"We are hard pressed on everyside, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Friday, January 25, 2013

Plea Accepted!!

He accepted the plea!! I'm so happy!! Particularly, I'm happy that we are not going to trial.

Seeing him....well, I didn't throw up, so that's good. It was very different than I expected. Of course I was nervous, but surprisingly I found myself feeling compassionate for him. His future must feel so bleak...all because of one very bad choice. He was soft spoken and polite to the judge. The judge asked him at least 50 questions to which he always answered "yes, sir."

Afterwards the prosecutor and my victim's advocate spent some time talking with us and answering our questions. Sentencing will be March 8th, so Jared and I will begin to prepare ourselves and our statements for that day. We appreciate you all so much! We feel so supported and loved!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Settlement Conference

This past fall and early winter has been an emotional rollercoaster trying to follow the very slowly moving court process. At several points we thought we were nearing the end and then came to find out that we were not there yet. It has been 14 months since the attack and the attacker has been in custody for all but 10 days, yet we are still waiting for a conviction and sentencing. At his last court date in December, the Judge said this has gone on long enough and he ordered a settlement conference that will happen this Friday the 25th. At a settlement conference a Judge will lay out the options and explain what he's looking at in terms of time if he takes the plea vs. going to trial. At that point he has 3 options:
a) Take the plea
b) Decline the plea and go to trial
c) Take 30 days to think about it

If he chooses to go to trial it will begin a mere 4 days later with pretrial and in front of a Jury on February 12. Jared and I plan to be present at the settlement conference on Friday morning. This will be the first court date we're attending and my first time seeing him since the attack.

In addition to this, we'll be moving this Saturday the 26th. We've got a bit going on right now. I've decided that's a good thing :) I've got too much going on to sit here and go through the "what if's."

I just wanted to give you all a brief update of what is going on here. Thanks for thinking of us!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


I have had a winter and spring full of visitors who have helped me settle into our new home and more importantly ease the transition back to being alone. Thank you so much to all of you who cared so much to come be with me. As we have settled into routines and rhythms, so have my emotions. I can honestly say that I feel like I'm doing really well. Of course I still have moments of fear, but I don't feel like those moments consume me or control me. These moments are just part of life, and likely will be for a long time to come.

There really is no update with the legal process. I continue to find it invalidating and frustrating. It's virtually impossible to get information. Even the results from the HIV test that I had court ordered can not be released to me (because of HIPAA). They will only release results if they are positive, but they won't even tell me if he has taken the test yet. It only leaves your mind to wonder, "Was the test actually given?" "What if the person who was supposed to call me forgot or was out of the office?" It's hardly a victim's right if they won't tell you the results. All of it is very distant and not at all victim centered. To all of you who are curious, yes I have read, "The little book of Restorative Justice." However, I am extremely powerless to change the system. The state has taken the role of the victim from me and they will proceed as they typically do. I do plan to speak at sentencing and face my attacker, which I pray will be a helpful step.

Over the last months I haven't been writing much about God. I'm sure this won't come as a surprise to most of you, but this huge life event has definitely had a impact on my faith. I don't blame God for what happened to me, I understand that bad things happen. There is evil in the world and I am not exempt from encountering it. I also have never asked, "why me?" I remember one professor of mine always responding to this question with, "why not me?" I don't feel more entitled to God's protection than anyone else. But the attack has raised questions for me of how and when God does intervene in the world. If God is capable of intervening, does that mean that God chose not to for me? I've done lots of thinking, praying and talking about this subject of "Divine Intervention." It is something I'm sure I will sit with for some time.

After several months of searching for a counselor that was a fit for me, I did find one. She was stop #4. I was encouraged by many to really look for a therapist who I found a connection with. So I would meet one person for a few weeks, then I would have to "break up" with them- which for me, was horrible! It felt like I was telling them that they weren't good at their job. However, I have now found a very nice woman who surprisingly enough is deaf. The person who referred her to me did not inform me of this before we met, so you can imagine my surprise and curiosity about how this would work. She is an amazing lip reader and that is how it works. She got all the way through her PhD reading lips, and I'm sure her professors had more elaborate vocabularies than I do. She has some wonderful insights and knowledge and I have appreciated her.

My song today is "Alleluia, the Great storm is over." I first heard this song 5 years ago at our church in Harrisonburg, VA (Community Mennonite). There was a 3 year old sitting just in front of us who had this entire song memorized and she sang with such joy. It was beautiful and has stuck with me. About one year after that, this song was sung at a friends funeral. He had suffered for quite a while before he died and we sang this to celebrate that his storm was over. However, I've never sung this song since without tears. A couple weeks ago at our Arizona church (Trinity Mennonite) we sang this song and for me it was (and is) a song about hope. Sadly, youtube doesn't have a great recording of it, but the words are still meaningful.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Last night I was home alone for the first time since before November 7th. It seemed an appropriate time to write about fear. Without any doubt I can tell you that this is the strongest emotion that I feel and it is present at almost all times. It's not a fun way to live; constantly carrying my phone and looking over my shoulder. I wonder how long it will be until I take Graham to the park without someone else accompanying us. Or when I will get in the car and not immediately lock the doors. I live in a lot of fear and I don't know how to make it go away.

I've been told to avoid avoidance as much as possible; to do those things that make me uncomfortable. It is believed that avoidance can lead to many more problems down the road. So, as much as I can, I force myself to be alone. Alone is the worst. Sadly for me, an extreme extrovert, being alone was the worst even before this happened, now it's really the worst. I hate it, but I do it. Because I hope (I so hope) that it will help me later.

Last week the cable guy came to start our internet and despite seeing him drive up in a marked vehicle and being in uniform, I could not make myself trust this person. So, while he worked in the house, I stood at the street pretending to be on the phone until Jared came home. One time at the grocery store I was just convinced the man walking towards me was going to punch me in the face. I froze until he passed. These are the realities of my life right now.

Those of you who know me well, know that it has been virutally my life long dream to own a Bed & Breakfast. Since Jared entered my life it has become our dream. Our future plans of a B&B on a small farm in the country is something that we talk about with much regularity. Having people in our home has always brought us so much joy and now, I have to wonder if I will ever be able to open my door to a stranger again. Thinking of giving up my dream because of this is my greatest sadness.

These songs of day are not intended to bring some new insight. It's just songs I hear that I resonate with and music is very meaningful to me so I thought I would add it to my blog. No song is a perfect fit and this song is no exception, but the chorus about fear is just what I feel. This is "Because of You" by Kelly Clarkson.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I'm sorry that I have been distant for a bit. Christmas travels and what not kept me away from the computer. However, I was told that my "net needs more information, please!" First of all, we have a house! Yet another thing that has been keeping me busy. We bought it 1 week ago and we're trying to turn it into a home before we move in. New floors, painting, but nothing too major. Hopefully we'll move in next week. I have many mixed feelings about moving there. In many ways I'm excited and ready to get back to some normalacy. The other side is that getting back to normal life will likely be more telling about how I'm really doing. This is definitely scarry for me. However, all in all, this is a praise and this needed to happen for us at some point.

In other news, last week I heard the plea that will probably be offered to the attacker. That was a really tough day for me. Plea's don't work quite the way I thought they did. My expectation with a plea was that he would simply be offered fewer years in prison than the amount he would receive in a trail. While this is true, the reason he receives fewer years is because the plea actually drops some of the charges against him. It's difficult to explain why this is so hard for me. It's not that I want him to be in prison longer, I don't care too much about the number of years, but I do want him to admit and be convicted of all the charges. It doesn't feel good to ask him to only admit to part of the truth. A friend of mine put it this way, "what they are asking him to admit to is not what actually happened.... it's dishonesty for convenience sake.... and not justice or grace." By erasing some of the charges, I feel in many ways like the legal system is not validating the horrific thing that happened to me. I guess that's what I really want.

I understand the benefits of a plea, and believe me, I would like as much as anyone for this to not go to trail. Sitting on the stand telling a court room what happened to me is not a comfortable thought. But yet, in some ways, significantly more healing than an offensive plea that doesn't seem to acknowledge the reality of the crime. This has been tough. Maybe it's time for us to back-off and let the system have their process. Jared wrote a letter to the prosecutor explaining our feelings and he said some things really well. This is one paragraph of his letter. "After the assault happened, we were constantly reassured by the Glendale PD that this case was a top priority. They had dozens of officers come right away to the house, dozens more canvassing the neighborhood, all the while checking in on us to see how we were doing. We really felt like they cared about us as individuals, and validated our emotions as victims. The legal process feels more distant- like this crime isn't about us, it's about what the State requires. Maybe we need to back out and let the State do what it's going to do, and make our statement at sentencing- I don't know. It feels really disempowering." After sending this we did receive a call and the prosecutor as well as the victims advocate would like to meet with us.

On to my song of the day. Many mennonite churches have been singing this song, "Peace Within Us" over the holiday season and I've found it to be a really touching song (only the first two links on the side bar are the song). It's been in and out of my head for weeks and it speaks to my desire for peace within me, over me, around me.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Net

How do people survive this when they don't have a support system? I can't imagine. Even more, it makes me sick to think of women who have had to go through this being told that they were to blame. Afraid to turn in their attackers, afraid to tell people of the wrong that had been done to them, or not being believed when they did. What is wrong with our world?

It makes me so sad to think that many victims of this kind of violence go through feelings of guilt and shame. I can't say enough about how far any of that is from my reality. I know that now we are coached to tell a victim that it's not their fault and I have heard that so much over the last 6 weeks. However, this was never a thought in my mind and when people tell me this, inside I just think, "well duh, of course it's not my fault." There is no scenario where something being done to you against your will could possibly be your fault.

I have been so taken care of and more importantly, loved. I'm so grateful, you have no idea. I have been given so many beautiful expressions of love from you all. Some of you have just the right words, some of you offer a comforting soup (or other delicious meal), many of you have shared with me your own pains and struggles, some have given care packages or flowers, one has created meaningful art. You all are amazing and you are my net. The net that catches us when we need catching.

My song for today is "Family" by Dar Williams. "You are my family." So much love from me to all of you :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Q & A

Many of you have asked for updates on things that I have written about so here we go.

Graham is doing fine. We had two sessions with the child psychologist and both times he did well. We tried to trigger the trauma to see if there was anything there for him and nothing came up. We may meet again down the road when he is verbal, but for now there isn't much else we can do.

Regarding the "I like me" post:
I have now heard from enough friends who were shocked to read that I don't think of myself as an introspective person, that I was forced to reconsider my perception of myself. I dug into my memory bank, back to college days, and tried to remember how I would have described myself, and sure enough, I definitely would've called myself analytical and possibly introspective. So what has changed between then and now? Answer; the people I surround myself with. My dear friends here are some of the most deep and reflective friends I've ever had and I have been comparing myself to them. So, I guess the journey of self discovery is never ending. Thanks to good friends who help us know ourselves better :)

We are currently living with my aunt and uncle and cousins who have so generously opened their home to us. Initially we moved in for safety and sanity while my attacker was still at large. Having the event 4 weeks behind us now we are feeling ready for our own space, however, we aren't quite sure where to go. Returning to our old place is not an option and buying a house just cannot move fast enough for us. So, if you are looking for ways to pray, pray for housing.

My song for today is "Sorrow," by Bad Religion. The chorus of this song has been playing in my head a lot over the last 4 weeks. I prefer the acoustic version, but listen to whatever you like. A bunch of our friends have a folk/bluegrass band and they play my favorite rendition of this song, but their CD has not made it into my hands yet.