This trend… Interwebs I love you. I love this, giving people the ability to speak out. This trend killed me to look through, especially on the heels of my personal struggling this week. I can’t think of much else to say on the matter other than sharing the screen shots that maxed out my phone memory of various tweets, simply scrolling through the trend.
These are all so true. Every single one of them, reflecting thoughts that went through my own head as I was trying to come to terms with my assault. In the end, it really boils down to this for me personally:
First off, it was so traumatic I repressed it until many years later. Secondly, when the memories did resurface I remembered this as well: He was recovering from major head trauma, and explained the event away as a sleep disturbance. All of the violence I endured with him happened at night, and it made sense. Until he denied everything years later. Not just he assault, (which is fairly obvious he would deny) but the night terrors, and other sleep disturbances as well.
If his denial hadn’t been attached to a six paragraph diatribe detailing his over all poor treatment of me during our relationship, it probably wouldn’t have changed my mind. Seeing it in context next to his repeated admissions that he lied to me about almost everything, he never cared about me, he just wanted to fuck me, it became fairly obvious that what happened during those nights was intentional, and that he should have been held accountable. Which makes me feel incredibly foolish for defending him all these years, and somehow guilty for loving him and giving him the benefit of the doubt. Like it’s my fault for the way he chose to victimize me, my fault that he got away with it.
I did finally report it a few months ago. Ten and a half years after the event, and three years after the fog of repression lifted. I found my courage, pulled up my boot straps and did what I should have done ages ago. If nothing else comes from it, I at least have a greater sense of closure. Not a complete sense of closure, because I’ll never have that as long as I continue to blog. My internal conflict between morality and compassion has been put to rest.
The entire process of making a report is so much more complex than calling the police, pointing fingers and saying: “this crime happened!” with rape and sexual assault. It shouldn’t be, but it is.
These following tweets illustrate that better than I ever could.
The saddest part of all of this is how quickly #whywomendontreport stopped trending. It was a flash in the pan, just enough to catch my attention when I logged on that morning, and by the time I sat down in the afternoon to gather some tweets for this post it was gone. Shuffled off and buried under everything else. So many people in so much and different levels of pain crying out for a moment, only to return to silence.
Because when it’s not a trending topic or political game, no one wants to talk about it, forgetting that in order to see a change we so desperately need to. I know it’s not easy, I’ve had to step away from this several times to let the emotions and anxiety subside. I’ll probably have to log off social media all together for a few days to recover, but I do it anyway. I keep talking, after the trend is over, after it’s not news, after veiled threats, flash backs, and insomnia because it matters.