Healing From Sexual Abuse: My Story

Healing From Sexual Abuse: My Story

I just want to warn my readers that this content may be triggering for some as I talk about sexual abuse as a child so please take the self care measures that you need if you decide to continue reading.

In the book I am reading, the author, Dianne Lake, talks about the sexual abuse that she experienced as a young girl. She says that because she didn’t understand it, she resorted to guilt and blamed herself for many many years. It enabled her to spend a lot of her childhood seeking safety in the wrong people and for the wrong reasons. A line that especially resonated with me was: “Sexual abuse creates an emptiness in the darkest places within”. 

As a 21 year old, I am just now reflecting on the sexual abuse that I experienced in my own childhood. Up until now, I disregarded my experiences by putting the blame and guilt on myself, or even reframing the situation as normal when it really wasn’t. I thought he was my best friend, I thought he was someone I could trust, I thought this was all normal behavior for a teenager. But the fact is that I was a teenager and he was a legal adult. So what I originally viewed as typical teenage sexual exploration, I have now begun to reframe in my adult life as sexual abuse and predatory and deliberate manipulation. 

It is hard for me to remember every instance of sexual abuse as it was a constant issue throughout my childhood life and even as I became a woman at 18 years old. It’s no wonder that I find myself in sticky situations where I know deep down I deserve better, but I feel like I can’t leave. It’s no wonder I find myself seeking safety and trust in people that have their best interests at heart, not mine. It’s no wonder I find myself randomly crying during sexual encounters. And as a 21 year old, I am just beginning to unravel the hurt and the abuse, and in particular, the causes of it. 

It feels mortifying and self-pitying to reframe my childhood experiences in this way. I never wanted something as horrible as this to become a part of my identity. And for a long time, I didn’t think it had to. I thought that it would be shameful of me to compare myself to people who had REALLY experienced sexual abuse as a child, whatever that means. If it wasn’t some creepy old neighbor or uncle, was it really sexual abuse? If he was only 25 and not a creepy old man, was it really sexual abuse? These were questions I used to protect myself and him. 

Up until now, I have always blamed myself for his behavior. I still struggle with this now. I should have known that he was just using me. I should have known not to trust a stranger. I should have known that he was older and that it was wrong. I should have left when it started to make me feel on edge. And even from my actions, I knew it was wrong in the moment. Even after the fact, my mother hit me with “I told you so’s”. But in the end, I was a vulnerable minor. It felt good to feel as though I was unconditionally loved, listened to, and considered. Because in my real life, I didn’t feel any of these things. But I thought I felt them with him. 

As much as I have blamed myself the entirety of my life, I know that that is wrong. My experiences weren’t due to a slip in my judgement. They weren’t due to me being a bad kid on a bad path. They weren’t due to a mistake on my part. My experiences are due to a predator making deliberate efforts to groom me. My experiences are due to a predator preying on a vulnerable girl who was depressed and lacked parental supervision and attention. There was nothing that I did to cause this and there was nothing that I could have done to prevent it. 

I Almost Joined A Japanese Religious Cult

I Almost Joined A Japanese Religious Cult

I know this sounds crazy and I’m still trying to process the whole situation as it happened just yesterday. But here is the story on how I was almost recruited into a Japanese religious cult.

I briefly knew of this girl from Instagram. We were both following each other and she was friends with my other friend. She seemed like a normal twenty year old who loved boy bands and hanging out with her friends. One day, when I was hanging out with my boyfriend in Shibuya, I heard a girl scream my name. It was her and we spoke briefly and hugged. Her and her friend were very nice.

A week later, she messaged me asking to hangout with her and her friends, just to get sushi and boba. We met at the sushi place and it was her and her friend, the same one from the first meeting. They were very sweet and welcoming. They kept asking me questions about my life and complimenting me, as you do when you meet someone for the first time. I often do the same thing.

We ate sushi together and were joking around, having a good time. Then they started asking me questions like…
Do you smoke weed in America or Japan?
Have you ever visited a shrine in Japan?

All of which are very common questions that didn’t really jump out to me… at the time.
Japanese people love to ask me about drugs in America because drugs are hard to come by in Japan. Also, Japanese shrines are tourist attractions.

But then they started asking me if I had ever seen a Buddha statue and if I wanted to visit a Japanese Buddhist temple, just for a couple minutes. As temples are beautiful, scenic tourist attractions in Japan, I agreed.
(Afterwards, they told me that they asked about the weed/drugs because apparently, you’re not allowed to go see Buddha if you have smoked weed illegally before??? Wtf?)

So after we got boba, we headed to the temple. It ended up being a lot farther of a train ride than I had expected. I started to feel a bit uncomfortable. When we arrived at the temple, they pulled out papers from their backpack. One girl pulled out a form and she told me to write my name, my address, my phone number, and date of birth on this piece of paper. Another girl pulled out an English version of a prayer book that she created, I’m assuming just for me. This is when I started panicking. I felt so uncomfortable and scared. I wrote down a fake name, fake address, fake everything. I couldn’t trust these people anymore. I started to realize that they had planned this the whole time. They invited me out on completely false pretenses and were planning on bringing me here to their cult the whole time. Who knows how long they were planning this?

One girl brought my contact info somewhere inside the building and came back with a prayer book and prayer beads that she had bought for me. Then they told me to go inside, take off my shoes, and follow as they did.

I entered a large Japanese style room with many, many, many people sitting with their legs folded, getting ready for the prayer that was supposed to happen at 5pm. Before making any further movements, I was instructed to bow. To Buddha, I’m assuming? The two girls brought me all the way to the front of the room and told me to sit with my legs folded, holding my prayer beads in my hands and holding my prayer book to recite religious chants. At 5pm, the prayer began. Everyone in the room repeated the religious chants that were written in the 40 page prayer book. This went on for a long time. I started thinking “How did I fucking get myself into this?”. I just sat there, observing everyone. Their posture never faltered as uncomfortable as it was, they were too busy praying desperately with bulging eyes. I was amazed that nobody broke their gaze no matter how long the prayer went on. This went on for what seemed like an eternity. They kept repeating phrases in the prayer book in monotone and hypnotic voices.

When it was finally over, I felt relieved. I started asking the girls what was being said in those chants and what the prayer book meant. They said it was ancient Japanese writings and that it was hard to explain. I was thinking to myself, “Wtf… lol ok”, but at least I could finally leave. I started putting my shoes back on and the girls started laughing saying that we still had one more ceremony and that it was only 5 minutes this time. I was like, “FUCK”.

We entered a smaller room, this time with far less people. A woman in a suit called peoples’ names as well as mine (Well.. my fake name lol) and I answered to it. Then she started talking in Japanese, a lot of things I didn’t understand. The girls told me she was telling stories about Buddha. When I asked, they wouldn’t go into more detail than that. Again, we prayed with our prayer beads and I just waited until it was over.

When it finished, they pulled me aside and asked me for my address in America. They were aware that I was leaving Japan soon and that it would no longer be my permanent address. They wanted a permanent address. I asked, “Why? Will you be sending me something?”. They said they needed it in order to “make a connection with Buddha”…. I put a fake address again.

We finally started to head back to the station and they asked me what I thought of the whole experience. I told them I was confused. I asked them:
Why did you bring me here?
Were you planning this the whole time?
Why did you tell me you wanted to hangout when you actually wanted to bring me to a temple?

They told me that they brought me here because soon, in the coming year, Japan was to experience a huge earthquake and that it was important that they bring as many people as they can to the temple to pray for Japan and their family’s safety.
They told me that they were sorry, they didn’t mean to hurt me, they understood that I felt like I was tricked and that they just wanted to share something amazing with me so that I, too, could experience the miracles of their religion.

I began to grow quiet on the train ride back… I felt so uncomfortable and scared. I confronted them saying that I thought it made me feel really uncomfortable that they had planned this thing the whole time. I told them that they shouldn’t have told me that they just wanted to hangout under completely different false pretenses. It was wrong. They kept apologizing, saying they just wanted me to experience the miracles and phenomenons of their religion. I asked the girls, “What kind of wishes did you make to the Buddha that came true?”. One girl replied that he helped her with her panic attacks and the other responded that he helped her with conflicts in her workplace. To me, I felt that it sounded skeptical, but I don’t want to put judgement on a person’s religious experiences, as I am not a religious person.

They asked if they could make it up to me and said that the next time that we hangout, that we could anything that I wanted to do. I told them some bullshit, knowing damn well that I wouldn’t be seeing them ever again. I felt the need to stay calm in the situation because I just wanted to escape as soon as possible, without any problems.

Afterwards, I felt really weird about the whole experience. They were planning this recruitment, who knows how long in advance, and priming me during lunch with questions that they needed to know about me before bringing me to their temple. They never had any intentions of getting to know me or hanging out. They literally just wanted me as a new member of their cult lol wow, what a crazy experience.

This is what she messaged me after I confronted her and told her that it was wrong to trick and deceive people into going to their Buddhist temple.

Let me know what you guys think. Is this a cult or are they just crazy religious freaks?? Do you think what they did was wrong? What do you think of her message?

Why I hate the Law of Attraction

Why I hate the Law of Attraction

In the course of the past couple years, I adopted a very hippy dippy theory and understanding of life: The Law of Attraction. Don’t get me wrong. It really changed my life, at the time, I thought it was for the better. It made me more and more enthusiastic towards all aspects of my life. I truly believed in my success and with that, a lot of great things came to me.

HOWEVER, I began to also reassure myself with thoughts like “Of course, so and so cares for you”, “So many people in this world love and care for you”, “You are loved by your family and friends”. As you know, mantras like these are common in the Law of attraction. These types of thoughts made me feel so reassured and happy in the moment. But ended up doing more harm than good. I felt trust and love from these people just because of my own thoughts, and not because of their actions. I ended up being fucked over by many of my friends that I believed to be greater than they actually were. And I can’t blame anyone but myself. I allowed them to hold that much weight in my life, I allowed them to be my supporters, when they never really signed up for any of that. If I had accepted them for what they really were, which were just friends for the moment, I wouldn’t have been so affected by their betrayal. Don’t expect people to act a certain way for any reason. Even if they are your friend, your best friend, or your closest family member. Accept things for how they are in reality. Accept people for how they act in reality. 

Therefore, I want to adopt a new understanding of the people in my life. People in my life are nothing but things that are necessary for my growth in that moment in time. They are nothing less and nothing more. They are there to teach me lessons and further my progression in life. I should not expect them to be loyal, nice, or long-term.

I choose to be nice to people because it is a part of MY character. I don’t expect anything in return. How they act towards me reflects their character, which I have nothing to do with. Nobody owes me shit, but in that same vein, I don’t owe anybody shit either. For example, I can choose to be nice to people in general, but if for some reason, I am not feeling up to it that day, I don’t have to be nice to people. That doesn’t make me a mean person and that doesn’t change MY character, even if may change certain peoples’ views of me. I just have to live up to my morals, not to peoples’ expectations of me.

Basically, nobody owes you shit and you don’t anybody shit. Period.


Studying Abroad in Tokyo, Japan

Studying Abroad in Tokyo, Japan

In a week, I will embarking on a new journey. I will be studying abroad in Tokyo, Japan for about 5 months. I will be studying at International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan for the Spring semester, as well as interning at a non-profit organization for a couple months. Once my classes and internship are over, I will be visiting my grandparents in Osaka!

I’m terrified and excited all at the same time. But nothing good ever comes out of staying comfortable. Every time I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone, I’ve come away with a life lesson or an amazing experience.

This has always been a dream of mine since I was a young girl. Except it’s not exactly as I had planned it. I accidentally ended up in a healthy relationship with a man I really love. So now I am unexpectedly having to do long distance for 5 months as well, which… I have very little experience doing. Long distance has never been my thing.

Until next time,

xx

Losing my best friend in college was the best thing to happen to me

Losing my best friend in college was the best thing to happen to me

We were to be bridesmaids… That’s what makes it so painful. I really believed that this girl was one of my soulmates. We had so much in common and we did everything together. We were best friends. She knew everything about me and I thought I knew everything about her…

We were roommates freshman year, without a single fight. So it only made sense to room again sophmore year. No, this was a huge mistake.

*QUICK TIP!* Don’t room with someone 2 years in a row. 1 year is the golden year. If you want to stay good friends with someone, you need some boundaries. Just trust me.

Anyways, one of our housemates ended up coming in between us. In the end, she chose her over me. I had never felt so betrayed by a friend in my life. I had told her literally every dark thing about me and for her to completely ditch me over some random girl she had just met was … heartbreaking. One of the reasons we had drifted apart was because I was too depressed. I would coop myself up in my room and cry all the time because I had recently found out my dad had cancer. I felt guilty every time I allowed myself to be happy. I was in a rough spot. Instead of being there for me, she shyed away from me.

But in the end, losing her became one of the best things to ever happen to me. I learned so many things about not only life, but myself.

I learned that even if you think you know someone, you may not. People change all the time. Nothing in this world is forever. Absolutely nothing in this world is a sure thing. Change is constant. Even if you have it bad for a while, things are bound to look up eventually. Even if things are going great, they can’t stay that way forever. Once you accept that everything and everyone is fleeting, you will be free. Appreciate what you have when you have it because soon, it will be gone.

Being without a best friend also forced me to do a lot of things on my own. I have become so much more independent and comfortable with being alone. Being alone is something I struggle with, but it is now comforting and something I look forward to.

I also made a new best friend who has so much more in common with me. She is also a POC and we share many of the same struggles. We both throughly enjoy and make art. She is a photographer and I am a model so we collab on a lot of projects. She is such a strong supporter of me and everything I do. When I am sad or in pain, she surprises me with boba (my fave drink) and food. She is such a caring and amazing individual and I can’t help but to think that everything happens for a reason.

When one door closes, another opens.

Finding Out My Dad Has Cancer…

Finding Out My Dad Has Cancer…

This is an extremely personal one for me. I decided it was important to share because I know I’m not alone in this. I know there are people that have been through this or are going through this currently. So here goes nothing…

I’ve always heard of cancer affecting peoples’ lives, but I’ve never experienced it directly. It was always a distant family friend or someone’s grandma. I never once thought it would infiltrate itself into my family. That’s the thing about tragedy. You never think it’ll happen to you, until it does.

I was in class checking my Amazon orders page to see when my anthropology textbook would arrive in the mail. Lo and behold I see a book order titled “Prostate Cancer for Dummies” (I share my Amazon account with my family and I already knew my dad had some sort of health issues going on that he was too scared to tell me about). I stared at the screen for a little longer and then scrolled down to see when my textbook would arrive… Tomorrow. Okay, not bad. I closed my laptop and continued listening to the professor’s lecture.

This is how I deal with immense pain or sadness. I ignore it and pretend its not happening until later when I can fully process my emotions. I sat with this truth for a day, not telling a soul what I had found out, pretending that everything was normal. The next day, I told one friend. I was laughing the whole time. I didn’t know why I was laughing. I was nervous? I was in denial?

The next day rolled around. I remember thinking, “Okay, it’s time to call mom. You have to ask her about it”. But I really didn’t want to, for fear that it would make the truth real. Long story short, I found myself crying in the middle of a busy on-campus cafe with my mom on the line telling me the bad news. It broke my heart.

Growing up, my father and I always had a rocky relationship. With us, it was always a storm or just the calm before a storm. When I went home last weekend, I saw my family for a day. It was short-lived, but definitely much-needed. I felt closer to my dad than I’ve felt in years. As unfortunate as this is, I feel like his cancer is bringing us closer together. It’s made me realize how life is much too short to hold on to grudges, regrets, and pride. We need to move past our silly arguments before its too late. It’s pretty unfortunate that it took a near-death situation for us to finally work on our relationship, but that’s the only reason I can think of that the universe would do this to our family. Maybe there is a method to its madness.

I just want him to be okay. And I know he will. This is just a rough patch.

Thanks for reading!

Love,

nofakeshit x

The Nasty Truth About College: A Guide for Incoming Freshmen

The Nasty Truth About College: A Guide for Incoming Freshmen

Growing up, I always expected college to be the best years of my life. The years where I’d find myself, my best friends, my soul mate, and my purpose. How could I think any less of college? Movies, media, and society were always feeding me romanticized images of what college was supposed to be like. It didn’t matter how sad you were in high school because the promise of college was always there.

Don’t get me wrong; It’s not that college is horribly devastating, but it’s definitely not as gratifying as people make it out to be. So try to keep an open mind and open heart and you should be well on your way. Let me explain what I mean…

1) You are going to be alone. A lot.

This is definitely NOT what I was expecting going into college. You’d think that living in a dorm room with roommates and hall-mates and of course, the fuckton of other students living at your college, there wouldn’t be space to breathe. Yes, it’s true that you’ll hardly be alone, physically. When you’re at class, you’ll be with teachers and other students. When you’re in your room, your roommates are bound to be there with you. Even when you’re taking a shit, your fellow hall-mates will be there, too (ugh, don’t you just love the communal bathrooms?!).

But the one thing people failed to tell me was that everyone has their own individual lives. Don’t get too caught up in looking for friends and trying to hang out with people 24/7. Chances are that you’ll make more friends doing your own thing and meeting people naturally. You need to be okay with being independent and making plans for yourself.

Bottom line: It’s not like high school. Don’t expect to be hanging out with your squad all day everyday. Everyone kinda does their own thang and has their own lives. So just do you and make plans to see people now and then, but don’t stress it. Focus on you and your career. 

2) The dining(?) hall

I never really thought the food would be that bad…but yeah…it is. I think every person I’ve talked to has had similar experiences of not really liking their dining hall food no matter what college they attended. Um, so be prepared for that. It’s obviously edible; you won’t die, but it’s probably going to be unhealthy and flavorless. So, check to make sure that door dash, uber eats, postmates, etc. is available in your area or you’re gunna be a really sad student.

3) You say you wanna get the fuck away from your parents now, but…

you might regret it lol. I am definitely guilty of choosing a school that is far enough from my parents so that I wouldn’t have to deal with them. I thought 7 hours away would be perfect, but you know that thing they saw about how distance makes the heart grow fonder? Yeah, well it’s true.

I miss my family, my dog, my hometown, and my friends all the time. Every time I want to fly back, it’s around $200. Every time I want to drive back, we’re looking at a brutal 10 hour drive. So, really really think about whether you want to be able to go home for occasional weekends whether it be to de-stress, to play with your puppers that you miss so desperately, or to eat your momma’s cooking!! Whenever there’s a long weekend, my friends who live close by will go home to see their families. Meanwhile, I’m stuck and can only go home for major holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas.

(This pointer may be completely irrelevant to those that are very independent and self-reliant. But for people like me, just think about it deeply. Do you really need to be THAT far away? Would you want to go home for occasional weekends? Just a lil’ somethin’ to think about…)

4) Don’t buy that textbook unless you trynna be broke

Nobody told me this freshman year and I wish they did because it would have saved me so much money! Don’t buy your textbooks from the on-campus bookstore. They over price their books, even when they’re used.

Amazon is your new best friend. Buy used books off of Amazon. If you need a textbook, rent a used textbook off of Amazon. Still expensive? Split the price of the rented textbook and share it with a friend. It’s so much cheaper to buy books this way.

5) Do a lil’ check on your professor real quick

This is not sponsored, I swear. I just didn’t know about this website as a freshman and it has proved to be super helpful for me when choosing my classes. I just go to ratemyprofessor.com and look up my school and my professor and boom, you just got all the tea on your professor before even joining the class. They let you know whether their exams are hard, whether they’re boring as hell, whether they check attendance… you know, the important stuff!! Yeah, so definitely check it out. It’s a great resource.

 

Soooo, this has been my brutally honest guide to college! If any of you freshmen have any questions or need advice, feel free to comment down below. If you’re already in college, let me know if this post proves similar to your experiences! If you guys like this post and want to see more, leave a comment letting me know and I’ll gladly make another one with more tips and tricks for college life!

Thanks for reading, babe!

Love,

Nofakeshit x