I’m a woman, in my 20’s and am from the American Midwest. I’m also currently in college and am going into the medical field. I’m a feminist, a scientist, a musician, a swing dancer, a dreamer, and a million other irrelevant things.
Oh yeah, and I’m a survivor of multiple sexual assaults.
So why am I making this blog? To be honest, I’m not entirely sure yet. I already have a journal. Maybe this’ll be a good way to organize my thoughts in one spot. Or better yet, maybe it can help you recover, help you help someone who is recovering, or allow you to better understand what life is like as a survivor.
Here goes nothing.
My Not-So-Brief Story (TLDR version at the bottom)
Trigger warning: descriptions of sexual assault.
Turning eighteen felt pretty good, as it does for most people. For me, it meant celebrating my biggest accomplishment to date: overcoming the depression brought on by my parents’ divorce which began the previous year. It meant starting a new life with my mom after watching her being verbally abused ever since I can remember. It was a time of growth for both of us.
It was also a time of fear. I was afraid my depression would come back. I was afraid that I would repeat my parents’ mistakes by either becoming my father or marrying someone like him. Mostly it was a time of determination, because I was doing everything in my power to make sure those fears wouldn’t become a reality even though the odds were against me in both respects. Because of my parents, I learned that respect is the most important thing in a relationship. I knew that because of what I saw my parents go through, I would demand respect in every relationship and show them the door if that didn’t happen.
Well… that didn’t quite go the way I planned. Continue reading My Background and Story
Last night I had a mild nightmare about running into a few of the people who have sexually assaulted me. It only bothered me a little bit and didn’t seem to affect my day very much.
And that made me realize that I’m really starting to accept my PTSD symptoms. I view them much like the traffic: an unavoidable inconvenience that I have to accept every now and then.
I used to dearly miss being mentally healthy, but thankfully I haven’t had useless thoughts like that in a long time.
In the last year I don’t think I’ve had more than three difficult episodes of PTSD symptoms. It’s possible that I’m finding this easier to accept now that I’m not getting constantly harassed by symptoms. Whatever the case, I’m just glad that I seem to have accepted my new reality. Wishful thinking will do nothing but make me miserable.
Consent is like a castle.
In the castle, everyone is having enjoyable sexytimes.
However, the castle is surrounded by a moat.
And the moat is on fire.
The moat is embarrassment and awkwardness.
You have to cross the moat of awkwardness (by asking consent) to get into the fun castle where all the fun sexytimes are happening.
Suck it up and cross the moat.
(Adapted from Peter Strom’s metaphor for awkwardness and swing dancing)
Let’s take a break from my usual topic of sexual assault to discuss something else that affects my life quite a bit: domestic abuse. Long story short, I witnessed verbal abuse, and occasionally physical abuse, directed at my mom until she left my dad when I was 17. I heard that my dad’s dad was verbally abusive toward my grandma, and rumor has it that my grandpa’s parents were also in an abusive relationship. I even see the signs in my uncles. So I guess you could say this runs in the family.
But I’m going to break the chain. Continue reading The Family Tradition of Domestic Abuse Ends Here
Time for a brief life update. As I’ve mentioned previously, the second half of this year my subthreshold PTSD hasn’t been giving me a hard time. In addition, the “Me too” movement doesn’t seem to be negatively affecting my mental health much and nothing has really changed since I “came out” as a survivor on Facebook — which is a good thing. I wanted to just acknowledge it and move on. Continue reading “That’s Just My Life”