I strongly believe that where you choose to focus your attention and energy is what you will get more of. This current election is challenging to say the least. I have to focus hard not to fuel any more attention for “Zaphod Beeblebrox” (my family’s way to say you-know-who with giving him as little as possible of our energy), I can’t help but get triggered by all the surrounding victim-blaming and crazy-making comments. I go right back to all the times it happened to me and the decades of emotional pain and suffering.
I feel rage and want to shake the world… You cannot possibly understand the layers of internal torment a survivor goes through before they even utter a word about one incident and I can guarantee that for every one incident there are plenty more. I was 11 years old when I woke up in the middle of the night at a sleepover being molested. I was 16 when I first told someone, 31 before I made a report. That is 20 years and the cascade of negative effects that engulfed me are beyond years or words.
I would wish everyday for it not to be true, well at least everyday I was conscious for and not a disconnected robot. When triggered, I would play every second through my head over and over again wondering: How can this happen?… But then again, how could it not…I didn’t even know that it wasn’t suppose to happen. What I learned most from society, religion, and home was that men are allowed to do whatever they want to get their needs met and women are meant to serve and be submissive. I never knew I had a choice nor had any skills to know how to say “no” even if I known I had the right…
The daily battle of getting out of bed and desperately wanting to escape… the hypocrisy, the madness, the suffering. Then on top of it all, you are trained to put on a happy face and pretend everything is fine because god forbid you call any negative attention to you or upset anyone. When you can’t sleep at night and the touch of anyone, even those you love, makes you freeze and want to crawl out of your skin… And then again, you still have to pretend; I a woman, this is the role I must play. It is the only life you know…
Thank goodness for graduate school and specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy that I learned that I had rights and the skills to stand up for myself. Reporting is one of the scariest things I have ever had to do. Fortunately, I discovered that often times the actions that are the scariest to do, are the ones that will eventually transform us the most. I started to make the biggest strides in my healing after I finally made the report in my 30’s.
I am dumfounded that people can’t see how scary it is to report. Your exposed again, reliving the assault yet this time magnified and re-traumatized. It is gut-wrenching enough within you own mind, body, and soul, can you even imagine your most vulnerable parts being broadcasted!? I assure you, no amount of money or so-called “publicity” would every make up for this suffering.
When I hear a person share their story, I just want to hug them, listen with compassion, and hold their hand through this seemingly endless journey of being able to trust and feel joy and pleasure again. I choose to put my energy and attention for empowering and supporting people. I want everyone to know that no one has the right to touch you without your conscious and informed consent and you have the right to change your mind at any time. I believe this video sums it up nicely:
I also believe that everything and person has value, so hoping that “Zaphod Beeblebrox” is a motivating force to awaken and elevate our collective consciousness for a compassionate and relationship-rich society where we are all responsible.
For more on my story and supportive links, read forgiving sexual abuse .