Saturday, April 19, 2014

Finding Your Truths After Being Taught Such Lies

I am extremely proud of the fabulous women who are adding their stories and experiences to my own, they are showing a strength that I greatly admire.  For every anonymous story that I post, there are dozens more you aren't reading, and I pray that fact isn't lost on you.  Rape is a lot like the cockroach of crimes, if you see one the odds are that there are hundreds of survivors you aren't seeing.  So as you see me standing alone here in the light, just know that I am not a rarity.  I am one of millions.  As alone as I have felt since I was 14, I now know that I am actually a member of one of the largest "clubs" in the country (and world).  It is important that we as survivors find a way to reach out to one another so that we may share our stories, our struggles in order to stop feeling alone in this great big world.  We are far from being alone, we have all been there, hell- many of us are still there.  We have all felt the same way: dirty, ashamed, guilty, lonely, isolated, misunderstood, a failure, worthless.  Even years later, I often still feel those lies are true, and I have to search to find my truth in the midst of the fog of lies.  I know that not one of those horrific experiences was my fault, yet often I still feel ashamed and guilty.  I know I did nothing wrong, yet I still feel shame.  I know I am loved and respected, yet I still feel like a worthless failure.  

It's that constant internal struggle between what you KNOW and what you FEEL, and so often that is where our supporters get lost.  They don't understand why you feel worthless and unloved and alone when they are right in front of you showering you with love and affection and support; it's very difficult for them to accept that the horrible experiences we have been through didn't just violate our bodies, but also our souls.  During our assaults, our minds were ingrained with all of the above lies, so while we can shower for days and eventually feel physically clean again, ridding ourselves of those lies is much harder.

Some have told me how brave I am to speak up, and while I appreciate the encouragement and compliments, I have to admit I'm not sure if it was courage that drove me so much as sheer pig headed determination.  I have been trying to get back to a "normal life" while keeping a huge part of me a secret, and that just is impossible.  I was trying to follow some very bad advice and keep who I was from the world because the news of my having been raped would have upset them, made them uncomfortable.  MY RAPE would have been difficult for THEM to handle.  The past few weeks I knew I needed to speak up, I was fed up with living in the shadows of secrecy, and I was absolutely sick and tired of pretending I was someone that I was not in order to make a few people feel better about themselves.  I was tired of seeing others cowering in the dark afraid for people to know they had been raped.  

If the general public's view of rape was to find and stop a rapist rather than blame the victim, this world would already start to see some real change.  So, again, I challenge you to click "Share" and not "Like", help me to break the silence and shed some light on the issues!