Great Things Are Happening

Exactly one month from today I will be turning 30. I am so excited to be entering a new decade and finally leave the horrible 20s behind. I say that because it was in my 20s that my mental health issues were at their worst and it was also during my 20s that I experienced my sexual assault and emotional abuse. I am ready to leave it all behind.

I have put together a list of goals that I would like to work on to continue to improve my life for the better. I will share a few of those things with you.

Things to leave behind

  • Negative people/constant “victims”
  • People who can’t or won’t respect my boundaries
  • Negative self talk/self victim blaming
  • Disordered Eating
  • My Past

Things to add

  • Healthier mindset when it comes to food and my body
  • More positive and upbeat people
  • Positive support system
  • Healthier/Better relationship with my husband
  • Grow closer to God

Things to keep the same

  • My support from professional and natural people
  • My relationship with my family
  • Keep being the best Katie I can be
  • Keep getting better and stronger

Things I want to do

  • Attend a Take Back The Night event.
  • Publicly share parts of my story verbally.
  • Become a Victim Advocate
  • Go to Hawaii and New York City.

This Saturday I have been given the opportunity to participate in my first March To End Sexual Assault. Something I have been wanting to do for awhile now but haven’t had the chance to. I put together a sign that I might use for it.

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“Fight Song” by Rachel Platten has played a big part in empowering me in my survivor journey. So, it seemed appropriate to use that!

I’m also excited to say that I have started doing some training (lots and lots of webinars) to learn how to be a better advocate and hopefully someday become a victim advocate.

April starts Sexual Assault Awareness Month (And Birthday Month. #30DaysOfKatie ?) I am hoping to have finished the video project I am currently working on “We Believe Survivors.” I’m looking forward to finding more ways to raise awareness and support survivors!

I’m excited to attend a Day of Healing and joining other survivors and allies! It will be my first time attending something like this and I can’t wait to be inspired and empowered!

There are so many things I am looking forward to. May this be the best decade yet!

All my love, KatieButterfly

We Believe Survivors Video Project

We Believe Survivors Video Project

I am in the process of putting together another video project for Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April. You can watch the one I did last year here

Want to participate?

What I need you to do:

Make a Video of you Saying “I Believe Survivors” and your reason for believing them.

If you don’t want to appear on video you can do these things:

A voice memo

Writing it down (I can work that into the video!)

Let’s channel our inner Olivia Benson. 🙂

We can make a difference regardless of how we use our voice! Let us come together and let survivors know we believe them!

Please e-mail submission to becomingkatiebutterfly@gmail.com

Deadline: March 23, 2018

I see you, I hear you and I believe you!

Love always, KatieButterfly

Survivor Love Letter: To My Past Self From My Current Self

Finding this letter I had written to myself was just the reminder I needed! I have come so far.

Dear Katie,

You’re not broken or damaged, you are just a little bit bruised. Bruises heal. You are proof of it. You spent years going through hell with your mental illnesses, your self harming and your attempted suicides. The scars healed, and you lived. For some reason you were put in this world, to stay. You’ve been used and abused not just by yourself but by people you trusted. You’ve been through things no human being should ever go through, and not only did you come out on the other side, but all the things you’ve gone through and survived have paved the way and given you the tools to deal with and heal from more using and abusing done by other people. You put off admitting reality because you were afraid to have to go through it again. But, you eventually found your brave and proved again just how strong and determined to succeed you are! I don’t know many people that keep getting up again after getting knocked down. But, you’ve done it time and time again. You are so brave, so resilient, so inspiring. And I hope you can keep finding your “brave” and kicking butt at this thing called life. Katie Butterfly, oh the places you are going in this life, all because you decided to keep living when it felt like the whole world wanted you dead! And you aren’t just going places for yourself, you are also paving the way for others to find their brave, and their voice too. The world needs more people like you!

Love, Katie Butterfly

Get Happy: Self Care After Being Sexually Abused

Get Happy. My new Bath and Body Works Lotion and Body Spray set.

Even nearly 9 years later I am still learning how to love my body after it betrayed me. I’m slowly realizing that it wasn’t my body that betrayed me but my abuser.

I’m slowly learning to love my body just the way it is.

Learning to appreciate and and love my scars. As they are reminders of how hard I fought* (I, in no way, encourage self harm, ever.)

Learning to accept and love all my curves and imperfections.

Learning to eat better, and take care of brushing my teeth and washing my hair.

But, mostly, learning to be comfortable naked in my own skin. Being OK with trying to love it and find what was lost so long ago.

Being able to take a bubble bath with candles just because I can and I deserve to!

Reclaiming your body after rape/sexual assault can seem near impossible, but nothing has stopped me yet.

I am capable of love, of loving and being loved in return. I am capable of being sexy and not feeling dirty.

I am a work in progress. Tonight, I’m Getting Happy with my bubbles, lotion, spray and candles.

Tonight, I’m going to love the heck out of my sexy self. I’m perfectly flawed!

Survivor Love Letter

Dear Survivor,

You are so incredibly brave. It takes great courage to get out of bed each morning and try to make the most of each day. Some days are hard, you may not even want to get out of bed and if you aren’t able to, that’s ok. You are still so brave and so amazing. Some days you mar want to talk about what happened to you and other dats you do not. I hope you have an incredible Soul in your life who will listen to you, believe you, and validate what happened to you. Being listened to and believed makes all the difference in the world. I hope you have a safe place to retreat to whether a real place or in your mind.  I hope you are taking good care of yourself. You deserve all the best. I don’t know you but I love you.

All my Love,

KatieButterfly

Why I Support The Family Center

When I first remembered that I had been raped, I told a few people that I had met online through the Law and Order: SVU fandom. That was when I first found my voice.

I later told a few people in real life. My therapist, a co-worker and a few others. I must say I received a lot of support and I started my healing journey.

However, now in hindsight, I realize that that journey was put on hold, even backtracked when I found myself in an abusive volunteer position.

I had contact with an advocate from The Family Center from when I had done a radio interview. A few months after I found the strength to get out of the abusive/toxic relationship I had found myself trapped in. I had received an e-mail from my advocate contact at the Center. It came at just the right time. I had felt so alone, so broken, so damaged. I found the courage to speak up.

I’ve received a lot of support in my life, especially the past 5 years, but I must say, when I got in contact with The Family Center and started to receive their support is when I really started to heal and be able to help others heal as well.

The advocates at The Family Center, I have found, go out of their way to help survivors. In the past year they have made it possible for me to attend their support groups over the phone (and several times in person) as it’s too far from where I live to walk or take public transit (I have no drivers license), they have readily been available through e-mail or the phone to help talk me through things. But, I’ve got to say, the thing that was most healing for me was having my advocate come with me to my doctor’s appointment. For the first time since I remembered my abuse, I was able to get through the appointment without a break down. Just being there meant all the world to me.

I’ve come a long ways, and I’ve gotta say The Family Center has played a big part in that and I will always support them.

And in the words of Olivia Benson (my hero from Law and Order: Special Victims Unit)

“You know what I’ve seen? Is that people who have gone through unfair, horrific experiences, is that they have this will, and when they get support, a chance, they can not only survive, they can thrive.” Olivia Benson

2017 Year In Review

As I get ready to bid 2017 farewell and say hello to 2018 I wanted to write a year in review blog post.

I am going to be sharing some pictures from through-out the year.

2017 was a year of struggles, growth, healing, new found strength, loss and finding out who I am and where I want to be in life.

Here is to more growth and healing in 2018.

♥Katie Butterfly

 

 

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Holding my sister-in-law’s snake

 

 

 

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Visiting the Giraffes in Omaha

 

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Meeting my internet friend Tracy and her daughter Molly
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Bunny “gave” me this Mother’s Day Card
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Jeff and I just enjoying life together
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4th of July Weekend
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Our First Camp Out together
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“Here’s to many more years of Blizzards, Grape Slushies and happiness!” Our wedding anniversary
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Meeting up with a classmate I hadn’t seen in years
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My cousin became Mrs. Hanlon
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My First Ferry Ride
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Overcoming Anxiety and Fear to Enjoy a Concert in the Park
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The bunnies at the fair

 

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Porkies Trip
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Porkies Trip
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Visiting with a family friend
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I made Thanksgiving Dinner for Jeff and I for the first time.

 

My Achievement Award

 I was chosen to be ODC’s 2017 Personal Achievement Award recipient for my area. It was such an honor to have been nominated twice now and to have been picked to receive this award.