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How To Make Time For Your Spouse

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 4, 2020 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree


 

Parenting is not for the weak. With mealtimes, cooking, cleaning, working, hygeine, activities and bedtime, it can be almost impossible to find time just for you and your spouse. Kids demand all of your attention, and parenting is wonderful. However, most of the time you were a couple before you were parents, and it's important to find time to maintain your relationship and your marriage. 


Spend time together. When the kids are in bed, whether it's naptime or bedtime, be sure to lay in bed and talk for a bit and cuddle. You will probably be exhausted after bedtime, so it's a good way to connect before drifting off to sleep. During naptime, you can cuddle on the couch and take advantage by watching an episode of your favorite TV show, a movie, or even play a game together. 


Splurge on a sitter. Whether it's a sitter, your parents, or even one of your older kids, have your kids watched so you can go out on a date night together once a month. If this isn't possible, there are some places that have childcare centers included, such as gyms, spas or restaurants with play areas.


Take a trip together. Whether it's a staycation or a getaway, having some time to unwind to yourselves and reconnect can be a real treat. Take some time to get away just the two of you.


Communicate. With the frustrations of parenting, tantrums and messes, things can get tense. It's very important to communicate effectively so you can get your needs met. Remember, you are a team and it's important to act like it. Together, you can accomplish anything. Brainstorm ideas on things to do together and when.


Listen. When your spouse talks to you, you need to pay attention. It's essential to any relationship, but it's especially important during parenthood. It's important to be on the same page now more than ever. You're parenting little humans together. Your spouse also might have ideas on how they'd like to spend time with you.


 

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How To Get Through The Two Weeks Wait

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 3, 2020 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree



For couples who are trying to concieve, it can be hard to pass the time during the two weeks wait. The two weeks wait is, for women with regular cycles, the period of time between ovulation and a missed period. This is often two weeks long, and goes by very slowly. The urge to take a pregnancy test too early is overwhelming for many couples. Here are some tips to take your mind off of it and to keep busy.


Keep busy. This is the number one way to keep testing off of your mind. It's important to wait until those 14 days have passed by to make sure a positive would show up on the test if you were pregnant. Keeping busy is the #1 way to keep you occupied.


Do chores. There are things to be done around the house all the time. Whether it's cooking, baking or cleaning. It's springtime, so it's time for a nice deep clean. You can also take this time to do some yard work. Prune trees, pick weeds, and prepare your flower beds and garden for the spring. During all times of the year you can shovel snow, rake leaves, mow the lawn, cut down dead trees, and more. 


Have a hobby. Whether you already have one or not, now is time to start doing it. What do you like to do in your free time, and as a pasttime? Some examples can be scrapbooking, crocheting, writing, photography, gaming, or gardening.


Practice self-care. Take a hot bubble bath, go out for a spa day, or indulge in some pampering. Paint your nails or have them done, put on a face mask, brew your favorite coffee or tea, watch your favorite movies or tv shows. Even as simple as using your favorite body wash that smells great can lift your mood. Put on makeup and dress up if that makes you feel great.


Spend time with family. Have family over and have a game night, or have a homecooked meal together. Spending time with your family strengthens ties and gives you the support you need. Catch up on your lives, chat about current events, or talk about the latest book you've read. 


Spend time with friends. Go out together and hit the town. Go dancing, go out for a drink, or go shopping together. You can also combine this with self-care and have a day of pampering at the salon together. 


Have a date night. Go out to see a movie, or go out to eat at a restaurant. Reconnect together as a couple and remind yourselves what it's all about. Do something romantic, have a fondue night at home with some candles and flowers.


 

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How To Find Time For A Social Life

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 2, 2020 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (6)

by: Stephanie McEndree



Being a mother keeps everyone extremely busy. Between working and parenting, it seems impossible to find time to catch up with friends or family. So, how does anyone find time to maintain friendships? Here are some tips below.


Gather information. Make sure to note everyone's schedule such as work, extra cirriculars and more. This will help you find out when is best to spend time together when you aren't busy, whether it's just you and one friend or a group of friends.


Make it a habit. Especially with your mom friends, it's good to see each other regularly. Set up a playdate, even just getting together at a local park and sitting on the park bench chatting while the children play. It's also a great option because you're not limited to when you can get time apart from the kids, and you can do it once in a while on weekends when no one works. 


Set aside time. Even if it's just a 5 minute phone call at the end of the day, make sure to carve out those precious minutes out of your day to connect with your best buddies. It will improve your mood and uplift your spirits, guarenteed.


Plan ahead. Choose about one day a month to have your partner watch the children, or to have a babysitter. Get together with your friends and go out together. Even if it's just going to a friend's place to watch a movie together, it'll get you that social time you've been craving.


Scout local events. There are local events you can attend together with your families. It's especially easy if you live in the same town or at least nearby. There are yearly carnivals, festivals and grand openings you can all attend.


Take a class together. If your kids are signed up for the same sport, for example, you can all chat during the games while cheering your kids on! If you drop off your kids for practice, you and your mom friends can get some coffee nearby while you wait until practice is over. You can also join parent-child activities such as cupcake-making and ceramic mug painting.


It's important you keep open-minded and keepa spot in your schedule open. With some flexibility, anything can be accomplished.


 

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Knit or Crochet All Of Your Cloth Items

Posted by Live Love Mom on March 30, 2020 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree



Got some yarn laying around and don't know what to do with it? Do you want to do your part in saving the environment all while staying at home? Do you want some goods without having to go out to a store to buy it? Do you want a way to make some extra money on the side? Are you looking for some gift ideas for friends and family? Do you know how to knit or crochet, or want to learn? Then this post is perfect for you.


For your cloth arsenal, you will need:

  •  A large ball of yarn, or several balls
  • Two knitting needles or a crochet needle
  • For beginners, crochet or knitting patterns
You don't need to make them look as fancy as the photo, but here is a good list of the items above you can knit to make a complete set.

  • 2 farmhouse dishcloths
  • 1 hot pad
  • 5 washcloths
  • 4 face scrubbers
  • 5 makeup remover pads
  • 1 shower puff
You can also make some hand towels to go with the ensemble.



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Becoming Self-Sufficient For The Long Run

Posted by Live Love Mom on March 26, 2020 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (1)

by: Stephanie McEndree



Becoming self-sufficient takes a lot of time and effort, and is often expensive to set up. If you're one of those people that can afford to get started, by all means read on!


Get livestock. Whether you are backyard farming or you've got acres of farmland to use up. it's a good idea to get livestock. You can get cows and pigs if you live on a farm or a ranch, or you can start small with chickens, goats and meat rabbits. Remember that it will cost money to build or buy a chicken coop, a pen for the goats and a place for the rabbits. They will cost in feed and vet bills as well as heating in the winter. Be sure you can give them a good quality of life, especially the ones you are keeping for the long haul like the chickens (for the eggs) and the goats (for their milk). 


Plant crops. Be sure your soil is of good quality and start planting crops. Potatoes and tomatoes are always good ideas because tomato plants produce lots of produce, and potatoes can be replanted to create more sprouts. Remember not to plant your entire field, you should plant on 1/4th of the field and rotate every year so as not to use up all of the nutrients in the soil.


Plant an orchard. Fruit trees produce hundreds of fruit once they reach maturity. You will have more fruit than you know what do do with! You can use for example the apple cores to plant more trees and to use as compost as a natural fertilizer.


Build a greenhouse. This allows for food to be grown year-round, whether in-season or not. This maximizes the food you can put on your table at all times of the year.


Learn to hunt. Sure, you will have to get licensed to own a gun and take some courses, plus buy a hunting rifle, bullets and other hunting items. However, if you can afford it or if you have this already, you can go hunt during hunting season without worrying about going to the grocery store. Be sure you know how to skin and gut your prey. Use all parts of the animals; tan the hide, boil the bones in a broth and eat the meat.


Learn to fish. Get a fishing permit and some fishing gear and bait and go fishing in your local pond, river or lake. Learn how to gut a fish and prepare them so you can provide your household with a fresh catch for dinner.


Install solar panels. Get your water, pool and electricity from your solar panels. Install them on your roof and you will get solar power every day for about 12 hours a day.


Dig a well. Get it done by a professional and make sure it's legal before you do it. But having access to your own spring and some water will reduce your water bill. There are also clean lakes that are marked safe for drinking. Grab some jugs of water and fill them up so you can use it for drinking, cooking, cleaning, bathing and watering.


Have a root cellar. This stays cold year-round and can serve as a sort of fridge. You can keep your produce fresh and cool. It's better if it's away from the house as it can be very humid and culture some mold. Be sure you use a dehumidifier, ventilate it well and clean it often.


Grown an edible lawn. Remove your grass and have a clover lawn instead. You can pick as much clover as you want and eat them in salads. They also only grow to a certain height so you never have to mow them. If you want to keep your grass, keep the grass you cut and dry it out to make some hay for your livestock.


Got any more ideas on how you can become fully self-sufficient? Comment below!


 

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How To Become More Self-Sufficient Easily

Posted by Live Love Mom on March 25, 2020 at 6:00 AM Comments comments (0)
by: Stephanie McEndree



We can always be more self-sufficient, and we can always use these ways to live off of the land and rely on ourselves. Take some time to research to learn certain skills such as identifying plants to offer yourself a wider range of things you can use to your advantage. Here are simple ways you can become more self-sufficient without changing much or buying more things than you already have.

Forage. Simple weeds such as dandelions and clovers are actually edible. Gather these things from your own backyard, out in fields or forests. Be sure to wash them to make sure they are clean and safe to eat. You can even find some wild raspberries, blueberries or strawberries. Don't quote me on this, but I heard that as long as mushrooms don't grow from dead things such as tree stumps, they are edible. 

Plant seeds. For the fruit that you already have in your fridge, don't throw away the seeds. Save them and plant them in your garden. You can plant plum trees, peach trees, apple trees, orange trees, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, pomegranates, watermelon and more! You can have your own garden and orchard that you can pick during the summer and save you some grocery trips. 

Compost. This is the best way to offer some natural fertilizer to your garden, or even just your grass. Keep a container seperate and put your peels or rotten foods in this bin. It can also be outdoors where it dries in the sun.

Make hay. If you have livestock or even know some people who could use some hay, don't throw away the grass you cut. Dry it out and make hay with it. If you aren't sure how, you can always look up articles or videos about it to get it right.

Learn to sew. With tears happening, it's important to learn how to mend your clothes or sew on a button that fell off. This will save you money by not needing to buy new clothes as often. You can also learn to patch up holes to make clothes last longer.

Learn to knit or crochet. You can make lots of household items such as scarves, mittens, hats, scarves, blankets, washcloths, towels and more. All you need is a large ball of yarn and some needles and you can get to work. There are lots of youtube tutorials, or you can always join a class or a knitting club.

Use reusables. Whenever you have the choice between disposables and reusables, always go reusable. There are many ways you can go this route without having to spend money over and over again on disposables, and lesson your carbon footprint. You can use cloth diapers, cloth wipes, washcloths, cloth breastpads, cloth hand towels, hankerchiefs, cloth sanitary napkins, cloth makeup remover pads, cloth sponges and scrubbers, and even washcloths as toilet paper. You can also get a bidet instead of toilet paper to also increase your savings. 

Recycle. Don't throw away egg cartons, cereal boxes, papers or empty toilet paper rolls. Save them so your kids can make arts and crafts with them. If your kids aren't interested or you don't have any kids, you can donate them to local schools and daycare who will have use of them. It's also good for the environment. For things you can't reuse, you can bring glass bottles and soda cans to grocery stores and get coins for them in return. They even have such stations for used batteries. You can take it a step further and collect scrap metal and sell it to the junkyard, or even collect broken appliances and sell them to your town.

Set out rain barrels. You can use barrels, or even buckets if you don't have barrels, to collect rainwater. You can use rainwater for a variety of ways such as watering your plants, filling your pool, washing your pets, even washing dishes or your car. This cuts down on water usage and your power bill and saves the environment by using your natural resources.

Bake in your car. For those hot summer months, park your car in your driveway so you can heat up your car. You can bake some cookies on the dashboard, maybe even fry eggs or bake pies, muffins or cakes. Take advantage of the natural heat and cook without using any power or electricity.

Hand-wash your clothes. Now this may be more vigorous and inconvenient, but if you can and have time and want to stay fit or want to do something as a family, wash your clothes by hand. You can use collected rainwater and wash outside with a kiddie pool or just by the barrel. You can use the soapy water to dump later on harmful weeds such as the thorny ones so your kids don't get injured. You can also hang-dry your clothes, whether on the shower rod, around the house or even on a clothes line. If you don't want to do this with all of your clothes, that's fine. You can do small things such as washcloths and towels. Things that take up a lot of space in the dryer are better air-dried such as blankets, sheets and coats.

Make your own butter. You can take some whole milk or some cream, add some salt and put it in a container and shake it. Eventually, it will turn into butter. You won't have to spend any money getting it from the grocery store because you will have made it at home yourself. If you want to take this further, you can look up how to make your own cheese and yogurt.

Cut your own wood. God some dead trees or some branches with fungus on them? Prune your own trees or cut them down yourself. You can chop them up for firewood for your fireplace or for the fire pit. You can take advantage of the fire and cook some things over the fire such as marshmallows and weenies for the beginners.

Got any more easy ideas to become more self-sufficient? Comment below!

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How To Save Money During COVID-19

Posted by Live Love Mom on March 24, 2020 at 5:05 PM Comments comments (0)
by: Stephanie McEndree



With businesses shutting down, many people are getting laid off, losing their jobs and put on unemployment or welfare, money has become tight. It has thousands of families re-visiting their budgets and wondering how they will make ends meet. Rainy-day funds won't last forever, and savings accounts will be drained, it's all a matter of time. So how can you cut down on your expenses to last as long as possible during this outbreak? Here are ways you can save hundreds of dollars by changing your lifestyle and cutting back.

Compare prices. Go to the dollar store and compare prices with your grocery store, and it's very likely lots of the items at the dollar store come cheaper. Buy every low-priced item you need at the dollar store. Whatever you can't get, go get at the grocery store.

Discount and surplus stores. There are even discount and surplus stores for groceries! Shop there when you can't get your groceries at the dollar store to get the most bang out of your buck. If you also need some clothes, be sure to go to a discount store and second-hand stores.

Use your reserves. Got canned goods and your freezer is full? Time to dig in. Frozen goods and even canned goods all expire eventually, and it's time to get through those foods. You won't need to go to the grocery store for a while, which will also prevent you from catching an illness.

Get it cheap. Focus on buying foods that are cheaper for now, such as pastas, ramen and chili. This too shall pass, but for a few weeks it can't hurt to go back to the basics. Also, get no-name brands or off-brand items. They may taste different than what you're used to, but the lowered cost at the cash register is sure to put a smile on your face.

Get multiple use objects. To cut down on costs, get 2-in-1 items. For example, get a bottle that is both shampoo and soap. This will avoid you from getting two different containers, hiking up the cost. It's also time for your kids to graduate to adult shampoo and body wash. It's less expensive and more efficient for cleaning. This goes for clothes too. Get reversible coats if you need a new one, a shawl you can use as a scarf, a hair brush with a comb, etc. 

Hang your laundry. Stop using your dryer and hang your clothes to air-dry them either around the house, outside on a clothes line, or both. This saves a valuable amount of energy and can cut your electric bill.

Have shorter showers. If you can go every other day, do that too. Some people in extremely tight monetarial situations lather up their bodies and hair with soap and shampoo, then turn on the shower to rinse off, and they're done. Use lukewarm water if you can, especially with the weather getting warmer. For baths, fill it up just enough to cover your legs, or your kid's legs. Bathe your kids together if they are young enough so you can save on water. 

Turn down the heat. With the weather getting warmer, you don't need your heater set up so high. Even lowering it by a couple of degrees will save you some money you can put elsewhere. If you get too cold, bundle up in your favorite sweater, thermals, or cuddle up under some blankets. 

Brick it. Put a brick in the water tank in your toilet. This reduces the amount of water that your tank pulls in, reducing your overall water bill. When money is tight, every penny counts.

Lay off staff. If you have services at home such as a nanny, cleaning lady, cook or babysitter, it's time to let them go. You can clean your own home and watch your own children. Note: if you have a nurse or home health care aide, it's recommended you keep them on unless you have a trained family member who can care for you. Speak to your doctor about any changes.

Re-think your packages. Call your phone, cable and internet companies and get rid of any extras you have that you don't need. You don't need your house phone if you have your cell phones, and if you have internet on your cell phones you don't need internet at home. You can always do this as a last resort, but if it's between these bills and homelessness then it's best to cut it out until things return to normal.

Reuse. Whenever possible, reuse items. Don't throw away some scrap paper or cardboard, keep it so the kids can cut it, paste it, paint it or color on it. Keep them busy and make this a cool indoor vacation time for them at the same time, without costing you supplies. It also cuts down on the electric bill as they're crafting and not watching TV.

Shut off the lights. When you're not in a room, close the lights. During the day, open your blinds and curtains and let the natural light in. Unless you have rooms with no windows, there is no need for lights during the day. Only turn on the lights at night and if you really need it. If you have more than one light in a room, use only one. 

Eat fresh first. It's important you eat all of the fresh food in your fridge before it goes bad, so it doesn't go to waste. Eat all of your fresh food before you open any non-perishable goods, even if you have to have salad for several days in a row.

Wear it twice. You don't have to change your pants or sweatshirt every day if they're clean. Wear them again so you can save on laundry and water costs and energy.

Shave it off. To remove costs of shampoo altogether, as well as beard oils, just shave your hair off. This works great for men who aren't particularly attached to their hair or beards. Use battery-powered clippers if you already have them as they don't cost you anything in the electric bill. For just a bit of stubble, use some razors.

Have any more ideas? Comment below!

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To My Ex: Coparent With Me

Posted by Live Love Mom on March 24, 2020 at 1:40 AM Comments comments (0)
by: Melinda Humpherys


To my child's father:

I wish you would look past my flaws and stop bringing them up. Ever since the day our son was born, it stopped being about you and me. It became all about our little boy, and we no longer mattered.

Yes, you and I didn't last and we broke up. But we still made a child together. We need to work together to parent that little boy, because that is what's best for him. Our son deserves both of his parents.

I want you to know I never wanted this for us. I never imagined our son would have two homes, two toothbrushes, two bedrooms, two birthdays, two sets of clothes and toys. I thought you and I would be together forever. I don't know how our breakup will affect him, but I hope it will have no impact since we broke up before he was born. At the same time, it's important that we come up with a parenting plan together. 

Our son is a smart, lively little boy. He loves to play and he loves to laugh and he eats a lot. He is getting so big. These years are the most precious for any child and we need to treat them as such. No matter what happened in the past, we need to stand together now. We need to be on the same team for our son. I know you love him as much as I do, so we need to do this for him.

To my ex, I know you don't like me. I know you harbor some hard feelings about us breaking up. I know you don't feel comfortable about my husband being around our son. But remember, you have a wife too and she is around our son all the time. I wish you would give me the same respect as I give your wife. Our son has four adults that love him so much. The more love, the better in my opinion. He has a dad, a step-dad, a mom and a step-mom. He is one lucky kid to have so many people he can fall back on and can take care of him.

I know you feel your position as father threatened because our son has a step-dad. I want to let you know that you will always be our son's father, just like I will always be his mother. Nothing can ever change that. In the end, our son needs everyone to get along to be happy. It's better we split up then stay in a relationship that we were both unhappy in. I don't want that for him, to learn to stay in an unhappy relationship. i know you don't want that either.

So let's come together and give our son the best childhood he can have. Let's spoil our little boy and shower him with love and affection. Let's offer him stability and comfort so he can feel secure in this big world. Let's have him feel safe and loved no matter what. Let's come together, for our son.

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To Those Who Shame Pregnant Women For Her Belly Size

Posted by Live Love Mom on August 15, 2019 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree


You who sees a pregnant woman’s belly…be careful what you say.

 

You don’t know what situation the woman is in. Don’t touch her belly without permission, especially if she’s a stranger. Don’t ask personal questions. It’s none of your business.

 

Imagine how heartbreaking and uncomfortable it is for a mother to answer to these questions when she’s experienced a loss.

 

“Is this your first pregnancy?” a stranger asks to the woman who had a miscarriage the previous pregnancy. What does she say? Does she lie, in order to avoid more personal questions and the awkward silence that would inevitably follow the truth? Or does she tell the truth, only to risk the person saying something furthermore insulting?

 

“Are you nervous about the birth?” asks an aquaintance, to the expecting mother of a stillborn baby. How does she put into words the mind-shattering pain and crippling anxiety that history will repeat itself?

 

“Is this your first child?” a passerby can ask a pregnant woman, who’s last child died in infancy. Does she say yes to brush off following questions? Does she say no and endure the painful subsequent inquiries?

 

These are dilemmas that no one should have to face.

 

Please be considerate when you see a pregnant woman. Feel free to appreciate the budding new life in private, or just say a polite “congratulations”. It’s safer to offer compliments than to ask lots of questions. In fact, just that small gesture of appreciation can make a swollen, nauseous, sweaty, bloated, hormonal, pregnant woman’s day.


 

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You Still Haunt Me

Posted by Live Love Mom on June 7, 2017 at 7:15 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree


A woman is raped every 6 minutes. This statistic is according to only reported rapes, which is 36%. Often, women are shamed, told they deserved it, they had it coming, that they caused it. Victim-blaming is incredibly real. Even when the rapist is found guilty or pleads guilty, people say it was consentual, that she changed her mind, that she regretted it, that she’s lying. The fact is that these victim-blamers are probably unwilling to wrap their heads around the fact that the world can be a cold, cruel place and someone they know can be a monster. They choose to stay ignorant, stay in the dark, to keep themselves sheltered from reality. In doing so, they further destroy the victim…and this is not alright.

 

Sentences for rapists are increasingly lesser, and more and more are getting away with it. Many sex-offender registries no longer have the person hold lifelong registry requirements. Many rapists get off on probation, having never seen jailtime.

 

In retrospect, what message are we sending to our daughters? That even if you report your rape, your rapist will most likely escape justice? What message are we sending to our sons? That you can rape, because society will shame the victim and you will get away with it?

 

Rape itself can have women confused, if it was actually rape. People’s individual definitions vary, but what matters is the legal point of view. Here are some (BUT NOT ALL!) situations where the law deems it rape:

 

You were forced or intimidated to have or endure intercourse.

You were forced or intimidated to have or endure unwanted actions such as oral stimulation, manual stimulation, or sodomy.

Someone committed actions on your body of a private nature while you were asleep.

Someone committed private actions on your body while you were drunk or high.

Someone committed private actions on your body, and you are disabled.

You were touched and penetrated with someone’s sex, hands, mouth or a foreign object without your consent.

You consented to sex, then withdrew your consent or told the partner to stop, and they continued.

You consented to sex, and said no to a particular sexual activity, and they do that activity anyhow.

You are a minor and the other person is of age.


The person that had “sex” with you is in a position of power over you, such as a teacher and you’re a student, a prison employee and you’re an inmate, a higher ranking military person, etc.


A family member sexually assaults you.

If your friend, family member or yourself have been raped, here are the steps to take.

 

Call the police. They will likely tell you to go to the police station and file a report, which is highly recommended that you do.

Do not shower, do not brush your teeth, do not even wash your hands.

Do not change clothes, but pack a change of clothes. The clothes worn while the rape was happening, will be examined for evidence.

Go to the hospital. A rape-kit can be performed that collects evidence against the rapist, that can help jail them.

Have photos taken of your injuries.

Rape has devistating concequences, no matter the age. No matter the punishment or justice to the rapist, the victim has the short end of the stick. (S)he has to live with the flashbacks, the memories, and the feelings of violation, disgust, and fear for the rest of their lives. It can affect their love lives, their sex lives, even their interpersonal relationships. Rape ends lives. Some are murdered after or before a rape, some commit suicide after being raped, and all of the time the person who they were before the rape dies.

 

A rape takes away your security, your feeling of safety. It removes your confidence, murders your ability to trust. No matter who it is that raped you, you feel dirty. You blame yourself, you wonder if you could have done anything differently that would have prevented this. It’s a living nightmare. No one deserves this. No one ever will.


 

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