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Old 09-20-2004, 02:24 AM   #1
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recovering from rape

I was raped about 6 months ago on a first date with a stanger. This is actually the first time I used the "r" word. I am really dealing with it in a heavy way. I cant seem to function in any relationship, whether with male or female. I have alienated my friends and family. I cant get involved, but i cant stand the isolation. I am afraid to be alone, but I am afraid to trust anyone. I dont know how to take the first step to getting back to normal, for some reason i dont think "getting back" is even possible. I just have to find a new normal. Everything is so confusing. The sadness is overwhelming. I began cutting myself with an exacto knife kit that i went out and spend 50 bucks on. Its the only thing that i have gotten excited about in months. After a while, the cutting wasnt "cutting it" anymore and i tried to kill myself. I have been feeling a little better since then, instead of the sadness i just feel numb. But this mistreatment has led into a string of events that are just so stressful.

Is there anyone out there that has gone through this? I need advice. Please talk to me, I cant bear to talk to anyone face to face about it so this is my only outlet...

Thanks for listening...

Last edited by Administrator; 09-20-2004 at 10:18 AM. Reason: Combined this post with your duplicate, and moved to the Post Traumatic Stress Board

 
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Old 09-20-2004, 02:25 AM   #2
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recovering from rape

I was raped about 6 months ago on a first date with a stanger. This is actually the first time I used the "r" word. I am really dealing with it in a heavy way. I cant seem to function in any relationship, whether with male or female. I have alienated my friends and family. I cant get involved, but i cant stand the isolation. I am afraid to be alone, but I am afraid to trust anyone. I dont know how to take the first step to getting back to normal, for some reason i dont think "getting back" is even possible. I just have to find a new normal. Everything is so confusing. The sadness is overwhelming. I began cutting myself with an exacto knife kit that i went out and spend 50 bucks on. Its the only thing that i have gotten excited about in months. After a while, the cutting wasnt "cutting it" anymore and i tried to kill myself. I have been feeling a little better since then, instead of the sadness i just feel numb. But this mistreatment has led into a string of events that are just so stressful.

Is there anyone out there that has gone through this? I need advice. Please talk to me, I cant bear to talk to anyone face to face about it so this is my only outlet...

Thanks for listening...

 
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Old 09-20-2004, 02:52 AM   #3
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Re: recovering from rape

I haven't been in that type of situation but if you just need to vent and talk about everything going on in your life I'm here. I can't image the pain you are going through but always know that things will get better and it takes time to heal. Know that your family and your true friends will stick by your side and make sure you get through this time of pain. I wish you the best of luck and I hope you do find a way to get back to you life.

 
Old 09-20-2004, 03:11 AM   #4
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Re: recovering from rape

I don't have experience regarding your situation, but i felt the need to reply, i guess to get the ball rolling and the fact your story really makes me feel sad for you and others in your situation. Firstly, were you able to inform the police of the rape and if so, has this person been charged? Maybe you are finding it difficult to move onwards due to him not being charge, (if he hasn't been charged).

There are counsellors who you can talk to over the phone i'm sure. Here in Australia we have free help lines which are anonymous and that saves that face to face issue. Later as you begin to feel a little better about yourself, you may then want to see a counsellor face to face. You do realise that you wont just get any old counsellor, it would be somebody who has dealt with rape issues only, once who specialises in what has happened to you and wont judge you in any way, shape or form.

You have likely distanced yourself from friends and family feeling they won't believe you or will think that you intentionally put yourself into the situation within which you were raped. From what i have read, a lot of rape victims blame themselves.

There have been a few people in similar circumstances to yourself who have posted on here within the last year. I'm sure you can put key words into the search facility and find their posts and the replies. The fact you cut yourself is bad enough. You need help badly, but trying to commit suicide is worse. You really need to have somebody who has been in your situation to get you on the right track so that you can start a recovery process. It can take months or years, everybody is an individual. It's not like catching a cold and you are on average sick for seven days. You are going through a lot of emotional and psychological turmoil which will take a lot of time to clear up before you can start trusting people and living life as normal as possible. I'm sure you will get lots of suggestions from people once they have had time reply.

Lastly, have you seen a doctor? A doctor may be able to prescribe a non addictive form of medication which can help you relax some what and help you with sleeplessness, something which will make it that little bit easier to get through your day. There are some safe and non addictive medications out nowadays. Best wishes.

 
Old 09-20-2004, 05:42 AM   #5
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Re: recovering from rape

I too have been in those shoes. I was raped years ago. I lost my virginity to it. I went through all the same things you were saying. I spent years being a total witch to other people because I didn't want to get close to anyone. It's no way to live life. Just recently I came to terms with the whole thing, and I feel better than I ever have. I always have been very shy and quiet, now I'm outgoing not afraid to start a conversation. This person who raped you probably knows that you feel so weak and is feeling great about themself. What you need to do is bring yourself to become stronger from the situation. If you don't this person may do it to others because he may feel he has power that way. My best advice is to find someone that you trusted the most before it happened. Talk to them, let them know what happened, how you feel, what is has made you do. I found that just telling someone made me feel better. You need to come to terms with what happened, put it behind you and move on from it. If you feel you need to file charges against this person. You can't let it get you down. I have come to terms with the whole situation myself and I am now to the point that when I make new friends, I tell them. When my husband and I first started dating I think I told him after about 2 months. Just letting people know will make you feel stronger. If I'm the one you choose to talk with, I'll be here for you. But please try to find someone who can be there in the flesh to support you emotionally, and walk with you through the end of this rough time.

 
Old 09-20-2004, 05:44 AM   #6
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Re: recovering from rape

Wow
In just a few short hours since I posted this message, you have all replied with such healing words and thoughts. I am literally shaking from the emotion I am feeling.
No, I never pressed charges. It took me 2 months to tell my own mother, she was the one I thought would judge me the most. You were right, I thought I put myself in that situation.
I have always been a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and this situation really put my convictions to the test. I had to stand by that belief, even through the toughest times.
The one thing that has helped is that in believing that this has happened to me for a reason, even if it was yet to be seen, I realized I can still have faith in things. I went to a doctor to get tested for STDs and pregnancy and found that I was completely fine except we found cancerous cells in my cervix. I had an operation and it was removed. See, I had always neglected doctors appointments, but because of this I was able to catch something in time that could have been quite serious.
That has been quite helpful. I still have a hard time with the "R" word, I dont know why. I couldnt press charges. I told my family and doctor that I didnt know who did it to avoid them trying to pry it out of me.
Today I am seeing a therapist for the first time. My doctor has recommended valium because I have always had social anxiety disorder and manic depression.
The medication has helped somewhat, but I just hate that I cant stand to be hugged. I cant stand to be looked at. I am a 23 year old bartender and have to deal with drunk people and sexual comments on a regular basis. I just dont want to resent all people and end up not able to feel comfortable ever again. I dont know, I think I just feel like I am missing that "light at the end of the tunnel."
Well, thank you all so much for being here. I just found this website about 2 days ago and I couldnt stop reading it. There were just so many women here for each other in every type of situation. Something really drew me in, and I am so glad that it did. I feel like I have found a safe family in women that I never knew before. Thank you all so much for letting me vent. I cant tell you all how much I have needed this.
emily

 
Old 09-20-2004, 06:01 AM   #7
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Re: recovering from rape

Dolphin
You said it happened to you years ago and you are just coming to terms with it. I know it will be years before I can completely come to terms with it myself. I am sure there are many stages that I will have to go through. Right now its hard to just get myself out of my bedroom. How long did it take for you to be able to go out with a man, comfortably? Was your husband the first person you dated afterwards? Even the men I had always been just friends with make me uncomfortable. I feel an overwhelming sense of pressure from every male. I know this sounds strange, but the only thing that goes through my mind is "he only wants to mount me." It sounds so brutal. I feel like I dont know my own body, like I have lost control. Did you feel the need to hurt yourself physically? Like you needed some sort of physical scar to prove that you were in pain? After cutting myself wasnt enough I started hitting myself. I gave myself black eyes because I needed to see my pain everytime I looked in the mirror. Is that odd? I am just having a hard time with this. Thanks for answering, you are an angel. I havent been able to connect with someone "in the flesh" but I am seeing a therapist for the first time today. So, thank you so much for listening to me vent... I appreciate it more than I could ever say...
emily

 
Old 09-20-2004, 07:31 AM   #8
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Re: recovering from rape

I'm so sorry this has happened to you. It's not your fault in any way at all. (I only say this because many survivors do blame themselves in some way.) I have several close friends who have been through this and other forms of sexual assault. Most of us males have no idea how many people around us have been hurt by sexual assault. It is only when we realise that someone we care about has been assaulted that the scales fall from our eyes. I am glad you are seeing a therapist. All my friends found they needed professional help from a qualified therapist to get the healing process started. I hope this therapist is the one for you but don't be afraid to change to another one if they aren't. It's a very personal relationship and you need to be able to trust them and feel comfortable working with them. A psychologist friend, who specialised in helping sexual assault survivors, said that the therapist should be like a big soft pillow you can fall onto. You will be forever changed by this experience but I hope you get the help you need to start rebuilding your life.
Geoff

 
Old 09-21-2004, 10:26 AM   #9
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Re: recovering from rape

freebiekats

The best thing you can do for yourself right now is to talk about it and get into therapy. No one can face this on their own, they can try but it's almost impossible. I still have trouble with calling what I went through as rape, hate that word.

It's not an easy road it took me 8 years to get my PTSD symptoms under control for my past abuse, rape and sexual assaults.

I'm pretty much recovered now and I don't get as many flashbacks or nightmares, i'm not afraid like I use to be and found a wonderful man now that i've been with for over 3 yrs.


Have you considered getting into therapy?
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Old 09-24-2004, 06:29 AM   #10
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Re: recovering from rape

I started therapy and it has been a little helpful, but nothing oustanding. I guess it takes small steps though. I just get so frustrated that I cant seem to function the way I normally would. I just have so many insecurities and doubts. I am always second guessing myself. I feel like I have no companionship, and the friends I did have are so exhausted and fed up with dealing with me. I have become so accusatory and defensive. I feel like a crabby old lady! Is this normal? Will it pass? I feel like at the pace Im going, which is pretty much backwards, it will be years before I can find comfort and peace. And especially mutual love and respect with another person.

 
Old 09-24-2004, 08:14 AM   #11
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Re: recovering from rape

Quote:
Originally Posted by freebiekats
I started therapy and it has been a little helpful, but nothing oustanding. I guess it takes small steps though. I just get so frustrated that I cant seem to function the way I normally would. I just have so many insecurities and doubts. I am always second guessing myself. I feel like I have no companionship, and the friends I did have are so exhausted and fed up with dealing with me. I have become so accusatory and defensive. I feel like a crabby old lady! Is this normal? Will it pass? I feel like at the pace Im going, which is pretty much backwards, it will be years before I can find comfort and peace. And especially mutual love and respect with another person.

Kats, it takes time, therapy will take time. I know what you mean by not being able to function the way you normally do. I've been there as well ,but it will get better with time like it did for me. Just got to keep your head up and keep moving forward with your recovery. IT is normal to feel what you are feeling, being defensive, feeling crappy, becoming accusatory, it's all normal. It took me 8 years to recovery from PTSD from Abuse by my ex which was emotional ,physical, sexual, mental, verbal and rape. I was the sexually assaulted by roughly 9 other guys, also sexually harrassed and threatened. This all happened between the years of 1996-2001 and then I met the guy i'm with now and have been with for over 3 years and it's great. I no longer am afraid of touches, my nightmares are less, even though I just had one last night. My triggers are less, flashbacks are less.... so it does get better. I've still got reminats of PTSD but I'm not plauged with it like I was for the past 8 years, I was able to let go and not be stuck.

You'll get there too, look how long it took me, but you will.
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Old 09-24-2004, 08:57 AM   #12
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Re: recovering from rape

Quote:
Originally Posted by freebiekats
I was raped about 6 months ago on a first date with a stanger. This is actually the first time I used the "r" word. I am really dealing with it in a heavy way. I cant seem to function in any relationship, whether with male or female. I have alienated my friends and family. I cant get involved, but i cant stand the isolation. I am afraid to be alone, but I am afraid to trust anyone. I dont know how to take the first step to getting back to normal, for some reason i dont think "getting back" is even possible. I just have to find a new normal. Everything is so confusing. The sadness is overwhelming. I began cutting myself with an exacto knife kit that i went out and spend 50 bucks on. Its the only thing that i have gotten excited about in months. After a while, the cutting wasnt "cutting it" anymore and i tried to kill myself. I have been feeling a little better since then, instead of the sadness i just feel numb. But this mistreatment has led into a string of events that are just so stressful.

Is there anyone out there that has gone through this? I need advice. Please talk to me, I cant bear to talk to anyone face to face about it so this is my only outlet...

Thanks for listening...
Yes I have been there and life does go on, there is life after rape. I need to know some things though. Did you call the police? Go to hospital? prosecute the sick jerk?? I was taught something in couseling when I went through it. My counselor looked at me one day muched herself in the face *lightly* and said quit beating yourself up. Why punish yourself for something that wasn't youre fault? Don't cut yourself. And suicide..... youre not punishing yourself youre also punishing the people that love you thats around you. My brother committed suicide in fact next month is his anniverssery of his death. I miss him dearly. He was my best friend. Now I am in a good positive trusting loving relationship and he can't be here to see it. When he did that I was going through a seriousley bad abusive relationship. I got out. I started my own business, became a crisis counselor for abused and raped women just like you and I. I learned the rapist, the abuser it was THIER faults, they were the ones that chose to rape or abuse me. I learned to rise above that and not let those things in my life beat me down. I'm even in a good positive relationship with and disabled/retired drug and alcohol counselor. he's been great to me. So that right there goes to show you not all men are like that. You was at the wrong place at the wrong time. First of all you need to get some couseling from youre local womens shelter or rape crisis center. Second don't block youre friends and family out. They'll be there for you. I'll be here for you. Thirdly you should go take self defense classes. not only will it teach you to defend yourself at the worst times like that or a mugging but it will also empower you and thats very very important. I can't give you my email addy or anything like that but please if you ever want to talk. I'll be here for you. You need to talk to someone. You have to start trusting your family and friends. let me know if you prosecuted this jerk. You need to if you haven't it's never too late.

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Old 09-24-2004, 06:18 PM   #13
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Re: recovering from rape

Good to see that you have started the counselling. One question, do your closest friends and family know about you being raped? (i know you said that you told your mum 2 months after it happened) If your other family members and friends don't know of it, then they are probably wondering what has gotten into you and have given up dealing with the person you have become. You need to let those closest to you know, or if you don't want them to know the exact scenario, then at least just say to them "sorry, but something bad happened and i'm having trouble dealing with it, please ignore me if i'm in a bad mood"......This way, your friends and family will know you still care for them, but you are telling them in a non direct way to not take it personally.

The counselling will take a while to take effect and you also have to turn your thinking around. You have to start doing things to help yourself. It's going to likely be a long hard road, but you will get there through the counselling, support of here, learning to change your attitude about yourself, it wasn't your fault, it's just that there are sad cases like him around who do these things to women. Don't go hating all men, they aren't all like that. In fact, the number of men gating raped is rising too and a lot of men feel bitter b/c it's never in the media, never discussed or acknowledge. Whenever the word rape comes up, people assume it's always a man that rapes a woman.

Maybe you could join a support group for rape victims and actually talk to people who have been in your situation. Whatever you do, don't go harming yourself physically again, it's not worth it. You won't be the last victim of rape, there will be others and they need you and others like you to help them when they need help themselves. Also, don't freeze your family and friends out totally. I'm certain there are at least a few family and friends who could help you along the way. I think, like the previous poster suggested, self defence classes are a great idea. Not only can they be useful, but empowering too.

Last edited by Administrator; 09-25-2004 at 12:54 AM.

 
Old 09-25-2004, 07:00 AM   #14
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Re: recovering from rape

Hey guys
I really liked the idea of self defense classes. It made me actually crack a small smile when I read it in your posts. Not because I want to beat the guy up, more because I want to feel like I have control of something. I think I would feel more in control of my safety if I had a way to protect myself. Thanks for the suggestion! I will definately be looking in to that.

You asked if I prosecuted. No. I told the doctor, my mom, my therapist, and my boyfriend at the time (and presently) that I didnt know him and I couldnt remember anything about him.
The thing is, I remember everything. Sometimes I cant close my eyes even to blink without seeing his face as if we were touching nose to nose. I cant look around a crowded room without seeing somebody with the same hair or body type and start panicking. If I hear his name I want to cry and I refuse to say his name outloud. I hate the "R" word.
I dont want to prosecute because I dont want to tell. I dont want to think about it. I dont want to go in to detail with strangers. I want to just forget it.
My first therapist was terrible. An example, her cell phone rang while we were in sessions AND SHE ACTUALLY ANSWERED IT!!! I could go on and on about her. So I was put off by that for a while. But I have found a new counselor that I like a lot. I saw her on Monday. She said she's worried that I am slipping past anxiety and PTSD into a very real paranoia. It seems like all my worst fears have been realized in the past year, thus creating justification for my fears.
I wish I could just talk and talk and talk to you guys. It's so comforting because I dont have to look anyone in the eyes or face you tomorrow at work or anything. I wish I could just tell you all how my nightmares have all just come true within a year. I was stalked, my home was broken in to, I was beaten by an ex, I was raped, I found out I had cancer (and my father died from cancer when I was 6 so it's a scary word for me). But I feel so exhausted, like I dont have the heart sometimes to continue with my issues.
Until this year my biggest pet peeve was people who feel sorry for themselves. When I go on and on about it, I cant help but feel like one of those people, even though I know I dont feel sorry for myself.
I put myself in that dangerous situation. I made some stupid choices that led to a lesson learned. It could have been avoided.
But anything can be avoided by sitting in your bedroom all day forever. But when will I convince myself that sitting in my room is not the thing I should do? It's like my brain still has logic and reason, but my body just wont believe it.
Thank for listening to so much... I really needed you guys. I check this board many times a day. This is theraputic in its own right.

 
Old 09-25-2004, 08:45 AM   #15
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Re: recovering from rape

Quote:
Originally Posted by freebiekats
Hey guys
I really liked the idea of self defense classes. It made me actually crack a small smile when I read it in your posts. Not because I want to beat the guy up, more because I want to feel like I have control of something. I think I would feel more in control of my safety if I had a way to protect myself. Thanks for the suggestion! I will definately be looking in to that.

You asked if I prosecuted. No. I told the doctor, my mom, my therapist, and my boyfriend at the time (and presently) that I didnt know him and I couldnt remember anything about him.
The thing is, I remember everything. Sometimes I cant close my eyes even to blink without seeing his face as if we were touching nose to nose. I cant look around a crowded room without seeing somebody with the same hair or body type and start panicking. If I hear his name I want to cry and I refuse to say his name outloud. I hate the "R" word.
I dont want to prosecute because I dont want to tell. I dont want to think about it. I dont want to go in to detail with strangers. I want to just forget it.
My first therapist was terrible. An example, her cell phone rang while we were in sessions AND SHE ACTUALLY ANSWERED IT!!! I could go on and on about her. So I was put off by that for a while. But I have found a new counselor that I like a lot. I saw her on Monday. She said she's worried that I am slipping past anxiety and PTSD into a very real paranoia. It seems like all my worst fears have been realized in the past year, thus creating justification for my fears.
I wish I could just talk and talk and talk to you guys. It's so comforting because I dont have to look anyone in the eyes or face you tomorrow at work or anything. I wish I could just tell you all how my nightmares have all just come true within a year. I was stalked, my home was broken in to, I was beaten by an ex, I was raped, I found out I had cancer (and my father died from cancer when I was 6 so it's a scary word for me). But I feel so exhausted, like I dont have the heart sometimes to continue with my issues.
Until this year my biggest pet peeve was people who feel sorry for themselves. When I go on and on about it, I cant help but feel like one of those people, even though I know I dont feel sorry for myself.
I put myself in that dangerous situation. I made some stupid choices that led to a lesson learned. It could have been avoided.
But anything can be avoided by sitting in your bedroom all day forever. But when will I convince myself that sitting in my room is not the thing I should do? It's like my brain still has logic and reason, but my body just wont believe it.
Thank for listening to so much... I really needed you guys. I check this board many times a day. This is theraputic in its own right.
girl you got to tell the police. I unhderstand that you don't want to tell anyone but if you don't he'll do it again because he'll think it's allowed and it's ok to rape someone. You really should take self- defense classes. It would help defend if you was ever in that predictiment again. I can suggest one movement that is very simple and he won't be able to move. Take youre foot and slam it down on his knee-caps, If he don't have knee caps he can't walk. My hubby that was in special forces taught me that manuvuer. And we are all here for you. It is easier to talk to someone you don't have to look at. I took many many call's from women that just needed someone to listen to them. Thats what I am here for. Even though that vollenteering took alot out of me because by then my fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome was setting in and the call's was to stressful for me to handle. This....on the net I can do all day long. Call's are harder. I guess it's because i knew they were in terrible trouble. And thats what stressed me out. Some seeked out help some didn't get help. PLease please report the rape like i said never too late. If you have a squeaky clean police record you can always get a permit to carry a you know what concealed. You have to take classes to get the permit. I'm here for you if you ever want to talk. I do check my email and am subscribing to this thread. Grr grr grr if I could I'd add you to my friends list so that way you can always have someone to talk to thats around but I think rules won't let us. But we are here and we will listen. You can't make youreself a prisoner thats not right. Don't do that to yourself. Don't shut youreself out from the world outside. Yeah we have our bad apples but not everyone is like the rapist. Time heals all wounds, You'll have scars from this but time heals all wounds. Keep getting the therapy first and foremost. If you can't I'll help in anyway I can. But I do encourage you to continue going to therapy. The therapist is there to listen to youre problem, not judge, not tell you what to do,but, what you NEED to do .

Youre friend anytiome you need me,
Gentle Hugs
Dana

 
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