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A Survivor Not a Victim

Overcoming Rape

Month

April 2016

So Scared

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I know that I cannot control the universe,  but seriously,  I have been dealt such a bad hand.

I’m running out of time and options to find a roommate to fill my apartment,  and my rapist refuses to pay rent even though he is still on the lease.

My rental history is perfect.  While I would love for him to have an eviction on his record,  I cannot afford to have one on mine. This isn’t fair,  it isn’t just!

I have about two weeks to secure a roommate,  or else I am basically homeless!  I have been endlessly searching for a roommate since March 1st, to no avail.  I am so scared,  I am running out of options.  I feel hopeless,  and if I can’t secure one, I am going to end up on the streets.

I not only don’t have the funds to move, but even if I could create them,  finding an apartment with two dog’s is so hard,  and the outlook is not good.

If I don’t find a roommate, I will not be able to go on anymore. ..

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“You a biological centralist? You a detective? ” Ray Ploshansky

This post doesn’t directly relate to rape, but I wanted to discuss and share. When I was at the “Walk for a Change” this month to raise money for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, they had a lot of great things going on before and after the event. One of these activities was button making. I got one with a dog on it that says “I bark for BARCC” among the other awesome buttons that you could make, there were ones that said ,” My preferred pronoun is ____” The options were he, him,or she, her, or them they.

I thought that was great because so many people choose to identify in so many ways! You can’t tell how a person identifies just by looking at them, it doesn’t always work like that. This issue of “identifying” people based on looks leads to so many problems and sometimes that can lead to violence.

Then you have what I am about to show you. This is a clip from the HBO series “Girls” I don’t know if you have ever seen this show, but I would describe it as a dark comedy that is highly serialized nature involving a group of highly self centered young adults in their 20’s.

The character you see here, (not behind the counter) is Ray. He is the oldest one of the crew, and and shows. In this scene, a new coffee shop opens across the street from the one he owns. The new coffee shop does not use lids on their coffee. Ray’s coffee shop has been loosing business to this new shop, and to make matters worse, the customers who now go to the new shop, come into his shop only to “steal his lid’s”. Ray decides to go over and talk with the people from the new coffee shop.

 

 

So, assuming you watched that clip, you will notice that Ray, actually was not meaning to offend They. But, the reason why I liked this is because at the day, it doesn’t matter. This is not some “new thing” and people who identify as “they” are sick and tired of putting up with individuals who attack them on purpose, or who are just ill informed due to whatever the reason might be. They responded by demonstrating what was suppose to be an offensive label “white man”. Because Ray has white skin, and looks like a man, then that will be his “identifying label”.

Watching this for the first time, I thought what the producers at HBO did was pretty ingenious, and a great way to raise awareness. At first I was a bit bothered that they chose Ray’s character. This is because he is actually the only character who isn’t such an…hmm…asshole, selfish,  self absorbed, I could keep going, but you get the picture. Then I realize that because Ray’s character is not that way, is the exact reason they probably choose him. Maybe I am wrong, but I can foresee Ray doing something about this in the future. He just started getting involved in politics and was voted as a new chairperson. So we will see. If character on this show can be positively effected by that situation, it is Ray.

I am not so much into watching tv, but it nice to see that you have producers pushing envelopes on what many people feel are “uncomfortable subjects” .This is not my view, but I know from first hand that it is society’s view.

Keep up the good work HBO

Tortured Mind

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This tortured mind of mine won’t rest

Anxiety, depression, thoughts of terror possessed

Repulsive memories flash through my mind

In bits and pieces discombobulated and intertwined.

Day’s are dark,  and night grow blacker with each sleep,  leaving me breathless, restless, petrified and fatigued.

With each passing night the nightmares take fight

And every passing day,  the flashbacks come out to play

There is no end in sight to this tournaments ignite

Each breath that I take, and blink that I make I wish for abrogation!

Alas, forlorn my hopes and efforts

As tortured mind, a tortured being, a toured soul, attains no rest

 

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Rape Destroys Lives

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Today,  I spent the majority of the afternoon researching this topic to write a post about how rape destroys the lives of the victim and their families and friends.  Well, I was in for a shock when I saw what that search result yielded! 

That did lead me to a whole other set of research and a different topic of discussion,  but I became so upset,  so sad, angry,  depressed. ..you name it,  I felt it!

At first I was not going to write at all today,  but then I decided to stick with my original idea. . RAPE RUINS LIVES

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As of right now,  yes, my life is in shambles.  This rape has effected every relationship that I have,  it has effected my work,  my sleep,  my eating,  my self worth,  my view of my image,  my sanity.

Every day is a nightmare !  Some day’s might have some small happy moments sprinkled in that last for images (34)a very short time,  but each and every day, whether I am awake or asleep is a nightmare.I’m afraid to sleep because of the nightmares I get, I am afraid to be awake because of the thoughts,  visions,  flashbacks,  jumpiness,  anxiety,  and constantly looking over my shoulder. I am devised that I can’t get justice,  like so many others,  and my rapist walks around free to do the exact same thing to someone else,  living his life like nothing happened.  I  wouldn’t even be surprised if he goes home at night and jerks off to his crime!

When is it going to end? How many more victims do there have to be before things change?  Before society changes? I  ask myself this question many times a day.

How many more?  How many more?  How many more?  How many morimages (33)e?  This plays over and over again in my head on repeat!

I am fighting.  Doing everything I can.  Reaching out to advocates,  lawyer’s,  Senator’s,  but it is an up hill battle.  It’s like there is justice for victims,  and the law and society is so
concerned about protecting rapists!

Of all the people who I told that I was raped,  and they replied to me saying that they had also been raped,  all of their rapists never got to trial or anything!  (Accept one, the verdict is still out on that friend, the evidence is still being collected.  I think about this friend every day and I hope. …I hope so much that their rapist is tried,  convicted,  and put away!)

Victims matter!  We matter way more than the monsters who rape us!

How many more?

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Potty-Mouth Princesses Part 2: Girls F-Bomb Domestic Violence by FCKH8.com

Now, from the first time I saw these video’s, I loved them. This was quite some time ago. I understand that there is a lot of controversy about these videos and the “little swearing girls” but that is exactly why I like them. And this was way prior to my rape.

People who do not like these, or who choose to only listen to the swears and not the message are directly exhibiting what society does as a whole – when the issue of domestic violence and rape is put right in their faces, they find something else to focus on, and ignore the main issue at hand.

 

 

Potty Mouthed Princesses say Fuck for Feminism

This is a great video and really needs to be shared!

 

Funny And Or Heartwarming Things To District Your Mind

On my way to work this morning I was feeling very sad, depressed  and overwhelmed with my situation.

I  decided that I really needed to refocus my thoughts,  so I started to think about things that I find Heartwarming, and also things that I find funny.  I hope you all enjoy!  💖

Children’s Hospital window washers!

This startled dog

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Babies!! In particular…this super smart one…lol

 

Cat’s because they are just too funny!

When faith in humanity is restored

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Monkey’s…espically this fitness crazed one

 

Shadows

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Ironic signs

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And lastly…my FAVORITE!!! The first time I watched this I was 23 and practically peed my pant’s!! I love this and still watch it all the time….drum roll…..

 

THIS GUY!!! 🙂

My Rape Dreams Have Gotten Out Of Controle

Since my rape on February 14, 2016, I have been experiencing horrific nightmares! Sometimes they are about him, other times they are are about men that I know raping me, but last night was the most disturbing nightmare that I have ever had in my life!! EVER!

I can still vividly remember every detail, sight, sound, feeling, taste, emotion. Pardon my language, but it was fucking horrifying!! Initially I was going to write in detail about it, but first of all, no one needs to hear about it, two, I am sure that plenty of people have actually been through something like it, for real, thankfully mine was just a dream, although it truly felt real.

To give a very brief summary, it was a kidnapping gang rape. It was like it was actually happening and I could not wake up! I actually had an appointment with my counselor yesterday, yet this nightmare chapped last night, so I didn’t even get to talk with her about it. I know with dreams, usually you tend to forget the details as the day goes on….so not the case here, I could write a full in-depth report on this nightmare. I can still hear the voices, feel being brutalized, taste what I cannot even begin to talk about. It was horrifying and traumatizing.download (3)

I just got off the phone with the rape crisis hotline. She was very helpful and gave me some suggestions to help me sleep tonight (last night. ..I fell asleepwhile trying to finish this post so yeah!). However, my fear is that my subconscious mind is going to pick up where it left off an that scares me.  I am terrified to fall asleep still.

Why do I continue to have dreams like this, and why are they getting progressively worse? I do not understand?

 

Me Being Strong And Brave Is Finally Starting To Sink In

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The above quote has always been a favorite of mine since as far back as I can remember. Since being raped, and disclosing that to people, both people I wanted to , and publicly, before I was ready – in an effort to raise money for The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (of course it was my choice to do so, but I would have much rather preferred not to) , additionally, having to look for a roommate, they all ask why my roommate is gone, and I can’t lie. While with the roommate situation I start by saying that he was images (24)removed by the court, they always ask why, and I can’t and will not lie about that; for two reasons – 1. I don’t lie…..ever, 2. this is going to be an ongoing court dilemma no matter what way you slice it, that I am going to make sure on, so any future roommate will/could potently find out the real reason. I refuse to be made a liar!

That being said, every single person who has been made aware has said (friend, family, acquaintance, friend I don’t talk with much, or stranger) something along the lines of “That is awful, I am so sorry…xyz…” Now, my next statement is not being made to take away from that. I believe that everyone, even (most) strangers are images (22)genuine with what they are saying. That being said, what I realized today, while speaking with a woman from my local senator’s office was….well, she said(something along the lines of), and there was a preface to this, but,” I think that you are so strong and brave for standing up for yourself, advocating, and fighting for
your self, it is very brave of you and I am glad that you are doing that, and you should keep fighting”.

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This was not the fist time that I have been told something like this. I have been told similar remarks from family, friends, BARCC staff and volunteers, as well as other services that I have seeked out to help me. I don’t know why it has taken this long, with so many people telling me the same thing in different ways (and even the same words) to believe it, but I am finally starting to understand.

Every day I research about rape. I know that so many victims do not come for
ward, fight, or even talk about it…and I know exactly why! What makes me different? Maybe I should credit the person who molested me as a child? Or maybe I am strong willed, or maybe….I don’t know? There is so much stigma, pain and anguish attached with reporting and fighting, but at the same time, I can’t bear what comes along with being silent.  I pass no judgement on what other victims choose to do because I am not in their shoes, I am not them. I support a victim and their right to choose the best option for them…PERIOD! And to hell with what anyone else thinks!!! We are not all the same, our coping is not all the same (mine is not good at all right now), and out individual experiences and life in general is not the same. I get it, why people want to stay silent…there are a million and a half reasons. I images (25)personally feel that it is my duty to do something to help to stop rape in it’s tracks the best I can. I don’t know why, I just do.And I plan to be successful with that or at least improving it before my time on this earth is complete.

I am just feeling so grateful for the support from family, friends, acquaintances, strangers, people helping me, followers and readers of my blog, it is all of you who have been driving my strength that I feel like I didn’t have (oh, and I cannot forget, the undying love and affection and extra everything my two dog’s have been giving me since I have been raped…even though that includes their heightened awareness and stress which has lead to more barking than usual….causing me more stress, but I know that they mean well).. If it wasn’t for all of you…equally, I can honestly say that I would not be here today. And for that I am truly
grateful!

 

 

Did You Know Ther Are Pro Rape Groups?

Today I was at work doing a bit of research about a protest that took place earlier this week in front of my office,  that led to protesters coming into the lobby of the office building and chaining themselves to our benches.  (This had nothing to do with rape )

But, while trying to gain insight as to why my building was targeted,  I saw an article  (that I didn’t click on at the time,  I waited till I got home to investigate ) about a pro rape rally from February.

Apparently,  there is a group called “The Return of the Kings ” they have a website,  and their leader is a pro rape blogger,  Roosh V.

In February this year,  2016,  Roosh V along with the Return of the Kings coordinated 165 events in 43 countries.

Now, all or most of these ended up being canceled because Roosh “could not insure the safety and privacy of his followers “. A hack group called  “We Are Anonymous ” publicly displayed his residential information on Facebook.

What do I think about that?  Good!! Considering what I have read about this dirt bag and what he has to say. Especially about trying to make rape legal on private property.

I went to the FB page of “We Are Anonymous “. Turns out  (actually they tweeted his info on twitter ) FB removed the post,  well, the connecting link.

This is my thoughts. …I feel that is a wrong move on FB. If this scumbag wants to do all this, and say what he is spewing,  then why can’t We Are Anonymous  put his info out there? Freedom of speech!  I say, this makes FB look like they condone rape and Roosh’s antics.

It makes me sick!

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Stigma Hurts

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I have never felt rape stigma so bad as I do now, trying to find a new roommate! I have been looking for a roommate since March 1st. It has not been an easy task. With the people that have ended up coming to see my apartment, and the people that I do like and could see myself living with, I keep running into the same issue for the most part. Not all cases, but 99% of them. They meet me, they like me, they like the place, the price, location, etc. Then they ask why the previous roommate left….What the hell am I supposed to say?!?!?!?! I am the honest type, I am not going to lie or deceive anyone no matter what the cost. images (6)

This is how it goes; Prospective – “Why did your roommate leave?” Me-  “He was removed by the court” Prospective – “Why? What did he do??” Me- Umm…. He raped me” Prospective – “crickets” — no they say, “I am so sorry, that is terrible…blah blah balhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!” Then I never hear from them again! Female, Male, Gay, Straight, Bi…it is all the same. What is this?!?! I don’t get it? Am I supposed to lie? I don’t think so! Are they passing judgement on me? Were they just playing me all along and pretending that they loved the place and wanted to fill out an application….wasting my time and theirs??? I am sensing a pattern, and I have learned the hard way to trust my gut, and my gut says that is directly has to do with telling these people that I was raped by my former roommate. Now what the hell am I supposed to do to overcome this? Not only do I need a new roommate asap….It has to be the right roommate for me, I am not letting anyone just move on up in here. images (4) I just feel so defeated, and I don’t  know. I have never been raped before…let alone by a roommate! I don’t know how to handle this, I don’t know how to proceed! I don’t know what or when to tell people, so I only tell when asked. So why are people so ridiculous when they find out that I have been raped? I have had roommates for years, many many years, and have never ever had a hard time finding replacements or new roommates. What gives? It’s like The havoc that this rapist has reaped on my life is endless and continues to grow every single day! When is it going to end! I mean sure, most things happen for a reason, so clearly none of these prospective people are for me in regards to roommates, but I am reaching the the end here. Rapist who is still on the lease will not pay, I am running out of time and resources to get someone in here. I am just at such a loss!

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Why Rape and Trauma Survivors Have Fragmented and Incomplete Memories

***This article was not written by me, it was posted for your convenience from:

http://time.com/3625414/rape-trauma-brain-memory/

 

Why Rape and Trauma Survivors Have Fragmented and Incomplete Memories

Jay Paul—Getty ImagesThe Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house is seen on the University of Virginia campus on December 6, 2014 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

James Hopper, Ph.D., trains investigators, prosecutors, judges and military commanders on the neurobiology of sexual assault. David Lisak, Ph.D., is a forensic consultant, researcher, national trainer and the board president of 1in6.

In the midst of assault, the brain’s fear circuitry takes over while other key parts are impaired or even effectively shut down. This is the brain reacting to a life-threatening situation just the way it is supposed to

A door opens and a police officer is suddenly staring at the wrong end of a gun. In a split second, his brain is hyper-focused on that gun. It is very likely that he will not recall any of the details that were irrelevant to his immediate survival: Did the shooter have a moustache? What color was the shooter’s hair? What was the shooter wearing?

The officer’s reaction is not a result of poor training. It’s his brain reacting to a life-threatening situation just the way it is supposed to—just the way the brain of a rape victim reacts to an assault. In the aftermath, the officer may be unable to recall many important details. He may be uncertain about many. He may be confused about many. He may recall some details inaccurately. Simultaneously, he will recall certain details – the things his brain focused on – with extraordinary accuracy. He may well never forget them. All of this, too, is the human brain working the way it was designed to work.

Last week, Rolling Stone issued a note about their story of a gang rape at the University of Virginia after reports surfaced of discrepancies in the victim’s accounting. We cannot comment on that particular and clearly complex case without knowing the facts. But in our training of police investigators, prosecutors, judges, university administrators and military commanders, we’ve found that it’s helpful to share what’s known about how traumatic experiences affect the functioning of three key brain regions.

First, let’s consider the prefrontal cortex. This part of our brain is responsible for “executive functions,” including focusing attention where we choose, rational thought processes and inhibiting impulses. You are using your prefrontal cortex right now to read this article and absorb what we’ve written, rather than getting distracted by other thoughts in your head or things going on around you. But in states of high stress, fear or terror like combat and sexual assault, the prefrontal cortex is impaired – sometimes even effectively shut down – by a surge of stress chemicals. Most of us have probably had the experience of being suddenly confronted by an emergency, one that demands some kind of clear thinking, and finding that precisely when we need our brain to work at its best, it seems to become bogged down and unresponsive. When the executive center of the our brain goes offline, we are less able to willfully control what we pay attention to, less able to make sense of what we are experiencing, and therefore less able to recall our experience in an orderly way.

Inevitably, at some point during a traumatic experience, fear kicks in. When it does, it is no longer the prefrontal cortex running the show, but the brain’s fear circuitry – especially the amygdala. Once the fear circuitry takes over, it – not the prefrontal cortex – controls where attention goes. It could be the sound of incoming mortars or the cold facial expression of a predatory rapist or the grip of his hand on one’s neck. Or, the fear circuitry can direct attention away from the horrible sensations of sexual assault by focusing attention on otherwise meaningless details. Either way, what gets attention tends to be fragmentary sensations, not the many different elements of the unfolding assault. And what gets attention is what is most likely to get encoded into memory.

The brain’s fear circuitry also alters the functioning of a third key brain area, the hippocampus. The hippocampus encodes experiences into short-term memory and can store them as long-term memories. Fear impairs the ability of the hippocampus to encode and store “contextual information,” like the layout of the room where the rape happened. Fear also impairs its ability to encode time sequencing information, like whether the perpetrator ripped off a shirt before or after saying “you want this.”

Our understanding of the altered functioning of the brain in traumatic situations is founded on decades of research, and as that research continues, it is giving us a more nuanced view of the human brain “on trauma.” Recent studies suggest that the hippocampus goes into a super-encoding state briefly after the fear kicks in. Victims may remember in exquisite detail what was happening just before and after they realized they were being attacked, including context and the sequence of events. However, they are likely to have very fragmented and incomplete memories for much of what happens after that.

These advances in our understanding of the impact of trauma on the brain have enormous implications for the criminal justice system. It is not reasonable to expect a trauma survivor – whether a rape victim, a police officer or a soldier – to recall traumatic events the way they would recall their wedding day. They will remember some aspects of the experience in exquisitely painful detail. Indeed, they may spend decades trying to forget them. They will remember other aspects not at all, or only in jumbled and confused fragments. Such is the nature of terrifying experiences, and it is a nature that we cannot ignore.

James Hopper, Ph.D., is an independent consultant and Instructor in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He trains investigators, prosecutors, judges and military commanders on the neurobiology of sexual assault. David Lisak, Ph.D., is a forensic consultant, researcher, national trainer and the board president of 1in6, a non-profit that provides information and services to men who were sexually abused as children.

 

 

Hoping This Leads To Something

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So…I have a friend who is very, very politically connected. Up until this point, I have not discussed my rape with this friend. I guess I didn’t even think about it. I mean, I can’t even tell what day it is most day’s.

It was only a matter of time that this friend would discover my recent traumatic event on their own; with all the posts on FB about trying to raise money for “The Walk for a Change” and the fact that I sometimes share posts from this blog on my FB. I also have a link to my blog on my FB.

The other day my friend sent me a message saying that they were sorry and that they had no idea. We discussed. It felt good to talk with this friend, a very dear friend of my whom I love so much.

Today, I received a  message from this person, saying that they wanted to reach out to someone that they know (political connection) but they wanted to know what city I am currently living in, as this person will want to speak with my Senator. Of course I obliged.

Maybe this is finally something that will take me one step closer towards the direction of justice! Either way, after reading that message I felt so happy. Happy that my friend cares about me (I know that I have seen countless others that do, but just to add), and happy that they are in a position to actually help, and are using that!! I am just so grateful! I feelings I felt were relief, even though nothing has even happen, the fact that something could just gives me great hope, and the determination to keep fighting with my head held high! And at a time like this, hope is really hard to come by.

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The Frustration Continues

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The rapist that I formally lived with is still on my lease. I have had no luck so far in finding a new roommate (it must just be the time of year, as I have never had such a hard time before). I (we, but I got his too) have been served a 10 day notice to quit for the unpaid rent of the rapist for the month of April. March was taken care of by his last month’s rent that he gave upfront. He has stated to my landlord that “Since he is not living at the residence, he do not feel that he need’s to pay).

Well, that is not the way the law works! He is still responsible for rent, and so am I. Unfortunately, if the amount is not paid, the eviction process will start, and if evicted, that will effect us both. I want to stay here, so I am dammed if I do and dammed if I don’t. I have a flawless rental record that I do not want destroyed because of him, but I dimages (2)o not have the money to pay the entire rent. I plan on taking him to court to get all the money, this month and any other months that there might be with no one living here, but that is going to take time. I don’t know what I am going to do?! I also plan to take him to civil court for the rape. He should be held accountable for his actions, and I feel like I am never going to be able to move on until that happens, even if it isn’t criminal, at least it is something and I am not just sitting here letting him get away with rape. His actions are repulsive! Now I am under additional stress financially because of him. He says that this is not “fair” about having to pay rent. Well, it isn’t fair that he raped me. He signed the lease, he is on it until he is removed. Again, this is him avoiding responsibility for his actions. This is what all rapists do! It needs to stop! How know’s how many other women he has done this to, and if he isn’t stopped or deterred in some manner, who knows how many will be next?

I am so depressed, frustrated, and some days I feel like giving up. But then I remind myself that I can’t. I can’t for me, I can’t for his most likely past victims, and I really can’t for his potential future victims. I don’t believe that people who rape only do it once. Sure, maybe it has happened in a very few cases, but in general, these disgusting individuals are repeat offenders. And they are going to do it again. I mean, this disgusting excuse for a human groomed me all night! This was surely not his first offence.

I really hope things start to turn around soon. It is like he keeps coming out on top and I keep coming out on the bottom. Why does the rapist always seem to win?

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Could You Imagine Being At A Grocery Store And Walking Into This?

Supermarket flashmob, very cool,  and totally confusing for onlookers. ..lol

Too Funny “SpandyAndy”

It’s been a very depressing couple of days.  Scrolling through FB, I came across this video and it gave me a good laugh.

This guy also has a website : spandyandy.com

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