Not Better Off Dead: My BYU Rape Story

This is a difficult topic dealing with sexual assault on BYU campus.  The statistics of sexual assault are alarming: one in six women will experience a rape or attempted rape in her life time. Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.  Victims are male, female, and transgender (RAINN)  Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network provides support for sexual assault victims.  RAINN also has educational resources and information.  it’s anonymous. If you are a survivor, family member, friend or community member, visit this site.



trigger warning.


Today’s guest post is from Colleen Payne Dietz. Her interview with Elizabeth Smart is here, and her interview with Natasha Helfer Parker is here. I am a BYU alumnus, one of a heartbreaking nu…

Source: Not Better Off Dead: My BYU Rape Story



Run intervals on the track I was told.
I head out in the snowy, foggy cold.

I toe the line to start the workout 
Two hundred meters to crank out.

The first 100 meters went well
Then the workout went to hell.

Where is the track? Where did it go?
It’s buried under a foot of snow.

I follow what I thought was the turn
My thighs starting already to burn.

The footing is rough; obstacles hidden 
My common sense was overridden 

I kept stumbling over uneven terrain
Until I landed on my ass-again.

It will do no good if I break an ankle
The recovery time will surely rankle.

I needed to finish the workout still
To the gym, dear runner, and the dreadmill.

Buried track


Run from demons of mind and emotion

Seeking safety in body’s motion

Temporarily retreated 

But not defeated

Find strength inside 

Lift the head with pride

Fight the ogre of the mind

Until true peace you find

Getting There is Half the Fun

Running presents its own challenges in snowy, cold, and icy conditions.  You’d think the treadmill would be safe.  It isn’t.

My feet slid out from under

On my ass I fell asunder

coordination I clearly lacked

Like turtle flipped on its back

It’s too bad there wasn’t a video
It would go viral; this I know.

Not once, not twice, but it numbered three

That my feet slid out from under me

Help me I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!
I finally got traction; oh what luck!

I almost did my feet regain

But I slipped and fell again

Rising up from fall number four

I skated and slipped my way through the door

Inside makes a safe workout
No more falling without a doubt. 

Oh, now here comes the fun

It’s a Ten mile step up run

Ask me again and I’ll tell you still

I truly hate the dreadmill

Meditation for the Day

Words and quotes speak differently depending on mood and experience.  When I began this post last night my focus was on how one person can make a difference.  One doesn’t have to be famous or rich in order to touch the world.

Tonight I see the mosquito.


Problems buzz in my head: sadness, fear, confusion, loneliness.  They itch at my consciousness.  I swat at them, trying to kill them or at least chase them away.  They come back and I feel their bite again.  They may be small in the grand scheme of existence and life.  But they carry a disease called depression.

I have depression.  It makes a huge impact on my quality of life.  There are times that a crushing sense of hopelessness ride on my heart and soul.  I withdraw from people and activities, I don’t enjoy life, I have no interest in anything.  I exist.

Depression in one of the most common mental health problems in the United States.  Approximately 14.8 million adults are depressed at some point in their lives. Depression is correlated with suicide.  Depression responsible for over 2/3 of the 30,000 suicides reported in the United States annually.  (1)

There is hope.  Depression can be treated.  My life is not always dark. At times I experience a sense of peace.

I receive care by a clincial social worker and a neuropsychiatrist.  They are “small” in the world.  However, they touch the lives of many and help them heal, or at least have a better quality of life.  My friends and family are also sources of support and change.

I practice Tai Chi, yoga, and meditation.  I stay physically active. Small things.  Yet they make a difference.

Perhaps some day I’ll swat the mosquito.  And it will be the “small” people,and actions that will get me there.

(1) Depression Statistics