Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Me Too

Me Too

Many have seen the words Me, too posted with a hashtag on Facebook lately, but how many know what it means?  How many out there have been sexually abused? That is what this phrase means. It's a way to stand united with one another and bare it all. Bare all the pain, anger, confusion, rejection, humiliation and hate. I can stand alongside many other women and even some men to say those words. We can heal though! I can tell you I was angry, humiliated, I wanted my attacker to feel what I felt, but I forgave him. After years, I finally gave him to God to deal with. How, one may ask? I will share my story. Here it is, my journey through pain.

Let's start at age fourteen. This is not when I was abused but this is an important part. On December 28th, 2000 in Lapeer Michigan, I was at a friends house exchanging gifts, and afterward, we went to the mall. The closest mall from where we were was Genesee Valley in Flint, Michigan. My friend, along with her brother, sister and her sisters' boyfriend piled into a red, Dodge, Neon and headed for Flint. We arrived safely and spent our Christmas money on more things we didn't need. After we had finished our shopping, we headed for Meijer to pick up snacks.

My friend was going to stay at my house that night, so her brother and sister agreed to drop her off at my place on their way home. I lived in the small town of Goodrich that sat between Lapeer and Flint. We were headed back to my home and were just a few miles away when I felt a sudden jolt. I leaned over to see why we were slowing down and saw a car in our lane, then nothing. Everything went black for a moment. I then experienced something phenomenal.

I found myself looking at the car, I felt everyone's emotions, I knew I wasn't "alive" anymore, but I wasn't ready to go anywhere. I wasn't drawn to a tunnel, I felt at peace, but something was holding me in the car. I was sitting upright where I was before the crash which was behind the driver. I saw a bright light and other things were shadows to me. It seemed things were moving in slow motion and sound was different, they were echoes to me. All of a sudden I heard a strange noise inside my head and I was back in my body.

When I came to, I wasn't sitting upright anymore. I was laying in the backseat, cold, and I couldn't move. I was looking up at an EMT who happened to look down and gasped. "You're alive!" I tried to respond and thought I did. I was feeling around in my mouth with my tongue and felt glass, broken teeth and I  tasted blood. I started thinking about where I was, who I was with, where I was going, and I was able to recall it all.

I heard the EMT ask me my name, my number, and my age. I thought I was responding as he was dabbing my head with something that looked like it was wrapped in a blue cloth. Each time he asked a question,  my friend answered him. I heard a loud noise which turned out to be the jaws of life they were using to get the driver out. I started thinking about the experience I had just had. It just felt like a few short moments, how long was I out? Later I found out it was an hour.

I'm not sure how long it was after I came to, but I heard my dads voice and I thought I was going to just get out of the car and go home. I then remembered I couldn't move. I called out to my dad, "Dad?"  I asked
"Yes, I'm here" he answered.
"My back hurts!" I called back.
The next thing I remember, I  was being put on a stretcher and then wheeled to the ambulance. Freezing rain was hitting my head, yet I couldn't feel it. I know this is supposed to be cold, so why couldn't I feel it?

In the ambulance, I felt like something wasn't right. My eyes, my body everything was off. I closed
my eyes then heard the door open and heard a familiar voice and felt someone grab my hand.

"It's mom," I told myself. I could tell. The rest of the trip to Hurley hospital was a blur. I awoke in the ER looking at someone standing above me. I then realized what they were doing.
They were stitching me up. Three layers of stitches. My head was sliced open to the bone.
Funny I can't feel this either, I thought.
I felt something in my throat and tried to lift my self to cough. I couldn't move so the nurse helped to turn me and out came blood, and a lot of it.

I was laid back down and was transferred to ICU. I could hear others talking that night and I thought I was answering them, asking questions but I wasn't getting answers. Things were getting bad, really bad. " There is a break between the fourth and fifth vertebrae, and there is swelling on her brain. She's not going to walk again. She may not talk again either." I heard this and thought oh no way!

The next thing I remember after that was waking up in the middle of CAT scans and other various visits from doctors, and nurses. I was supposed to be prepped for brain surgery, but I never had it. I was told later that a miracle had happened one night and my broken neck was miraculously healed and the swelling in my brain receded. I remember getting visits from family, and I thought I was talking to them, but I wasn't. I recalled the stories they were telling me in detail. My sister told me my cat, precious, wasn't letting anyone into my room. She was mad, my sister said.

After three days in ICU, I was moved to step down. My mom, who was with me all that time in ICU was going home to shower and rest for the first time in those three days.
"Mom? I love you." I said. It was the first thing I had said since the doctors were saying I'd probably never speak again. The nurses and my mom started crying and then my sister came to stay with me so mom could leave.

 It was in step down,  I asked my sister if precious was still mad at me. She looked at me and asked how I knew that. I told her that we talked about it, and why she didn't remember?
"You were not awake when I told you that. Christina, you were in a coma!"
It turns out I was in and out of a coma for those three days in the ICU. In that coma, I heard the doctors talking about my situation and the stories my sister was sharing with me about my cat.

I also had a visit from my friend who was in the accident with me, along and her family. I learned that we were hit head-on by a drunk driver and broadsided by another vehicle. One was a Mazda truck the other a Durango, and remember, we were in a tiny Neon.

It wasn't until they moved me again that I saw my face for the first time. My mom came back and she and my sister were brushing my hair pulling more glass out of my hair and scalp. That night I had to go to the bathroom, so I unplugged myself from the monitors and attempted to stand up. A nurse ran into the room wondering why on her end it looked like I flatlined.

"I really need to go to the bathroom," I said

"Okay, let me help you up."

It took me about 15 minutes to get four steps. My legs felt like jello and I couldn't feel much.
Being the independent teen I was I made it into the bathroom myself and then to the sink. I looked up and saw the whole left side of my face swollen, black, blue and a gash running from the middle of the top of my head down to the corner of my eye.
"Well." I thought " I could be dead, so that's okay."
I opened the door and saw the nurse was in tears.

"Was that the first time you saw yourself, hun?" She asked
I nodded and replied, "It could be worse, I'm alive, right?"

The next day I was released from Hurley. I was wheeled downstairs but insisted I walk out. Well, I stumbled out with my sister. I looked as if I had a stroke because one side lagged. I remember being told I'd never have children either, but today I'm a mother of three adorable children.

Over the next year of my life, I was in physical therapy learning to strengthen my muscles again, my mom even had me put in modeling courses to help with my posture.  I'm happy to say I've made a full recovery. The feeling in my head returned after a year of being numb, and my scar is a reminder of what I survived. I suffer from minor arthritis in my hands and neck, but nothing I can't handle.

Now, I will tell you my other testimony. I met a guy at my friend's house; the same friend who was in the accident with me. He seemed nice, I was sixteen and he was twenty. Yeah, I should have known that was a bad idea. My parents had checked about that, but he came off as a perfect gentleman.
He came from a Hebrew family, his family kept all the feasts and that was impressive to my Jewish mother.

I told this guy I was and that I wanted to remain pure until marriage. He said it wouldn't be an issue at all. Yeah, right. It didn't take long for him to start talking down to me about it. It started out small but escalated quickly. One night he took me to a movie and he then talked about traveling to Minnesota for a few months. I told him that I thought it was great and that maybe we should break up so he could take his time. I told him I liked him more as a friend than a boyfriend. He did not like that at all.
It was that night he told me I was lucky to have him in my life because no one would love me with a scar on my face. If he couldn't have me no one could. So he rapped me. I remember being in shock and frightened.
I believed him when he said it was all my fault. I remember thinking I have to stay with him now. No one would want me. This is baggage no one wants. So I avoided him, made excuses for why I didn't want to see him, but I was too afraid to say anything to anyone. For 2 years I stayed with him, fought him off a few times and other times was knocked unconscious.
My mom noticed me seeming depressed and withdrawn more and more. So she along with my sister started digging and investigating my boyfriend. Turned out he was a pedophile (go figure).

I was finally able to tell my family what had happened and we called the cops and started a report on this guy. Longer story cut short, he ran away to the military and he tried to make contact for about a three months, but I never responded.  I was prayed upon by this guy. I was weak, recovering from a closed head injury and he took advantage of it and made me believe I was ugly and used goods.

For years I was angry. I was trying to think of ways to get him to feel what I felt. I wouldn't have had anything to do with men or marriage if I hadn't met my husband while I was going through this abuse. God placed him in my life at the perfect time. He was my best friend, he listened to me and made me feel safe. I began to think, if I ever got married I would love to find a guy like him. Turns out I married him, and I'm so thankful.

It wasn't until I was 26 that I finally let the anger, resentment, and hatred go for my ex. I finally told God, "you take him because I don't want this anymore." He did, too. And these past five years have been the greatest years of my life and my marriage.

There it is guys my life this blog. There are parts unwritten, but I'll save those for another time. Just remember we can heal from this. It takes time, but it feels so good to let it go. Feel free to contact me on Facebook if you ever need to reach out to someone who understands. You've been through it. Me, too.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Coconut Bars with Blueberry Compote made with Zero added sugar!

My husband is on a diet that is doing wonders for him and there are set guidelines I follow each day for his meals. Every once in a while he's able to have a dessert, but there can be no added sugar.s, gluten, yeast , refined and bleached flours etc.  Well I found a recipe for coconut bars that followed what he was able to eat for the diet. I also made my own topping, and I will be sharing that with you as well.

First here is my recipe for the coconut bars.

1/4 cup Coconut oil 

1/2 cup Coconut flour

1/3 cup of honey
1/4 cup of unsweetened cashew milk 
2 eggs lightly beaten 
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract 
1/2 tsp of baking powder. 
Dark chocolate (optional) 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8x8 pan with non stick spray. (I used coconut oil spray)
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and slowly add them to the liquid ingredients. Fold in the dark chocolate (optional) and bake for 20 minutes. 

For the Blueberry compote:

2 cups of blueberries

1.5 cups of Coconut water 
2 TBS of vanilla extract 
A pinch of ground ginger 
And a pinch of ground cloves 
Heat on medium heat and stir every few minutes. Once the the blueberries become soft reduce heat to low and cover for about 5-10 minutes. And there you have it! :)

Hope you enjoy this recipe!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Ezekiel Toast with Almond Butter with a Plum and Jicima Reduction

Here's a recipe I made up this morning. My husband is on the fast metabolism diet and loved this. He told me he doesn't even feel like he's on a diet.  Here's what you need:

A slice and a half of Ezekiel bread 
About 2- 3 TBS of unsweetened and unsalted Almond butter
1.5 cups of Coconut water
Some Jicama 
1 plum
1 egg
Sea salt.

                                                                 Core a plum.
                                                                  Coconut water.
                                         2-3 TBS of Non GMO Unsweetened and unsalted Almond butter
                           Cut up some Jicama. Veggies are unlimited so have as much or as little as you want.
                      Toast a slice and a half of Ezekiel bread and spread each piece with your Almond butter.
 In a pot add 1.5 cups of Coconut water, bring it to a boil add plums and Jicama and add cinnamon. Reduce it until the plums are nice and soft. The Jicama will still have a nice crunch. It takes about 15 minutes-20 minutes to get a good reduction.

                                                                Here's the reduction.

Scramble an egg and add a little sea salt. From your reduction you can separate the plums and Jicama if you want or put it all together on the toast.

Hope you enjoy this delicious and healthy recipe, and there will be many more to come!

Christina Peck

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Sweet Potato Pancakes

I know it's been a while (A whole year and a couple months) but I'm back to blogging now!
I have a great recipe for sweet potato pancakes. Here's what you'll need:

2 Large sweet potatoes

2 eggs
1/2 cup of oats (Steal cut or old fashioned) If you use the old fashioned you will not need to cook them.

1/8 cup of unsweetened cashew milk (Or any milk of your choosing)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
Optional -1 teaspoon of Cinnamon and nutmeg (or as much as you want)
4 1/2 TBS of Coconut oil
1 fresh plum

This serves between 2-4
                                      Boil 2 large sweet potatoes until they are soft enough to mash.

In a bowl mix 2 eggs, vanilla extract, cashew milk and seasonings if you choose to use cinnamon and nutmeg then mix in the oats. 
                                       Then add the mixture to the mashed sweet potatoes.

               Heat a pan on medium heat and instead of butter use 2 TBS of coconut oil to the pan.
                                          Using a large Spoon, scoop the batter into the pan.
  Cook the pancakes 3-5 minutes on each side. Try using 2 spatulas when you flip the pancakes, because they can fall apart easily.
 Core a plum and warm them in a pan with another 2 and a half TBS of coconut oil. If you want you can season them with cinnamon and nutmeg as well.

When they are soft top the pancakes with them. Also drizzle the coconut oil the plums were in over the top of the pancakes instead of syrup. 


Christina Peck