Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Anti-Rape Video - Worth the Watch




Nough Said


Victoria Placeo

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Confusion Around Others After Rape

I wrote this the other day when I was surrounded by certain people who shall remain nameless. I believe it gives a good look into how I react to others since the rape.

There is so much confusion around certain people. For example tonight there was a conversation about sociology people being full of it because they act on pure emotion and are not logical.

This conversation reminded me of me because I go up and down with my emotions. Here I am in an emotional mess and trying to step outside the emotion.

I challenged the statement about sociology people, why I don't know. I asked " because the sociology people do not hold your beliefs, they are not logical?" The answer was basically yes.

So I go on and ask " So if they do not fall into your beliefs they are not correct?" Again the answer was yes.

This made me feel a little better because I heard someone say all in one conversation that sociology people are not logical and those that do not fit with this persons belief are not correct.

Now I am not sure but I see something illogical there. With billions of people and beliefs in the world it does not seem logical to make such a statement.

My guess is this person may have known a couple dozen sociology people and formed a belief, a bit narrow minded if you ask me.


Now what does the writing of that night have to do with rape. Well first, it shows that I immediately took offense to someone stating people who are acting with emotion are not logical.

Second, it made me question myself ( a common side effect of being raped), was I being illogical because I still have problems with the rape.

Third, it was someone close to me whom does not acknowledge the rape and for them to be speaking to me in this way, even though not about me, it was awfully cold and thoughtless.

And forth, it showed me that I was healing. I was able to step outside the emotional mess, and evaluate someone who may not be directing things directly at me but was contradictory. With the realization of the contradiction, it seemed to me that they were acting on emotion and not caring whom they may be hurting.

All of that gave me a great understanding of the individual who was not really there for me. From what I learned that night, that individual wants to speak of others emotionally and only the things that are not in their realm of control.

In my case, I was in their realm of control and/or care and they chose to pretend it did not happen. I don't think the sociology people are the ones with emotional non-dealing problems.................YA THINK?


Victoria Placeo


Monday, April 27, 2009

Rape Support Group- RASA Survivors

RASA Survivors one of the first Rape and Sexual Assault Social Networks has been updated.

RASA stands for Rape and Sexual assault and is not only for survivors of assault but secondary survivors as well.

RASA is a social network, so survivors can have a closer relationship with those whom have experienced similar trauma.

Although RASA Survivors was originally developed for the survivors and secondary survivors, The Admins of the site invite supporters to become members as well.

The hope is that with this network, survivors will be able to find a home of positivity and support.

The new updates to the site consist of General Resources which can be found under the resource tap and Victoria's own resources that are updated often.
RASA Survivors can be found at http://www.rasasurvivors.com

Victoria Placeo

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gray Hair after Rape

There is an old wives tale that a person who has undergone great shock or trauma can have their hair turn partly or fully gray.

For awhile there I was believing that. About 6 months after the rape, I started seeing more gray hair but more disturbing was one gray patch growing from the front of my scalp.

Upon research of this matter I did not find much but the information I did find went with previous posts I have written.

In those previous posts I have written and my continuing hair loss (also know as alopecia) after the rape. It was very traumatic losing the hair because I already felt ugly and the additional hair loss was not helping.

While researching the gray hair all I found as an explanation was that the gray hair was there all along. With a great amount of shock or trauma, the thick, darker hairs fall out, leaving the already gray hairs visible.

Both the hair loss ( which did discontinue after 7 months) and the gray hair does not help the self-esteem.

I am glad I found and answer and all I can say to those who may be experiencing this is that the hair loss will stop and thank goodness for hair dye.

Victoria Placeo

Friday, April 24, 2009

Definition of Rape - What is Rape

All this time I have been writing and never bothered to define what Rape is, (I don't think). The information about rape below is from HealthyPlace I think it does a good job of explaining.

Dictionary Definitions of Rape

Rape: Sexual intercourse with a woman by a man without her consent and chiefly by force or deception.

Statutory rape: Sexual intercourse with a female who is below the statutory age of consent.

Consent:
Compliance in or approval of what is done or proposed by another.
Different Kinds of Rape

Stranger Rape:
A person who the victim does not know rapes her. Example*: Rose, age 25, was accosted at knife point in a shopping mall parking lot and forced by a stranger into his car. He drove her to a rural area, raped her, stabbed her five times, set the car on fire, and left her. Although severely injured, she survived (*examples from The Rape Victim: Clinical & Community Intervention Koss & Harvey, 1991).

Acquaintance Rape:
The victim knows her attacker, although he is not a close friend or family member. Example: Susan, age 23, went to the door of her house to find a man she recognized from one of her college classes. She opened the door to let him in the house, whereupon he threw her on the sofa and raped her.

Date Rape: The victim is dating the person who rapes her. Example: Diana, age 50, was vacationing in the Caribbean. She spent some of her time learning sailing and walking along the beach with a fellow guest. At a hotel dance, she danced with this man, and he asked her to walk outside. Once on the beach, this 6'4" man asked to have sex and forced her to cooperate by holding her down. Diana was too afraid to resist.

Multiple Rape (gang rape)
: The victim is raped by more than one man. Example: Ann, age 21, was at a friend's home with a group of her peers. There were three men, one other woman, and herself present. When the other woman left, the three men raped her.

Marital Rape
: The victim is raped by her husband. Example: A woman recently had gynecological surgery. Two days after she came home from the hospital, her husband forced her to have sexual intercourse. This caused her to hemorrhage; she was re-hospitalized.

I have few things to say about the different types, but I'll save them for later.


Victoria Placeo


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Flashbacks and Letting Go After Rape

As I have written in previous posts, I have been having some health issues. I am sure in the documentation of rape trauma syndrome or post traumatic stress syndrome that this may be a side effect. However, I could just be sick:)

Onto the point.......yesterday I had to go to the doctor, they then sent me to the hospital......not again. I was panicked, not so much from the memories of being in the hospital before, but for the illness. They thought it might be an appendicitis.

The Rock was driving me to the hospital. Out of no where I was terrified. I did not want to go to another hospital. The poor Rock had to calm me the whole way there. I did calm down when I got there, but still had a great sense of unease.

Then they took me into the CT room .........they put me on the table and I broke.

My heart started to speed up, I got extremely hot, tears started pouring out of my eyes, and there I was looking up at the ceiling of a hospital again.

I was not going to tell anyone what happened to me, but in my anxiety and fear I told both the radiology techs and apologized.........WHAT? Yes, I did apologize. I felt bad that they had to put up with my fear....perhaps I need to work through more....ya think?

With this particular CT Scan I had to have things put where they should not be, and that is exactly what happened during the rape. Memories came flooding back, tears streamed, and all the pain resurfaced.

Logically, I knew that I was safe, but pictures and memories flooded my mind.

And then, the most wonderful thing happened........I let go.......I think maybe I went numb. However, it felt so good. I did not care what happened then or if I was going to have to have surgery, I just did not care. It was one of the best feelings I have had in a long time.

I believe some Psych. people might say that I numbed the pain and that it is not healthy, but I believe that I let go of what I was not in control of.

I am going to try an master letting go of the control and of course I will keep you posted.

Victoria Placeo

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

President Obama's Declaration Of Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Maybe I don't watch enough TV and I know I don't watch the news at this point, I look for more happy things to watch.

But it has just come to my awareness that president Obama did issue a declaration about April as being Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Despite my or anyone else's political opinion, President Obama's declaration means a lot to me. I feel that in some small way those that do pay attention may have heard or read this and it may have impacted someone. It gives me a distant sense of pride.

You can find President Obama's declaration here http://www.nsvrc.org/news/current-events/1371

Victoria Placeo



Monday, April 20, 2009

Rape Triggers

Just when your scooting right along and thinking you know I am getting better day by day (well I can't say that is always my attitude) boom here comes something.

I have had some issues with triggers in the past, but nothing like this one. I have been having some stomach issues for about 4 weeks and of course ignored them. Well, today I had to go to the hospital to get an x-ray.

This was my first hospital visit since the night of the rape. I started to feel hot, trouble breathing, and dizzy while standing to get the first x-ray done. It did not dawn on me what was happening. I felt the need to flee, I thought I was going to pass out.

Then I had to get the x-ray while laying on the table. I still experienced the awful sensations, however then I looked to the ceiling and it all came flooding back.

Memories of lying there in the ER while they were doing the rape kit. The sadness, fear, anxiety, shock that I felt then was all still present, just like I was there again.

As I said I have had many issues since the rape, but this was one that effected me horribly. I felt a major set back. I must say it did calm my nerves to know why I was feeling so dizzy and anxious, but once again a major set-back, I felt.

I looked up rape triggers when I returned home and found this resource http://www.voicesofstrength.org/triggers.htm
I am sure there are more, however this one caught my attention. I hope it helps someone.

For me, I have been using alot of these techniques and what makes this so hard for me, is that I didn't even realize till later that is was a sort of a flashback.


Victoria Placeo


Friday, April 17, 2009

Fear Of Rapist Release

I heard a statement by an aquaintance yesterday who had an incident a while ago and did not recieve a job because of it.

The statement was along the lines of: blah, blah, blah, ruined my life, and next time I see them I will give them a piece of my mind. The tone was angered and it got me thinking about the attitude of my organism upon release.

I immediately felt fear. I have thought about this before but this incident really brought it to life. I know the organism will come out one of two ways. It will be eager to get back to life and not want to get into anymore trouble or it will be vengeful. The latter terrifies me.

I live close to where the organism and the incident took place, and it is my intent to be far away from this area upon release.

I hope the organism got some help and is not vengeful, but I do not see it's nature being that way.

I know that it does me no good to worry about the release or things in the future, however it is a difficult task to redirect the thoughts to the positive.

I don't think about it daily or even weekly, but when that call comes, I believe fear will blanket me.


Victoria Placeo

Thursday, April 16, 2009

More Random Writings

As I have wrote in the past at times I just have a notebook I vent in. Certain entries really do express my feelings at a certain time, so I have chosen to share them.

Here is one I wrote a month or two ago:

My sleep is absolutely horrible, I can't sleep and when I do I wake frequently.

I am depressed and I don't know exactly why. Alot of the time I try not to figure it out. It seems that if I try to focus on figuring it out I am just focusing on the negative.

I am on antidepressants and I believe they are doing their job. I believe that much of my depression is external. That is probably why I try to figure everything out. I feel like there is something wrong with me.

If I want to evaluate my life and take a good look at why I feel so bad it is not hard to figure out.

First and foremost I was raped, that is a given. The safety, self-confidence, self esteem has been damaged. I don't like to admit it or focus on it because it feels once like I am focusing on the negative.



That's where I ended, apparently it was to painful or not worth writing at the time, but I think it speaks volumes now.



Victoria Placeo

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing - My Last Session

My EMDR Session was today and I must say it was an interesting one. I had to target a rape memory.

What was difficult to me was finding a certain part of the rape that was disturbing. Not because it was a good thing.......(sarcasm there) because when I look back on the rape I remember it factually not emotionally.

My therapist states that perhaps it is a way I cope, and maybe. But I think that I have always had a tendency to look at "bad people" as just people who are very sick. When this happened to me I thought I would perhaps think differently, but I look at the organism as a very sick person.

On to the EMDR.... I picked the one event that was a little emotionally charged. It was right after the rape when the male police officer entered the room in which I was hiding in.

I was scared of him, felt like I did something wrong, embarrassed and in shock. I really don't recall to much about that time in that room but bits and pieces I do.

We started the EMDR session with that memory, I went from fear, to anger with the police officer who pressed charges.

NOTE: My therapists does short sets of back and forth eye movements, she then asks me how I feel and and if any other memories came up. With our next set we started with those.

So we started again with the anger towards the police officer and it branched out into many subjects. Without getting to windy (or to late) I felt anger towards my family,the state, and the state. I also felt fear of the organism, confusion and the need to know if it was a "bad" person, and much more.

The after effects.......I have spoke about fatigue with EMDR, and this one was no exception. I slept for 2 hours between work, after it was over. This was rare for me, since my sleep is not the best.

I also had a very vivid dream about abandonment, and fear. It was another one of those dreams that when you wake up, you can't forget.

I believe I have gone on long enough, however if you would like to ask me more about the EMDR I am going through feel free to email me.


Victoria Placeo

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Rainn For Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Rainn's Newest Public Service announcement honors Sexual Awareness and Prevention Month.

Their announcement is entitled "Speak Out" and encourages those effected by Sexual Violence to get help through the National Sexual Assault hotlines. This number is 1-800-656-HOPE.

Speak Out Features model and singer Krishnar Lewis and his new song, “Sad Girl.” It is featured in this YouTube video:



I never did pay attention to this month or any other month that stood for anything. It is sad that it takes something like this to make you aware of others suffering.

On a lighter note, it is things like this that bring about the awareness some need.


Victoria Placeo


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Finding Security After Rape

I am in my hometown today (not where the rape occurred)for an Easter visit. I have been here since last night.

I don't feel okay, I feel sad, depressed, hopeless, I feel the need to escape. I want to go back to where I am living.

This was not the norm for me. I used to love to travel and get out of town. Now all I want is to be back to what is now my home.

All I can see out of this is that I derive great comfort out of being around what I know.

I had two main things after the rape, The Rock, and the place I was living. They were the two things I found comfort and safety.

Although, I grew up in this town I do not find safety and security. My family is here but they don't understand and there is no security there for me.

I believe that what you know right after a rape or violent crime that brings you comfort sticks. Now that I am away from my comfort, I feel anxiety, depression, and the need to run back to what is now my home.

I know that being here is good for me. That getting back out and braving the world is good. Being around people and places that were not your comfort is important.

Although I know these things I still want to run back to my safety.........I will have to brave this and not run, try to look at the positive, but I feel so depressed that it is difficult.

I want to drive back home and sleep it off.


Victoria Placeo


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Targeting Insecurity With EMDR

I have been writing about the unknown insecurity I have been having. Writing about the struggles that I have had with fear of abandonment, and with people in general.

Today, I discussed with my therapist my struggles, I suggested that perhaps I could find a traumatic memory that was geared towards insecurity. She agreed, so I picked one that had to do with a man of my past.

The memory was one of heartache, of being jilted. She asked me to picture that scene in my mind and asked me what I felt and to pick a negative statement that related to that event. I explained my feelings of pain and picked the negative statement that "I am not good enough." I then rated it on a scale of how bothersome the event was and it was quite high.

We began the session and the train of thoughts began. Throughout that session, my mind went from the incident, to my father, to other boyfriends, to the rape. It all went so quickly.

Then it went onto other people and events. The feelings turned to anger. I was mad at my employer for firing me, the lawyers who wanted to make every event about themselves.

I really had no idea how much could be attached to one feeling and memory. One feeling of insecurity and out came a plethora of events, thoughts and feelings.

After this session, I did not feel exhausted like the last. I felt calm, relieved, as if I had just vented for an hour. I remembered the initial incident with humor verses pain. I loved the feeling of relief, it is something that I had not experienced in a long time.

Since the rape kept creeping in my therapist recommended for next time that I find a traumatic memory about the organism or the assault. I don't know if I am looking forward to that session.

I will keep you posted........


Victoria Placeo

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Insecurities After Rape

I try to reframe my thoughts when I begin to distrust people. I notice logically that they have done nothing to make me distrust them.

My insecurities overwhelm me, I cannot seem to think myself positively out of them. I want to trust and believe I do mostly, but there is a heaviness in my heart.

I try to think about other things, to look at the person I do not trust and rationalize it, the funny thing is sometimes I barely know the people and sometimes I know them well. There is no rhyme or reason.

The feeling hurts so bad. I know that the fear of abandonment, rejection is high.

What is odd, is that prior to the rape I had a bit of these feelings, but not many. I had the attitude of you don't like me don't talk to me. Now it matters, I don't know why.

I know the best thing for me is to focus on positive aspects, but all I know is that I want to feel secure. I can't identify the problem.


Victoria Placeo

Monday, April 6, 2009

IT'S NEVER THE END OF YOUR WORLD! By Nick Ralls

I don't think I need to add anything of my own to this, it speaks for itself!


IT'S NEVER THE END OF YOUR WORLD!

By Nick Ralls

I realise it is never the end of the world... doors close and new ones open but the important thing is to choose a good journey through life and the only way to do this is through the power of love.


EVER felt it was the end of the world? The end of your world?
As we take this road through life, we encounter problems along the way... challenges... to do with people, health, work and money.
And sometimes the burden of this becomes just too heavy to carry and we think it's the end of the world for us....we need to escape or simply disappear.
So often we blame ourselves for our own mistakes, beating ourselves up in a way that no one else in our life would do. We focus so much on wrong decisions we might have made, or the wrong people we got involved with and seeking after the wrong things that we lose confidence in ourselves.
So often, we just want to get off the planet!
And when we feel like this it is time to reflect on the wonderful statement from Richard Bach in his book Illusions.
He comments: What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the
Master calls a butterfly.
So it is with our lives.
As one door closes, another door opens. And it is only change.
There might be rain in the sky, but moments later there will be a rainbow.
The truth is that we often spend so much time looking at the door that has closed, that we fail to see the doors that are opening.
And the doors opening are the ones that will take us back into a space of love.
It is madness to repeat the same old patterns, the same things that don't work for you over and over and over again.
If you repeat the same patterns, make the same so called mistakes then you will never get a different outcome.
Realise that it is never the end of the world for you or anyone else for that matter.
It is just a time to change.
Just as the caterpillar goes into its coccoon to emerge as a beautiful butterfly, so too must we in our lives face emotional and practical challenges that enable us to grow as the beautiful, wonderful and amazing people we are.
If we did not experience what love is not, how would we cherish and marvel in that which love is?
If we did not experience bad health, how would we appreciate the good health that we have?
If it was a case that we never lacked money, how would we appreciate money when it comes to us and use it wisely for the good of ourselves and others?
And if we did not have bad jobs and bad work situations, how would we be able to appreciate those work situations that allowed us to feel on top of the world?
So if you think your world is ending it might be time to see the new beginning.. what comes afterwards.
Time to break through the chains of restriction and oppression, so often self imposed, and to use those limitless inner resources connected to your own soul to manifest days of happiness, joy and fulfilment.
If your end of world situation comes about because of a lost relationship then realise that you need to release that person with your love and welcome into your life others who will treat you with the love, respect and commitment you deserve.
Why focus on close encounters of the unloving kind.
If your end of world situation comes about through financial loss, job loss or material loss, it is time to rebuild, believe in yourself and know that you are meant to do better and bigger things but don't feel trapped in the past which did not work for you.
If your end of world situation comes about through health issues, time to focus on what good health you have... seek out healing.. be gentle and kind with yourself and love your body like never before.
If your end of world situation comes through the whirr of thoughts in your mind... negative self talk... going over old ground... guilt... resentment... anger...then change those thoughts into positive and serving ones.
And don't waste a moment thinking about anyone you don't like.
This will just pull your energy down.
Instead, think positive and loving thoughts about both yourself and all those in your life who are worth having in your life.
For many of us it is time to give up restrictions, frustrations and life patterns that do not allow us to grow or blossom as the magnificent people we are...
Instead of focussing on the closed doors, those we have lost, the mistakes of the past, the person we once were and old resentments and hurts, it is time to focus on the next step of our journey.. the sunshine tour.
And make it a good one.
As we come to the end of our old world, a new world is waiting to embrace us.
Time to open the new door.. the door of love for both ourselves and others.

So dear and special friend... seize the chance to see the new doors opening and focus less on those which have closed... do open your heart.. share what is going on for you on this or any other subject...



Victoria Placeo



Sunday, April 5, 2009

Random Writings

At times, I am not by a computer, but I always carry a notebook. I write how I am feeling at that time. This entry was written in the last two weeks.....


I am a very confused girl, going through a very confusing time. And it is time to say I need help. Mental help I am getting I am on the right medications, and am seeing a therapist.

I need the immense stress off. People would say that I am not working what stress do I have?

I am working, I am trying day and night to build a business online and offline.

I need help love from my family, I need financial support, so I can work through the dreams, flashbacks, the losing time.

The Rock has been very helpful, but he can only do so much and it lays a burden on me knowing that he is the only one to care enough to give me the emotional, mental, financial support I need.

It is a sad thing that only if your organism beats you half to death, or to death, or you get media coverage do you get anyone who wants to bother to help.

I guess I might be writing my own story so I suppose the complaining is inviting bad things into my existence.

I'll stop..........



And that is where I will stop. I do feel that way and I guess when you are not writing for the world to see some emotions come out easier. When you are trying not to be the beggy victim, you may not say what you really want to.



Victoria Placeo

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Advice From a Secondary Victim Of Rape

I don't think there as ever been a post from The Rock, that has been so touching to me as this one........... here is The Rocks Advice:


Forgetting and Remembering

I went through Victoria’s criminal file the other day in order to get it a bit more organized. This file includes medical records, state workforce notices and letters, civil paper and, as its name suggests, all of the papers dealing with the night her rape happened. I re-read her statement from that night. In these last few months I have allowed myself to almost forget in a way the horror that she had experienced that night and in reality, what brought her to me. After 10+ months, we are inseparable. She is my love and my best friend. On occasion I see her hurting and wonder why. Are we not in love? Is she not happy to be with me? What more does she need? I’m very lucky that Victoria is able to tell me that it isn’t me that is upsetting her at times. We as secondary survivors must keep that in mind. We can’t get down on ourselves if our loved one is not happy. We do not know the difficulty that they are going through. We can see it, but indeed, we’ll never know it. Our loved one will probably have bouts of depression and it may be hard for us to understand. We just have to keep on living, keep on being there and most importantly, keep on loving.

-The Rock


Thank You My Rock for Being So Understanding


Victoria Placeo


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dreams and Nightmares After Rape

Although my main dreams occurring immediately after the rape were nightmares about the rape, they have changed drastically.

I have basically narrowed down my dreams and nightmares into 4 categories of recurrence.

The first category is of course nightmares of reliving the rape:

These nightmares consisted of the rape itself, the following EMT's and emergency room. I would put them in the category of complete terror.

I would also say that prior to the rape these dreams to me would be the imaginary nightmares that many have.

I do not care to give an example in this category.

The second category is discussions with the organism:

In these dreams I am sitting with the organism and having a calm discussion. I am explaining why I believe it raped me and it is explaining why it did not.

The last dream I recall in this category, the organism and I are sitting on a couch and it is pointing out all the reasons it was not rape. When I brought up the bites and bloodiness, the organism calmly agreed that perhaps that was a bit far.

The third category is the organism watching me or not wanting to leave my side:

As I have stated I knew the organism prior to the rape. As I look back at our relationship, the organism did watch me and would not leave me out of its site. I did not see it then but I see it now.

Why I dream about that is beyond me, perhaps it is a self-blame that I should have recognized it.

The fourth category is the most frequent now, and honestly one of the most painful. They are dreams of abandonment. Most of them contain my family.

In the most recent of these dreams I was being loud and trying to get attention from my entire family, immediate and extended. No one was paying attention, and if they did notice me I was blown off. In this latest dream at the end, a family member did notice an injury I had and started talking about it. That part was brief and taken away by anothers birthday.

It is not hard to understand why I have these types of dreams. My extended family does not know and my immediate family either had a rough time dealing with it or just wanted to pretend it did not happen.

These dreams hurt immensely.

That is a brief ( tried to be:) of the dreams/nightmares I am having since the rape last spring. I hope this may help someone.



Victoria Placeo