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What They Stole

They say that the body regenerates new cells every 7 years. If this is true it is the little bit of hope you hold onto that one day your body will belong to you again and it will be a body that they never touched. Maybe you will be able to feel a little bit like your old self before it happened but never all the way because sexual assault changes you. It changes how you think, what you do and how you respond to things. It doesn’t matter if it happens once or repeatedly, and that 7-year mark starts over each time it happens. You have to learn a whole new way to be comfortable in your own skin.

I think that far to often sexual assault gets minimized and pushed to the side today. Comments like “Oh it wasn’t that bad, or it’s over so just move on, you must have been asking for it”, get tossed around and those that are making the comments have no clue really the toll it takes on someone’s body even more so on their mind. You can experience a loss of yourself, like you have no clue who you are anymore or what your self-worth is. You don’t know how to feel safe wherever you are. Any little thing can trigger you back to the event in your mind and it plays on repeat over and over again. You start to push everyone away. Your mind goes to dark places where you can physically feel their hands all over your body. You will do anything to help numb or make you forget about it for even just a night. You start to think or wonder if it was your fault, it happened or how you could have stopped it when in reality there was nothing you could have done differently and it is not on you at all, it was the perpetrators’ fault. They are the ones who should be suffering but that is not the case unfortunately. They stole a part of you that is so hard to overcome and get back. It is about time we put the shame and blame on the one’s committing this violent crime and bring more awareness that it is not okay. No means no, it is not a maybe or a something that should be negotiated.

The survivors of this horrible act need to know they are not alone, someone understands what they are feeling and that their feelings are valid. They need to be believed, not felt like it was something they did to deserve being raped. They need someone to show them that they are not disgusting as a result of this attack. Survivors need to know they are still lovable and have purpose in this world.

I urge anyone out there that is struggling from sexual assault to please reach out and build a strong, positive, and reliable support team around you to process the rough road ahead. You are going to need to rely on those people to help you navigate and at times just be there to listen with no judgement when you have no clue how to explain what you are thinking or feeling. It is not going to be easy, but it is possible to figure out how to live and thrive in a new way.

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