A year ago today, I got brave, took a deep breath and told the story of my rape to Jenn at InterAct. It’s been a year of ups and downs, tears, tears and more tears and letting go of lots of gunk I had no idea was there. Don’t get me wrong. I knew something was askew, hence part of the reason I was there and part of the reason for my self-imposed dating sabbatical 2 years prior. I needed to heal. I just had no idea how much pain and emotion 5’5″ of human could hold!
I filled out the paperwork, burst into tears on telling Jenn my story over about a 2 hour conversation, and cried so many tears I lost track. I was absolutely sure the world would stop turning or I’d get struck by lightening though it was a clear, sunny day, or that I’d get busted for speeding even though I was going the speed limit for once.
I was sure he could hear me or that God would be mad at me or something! Your brain will tell you some crazy stuff to keep you from changing your mind, body and spirit! You’ll die if you tell or something bad will befall you or no one will like you or believe you or, or, or…or what?
Truthfully, I couldn’t hold onto it anymore. I needed to let go. I needed to stop hurting already!
I held onto it for 11 years. 11 years of hell and dysfunction and well maybe you wanted it and don’t– No, I remember it, the details, frame by frame like I was watching a really bad porn movie.
I’ve spent the last year peeling off layers, letting go of pain, anger, shame, guilt and everything else you can imagine. Healing my rape, discovering new things about myself and my rape. Sharing it selectively with trusted friends.
It’s like a clog in a pipe. You pull out the clog and the original event is buried underneath grease, hair, and whatever else has gone down that pipe and gotten stuck to the clog until one day, it stops up. Or you get fed up. I got fed up!
Truthfully, I was in shock when it happened and the sense of shame, guilt and dread kept me from speaking at all. I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea that my boyfriend, someone I trusted and chose to share myself with, would do something so horrible to me. Especially when he had 2 small children at home at the time.
It shattered my life, my sense of trust in everybody and everything, especially myself and, of course, men. I’ve learned to make decisions and have confidence in those decisions again. I’ve had to re-teach myself things I didn’t even realize I’d stopped doing.
I know now that I am not my rape. It happened to me. I didn’t relinquish control and it’s not my fault. I have given myself permission to heal and to heal my rape. I know I am worthy of a beautiful, happy, joyous, abundant life and I am working on building it, day by day.
I am using my voice to speak up and speak out, both in writing and in public. I told my dad and step-mom and told my mom and step-dad again. In April, I spoke publicly for the first time, in front of an audience of roughly 40 strangers and 2 friends of mine, telling my story because it needs to be told. Because I deserve to heal. Every victim of rape, sexual assault or domestic violence deserves to heal into a survivor!
So, today I start year 2. I’m ready to start dating again, to find a man worthy of my time, love and attention. Someone who will be by my side as I continue on my journey to healing. I AM READY!