Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual assault is a serious and heavy topic. Those who have suffered from it sometimes experience long-term trauma, flashbacks, and nightmares. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and it is now more significant to me than ever. I am a victim of sexual assault. 

I know from personal experience that it changes your entire outlook on life and your life itself. My heart goes out to other victims of this terrible occurrence because I know what it feels like to come out from something like this. Sometimes I wonder how my life would be different if it never happened to me. Would I be happier? Less confused? More trusting? You ask a lot of questions when something like this happens to you, and the biggest question that continues to go through my mind is, "Why? Why did this happen to me? Why did this person do this to me? Why did I trust this person? Why did this have to happen?" You always want to satisfy the "Why?" You wish you could know. You wish you could hear an explanation from this person and why they wanted to do this to you. You wonder what you could have changed to keep this from happening. You wish you could go back in time and rearrange events to avoid this. I wish I could. But I can't. 

Instead, I have to hold tightly onto the things and the people that I love. I have to keep myself from putting up walls and pushing away people who do not deserve it. I have to avoid burrowing down inside myself and shutting down. I have to make sure I do all of this so that the nightmares and the flashbacks do not completely swallow me. 

Statistics show that roughly 1 in 5 women in the United States will be sexually assaulted at some point in her life. 

This is a disease that we have the cure to, but we can't seem to make it go away. 

Woman trapped outside window photo by Camila Quintero Franco from Unsplash

I am healing, but I know the wound will never completely close. I am lucky that I have those near me that support, love, and care for me because I did not have that at first. I lost certain friends over this incident due to victim-blaming. I was alone in this for a very long time, but I am speaking out about this now to be there for myself. Because I am the main person who will get me through this so I can help others. Because no one should feel like they are alone in their trauma and this horrible darkness. Sexual Assault Awareness Month is for me and all other survivors of sexual assault to show that we are stronger and more resilient than people think. To show that, yes, our minds can be flooded with bad memories and bad thoughts about ourselves, but we need to stand together and say that it was not our fault. To show that this needs to stop and the number of people who are affected by this month should not be growing. To show that we are not our trauma and we are not defined by what happened to us. 

So please, be there for someone. If you know a loved one or even an acquaintance who has suffered from something like this, be there for them. Acknowledge their strength and their worth, and remind them of it. 

 

HCXO, Kasidy