Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Me Too! [Part 1]

You see it time and time again. Some woman, any woman, maybe even some woman you may know personally experiences any sort of sexual assault and as soon as she gets the courage to speak out about her experience, she's immediately confronted with opposition instead of support. Sexual assault/abuse comes in many forms (anything from some unwanted groping to being raped) and every form of sexual abuse/assault causes permanent scars. These scars aren't visible. The scars a woman carries with her from sexual abuse have been hidden away, yet under close scrutiny those scars are worn with everything she thinks, she feels and she does. All one needs to do is open their eyes and see the pain.

I totally understand why it takes some women years to be able to speak about their experience. I understand the years of self-hatred and shame they bear. I understand the feeling of knowing how speaking out will open an ugly can of worms devouring maggots and once it's open, it can't ever be closed again. I understand the feeling of knowing how some people will think you have an over active imagine, you just want to cause trouble and of course, some people will do the worst thing possible. They'll pity you and try to keep you in the "victim" box. It's especially damaging to anyone who has managed to move past being a victim to be constantly stuffed back in that cold, dark box by everyone around them.

I understand being reluctant to say anything because once you say anything, a barrage of questions follow. How could something like that happen? Are you sure it happened that way? Why has it taken you so long to say something? Why didn't you just say no? Why don't you remember all the gory details? Being the center of attention is the last thing anyone who has been sexually assaulted wants.

I understand how people question how it's possible to forgive the person who assaulted you. Forgiveness has little to do with  the person who caused you pain. It has more to do with taking back your power and allowing yourself to heal. In order to do that forgiveness is required. That forgiveness includes forgiving yourself for being too weak to stop the assault or for putting yourself in harm's way. How many times do you hear "well, she asked for it?" No one asks to be sexually abused unless they're a masochist. For most, sexual abuse is a horrifying, crippling experience and it takes a lifetime to heal.

Imagine in some cases having someone you know and trust sexually assault you. Imagine not knowing who to tell or how to tell someone because you don't know if anyone will believe you. Imagine feeling conflicted about saying anything because you know if you say anything it will cause pain for the person who assaulted you. Why in hell should that matter? Trust me, it does matter, A twisted sense of loyalty can form to protect the person who assaulted you if you know and love that person, but along with a twisted sense of loyalty a permanent sense of dread forms as well. If someone who's supposed to love you would harm you in that way, then what is the rest of the world going to do to you? What are all those faceless nameless individuals who don't care about you going to do? You feel ss long as you protect your abuser, you protect yourself as well.

Being constantly on guard takes its toll on a person. Sometimes the person lets that guard down and says "what the hell!" Some people become promiscuous as a way the deal with their pain. They see having sex as a way of being in control. So the more sex you have, the more control you have. Some people turn to drugs and/or alcohol to numb the pain. In the end, nothing works. The pain stays with you staring you in the face each and every day.

I understand that it's an ugly topic to discuss. People who have been subjected to sexual abuse would like nothing more than to keep that ugliness hidden away, but the longer it's hidden away, it festers and affects how you look at the world. It affects every relationship you have and often times, it prevents you from having a lasting relationship. Many people who go through this experience spend their entire life seeking something they just don't know how to have or where to find it.

23 comments:

  1. Although I wasn't sexually assaulted, I did have a teacher kiss me on the lips and it was very traumatic. I was in 10th grade. I didn't say anything cause I knew that my mother would automatically assume I was the one to blame and my father would not have wanted a scandal. I just avoided being alone with him the rest of the time I was in school. He was the station manager of our high school radio station and that was my passion at the time. If I told, my parents also would've forced me to quit radio. So I kept quiet. Then when I told my husband who incidentally went to high school w/ me, his automatic response was to laugh and jeer/tease about it. I burst into tears. I told him how would he like it if a teacher had done that to his daughter. That shut him up fast and he apologized.

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    1. Yes, you were assaulted and that teacher is a pig. I wonder how many other girls he did that too and more...I'm glad your husband was able to look at your experience seriously and that your had the strength to hold your ground.

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  2. Yes. On every level.
    And, if you do speak out, the legal system will crucify you as well.
    Things hidden in the dark do have a nasty habit of festering and growing don't they?

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    1. I think many women are finally coming forward and are willing to be crucified in order to change things.

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  3. I am sure that nine out of ten women have been sexually assaulted, either verbally or physically. To come forward means probably more abuse. It has to stop. I feel so sorry for this poor woman who will testify against Kavanaugh. Her life will never be the same.

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    1. That statistic sounds about right to me. I think how this whole thing is ultimately handled will be a tell all about so many things that need to be changed.

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  4. "Being constantly on guard takes its toll on a person."

    It rips your body apart to be constantly on guard. It can lead to an early death.

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  5. Unfortunately, this is the story of so terribly many women. I'm sorry that it's yours as well.

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    1. Thank you but don't be sorry, be mad and stay mad until things change.

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  6. I'm going to leave all these comments without any response from me. To all who have read my blog post and responded, thank you for speaking/writing from your heart.

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    1. Shut up, Mildred! Thanking people is a great thing but responding is greater!

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  7. If it's really that bad, shouldn't girls/women be speaking up to protect other girls/women?

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    1. I think that's what's finally happening, but change is slow and sometimes very painful. It's the pain that makes women reluctant to speak out on this topic and to share their own stories.

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  8. 9 out of 10,,, 1 out of 3,,, NO NO NO.....every woman, I repeat EVERY woman has experienced this in some form during their lifetime.

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    1. That's a depressing thought, but you may be right. Isn't it sad that so many women have sat in the dark with their painful stories? It's time they start coming out into the light and sharing their pain and their stories so this awful accepted practice will stop. It's time to take back our power and do something so others won't have to ever feel this type of pain.

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  9. For the longest time, women/girls were blamed for the assault they experienced, and also shamed for it. That made it difficult if not impossible to say anything. The self hate and the self blame are heavy burdens to carry. Things are getting better and women are starting to have a voice, but we are not quite there yet. What we should do it stop blaming victims and re-victimizing them.

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    1. Yes, things are getting better, but not fast enough. Re-victimizing anyone is a horrible sin and anyone guilty of doing that should be slowly tortured. :) I volunteer my services to help with the torture. I look at it like a humanitarian act of goodwill.

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  10. Took me until I was forty to tell anyone. I, to this day, can't imagine why it took me so long to bring that into the open.

    I have never moved past it, but I did move around it. Not always proud of how I did so, but...

    jnuts

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    1. I think "moving" away from it is the trick because if you don't move you stagnate in that cesspool and we all know there aren't any lily pads in a cesspool.

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  11. Replies
    1. Aren't I always correct? Just ask SWMBO about women always being correct.

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  12. grumble grumble something something, yes, grumble grumble.

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