Although I wonder more than ever if I will hit publish on this post, I have to remember that I write this blog for myself and my own memories, so what others have to say to it, if anything, is secondary to why I feel the need to write.
I feel the need to write because lately I have been pissed as hell at the world in general and you need only look at the national news to figure out the why of that.
So much of this “talk” about sexual assault in the last two weeks since the Christine Blasey Ford allegations came out against SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been literally painful to observe, both on TV and social media.
Why didn’t I just turn it off? Tune it out? Because I am a sexual assault survivor and triggering as the recent days have been, I can’t turn it off in my brain, so why should I or anyone else be able to ignore it in the news?
In fact, for those who are sick of hearing about this headline and would rather hear something – anything – else, imagine being raped or assaulted and living with THAT the rest of your life. And then, imagine the nation turning in on itself and making jokes and memes at the expense of survivors and having opinions on reporting shared when they themselves have never been faced with the tragedy of needing to report….
You, too, might be pissed as hell.
I know, I am supposed to be all yoga. All peace, love, and namaste, so why all the anger? Because I can be all those things AND be mad and sad and ready to stand up and scream: ENOUGH. For the sake of my children, ENOUGH. And I fear that if more of us don’t start screaming, the change we all desire and deserve is never going to come.
You see, this is me:I am 21 in this picture, the age at which I was date raped by someone I thought cared about me, someone I trusted and put myself with repeatedly, both before and after the assault.
Why didn’t I report it? Because for TEN years, freakishly almost to the date, I had no words for what happened to me. I couldn’t call it rape because I blamed myself for being in his proximity. For wanting to be with him. My brain, my memory, could not attribute the correct language to what he did to me until I was thinking one day about another incident at a house party where a male friend kept another male from following me into a bedroom and doing God knows what to me while I was drunk.
Yes, you read that right. It was my relief of “Oh my God, I could have been raped!” that made me realize that rape actually was a part of my story anyway, because I did not want to have sex the night I lost my virginity to the boy who took it.
Yes, you also read that right. My first time having sex was not my choice.
Imagine how I felt telling my husband that. Imagine what it was like to sit in my therapist’s office and lose it over what happened to me and how my brain hid it from me for so long. Imagine telling my family and friends. And imagine how I feel when I think about talking to my children about sex someday. About consent. About waiting for “the one.”
For me, that’s a shitty bag of emotions and just like it is hard to see sexual assault so flippantly discussed online right now, I know it is going to be incredibly hard to have that conversation with my kids someday. To lay my shame before them.
But again, I say ENOUGH. Enough hiding, enough pretending, enough bullshit. If we do not lay words and language to this, we will never correct it. We will never heal from it. And if it takes a bunch of anger to get us, collectively, to a point where we can have these awful conversations, with each other and with our families, then so be it.
I will take my anger and I will channel it in such a way that brings about what matters most to me in all this – a different outcome for my children, and yours.