Love Ya, Mean It

Ah, Valentine’s Day.

Who love me? My pussies. My pussies looooooove me.

The day of love so many tend to loathe while others welcome the warm fuzzies with gigantic appetites that rival my admiration for wine and Skinny Pirates.

The feel of Love Day for certain peeps.

As a kid, I carefully crafted a Valentine’s Day mailbox for school every year (you know, back when you could celebrate shit in school without the worry of the teeniest tiniest chance of offending someone). Students weren’t required to participate but I can’t remember when a kid didn’t. Everyone in class gave everyone a Valentine. If a kid didn’t have a box my teacher (shout out to my first grade teacher, Mrs. Shawler who reads this blog!) had an extra shoebox or two wrapped in red paper. No one was left out.

Will you be mine?

I was always lucky that I had a family who liked to celebrate everything, so no holiday was ignored. Not even one that I now often hear claims that it’s “made up” for people to get gifts. (Well peeps, if you treated your loved ones “special” all the time, grand gesture days wouldn’t be needed, now would they? You could simply just get a well-meaning card or write a note from the heart any day of the year but I digress). My sister and I’d wake up at home to little Valentines on our chairs at the kitchen table, maybe along with a small box of chocolates. We were always excited for the party to take place that day at school.

Fast forward to high school when the day of admiration became a sport of sorts.

If this high school Glamour Shot doesn’t make you want to be mine, I don’t know what fucking will.

The Honor Society sold carnations to fellow students for a dollar every Valentine’s week and the members would drop the flower off to your designated recipient anonymously. Some peeps had armloads. Some had none. I just wanted a pink one.

Some girls got called to the office and paraded delivered – delivered in a vase and everything – flowers around school. It didn’t matter if it was from their dad, grandparents or boyfriend. I was one jealous bitch. Then, in an instant, that all changed.

Because I became that girl one year.

Oh hi. I got the flowers…and then some.

The Honor Society members delivered carnations during first period. I was in concert band every morning with my sweet silver Doc Severinsen trumpet at my side. My sophomore year, the doors flung open and the band instructor stopped our warm-up. A group of kids came in hauling carnations in large buckets for their soon-to-be owners. While I was hoping to get a flower or two, my eyes laid sight on the mother of all Valentine’s day hauls. A gigantic, white stuffed teddy bear with a red bow around its neck, holding a bag of Hershey’s Kisses. So enormous, you couldn’t see the person transporting it.

About as big as this dog I gifted Princess B a few years back.

I think I literally turned green with envy at whoever was going to be the recipient of this stuffed animal. I mean, I thought I would get a flower or two because my girlfriends and I always sent them back and forth. But this, this shit was different. This was the stuff that warm and fuzzy, cheesy as fuck Valentine’s memories were crafted.

Being in the brass of the band, I sat in the last row of the room. And I’ll be damned if that fucking bear didn’t inch its way closer and closer. I kept thinking…which girl had a boyfriend that sat near me? I couldn’t wait to see who was going to get the pristine bear.

As the hidden stuffed animal transporter walked behind me, I almost gave myself whiplash looking to my left. But to my unabashed chagrin, that motherfucker was lifted over my head and sat into my lap. Hershey’s fucking kisses and all. To this day, that is one of my best Valentine’s Days (which may seem a little sad since my day of love peaked in high school but I mean, it’s true).

This moment of sweetness it didn’t come from a love interest. It came from a friend. From a best friend who (although didn’t take me to his senior prom and I will never, ever let him forget it) remains a bestie to this day.

Oh the bangs. On both of us.

The teddy bear came from Scooby.

We share a love of stuffed animals. Obvies.

Relationship game still on point today.

This gesture seemed like the grandest of all gestures in the universe at the time. All of these years later, it still does. My gay best friend delivered my grandest Valentine’s Day memory. Why was this so significant? Because he didn’t have to do anything. But he loved me and wanted me to know. Isn’t that just a simple thing to do?

Scooby was celebrating Galentine’s Day with me before Galentine’s Day was a thing.

Galentine’s Day started about a decade ago on the TV show, Parks and Recreation by Amy Poehler’s character to celebrate “ovaries before brovaries”. It was about women celebrating female friendship.

Now, Galentine’s is a nonofficial holiday celebrating all things love without romance.

Grand gestures aren’t needed (but if any of you have a Louis Vuitton en route for delivery today, professing your love for me, I am not going to turn it down). A single flower is nice. A card will do. A simple text message. A smile, a hug, a thank you. Whether it’s love or like in today’s climate, bringing happiness to any and all of those around us isn’t really that hard. We just have to be kind to let one another know that we like – or even love – them.

Finding yourself in a non-traditional Valentine’s day sitch? You aren’t alone. You do have love in your life.

Maybe we are madly in love with our offspring and the kids around us…

Maybe we are in love with our partner who we married on Valentine’s Day…

Maybe we are madly in love with our careers, jobs, work pals….

Maybe we are madly in love with our parents and write them letters to them when they’re away…

Maybe we are madly in love with extended family…

Maybe we are madly in love with our fur babies (which you all know I’m bat shit about mine and is honestly the greatest love in the entire universe)…

Maybe we are madly in love with thoughts of yesteryear…

Maybe we are madly in love with our sibling…

Maybe we are madly in love with our friends…

Regardless of what it is in your life that you love, be madly in love with your own authentic self first.

Yep. This about sums it up for me.

If you don’t love (let alone like) yourself as your own #1, no one will love the true you who is meant to be loved.

Be your own damn Valentine. Because whether you realize it or not, there is some sort of love in your life worth celebrating (even if that deep, deep love is for binge watching Netflix).

Make some snacks.

Toast to yourself.

Johnny always shows his love.

Whatever it may be, treat yourself to your version of my stuffed teddy bear this Valentine’s Day.

Heart heels – my updated stuffed animal.

After spreading some love around the office today, I’m mauling my fur babies and then taking myself out with First Mate. The same as we did last Galentine’s Day and the year prior- to not only toast to our love of one another but also to how badass we both are in our own right.

Last day of love we went to Sperry’s – an old school steak house where the same patrons have been visiting during the restaurant’s 45-year existence. First Mate and I felt like runway supermodels surrounded by folks in their eighth decade of life and said yes to the complimentary dessert and adult beverages that headed our way.

So fancy in 2019.

Now go be the love of your own damn life. If you need inspiration, please think of me.

Love ya, mean it.

CBXB

CBXB!

 

 

 

 

Weekend Winks – The Badass is Back

Saying last week was hard is and will always be an understatement when it’s Rapegateversary time. The days moved so slowly, it feels like it should be October by now instead of February 3rd. Sharing my experience helps me in what I still grapple with from being raped and also, offers my support to whomever may need it. Speaking of support, you showed up for me in droves and that means everything.

Just a small sample of you making it easier for me…

Just so you know, showing up for someone who needs it is beyond explicable. A kind comment on social media. A text. A check-in. A fucking hilariously inappropriate gif. I think sometimes people don’t reach out to others when they know it’s a hard time because they don’t know what to say and I just want to remind you that you don’t really have to say anything. A heart emoji does the trick.

Thanks for keeping me badass.

While I was busy with my International Day of the Badass, my two kick ass twins were celebrating their 100th day of school.

Princess B treated it like a party day.

Prince B couldn’t be bothered to look away from his Bad Guy book.

In this family, we may have our Touchdown Shot tradition but there are a few others that have remained alive and kickin’ – one of those being homemade donuts. When I saw what Princess B was baking I almost got in my rust bucket of a vehicle for the nine hour trip to indulge.

Donut delight.

There’s never, ever, ever, ever a dull moment regarding the twins. In between bike rides and hot tub splashing this weekend, they started their Valentine day celebrations as soon as February commenced.

Spreading the love.

Speaking of celebrating, I could not, for the life of me, decide whether or not to keep my pink tree up all year long again. Being that my pussies can’t answer with words, I turned to the ever scientific Instagram poll for assistance in decision making.

Enticing the decision, I displayed my prior celebration trees.

Digging around my phone for those pics basically translated to me wanting to keep the goddamn tree up in the first place. And my Instagram peeps agreed.

Landslide celebration.

Instead of immediately throwing Valentine’s decor on the pink corner of merriment, I went to celebrate the outcome with First Mate.

We sea more wine in our future.

Always stocked full of wine, First Mate has been collecting bottles and boxes from Trader Joe’s, where the price points make it beyond easy to try different vinos. I think the total of the featured wines below is a whopping $35.

So many options (and we’re cheating on Bota Box).

The thing with fancy gals like us typically drinking wine from a box is that we sometimes forget what tools properly open a bottle of wine. I can tell you this – it’s not a can opener.

Blonde is hard.

After First Mate’s failed attempt with uncorking a bottle with a can opener, we decided to fill our pie holes with pizza. Because she lives in a newer area, deliveries are sometimes difficult. Thankfully, not only can First Mate dismantle a bomb from her time in the military, fly a plane and be a boss bitch at work, she can also traffic direct (even though she can’t open a bottle of wine with a can opener).

Very important delivery instructions.

I knew better than to leave my pristine white sweatshirt on while stuffing my face dining like a classy lady and managed to get pizza sauce on the bottom of my arm. I have many talents. Sloppy eating is one of them.

With a full belly and a good night’s sleep, Saturday started with an overhaul of the Mini Manse living room. Rocky and Scooch were primed and ready to assist.

Before Rapegate, the pride I had in my own personal appearance, along with my Mini Manse was skyscraper high on my list. However, PTSD and depression have a way of sucking every last motherfucking bit of energy out of you and everything once prideful to me was thrown to the wayside. In finding a new rug for the living room, a spark was ignited that isn’t going to be extinguished anytime soon. I spent 14 hours touching all items scattered about, dusting, Windexing, vaccuming, moving furniture, building a cat scratch tree (OK, I just had to screw some things in but still), getting all photos and sparkles in just the right places.

Pussy approved.

This is a significant sign in my recovery process because it’s me acting like me again. I’m super fucking pumped that this bitch is back to being badass in almost all areas of my life again.

Also badass? My Iowa Hawkeye football players who now play in the NFL making appearances at this year’s Super Bowl. George Kittle and CJ Beathard on the 49ers and Ben Niemann and Anthony Hitchens on the Chiefs team. Either way the game went for me, it was a win.

The pussies could have given two shits.

Super no thanks on that bowl.

But Dada CBXB and I were sure to have one last tailgate of this football season.

Cheers to our final football watch until fall.

With my badass outlook back, I’m starting to see life through my fuschia colored glasses again.

Forever thankful to you for the assist.

Cheers!

CBXB

 

 

The Before and After of Rape

Today is the four year anniversary of my rape – a rapeversary if you will. Even as I try to forget, my body and mind are constant companions leading up to this dreaded fucking day, kicking my PTSD into the highest of all gears. I wish there was a WD-40 for the body.

******************************************************************

One thousand, four hundred and sixty days ago, as I sat with my ass cheeks on thin paper, protecting me from any other prior ass cheeks that unfortunately found themselves sitting on the same exam table in the rape kit performance room, the overwhelming fumes of bleach almost resurrected me from the protective shock in which my body had retreated.

“Do you want a rape advocate?” Detective Stupka (soon-to-be renamed Cuntka) questioned me after she recorded my statement of the illegal, intrusive sexual assault that took place hours earlier on my best friend’s couch. I couldn’t recall Shane the Rapist’s last name (that was listed in my phone, which was dead from being at the hospital waiting for eight hours), how was I able to know if I needed an advocate? What was an advocate? Did I need one? Detective Soon-to-Be Cuntka said she could not advise me and I somehow communicated that I did, in fact, want an advocate.

Does this look like the face of a person who knows what they need?

When Barbie the advocate tenderly walked into the room, careful not to touch me (when I just wanted her to sweep me up in her arms and tell me everything was gonna be OK – although that would have been a disservice on her part because nothing about being raped is ever OK, so, therefore, no hug took place). She spoke with the same amount of tenderness she used when she was inching toward me.

Barbie resembled more of a Skipper than the actual Barbie doll with a petite frame, carrying a Louis Vuitton bag (that naturally, I admired and wondered if she had a phone charger tucked inside I could use) and was so nice in a day full of shit. After a few minutes of fill-in-what-horrible-thing happened to you, she looked at me straight in the eye and said, “Honey, there is going to be a before rape and an after rape moving forward in your life.”

It was one of those moments that you just know what’s being said is true, no matter how much you want it to be a lie.

Immediate thoughts on life after rape.

Barbie left the room to sit with Dada CBXB who was most likely wondering how in the fuck his Friday turned out so inexplicable. I sat ass cheeks to thin paper, waiting for the rape kit exam to commence after yet again being hazy on decision making when asked, “Do you want the Plan B pill? Did he wear a condom? Do you want to take the HIV preventative even though it will rob you of 30 days of your life since its effects are so brutal? Do you want to be tested for every STD in which science is aware? Have you eaten anything today? Here are crackers to take with the handful of pills we are giving you.”

I seriously cannot compute.

Upon completion of my rape kit, I was handed a folder of information, with numbers to national hotlines I could call, pamphlets of what to expect in the coming days, and instructions of when to take the next round of pills to rid my body of any other foreign substance left behind when Shane the Rapist raped me.

My life after rape began.

I had no inkling of what the fuck I was up against.

Yes, hello. I’m calling from the shitter because my world is about to become a literal shit show. I would like to exchange my life, please.

Nobody wants to be in this club. Nobody wants to be an expert on matters in which we never want to be associated. But rape happens. And there I was and here I am.

I miss my pre-rape life in the way your heart breaks when someone your world revolved around dies. The me I’d always known, died on January 29, 2016, and I had no idea how to bring myself back to life. Thing is, I was still breathing. I wasn’t dead. I just had no feeling left inside, which made me feel like a shell. Hollow, empty and alone.

A fucking road map would be nice.

Friends that I thought would be by my side scattered. Jdub, whose boyfriend raped me, believed him. I stopped hearing from friends that were also friends with Jdub. A shell – feeling hollow, empty, alone.

Thanks for believing me.

The sex crimes department was supposed to be working for me, the victim of a rape. Detective Cuntka told me on March 7, 2016 over the phone that I was one of 29 other cases she was working on. This was a he said/she said case so not much will come of it. Oh sorry, this is my first time being raped and dealing with anything that accompanies. Please excuse my incessant questions about how this shit works – why are my pajamas I was raped in still at my Mini Mase? Have you talked to my ex-friend Jdub? Have you talked to Shane the Rapist? Why do you want me to try to reach out and call Shane the Rapist? Can you give me any idea or information as to how this process is conducted? The constant follow up left me a shell – hollow, empty, alone.

Daily routines ceased existing. Brushing my chompers was a chore. Washing my hair happened if I found a living creature (other than a cat) in it. No more wearing make up. No lipstick. No polish on my talons.

This is my version of silent screams for help.

No more hot yoga. No more running. No activities where I was alone with my own thoughts. I couldn’t get off of the couch and into my bed for six months to sleep, which is still a hard audience for my body to captivate, further exacerbating the endless cycle of depression, anxiety, nerves, and self-loathing empty, hollow shell of what I once was.

Get back on the bench, Bitch.

Therapy has given me life-saving coping mechanisms. Medicines have made my daily life manageable. The kindness of human beings has been astounding and reinstated the belief that simple acts and words of love can do some serious healing. The outpouring of support once I was able to openly talk about my rape case after the grand jury found insufficient evidence to take Shane the Rapist to trial was astonishing.

No shame in my pill game.

Now more than ever, I understand that we all carry invisible things. Others can’t see your shame.

Others can’t see your guilt.  Did I somehow ask for it?

Others can’t see the blame you put on yourself every single second, minute, hour, day, month, year.

Others can’t see mental anguish caused by society and the normalcy of rape culture.

Judgment is a fucking beast and after rape, it becomes an unwanted daily acquaintance at your breakfast, lunch, and supper table.

One thing I know to be true is that people who love you – really love you for you, don’t waiver. It’s been my family, my rock-solid friends, the folks who have come to my rescue via virtual friendships, the people who have re-entered my life to lift me up when I was sure I was going to drown…that all exists.

Reminders on therapy Thursday.

Here I am four years later, my heart beating the last 1,460 days, feeling alive again.

I did not understand that grief is an emotion that exists even when life still is within. I died but I lived.

Daily reading on my bathroom mirror.

When I think about the people I love and the fur babies I’ve lost, I choose to celebrate them. Drink their favorite drinks, watch a favorite movie, look at photos, read old cards, love on my current Pussy Posse, share fucking funny stories with others that loved them, too. After forfuckingever four years, I am ready to start celebrating myself again.

I’m declaring January 29th the official International Day of the Badass who is making all things related to rape her bitch.

“I won’t back down. I will stand my ground.” – Tom Petty

Who wants to join this bitch in the aftermath?

Happy International Day of the Badass.

CBXB

A Forever Face of Rape

I was raped three years ago today.

36 months.

156 weeks.

1,096 days.

1,576,800 minutes.

94,608,000 seconds.

I used to be an unfuckwithable badass. Then, I was brought to my proverbial knees.

Please consider this a trigger warning, as well as an uncomfortable but important story I will forever continue to share.

Mine.

During the wee hours of January 29, 2016 in an affluent neighborhood of Nashville, I woke up to my best friend’s boyfriend of five weeks raping me while I slept on her couch. Sleeping on this bestie’s sofa is something I’d done 4,209 times without a second thought before. I’d arrived around 9pm in mismatched pajamas, distraught with eyes so puffy from bawling over a friend’s death a few days prior that I looked as if I’d been fighting Rocky Balboa. I went to her for company, solace and what friends do best for each other – support.

Why can’t my lips get puffy when I cry instead of my eye lids?! WHY?

Her young son was asleep, her large, lovable pit bull mix jumped on my lap and her boyfriend of 35 days poured us generous glasses of wine while we watched Pretty in Pink. After more tears, lots of laughs and three glasses of vino later, I watched the two of them go to her bedroom, as I snuggled in after taking a sleeping pill, putting my glasses across the room on the coffee table, along with my phone.

A few hours later, in darkness so deep it rivaled a haunted house, I groggily awoke on my back to something very heavy on my chest, with my arms down by my sides, my pajama pants at my knees. There was hot breath and a human head in the right crease of my neck. There was an unwanted, unwelcomed and disgusting rape taking place. The rape of me.

Upon gaining my bearings and piecing together what the hell was happening to me, I silently freaked out, put my hands up on his chest and hissed, “what the fuck are you doing?” Without uttering one word, he retreated from my body, stood up and walked back into the bedroom where his girlfriend was sleeping. Through the fucking door that had been wide open the entire time – if my friend had woken up, she would have seen the rape occurring, due to the closeness of her quarters.

Scared shitless at what could happen during a confrontation with a man I barely knew, my first thought was of the sleeping four-year old in the next room. I was frozen. I didn’t know if Shane the Rapist was awake, passed out or going to come back out to finish what he started…or worse. My glasses and phone were across the room. I barely was able to muster the courage to pull my pajama pants up for fear of making noise. I remained a statue on that couch for at least two hours – until the sun came up.

Looking back as I hustled out of that apartment, I now know that I was in shock. Deep shock. And, I didn’t know what the fuck to do. Did that really just happen? What do I do? Did that just really happen? Where do I go? Did that just really happen? Who should I call? Did that really just happen? I was desperate to tell my girlfriend but wanted to do it while she was away from her boyfriend out of fear of what he may do to her.

When she was at work a few hours later, I called and told her to sit down as I had something life changing to tell her that would have a great impact on the both of us. Then I went on to say that I awoke in the night with her boyfriend of five weeks, having sex with me. Her initial response was, “did you finish?” Did we finish?

HOLY FUCK.

She immediately went home to him and called me back saying that she believed him when he told her it was consensual.

This was my first encounter with victim blaming. From my best friend.

My second encounter with victim blaming came from Shane the Rapist himself via a text to me after that phone call.

WISH I WOULD HAVE TOLD HIM NO?

I WAS FUCKING DEAD ASLEEP.

After taking a sleeping pill with three glasses of wine and being unbearably sad the entire day with endless tears coming from my eye holes, I was out cold. He had sex with what was basically a corpse instead of turning to his girlfriend he was next to in bed and tapping her on the shoulder for a piece of ass. He got up out of the bed and came to the couch. He knew exactly what he was doing. Oh and a side note, as soon as I was conscious enough I did say no. I said fuck no as I pushed him off.

My third encounter of victim blaming came from, once again, someone I held close to my heart. I couldn’t believe my best friend’s stance.

I ruined her life because her boyfriend raped me.

To read about the rest of the day Rapegate began, please click here.

Shattered.

My life was shattered in a matter of mere minutes.

My joy was robbed without my consent in seconds.

My trust in almost everyone gone in a few fleeting moments.

A rape counselor at the hospital said, “there is going to be a before rape in your life and an after rape in your life.”

And she sure the fuck was right.

A lot of my post Rapegate life.

As the days, weeks, and life in general went on around me, I couldn’t help but feel like I was responsible for “letting” myself be raped (how fucked up is that?). I was ashamed, embarrassed, disappointed and disgusted with myself. Insecurities formed I’d never experienced along with adjustment disorder, PTSD, chronic fatigue and severe stress.

In an instant, Shane the Rapist turned me into a girl who could no longer withstand being in my own mind.

He stole my stone cold solid pride. My life long unwavering sense of confidence. My will. All in one act.

The weight of profound grief is and can be all consuming. I was a stranger to myself and struggled to fight the will to get up out of the bed on a daily basis. I never wanted to die per se but you bet your motherfucking ass I wished my eyes wouldn’t open most mornings because the pain seared into my soul was unlike anything I have ever experienced. I didn’t really care about much of what I once did – a clean Mini Manse, washed hair, painted nails, working out, decorating for holidays, celebrating anything, taking a shower and so fucking on. Thousands of hours of sleepless nights. Panic attacks out of nowhere. And luckily and not so luckily, I was unemployed and looking for a job when Rapegate began.

What my laundry pile has looked like the last three years.

My sink has resembled that of a restaurant for years.

The most mundane tasks feel like climbing Mt. Everest.

Trauma happens in various of forms in this life, as we are all too aware. Loved ones die but it’s inevitable that we all have expiration dates. People desperate to be parents sometimes cannot conceive. Illnesses and disease that have no cures plague us. Auto accidents occur resulting in life altering injuries and changes. Children are molested. The endless cycle of domestic violence. Life is cruel. Trauma is brutal.

I’ve been in therapy for most of the last three years. It is hard as fuck. It is hard as FUCK. It is hard as FUCK. If you find yourself in a state after any kind of trauma where you can feel comfortable reaching out to anyone that you can trust, it will be for your benefit. I promise.

This program saved my life.

I started therapy with my Rapegate hero, Sheila every Thursday afternoon. We began with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and then later, EMDR. I’ve done countless hours of reflecting and homework and revising my thinking that I wanted to give the fuck up and just pretend Rapegate never happened. But for me, that was not an option. Once I started, I had to keep trudging ahead because trauma isn’t truly stored in your brain. It’s stored in your body. It’s why I’m unconsciously bouncing my knee to the ceiling right now. It’s why I stuttered for a solid 15 seconds until my boss finally finished my sentence yesterday. It’s why I have been inexplicably tearing up every few hours the last week.

One thing for people to understand whether or not you or someone you love has been raped, recovery will be a long struggle. Being a survivor isn’t something you do once. Being a survivor is waking up every day and doing your best to carry on. It’s a journey, not a destination. I mean fuck, I’m sitting here awake three years to the day later because my body won’t let me sleep on my Rapeversary at 4:00 am. The body remembers. The body stores trauma.

I was raped before the #MeToo movement began and when I first shared my story, I could not believe the droves of people who reached out to say they, too, had been victims. And not just women. Some I’d never met in person, only virtually but they felt comfortable enough to reveal their truth and I was honored to listen. Speaking your truth is an unbelievable weight lifted. Speaking your truth also makes it very real and that is scary as fuck.

Then you live with triggers that fellow survivors and I deal with on now, a daily basis. I can’t know and don’t know when it will hit. Not sure if being woken up in a startling manner will make me punch someone in the face. Not sure if a news story will make ice run through my veins. Not sure how provoked of a poked bear I will become over injustices occurring on a daily basis in our judicial system. Not sure if my ears will start bleeding when I hear a person defending a sexual assaulter. Because believe you me, they do it once, they do it again. And why wouldn’t they if society doesn’t think the punishment should fit the fucking crime?

Six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster because the judge didn’t want to ruin his life. Fuck the victim.

Four counts of sex assault? No prison time? Eh, fuck the victim.

But then again, America also voted a self-described pussy grabber into the White House and that’s just the fucking norm these days. AND. IT. SHOULDN’T. BE. If you think that’s OK, you are part of the gigantic problem of rape culture that this country has, so fucking stop it. Your children are watching.

And yet, we question over and over and over and over why victims don’t come forward at the time of their sexual assaults.

I. FUCKING. DARE. YOU.

The thing is, it takes a fucking village to overcome any type of trauma – and my village is as strong as an army. In instances such as the one I survived, it’s an experience I can hopefully convey to others and create awareness. Over 70% of all rapes occur between acquaintances (it’s an even higher percentage if you add in rape by family members). I never once thought I was putting myself in danger by going to my ex-best friend’s house to grieve a loss of life, only to start the unraveling of my own grief of life as I once knew it.

Instead of gaining comfort by reporting, I became a statistic that is all too familiar. My treatment as a rape victim by the Metro Nashville Sex Crimes division is and was no less than abhorrent. I was re-victimized by the very people supposed to help, support and guide me. Hundreds of hours were spent by yours truly following up with my detective and some of her peers, chasing information and answers that should have simply been provided. It exhausted me to my core. My rapist walks free because it was a “classic” scenario as my detective brought to my attention –  a he said/she said. And still, we question why victims don’t report.

The cost of being a rape victim has a tremendous impact for those who do (and even those that don’t) report it to authorities. Missed work, therapy visits (if you can afford it), police follow-up, doctor visits (that are required every six months for two years, just to be sure you didn’t contract HIV) prescriptions (for mental problems or STD medications contracted during rape), etc… is at an estimated $122,461 per victim according to a 2017 National Sexual Violence Resource Center . Pocket change.

I’m currently in surthrival mode –  that space in between surviving and thriving and I owe it to my support systems of thousands. You guys rock my world. Truly. You are my lifesavers from one to a million. With your help the last three years, I’ve become one hell of a survivor through your letters, texts, phone calls, cards, gifts, flowers, financial assistance, sharing of your own stories – I know I’m not alone. This is a horribly isolating trauma that reduces you to a solo existence. You feel like an endless burden. But I know I’m not alone. I think of the many who haven’t had the ability, freedom or support to breakthrough to the other side of rape.

You are not alone. You are never, ever alone. My once again unfuckwithable badass has your back and mine.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You will never know what it means.

XOXO –

CBXB

CBXB!

 

 

 

 

 

Off to a Spark!

First full week of 2019 is almost in the books and friends, I don’t know about you, but I was beyond ready to feel like lighting 2018 on fire and forgetting it took place. As well as 2017, 2016 and 2015.

Get in on the shenanigans on Instagram…..
My handle is @cowboysandcrossbones.

All of 2018 wasn’t awful in the slightest but I’m more than thrilled to shed the layer another year added. Like an exfoliation of sorts. Looking back, it seemed like last year was equivalent to a decade with all of the political chaos, senseless gun violence, devastating hurricanes and wild fires, the staggering realization of where America truly stands on rape culture and victim blaming, learning that the environment is most certainly going to say “fuck you” to humans in about 50 years, shutting down the government, forcing peeps to work without pay, who most likely already live paycheck to paycheck over some fucking dumbass wall (get it the fuck together politicians) – and that’s just the non-personal junk.

We made it!  Art by the ever kick ass Hannah Daisy of @makedaisychains.

Yet, there was some sort of seismic shift that took place toward the end of the year after I twirled fell and gave myself a severe concussion (what I mindlessly refer to as a coma…I mean, they both start with the letter c). Resting my brain and body was not only what the doctor ordered, it was what my mind and spirit also needed.  Almost three years after Rapegate, I was back in the celebratory saddle and not.a.fucking.thing. was going to stand in my way.

Holiday spirits were high and so very not dry.

Holla!day fun with the girls.

Christmas craziness with my Iowa twins.

Christmas cookies for Kris Kringle.

Christmas cocktails helped us jingle.

I have enough merriment to carry me and you through this entire new year.

Soon enough it was time to watch that famous ball drop, signifying whatever you want to call it. A fresh start, new chapter, another not going to follow any resolutions again, new year, new you bullshit. Aside from The Pussy Posse, a quiet night in with First Mate was the way to commence the out with the old, in with the new shenanigans.

First Mate with her fizz.

Nothing short of a klutz on my feet, I did my best to spoil our snacks before the evening even started. My leopard couch still smells like one big, raw shrimp – and the pussies love it.

Festive fail.

So we did what any gals would and filled up on champs instead (like we would have done anyhow).

Mind eraser.

The problem wasn’t with our selfie taking skills, of course. It was trying to get the fucking bottle of bubbly open (why can’t my cats get off their furry asses and help?!).

 

Once we popped the top, the champs flowed, my 2018 skin was shed and we did what all party animals do. We went to bed.

The first day of 2019 was also the very last game of my beloved Hawkeyes football season. My team was playing Mrs. America’s Mississippi State Bulldogs and Iowa was the underdog.

Last game of the season!

Dada CBXB and I were hoping to score a touchdown, hopeful our Hawks wouldn’t get blown out. Not only did they score multiple times, enabling our family tradition touchdown shots, they also WON THE GAME!  Final score was 27-22. The first day of 2019 was not a horrible one in the slightest.

W-I-N!

Cheers to a first week of freshness and hoping the spark stays alive in all of us this year.

Happy! Happy!

CBXB

CBXB!