I just came across a video I made on the four year anniversary of the first time I was sexually assaulted by an ex-boyfriend. I actually went to the place that it happened and rambled at a camera. So here’s the transcript of that video. Also, the picture at the top of the page is at that location. This has been edited for clarity.
“Alright, well… I don’t know what to say. This is kinda weird ‘cuz right here is where I was sexually assaulted for the first time by an ex boyfriend. That was four years ago today, and honestly I can’t really tell you why I’m here. I’d want to say it’s for closure or something, but that’s probably me just making something up to sound good. I don’t know why I’m here.
It feels strange to be here. I actually got tense the moment I got on the trail., but overall I’m taking it better than I expected because I’m already having a good day today. So even if I’m taken down a few notches, I’m still feeling pretty good right now.
Take a look at this place! I grew up in this area. How stunning is this? Pretty much anytime I was upset when I was young, I would come to this trail and just sit in silence. I learned to meditate out here. This is the place I would come when I was feeling upset. As far as I know, I’m one of the only people who comes out here. And so it’s just a really good place to go to feel calm again.
I don’t think I’ve ever done that since I was sexually assaulted here, honestly. Part of that, I think, is circumstance, because my dad’s house is over there. And I didn’t really spend that much time over there after my parents divorced, which was around the same time I was sexually assaulted the first time. So I guess part of it is proximity. But maybe another part of it is that this place is tainted for me now. It’s still definitely a nice place but… I just don’t need the reminder.
A lot has changed in the last four years. I don’t know where to start. It feels really weird to be here right now… talking to a camera. Yeah, I definitely don’t trust people as much as I used to. It’s something I have been working on for sure. But I’m really cautious when I start dating people., because I just don’t know what their intentions are. And I don’t want them crossing my boundaries again. It’s a shitty situation not matter what — even if they’re really sorry about it afterwards and learn from it, which has happened. It’s still just horrible and I don’t want to deal with it again.
And the triggers. That’s honestly the hardest part, because there’s so much anxiety surrounding it. I mean, just a side hug can set me off these days. It has for a few years, and that [a side hug] is a really common thing to happen. Just getting touched on the side of the ribs drives me nuts. It gets me so freaked out. It’s been getting better. I mean, I got a panic attack once but that was well over a year ago. Since then I just get anxious and nervous when it happens. I’ll take that over a panic attack any day. Anything’s better than a panic attack.
But I don’t like walking through my day knowing that it [a trigger] could happen. Of course I’m trying to put my past behind me. I don’t want to say I want to forget about being sexually assaulted. That’s not true. They were horrible but they’re a very important part of who I am now. I’ve changed a lot because of what I’ve been through, so to forget what brought me here… it just wouldn’t feel right. But at the same time, I don’t want to relive the memories. I don’t want to relive the emotions surrounding the memories on a regular basis. No thank you.
That’s the main thing that’s hard about it [being a [survivor], cause if it weren’t for the triggers, it [my sexual assaults] wouldn’t even really bother me anymore. It’s horrible. Absolutely. But… life goes on. Except the triggers don’t let me get all the way there. They don’t let me get to a point where my assaults are no longer immediately relevant.
It’s really nice out here. I’m surprised by how calm I’m feeling. You’d think I’d be more anxious here, given what happened. I lost a piece of my innocence that day. And don’t take that in a weird way. I literally just mean a childhood innocence. He forgot that my body belongs to me and me alone. It’s really hurtful, because this [my body] is the only thing in this world that truly belongs to me. To have someone treat it with such disrespect…
That was also the first physical relationship that I had. So to have such a negative experience with that really set the tone for every relationship since then. Before this guy, all I’d really done was light French kissing. Whatever. So to have him try to force me into the rest of it when I was not ready… I would’ve been content just kissing this guy for months straight. I didn’t need any more than that. And for him to just try and force so many new things on me — sometimes forcing with words, sometimes forcing with… his body…”
And then my battery died. That was already pretty long-winded anyway.
Thanks for reading this! You can find my backstory here.