Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Victim Notification

It has been quite some time since I have written anything. To be quite honest I was struggling just a bit with the one year anniversary and then my birthday. I made it through, taking each day bit by bit. And then came today..........

It was my first call from the crime victim notification organization. They called to inform me that the organism had been moved to another prison. As much as I should be happy that the victim notification is doing there job, I was very overwhelmed.

It brought back so many memories and visual images of the organism. I felt guilty, scared, and the best word is dirty.

I was picturing it getting transferred and a look on it's face, that is where the guilt came from.

As far as scared, I was unsure, and still am, of what this transfer meant. Is the organism getting different treatment, is it closer to getting out. It can't get out yet it just went in last August. Those were some of my thoughts.

I have to realize that it is good that the victim notification system is doing it's job. I not only got a call but an email as well. I am trying to look at the positives despite the fear I initially felt.

The positives are that I will be notified of the organisms whereabouts at least for some time. It is good they have this system in place.

The system is called Vine and here is the link should anyone need it https://www.vinelink.com/vinelink/

I am grateful to know where it is at, but I feel so scared no matter how hard I try to focus on that positive.

I do however recommend to any victims of crime to get hooked in with VINE or their local crime victim notification system. It is good to stay informed.


Victoria Placeo

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rape Anniversary Date - The Days Before

I was without a computer the days before the year anniversary of the rape. Those days seemed much more difficult then the actually anniversary. I made note of my feelings on paper and transcribed, so here they are.......


May 15, 2009


It is three days before the rape occurred last year. I am without a computer so I am writing this journal style.

Everyday that has gone by in the past week I have thought “What was I doing last year at this time?” Last year at this time I would never have guessed what lied ahead.

I am in pain from memories of my life before the rape. I am in awe that last year at this time I had so many things I took for granted. Last year, I felt safe, had a positive outlook on life, and faith in people.

As I try to pinpoint what I was doing at this time last year, I have vague memories. I remember I was friends with the organism. I remember I still had a job I enjoyed and could have been working right now.

I really don’t know why I bother to remember such things. They seem to be automatic thoughts they just pop right into my mind.

I could have never believed on this day a year ago, that three days from now everything I had and knew to be true would be gone.

May 16, 2009

It is weird how I wake up and realize what the date is, I don’t consciously do it. For example, today I woke up realized it was the 16th and the first thought I had was that it was 2 days before the rape a year ago.

It is like a child waking up and doing a countdown before Christmas or their birthday. The difference of course is obvious; they are looking forward to those days and are conscious of counting down. I do not purposefully awake with the thought that is two days before the rape.

I am out of town at this time, an event that just by coincidence collided with the rape anniversary. I was not going to go due to the fact that I do not know these people well. My therapist recommended that I go to get me out of the environment that was so near the rape.

So I am here and have been here since the 14th, I must say it was a good idea. Although I am plagued all day with memories, having distractions is very beneficial. Also, being away from the town that I ran to safety for is good as well.

As much as I appreciate the town I ran to safety for and all that they have done for me, it is to close to the rape area and I do not want to be there. That is off the subject and another issue in itself.

I don’t know why my brain is automatically remembering the dates. I usually can barely remember which day it is.



Those were my days before the rape anniversary..........


Victoria Placeo


Monday, May 18, 2009

1 YEAR RAPE ANNIVERSARY

This is awful, I saw it coming in the recent days. Months ago I did not think it would be bad at all. I am trying to be in the its over move on mindset, but it is not working.

This is my one year anniversary of the rape. May 18,2008 I won't forget May 18th. I am in complete awe of what happened to me during this exact time frame. This is the time frame that the rape occurred. The time frame that my life changed and I was injured in many ways. Now is the time.

My goal was to watch the sunrise today. I saw it last year on my way back from the hospital where I got the rape kit done. I am so tired (which is good) that I don't think I will make it.

I could be so tired that it just doesn't matter but I think it does. As I remember now I can hear the door being kicked in, I can see the face, and I can feel the pain, I feel scared.

I have wondered the past couple days if the organism remembers this date or if the date is irrelevant to it. The latter is my guess.


I lived........................kinda



Victoria Placeo




Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Day Before The Rape

May 17,2009

7:30 A.M.

Today I woke up very early, filled with anxiety. I don’t know if my body automatically knows what happened last year at this time or if I built myself up with each day that went by.

I feel panicky, nauseous, and on the verge of a panic attack. I am still out of town around people I do not know well, and I don’t want to have a breakdown.

I can’t believe last year at this time I still had everything. I had my job, my home, and my life. I had no clue what lied ahead less then 24 hours from now.

What shocks me is that I think of this and think I should have been more grateful of what I had. No that I have a different life and lived through the rape, I find I am not grateful now.

Although so far this day is not going so hot, I believe I have a lesson to be learned. Be grateful of what I have now, because it could all be taken away.

Maybe God had to bring me down to nothing to make me more aware of what I have now.

7:15 pm

I am trying to refocus my thoughts on different things but all day, every hour I am being reminded of what I was doing at each given time last year.

Last year it was Saturday and I was getting ready or already out to enjoy the weekend. I was just like many others going out to have a nice time after a week of work.

I remember things and fall into disgust. For example, I remember what I was wearing that night, jean capris and a black tank top, I still have them and wear them. That thought that I just realized today taints my mind. I cannot believe I didn’t recognize them. Of course I was not in those clothes when the rape occurred. Just for the night out.

Why do I bother with writing all of this, a few reasons really, I want to get it out, I realize that looking back at the past is never beneficial but the thoughts keep creeping back into my mind.

I also want others to know that they are not alone with haunted thoughts. No matter how many times I see the T.V. ads or see the websites that say you are not alone, you still feel very alone, at least I do.

Today is hard and I knew that it was coming. How could it be so hard if I knew it was coming? It isn’t even the anniversary date, just the day before.

My feelings are of fear, disgust, a wrenching cramp in my chest, dirty, and guilty. I will continue to try and refocus but the filth seems to surrounds me.

I always looked forward to nights out, now I barely want to leave the house.

Victoria Placeo




Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Depression and Rape Anniversary Dates

I have experienced some form of depression on and off throughout my life, but it was nothing I could not handle. I used skills to thwart the depression away. Those skills are not working now.

Some days I feel fair and others are like today, a great feeling of worthlessness. A fatigue, and indifference towards what goes on in the world around me. Just wanting to disassociate from the people and world around me.

I feel like I am walking in a fog, things are not clear to me, I am not focused. I asked my counselor, why I feel so bad knowing that the anniversary was coming up. She stated that because of the time of year whether I am conscious of it or not, by mind and body knows what happened.

I remember the rape, and thinking about it doesn't seem to cause much emotion. I can tell I am slightly or fully depressed, I am not taking care of myself the way I used to. I don't even care much about how I look.

I want to feel something, even if it is pain, this numbness is scaring me. When I asked my counselor if I would disassociate for good, she said that that would have happened by now.

I don't know what else to do. I am trying to stay busy, do physical things, take short naps, fill myself full of positive thoughts. I just feel numb, lifeless, and the worst thing about it is I feel okay feeling numb, and I know that is not good.

I don't think I even make sense anymore.


Victoria Placeo

Monday, May 11, 2009

I Cracked- I Think

Last night I had a bit of breakdown, I really don't know what happened, I was feeling horrible, and then I stopped talking and let go.

I talked a little this morning but don't feel like talking much. I don't really feel bad, but it feels like my brain doesn't work.

I just let go and it was a wonderful feeling, no stress, no pain, no more fighting. I broke and I thought it would be different this morning, but it isn't I feel nothing bad but don't want to talk, I just want to enjoy the feeling of feeling nothing.

I hope I didn't crack........

Victoria Placeo

Friday, May 8, 2009

Rape Anniversary Dates - Symptoms

From yesterdays post you can guess that I am not doing my best. I have been depressed, anxious, and have some suicidal thoughts. I wrote yesterday that I should try to stop figuring out why I was feeling so bad. Then it dawned on me.......perhaps I am feeling so bad because the 1 year anniversary is 10 days away?

I did a little research, not much, I don't like to, I think it puts things in peoples minds. However I found the United States Department of Veterans Affairs site. It discusses anniversary dates the whys and the symptoms etc.

In it talks a why people do have anniversary dates. It states

"According to Foa and Kozak 3 , traumatic memories contain specific information about the dangerousness of an event so that people will seek safety and protect themselves from similar harm. The memory provides information about what the individual should be afraid of, how he or she should perceive such situations, how to feel in that situation, and what to think."

It also touches on the symptoms and here it is:

"A common type of anniversary reaction is experiencing grief and sadness around the anniversary of the death of someone significant. In fact, this is common enough that most major religions have commemorative ceremonies to support the intensification of grief at these times. At the extreme end of the spectrum, people can find themselves clinically depressed or even suicidal. However, for most, the episode of flattened affect and sadness is brief."


Depressed, suicidal, and sadness, sounds familiar. Although I have read the article, I am still having trouble accepting that the rape could effect me this badly with all the months behind me.

I have read numerous times that people have trouble accepting rape, and even acknowledging it. I guess I am one of those people.

My first coping skill I used and guess can recommend is a power nap and a good cry. That is how I dealt with the depression and bad thoughts yesterday.

I will post if I come up with anymore skills that work for me. I know there are plenty of documents on coping skills, but it is asinine to think that all will work for the same person.



Victoria Placeo

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Depression After Rape

Some days, like today, I am so depressed. I try and stay busy, I try different tasks, nothing is working.

I am afraid that I will get worse, however I want to feel better. It is getting close to the one year anniversary, so perhaps that is why.

I need to stop trying to figure out why, and just focus on the good things in my life. It is just not working.

I feel so bad, like there is a great gnawing pain in my chest, I want to cry but there are no tears. I really don't know what I feel bad about, it seems so uncontrollable.

I'll nap and see how I feel, perhaps it is a sleep issue, there I go again trying to figure it out...........


Victoria Placeo

Monday, May 4, 2009

Low Self-Esteem After Rape

My self-esteem has never been this low. I have looked back over my life and remembered when I did not feel the best about myself. No time has compared to now.

I am currently in a different town, I have never been to. It is bigger then the town I am now residing in.

The whole trip here I felt awful, tired, bad thoughts such as I am ugly, fat,etc. I had a generalized fear and could not figure out why. I really do have to stop trying to figure things out.

Upon arriving here, I felt great discomfort. I did not want to go anywhere, I did not want to go inside anywhere, when we got food I wanted to go through the drive-thru.

This is or was not me, I used to go places by myself and feel completely confident. I almost always thought I looked decent and sometimes even great.

I am scared of things, I have general anxiety of places, people, events, and I know it is related to the rape. But when I think about the fear, I am not scared of someone hurting me again.

I went 30 years without anyone hurting me physically, why would I be scared of it now. Because one sick, organism, hurt me?

I want to feel better, and I do plenty of good self-talk. I try to think of things the way I want them to be. I try to imagine myself the way I want to look and feel. I do positive visualization.

Despite all of this, I am still haunted by an unprovoked fear and discomfort. I am trying not to fight it, I am trying to accept it. My hope is by accepting it, and going about "normal life" the fear with dissipate.

I hope it works, I am tired of feeling bad about myself, I am tired of being unhappy for no reason, I am tired of being scared.


Victoria Placeo

Friday, May 1, 2009

Life Before and After Rape

It is May 1st and when I saw the date, I could not help but think, what was I doing last year at this time, just 17 days before the rape? I can't believe I made this far without cracking.

I honestly can't remember what I was doing on May 1st, but the memory of my old life is painful.

I was happy, I had my own home, I was excited to be in a new community, I liked my job, and I was just enjoying my new beginning.

There are triggers that bring on memories of my old life, certain songs, traveling back to the area of the rape ( my old home), smells, etc. I really miss my life.

I know what the critics say, you must look forward, you must look at the positive, you must see what you have now, and I agree. However, it hurts so much.

I loved my life, I miss the town, the places I visited, even my job (who misses a job)?

The way I was before the rape, I was upbeat, I had a much higher self-esteem, I used to dance daily. I don't dance anymore, I really don't feel upbeat enough, or pretty enough to dance.

As much as I have lost, I have gained some great things, but I really wish I could be back where I was and keep the good things I have gained.

I am lonely in this town, but moving is out of the question, I miss my independence, I miss what I thought my family and friends were like. I am disappointed by all the people who just shrugged this off. Since I made a living caring for people, I just don't understand.

My friends are far away, and now that I am better, not fully of course, I would like to socialize a little bit more, even in a work setting, but there is nothing available.

The positive is that now I have to learn to be happy no matter where I am at, with nothing to call my own except myself, that is a good thing.


Victoria Placeo