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Author Topic: New update
nixieGurl
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So I got a letter from my lawyer. Apparently she has not been able to get any of my family to help her out in my rape case, as they are standing on the side of my abuser and are ready to tell everyone that they had no idea and that he didnt do what he did to me. I'm feeling down today about this. It hurts, a lot. I know I should not have expected anything else, but I guess I had hoped that when it came to this time they would stand by their own daughter. It feels too much for me right now, I don't want to have this case anymore. I don't want to have to hear anymore about it or about the people who think its okay what he did. I think the best thing to do would be to back out of the whole thing.

Today is the one year anniversary of the earthquake in christchurch which killed my uncle and 3 friends, shook my house to the ground and pretty much screwed the whole city. I guess today is not a great day to be dealing with things around the case as I am probably feeling a bit emotional anyway, but I just feel like I can't do all this anymore.

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Heather
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Oh, Ems. Grrr.

You know, I wonder if you've thought about -- however much your family doing this sucks, and does it ever -- what it might be like for you to see your lawyer and any other advocates address your family in doing this, though?

In other words, instead of you alone having to grapple with them doing things like this, might there be value in seeing someone else call them out on it, especially in a court of law?

Continuing with this case or not is obviously up to you and is only a call you can make. But I'd think a great deal about pulling out of it, since it's something you can't change your mind with (unless your laws allow for that), and you've had to go through an awful lot to finally be able to even have a case, let alone one with such solid evidence. Personally, knowing you as well as I think I do at this point, I see backing out as likely helping you out a lot less than pushing through could, no matter what the result.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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nixieGurl
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Thanks Heather,

I know backing out would probably be worse for me in the long run. It's just hard to know for sure, like on paper how much I don't mean to the people who bought me into this world. I have never asked anything of them untill now when I just ask them to admit that it happened. I have never even placed blame on them for it or asked them to take any of it on board. All I wanted was for them to stand next to me in court. Not next to him. I feel like he has taken so much from me already and now he has even taken them.

It just really hurts. I know my lawyer talked to them, a few of them anyway, and a few family friends who also lived in the house, but she didnt tell me their exact words for fear it would upset me more. I called her and was all "thats fine, I am not concerned, I knew that would happen" but inside I was feeling like I wanted to faint.

I just don't know how to summon more strength to get through this.

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Heather
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Of course. People we trusted standing up for our abusers, not us, is probably one of the hardest things in the whole world, I'd say. Eventually, we can usually see -- maybe even at the time -- that that says more about what's wrong with them than us, but even then, it rarely makes it hurt any less.

And this happens a LOT, especially in families with long histories of abuse or dysfunction.

That given, how do you feel about finding support from a group of people who have probably been in this spot and others you have dealt with? I'm willing to bet this coalition -- http://www.wellingtonrapecrisis.org.nz/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=15&Itemid=13 -- would know if anything like that is available. Heck, just connecting with them, period, might help you out a lot.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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nixieGurl
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Thanks Heather,

Funnily enough I emailed them this morning about this. I wanted to at least find someone in Wellington I can speak to face to face who doesnt want to throw me off a bridge like back in CHCH.

I am hoping they will get back in touch with me soon. I am finding it hard being all alone now more than ever. I don't have anyone who is around to come hang out with me. It's hard being alone when my own thoughts are making me feel crazy. I just want this whole thing to be over. Things just really really suck right now. I am so tired, and feeling really hurt. Again, I really appreciate at least being able to come here, to get it out somewhere so at least someone gets it, my side of it. At least I am believed by you, that helps.

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nixieGurl
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They got back to me and a social worker is going to email me about when she can call apparently. I am feeling really tired and down today. I don't know how to pull myself up from this one. It's just feeling really devastating to me, although I have been trying not to let it feel that way. I should not have let myself believe that they would support me in anything.
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Heather
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I hadn't realized you thought they might in this, Ems. By all means, that makes this a much, much tougher blow. It's hard enough when you've accepted a family won't support you, but when you think they will and they don't, it's even harder.

I don't know about you, but stuff like this was, for me, kind of where I came around to realizing that what family means to me isn't to whom I'm related. Even though some people I am related to ARE family to me, family to me is who acts like family, and for me, that ruled out quite a few folks to whom I had actual relation.

Still not easy, still hurtful and painful and hard. But I know it became easier for me when I changed my expectations of family so that I only expected support from...well, the people I cared about who cared for me who had demonstrated a history of support. And once I did that, constructing the kind of family I wanted also got easier, because family could mean more positive things to me than it had in the past.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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nixieGurl
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Thanks Heather,

I don't know why I thought they would be. This will sound really foolish of me, but I suppose I thought that when I made the decision to go to court with all of this, and when they actually found his DNA inside me, that would be enough to make a few of them think that maybe all of this is me telling them the truth of what happened, and even though I don't hold the social standing and financial standing that he does in the community, that there would be people who would stand by me in it.

I know I shouldn't have given that a second thought. I had well and truely given up on them before this, but then I got clean and sober and I got better mentally and pulled myself up a bit and I thought would somehow give me some more credibility with my family and friends. But to them, in the words of one of the most recent harrassment emails I am "not even good enough to be raped".

I just want to close my eyes and let go of all of those thoughts because if I was back to having had no belief in them it would have been a bit easier, not much but a bit at least.

It feels really hard that I kept this all quiet for so long as a little girl and as an adult believing that I was keeping them from the pain of knowing, and then to find out that what happened to me, and still happens, causes them no pain or concern at all.

I know what you mean about making family from those who act like family, and I certainly have a group of people who I consider my family who are not directly related, like you Heather, I think I consider you more my family than anyone else in this world. But it's hard that you are so far away, and my friends in Canada too.

I am trying hard not to let myself get too down as I don't want to get unwell again and end up in hospital again. I know I have to stay strong and well to have any level of credibility in this case with the society I live in. I feel so alone and so scared and mostly just so stupidly hurt. I am sorry to be back with negativity again with this. I know it must get so tiring to hear all the time.

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Heather
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I don't think it sounds foolish. I think it sounds hopeful, and like something you deeply -- and validly -- wanted.

And I agree, any of them standing in the face of all they have known for a long time, evidence they had well before this, and the evidence now and defending this guy IS utterly outer limits. As much so as any of them telling people the world really is flat would be. Seriously.

And I don't think there is anything wrong with the expectation we will not be treated poorly, especially by people we should be able to trust. because, we SHOULD be treated well and with care by those people.

(And it's okay for you to feel how you feel. You're going through incredibly hard stuff now and have pretty much always been. It's very hard to stay positive when you can't seem to catch a break for the whole of your life so far.)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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nixieGurl
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Thanks Heather,

I just don't know what to do with myself right now. I just feel so crappy about it all. I am tired of being this way and living this way. It feel's like even when I do try to take some positive steps forward I always get pushed back. I am still pleased I made this move. But I feel so so lonely right now. It's awful being stuck in this head with all these memories. This whole thing has sort of made me think about my childhood a whole lot in the past 24 hours, and that is never a good thing for me. I have tried writing like you said, and painting, and walking the dog I am looking after, going to the beach this morning, reading, etc etc. But I feel like I want to cry all the time.

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Heather
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Then cry! Seriously.

And hang on until you hear back from that crisis center. I know you can do it. I know it's hard, but I also know you can and you're worth it. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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nixieGurl
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I'm hoping they call me today. I'm afraid to tell her how I am feeling in case because of my past they throw me in hospital. I don't feel like I am going to do anything dumb, I just feel really down.
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Heather
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You know, here in the states, most sexual abuse orgs recognize that women with mental illness are more vulnerable to abuse, and very much separate themselves from mental health systems like institutions.

Is it not like that in NZ? Here, no org like that would even have the power or ability to institutionalize someone, let alone try.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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nixieGurl
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I'm hoping that this one is. I went to one in Christchurch, there are two, one was good, but they had to close for a while so I saw the other, I had a session with a counsellor there and told her that I was feeling really down about it all. Not that I was suicidal, but just that I was finding it hard to cope with it, and then I went home and within an hour there was a police car and ambulance outside my house, I of course refused to go with them, so was wrestled to the ground, sedated and woke up in hospital, then was transferred to the secure unit at the psych hospital for three weeks, where I did become completely suicidal.

I know it may have only been that one counsellor freaking out on me, but I feel so much anxiety about saying anything about how I feel sometimes to these people now. I know I need to be honest to get help, so I am honest but I do play down my feelings somewhat as I don't feel safe saying a whole lot.

I got an email from the social worker there just before who actually sounds really nice so I have my fingers crossed that she will help me. She is calling me this afternoon to talk about things, which I am a bit nervous about, but kind of relieved about as well. It does not help that the place I am staying right now is full of drugs and booze, my dads gf's place, as she is away and I look after the pets.

I have put it all out in the shed and locked it, so I don't do anything stupid. I know if I do get drunk I will be risking everything, so it is not a good idea, even though a drink right now feels like one.

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Heather
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So, how about asking them first what, if any, relationship they have, and policies around it, with mental health services?

(And yeah, sounds like you had the bad luck of a bad apple. Grrr.)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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nixieGurl
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Okay, I guess I could ask that. The last thing I need is to see the inside of a psych ward in my new city, I am happy to never know what it looks like.

It doesn't help that since I was discharged from mental health services I have since been cut off welfare, which means I have no job and no money, no savings etc, at the moment its a welcome distraction to look for jobs and stuff, but the added stress is creeping in on me slowly.

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nixieGurl
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So the social worker from rape crisis called me this afternoon, and she is really nice. She just moved here too so she said we can go for coffee next week and have a look around the city for jobs for me and have a counselling session too. I am so pleased that she is cool. I asked her about their relationship with mental health services but she said she would only ever have to tell someone if I told her I was going to off myself or someone else, so that is ok.

I am really not looking forward to going back to chch this weekend, to be honest I am feeling really scared about it. I don't want to have to face those people. And I don't want to have to worry about being raped again while I am there. Now that I am away from worrying about that the thought of going back is painful.

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nixieGurl
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So im back in the home town, it's not such a nice feeling, I had an appointment with my counsellor and lawyer. Unfortunately I have some more news around that. I have to go back to the clinic where I went after the last rape and have another assessment by a doctor assigned by the defense, which is because a new argument they may bring up is that it's possible that I had sex with him willingly to get him in trouble then shoved a knife up my own vagina, which is obviously a complete load of rubbish but the doctor I saw wants to show them that the injuries I have could not possibly have been caused in that way as she wrote in her report. I am feeling really upset by the whole thing because right now I don't want lo in thru another painful exam. And the thought of the suggestion that I would willingly do somethin like that makes me feel sick. I had to walk out of my lawyers office and through up after she told me this.


This whole thing is so so hard. Im scared as hell being back here right now and regretting my decision to come down here this weekend big time.

I have to have surgery soon also which will repair one my pelvic floor muscle so that I don't have to worry about peeing myself all the time and to cosmetically fix some scarring down there. I am not. Lookin forward to that either but having to have this other exam first is something that just feels terrifying.

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Heather
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For sure, this is really freaking awful. Obviously, it's important, but hopefully just as obviously, the defense is being really vile here, as all too often they can be to victims. I certainly understand your feelings.

Can you have a discussion with the doctor you saw about this? This just sounds so inhumane (and VERY ethically questionable on their part) and it seems like there must be some sort of alternative. Mind, I also think refusing an exam like this would not be out of order at all, you'd just obviously want to talk with your lawyer about what that would mean.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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nixieGurl
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yeah my lawyer was really angry about the whole thing, they can't force me to have it in the long run but she said it would be not so good for my case which is already not so good if I don't go thru with it. It's frustrating because I don't understand how their argument is at all believable and it makes me feel really sick that it's going to be put out there to make me look bad when all I did was get raped. I didn't do anything bad and I feel like I am the one on trial here.
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Heather
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Your anger is beyond justified: this is really the central problem with the treatment of sexual assault victims historically and, as you're obviously experiencing, currently.

So, in venting about this with my partner, we kind of came to the only way we figured someone could get through something like this should they choose to. Like I said, I'd certainly understand if you refused, but if you are thinking about doing it, or committed to, want my best advice?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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nixieGurl
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Best advice sounds good, right now I think I just need to be pointed in a direction by someone I trust. I feel like there decisions are so huge to make on my own.
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Heather
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Okay.

So, I'd first check with your initial doctor to be as sure as you can be that this will be worth it for you. In other words, is she absolutely certain that this second examination will result in nothing but more proof of what happened? Too, how are you going to be advocated for in this? How about support afterward, which you'll likely need?

If all of that is sorted, I think the only way to get through something like this emotionally is to think of it as a big F-you. For instance, anyone in here is likely to feel VERY uncomfortable since they are doing something truly vile. And we all know how people tend to feel about genitals, period: uncomfortable. So, if you have it in you to focus on being there to make THEM feel the weight of what they are doing, to be there in THEIR discomfort, and know they're not likely to leave it without some feeling of the violation they engaged in....?

Know what I mean?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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nixieGurl
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I have a person from an advocate place going with me to the exam, so at least I won't be alone. I also said it has to be a female doctor which my lawyer said I may not be able to have which scared me.

I know what you mean and I think looking at it like that would help. I am so nervous about being able to keep my composer like that though as I find the exam really painful since if cut me up, and embarrassing as hell. It's goin to be hard to lay there and keep calm.

I think I really have to do it if I want to prove im serious about this. My doctor said the exam will definitely show that my account of what happened checks out and some of my injuries come from long term abuse and the scar tissue will apparently show that. As well as my medical history as a kid of repeated urinary tract infections etc that the doctor will have to go through.

but god im scared. This whole thing is so mentally draining its so hard.

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Heather
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I totally understand. I wish you could have heard the volume of the yell that came from my office when I read they wanted to put you through this, Ems.

If you're going to do this, though, it seems to me that coming at it this way means drawing all you can from your anger. And i *don't* think you have to be calm. In fact, I do think perhaps mentioning during that you resent being raped again, for instance, would hardly be inappropriate. I think you get to feel however you feel during this and any expectation of being calm and passive throughout is expecting way more of a person than anyone should.

But I would try hard not to let them take your dignity here. I think what's embarrassing in this, or who should be embarrassed, to say the least, is the defense and anyone cooperating with them in this. You're not the one without dignity in something like this: THEY are.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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nixieGurl
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Thanks Heather,
I am so grateful I have you right now. I think the best thing I can do is call my lawyer and say ok lets do it now, and get it done before I can be scared of it for a whole other week and worry about it. I feel so upset about it all but maybe if I just do it and the proof is there then the whole thing will get easier.

right now it's to the point where I am thinkin as long as in the long run all this pain I am going through saves me another decade of pain from him then I think I will do whatever I have to do, even though I am so terrified.

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Heather
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I don't suppose they'd let you be on the phone while you went though this? If they would, and you think having someone on the line will help you out, I hope you know I'd be totally willing.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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nixieGurl
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That would be good if we could do that heather, or if I could call you after it because I sometimes feel quite upset after because the pain reminds me too much of the pain from the last rape when he used the knife and I find that really hard.

I think I might be a bit of a mess though which may not be so fun for you lol. I am trying to be really strong about all of this but I can't help but feel like with someone on his side of this doing this exam on me it feels like his eyes on me again which I know is stupid but it's totally freaking me out.

I just left a message for my lawyer while im feeling like I can saying I will do it.

I can't help but feel really hurt that my family will sit in court and hear these injuries etc including the ones from when I was a little girl and yet it still won't be enough to get them to stand on my side, that part will be hard.

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Heather
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Either way, you just let me know. Even if it means getting up in the middle of the night, I will do it. I also don't expect it to be fun, and that's okay: doesn't need to be. The point would be for you to have support.

I'm not sure we can predict the impact all of this will have on all of your family members. I do think we can say, though, that if it truly has no real impact, we can be sure we know that those people are deeply, deeply dysfunctional, and this isn't about you.

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nixieGurl
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Thanks heather,

Yeah I think you are right. This whole thing just sucks so much. I didn't do anything wrong but it is horrible having to all of a sudden have to prove myself especially having to show my actual physical injuries which feels so shameful to me and embarrassing.

I am concerned about how much mentally this will cost me as I feel like I just keep getting knocked down and it scares me that in the past that las caused me to have really bad downers which is horrible, and if that happens defending the claim they have made that im crazy will not be easy.

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Heather
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I am right there with you in everything you have said here.

In terms of the cost with your mental health, I think our best defense with that is a good offense: in other words, let's build your support systems up as strong and high as we can, okay?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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nixieGurl
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Okay I will try.

This has been such a hard journey but I guess a positive thing is that I am a lot stronger in myself than I was when I first came to these board's . I am going to try to keep being strong with this at least in the eyes of the public for now. I have also been warned that while he will probably get name suppression, I won't. So things could get nasty for me if that happens, but I am trying not to think about that.

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Heather
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I think you're amazing no matter HOW you move forward from here.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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nixieGurl
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Thanks so much heather,

I don't feel amazing right now admittedly but at least with this case I know im right and so I don't have to be scared like he does for what he has done. I hope he is scared, it feels good to be the one with some power even just a tiny bit. It feels really really good.

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Heather
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Of course.

So, seems like our goal, then, is just to keep on doing whatever we can to keep drumming up that feeling of power for you more and more so you can draw from it to get you through this. Duly noted. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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