«

»

Jul 22

Anonymous Story: On Loss and Regeneration.

Some years ago, I had this grand idea that I’d write a memoir. I mean, why not? It would be a funny, poignant and at times, blunt account of my many panic attacks. About how I’d once had one in front of a bus load of tourists, at a rest stop on the side of the 400. I’m sure pictures were taken.

I had a chunk of it done and edited, but fear stopped me from going any further. There were things in there I couldn’t imagine loved ones reading. I didn’t want them to know what had happened but I wasn’t entirely sure why. Did I actually feel shameful? I started thinking about how that can be a gleaming connection among abuse survivors. I knew I shouldn’t feel a sense of shame and yet, there it was. I used to write jokes upon jokes, with the unspoken goal of being a comedian and comedians are open books. Why was I so afraid?

So I sat on it.

This year, Bill Cosby went on trial for Sexual Assault. It brought back a wave of thoughts and emotions. I thought of the pressure to keep such things to ourselves and the toll that takes. It made me push for a society in which we are believed and supported. Always.

One of my dear friends has a quote: “if it’s both terrifying and amazing, you should pursue it.” The amazing part here is that I have the ability to share a truth that inspires me to be a part of the community around me. To listen to it, love it and learn from it.

I was assaulted. I was eleven.

Many people who hear that get awfully quiet. They become awkward. It’s a fair response, I can admit. It’s not right nor wrong, just a response like any other.

I was assaulted. Ask me about it. I’m strong. I’m determined and able. It’s not a secret. It was never a secret.

I can understand that it might be difficult to imagine a human being in as awful a situation as it gets. Hard to imagine that situation happening to a child. It’s a perspective you might not want to have and I can’t blame you.

You might also think that this type of situation only occurs between strangers and one of those strangers is deemed “creepy.” It happens inside relationships.

Maybe you think those with power and money are exploited with false allegations because you just don’t want to believe they are actually, you know, humans who are capable of terrible things. They are. It happens.

It happens so quick and yet too slowly. You’ll ask “is this real?” as fast as you can take a punch to the gut. You’ll remember it so many times that you’d swear your limbic system was a skipping needle. You might even vomit after your very first attempt to verbalize it. Maybe you’ll look at your arms and legs and lay blame on them for betraying you with stillness. It happens.

You might lay in a bed that is never clean enough. Talk in a manner that isn’t sincere enough. Love in a way that isn’t pure enough. People may remind you that you’re not paying enough attention to their conversations, to your health, to the end goal. Your body may be a really ugly place to reside, but will feel tolerable at times too; it’s nonlinear. It happens.

You may feel indestructible and confident and that’s wonderful. That’s life. You may crave touch, relate inappropriately, respond harshly. People will not understand. That’s life. People will understand and you’ll appreciate their support.

You may find your voice at a matter of your choosing. You may never find that voice and that’s okay.

Our community has a responsibility to create a safe, inclusive environment for survivors to thrive. It’s what we should extend to any and all.

Let’s please talk about it. Communicate it aloud. The more silence we give these crimes, the more power we allow them.

About the author

WYR

When You’re Ready.org is a community for survivors of sexual violence to share their stories.

Permanent link to this article: http://whenyoureready.org/anonymous-story-on-loss-and-regeneration/