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The Stages of Grief



A short while back psychology taught us that there are five stages to grief. Recently that model has expanded to the 7 stages of grief.


The seven stages of grief are another popular model for explaining the many complicated experiences of loss. These seven stages include:


Shock and denial: This is a state of disbelief and numbed feelings.


Pain and guilt: You may feel that the loss is unbearable and that you’re making other

people’s lives harder because of your feelings and needs.


Anger and bargaining: You may lash out, telling God or a higher power that you’ll do anything they ask if they’ll only grant you relief from these feelings or this situation.


Depression: This may be a period of isolation and loneliness during which you process and reflect on the loss.


The upward turn: At this point, the stages of grief like anger and pain have died down, and you’re left in a more calm and relaxed state.


Reconstruction and working through: You can begin to put pieces of your life back together and move forward.


Acceptance and hope: This is a very gradual acceptance of the new way of life and a feeling of possibility for the future.


I believe that above all it is important for those that help survivors and victims to never forget that we all process our trauma in different ways. Just because you have been taught one way in classes, or interrogation training, or social work classes does not in any way mean that you are qualified to state such things as "she's not emotional enough", "I TRICONNED her she's lying", "She's too hateful, we don't know who the real victim is".


Who are you to say how a survivor or victim heals when you cannot even fathom what they have been through? It's so easy to go home to your warm home, and hot shower, and comfortable bed where you can sleep safely, and have a place with good food, and to wash your clothes and sneer as say "she's not a real victim, a real victim would respond like this....."


This is where law enforcement training is lacking.


All sex trafficking survivors are trained to control our emotions. It's what keeps us alive. Investigator Noles of Coweta County Sherriff's Department used the line on me of "well you keep talking to him it seems like you want it".... my response to her was "Do you have any idea what happens when you tell your abuser no or stand up to them?!"


My continuing to talk to my abuser and record his stalking phone calls at all hours of the night from blocked numbers was what discovered his name, address, DOB, location, and even more about him. The police certainly weren't doing anything. They were the ones helping traffic and abuse me.


My anger and rage at the injustice I was forced to go through at the hands of the people and family who were supposed to protect me was a part of my healing process. My therapist agrees. Many of them have.


My cursing out my abusers and speaking my truth about what happened to me was not "social abuse" to my abusers. It was the only way I was allowed to defend myself, and stick up for myself, and get the truth out. Because no one else would listen. The police wouldn't even let me make full statements for reports. Cutting me off, treating me like I was lying, and invalid.... and the worst.... when you go to the police department to make a report, just drugged and raped and bruised and barely able to sit, they ignore your report completely and force you into mental health care like the problem is somehow in your mind and not in the repeated drugging and forced birth control and hormones, and repeated abuses which layer trauma after trauma after trauma.


And forcing a victim to forgive her abusers out of some sense of "we're Christian she has to forgive" is medically documented to cause more harm to the victims and simply gives the abusers an out to do it again.


My shock and denial stage was the first few years I spent drunk and pickling myself. I couldn't process any other way. Then even after I worked so hard to quit my family just lied about it anyways, drugged me and used me as an ATM. Even my best efforts, I was so proud when I got my one year AA coin. My aunt drugged me and propped up a beer can for pictures.... she needed more camping trip and gambling money. As long as I was a "drunk" and a "mental case" and "she has something wrong with her head" and "she's so wasteful with money" they got to keep control of everything. My children, my inheritance, my medical care, my life. The shock that my own family would do this to me, even though we were estranged, was a horror that my mind could simply not process. How could my own flesh and blood not beleive me? Then I realized they did beleive me, they just didn't care. My father "couldn't pay his bills" otherwise.


My pain and guilt stage still comes and goes. Guilt that I trusted any of them in the first place, that I fell for it, that I brought innocent life into this world and they were destroyed because I loved them so much. My pain left me crippled, unable to eat, wanting to die. The guilt made me hate myself and feel disgusted in every aspect of myself. How could my own cousin, my favorite cousin, a cop with Seattle PD drug me, sell me, and then when I told him I loved him he spit in my face and told me "That's my love for you cousin". The last memory I will ever have of my mother is her telling me that she "regretted giving birth to me"... and of my father "IDGAF what happens to the whore as long as I get my gold mine" he stated. "I can't handle that she had sex with dogs"..... my own father, no matter that it was drugged rape. No matter that they did it to me on purpose so that no man will ever want me, I will never be married, or know love, I will never have a family, and no man will ever make love to me or ever has. When I told my father I was raped his comment to me was "well you shouldn't have walked down that metaphorical alley in the first place. Why are you doing this to me!? I can't handle this drama! You're making me sick. Why are you hurting me?" Now he pretends like he cares, after an entire lifetime of never being there, he finally got a taste of the rich life, and he'll do anything to not have to go back to who he was before they started drugging and selling me in 2019, broke, never able to pay his bills, about to lose his house, borrowing money from me....


My anger and bargaining phase has been witnessed in full force, and can be seen in my past blogs. Sometimes as victims the abuse is so heinous, so atrocious, we simply cannot speak about it except in blurbs and rants. Back when they had my children before they mutilated and destroyed them all I could do was speak in code and pray that a doctor or the police officers I was reporting to would understand. My therapist told me to just get it out. Holding onto anger like that is poison. I have an expletive vocabulary that could make a special forces marine blush. Cursing out my abusers was the only way I was allowed to defend myself, or get anyone to listen to the truth, or fight back. Then came the bargaining.... I'll be quiet and silent and disappear if only you'll stop the drugging and the rapes and just give me a little cottage in the woods and healing and peace.... the people they sold me to said "it was bad for business", so they wasted all the money on shopping trips and gambling instead.


I believe the depression stage comes before the anger stage, but it is different for every survivor. My depression caused me to stop caring for myself, my room was always a mess, I didn't care about doing laundry or eating. The things I did do to pull myself out of depression my family would not allow me. Yoga, church, pretty clothes, self-care, pedicures, chiropractic care for the time they fractured my spine, pain medication after the rapes, even antibiotics. Susan liked to sneer and make jokes about how bad my rotting vagina smelled because I was walking around with untreated vaginal infections after the rapes. Then I would go to the ER, get treated, and they would sell and rape me again that same night to infect me again and as "punishment" for getting help without Susan's permission. Ultimately, I realized that my depression was the greatest weapon they used against me. A good example of this is when my estranged Aunt Susan tried to steal my social security disability and get custodianship of me. My whole family lied and helped her. They all wanted to keep the money, but no court can grant that without allowing me there to speak to the judge as witness for myself. So, they drugged me in Denver and took another woman in my place. It's not the judge's job to check ID's.


The depression is the weak link in all survivors, and the nerve plexus that abusers will hurt over and over and over again so they can then turn around and say "see, she's crazy". Then when you stop having emotions because you realize it just makes them sneer and hurt you more, they find other ways. Like passing your rape pictures around your college because Susan says "it's a waste for her to go to school, her only use is making babies." Any angle they can take to get an emotion out of you, this is what they want.... my abusers used to put my framed rape pictures on the walls as "art" and tell me "That look of agony on your face is when you are most beautiful to me." Sheena even made a whole gallery show out of it. Anything to get an emotional response, then when you do respond and finally react to the incessant abuse it's "she's so abusive" and "she needs mental help" and "she must be drunk again". Then when you go silent and become a blank eyed doll with no emotion, they find other ways to hurt you, and the people who are supposed to be investigating say "she's not emotional enough. She's lying."


The upward turn stage is where I believe I am now. Admittedly I still waiver, especially with my anger and resentment and the injustice. I am not sure where my upward turn will lead, but what I do know is moving forward is always better than living in the past. If my experiences can help even a single soul heal herself and move on and know they aren't alone then perhaps even I can heal and move on too.


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