My darlings, this is not my typical kind of Thanksgiving Weekend post. This post is going to be raw and honest. It deals with a heavy topic that could be triggering for some. Please reach out if it is. We’re all in this life together.
This week, I opened up for the first time about being sexually assaulted when I was young. It’s a conversation that was long overdue. There have been tears. There has been a flood of suppressed emotions. And I heard the words that I desperately needed to, which I’ve been trying to convince myself for over 15 years now – “It was not your fault.”
I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching lately – as you do when you’re single and trying to figure out what is wrong with you. When you’re trying to find an explanation as to why your dreams have yet to come true and how to fix yourself so that they will < sooner rather than later, thank you very much. >
There has been this little monster hiding, crouched in the depths of my gut all this time. I have tried to ignore him. I’ve known that he’s impacted every single relationship I’ve ever had, but I haven’t wanted him to reveal his face. I wanted to forget. But this week, I was reminded that he’s not going anywhere. And I need to face him in order to take away the power he has held over me.
I scrawled a few lines about him; this monster that I’ve known since I was 13.
And I shared these words online:
I shared it for everyone to see. All the strangers, all my past lovers, my family and friends. I shared it because it’s been a secret for too long. I shared it because it isn’t fair that people have to live with these experiences in silence. I shared it because it’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month and I want people to know that there are others out there who know this pain. I shared it because I needed to expose this monster for all that it is so that I can move on.
And then my mum sat me down and said “Was what you wrote about about you? Did that happen to you?” And I sat there and cried. I became that scared 13 year old, and told her how much fear, shame and regret I have been living with all this time.
We live in a culture that blames women for these trespasses on our innocence.
This is why I have remained silent for so long.
But with all of the mainstream news these days: misogynistic comments made by presidential candidates, the fact that women are still fighting for reproductive rights, a rapist set free after a mere 3 month jail sentence, anti-abortion propaganda littering our streets, just to name a few – I could not remain silent any longer.
Statics say that 1 in 3 girls are victims of sexual abuse before the age of 18.
This is not OK.
I hate that I am part of this statistic. I hate how much it has impacted my life, and my relationships, and the person that I am. I hate the fear of knowing that if I ever have a little girl, the chances of her having to face a similar reality is so high. Too high. And I hate living in a society where we are silenced, where all of this is normalized, and where we are blamed: Why did you put yourself in that situation? Didn’t you know better? What did you expect? But look at what you were wearing. You must have given him the wrong impression. You shouldn’t have drank so much….
I pray that facing this monster is what I needed to do to heal. I am tired of trying to breathe through the tight grip it has had on my life. I am ready to be free.
If you need help, please reach out.
And know that you are loved.