Everything happens for a reason, right?

It’s crazy how fast time flies sometimes. You go through the same motions day to day, and suddenly, it’s 6 months after you’ve been assaulted.

A few months ago while on spring break, I was assaulted. I don’t feel the need to go into details because, well, it happened, and I can’t change it. In the beginning months, I wished I could have gone back in time. Maybe I would have done that night differently. Now, however, I’m okay. My assault is a part of me, but doesn’t define me. It’s actually helped me grow in more ways than I can imagine, and I want to show you guys that sometimes, everything happens for a reason.

First of all, I’ve become an advocate. I used to volunteer for random organizations and not really have any passion whatsoever. Now, I volunteer for a woman’s shelter, It’s On Us, and my campus sexual assault group. I am helping people who know what I’ve been through, and I’m making real connections. I’ve met the director of the Hunting Ground, which changed my life. I created a documentary about victim blaming that was on the local news. I’m being considered for a national officer of a prestigious organization, and I believe my passion is a major part of that. I’m glad I found something to be passionate about, despite the reasons I am.

Second, I’m learning a lot about myself and my boundaries. Physically, I was very sheltered before my assault. I had one long term boyfriend whom I loved, but he was the only person I could ever see myself with. Now, I’m more spontaneous and okay talking to guys. I get a gut feeling with men – I have a way of sensing how they’re feeling, what they’re wanting, and their intentions. I know, for the most part, a guy’s agenda. I’m not ready for a relationship by any means, but that’s okay. I’m learning to step out of my comfort zone, but also recognize bad situations.

Lastly, I’m a better friend. My friends were there to get me out of a really rough situation, and I can’t imagine where I’d be without them. Now, I want to return that and be there for everyone else I can possibly be there for. There’s more love than hate in my heart, and I’m proud of myself for the growth.

It’s still hard sometimes. I have flashbacks and night terrors, I have anxiety attacks, and I sometimes need to be alone. These moments are becoming less and less evident, however, and that’s reassuring in itself.

Author

Heather

Heather

Hi! I'm Heather, a blogger here on When You're Ready.org Sexual assault is something extremely personal and important to me, and I’m trying to use my own experiences with it to help others deal with theirs. No one should feel alone in his or her experiences. While I can’t stop these things from happening, hopefully spreading knowledge will help people learn how to handle sexual assault. I want the world to be a place where people feel safe to talk about their experiences to ensure they can heal. Keep talking, Keep sharing. When You're Ready, I'll be here.

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