My Institution Betrayed Me After My Boyfriend Attempted Suicide – Part 1

Trigger Warning: This post involves descriptions of emotional abuse, suicide attempts, and negative interactions with police and college administrators.

“In time, you will see that this was all some misunderstanding. The three of us will sit down and talk this out. We just need a mediation. You need to still do your job as you signed a contract and when he gets back to school, it will all work out.”

Friday Afternoon

It is the middle of May, a few weeks before the end of the spring term. I’m currently sitting in the Executive Director of Residence Life’s office. I asked her, moments before if I could leave my position as Resident Assistant (RA) early as I no longer felt safe at school.

I went to a small, private, liberal arts institution for my undergraduate work and was the typical student leader. Meaning: I was doing way too much and being tokenized way too often. Different story for another day.

Being an (RA) was one of my many positions I enjoyed my college experience. Looking back, there was also moments, like this one, where my body screamed from the inside and my mind did not have the language to express those feelings.

The Friday before this Monday morning conversation, I was working at one of my on-campus position as an Office Assistant. I received a call from my ex-boyfriend (let’s call him Frank); we ended things about three weeks prior. There is a longer version of this story, I will just begin at this point.

Please Come Over And Talk

Frank asked me to come to his apartment after work to talk with him about his future plans. Graduation was coming up for both of us and we were trying to figure out our next steps. Frank was prior military and was considering returning after graduation. He asked if I would come over and talk it through with him.

I asked him to meet me in a public place as I was somewhat uneasy about meeting him in his apartment. Frank made up some excuse as to why he couldn’t leave; something about waiting for the ‘cable guy’. I told him I would come but only for a few minutes.

I told two of my sorority sisters where I was going and if they did not see or hear from me in an hour, to come and get me from the apartment. We all did a nervous laugh (half joking/half serious) before parting ways. Five minutes later, I was knocking on Frank’s door.

The Talk

We had some small talk for the first ten minutes or so. We hadn’t spoken to each other in almost a month. Frank did vaguely talk about going back to the Army and what that would entail. He had a 2-year-old daughter and wanted to make sure he was doing the best thing for her.

About 45 minutes into the conversation, the energy shifted. Frank wanted to know why we broke up and why I no longer wanted to be with him. I tried to be direct and concise with my answers to avoid getting too emotional. I reminded him that I did not come to discuss our relationship and would have to leave if he continued.

Frank stated that I could leave after he showed me the gift that he got me. I told him he could show it to me another time and in a public place. I had this feeling in my stomach that this was no longer safe and that I had to get out immediately.

Shit Got Real

When I tried to leave, Frank blocked the door with his body while pushing me out of the way. It felt like a movie. Here I am in six-inch heels (it was undergrad/I was young) trying to run from the front door to the back door attempting to get out. I started to panic on the inside.

“Just let me show you what I got you and you can leave.”

“Okay.”

Frank goes into his bedroom. (Side note: The doors locked from the inside with a key and he took the key with him. So I could not leave. I know what you’re thinking.)

He comes back out with a small white plastic bag with a small white box.

“Okay, thank you. Let me leave now.” I did not open any of this.

“I got you an engagement ring, don’t you want to see it?”

“Nope.”

“I want to marry you! You don’t even care?”

“Nope, I just want to leave.” (If you know me, then you know it came out just like this.)

He then tore open the bag, grabbing a small rusty razor blade and violently thrusting towards his wrist.

“Is this what you want? I’m prepared to kill myself.”

For what seemed like an eternity, I struggled with him trying to get the razor from him. Frank kept insisting that he need to cut himself since I no longer cared about him.

Attempting Suicide

I eventually stopped trying to stop him. I managed to grab my phone (remember flip phones) and pressed the call button. The phone automatically dialed the last number on my list, which was a sorority sister. I left the phone open as long as possible so that she could hear what was going on.

I also noticed that every time Frank attempted to cut himself, it did not work. The blade was too dull. He tried pushing harder and harder. As he pressed the blade into his skin, he gave me this burning look. “Is this what you want? You not gon try and stop me?”

To which I replied simply, “Nope. You want to kill yourself, go ahead and do it.”

The Escape – Institutional Betrayal #1

Somehow I was able to get out of the back door. I ran down three flights of stairs (yep, still in my 6-inch heels). He followed me until he saw that other people were outside.

I called 9-1-1 and told them what happen.

“Is this a joke? You seem really calm so I have to ask if this is for real?”

“What?! Yes, it is for real.”

“Someone will be there shortly. Oh, I think I hear the sirens. You should be okay now.”

Click.

A few minutes later, the police, fire trucks, and ambulance arrived. A police officer (appeared to be a young white man) came to me to ask me what happened.

Laughing, “He tried to cut himself with a razor but it was too dull?”

Other police officers went to get him and brought him out in cuffs.

My sorority sisters finally showed up.

The Aftermath – Institutional Betrayal #2

Frank was placed on a 5150, a 72-hour hold at the local hospital.

That was Friday.

On Monday, I asked to speak with the Executive Director of Residence Life.

She was well aware of the situation as she was briefed during the emergency meeting held over the weekend.

I explained to her that I no longer felt safe. That I was still in shock about the whole incident.

I did not think I would be able to focus on my classes or my Housing responsibilities.

I was scared and just wanted to go home.

I wasn’t crying.

I wasn’t yelling.

I probably appeared emotionless.

I didn’t show typical reactions to trauma.

She told me that I was fine.

“In time, you will see that this was all some misunderstanding. The three of us will sit down and talk this out. We just need a mediation. You need to still do your job as you signed a contract and when he gets back to school, it will all work out.”

That conversation did more damage to me than being trapped in the apartment.

I realized that there was nowhere safe to go.

No one I could trust.

I realized that no one believed me. That no one wanted to see what was happening. Two of their students needed help. It was not going to just blow over. Things were not going to be normal again.

There is a second part of this story. It involves a plan for a mass shooting, a police interrogation, and me having an additional year of classes. I will work on it for next time as this is already longer than I anticipated.

If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading.

How To Feel Better In Your Relationships

The hard truth!

You do not have control over other people!

But Marvette, I don’t try to control others.

Let see…

If you are doing things, giving things, saying things to get other people to smile, to make them happy, you are trying to control them.

But is that bad?

Depends…why are you doing it?

Is it to seek the approval of others?

Is that the only way you can feel good about yourself?

What happens if you worked really hard trying to find the perfect gift for your boyfriend. You go to 10 different stores in 3 different shopping malls. When you finally find it, you have to stand in line for 3 hours. You go home and spend another hour wrapping it.

The big day comes for you to give him the gift, you’re so excited. He opens the gift, looks at you, kisses you on the cheek, and says a simple, “thank you.”

How would you feel?

Would it bother you?

Would you be angry, hurt, upset that it didn’t seem like he cared about how much time and effort you put into that gift?

Does he even appreciate you?

This can leave you feeling used and unappreciated.

What if this is something that happened all of the time in your relationship?

You may feel miserable and just feel like giving up doing anything for him or your relationship. No cleaning.

No cooking.

No sex.

No just thinking about you cards or gifts.

You may start to look for someone else who will appreciate you and your work.

You start to fight more and more with your boyfriend. Which may increase you wanting to find someone else.

At the core of it, you are just unhappy in your relationship; wondering why this man doesn’t care enough to put in ANY effort into this relationship.

Friend, it doesn’t matter what you do or say, there is NOTHING that can make a person do something or change but them deciding to do it.

There is no perfect thing that you can do or say that will change it.

So how do you feel better?

You have to first accept that you cannot control another person.

Take some time to think about what you do want.

Let’s say he did change, how would you know? What would he be doing? Is it bringing you flowers every day? Taking you on trips? Telling you he loves you more? What do you want him to do?

Tell him what you want him to do.

Tell him what you like because no one can read your mind. Don’t have an attitude, just tell him exactly what you want. Try not to say things like, “I just want you to show me more love.” Instead, say things like, “I want you to take me out at least once a week.” “I like when you bring me flowers.” This is clear instruction of what you want. There is no guessing involved.

Give it some time and be patient.

You have been stewing in your feelings for a while. Your boyfriend just found out that you were unhappy and what you need. You have to be patient and give it some time to change.

In the meantime, satisfy your own needs.

Take yourself out. Buy yourself some flowers. Enjoy a movie. Buy yourself some lingerie. Treat yourself how you want others to take care of you.

Your boyfriend will notice. It will send a clear message of what you expect and need. You’re not waiting for him to give it to you. He will have to work at this relationship if he wants to keep you.

*Side Note: If you taking care of yourself makes him upset or lash out, this is too helpful information. It’s understandable that you may have money to do some things. However, it is not a crime to do things for yourself. Especially, if it doesn’t cost money. Taking a long bath or watching a movie alone is not a crime. You are allowed to give to yourself. If he cannot support that, you may have to consider if this is the right relationship for you.

Where you will get stuck…

You don’t want to do the things someone else should be doing. This is a limiting belief. You are waiting for someone else to come and save you and make you happy. Why are you giving your power away?!

You can only control yourself and you have the power to make yourself happy.

Want more information? Click here to join my challenge.

It’s Not You, It’s Your Thinking

For the most part, I have always been in a relationship.

I would go from person to person, hoping that this time would be different, only to end up in the same place.

During my transformation, I was referred to this book.

Inside, there was an activity to take inventory of past relationships. I was then also asked to take inventory of my family relationships.

The most eye-opening thing that I realized was that I was in the same relationship over and over trying to fix the relationships of my childhood.

This had led to a quest of furthering my understanding.

Because of my childhood abuse and emotional abandonment, my thought pattern was all wrong.

My life was all about what I could do for others.

I was unable to express emotions, despite always feeling deep emotions

I used school, grades, and awards as validation.

I never really felt close to others.

I always tried to give people what they wanted before they asked.

I couldn’t handle criticism or being wrong

I constantly felt used and abandoned; no one was giving the same amount of love that I was giving

I felt I was doing everything wrong and that’s why I felt all alone.

The Truth

It was how I saw the world. You can’t change something that you don’t even know is a problem.

I kept focusing on that something was wrong with me. I would try to think positive, be positive but people still told me I was negative.

Looking over the past helped me to realize the root of my negativity. Understanding my childhood through a different lens helped me to also see the root.

I was a people pleaser

I struggled with perfectionism

Shame and guilt ruled my life

I had high self-confidence but low self-esteem

I had all the goods, so much going for me. I am beautiful, smart, funny, and fun to be around. I would just let my mind get in the way of seeing that.

My childhood taught me I, my feelings, or needs didn’t matter.

I was only there to be in service of others.

People didn’t want to know my truth, they just wanted to be comfortable.

I had to be, act, say, do certain things for attention.

Complicated…yes…and…

What I’ve Learned

Maybe it’s not just about being negative, maybe it’s something deeper.

Once I understood the root, I could change my negative and limiting beliefs.

Once I put in action to change and saw my value, did I get the love I deserved.

Do you want to know more about what I did to change?

Sign up for my FREE guide, Love Me: 3 Days To A New You. It will be starting soon and there are only a few spots available.

How I Transformed My Life And Learned To Love Me

I was lost.

No idea what to do.

I was crying all of the time and had no control over my emotions.

My second year of graduate school was ending and I wasn’t sure I should return.

I had no job because I was laid off.

I was broke, no money and no idea of what to do next.

I had been playing around with the idea of starting my own business for the last two years. There was a woman that I followed who started her own business and it was really starting to take off.

I watched her build her business from the beginning and she inspired me to do the same.

One day, she sent out an email saying that she was offering free calls to her followers who wanted to talk about starting their own business. This was my chance, my way out. If I could talk with her and everything would be good. While I wasn’t sure what I was going to say to her, I knew this was going to be a massive step in the right direction. So, I signed up.

The Call

During the call, she began by asking me questions. She was reviewing my website and asked me what I wanted from life. I remember that it was difficult to answer those questions and I felt very awkward.

At the end of the call, she made her pitch for me to join her business class that was starting in the next few days. I told her that I literally only had $5 to my name and there was no way I could afford to pay her or find $300 for her course.  

She told me that if I was serious enough, I would do what I had to do to get the money. There were many other women who were worst off than I was who was making it happen.

I was angry, hurt, and confused because it seemed like she couldn’t understand or didn’t care about my situation.

I felt dismissed.

After I hung up with her, I decided that I would show her that I could do it on my own.

Fast forward a few months later, I wasn’t any better off.

It seemed like no matter what I did, things in my life were getting worse.

A friend suggested a counselor to me that she thought could help. The only problem was that my student insurance couldn’t cover the session and I would have to pay out of pocket a $100  a session.

I was desperate.

The Change

This time, I didn’t care what I had to do, I wanted my life to change.

I worked with that counselor for about four months. In that time, I was introduced to books and other resources that put my whole life into perspective. The time spent with her helped me to take responsibility for where my life was and helped me realize that I had the power to change it.

I was the only one who could do it.

It wasn’t that she was some miracle worker or that she had all the answers.

It was that I was finally ready to stop being a victim and start being an active participant in my life.

Now two years later, I have my own business.

I’m about to graduate with my Ph.D.

My relationship with my boyfriend is going better than ever.

I understand myself and have more control over myself and my emotions.

I’m not exactly where I want to be but I’m miles and miles away from where I was.

How Can You Do It?

 

Make the decision to accept the sacrifice.

Change requires you to do something different than you’re used to doing. That is not going to be comfortable or easy. You are going to have to sacrifice something. It could be money. It could be time with loved ones. It could be chocolate cake. If the change is important to you and you are serious, desperate even, you will sacrifice what you have to in order to make the change.

Find someone who can help you.

I don’t mean your friends or your family members. You need to find someone that you pay. This is important because their only job is to listen to you and help you get where you want to get. They are not obligated to lie to you or make you feel good. Their one goal is to get you from point A to point B. AND if you pay for the help you are more likely to take it more seriously.

Make the decision to keep at it even when you don’t want to.

In the beginning, your excitement will make you give 150%. That will disappear a few days into the process. It will no longer be exciting and the hard work will start to set in. This is the most important time to keep going. It helps to remember that it is not about being perfect and doing everything at 100%. It’s about your persistence and your progression towards your goal.

Create a morning routine.

How you start your day sets the tone for the rest of the day. Some things that you can include in your routine are:

Prayer/meditation

Visualization

Journaling

Yoga/Stretching

Eating breakfast

Listening to a certain playlist

This is customizable to you and what will help you be the most productive. Maybe you wake up 30 minutes early to work on that book you’ve always wanted to write. Or to put your meals together for the day so you can avoid eating out. It can be whatever you make it.

Figuring out what you want from life.

This can be done through goal setting, creating vision boards, and even reading the biographies of people you look up to. This will help you find out what you are attracted to and the other possibilities for life. Once you can identify what you want, you can begin working towards it.

Remember, clarity comes from doing as Marie Forleo says.

I’ve done these things and continue to do them. These were a major part of how I changed my life around. Interested in learning more about how you can incorporate these into your life, click here to schedule your FREE 30-minute call with me.

What is your morning routine? Let me know in the comments.

Start Now! How To Achieve Your 2017 Goals

2017 is almost here!

Now, is the time to start on your goals.start-now-1

Waiting until January will be too late.

You will always be waiting.

You will always put things off.

 


Why not start today?

While I have my usual resolutions ready for the new year, I wanted to approach it differently this year.

At the base of all resolutions is the hope for a better, happier life.

I realize that the reasons why I am not usually successful in achieving my new year’s resolutions are because my mind was not in the right place.

I put more focus on doing these certain things than I did in changing my mindset and my limiting beliefs.

The main limiting belief being that I have to wait until the “perfect” time to achieve my goals.


Do You Feel Like This? 

Whenever I decide that this is the time to change my life for the better, I spend all day making up this elaborate plan of how I will accomplish everything. And of course, I want to change everything (weight, friendships, romance, school, getting fit) all at once. I want that to happen tomorrow!

So, I pull out my notebooks and large cardboards. I will write out schedules, make vision boards, go grocery shopping, and buy new workout clothes. And I’m all excited for the next three or four days. I do everything “perfectly”.

Everything is great!start-now-2

Then, I get tired.

Doubt starts to creep in.

I forget to plan for the next day.

Or, someone makes me mad.

Something happens to distract me.

And all that momentum is gone.

I tear down the vision board or just plain ignore it every time I walk into the room.

I skip the gym the next day so that I can finish something up at work or school.

My body is too sore, so I just sleep in.

I start to think, it doesn’t matter what I do because I have too far to go and I won’t be successful.

Next thing you know, five months will pass by and no progress has been made.

I’m back to feeling stuck and all over the place. I don’t feel like anything is together or organized.

I just have a pretty vision board and schedule that is never going to get used.


What Will I Do Differently?

The main reason why I have not been (and you have not been) successful is because of how we think.

We train our brain on what it should focus on.

If we pay attention to negativity, we will be negative people.

Not taking the time to place myself in a supportive environment that will help to train my brain towards achieving my goals will cause me not to be successful.

That’s why so many people encourage vision boards and making schedules.

These are tools that help to train your brain. start-now-3

But I’ve made vision boards and schedules and still was not successful.

The vision boards and schedules are great first steps!

However, I have found that my mind needs constant positive messages to really make a change. As I have found that with working through my sexual abuse, writing really helps me to connect with my thoughts.

The more I connect with my thoughts, the more I am able to change them to what I want them to be.

If you do not tackle your thoughts, you will eventually fail.

So, I’m going to plan to tackle my mind and take things slowly so that I have a better chance at being successful. And I want you to do it with me!


Get Happy Guide

worksheets

The Get Happy Guide is a 7-day challenge where I will learn to:

Connect better with my mind and body

As a survivor of sexual abuse, I have not always been connected to my mind and body. I had to learn how to listen to my body. Simple things like hunger, tiredness, anxious, and sadness were hard for me to distinguish between. In order to be successful in achieving my goals, I have to know what my body needs. This means that I have to monitor when something feels off, identify what it feels like in my body, and identify the thoughts that go along with those feelings. I will be doing this during my journaling activities over the next 7 days.

Check out this post if you want to know more about how sexual abuse affects the body, mind, and spirit.

Get better organized

I have so many ideas that come into my head that I want to accomplish and it can get overwhelming. When that happens, I tend to just drop everything. During this challenge, to keep myself organized, I will be monitoring my progress in my journal as well. This guide will have  journal prompts. This will keep me organized towards reaching my goal. Also, I still have my vision board and schedule that keeps me organized. They tell me what I need to do each day to achieve my goals.

Set manageable goals I can actually accomplish start-now-4

On the topic of goals, I have to write goals that are realistic. It’s great to say that I would like to lose 100 lbs in 3 months, but is it realistic? Nope! Unless, I’m okay with doing this in a very unhealthy way. That’s not my goal! I want to get to the goal line in a healthy way for the long term. I don’t want to accomplish all of this success and lose it overnight because I was looking for the quick fix. And you don’t either!

Be more accountable

When we write things down, they become real. That’s why products such as Weight Watchers are so successful. You have to monitor the amount of points you have and plan how to use them in order to reach your weight loss goals. It’s the same here. I have to set goals and monitor them. This blog will also help keep me organized and accountable. I will keep you in mind when I feel myself slipping. Also, success is not about doing everything perfect. It’s about making progress in the right direction. That means that some days will not go as planned or I may not do anything towards achieving my goal. And it’s okay. As long as I get back on track, I will be successful in the long run.

Learn how to put yourself first

At the heart of this, I will have to put myself first in order to be dedicated and committed. I am going to have to say no to some invitations and to other things I may want to do in order to be successful. I have to decide what is going to be more important. Going out and being distracted or staying in and working on my goals? This does not mean that I’m not going to have fun or be deprived; it means realigning my priorities. And at least for the next 7 days, I’m going to be my number one priority. This is a choice and a frame of mind. If you are thinking that this is not possible for you because of X, then you are letting X be more important to you.

Let’s Get Started!

worksheetsI will continue to post what I will be doing to prepare myself for 2017. I hope that you decide to join me!