Some self-indulgence; triggers

14 May

So, although I said in my original post that “not all my posts would have a ‘me me me’ vibe”, I’ve decided to make a post about my own experience. Not my “story”, I’m not ready for that yet, and I would have no idea how to tell it. But I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching recently, mostly as a response to the suggestion from an internet confidante that I may have PTSD from my experience. I believe it’s probably the case – I have flashbacks regularly, and the nightmares come with frequency – and it was one of the things that prompted me to start taking the issue seriously. I was raped 12 years ago, and yet until a few years ago, I wouldn’t have readily admitted it. I would have said “I was raped, yes – but it was my fault, I put myself in a stupid position”.

Through recent education on the matter, as an adult I’ve grown to realise that of course it wasn’t my fault. I still deal with the guilt and anguish at the position I put myself in, but with time I’ll even grow out of that, I hope. I was unintentionally vulnerable and naive and so I became easy prey, but I did not put myself in the stupid position, as that would have involved an active role in the decision to “be raped”, which I didn’t even consider as a happy-go-lucky 12-year-old.

I was discussing triggers with my partner, after he admitted he had removed a song from a CD with the word “raping” in it. After probing him, he admitted he’d done many similar things to protect me. He’d edited posts on a forum we co-manage without telling me, and decided not to introduce me to a book he enjoyed because of a particular storyline within it, for example. I felt touched he had gone to the effort for me, but baffled that despite all his actions to hide the word from me, I have still encountered it far more since meeting him than I ever did before.

It has come in one huge, great waterfall over the world. The world is obsessed with rape! Comedians love to joke about it, teenagers love to misuse the word, TV loves exploring it as a storyline, people are talking about it, all the time.

And yes, the word rape is a trigger for me. But other things trigger me too, and it seems they are increasingly more evident now than ever before. A particular item I thought I had lost many years ago re-appeared when I was unpacking boxes in my new house, I don’t remember packing it. A band that were on repeat on the CD player during my rape are considering re-uniting “for their fans”. In the past six months, two friends have approached me (separately) to tell me they were raped or abused in their youth. Another friend told me just a couple of weeks ago that he was asked to rape someone.

It’s everywhere and I can’t escape it. But instead of trying to hide from it, I’m now trying to accept it.

 

I will raise my daughter to know she is strong enough to move on.

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