**Trigger Warning/Content Warning: This article discusses topics of sexual assault**
Although sexual assault is a difficult topic to talk about, it’s an unfortunate reality for many.
With April being Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, I wanted to share my personal experiences. I have had a long journey with assault and learning how to deal with it, and I hope that my experiences are helpful to others. I was assaulted by someone in my freshman science class in high school, a mutual friend that I went on a blind date on, and someone that I was in a serious relationship with.
For a long time, I didn’t realize that I had been assaulted. It took me a long time to realize that me being violated equated to assault. From there, I felt that my assault wasn’t as bad as what other people went through, so I thought that I wasn’t deserving of help. It took me up until this semester to reach out for help and someone to talk to. What I’ve learned is that no matter to what extent a person is assaulted, they are always deserving and worthy of help and love.
I personally have not told any “trusted adults” about my experiences with assault, the only person I have told is my boyfriend. I’m not entirely sure about my stance on telling adults, because I personally chose not to because I’m not comfortable with it. I definitely think it is a good idea to talk about it to trusted people, whomever that may be, because starting those conversations has helped me start the healing process. In the end, it boils down to a personal choice.
My assaults have affected me in ways that I was completely unaware of; I’ve had issues with self-confidence for a long time and I had assumed that it was always there. I’ve come to realize that it stems from my experiences with assault and emotional abuse from my ex-boyfriend telling me that I’m not worthy of love and that I can’t get a good boyfriend with the way that I am. I’m still not done with my journey to self-love again, which is a whole different issue itself.
I can’t say that I know what I’m doing when dealing with these instances, but I hope that my personal experiences and what I’ve learned from them can give some helpful insight to anyone who might be going through similar things. I definitely struggled a lot trying to find how to even start dealing with this, so I hope that what I went through can help others speed up that process! Nothing is too small to be talked about, and the path to self-love is a long but worthwhile journey <3