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416
Posted byWere it so easy...1 year ago
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Stickied post

ETA: That’s a wrap! Thanks so much to all for your questions, and for your interest in how to assure pregnant, breastfeeding, and parenting workers are protected on the job.

To keep up-to-date on the ACLU’s work in this (and other!) area, subscribe to receive regular updates at https://action.aclu.org/signup/get-updates-fight-freedom.

Please also follow all of us on Twitter @ACLU, where we regularly post about these issues, including our litigation challenging unfair employer practices.

(And keep an eye out for “On the Basis of Sex,” the feature film out this Christmas that chronicles the groundbreaking work of now-Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg when she was co-director of the Women’s Rights Project! Watch the trailer here: http://focusfeatures.com/on-the-basis-of-sex.)


Established in 1972 under the direction of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the ACLU uses litigation, state and federal advocacy, and public education to secure gender equality and ensure that all women and girls are able to lead lives of dignity, free from violence and discrimination.

Answering your questions today will be Lenora Lapidus twitter.com/lenoraLapidus, the director of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, Galen Sherwin, - twitter.com/galenleigh - a Senior Staff Attorney at the Women’s Rights Project, and Senior Staff Attorney Gillian Thomas - twitter.com/GillianAtLaw.

Proof: https://twitter.com/ACLU/status/1067536515700613120

Thanks for joining us! We look forward to answering your questions about discrimination against pregnant and breastfeeding workers. We won't be able to give any legal advice, but you can send those requests to us through our intake form here: https://action.aclu.org/legal-intake/sex-discrimination-employment. You can also contact the National Employment Lawyers Association to find a lawyer in your state: NELA's “Find a Lawyer Directory” is at www.nela.org. Thanks!

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I feel like people really only talk about what happens during a rape, but people really don’t know what happens after. At least, I didn’t until I was raped.

I’m a college girl in Colorado, and it was Halloween night. Both me and a friend were drugged and raped. I vaguely remember the assault, but nothing significant. I could put the pieces together because my nipple piercings hurt and so did my vagina. A day later I told my mom, and she told me to go to the er to get tested.

When I went to the ER they do something called a SANE (sexual assault nurse examination ) exam. Basically, I was stuck in the ER for 8 hours while they took my blood, gave me preventative STI meds and shots, and asked me over and over what happened. They asked if I wanted police or photo evidence taken (I declined both)

The actual examination is the worst part. The nurse took me into a bright room that was cold and scary. She had me strip everything off on a potty pad for dogs to collect any skin cells. I changed into a gown and she examined every single inch of my body for any bruising. She took fingernail clippings, hair follicles, and mouth swabs.

The hardest part for me was the female exam because that’s where I had the most trauma, so it was really painful. She took some swabs and used a blue dye on the tearing I had. After everything she explained to me the trauma she found and oh my god it’s so hard to hear. I don’t remember anything and hearing what she found tore me apart. My mom was in the room with me and she started to cry. She never cries.

The nurse sent me home with a huge stack of information and things that I had to do. I was on preventative HIV meds for an entire month. These meds make you SICK. I could t even leave my bed without constantly throwing up. I felt like I was dying it was so bad. They give you headaches, extreme nausea, and body aches. It’s not over after that. I had to check up with an infectious disease doctor. I have to get tested for HIV next week, again in three months, six months, and then a year.

The men that did this to me have probably forgotten it by now. But I haven’t. Because of them, I’m going to be stuck getting prodded with needles for an entire year, while all these doctors talking to me are looking at my like I’m. Helpless victim.

Rape isn’t something that you can get over quickly. I’m gonna have to deal with this shit for a year, probably more. I just wanted to voice my frustration with my situation...

Edit: thank you all for the support. It was so hard to talk about, but i think it’s important people know the realities of rape. The trauma is so long term.

I also wanted to say that I chose not to report because it’s terrifying. I’m honestly scared to find out who did this to me, and see their faces. This choice doesn’t make sense, but it’s my choice. I also don’t have a good history with the police. I got out of a domestic violence situation (one I reported) and they did nothing despite the evidence. I live in a town that’s made up of the dominant culture, and I’ve experienced a lot of racism with the cops throughout my years here. (I’m Hispanic).

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I was betrayed by my IUD for the last 6 weeks or so and the embryo was trying to grow in my fallopian tube unbeknownst to me. Yesterday I woke up with pain on my right side and I had some spotting so it could have been dismissed as period pain or cramping. I decided to visit the doctor because thanks to previous emt training I knew ectopic pregnancies were a thing. My gynecologist actually listened when I presented her with this idea. She thought it was appendicitis but she had me do a pregnancy test just in case. Thanks to her immediately recognizing the situation and sending me to the hospital I was able to have the surgery I needed to not die of internal bleeding. One tube removal later I'm back in business. So yeah, shout out to the docs that took care of me yesterday-not everyone out there is dismissive about pain/cramping. Side note that I'm pissed about my IUD only lasting me 9 months and that I was the one in a million or whatever one to have this happen to me. Edit: Thanks for all the comments and well wishes and support. You have been wonderful. I'm going to try to move forward and get some more rest but I so appreciate this community.

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So this incident actually happened several months ago over the late summer. But, it still sort of haunts me, in the most frustrating way possible.

Back in the summer, I was charged with training two employees (a man and a woman) from a different department as extra help for our sadly understaffed group.

Over time, the guy I was training got friendlier and friendlier. He friended me on Facebook (I didn't see this as a big deal at the time, since I was friends with several employees over social media already).

Then the texts came, over Facebook messenger. It started off as seemingly innocent chat, but eventually evolved into him texting crude sexual innuendos, guilt tripping me, begging me for validation (do you think I am handsome, funny, etc?), playing himself the victim of a loveless marriage (he admitted to cheating on his wife EVEN THOUGH HE CLAIMED TO BE A DEVOUT CATHOLIC), wishing he was single so he could pursue me sexually, and constantly commenting on my looks.

I was, at this point, freaked out and hella annoyed, so I captured screenshots of the worst text message offenders, told him to never speak to me again via online or in the office, deleted him off Facebook and set up a meeting with my boss.

I sat down with my boss, who is also a woman, and told her what was going on. She knew this man, so he wasn't a stranger to her. I explained that he was harassing me and making me feel uncomfortable, and just as I was about to pull out my phone to show her the text messages, she replies,

"Well, that's what happens when you're pretty."

I was like, wait what? So basically, according to her, I can expect this sort of treatment in and outside a professional setting because "I'm pretty". WTF. No, not acceptable. Then she told me to just avoid him and only call HR if "I must". Well you can be damn sure I called HR, I wanted to report the guy in the event he tried this again on someone else, now they have a paper trail.

This isn't the first incident here at the office, another guy snuck up behind me, grabbed me by the shoulders and tried to give me a massage. I pulled free, walked away, but again, my boss's words rang in my head, "that's what happens when you're pretty,"

I'm quite finished with this place, I've been job hunting like its my mission. Fingers crossed.

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I got a Mirena IUD a few years ago and after becoming fed up with the acne and weight gain, I made an appointment to have it removed... And the doctor couldn't find it. My IUD had migrated. After having an ultrasound to confirm it was still in there, she told me I would need to have a hysteroscopy and be put under - in the OR. That came with a pretty hefty price tag.

Since Christmas was coming and I didn't have thousands of dollars sitting around, I declined and kept it. I was later diagnosed with Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension, which may be connected. Look it up. It sucks.

Well, I walked into the office of a new doctor today for my annual check up and left without my IUD. This new doc poked around up there for a few seconds, with no anesthetic, and got the little fucker out - no copay. (Thanks Obama)

I'm so incredibly relieved and just thankful that I got that second opinion. You are your most important advocate. Never forget that.

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About a year ago I was sitting on the bus when a disabled guy came up to me. He was non verbal but really liked fist bumps so I gave him a fist bump then he sat next to me and all was fine. Over the next 6 months he seemed to follow me taking the same busses as me home from school.

Couple months later he can't say next to me I was a little creeped out at this point but he was special needs so I just sent with it. This is when it gets weird I'm sitting on the inside seat when he turns to me and like planks on me and the seat then starts pelvic thrusting me. The weird part I could feel his erection on my leg.

Just for a little context I'm a male that's 6'3 300lbs thick but pretty musclar. I froze when he started doing that for like 5 mins I felt powerless and scared even thou I was almost twice this guys size. I ended up getting off and running to my grannies when we passed and since then I've not let this guy anywhere near me.

I never truly understood why woman don't say no to someone when something similar happened until this. I can't imagine if someone bigger than me did this I couldn't say anything the entire time.

Edit: yes this is real. Also I was 16 and the guy was 25ish

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...and her boyfriend didn't push her. She cried because she was so happy that he just said "okay" and didn't try to force her into having sex with him.

It's honestly extremely depressing how low standards are nowadays. Wow, my boyfriend respected my mental and physical health and didn't try to jam his penis anywhere. Wow, what marriage material.

I'm not trying to be rude, I swear, it just angers and disappoints me that the standards are so low. That a girl cries from happiness and falls in love with her boyfriend even more just because he backed off because she wasn't in the mood.

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I just went to the gynecologist for my annual exam and got charged $175. My state insurance (which I am required to have as a state employee) does not cover a single cent of annual examinations. Not at the gynecologist and, apparently, not for general practice either. I'm fucking livid. I know there are worse atrocities in the world but it is infuriating to me that the state insurance I'm required to have doesn't cover basic fucking medical care. Denying or discouraging people from getting regular check-ups and preventative care is the reason we have so many people struggling with serious medical issues and wracking up a fortune in medical bills in this country.

Sorry for the rant - I just think this is unbelievable. And since there is absolutely nothing I can do (other than vote blue in a state that will never swing blue), I just needed a place to vent my frustration. Fuck you Henry McMaster and fuck you to any law makers who sign off legislation that denies people basic medical coverage.

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I'm 27 y/o female and I recently got out of a LD relationship of 4 years. Didnt feel like a relationship, so I was sad but not that sad. So after a few months, I decided to try dating again. Bestie told me to try online dating, since I'm shy and this is the first time I'm seriously actively looking for someone and just not falling in love with someone in a friend group.

So I went and talked to a few guys, some interested, some very sexually interested and some not interested. Then I met D. 31 years old. Male, Hispanic like me, chubby but sweet. We went on a date to meet each other and we clicked. We chatted for 4 hours and we left. We kept texting and we talk almost every day. The way he sounds is that he's interested in me.

One day he tells me he was going to start to be flirty with me because he liked me. So he started to say I'm beautiful, sexy and making some sex hints. I stopped him quick and said that my sexual history is not good. I never had sex, even in my 4 year relationship (guy was autistic in a way and it just didn't work) so I'm not ready for that and I'm still new in the dating game. He said it's ok and he's willing to wait for me and when I feel more comfortable with him.

My problem is I'm not so trusting to any person. Let alone a guy. I don't know if it's just nerves but that's how I am. It takes a long time for me to trust someone. So I'm wondering if it's just in my paranoid mind that I shouldn't Trust D or he is really being genuine with me and wants to actually be with me.

He has told me his intention to go have a long term relationship that possibly goes to marriage.

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My job is VERY unglamorous - I'm an early childhood educator and my 9-5 consists of running after preschoolers and toddlers. I wipe tiny bums and runny noses and get quinoa thrown at me on a regular basis. I adore my kids, but it's an exhausting job and I often feel like "less of a woman" if that makes sense. Always gross and tired at the end of the day.

Plus, the guy I was sexting and hooking up with for a couple weeks hasn't reached out in about a week. I told him to let me know when he wanted to do it again, and he hasn't, so I can take a hint. Definitely not a man I would date for SO, SO many reasons, but we had a great sexual chemistry and I definitely had fun. It's often hard for me to feel that. So I miss my sexting buddy.

I'm just trying to feel beautiful and confident again, because lately I feel washed out and forgotten. I do wear lipstick, hoops, lotions, and do face masks regularly. I feel like I do traditional "self-care" but it's not really making a difference any more. I would appreciate any tips/tricks you have to snap out of this! It's all brand new territory for me.

tl; dr: please advise a 24yr preschool teacher on how to recapture her confidence and femininity.

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This is long. TL;DR is at bottom. But I really, really need help with this guys. Please.

I (25F) installed tinder last month. I am very careful about who I meet up with because I want to stay safe. I matched with a guy, "Bob" (26M) who seemed nice, had a bit in common, didn't see any alarm bells. We talked for about a week before deciding to meet in public. He got me dinner and it was nice, some good chatting was had, and he was cute, and I decided i was comfortable with spending more time with him, so I invited him back to my place. One thing led to another and we ended up fooling around together and he spent the night. Left the next morning.

We were still chatting casually, and a few days after our first hangout, he asked me if I wanted to hang out at his place. He still lived at home with his parents, and it was kinda awkward compared to the last time we met up because of that, and also the fact that he started being very depressing and making a lot of suicide jokes. He told me he was depressed. It was just the combination of his attitude and location that made me realize I wouldn't be interested in having sex that night, nor in the future. I spent the night and we just cuddled, and he was respectful of boundaries. Never felt unsafe, just awkward.

A few days later, I'm hanging out with friends and he texts me "what's up." I respond, and then out of the blue he says "send me pics, slut!" I was taken aback. He had never called me rude names before, and we had never even sexted each other. I had never been called a slut in my life, ever, and this hurt me, a lot more than I thought it would. I told him he had hurt my feelings, and that his name calling was uncalled for, and then said I no longer wished to speak with him and to not contact me in the future. He responded with "Oh, ok. Sorry. Bye." and then I blocked and deleted his number.

That was a little over 3 weeks ago.

About 2 days after he insulted me, I get a message from him on the only social media I have that I'd forgotten I'd added him on. It was a short paragraph from him saying this: "OP, I know you said not to contact you anymore, but I feel I need to sincerely apologize. OP, I'm very ashamed of myself for what I called you. I feel terrible and can't stop thinking about how dumb I was. I should have asked if you were into that sort of thing first. Instead, I just thought you might be and I made a fool of myself and hurt you. I hope you can forgive me, if not, I understand as well and I won't contact you again."

I never responded. I was debating if I would when I had cooled down after the incident, but I really wasn't interested in friendship with this guy at that point. Then, two weeks later, he messages me again on the social media, saying "Could really use someone right now... :/ " I never responded to that, either. At this point I thought he would get the message.

Fast forward to 6 days later, last night, at 8PM, I hear a knock at my door. I think maybe its the UPS person but find it odd given the time of night. I check my peephole, and for a moment don't understand what I'm looking at. I see a very big guy holding a gift basket - and then i recognize it as Bob. I am flabbergasted. I was freaked out, but did not view him as a threat, so I opened my door a little bit, and promptly told him "what the fuck, Bob." To which he practically shrivels before me and says "I regret coming here." I literally stared at him for like a minute as he became more and more awkward, before he says to me, "I know you said you didn't want to talk anymore, but I really feel bad and want to apologize, so I made you a peace offering." Then he offers me the basket. I stare at him some more. He tells me "you don't have to take it if you don't want to, but there's some good things in it." Finally I took the basket. IDK if what I did here was right, but I told him that I accept his apology (this is true, I am no longer hung up on being called that by him, however I'm not going to say it was ok in the first place), and that I appreciated the gesture, but that I was freaked out that he came to my home UNINVITED after 3 weeks of no contact. I told him to please not come back to my home again. He looked very sheepish, mumbled "I should just die," and then he awkwardly laughed and said "well, bye."

After he leaves I check the gift basket, and find several of my favorite foods that I'd discussed with him back when we'd originally started talking, lots of candy, flowers, and a note folded into the shape of a heart. I unfolded the note and found this written inside: "OP, it was never my intention to hurt you like I did. Had a rough couple of weeks. Felt great to connect with some especially about shared hobbies. Hope you can accept my peace offering, I need a buddy." - Bob.

At this point IDK what to do. I'm freaked out he showed up at my house, UNINVITED, UNNANOUNCED, after we'd only been chatting like two weeks, hung out twice, and then no contact for three weeks, which I CLEARLY stated that I did not want him to contact me again. But he just kept trying to apologize. And then he fucking showed up at my doorstep. I have not deleted him on the social media because I want to politely but firmly send him a message establishing boundaries to ensure he never pulls a stunt like this again. Clearly ignoring this person after telling them I didn't want to talk did not work. I didn't fear for my safety last night, but I am definitely freaked that he drove to my place.

I honestly don't even want to try just being friends with this person anymore due to this behavior, but I accepted his gift and IDK what to do. I'm afraid that if I ignore him and delete him on social media, that he'll pop up on my doorstep again. And I'm afraid that if I'm *too* firm with him when I message him to leave me alone, that due to his depression he'll hurt himself, or that he will escalate things in a bad way. What do I do? Please give me some advice. I am concerned. Am I overreacting? Does this guy seem dangerous??

------------------

TL;DR guy who I talked to for two weeks, and hung out with twice at our respective homes calls me a slut for no reason, I decided to break contact with him over this, then after 3 weeks of no contact he shows up at my house with a gift basked to apologize and it was really fucking weird. Do I need to worry? What should I do?

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I dont really know where to post this, sorry. Around 4 months ago I (18F) was raped by someone who I thought I could trust (21M). On hindsight he manipulated me into many other things too. That night he held me down, I screamed and kicked before just crying and giving up.

Immediately after he gave an excuse along the lines of " I just wanted to know the truth", referencing my refusal to answer if I've been raped before, and by how many guys- Questions asked while he raped me.

I dont know what to do. I didnt think it was possible to break even more but here I am. My friends ask me why I let it happen, why didnt I just close my legs, to stop pitying myself. I want my body to feel like mine again, I want to heal but I cant. It's not happening. I cant trust anybody. Everybody I trust keeps hurting me in new ways every time. Why do I do this to myself? I let myself get together with a 23 year old when I was 15 before, let him emotionally abuse me and fuck me. Then I fall into another abusive relationship after, and now this. I thought I learnt. I thought I could see through all their lies and gaslighting, told myself I would trust my intuition. But it never happens until it's too late. I cant stop it from happening again, I cant avoid it or control it. I cant trust anybody when I want to. I'm not ok, or alright. I thought I was, convinced everyone I was, but I'm so much more depressed and suicidal. I dont have any girl friends, or anyone i can turn to who will understand. I just want it to stop.

Thanks for listening to my rant

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I posted in here last week about my looming breakup, and it made it to the front page of reddit (honestly much to my dismay). I have been journaling and processing it all, and figured for those of you who read it, I wanted to share my story, more context, and how I ended up in a relationship I am ashamed I let continue for as long as it did.

We'll call him Brad.

I started dating Brad after a year of being friends. There was an age difference worth noting - me, 26, him, 22. But, he seemed to kind of have his shit together. Owned a home, had a good, stable income, we had some common interests - mostly centered around healthy living/cooking/working out. The first red flag I ignored was that the girl he was dating up until about a month prior to me, was in high school. As in 18. I found this out later, but I told myself "this is none of your business." and ugh - what an awkward conversation to imagine myself having.

About a month into our "we're kind of seeing eachother, while having sex, but not committed" relationship he had accidentally sent me a snapchat intended for.... the high schooler that said "you're so hot (name), i can't wait to fuck you tonight." I screenshotted it, texted it to him and said "I think you sent this to the wrong person."

We hadn't had a conversation about exclusivity, so I wasn't surprised. I made the decision to go out with a guy i'd had some interest in, possibly as a sort of rebound. We had a pretty great date, and ended up having sex. And it was a pretty damn positive experience for me that brought me some uplift

And this is where I started being stupid (admittedly) and letting myself succumb to someone else in a way I am now *so* mad at myself for.

He came back begging, telling me we were going to be perfect together, that he was sorry and was struggling with closing that door, going above and beyond to prove his loyalty and that he was going to stop messing around. I had asked him to have a DTR conversation to set expectations as far as exclusivity went, and it was a dead-end that never went anywhere.

I wasn't really in a huge hurry to be in a relationship, and it felt good to just have a sort of low-committal, drama-free situation as my career started skyrocketing. The sex was great, we genuinely had a lot of fun together, and it seemed to be something possibly worth investing in. We spent a lot of time together over the next six months, but that DTR conversation continued to not happen, and there were multiple instances of him calling me his "friend" and it just felt very "fuck buddy" to me after a while.

Finally, I tried one last time in early June to have that conversation. He kept asking ME to tell him what I wanted. So I told him I wanted to be with him. And... he just dodged and questioned me saying things like 'I love spending time with you and see a genuine future with you' (well, you dont know if you want to have kids and i do so how do you know you want a future with me) (as an example). I was defeated. And sad. A few days later, I went to a wedding where the dude from my good date a while back was there. We danced together, got drunk, and had so much fun together - and had a little makeout session at the end of the night. He had posted a selfie of us on his instagram story, and somehow... Brad saw it. And Brad went apeshit on me. He had a completely different take on our DTR conversation, and I apparently was now a "cheater". After a 6-hour evening of him threatening to ruin my life one minute, and telling me he was in love with me the next (something i'd never heard), I finally was able to end the conversation amicably, and was of the impression we were no longer involved in any capacity. Like. Done.

And then, the next day he came to me and said (not verbatim but close) "you were right. I refused to have the conversation committing to you. I'm in love with you. I want this, I want you. Boyfriend/girlfriend, the whole thing." I guess that seemed like a self-discovery (change) that I could invest in. So, stupid woman - I went for it again. And it was going pretty damn well.

He hated my music taste (punk/post-rock/rock) - I went to a show where boyikissed was there. He had clearly been stalking his instagram stories and put two and two together that we were at the same show, and yet again, everything fell apart. He called me non-stop, accused me of cheating. Things seemed to blow over, but after that, he really started treating me horribly, consistently. I had long hair - down past my waist, and after years of balyage/ombre combined with heavy/eastern euro texture... it was just dead. I hated it SO MUCH and it felt like such a safety blanket. I had been dreaming of cutting it for months, and he'd said "do whatever makes you happy" - so I did, and he told me "I didn't think you'd actually do it, that was your best feature."

He never had time for me on the weekends - he was constantly out and at the bar, but I was never invited. What used to be jokes or little quips about the way I dressed or talked became pretty persistent personal attacks. He spent so much of our time together widdling me down. I started asking myself "why is this happening" "why is he even with me". He was extremely upset he hadn't met my parents - another red flag on my part that I didn't feel ready for that... so, I brought him to my parents for Thanksgiving. All four members of my family had some variance of pneumonia/bronchitis and he was deeply offended that they didn't seem more interested in meeting him. He specifically cited the fact that my mom didn't ask him more personal questions as "really weird." I had warned him of two things the entire duration of our "relationship" - my family wasn't like his in their very midwestern cuddly values, plus, they were all extremely sick and not feeling social. They basically got it together enough for my benefit. They are eastern european immigrants; quiet, stiff, and uptight. My mom has markers of undiagnosed borderline personality disorder and we aren't really close. She has never had much concern for my dating life.

If you're still with me, this is where everything *really* fell apart. Two days later, he went "out" for his typical night of drinking at bars with his buddies, but just straight up shut off his phone when it came time for us to meet up. He'd invited me, I got dressed/ready, and then he just...ghosted me. I tried to distract myself by going out with my friends, but damn, it hurt. I'd had a tattoo appointment that day, my first one - I was SOOOO excited about it and to show him as he'd previously been supportive. It was a weird high/low day for me.

The next day, I was honestly furious that he'd blown me off on yet another weekend. He refused to acknowledge that it was lousy to do that to me. He said saturdays are for the boys, and that functional, healthy, happy relationships mean two people should do their own thing on Saturday nights. Which, can be true, but IMO... not executed like that. He told me he hated my family - that when you date a girl, you date her family. How could he date someone who's family he hated?

He very sharply changed the subject when I was trying to hold him accountable and said "so lets see your tattoo." So I showed him, hoping maybe it would quiet the horrid conversation. He said "I can't believe you did that to your body." and I said "You knew this was my plan... what?" He said "I have no idea who you are anymore. You're so fake." I asked him what the hell he was talking about, and he launched into such a horrible barrage of insults that basically led me to realize he actually did hate everything about me, and furthermore, wanted me to be someone I wasn't and could never be.

His poor treatment of me persisted, and finally two weeks ago, he was spotted at a sporting event on a date with another girl by a friend of mine. I called him on it, he admitted it was true, and told me that he just couldn't see himself marrying or having kids with someone 'Tatted' and that he needed out.

I had another tattoo appointment scheduled, and really considered cancelling it. I guess, I wasn't quite at a spot where I was ready to let go of him. We had another conversation which brought in a new set of reasons he hated me, and I decided to keep my appointment and go through with the tattoo. Obviously, the relationship is over. While part of me will probably always hope the day will come where he sees I did my best, I also know its for the best if it doesn't. People like him really sink their claws into you and suck you dry. They build you up, and then flip a switch. There are so many instances of exerted control, manipulation, immaturity, and other really messy traits -- so many I feel like I could write a book. I'm not stupid. I know i'm so much smarter than this. Everyone told me over and over again that I was out of his league. I saw potential, but had rose-coloured goggles on to the way he was treating me.

I've had to go through what is now a literal re-adjustment of brain chemicals. My therapist has told me we become addicted to this sort of back and forth. Its been a lot of journaling, crying, some anxiety meds, but I finally feel okay.

I was really shook at some of the awful comments and messages I received, but now that i'm in a better headspace, it's been nice to read the good or supportive stuff.

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I was sexually assaulted a few months ago by a family friend. I threatened to call the police on him after I first said no and he kept going, but he told me if I called the police, he'd kill me. I reported it to the police a few days later when I knew he wouldn't be around/know about it. I agreed to press charges.

I have been feeling good/strong about it for the most part, but we have a hearing coming up. Suddenly, I feel terrified and anxious that he will be acquitted and he really will come after me. I feel overwhelmed. Anyone else been through this process? How did you cope? I'm in therapy, but even that can't touch the terror I feel.

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After a really good orgasm, either while masturbating or with a partner, I just get so damn happy that I laugh out loud. Like not just a giggle. A good hearty laugh. Was just wondering if other women did that too.

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On a throwaway...I apologize in advance for the long post, I don't know if anyone will even read this but I figure it can't hurt to get it out there.

I've been on the pill for almost 10 years and have never been pregnant. I'm good at taking my pills on time. I didn't miss any this month or have anything out of the ordinary happen. My boyfriend of 3 years and I just moved in together and have been super busy so I feel like we weren't even having as much sex as usual in the last month or so.

With all that said...I bled only a little bit during sugar pill week. I've been nauseous. I took a test last night just to put my mind at ease that there wasn't anything wrong. I wasn't even nervous because I hadn't missed any pills or anything. I've lost some weight and been under a lot of stress, which I know can affect periods. The test was positive.

I've been crying pretty much ever since. I don't know what to do. I barely slept. My boyfriend has been holding me and reassuring me that he supports me no matter what. He just had to go to work. I called my job and told them I'm having car trouble to buy myself an hour to pull myself together. I don't have anyone I can talk to other than my boyfriend. He encouraged me to post here to hopefully get some advice from other women.

I feel so fucking stupid and guilty. I'm 25 (old enough that I know people having babies on purpose) and in a monogamous, loving long-term relationship so I feel like from the outside I would be judged for having an abortion but I'm not ready to have a baby. We are struggling to make ends meet and just starting our careers and life together. My parents are pro-choice but have always expressed to me that they don't like the idea of abortion they just support a woman's right to choose. They also have been telling me how much they want grandkids lately. I have a therapy appointment on Saturday but I don't even want to tell my therapist this as she is 8 months pregnant and this is our last appointment before her maternity leave.

I'm still on my parents health insurance and my GP is the doctor to our whole family. I'm in CA so I feel grateful that I have relatively easy access to other resources, which I guess is a silver lining. I've always been very pro-choice but when the thought comes of going through an abortion myself I feel sick to my stomach and like a bad person.

I don't know what to do just like in the next hour or who to call I honestly just want to die. I'm angry at myself and angry at my birth control and angry that I don't have close female friends who I can confide in. I can't get out of bed.

If anyone can share advice or experiences I would be so grateful.

Edit: typos

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My daughter got a Twitter DM from a newly-created-and-then-deleted account telling her, among other things, to go kill herself.

Just wondering whether there's a way to figure out the user.

Decent chance it's a non-tech-savvy high-schooler.

And I sincerely apologize, on behalf of modern society, that I figured someone here has had to deal with this.

Edit: missed a word

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