I believe that the majority of society hasn’t a clue what it means to be a survivor of sexual abuse and/or assault unless they actually have experienced it. The average person does not understand the weight of this tragedy. I think some people believe that it ends after the traumatic sexual incident ends. Some people wonder why victims go on for years carrying the weight of this specific trauma, especially if the criminal was caught and sentenced. There are very little crimes and incidents that leave us in the state of aftershock that sexual abuse and assault does. The only similar trauma I can think of is when a solider comes home from war. It’s similar but different. I’m not sure they’d say their bodies were violated. Many of them chose to go to war even if they didn’t fully understand the ways it would affect them so intensely upon their return.
Perhaps its more relatable if that solider was captured, tortured, water boarded and beaten…then maybe the body response would be similar.
Once, my family’s house was robbed. They rummaged through our belongings. They broke into our car. They even stole a piece of cake. The incident happened. Then it was over. I seldom think about it today nor do I note any effects this has had on my body. Imagine if a thief rummaged your body. Imagine if the thief checked every crack and crevice and each time he touched something, he in essence stole something. You are now without.
Once my wallet was stolen. They charged my cards. They took my money. I lost some priceless mementos kept inside. I hardly remember this incident. I don’t even remember all of the “priceless” mementos that I lost. This incident has left little effect on my psyche. Imagine a thief stealing the priceless boundaries of your body. The only thing that is truly our own is our SELF. Our mind, our body and our spirit. The entirety of our identity is our own. Imagine someone physically taking your identity, literally.
The list could go on. So many crimes happen day in and day out but there are few that leave the wounds and scars that sexual abuse and assault leave. Crimes of the body are different than crimes of other kinds. It affects so much more than what was lost. When you touch a person’s body without their consent, not only do you take something from them, but you leave something behind as well. You leave a history. You leave a roadmap of memories of violation. You leave a stain that doesn’t easily come out in the wash.
Perhaps part of the weight of assault and abuse can be tied to the overarching theme of sexual repression that has plagued society in general. We find it difficult to converse about consensual sex. If that be the case, how can we even fathom mentally processing or attempting to understand RAPE or INCEST? We can’t even understand a man that wants two wives. Or a woman that wants a lot of sex. Or a young adult that wants to explore fetishes. We can’t even understand a healthy exploration of sexuality, so how then can we understand the violations?
There are aftershocks. Trimmers that are left behind. They are not destined to be permanent. They can be overcome. But still those trimmers are there.
Have understanding and patience and the awareness that you don’t know what the hell the person is going through. And please keep your well meaning advice to yourself unless its asked. Words of encouragement, that’s always welcomed. Unsolicited advice….pretty much useless. Imagine that that rape victim was tortured in the most sadistic, subtle yet violent way. Held against their will by the power of an erect penis, water boarded with semen shoot through their vagina into their soul. Imagine that they have been mentally brainwashed not only by the torturer but by society as a whole with an overbearing message to forget & forget, move on, let go, remain silent, hold self blame, and doubt the truth.
For some people, its not so easy to just get over. When you add physical sexual coercion and violence mixed with repression, mental torture, and religious, judicial and social backing of the perp, what you find is a person left with the aftershocks of that touch.
When you touch a person’s body without their consent, not only do you take something from them, but you leave something behind as well.
I know my ex step father has “moved” on with his life, that is,when he isn’t busy stalking my blog, stealing images and following me on my travels. But for him to truly move on, I think he should be raped for seven years and after that experience, then he can begin the process of “moving on.” Then I might understand him being a leader in a church and teaching others on sexuality. Until his body and mind has been violated for seven years, he doesn’t understand a damn thing about it except how to take what isn’t his. Sadistic, perverted, bastard…nasmaste.
This month is Sexual Assault Awareness month. Every day I’ll be writing all types of posts regarding this issue and my personal experiences.
I create videos as a way to share my story. You can watch three related ones by clicking the titles below.
If you are a victim of abuse and assault and you would like to seek help or report your crime, please find all kinds of resources at RAINN. If you would like to share your story with me privately, be featured this month either publicly or anonymously or you just need an encouraging word, please shoot me an email at SheenaLaShay [at] Gmail [dot] com.
I write my heart out. You can read some of my musings by clicking the titles below.