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April 30, 2018

I will never stop talking about it

Photo by Mihai Surdu 

Day 37 11/30/2018

Hello everyone. I hope you are all doing well. Trigger warning, please take caution before continuing to read. Thank you. 

Today, I want to take a piece of advice, explain what it means, and how it plays into my life. “Resist lies and expose them for what they are.” Obviously no, we don’t want to fall into a pit of lies. We all know once you lie it becomes a bigger lie and sooner or later the truth unfolds. We are exposed. But what does it mean to expose the lies? Some of us take it too literally. And when we announce the lies others have made to hurt us, we end up hurting that person back. We can stand up for what is right without bringing anyone below us. And I know I kind of made that mistake when I announced that I was sexually assaulted back at the end of April.

We all hear stories of sexual assault on a daily basis. We hear almost once a week that something needs to be changed, but what is that something. And why is nothing changing when we recognize there is a problem? We hear all the time that the victims have to deal with the PTSD for the rest of their lives, they become outlaws to their own friends and families, the victims are treated like criminals, and the criminals appear as false victims and wear crowns. That already sounds pretty awful. I can assure you, it gets worse.

So I’m going to continue to share my story. Because even though I was only sexually assaulted for about 20 minutes, here we are six months later and I’m still dealing with the consequences. I’ll be honest, I don’t know the repercussions that he has to deal with. I know he’s not in jail. But I don’t know how his family looks at him now, I don’t know how many friends he lost, I don’t know much. But I do know that he doesn’t have to deal with the hospital bills. Yes, six months down the road and I’m still being billed by hospitals and doctors because of the incident. So I’m going to give you a glimpse of what dealing with this financially looks like.

Back in April, I had only been about four almost five weeks pregnant. I know doesn’t sound like much. Or how could I have possibly known that early? For those who aren’t educated on the subject, you can find out about two weeks after conception. And results can show on an at home pregnancy test the first day of your missed period. But some bodies are different and it would be best proven by a blood test. I took two tests and both came back negative. But I also took them extremely early and even the box said only 43 percent accurate for the days that I took them. But I knew my body. I was well over a week late for my cycle. (I have an extremely regular cycle. I’m talking about I’ve only been late a matter of three or four times since I started my period at the age of 13 and I’m 20 now.) And I’ve noticed other changes in my body.

I ended up miscarrying. How did I know it was a miscarriage and not just my regular period? A lot of people think I mixed up the two. And it’s very simple. The cramps were so unbearable. I struggled to get out of my bed to go get a glass of water from the kitchen. I was crying. It lasted for about two weeks. And more obviously. The second day of the miscarriage, my boyfriend at the time, he came over to take care of me. Or so I thought. I did not go to a doctor right away. Oh I know, how stupid of me, right? I’ve been fighting with my insurance all year because they keep screwing up. I had just quit my job because of how miserable and unfairly treated I was there. It came to the point of I’d rather kill myself literally than ever go back there to work. My boss had called me and I was crying on the phone and she just couldn’t convince me to stick around. And I love her so much, she was never the problem. I’m so thankful she at least tried and reached out to me. But needless to say, I had no job, there was no way in hell I could afford another doctor bill and my boyfriend who was 18, but still in high school, didn’t want his parents to find out that he had knocked me up. So anyway, he came over to take care of me. We were in my room just relaxing in my bed and he told me I could squeeze his hand when the pain became too much. I kissed him.

He kissed me back. You could say that we were making out at this point. I thought we were getting through this as a family. So not the case. I had moved positions because I was extremely uncomfortable from being in so much pain. He thought I was moving into him. He then took that as an invitation to have sex. No, he never went under my clothes, but he kept touching me inappropriately. I had rolled over. I told him I didn’t want this. And he continued to touch me and be like, “Babe come back here. Come on please. Rachel.” God, I hated my name for the rest of this year pretty much. Because he’d use my name every time he was disappointed in me. And that was the last time I heard him use my name. Was when I was being sexually assaulted.

We talked about it over text messages the next day. Oh what another stupid idea that sounds like. And his excuse was, “I thought the miscarriage was like the same as having your period. I thought sex would help with pain.” So we stopped talking, he broke up with me, and I was honestly heart broken. I really still wanted to work things out. And I honestly still wish we would have at least worked things out to not despise each other. So the miscarriage is done and over with. I was still experiencing morning sickness, my lower back hurt, and so on. I took two pregnancy tests and they came back positive. So I reached out to him. His mom wanted me to go to the hospital. And at the time my brain was thinking, “No, you don’t have the money, it’s not safe to go with him. He can try to end up hurting you again. I will figure out what’s going on with my insurance and I will go myself.”

And here’s where the financial downfall comes in. I go to an urgent care to get a urine pregnancy test done and it kept coming back inconclusive. They explained to me I probably thought I was done miscarrying and actually wasn’t and that’s why the tests came back positive. So I paid a $30 copay. But they found blood in my urine, like way too much blood. Mind you this was well after the two official weeks of miscarrying. So they urge me to take an ambulance to the hospital. I declined their request because I had no money for an ambulance ride. Just imagine, my financial situation could’ve been much worse. So I ended up going the day after to the hospital. They took urine pregnancy tests as well and they also came back inconclusive.

Finally they find out that I’m not pregnant and that it’s okay to go ahead with a CT scan and figure out what’s really going on. They find out and do more tests, I had a cyst on my ovaries from the pregnancy still producing the pregnancy hormone, so my body thought it was still pregnant. Oh what a relief.

So let me give you some background story. I live in Michigan. I’m still under my dad’s insurance and it’s Blue Cross Blue Shield, a very good plan. But things still went wrong. So I go the emergency room and pay a $100 copay for that. I pay the doctor who took care of me in the ER, so that was another $40. I pay for the CT scan, another $20. Then I pay the specific doctor who did the CT scan, another $40. They also gave me medication to deal with the pain from the cyst and everything another $20. We are already at $250. That I paid by myself, no family, no friends, and the guy who decided to knock me up and sexually assault me didn’t pay for a single cent. Plus, I had to pay for the other individual tests done. Give that another $40.

Due to being sexually assaulted and miscarrying I became severely depressed and suicidal. I had no job, I lost the love of my life, I lost my baby, and I was sexually assaulted. And on top of that I was labeled the criminal because I supposedly ruined his life by being public about the situation.

I have to go back to the hospital. I pay another $100. See another doctor. Get new medications. So, another $20. We are already over $400. For being sexually assaulted and miscarrying. I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. The doctor who saw me that was dealing with my case of being suicidal due to sexual assault, miscarrying, and still dealing with a cyst on my ovaries, guess how much I was charged for that. Go on, take a guess. I’m being charged for over $1,200. My insurance refused to cover any of it because apparently reporting sexual assault, being suicidal, and postpartum depression don’t count as emergencies.

I have already put about $500 into getting myself to the hospital, getting treated, getting tests done, and so on. Every time I see a doctor I have to explain to them, yes I’ve had thoughts of suicide in the past, yes I was sexually assaulted, yes I miscarried, and so on. I have to relieve this awful nightmare every single time I speak with a doctor. I sent an e-mail reaching out to my ex with pictures of the bills. Because I don’t want it to seem like I'm trying to just take his money.

I haven’t heard a single word. Whether he got the messages and ignored me. Maybe he didn’t get them. I have no idea. So six months down the line and I can’t even pay for these bills. Sure a lot of this has to do with the miscarriage. But just think of it. Let’s say I went to the hospital the night I was sexually assaulted. I would’ve ended up paying another $100 for the emergency visit. I would’ve paid for a doctor to see me, another $40. I would’ve had to pay for a rape kit which can reach up to $1,000 for it to probably sit on a shelf and never be looked at. And then pay for the doctor to perform the rape kit, another $40.

I refuse to start a Go Fund Me page. I don’t want anyone’s money. I just want people to realize why these incidents go unreported and no one receives justice. No one can afford a rape kit for it to not even be tested. I didn’t even pay for a lawyer and bring this case to the court. When I reported my sexual assault to the hospital, nothing was reported. I never spoke to the police, they just admitted me because I was a danger to myself. They told me I would have to speak to the police and they would report it and I would get justice. And let me tell you, absolutely nothing was done about it. I just had to learn to forgive myself and forgive him. I pray that he doesn’t treat anyone else the same way, but for now I forgive him. That’s how I’m able to move on and cope. But each week it feels like I receive a new bill from going to hospitals and dealing with these issues and I’m constantly reminded of the incident. It never ends. There will be times my current boyfriend wants to cuddle me and reassure that I’m okay to fall asleep in his arms and instead I break down. I scream at him not to touch me and I start hallucinating thinking he’s my ex.

Do you know how awful that feels? He did absolutely nothing to me of the sort and my brain can’t tell the difference between him and my ex sometimes. But he still loves me because he’s aware I went through something extremely difficult and he lets me take my medications and ride it out.

So why share this story over and over and over again? Well the truth comes out little by little, I have new followers each week who ask for my story, and now you all know I’m still currently dealing with this atrocity. So what can we do to change this? I’m not asking for money and I’m simply not trying to bully my ex either. He made his mistakes and I have made mine. I’m simply bringing attention to this issue and exposing the lies for what they are. The truth will be heard.

And the next time someone openly talks about being raped or sexually assaulted, you not only listen to them, but you try to help them out. I’m not asking for money. I’m asking that you help out the next person for me and him/her. It’s upsetting to me that I even have to say the next person, but surely it happened after I released my side of the story. And Emma, I love you so much. I know we aren’t really close, but I know we can get through this together. You are so strong and you inspire me to keep going, to keep giving advice, and to help others. I love you.

Even with text messages proving my case to be valid, I was still labeled a criminal.