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Post Intimacy

Trying to move forward in you life from rape or sexual assault comes with many obstacles, most of which is stepping out of your new comfort zone, which is now so much more limited. In this blog, Id like to focus on one many of us victims struggle with, and thats intimacy after such an ordeal. 

First of all its important to remember one thing,

Rape isnt sex. Its a violent act using sex as a weapon

It doesnt matter whether while reading this your single or in a relationship, this issue will still be at a focal point in your mind.

I was in a relationship when it happened to me, and im still in that same relationship now with a normal, happy sex life.

Where to start?

My advise may not help everybody, but it helped me and hopefully that may pass to others so that they become more at ease. 

Back to basics I say, if you cant even look at yourself in the mirror or be able to self indulge, your sexual relations will suffer. Take some time on your own, explore again and remind yourself what makes you feel good, what presses those buttons. Be comfortable in your own skin when your alone, If this is soemthing you are really suffering from, ie self confidence or body image issues, there is help available, whether it be therapy, or even a new hobbie that can boost confidence like self defence, or just simply going to the gym. Exercise is the best natural remedy for hightening those endorphins.
Communication.

Explain to your partner what your comfortable with and what is a no go. Doing this will bring you closer together as a couple, and allow your partner to understand you better and also to reassure them that it isnt personal.

patience is essential for both of you, its easy to get frustrated if things dont click instantly. Its a process for both of you. your partner will more than likely be scared of upsetting you, and more cautious of what he does or says. 

Dont give up, you can have a loving sexual relationship again after something like this. 

I cannot stress enough, to make sure your 100% happy with what happens, dont ever think you have to keep quiet about what may feel comfortable or not. 

After nearly 2 years, my relationship in the bedroom, if anything is even better than before, because i have the knowledge at how sex can be abused, and how important it is to have real closeness and intimacy. neither of us take sex for granted anymore, we always make sure that love is the main ingredient everytime. And, hes also the person i trust the most. 

Trust has got to be there between you both 100%.
It is hard to not have sex as a trigger for meltdowns, but with the right attitude, the desire to move forward with your partner, and the confidence, an amazing sex life can be acheived once again. 

My relationship is at its peak, with everything we have been through, the hard times and the good, that man has been by my side every step of the way, and has supported me in overcoming so many obstacles, whether that be panic attacks, to holding me after a nightmare, or in the bedroom. 

Its important to remind yourself the great things about love making. The closeness, the intimacy, the way your OH body feels next to your, the smell of your partner and most of all, the love you have between you that create the fireworks.

If your no way near the point of recapturing the intimate moments, may i advise to spare time for date nights, moments together, to rekindle, because as much as we try not to let it, a relationship becomes strained when something like this happens, but if you work together, you can reach the light at the end of the tunnel. 
Compliment eachother.

Hold hands.

Cuddle.
love you all

xsx

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Forget?

Do we truely WANT to forget what happened to us? Or do we allow it to define the person we become?

If i wasnt attacked I wouldnt  be right where i am right now, i wouldnt be in this house, with the friends i have, or the opportunities that are ahead of me.
That night wasnt the end of me… it was the beginning of a new me. 

My attackeer didnt take away anything from me. He lead me down a path, a  new path that allowed my strength, integrity, and courage to shine through.

When bad things happen, there is always a way out, a way to turn things around.
let it be the making of a brand new you..

paying it forward,,

They say that with every negative, there has to be a positive. Kind of like a balanced universe.. well my time to pay it forward has arrived.

On Tuesday 5th September I am taking part in a campaign video that SARC are creating to explain the benefits of reporting rape or sexual assault to the police, and Im sat thinking about how I approach it, what message would I like to send out.The usual “get justice” message doesnt seem to work, victims will continue to be petrified of the outcome, the backlash, or the possibility of them getting away with it..

Well the message i want to share, is that of the unknown consequences reporting to the police can cause. Lets look at my experience.

So, because i reported my attacker to the police-

1. I prevented it happening to anybody else

2. I found out he had a violent background which i did not know about beforehand

3. I encouraged another unamed frightened victim to come forward, whom was attacked by the same person.

4. I gave the police the opportunity to investigate, and in turn, they were able to put together a strong case, that was more than just my word against his… the police are clever, and they deal with rapists all the time, the evidence they put together was nothing what i could of imagined or even provided for them myself. my point here, is that you never know what else could be found out with some professional investigating.

5. A rapist if off the streets

and lastly,

6. I pray that by waivering my anonymity, other victims out there may find the courage to take the big scary step. 
It isnt easy, I cant preend that it is, but I took all the help and support that was offered to me, not just by friends and family, but from my GP, SARC and my ISVA. All of whom i could not of got through it all without. 

Through my journey, Ive binded stronger bonds with my friends and family, but Ive also made new friends along the way, people who Ive never even met, offering support and kind words, from all over the world infact!
Someone once said to me, about something totally irrelevant to this, some very wise words…

“better to do and regret, than to regret not doing”

So, to anyone who is battling with their minds on what to do, heed these words, you are not alone. you matter. and you are strong. it may be the hardest thing you ever have to go through, but even if you feel you have nobody around you, theres always some way of reaching out, even if its to me and i can point in the direction to the support group i admin on facebook. Do not go through this alone. It wasnt your fault, you had a crime commited against you by a very sick person, please reach out.
love to all my readers xxxx

F.R.I.E.N.D.S

So, When i was attacked, although I reported the crime, the only people who knew was a select few, the ones who were involved with police questioning..my partner obviously being my main support. But i didnt tell anyone else.. until…
My two best friends, who are the sisters I CHOSE.. were my shoulders to cry on when i eventually opened up. I honestly dont know where i would be without these ladies, and throughout this whole journey, havent had near enough recognition. because they are secondary victims in this. Just like my OH and my family, these two are also my rock! 

They never doubted me. Never questioned my word, and have not only nursed me through my breakdown, but have also been incredibly supportive of my strength up to now.

But.. with this deep love for my girlies, also comes anxiety. One of them, Jenny, lives in Germany, and i havent seen her for 18months! And the other, Leah, leaves for Cyprus for 2 years in a months time.. 

Now i know with todays technology, its so easy to stay in touch and even though we may not speak everyday, we can pick up where we left of so easily and naturally.. But God im dreading for the latter of the two to go.. 

Ive so much support round me honestly, im spoilt for it. But the thought of not being able to cuddle them or have their beautiful faces right infront of me scares the crap out of me! 

Albeit im gonna have 2 years of awesome holibobs.. winter hols in Germany and summer in Cyprus.. the inbetween times when you just wanna pop round in your jammies with wine.. sad times! 
But… wherever we all are in the world, our bonds will never be broken! 

Im a lucky woman.. amazing kids, fandabby family, gorgeous man…and my Deutschland Goddess and my Irish Charm! 

I love you all xx 

PTSD..

so, ive not really hit the subject of my PTSD, figured it was about time i did..

what is PTSD? 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder!

Its not just for war heros… 

anyone can suffer with it, anyone whos suffered any type of trauma. In my case.. Rape.

flashbacks for me are the worst part, anything can trigger them off. smells, even of someone says “are you ok?” in the same tone as ‘him’, can take me back to that life changing moment.

Its very frustrating to not have control over how your mind deals with things. the rational side of me knows i am safe, and that i had my closure. but the ‘protective’ part of my brain is still in turbo preventing anything happening to me… hand in hand with anxiety, which everyone has to a degree.. its that feeling you have when you step out on the road and see a car coming too fast.. yout mind turbos and tells you to move. thats anxiety or fear.. its what saves us. we need it as a species to exist.. so how so you try and re train yout mind to have the right balance… 

i still swear by CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) it really does rewire the brain. and although im still not 100%, i know ive made massive progress, considering i used to have panic attacks in shops! 
please feel free to share any anxiety/ptsd issues, coping techniques, or advise xx 

rape on tv? 

recently, the topic of rape has been portrayed on british tv dramas.. ive asked many people in the support group i admin what they think of this..

many, as you can imagine, are highly triggered by them. but despite this, we are glad its a focus on such a taboo subject. 

hollyoaks, emmerdale, eastenders, and even corrie have seen recent storylines being told from different circumstances. from sex slavery grooming, to marital rape, all are brilliant eye openers. 

i completely support writers zoning in on these, for victims themselves who may be living in silence, my hope is for it ti encourage them to at least seek support anonymously. but also, to victims friends and families, they may answer alot of questions that they may feel awkward to personally ask us. 

what are your views? are there any storylines you think havent been portrayed collectly?

x

awareness…

so, it was brought to my attention today that i havent blogged for a while..nice to know my blog doesnt go unnoticed, so thanks Cheryl 😚
so.. wow, alot has happened, and more importantly, alot is still to happen. so where do i start?

phoenix wings cause is going from strength to strength.. we have alot more members on the group now, and we are raising some serious awareness, most recently, we did an online auction, raising £60 for rape crisis england and wales. The children’s books were kindly donated by an amazing man! mr richard dodd, a fantastic author! and also… my editor and publisher of the book i am currently writing! yes! I am writing a book! fistpump!!
phoenix wings cause now has its own email address, Instagram, and twitter page.. details of these are on our Facebook page, or easily found by searching “phoenix wings cause”

good things are happening.. and i wont stop until everyone knows all about our cause!! 

phoenixwingscause@gmail.com
rise from the ashes…