I will start by saying that I thought that I had hit the sort of rock bottom that I would hit for my twenties, naivety is beautiful isn't it? 

When January started with having to replace not just one tire, but all four tires on my car, I thought "tough battles right off the bat, okay". Then Zuke, my dog, was attacked in February two days before we were due to move from Utah to Wyoming. One emergency vet visit in Utah, "okay that horror is over". Moving day was met with the warning for dangerous incoming winter conditions and while the Subaru collected literal pounds of ice in it's wheel wells and on the hitch, my lap collected my continuous flow of tears. Accomplishing the scariest drive I have ever had the pleasure of enduring, I then became conditioned over the next week due to having to drive a canyon to work daily. Three days into being moved up to Wyoming, another emergency vet visit is required and Zuke's recovery is pushed back by another two weeks while I am discovering that the job I was offered and relocated for, I was not actually being given/trained for. 

Coming to this realization, I confront and ask for an explanation upon which I am met with, "well, we can have you work into that position". Slightly dumbfounded by how a business can hire someone into a specific position and then not actually put them in it, I lowered my hours to part time in the hopes that I could find a better job elsewhere. Spinning with no sense of direction after having left a dream job in Utah for a dream location in Wyoming, I took a regrettable position out of panic. By the end of February I had quit my first job. By the first shift of my new one, I had quit my second job. On March 8 I was officially unemployed. 

What the fuck was going on. 

The day I quit my only job, no longer embarrassed about crying in public, I sobbed while pumping gas into my car in Jackson Facetiming my father. I couldn't believe that I had graduated college and that here I was. The last two years of my degree, I held jobs that pertained to it, until the Fall of 2017 when I changed pace. I had not even tried to look at jobs in my field because I felt like I had dead-ended there too. I've struggled with needing purpose in my work, in that it's hard to settle for just any job at this point (what is this some kind of first world privilege, christ almighty I suck). 

My point: I first felt myself letting go of the control over parts of this year (already) on the 45 minute long drives that I was doing twice a day to and from work. It was a surrender, a hand over of "I'm not doing this right so help me" type of feeling. It's crippling in that it makes you feel so weak and vulnerable. Strong descriptors but that was the genuine overtone of accepting that maybe this was not my time to be here, that maybe I had rushed this, and that maybe it was time to really, critically analyze myself and what I wanted in life. There's been comfort in having the time to spend on resumes, cover letters, and searching out new jobs simply because I'm obsessed with watching my dog grow and interact; I'm relishing in the time that I have now, knowing that the changes that I want for us will be none other than big. 

Wish us luck. 

"EVAIL": The Wrong Going On

* Warning: the information that you are about to read has sensitive materiel and has been accumulated based off of personal experiences over the past 3 years with Vail Resorts in Park City, Utah; the opinions expressed are backed by both actions/lack of action taken throughout those years * 


Backstory: I began working for Vail in 2014 as a rental tech, however I technically worked for The Canyons Resort as the transition of both mountains had not yet been implemented. For that summer, I worked as a zip tour guide as well as a summer lift operator that moved into winter operations for the 14/15 winter season. In 2015 I took a job within retail for the company finishing that season with no intent to return to Vail again. However, in 2017 due to a large job demand coming from the company in Park City, I chose to take a human resources position in the hopes of staying with the company long term. 

After speaking on the phone with Emma from Corporate's Employee Investigations Team, I believe that these issues need to be, at least, made public and brought to the attention of the two people who are responsible for this resort, as Corporate chose to focus solely on only the sexual harassment piece of this write up. The phone call was not recorded nor was there intention to do so even after I asked how this conversation would be fully documented; the response that I was given was that she would be taking notes personally while we spoke. By the end of the phone call it was very clear why this had been set up: she wanted to make sure I did not have the grounds to sue the company; when I asked her what was going to be done with this information, she responded by saying "it will be going on file". My response? Publicity. 

So here it is:

Part I: Vail Resorts, The Buyout, and Corporate Flaws  

Lack of consideration for employees in general. Our guests are treated far better than our employees who are working tirelessly to operate the mountain for said guests for a dismal wage. Not only that, our lovely CEO, Rob Katz, loves to dump money into the pockets of the politicians that absolutely don't believe in climate change yet we have set a Zero Emissions Goal for the 2020's. 

Pay: Employees do not receive holiday pay even though we work straight through the holidays with little or no schedule change; we were just able to post a competitive wage for our lift operators for the first time this 17/18 season because they have been underpaid compared to our neighboring resorts. My personal position goes for 15.00/hour starting, outside of Vail Resorts but in Park City, and due to the demand of this one, full time, position with the company, I was unable to take on a second job within the community. 

Meals: Black out meal times for employees – some of us only have the food at our work to eat and being asked to skip a meal due to our guest service does not seem reasonable. Resort food is entirely too expensive as is and either way Vail is making money regardless of who is purchasing. Guests visiting this mountain, or any Vail Resort for that matter, should be aware of the choice they made by coming to a corporate ran ski mountain and that they should expect lines and a higher volume of traffic on a daily basis.

Customer Service: At the Grand Summit Fast Tracks café I was waiting behind two guests for 15 minutes and once they completed their orders and were served and it was finally my time to order, the barista took my order only to have a new guest walk up behind me AFTER the barista had taken my order, upon which the barista said “I am sorry but the guest has priority”. I agree with this attitude but not in this circumstance-that kind of “customer service” is eye opening and it was blatantly demeaning as a human.

Parking: The PC base area lot is filled with ice that the attendants do nothing obvious to make it safe for even the guests. I had one attendant tell me “you may want to park elsewhere as we have had cars slipping throughout the day” on 01/10/2018. You would think that after three years of the official turn over, we would have a parking under control by now like a parking garage or a lot that can actually handle the high volume of guests visiting. Vail also has contracted their employees third party to work for the Parking Department, so any of the folks you see in the PC lot standing in an orange vest do not actually work primarily for Vail Resorts. Lastly, my biggest question is how does one of the parking managers have two DUI’s on record, one resulting in a suspension of his license for a period of time in Summit County, and is still in charge not only of all vehicles on property but also gets to drive company ones? Not afraid to call you out Josh, tenure at a company shouldn't mean running through the ranks unscathed by the same rules. Plus, I'm pretty sure that is a considerable liability for Vail. 

Housing: Vail is robbing it’s employees through Employee Housing by charging an employee a comparable amount of rent to live with a roommate where instead the employee can rent a whole room outside of the Employee Housing agreement for the same price. I have heard this complaint from many employees, many of which who have left employee housing already due to this fact. The retaliation response from the company: that costs covers all that is provided. There is also extremely limited transportation options for employees from the housing area, including options to obtain food from a grocery store on a regular basis, which comes off as a large irresponsibility on Vail’s part in buying a resort in a town that was not equipped to handle it. Beyond that, the employee housing that was set up was birthed just a couple weeks prior to the mountain's opening day and therefore there was little advertisement done; recruiters who traveled to foreign countries this summer did not even have that information to give to prospective J1 or H2B workers. The review for Employee Housing in terms of being successful/not successful is being based on this Winter 17/18 season in which almost no one knew about this housing option. To add, the housing established for employees is not even in Park City, instead it is in a town called Heber City that sits 15-20 minutes away from Park City and has no public transportation available aka no bus system. It's an extremely limiting location for an resort worker who comes here without personal transportation. 

Business Partners: *Business Partners are employees who are technically third party from Vail so as to provide both employees and managers with a place/person to discuss work related issues* When I was employed with Vail Park City as a Zip Tour Guide/Lift Operator for the 14/15 summer into winter season, Simon McFarren dropped his hand down my back all the way to my buttocks in a sexual enough manner that I was made immediately uncomfortable around him permanently. It took until the winter of that year for me to have the guts to go talk to a business partner about it because I myself was raped at the age of sixteen and I did not want to talk to the lift department about it as I knew nothing would get done. After stopping by the HR office one day, Nikki Kendrick sat down and met with me formally but nothing, literally nothing was done about it. There was no follow-through on the issue, zero consideration for the PTSD it triggered. It was the reason why I said I would never take another job with Vail Resorts after that season. Now we work in the same department. In early January 2018, I informed my supervisor of the above incidents and now as the beginning of February has come, I have not received any follow through on even that conversation, after I made it clear that I wanted Nikki Kendrick to explain to me why she never did anything. The lack of follow through made me feel uncomfortable to the point that when harassed at my workplace on 01/30/2018 by a male employee, I chose to go straight to Public Safety with my concerns as I did not feel like I would have been taken seriously enough by my supervisor or a Business Partner. 

Employee Benefits: The number one complaint that comes through the HR office at Park City when it comes to employee benefits: "no more buddy passes, Powder Corps used to give us full comp buddy passes". Our system here with Vail works in a way that you only receive full comp passes if you are Year Round Full Time, 25 years lifetime status, or you are season full time with Vail for +5 years aka you have to work for Vail for over 5 years to earn your privileges. Health insurance? You need to be year round or seasonally full time, but here's the catch, you have to meet the 750 hours of service with the company before you quality for health insurance. 750 hours roughly plays out to be a full winter season, so employees go one whole season without being offered health insurance. Most places cap around 90 days of commitment needed before being offered insurance. 

Child Care Options: Employees who have children are not guaranteed child care, especially during peak times, but are expected to be at work regardless. There are hardly any  usable outside options that have been made available to employees so that they actually do have alternatives. Besides children, there are employees that have living, breathing souls to take care of, such as dogs, but we are not paid enough to use our options so that we can leave them for an 8-10 hour work day. There are multiple employees that I know of personally who have to bring their dog into work with them which actually means that the animal sits in the said employee’s vehicle for the day. “Find someone else to help you, can’t your roommate do it, what about a kennel” are not available options for most; most employees are coming from The Valley for work and most employees barely get a solid enough lunch break to attend to their pets. Then, I have employees coming in to my office blatantly confirming that there are other employees that work for this resort that bring their dogs into their offices/workplaces with them.

HR Department: For everything that the HR department does for the resort, for managers and supervisors, for employees and their dependents and even guests, you would think that we would get a strong pat on the back more often. Instead we get more complaints, more bad attitudes, and more sub-par treatment from the people we work every day alongside. Of every employee that we helped onboard and hire there was only one individual that came back in to thank us for our time and work; that day was in late November after one of our busiest Check-In Sessions for the 17/18 Season. We had to beg other departments to send volunteers for Check-In sessions and only two departments showed consistent support/help: Golf and Ski School. We have well over 10 departments at this resort. 9 out of 10 employees that walk into our offices do not say “please” or “thank you”. 

HR Office at Park City: On a weekly basis we have individuals that have come into the office, located in a basement, claiming that they smell something “gas or chemical or electrical” going on. Our office is also the location of the sprinkler control valve room which has a compressor that turns on at random during business hours and creates such a loud noise that you are not able to communicate for 1-2 minutes. Employees complain that they can “never find the HR office on this side” and half of the people we see are for Ski School who then get frustrated because they are lost in this base area. Employees are constantly saying, “you would think that HR would be more accessible or at least have a window”.  

Maybe I have taken these discussed items too personally however I strongly believe that my concerns and complaints are an accurate depiction as to what it is actually like to work for a resort that under pays its employees and does very little to address their needs. I am in full understanding that a company this large has a harder time tending to the specific needs of its employees and I am sure that everything discussed will be swept back under the rug as I am sure these issues are not to be deemed as worthy enough of discussion. I do know for a fact that I am not the only one who feels this way but I am one of the few that is taking the time to warn you that Vail Resorts needs to change if they want employees to return each season.

To end, I more or less just wanted, in writing, my exact reasons for leaving and so that some of these specific instances can be documented in the hopes that Vail Resorts actually cares in some way, shape, or form.

We may just be another number to the company but we are all still human beings.

Part II - The Community, The Locals, Park City

Where do we begin? Shall we touch on summer that Vail had it's greedy sights set on owning the name "Park City" so that anyone using the town's name, the given name of this beautiful place before Vail ever existed, would have to pay to license it from Vail. I'll always be proud of the folks who took to our hill in town and added a white "TM" next to our big white "PC" letters. Locals are losing their town; sure you can argue that Sundance was always going to populate this location however Utah was never on the radar the way that it is now. Park City was not built to handle the influx that Vail has brought upon the town. Local shops are losing their benefits with each passing year, being forced to either comply or stand completely on their own. 

Vail wants total control, period. They will write in a new rule for the mountain right in front of your face if they do not agree with you or what you are trying to do; if you speak to management you get turned around by someone sitting behind a desk who pushes more paper than snow. 

What happened to the ski culture that we all loved? When did our free time need to become so regulated? When did spending your own hard earned money on a season pass mean that it can be pulled at the drop of a dime for any given reason - or more just because you pissed someone off. You end up watching your back on mountain instead of enjoying your day. My theory: Vail is advertising and appealing to a part of the population in the world that does not ski for any other reason than vacation; guests therefore hold a high expectation for what Vail promises they will experience but show up to a mountain that has horrid snow conditions and overpopulated slopes. Even when the season is strong in snowfall for the resorts, there are no caps for the ski mountains owned by Vail so you are bound to be skiing with thousands of people at any resort location. 

The only positive that Vail brought upon the town this winter was an increase in business locally due to the snow conditions (or lack thereof). This season, Park City's Main Street businesses saw a huge jump in success as more guests who had booked their trip to Park City a year out with the expectation of skiing powder are taking their funds to places that Vail can't make a dime off of. 


If you have had any sort of experience with Vail Resorts that you want to share, feel free to comment on this post. This company is money driven while making sure no one gets in their way. Stay supporting your local community Park City, our mountain may be owned but the town isn't. 

The Overthinker of Happiness

Scribbled at the top of a page in a notebook is written, "what is happy to you" followed by a collection of responses, in different inks and velocities, some legible and some more of a drawing than letters; it's a sleepy dog laying on the floor next to me, the sounds of a crackling fire, counting the stars with no memory of what number I started on or stopped with; it's watching the life you're raising figure out the world around them, feeling your mind go empty with thought because it's lost in the moment of being instead; it's flipping through maps, looking at old photos, dreaming about the next spot the sleeping bag will get to experience air again. It's knowing that it's right here with me at all times but teaching me that if it was holding my hand I wouldn't understand how uniquely beautiful the feeling can be. 

. . . . . . 

We like to use each other as our collecting buckets to dump our burdens but forget to acknowledge our sincerity in connection to one another. Put down the buckets that do nothing but fill, continue to pick up the ones that keep letting the wind take their sand and lighten their weight. You don't deserve to carry buckets for those who seek only to fill them. 

. . . . . .

I think that good things come to an end because good people stop working towards them; that we search too hard to find a way to forgive others when really we just need to forgive ourselves; that we set high expectations but hold no standards. I think it's time to look deeper inside for happiness rather than in stretched thin surroundings. 

. . . . . .

Be the good you want to find in someone else. 


8 Year Anniversary

A warm summer breeze

as you pulled my pants 

down past my knees. 


Why was this happening, 

why did he choose me?


I could feel the words I was speaking

but I knew that

if I couldn't hear them, 

neither did you. 


My hands tried once, 

to convince you otherwise, 

but your strength reminded me, 

that you had already decided. 


Shaking with disbelief, 

you left me to what little dignity

I still possessed, 

walking away with a part of me

that was never meant for you. 


A warm summer breeze, 

as I pulled my pants, 

back up past my knees. 


- june 2010 

Lack of Genuine

There are days, times, specific situations, even people, that have made me aware of how we can be so removed from how we are making others feel. 

So often the thought of self pity strikes, the "why me" questioning to the universe, and thinking that no one is as genuine as they portray. It's easy to get stuck here, in the realm of blaming others' for our current state or mood. I am all too guilty of letting others' actions have a personal affect on my outlook and it can change within minutes. 

From what I have gathered, mainly from being single, is that most of us are not actually interested in a real connection, just temporary ones. We are fixated on what will come next, we put our door stoppers in our back pocket just in case the door we actually want to open, opens. Subconsciously, we like to watch others endure a hurt that we deem to be too good for our own selves. I think that we forget how human the next person is, we just write individuals off as "crazy" or "complacent" when really it boils down to "it was not a good match". 

I speak in terms of plurality because it would be unjust of me to wrongfully say that everyone but myself conveys these types of inconsiderations; I myself am guilty of only participating in an interaction if I know that I am due to benefit in some way. Maybe we do not always know the other persons' story. 

The hardest pill to swallow has been trying to understand when someone who you want, does not want you back. It's the vicious game that so, well, too many, of us play with each other, whether it's out self protection or genuine unawareness. Sometimes the frustration of trying to create a life amongst such individualistic souls is disheartening because you come down to very little meaningful interactions on a consistent basis. 

I have a hard time understanding why we have a favor in dragging out things that could have otherwise seen a shorter existence with less harm done.

Sometimes I think that we love to build others up so that we can quietly watch as they take their fall. 

2017: Recap

The Recap...

January is always the start of a new year but this year's January actually was my fresh start, the first chapter if you will, of a book that needed the last chapter to be burned out. Spending the first week still at home in Italy, the year really started on the ninth when I had flown back to the US to begin my internship in Bellingham, Washington. Due to perfect timing, I had chosen to take an internship out of state and in a location where I was hoping to make my next permanent move to, so that I could really give myself the legitimate chance to start over. I lived in a beautiful home with two outdoor kitties while their parents traveled for three months, I rode an old, old, old mountain bike around town every chance that I could and spent more time being wet than dry; I also met some outstanding BMX riders who had blown my mind with their handwork and dedication to their private trails all the while having less and less of a good time at my internship and making plans to return to Utah. January marked the last of my therapy sessions too although I probably could have seen my therapist in Italy for the rest of my life...phenomenal individual.   I was thankful for how much my family reached out to help me and for the lengths that they went to in making me feel okay again.

February was rough; by the third week in January I had already created a countdown for when I would be leaving Washington and going back to Utah...basically I was miserable. I hardly saw the sun most days, "it's raining" had the potential to mean like five different things, and I was so over having an up-the-back mud splatter lining my back after every ride. Valentine's Day was spent with a box of personal chocolates and a nice pre-roll in the legal state.

March was my month of hope, well okay let's be honest here, March is unquestionably my favorite month simply because it's my birth month, but this year it was the month that would be my last in the Pacific Northwest. Birthday donuts on the fourteenth to ring in twenty-three years of waking up everyday (thankfully). All I could do was pray that each day would go by faster than the previous one. I would begin to organize and pack and throw out things in preparation for Utah because I was beyond ready to get out. The second to last week of March, I finally worked up the courage to ask my supervisor if I could return home two weeks early due to a lack of work provided and my personal state. Luckily, he found very little argument in letting me do so and on April 1st at 4:30 am I locked my bikes to my car and got on the highway headed back to Salt Lake City.

April was a whirlwind of gratitude and disappointment; the morning after I had arrived back in Salt Lake, I took my bike and went straight to the foothills of the valley to spin my tires in chalky, dry, nasty dirty. Living at sea level had ruined my everything but I couldn't wipe the smile off my face, with the sun shining so bright, beating down on my face, shoulders and back...I was finally home. I began to really soak up this second chance I was getting in Utah. I even got a powder day on the nineteenth at Park City! I was also prescribed new medication for my anxiety during this month that would require a daily intake. After the first dosing, I was laying in bed by 5:30 that night flat on my side, staring effortlessly at the blank wall, thinking about how badly I wanted to run myself into a brick wall. That was the exact moment that I actually got a hold of my anxiety for once, either the pills would kill me or I was going to fight my way back to normality. Then the friendship that so graciously took me in and let me get back on my feet in Utah turned sour quick due to conflict of interests. It gave me the kick I needed to get moved back up to Park City though and I got a job with a local landscaping crew and moved into my new condo.

Halfway there...May was the beginning of "too hot"; the temperatures just kept climbing with each passing week, my lame shoulder finally  gained proper strength back to the point that it was running better than my uninjured shoulder. I was having a blast working for the landscaping crew (two of my coworkers were professional snowboarders that I didn't know I was working with till two months in) and I was riding my bike every chance I could get. My parents flew out from Italy to come attend my college graduation on Cinco De Mayo from The University of Utah which was the biggest relief of my life (graduating that is...).  It was a month of happy existence, summer drinks and warm temperatures.

June and July get to be placed together because of their high insignificance: June 2017 marked 7 years since my rape. I had to leave my job as a landscaper due to medical insurance coverage and instead took a job as a busser for a supposedly high-end distillery. Underpaid, overworked, and crying on the way home almost every night from work, I was getting into a horrible routine of eating badly and seeing my ex again. The toxicity was building again and I was feeding it the sugar it wanted.

By the time August hit, I was reaching my wits end and began looking and applying to new jobs. The stress was coming from needing a ski pass but not having the funds to pay outright for one but also needing a job that paid well and that included insurance. It was at the end of the month, after so many job applications and call backs and interviews that I finally decided to accept a job with the one company I swore I would never return to: Vail Resorts.

September was hands down the most important month of my life thus far: on September ninth, my eleven-year old family dog was hit by a car outside of our home in Italy hours before I was due to pick up my newly adopted ten-week old puppy. My morning began in hysteria, I thought that I was losing my childhood dog thousands of miles away and it was making me rethink whether or not I needed to be adopting one myself. After a few hours and an ER visit, my dog went home with lots of medication but little internal damage done. It was the luckiest situation that we could have received with how she had been hit. By that afternoon, after the chaos had settled, I got the call that Zuke (who was then Wolfman) was ready to be picked up and within minutes he was in my front seat making his first potty. Two weeks later,  I began my job as a Human Resources Assistant to Park City Mountain with no idea of what to expect other than "two months of training then you'll be running your own office". It was the best training I had ever received in a workplace and after week four, everything clicked. I felt like I had finally found my niche.

October was consumed with work, quitting my second job, potty training a puppy, and losing any personal free-time I thought I would still have. Adopting Zuke placed a heavy guilt trip on my life in the sense that I felt like I couldn't spend any time away from him because it wouldn't be fair to him. Crazy dog mom, I know. For Halloween, Zuke was a Ty Beanie Baby while mom had a healthy amount to celebrate with.

When November rolled around, I was pretty dead set on trying to work that day so that I could avoid the feeling of being away from family on the holidays. This was the first year that I would not be flying home for Christmas nor seeing anyone for Thanksgiving-it was admittedly a little strange. With a half day of work under our belts, we were fed a pretty nice employee thanksgiving meal which more or less made up for the missed home-cooked meal and then I got the text from my mom: "we are coming to you for Christmas".

They say that the things we have to wait the longest for are the best reward, so here's December: I met someone who is changing every prior notion I had about men, about relationships, and about how I deserve to be treated in such a positive way that I'm having to remind myself to calm the hell down for once; my little brother flew in and we got to take a trip down to Southern Utah to see the land that our government is signing away with ease; the remainder of my family arrived just in time for not only the holidays but the best snowstorms we've seen this season so far; the Temple Christmas Lights have become an annual season traditional for myself and this year was Zuki's first year; the Zoo Lights at Hogle Zoo were disturbingly awesome (I hate zoos) but the lights were really well done. The best part about this month though has been Zuke's pure, unscripted joy for snow; that little boy's happiness has become my own. He has been the dog that I had always dreamed about: gives free kisses always, has never growled once, and has never started a fight with another soul. The number one thing I hear from strangers is "look how happy your pup is".

I sort of have this thing where I believe that my birthday marks the theme for the year ahead; my twenty-third's was expect disappointment as nothing will go as planned. I was carrying that with me since March 14th, it lingering behind every failed friendship or plan. But as this year comes to a close, I am okay with all that did not go as planned, because ultimately I am in a better place than I was a year ago and that is the most important part of this year. I'll admit that I am still taking the time to forgive the one who hurt me and robbed me of my first dog, that I am still working through the worst parts of my anxiety and how it chooses to manifest itself, and that I am still working on being a better person. This life takes patience but there is an everlasting beauty in that very process and I'm finally giving myself over to it.

Here's to 2018: write a book, upgrade the camera, move or convert the car. 

A Year Ago

Woke this morning to the memories, woke last night to the nightmares.

A year ago, this time frame, I had thrown myself into fourth gear and was racing downhill fast. My anxiety had come full out of its shell but I was still in a world of misunderstood emotions and reactions to know that my genetic biology was taking over.

The memories....

the screaming matches with ex-roommates about their slop of a lifestyle, the nights I spent running to my car and driving as fast as I could to anywhere but there, calling anyone who would pick up and hysterically sobbing; "get out, you need to get out" I know but I can't. The memory of waking up strapped to a gurney, of having just woke up from what felt like days of sleep mentally but that a train had hit me physically.

I was drowning a year ago. My mother was frantically looking for plane tickets to send me back east to family while I came out of yet another therapy appointment; I couldn't grab ahold of my life. When I did spend time back east my mind was still wandering and bruised, I was searching for help but yearning to go home to a home I no longer had for myself.

I remember sitting in a hotel room in Washington State while my mother ran errands on her short stint in the united states to pick up her useless daughter, me, and I laid, crying and trying to hold onto myself as tight as I possibly could-I wanted a fix, I wanted to be fixed but I couldn't take the pills they had prescribed me.  A tug of war that landed me tied up in the rope instead.

Sometimes I am at a loss for whether or not I helped myself in healing by learning and giving into the power of forgiveness; with my usual habit of dropping people and running, I chose to stay and endure and with me being a year out, I sometimes think if I would have been further in my healing if I had pushed on and left the past in the past.

I write to remember, more than anything. I choose to remember because I want to learn.


The day that I brought home what would be my whole world, I sobbed into the fur of his little body until I felt the detachment happen.

Suddenly, looking down at my new puppy, I was removed, cold, and so incredibly disassociated to the experience. He laid there, breathing his little breaths, and I felt nothing, as tears streamed down my face. I was terrified. What had I just done.....?

Numerous thoughts raced: what if you can't give him the life he deserves, what if he hates you, what if he is unhappy, what if he wishes he got adopted by someone else...I am never having a real, live, human child.

Adopting Züke gave me an anxiety attack on night number one, no actual joke.

Luckily due to the universes' timing, I adopted him in the midst of transitioning jobs aka not working aka shouldn't have dropped the money on a new life. But I did. I wanted a new puppy the day that my ex took my first dog from me. Why on earth was I having a meltdown over something that I thought and yearned for every day. When I was living in Washington, I literally said aloud one time, "life is going to be so much better when I have a dog".

I was right, as I have learned.

As I write this, Züke is laying around my sitting body like a fanny pack, twitching from his dreams. It's moments like these that have made it all so very worth it. I lost sleep the first few weeks due to potty training and his overall cuteness (he lies on his back with his legs in the air) and then came crate training which ripped my soul out and still does even though he likes his crate now.

When I am driving, he will sit shotgun and curl up with his head resting on the console, staring up at me in a way that melts me. He will give in so hard to the perfect ear rub at just the right time and he wakes me up with kisses when my alarm sounds. He is the best little guy that I could have ever asked for in a dog.

I used to think, "I hope knows how much I am sacrificing for him" because I honestly felt like I had just shut the door on my social life, especially after coming from the restaurant industry with a negative taste. Friends would hit me up to do things but I couldn't commit because I couldn't just find a sitter for a dog that barely even knew me yet or I couldn't just bring him to random, new environments and I felt like I had made a choice.

I never felt resentful, just sad sometimes.

I speak about this because it has been amazing, all of the reminders that he has given me, even though it's only been two months. He impresses me every day in a new way and admittedly he still disappoints me on the occasion; for me, for my life, he gives me the same joy and satisfaction as having a child (mom's will argue, that's fine, but I'll never have those kind of kids so....).

This winter, my family will meet him for the first time and sometimes I feel a tinge of sour because I want them to meet my first dog, Shadow, as well. But to show them Züke and to see how I have raised him, I am really excited to share that with people that I love.

Hopefully he stops chewing on my underwear for attention by that time though.......


I've stripped myself and the exposure burns. 

Forgiveness is unforgiving, 

For what felt like the rebuilding of higher walls, was really my unintentional digging. 

These stones are colder, the light is further; I've created walls so strong, so rooted, that grudges were able to grow and trust became dormant. 

The slip of safety, the battle of truth and perception, it's here waiting for me. 

Walking on the air that is, I'm reminded of the beauty in simplicity, of how fragile each moment is, and how spectacular it feels to accept what has been, to know that it can either continue to be or cease to be. 

I've laid my revenge to rest. The truth exposes our faults just as forgiveness exposes our existence.  My peace lies in the parts you are reminded to value within me. 

My wait has finally seen its end, the worth by which I am measured can no longer find definition by your terms. 

If the exposure wills to burn, may it burn as beautiful as the sun, for this feels more like life than the hatred I summoned...

I'm here, forgiving. 

PTSDue: To Rape

Post Traumatic Stress...Due: To Rape

It has taken years to make it to this point. My decision to share my story comes after years of denial and post traumatic stress that bled into every aspect of my life.

I began to realize that, what had happened to me at age 16, was starting to bare it’s weight on my reality. It started with me watching Law and Order: SVU, but only at certain times; it was never a show that I put on daily, but when playing, captivated me. After a period of time, I started wondering what my attachment to this TV show was, until one day, when I was questioning my own rape.

I was watching that TV show to try to disprove to myself that my rape was not rape, that what had happened to me could not have been rape. There were stories of women who suffered far worse...far, far worse. I felt selfish for calling what had happened, rape.

But it was.

I was 16 and naive, better yet foolish. I let a man by the height of six foot two with arm muscles as large as my thigh, lead me out of the safety of my friends, the club, and anyone else with ears and eyes. Standing in the dark, surrounded by trees, my last plea was “ period, I’m on my period, please, no”. After feeling him rip the tampon from my body, I knew that I ceased to matter as an individual at that point.

Left to pull my own pants up, I trailed his pace, reentered the club, and watched him high five three of the friends he showed up with. All I remember was feeling lifeless, but there were more important things going on, like my friend who was too intoxicated to stand on her own. She needed my help. I needed no one anymore.

That night, upon returning home, I confided in my best friend, at the time. Nothing came of it. Life carried on. What had happened to me was not important, it was time to begin forgetting that event if I was going to keep this a secret.

It took me years to tell my own mother and upon telling her, I did it so that she would have no choice but to not react. I was so ashamed to know that I was going to tell her that I did it in a public food court, quietly and just long enough so that I did not break down into tears. It took years after telling her and her trying to convince me, that it was time to see a therapist.

In the year since, I thought that I was becoming more accepting of my past and although I did not share it with everyone, I did verbally share it with some. These people included my ex boyfriends, my family, my closest friends….but only if I saw fit to them knowing. For the most part, I lived largely in denial to my rape.

The rape was not gruesome. I am not physically scarred or damaged. See, the rape was almost the easiest part of everything that’s come of it. What an awful thing to think, right?

I want something to be very clear, that has been drilled into many peoples’ heads, and yet somehow, it’s still happening….NO MEANS NO.

No matter how it is said, no matter how loud or how softly it is spoken, no matter if it comes as only a head shake from left to right.

When no stops meaning no to someone, they’ve created a monster, not in themselves, but in their victim. A monster that creeps and crawl, that haunts and taunts. You cannot walk in a stairwell without feeling like you’re  moving so slow that you might as well be melting into the ground before you make it out, what if you’re not alone?

You cannot be in a house by yourself without locking every door and refusing to look out of the windows at night. You lose your sense of humor towards crude jokes. You cannot walk by yourself, in a public place, without constantly searching for a potential way out,…case. You lose the ability to look males in the face because what if they get the wrong idea? You cannot let the person you love, love you.

This is also another, very crucial statement that I would like to be very apparent: if your partner was raped, do not expect a normal sex life.

See, my PTSD reached a point that I shouldn’t have let it. Owning a female rabbit and female dog, I watched each of them be unwillingly mounted by a male rabbit or male dog, upon which I became so furious and sickened that I would shut down for days after. The only thing I was proud to ever see, was when my female dog turned and nipped at the male, doing so to her.

My entire perception on males has been altered and has only increasingly become more distasteful as the years go by. My thoughts have become so paranoid into believing that sex is a tool, it’s a weapon, it’s control. Domination over another. Sex is not love, not to me.

The last thing that I wish to convey into extreme importance is this: if it happens, talk to someone...aka go see the damn therapist. Far easier said than done and very hypocritical of me, but I speak based off of the lessons that I have learned and am continuing to learn. Quiet honestly, I am not sure when I will overcome the internal battle that resides, however, I do know that it helps. It gives you the shield to hide from the bullets until you’re ready to fire back.

I, admittedly, have many more fears now as my PTSD has spiked. I fear that I will never find the comfort that will allow me to open up to my partner in life. I fear that, any children of mine will go unprotected from such a horror. I fear that D.F. will never comprehend his actions, that he will forever see what happened as a “quickie at the club while overseas” trophy, better yet, I fear that he has forgotten it entirely.

Everyday I wake up to a brief moment of the memory of him. I have flashbacks during intimate times where suddenly, what is supposed to feel right, immediately becomes wrong.

He robbed me of my peace of mind.