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Showing posts from May, 2013

The Art of Butterflies

Butterflies are a symbol of rebirth and renewal.  A caterpillar, this weird looking bug, goes through a magnificent transformation, shedding everything that happened in its previous life, to become this delicate, graceful and truly stunning creature we call butterflies.   I love butterflies and all that they symbolize.  I have a few butterfly tattoos on my back, with each representing something or someone important in my life. My fourth one is in the works as a tribute to my dad.  I love butterfly art too. Before we had a house fire, I had paper mache butterflies hanging from the ceiling in my bedroom.   When I was in my sophomore year of college I hit the roommate lottery!  I lived in a suite with two of the greatest suite mates imaginable, Melissa and Carolyn.  We had were nothing alike at first.  I was the girl who was more comfortable in pajamas than anything else.  I liked WWE Wrestling, loud music and cursed like a sailor.  My ability to string profanities together in a coheren…

Back to November

I started this blog as a tool for healing and as a means of helping people who have gone through or are going through similar things that I am.  No one going through trauma should feel they are alone.  I said there would be 100% honesty on my part.  I would talk about the good days and the bad days openly.  I have done that, with one exception.  It is something that only my mom and a few very close friends have known about, until now. In November 2012, I had a miscarriage.  I was about 4-5 weeks into the pregnancy.  It was not planned by any means, and came about because the guy I was dating was an asshole who didn't use the condom I gave him to use.  I didn't know he didn't use the condom until after the fact.  I am a firm believer in practicing safe sex and I take the birth control pill religiously, but I was on an antibiotic that made it ineffective.   Needless to say I was not a happy camper and I have not spoken to him since.  He was not the person he presented himsel…

Reflections from the Walk

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It has taken a week of reflection to gather my thoughts from the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event.  I have been on a bit of an emotional roller coaster since the event.  It took a few days for it all to even fully sink in.  Now that it has, I can honestly say that I am in awe of the people I had the honor of meeting there and still amazed that so many men willingly put on high heels just to stand up and walk with us. 
I was nervous about speaking about my rape in public.  I know that I tell my story here, but it is different when you see the faces of those you are writing to and getting an immediate reaction from those faces.  I was grateful to my mom for being there with me, supporting me, like she always has.  She has been my rock through all of this.  One of the people I had the honor of meeting was a 16 year old girl, named Kaitlyn, who was also there to tell her story.  Kaitlyn was sexually assaulted when she was 15.  She had the courage to press charges against her attackers. We de…

My Speech from the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event on May 4, 2013.

I was truly humbled by the amazingly brave women, and the men who were there to walk a mile in high heel shoes for them, that I met at the event.
Here is the transcript of the speech I gave at this event.


Good morning!  I would like to thank the Philly WAM Girls for their work and dedication to this cause.  I am honored to be a part of it.  We are all here for a common purpose.  We are here to stand up for victims of sexual assault and gender violence.   My name is Valerie Ricapito and I am a rape survivor.  I am here today to stand up for myself and for those like me.  I am standing up here today because I will no longer be silent.  I am here today to tell you my story.  I was raped 13 years ago and for 10 of those years I remained silent, never pressing charges, just hoping it would be like a bad dream and eventually fade off into the distance.   I was filled with shame, guilt, anger and embarrassment over what happened.  You see, at the time of my rape, I was a peer educator at my un…

One Step Forward and Two Steps Back

With every healing and recovery process there are bound to be some setbacks.Monday was a setback for me, but it was also a step forward. Over the years I have developed coping skills to deal with triggers when they occur.Unfortunately, without going into much detail, the triggers on Monday snowballed and none of my coping skills worked.I know that I am already on high alert because of the work Bonita and I are doing. As Bonita has told me, we are starting to stir up my subconscious and things are bound to come to the surface and get a bit angry.She said that when things become too overwhelming the best thing to do is care for myself in whatever way I see as best, so long as it is not self-destructive.Back in my teens and early 20s, my way of coping was by cutting.Those few minutes of external pain would give me a chance to breathe and momentarily escape the internal torture I was experiencing.I justified it by thinking that I never cut deep and I always made sure to hide it.I know now,…