its forgotten existence
A burst of explosive color
Paint messily strewn about
It dances about the background
Flashes of warm and blissfulness
Bleeding downward in pain and regret
You can hear the harmony and dissonance in its movement and shapes.
Once a stroke is laid upon, it can not be erased
Can be pilled on by decision and decision of overwhelming color
Chipped away at,
To try to expose pictures of the past
But can not be repeated
This painting will never be created again
Can be copied by others
But will never be the same
You are the artist
A masterpiece waiting to happen
An epiphany
Then it is gone
It is done, done forever.
Do you want to be the painting everyone is inspired to see?
Or the knock off, hidden away in the shadows
Afraid of its true potential to be great and make a difference.
Your life is a blank canvas.

My Story Part 2

                                                                         My Story Part 2

it took me also a year to write this second part...

In January I remember I went up a week early to see him, I remember he drove all the way from Michigan to come get me. But he refused to come to my house to see my family, he just wanted me dropped off at Olive Garden. I had to beg him to let my mom drop me off, beg him. I had all my stuff packed into my car to bring back up to college. When I got to Olive Garden Jake jumped out of the car and just held me, and kissed me saying that he was sorry. Then he went and hugged my mom telling her he’d keep me safe. It didn’t really all make sense. The following week was good, but since the PPO was in place still we really weren’t supposed to be together so a lot of my time was sent sitting in Jake’s room waiting for him when he wasn’t busy, because “what if someone saw me” he said. Jake made me feel stupid for putting a PPO up against him, told me I over reacted.  A part of me wanted the PPO off too, I thought he would change, your mind tells you it isn’t possible for someone to really treat you like that. But I knew deep down that this man was a horrible man, you can’t change someone’s personality. It was like I was brainwashed, but it was a constant battle between trusting heart and my logical head. The first day of my second semester of college I got a text message from Jake saying an officer came to his first class escorted him out and told him he was expelled from NMU with twenty four counts against him, five of them sexual assault all that he had done to me. He had also told them that I was going to be a witness on his trial to get back into NMU. So I was supposed to be a witness on a trial where I was the one who he had all this done to? I remember telling Jake I would fight for him to have a second chance, but I wasn’t going to lie and say it never happened because all of it did happen. He called me every waking minute telling me over and over again what he thought I should say. That maybe I should say we were actually drunk when this happened, or that this certain thing didn’t really happen, or really wasn’t that bad. He would call me in the morning at 6 am, at midnight any waking moment for a week, I mentally could not take it anymore. I remember crying and jake said well if you don’t say this right, if you don’t save me I might as well kill myself if I don’t have school…and “do you really want me to kill myself Mary?” He kept talking about how bad he had it, how he might as well kill himself. Did he remember who this all happened to, not him, me! He was not the victim here! He didn’t want to take responsibility for his actions.

 I remember showing up for the trial I was wearing a white dress, I remember the officer standing there between us as Jake and I waited outside the room where this trial was held, I wasn’t supposed to look at him, to touch him. A lot more people were at this trial I was told than most trials because they had never heard of it before… the victim testifying at the trial. As I sat outside the door as jake did his part of the trial, I thought they all think I’m going to lie, what if I don’t say the right thing? What will jake do to me? I went in and talked about how I wasn’t here to say anything that I had written in my testimony hadn’t happened because it all did but instead I was here to fight for a second chance for jake. It’s funny because now it seems so stupid, me fighting for him, he never thought he did anything wrong, how he talked of going to batters anonymous which I know he’d never do. He said he had started to go back to his therapist, which was true, but he was going to the therapist he had gone to for when his dad was abusive to him, this therapy wasn’t for an abuser but instead for a victim, he was being treated as the victim. They asked me questions made me feel, it made me feel uncomfortable that all this people knew about such the horribly intimate details of my abuse, of my life. I remember when the dean of students she talked about “how this wasn’t just about me but think of all the other students related who were affected, for example the roommate.” I remember down right hating this closing argument of hers, yes it affected them, but more because I chose to speak about my abuse rather than hide it? Couldn’t she see for once this was about me? what I had gone through, it was about me. I walked out of the room and as the dean of students walked past me she said “Good luck”. This wasn’t about me, this wasn’t my trial. it was Jake’s. I testified because I felt I had to, if I had wanted him to have no consequences for what he did to me I would have lied. I got an email later the next day that Jake wasn’t able to negate a single count and was expelled from Northern Michigan University with 24 counts against him, I felt power for once but I also felt fear. I didn’t tell Jake that I already knew when he said he was afraid to look. When Jake did look he told me how he was going to kill himself, “just drink until he couldn’t feel anymore.” I remember he scared me so bad that he was going to kill himself that I went to my RD and she called the police to go check on him to make sure he was ok...that made him really angry, telling me “I had done enough already”, and “didn’t I ever think about how much trouble he’d be in if they knew he was talking to me”. I felt really bad, but I just wanted to make sure he was ok. Later in the week I had my trial to relinquish my PPO against Jake, I got all dressed up and showed up to court. It was a short trial and I remember the judge turned to me and said “this is an extremely scary case if you ever need a PPO again we will be here.” Jake grabbed my hand and led me out of the court house holding my hand.


 Jake had complete control over my life. Life was go to school, work and Jake. He had it all planed out for me told me in 5 years we were going to be living in his trailer with a baby boy named Luc with a part time job, he talked about me dropping out of college, or transferring colleges. It was like I was trapped in a life already planned out for me. I remember I was staying over at Jake’s and Jake said according to his mom I was only supposed to spend one night, but I ended up staying three, but on the third night jake woke me up at 4 am and told me I had to sleep in his car alone. This is in the UP, in below 0 temperatures. I remember Jake telling me to get in the car and that he would be back for me later I started to ball I hadn’t cried for so long but something snapped inside of me like I was being punished for something. He shut the door and told me the alarm would go off if I tried to get out. I was afraid I would freeze and no one would know. Why did he lock the doors? I cried myself to sleep as I tried to cuddle myself for warm. When I opened my eyes jake was there telling me I could go inside. The last time I ever remember seeing my friends at the dorms was when they told me I should go to a party with them, I remember getting all dressed up, so excited to go out. I knew I couldn’t tell jake though he would get angry, tell me I couldn’t go. So I told he I was going to sleep early I felt so bad for lying to him, but otherwise I knew he was not going to let me leave my dorm room. It was the first time in a long time that I had even been able to leave to do anything that wasn’t to do with Jake.
 When I got to the party with my friends I started drinking, this had become a problem with me, alcohol. Anything, and anytime still anyone would offer me alcohol I would drink it. Never before I met Jake was I like this; but it was because it was the same feeling of dissociating away from my life, what I had learned all along was the only way to survive, it had been ingrained into my mind. If I didn’t have to face the horror and trauma of my life it was like it wasn’t there. So when someone kept offering me more and more alcohol I took it and ended up drunk I remember there was a boy at this party who just started to work at the PEIF we were just having a causal conversation with him than he came in and started kissing me. I was confused  but I said “no I can’t do this I have a boyfriend.” And went to find my friends. I was wondering around trying to find my friends when a random guy slapped my butt. I started to tear up and shake, I was flashing back.
 Then I saw the guy again I tried to explain to him in my drunk stupor what happened then he just started to kiss me, and I let him.  They say the sexual abused are usually celibate or promiscuous. How many dates I have gone on after Jake trying to fill this hole, done what ever a guy wanted me to do so it would make him happy, so even if it was just shallow, unreal, I’d feel cared about, and when they left even if I had just known them for a day I would feel such emotional pain. My friends eventually got me to go home. I was awaken the next morning to a phone call “so how was the party?” it was jake. He said he knew about the boy kissing me. He was so angry. Asked if I was going to tell him about it? I said yes I was going to. The anger in his voice scared me. I knew I was never going to be able to go out again with my friends anywhere. Jake asked if I could do anything but hurt him. It was like I didn’t mean for this guy to kiss me but someone had slapped my back side, I had flashed back to the trauma and was just so vulnerable and terrified. But Jake was so angry and said I owed him. So he talked about how I would have to give him so many blow jobs, this scared me. This was something I wasn’t mentally even able to do anymore, nor was it me even doing it. Jake used to just move my head back and down, he had all the control. My body would shake, tears would roll down my cheeks. I had to start dissociating now to get through it, because Jake would be so angry if he didn’t finish and wouldn’t let me stop. I was just a body. Soon after this party incident, I remember Jake texted me around midnight asking me to give him a blow job I was awake so I said ok. I guess he had called me an hour or an hour and a half later to say he was here waiting for me. I had falling asleep.  That made Jake angry, he asked if I could do anything right. Told me that I owed him big time now. Soon after this incident Jake found out about Hayden kissing me the night Jake talked about waiting on the steps of Jamrich for me everyday to make sure I was going to class before he would beat my backside with a paddle. I tried to explain to him that it was a different circumstance that Hayden was just comforting me, that the kiss meant not nothing. That I was terrified of being beat because of missing class. Jake tried to hide it from his parents, especially his mom that he was expelled from school. If anyone asked he said he withdrew because he didn’t like the major, no one knew the real reason. I remember I tried to tell Jake’s step dad once that he was beating me he just said that he didn’t know why Jake thought that was ok. But that was it, I knew he believe me but why wouldn’t he try to help me? Help Jake?  The things I learned were daily life, Jake stood behind me once with scissors wanting to cut my hair off, held my face down once to shave my face because he said I had a mustache. Jake always played rough with me giving me bruises from tickling me or pinching my breasts. I had to follow behind him at the grocery store, never go infront of the cart. I remember Jake and I were watching a commercial on TV and Jake said the girl on the commercial was a solid 9, and asked what I thought he was, I said a solid 10. He told me I was maybe an 8, I was hurt shouldn’t my boyfriend think I was the most beautiful thing in the world. He told me that “he didn’t even think he was a 10, more of a 9, even though he had the abs and eyes, that maybe if I got more confidence I could be a 9 like him.” “I should be grateful that God made me an 8, but I was never going to be a 10.” He was by the book personality disorder narcissistic. Always needing to be greater than me, better, feel like he was God.  I remember right before Valentines day I wanted to go out and get Jake a very nice gift, he was going to the grocery store or something with his guy friend. They were high and he dropped me off at shopko, for some reason I thought he would come back for me. But I knew he would get mad if I asked him to, but what boyfriend would want their girlfriend to walk two and a half miles home in the freezing winter? I had to call my roommate to pick me up after being to cold to walk anymore.

For Valentines Day Jake had figured out what we were going to do but ended up texting me telling me he had to work on Valentines day and he didn’t want to take it off so he said we could ethier do something on that Sunday or that Friday. I told him I had to work on Sunday and Friday one of my best friend’s was having a surprise birthday party and all my friend’s from Eau Claire were coming up to Marquette. I was so excited to go, see my friends, have some freedom. But Jake said “well babe you’re going to need to choose and I need you. Call me right away.” I knew I was not going to be able to see my friends. It wasn’t about this party. It was about my life, my freedom. I had nothing any more nothing that I felt I was good at anymore, that made me happy, that made me feel like me.  After I got back from work I remember I sat in the car with my co-worker because I was scared to call, hear what I knew was going to be said to me. I finally got out of the car and called jake. He asked if I cared about our relationship? Told me I wasn’t putting enough in to it. I had put my life into this relationship, or atleast but I really had left of it. He told me that “I had to tell him every time I had a doctor’s appointment, a party, etc. where ever I went because what if he had a date planned for us and I had fucked it up.” I remember I was just listening to him tell me all that was wrong with me, comparing me to his past girlfriend. I felt so alone. Like a horrible person who couldn’t do anything right. The words “Yes Jake you’re right.” Came out of my mouth. Was it myself saying that? “Yes Jake I need to tell you everything I have anything.” This person talking wasn’t me, where was mary? I was nothing. I saw my razer I had never thought about hurting myself before that was weak, I would be as bad a jake, but I was so used to this feeling of do something wrong get punished. Jake was talking on the phone but I just couldn’t take it anymore getting all this emotional abuse atleast the physical pain hurt less, so I grabbed my razer went into my dorm bathroom floor and cut up my legs deep till they bled and scarred, still on the phone with jake. Eventully I heard Jake say that he was going to take valentines day off but he wasn’t going to like it. I said ok hung up the phone and sitting in this pool of blood tried to cry, but I couldn’t even get out one tear. I wrapped my legs up in paper towel tape and went to bed. Within two days my roommate saw the bandages and told my RA, who then told my RD. Jake ended up seeing my bandages he told me he didn’t want to deal with this again, I felt ashamed. I had to have a mandatory meeting with my RD Jake told me not to go said they had already did enough, I didn’t want to disobey him so I tried to avoid it, I felt embarrassed that I had done this, but no one could see how trapped I was. Eventually my boss at the PEIF saying I had to go to this meeting, she took me off the lifeguard stand. Took me to the meeting, then took me to lunch. I remember I had to meet with the dean of students I sat down and remember her telling me basically that I was dumb for staying with this guy, I hated it this woman had no idea what I had gone through how scared I was to leave, scared to die or worse how myself was slowly dying inside, how lost I really was. We talked about my GPA and how she was surprised it was as high as it was. She made me feel stupid. We talked about how we both agreed I’d never cut myself ever again. I knew it. She knew it. She said I would still need to go to a routine psych evaluation, but she would only talk to me about the cutting myself nothing about Jake. She said she was almost 100% sure she wasn’t going to expel me for cutting, but she “could expel me for that boy, yes I could do that.” Because my choice to stay with him was my choice to harm myself. This appointment was with the head psychologist, I remember she had been on Jake’s trial to get back into school. I sat down calm and collected, if you asked me what exactly she said I’d say I can’t remember. It was nothing about cutting myself it was all about my abuse, maybe if she hadn’t been on jake’s trial it would have gone different. She made me cry, made me show the feelings I had been hiding back. She pretended to be Jake. I remember Jake kept calling me and I told her he would get angry if I didn’t answer, she yelled at me. Took my purse and coat away. She made me look crazy because I was scared. She told me in her 25 years of working at NMU she had never told anyone nor believed so strongly that an abuser would kill a victim as she was in my case. She said I am going to see your name in the obituaries. A part of me knew I was going to die on this path. Valentine’s day I remember I went to my first class then came back to my dorm room to take a nap, I was half asleep when there was a knock on the door. I opened the door and it was my parents I had a moment of happiness but then was confused on why they were there. They said the dean of students had called them and told them to leave as soon as possible to come and get me the school was withdrawing me because they were afraid Jake was going to kill me. It felt like my life was crumbling before me, how hard I had worked to get to college, how much I loved my program and this city. I started balling said I wasn’t going. Didn’t let them in.  I called Jake and told him that my parents were here to bring me home, that the school was withdrawing me, he started balling. I put him on speaker phone. I told my parents I would go with them but I had to be able to say goodbye to Jake they said no. I told them I was going to. I had to meet with the dean of students to sign my withdrawal papers I was so angry, they were not going to let me say goodbye to jake, I was arguing with them all, yelling. I just wanted to say goodbye. I said couldn’t you have just waited one more day it was valentine’s day couldn’t I just have that, They said no because they thought every day I stayed I was closer to him killing me. I was so sad, scared, betrayed. The school was punishing me for doing nothing wrong, giving the victim the same punishment of the perpetrator. It was like it was the school’s easy way out, that I might die but it wouldn’t be on their turf anymore, they could wash their hands of me. They were telling me I was acting like a child wanting to say goodbye to Jake, I was not a child. I had been forced to grow up in so many ways to protect my self. This saying good bye to jake was more like saying goodbye to my life because it was all I knew any more. I signed my withdrawl papers tears running down my face. Ran out of the office, ran to my dorm, grabbed Jake’s valentine’s day present, and meet him at Marquette general. I gave him my gift, hugged him, and kissed him, he told me “I will never love someone the same way I love you.” Told me we’d work this out.  I could have ran away with him, could have stayed with me, but I knew I was worth more. Knew I had to go. My parents kept calling my cell I told them I had gone to meet him like I said but I would meet them at my dorm to pack. As we drove away I opened Jake’s gift to me it was an opal necklace I said I had liked. My friend Stig called me told me I was stupid, that they told me this was going to happen, why didn’t I try to reach out more to him and my friend Sam and hung up on me.
 Not even a week later I went back up to the UP on a greyhound bus, I remember I got stuck overnight in Duluth and made the joke to Jake that it was so ghetto here I was afraid I would be raped, he said that wouldn’t be good because it would make my vagina less tight for him. My old roommate messaged me asked me if I wanted to die? That I was being stupid coming back up.  I don’t remember that week that well I know we went ice skating, dressed up to go out on our valentines day date to a Mexican restraunt in Escanaba. Jake wanted me to take lots of pictures and post them on facebook to show people I wasn’t dead. A bunch of guys who were in more dorm hall commented stuff like “slut”, “looks like someone’s hungry for a knuckle sandwich.” “looks like someone’s ready to get hit”. When I got home things weren’t as happy anymore that honey moon period had worn off Jake wanted me to basically just stay in my room talk to him, ignore my family. He told me for every time I chose my family over him I would have to blow him, because I went to Walmart with my mom rather than skyping him. Wanted me to apply to Finnlandia with him but there was nothing there I wanted to do, and deep down I knew I couldn’t do that do myself put myself back in school with him be stuck with him for the rest of my life. Jake ended up losing his job because he lied on his time sheets and because his employer heard about what he did to me. Jake kept talking about killing him self, He called me once said that he was the one who had it all horrible because he had lost school, and his job how he should just kill himself, I said you know jake I lost school and my job too, he said maybe we should just off it off together than. I said “kill ourselves? Jake I don’t want to die.” He said don’t say it out loud. Even though he was hundreds of miles away he still wanted the control over me. Told me he wanted me to come up again but this time I was scared with his talk of punishing me with blow jobs and killing ourselves. I was afraid, he told me not to tell my parents just leave a note. So I did he drove all the way to my house to pick me up when I first saw him. He looked angry. Peed on my lawn and told me to get in the car without kissing me. I remember we were driving when he pulled out a knife put it up to me and was just moving it around telling me we could just off ourselves off right now. Said how tempted he was to just serve into a tree or semi on the way here, started swerving said that these trucks looked like good ones to crash into. See to anyone else this might just sound like a joke, but I never knew when he would decide to end it for us both he had the control, all this talk of us committing suicide. I remember he told me he wanted to work out with his friend Hayden, he wanted it to just be him and hayden that I was supposed to stay in his room and just wait for him to come back. I remember leaving to use the bathroom, trying to not let them see me,  afraid Jake would be mad at me for leaving his room, Hayden started talking to me and when Jake came back Hayden said I was being really quiet, Jake said “that is how Mary is”, hayden asked if Jake I wanted to work out with them. Jake said told him that I didn’t want to. Hayden said “she can answer for herself.” Jake glared at me. I said “that jake just wanted it to be you and him.” And as I was supposed to went back to jake’s room. Jake and Hayden and I ended up going snowmobiling together I was on the back of Jake’s snowmobile when he ran my knee into a moving car, it really hurt and when I told jake when we stopped he didn’t care, laughed it off. Jake decided to take me one his new snowmobile the next day, he brought it next to the highway and sped up I told him too fast and he just kept going faster and faster. I was afraid of falling off. I kept hitting him telling him to slow down. Tears started running down my face. I never knew when he might just snap and kill us both. I started to clear my mind and dissociate to get through this ride. That week jake took me to the trailer we were going to live in, it was nostalgic, like a graveyard for all my dreams.

The next thing I remember about that week was Jake and I were watching a movie when he fell asleep I didn’t want to just sit there, so I tucked Jake in and went out to the kitchen where Jake’s mom was eating salsa I sat down with her and started snacking. She started talking to me than said your parents must be so freaked out when you’re staying with two parents they’ve never met before. My anxiety began to build that was not the reason! They’re terrified that I’m staying with a guy that beats me and they’re afraid might kill me! But I couldn’t tell her that. Could I? She could see that something was bothering me. “I said that’s not it.” She said. “Honey, you know you can tell me anything.” I said “Do you know why your son was expelled from NMU? She said “No not really.” I said “Your son used to beat my backside till I got deep wound bruises. You have to believe me I’m not lying.” She said she believed me, and started telling me about Jake’s dad. I felt alittle strength telling her. Then Jake woke up. He stormed out of his room heading for the front door. I was terrified saying I’m sorry, I’m sorry, please don’t leave me. I was having a panic attack trying to cry but no tears would fall. His mom and him were screaming at each other, he told me to get in the car that we were going for a drive, he mom said are you just going to hit her, break up with her? I got in the car I was so scared if I ever felt like I was going to be killed it w, as right then. I didn’t know where we were going, my anxiety swarmed. He was quiet so I stayed quiet. He first drove into a casino went inside then came back, then he drove the car into an isolated area. I was scared and he knew it, He said we had come here to talk he said I had no right to tell his mom about that, It had nothing to do with me. I said “Yes jake you’re right.” But that wasn’t true I did have a right it had to do with me, she had to know, than she’d help him right? Help me? He said that I shouldn’t have told Hayden that he didn’t want me to work out with them. I said that what he said though.  He said just don’t tell his friends because it makes him look like he’s an asshole to me. He told me my blow jobs were lacking lately too, I told him that he had scared me when he said I’d have to blow him for every time I choose my family over him. He said he figured that, but he said that because he wanted more blowjobs, so I was supposed to work on that. The next day I left I remember his mom hugged me goodbye.
My cousin and I in Colorado
 The next week I went to Colorado to look at colleges with my little brother and family. I remember I was so excited to see my grandparents, my grandparents knew about my story but I was excited to get away at least for a week from my life. We got there and it was like I was the elephant in the room. When people don’t know what to say or do they don’t say anything at all, I’ve noticed this with my family and especially my friends they don’t understand, they don’t know what to say, upset that you would stay with someone that would hurt you like that, so they distance themselves from you, the old mary was so cheery, fun and the crazy one who would do anything, this mary was different this mary had internally pain, some of my friends didn’t want to accept it all, appect me so I lost them. To my grandparents and parents I felt like the failure child they were so excited about my little brother talked wonders about what he was good at how great of a person he was, didn’t say anything to me. All I wanted was not to feel alone, I spent days in this isolation. It sounds funny but my cracking point was pie.  My grandparents had gone out and bought my little brother’s favorite dessert for just him, I had to ask for a piece from him. No one wanted to talk to me it was like I didn’t exist to anyone. I went to the bathroom and started balling for the first time in many months I was crying and it was over pie. A part of it felt refreashing to get these months of tears out from being beat, name called destroyed but that also meant I had to feel the pain, I couldn’t just block it out. The day after I remember Jake said he had to talk to me he said he had discussed it with his mom and I wasn’t getting better, that he needed help and that I needed help and that we should take a break. I started crying but I said thank you. It felt like the world was crashing around me, I felt some releaf but it was like all I knew, all I had been trained to know was being ripped from my fingers. I had to start all over again, I didn’t know who I was what I wanted, It was like he was breaking up with me because I was too broken for him. I remember I hadn’t gotten my period, and was showing signs of pregnancy. I was scared but another part of me was happy, because I than maybe jake would want to stay with me, and then I’d have something to care for that cared about me, because that’s all I knew anymore was how to care. It made Jake angry when I brought it up. But I was convinced that a baby was what I needed. I wasn’t preganant, thank god. It was funny the way Jake would talk to me it was like he still wanted the ownership of me but that I had no ownership at all of him. I think that was what hurt the most. When I got home from Colorado it was when it hit me of how much around me was broken it was like everything about me, my life had been erased and I had to figure it out all again. I was terrified. A part of me just wanted to be dead but I knew I was stronger than killing myself that was what jake wanted and I was stronger than that. Every day I tried to get stronger. One day one of Jake’s friend’s Jannis sent me a message on facebook saying that his girlfriend Michelle (who was jake’s best friend) had left him for jake. That he was really scared because he had heard that jake had done some bad stuff to me what he didn’t know what. My heart stopped this was the moment that I knew I was wasn’t jealous this had nothing to do with jake getting a new girlfriend and not wanting me. I was scared no one deserved to go through what I went through, you can’t change people who don’t want to be changed. Abusers only esculate. I had to save her, some way, some how. I told Jannis of all the abuse, how horrible it was how I had to help her. I remember I called Michelle crying telling her all about it how I was terrified for her, sent her pictures and she started crying too I told her she had to believe me that I wasn’t jealous I just wanted her safe. I believe she believed me, as far as I know I changed her mind but I guess I’ll never know.  Jake sent me a message that night saying “thank you for setting me free, from you and everything else that was ever between me and Michelle or ever was going to be between me and Michelle I am grateful to for that because I just couldn’t do it and I’m glad that you did thank you, I am free from the past now that Michelle knows it I told her a little of it but I couldn’t tell her all of it because of how much it hurt so thank you for telling her and setting me free from it I can finally let it go never have to think about it. It is for Michelle to decide what she wants to do with the knowledge of my past now and I’m grateful that you did what I knew I could never do, thank you for freeing me babe.” It was like he was taking this inner strength I had to try to speak out to Michelle, try to help her, be that person I wanted to help me and throwing it in my face. Throwing it in my face that it was the past, whatever he did to me it didn’t matter now because he wouldn’t have to think about it. He could just let it go, how he was the victim of MY abuse.
 The cards my brownie troop I co-led sent me.
It was here that I knew I had to try to stand up, try to get charges on him because it wasn’t about me anymore. It was about the other girls out there who can’t stand up for themselves; who could be his next victim. If all this happened to me, if I was this close to him killing me what would he do to the next girl? Abusers only escalate. How long can he go thinking he’s doing nothing wrong? It’s like he just got to start over at finlandia, he can just tell people he didn’t like NMU because Finlandia didn’t have to look at his record because it’s a private school, and because he has no current criminal charges. He gets to forget it all. But I can’t I have nightmares, flashbacks, not only if someone happens to hit my backside; but to the sound of his hand hitting against me, the same car he drove, etc. the simplest things make tears well in my eyes as I try to hide it. My life is changed. Inside I am so broken, I try to hide it, I am afraid of people, afraid of my past, afraid of my future.
 In July I sent a message to Jake’s ex girlfriend Tresse on facebook  “I know this is the most random message ever but my name is Mary, and from my understanding you used to date Jake van pelt. He just broke it off with me in March..but he was extremely physically, sexually and emotionally abusive to me. I have PTSD now from being sexual assaulted so many times. He was expelled from northern Michigan university with 24 counts against him 5 of them sexual assault all towards me. NMU withdrew me in February because they thought he was going to kill me...i guess what I'm trying to ask..and its Ok if you don't want to answer is did Jake ever hurt you? He started dating a new girl today..michelle? Idk if you know her. But I called and told her what happened to me..that doesn't deserve to happen to anyone, she said she believed me but i guess Im scared for her. I might seek charges, I should..I.just don't want anyone else to get hurt :( sorry if I bothered you in anyway! And I understand if you don't wanna talk to me that's Ok” I told her she could text me too if she wanted terese texted me back “You were asking me if Jake ever hit me or physically abused me. Yes he did. Only once though. Never again after that. I’m not sure if you know his father Gary, Did he ever mention him?” I said yes. She said “I’ve know Jake for years and I know his father…and I think the only way you can help him is pressing charges, I believe. He got the pleasure from smacking people on the ass I guess what he told me… He did that but then I broke his nose. So he never did that to me again. That may not sound terrible but he was like holding me down and everything. I hope you don’t mind me asking but did he ever attempt to kill you? Or say he was gonna kill himself?” It was like she knew exactly what had happened to me. She said “This is fucking terrible…michelle needs to get away from him soon as possible, He’s a sick maniac. I hope you believe he still deserves to be put away.”
June 8 I met with Terese in Appleton. We talked about Jake’s dad how he had been put in jail because they found a woman duct taped to his wall in his basement. We talked about our abuse, Jake had told me that Terese was suicidal and wanted to kill herself, had cut herself, Terese told me that Jake was the one who had been the suicidal one. She said Jake had lived with her for a while but one day she came home and he was watching videos of spanking. It freaked her out. She talked out the time Jake assaulted her, she was at Wisconsin Dells with him when she made a joke about Jake being gay it made him angry. She said he had tried to assault her in the back of his car the same place he had assaulted me multiple times. She had broken his nose. She was still terrified of the back of cars like that now. It was so rewarding to spend this time with her.  

I guess this brings it to today I’ve been writing this part 2 and letter to the prosecutor for trying to get charges for almost a year now, it itself is terrifying. Bringing myself back to my terror, trying to remember and not remember at the same time, there’s a wall in my mind trying to put a defense up in my memory. Why so long to write it? Because I finally am feeling some control in my life. I’m strong enough to bring my mind and emotions back to that time. I go to group therapy every week at the shelter for domestic abuse and sexual assault survivors. It’s funny because all our stories are different yet the same. I go to Individual therapy at least two or three times a month and am beginning the process of EMDR to try to help with my PTSD. I also have gone to therapy for my dissociative behaviors of alcohol abuse and sex, I want to better myself, live my life. I wake up every day terrified, changed by my past. I’m still trying to find myself again what I’m good at, who I want to be, who I am. Tears well in my eyes almost every day but I am determined to keep going. I am currently in cosmetology school because I was too afraid to go back to a four year college but maybe one day I will when I started at NMU I thought  I had it all figured out but than my life was changed not but by my choice. I don’t have it all figured out yet but I think that’s ok. This letter, this blog, this want for Jake to have consequences isn’t about revenge, it’s about having my power back, trying to save another girl who doesn’t have her voice. To speak the truth even if my voice shakes.