Monday, March 27, 2017
How I Survived My Sexual Assault
I survived the rape physically. They left me on my front lawn. It was a humiliation that would haunt me for the next decade, literally. The next decade consisted of self-destruction in every form. Bad relationships, partying, excessive everything, eating disorders, you name it, I did it. And then there was the moment where I could not continue life, bearing the load of what happened anymore. I found myself calling free help lines and hotlines every night, talking about what happened in an attempt to stay sane.
It’s really hard, if not impossible, to get over this type of violation. When the scene of the crime is your body, you are confronted with what happened to you every day. My new routine of calling rape hotlines ended the night I woke up an on-call operator. I discovered that some of these hotlines were quite small where people took turns manning the phone. Even though the woman who answered wasn’t happy about being woken up, she was perceptive enough to see that there was something seriously wrong going on at my end of the phone. Over the next few days she called, urging me to make an appointment to go to my local rape crisis center. I remember going there and sitting in the room and reading the “Survivor’s Psalm” on the cork board. I wrote about it here on “The Huffington Post” almost six years ago.
I started grieving the 10 years I’d lost between being raped and actually getting help for what happened.
I did get counseling and help, but it opened another can of worms. After finally talking about what had happened, I developed horrible anxiety and a new awareness that made me not want to leave the house. I was fearful of people and became depressed. I started grieving the 10 years I’d lost between being raped and actually getting help for what happened. I grieved the person who was almost destroyed. I felt sorry for what she went through, and the potential and talent that was lost because of all the time and energy she wasted by not dealing with what had happened.
And then the miracle happened when I began to blog a series on how I dealt with rape and the aftermath. I didn’t immediately feel comfortable writing about this. When the first article I wrote was published I cried because I felt so ripped open and naked for the whole world to see. All of that changed with the first comment I received on the article in which another rape survivor thanked me for writing about what happened to me. She had been raped by a relative and no one believed her. She was living in a family that denied her story and supported her rapist. Her scenario is terrifyingly common, by the way. We were mutually validated and feelings of isolation and loneliness were somewhat dissipated for both of us.
Through the passage of time, more articles, more comments and emails from survivors, I felt less alone. I felt purposeful.
Through the passage of time, more articles, more comments and emails from victims, more “thank-yous,” more stories from men and women who had gone through similar (if not worse experiences) I felt less alone. I felt purposeful. My disgusting rotten rape lemons slowly turned into some kind of potable lemon water. It was not quite lemonade, but I had helped people. People told me that reading what happened to me made them feel less alone. Being raped is not something that people generally talk about. I believe that we started to heal together as a result of sharing our stories.
These days, I am a coach, writer and spiritual guide. I have a spiritual website, Magicalpsychics.com, in which people can call and talk to psychics and healers from all around the world at anytime of the day or night. If I could give any advice from my experience to someone who has been raped or molested it would be this:
Do not keep it to yourself. Tell someone who can help you. Tell a trusted friend or authority. Find someone who can help get you in touch with a good counselor, rape crisis or women’s center. Do not wait 10 years to start the inevitable process of facing this situation so that one day you can get to a place where you feel whole again. Do not wait. Get help today. Know that you are valuable despite how not valuable this violation of the worst kind has made you feel. Know that it is your attacker who is wrong. You were not wrong for being at X, Y or Z or wearing this, that, or the other thing. Do not wait any longer. You need to get help today so you can start living and thriving in life. I lived through the rape, but “living” is hardly how I would describe what I was doing. Until I got help I was suffering through life. You deserve better.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.
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