I’ve been thinking about what in my story could help others. I’m a firm believer that what was meant for evil, God will use for good. Then I think maybe it’s just the pure fact that I’ve learned to survive, maybe that is the encouragement. It has been a long road, one I’ve just recently learned to appreciate.
Sometimes I can’t really remember what I was like before that night. Being violated in that way broke a piece of me. It literally felt dark, all of the time. I would smile and get dresssd, I learned the phrase “fake it till you make it”, this was my go to. I had so much shame and regret that the thought of having anyone find out scared me. Keeping that secret haunts me to this day. It kept me isolated and cut off from every thing. I learned to shut off my feelings and go on with things. I wish I would have said something, I wish I could’ve surrounded myself with people who would have loved me and told me it wasn’t my fault. But instead I let myself think about all the things I could have done different. My brain waged war on my already broken heart and spirit. It’s awful because rape is a violation of itself but the aftermath is a daily violation. I don’t believe it will ever be gone. I just have to remember that I’m more than what was done to me. What he did to me does not reflect on me as a person but on him. It’s doesn’t matter what I was wearing, if I had any drinks, did I know him. None of that matters, but those questions are what kept me silent. I was so afraid to have my name dragged thru the mud. I was afraid I would have embarrassed any one that knew me. I was a pastor’s daughter, I grew up in church, things like this aren’t supposed to happen. I’m supposed to be smarter. I’m supposed to be perfect. No one will be able to love me once they see how dirty I am. These lies are things that added to that silence. The culture today makes it hard for victims to speak up, to stand up. We have already been violated but then the system wants to violate us all over again by saying we should have known better, we could’ve stopped it if we wanted to.
Society as a whole needs to change the way we see, speak about and respond to rape. Education is the only way to change. I do not know how many times in one day I hear jokes, commemts, or see things in movies or TV, about rape. It’s funny because when I speak up about how that makes me feel people tell me I’m too sensitive, it’s just a joke. Yeah, it’s just a joke until it’s happened to you, to your mom, your daughter, sister, brother, cousin, best friend. Rape does not discrimate. I was not raped because I am Latina, a woman or a student.. I was raped because some Jerk could not take no for an answer.
Please don’t perpetuate the cycle. End it with you. When you hear a joke, correct it. When someone tells you they were raped don’t ask what they were wearing. Parents teach your children respect, love, and what sex means. It is a beautiful thing created by a perfect God. Don’t let that image be tainted by the dirtiness of this world. Teach your kids about sex, don’t think that school will teach them. Porn will end up teaching them and that is not an accurate depiction of how to treat someone.
It has taken years for me not to flinch when someone touches me or to have a panic attack when I get hugged. Anxiety and depression are a daily struggle, PTSD comes around to poke it’s head into my business every once in awhile but God is healing all the broken pieces He’s giving me back what was taken from me. He’s teaching me how beautiful I am, inside and out. One day someone is going to see the beauty inside and know that’s the real prize, that the packaging is just a plus. My God is a big god.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you. I appreciate your support and on behalf of every survivor out there, thank you for your understanding. Now, educate yourself and others. Go make a difference.
Source: What rape did to me