I was inspired to write this post after seeing so many share these two words. I’ve wanted to write this so many times and have started many times too but have always been scared to commit. But now I have. It’s scary, my heart is racing in this moment but if it helps the greater good it’s worth it, right?
What do you think when you are talking to a random person and they ask you for a hug?
What do you feel? Is it a fleeting yes why not I love sharing the love?
For me, it’s not. That kind of intimacy is far too much for me.
The reason? A lot of people think of sexual assault as the guy in the dark alley who grabs you but for many that isn’t the case. I know that for me it certainly wasn’t.
Many people think that sexual assault is the forceful actions but sometimes it’s the sneaking in extra action when “No I don’t want to” has already been said. You know, those times where you are getting hot and heavy with a guy and then he just goes ahead even though you said you don’t want to have sex. So you later question or blame yourself thinking well I lead him on.
What happened to me changed how I receive love. It changed how I view love and sex. Over the years I’ve discovered I’m not alone in this. Sex was always a means to an end in my eyes. It had nothing to do with love.
Now if a random guy wants to hug me I flinch and back away. I don’t want to treat all men like they are predators but that’s how my brain seems to work.
I know I need to change that but how do I do it?
I’ve spent years seeing professionals about everything. But I was never open and honest about that particular part of my life.
I’ve now been open and honest and have made some pretty amazing progress.
One thing that helps is the support I now have. I have a man who loves me and has stuck by me through all the ups and downs that come with the life I have been given.
But I still have those moments where I flinch and distrust those around me.
I tell myself be open, give them a chance, you will be ok. Pulling out the positive thinking tricks we are all shown at every turn on social media and the World Wide Web these days.
Retraining the brain is not an easy feat, and it’s one I’m still learning.
If there is anything I’ve learnt, it’s that it’s not going to be over after years of damaging the brain with those particular thought patterns.
I participate in trust exercises and I write and I share. I often don’t want to because I don’t want people’s perceptions of me to change. As with the suicidal tip toeing it also happens with the assault. My husband doesn’t want to do things because he doesn’t want to upset me.
I wasn’t sure how to go about writing this blog. Because I don’t feel like I’ve finished the journey and that I even have anything to help anyone from my experience. But I was assured by my friends that the fact that I’m still here, I’ve survived, I haven’t let it stop me from having intimate relationships is inspiring or helpful enough.
I guess I just want anyone who has been through this to know that it doesn’t matter the circumstance, it’s never your fault.
A friend once told me something she was told and I really liked it. She said “if I stop giving love or having sex because of what happened to me then I am allowing the guys who did that to me to continue to do that to me.”
So while I still have these moments where I know I haven’t completely dealt with it I will not let them win.
I’ve dealt with depression since my teenage years, the things that happened being part of the cause, but you will never see me being the victim. They say life happens for you, not to you, and that’s the difference between having and not having a victim mentality.
I choose to no longer let those who contributed to my mental health affect my current life situations. Take note of those first two words – I choose. Because in life we always have a choice of how to let the things that happen affect us.
At first I chose to ignore, and black out the things I experienced. But as with any feelings you bury, they will always find their way to the surface.
It’s been a long journey, and I’m not saying you will be able to feel the way I currently do instantly if you are only just dealing with trauma, but I can promise it does get better if you allow it.
Don’t give up.
Don’t place blame on yourself.