Not a Victim

^Forewarning: talks about sexual assault and abuse.

{Spoiler: IT ISN’T YOUR FAULT}

What they did is not–was not, and WILL NEVER BE okay. It was not your fault-what happened to you. You did nothing wrong. The only thing about that situation that is wrong, is THEM. And despite how you feel, I know because I’ve felt it to, you are not powerless. You are limitless.

Twice in my life I have gone through crisis counselling. It had to do with abuse and assault, pertaining to the sexual. First of all, I want to say to you, that going for help is the most courageous thing you can ever do. Knowing you need help, and then asking for it, is a mark of strength not weakness. That is something I know to be true. Know to be true in the very depths of my shining soul. And what happened to you, despite how you feel, isn’t your fault. You’re not dirty. You’re not “wrong”. You have NOTHING to be ashamed of. What THEY did, what was done to you, is what THEY did to you. It is NOT a stain on your character. It is nothing you chose. Nothing you “asked for”. 

I don’t know if you were on Twitter recently, or if you’ve seen the horrendous, heinous comments from one of the Presidential Candidates (Yes, I’m talking about Trump), and I don’t know if they’ve affected you at all. Never mind in the same way as me. But for me, reading through the stories of why women don’t report, has brought up so many of the feelings that come with sexual abuse or sexual assault. And that is something that has the ability to strip away every part of you that feels human–what it feels like is indescribable. Searching through the tag “Whywomendontreport” my heart is aching, tears keep flowing, to say I feel it on a personal level would be a gross understatement. I am sorry on behalf on humanity to those who are exposed to this and haven’t yet been able to ask or find help. For those who are confronted with the darkness of the past and those who are still battling it. I promise you, it gets better. And if you ever need someone to listen, I am here. I will not judge.

And I promise you this, if you just find and ask for help, it will get so much better. You are not the pain and darkness and shame of your past, you are not your mistakes, you are not others’ mistakes. You are more powerful than anything that has ever been done to you. And you are not a victim. You are strong and you are a Survivor.

The tag #whywomendontreport is hard to look at. Because of the sheer amount each story echoes. It reminded me of what it felt like to be reduced to something inhuman and worthless. It reminds you how at first you blamed yourself for he (or she) did to you. What they made you feel. Remind you how after, you shut down. And then every single piece of the world was just an atom–everything was nothing, which meant it didn’t really matter if you were in this world or not.

It is not isolating. Isolating is what you get when you’re chronically ill or dying. It is beyond isolating. It is going into the area of Isolation they call No-Mans Land.

It is the hardest thing you will ever have to face. But it will be the most worthwhile battle you will ever fight.

The reasons why women (and men) don’t report sexual assault are numerous and they vary. Sometimes, it’s because you’re too young to know you should. Sometimes it’s because it was a cop. Sometimes it was your uncle, your father, your aunt, or a family friend.

If you can take one thing from this shout into the void, I hope it is this, it wasn’t your fault. Cling to that kernel of hope when everything else has left you. Man or woman. Girl or boy. Whoever you are. Just know it wasn’t your fault. And despite what has happened to you, you can and will rise from the ashes-new, whole and powerful beyond measure. Take it from someone who knows.

What is done to us is nothing compared to what we can become.

You are not a victim. You are a survivor. 

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