I’ve been processing what happened for over a year and half, I maybe haven’t been processing it in the most healthy and helpful way given I was doing it all by myself for the first year — but the fact is when I tell someone “I was sexually assaulted” the sting of those words has been numbed by time for me. I’ve come a long way in overcoming “the act” (referring to the actual physical assault) because it was physical, it was a thing that happened and it was a thing that ended. Much like a car accident, there’s the actual crash and in a matter of seconds the crash itself is over but in those few seconds your life can be changed forever.

You can even walk away from a car crash physically fine and those who love you will breathe a sigh of relief that you’re okay, but what isn’t taken into account (and sometimes not even realized by you until much later) is that you’re now scared to drive, you avoid certain scenarios, the sound of an accident can set off a whole set of anxious feelings and upset. They’re all triggers, and they all deserved to be recognized — the problem is unless someone else has also been in an accident most people won’t understand what you’re going through. “You’re fine! You lived! What do  you mean you don’t want to drive on snowy roads at night?” Obviously you can’t avoid snowy roads at night forever, but there will be a time when winter driving will be harder on you.

It’s all the emotional stuff that surrounds the act that is hard.

The shame, the embarrassment, the guilt. It’s gross and I hate it.

It’s why I didn’t tell Cody for over a year. I didn’t want him to think of me differently, or worse find out that he thought it was my fault and blame me for what happened.

Was it the right thing to do? Probably not, but you go ahead and watch any Shonda Rhimes show and point out a single time when her characters act in a completely logical way after something goes wrong. (I realize my life is not How To Get Away With Murder or Scandal, but it’s real easy to sit on a couch and holler “WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST ACT NORMAL?” when it’s not your life.)

The specifics of what happened to me have their own category on hardcore or “dark” porn sites. The thing that broke me is titillating to many. What has been my nightmare for a long time is a fantasy of others. That’s a very strange dichotomy to work through in the sexually saturated world we currently live in.

Comments

  1. I’m so sorry this happened to you, sweetie. I understand. It happened to me too.

    I was 18. I’m 50 now. It still affects me, but not as much anymore. Time helps a lot of things.

    Hugs <3

  2. Our society is not very good at recognizing trauma. It’s why I went undiagnosed for so many years, was given the wrong kind of psychiatric treatment, and often suffered further abuse (sometimes even from so-called professionals who are supposed to help people like me). The more I learn about trauma and PTSD, the more my behavior and depression and anxiety make sense to me. It wasn’t until after it’d all come to a major head that I am finally able to begin to process everything. Recovery is actually starting to seem like a possibility. I wouldn’t wish this kind of hell on anyone.

    Big hugs and lots of love to you.

  3. NOT YOUR FAULT!!!!!

    Holy crap. It’s not your fault!!!!!!!!

    Praying for you. Wish I could hug you.

  4. I just want to hug you. Not your fault!

  5. * hugs * if you want them.

    I am so sorry this happened to you.

    I have no words. I wish (like many others) that I can make this go away and disappear. But I can’t and it bites.

  6. You are not alone, Casey. You are very much not alone. Thank you for writing. It helps to see the words, and process along side you.

  7. You do you. You be you. Everything you feel is valid and all your reasoning makes sense to you at the time and to many others of us who have faced trauma and suffered the PTSD that comes with it. I’m so grateful when you write the raw and deep and share with us. Thank you. I love you and I support you and you deserve all the freedom to heal and process that you need without judgment or hassle from people who FO NOT GET IT on a fundamental level and no amount of talking may ever get through their refusal to comprehend hard things. I hate those kinds of people and I especially hate when someone like you has to deal with them. But they always manage to find us , don’t they? You do you and let in who you want and heal on your own time and in your own way.

  8. memphislis says:

    Oh Casey. :( There is nothing to say! I can relate to the car crash analogy, though, and I can’t imagine how intense your peripheral trauma and new anxieties must be. I hate it so much. I am so sorry.

  9. Whoever the you is now is the perfect you at this time in your life. I am so sorry that this happened to you and I hope the you that you find in your recovery is someone you can love as much as much as others love you. I don’t know you (although I do think about you every time I drive by the gymnastics place and wonder how you are doing :-) ) this post made me think about a lot of your other posts and how you came through difficult times bigger and better than ever and I know you can do it again. Stay strong!

  10. Casey, I’ve read this post more times than I can say. I just can’t wrap my head around “why didn’t you just act normal?” It’s there because you’ve obviously heard it from people. Just act normal. What does that even mean? It is so far beyond what I could ever imagine someone saying to a victim of sexual assault, or any traumatic event it’s disgusting. I’ve learned a lot this year about surviving loss and trauma, processes, and healing. I’m loving you so hard through this virtual world we live in. I’m sending you all the supportive kind and gentle vibes I can. Please continue through this process loading up on self-care and being so kind to yourself. You’re ****ing amazing, Hang in there!