It occurred to me the other day with the memories of my assault freshly flowing through my mind yet again with the topic everywhere in the media, that during the event itself I fought back. I resisted, kicking and rejecting the advances he made to initiate it. Yet, when it comes to fighting back in terms of speaking up about the injustice that is common place in todays society and the severe lack of victims support I’ve been uncharacteristicly silent.
There are a million different reasons that come to mind when I think about why. I mean really, I could write a book just on the complexities of it all. I’ve been writing for eight years, and I’m still trying to figure it out. All that I know for certain is that the same man who saved my life one night, raped me three weeks later. I repressed the memories, we began dating, I fell in love with him, we broke up and I’ve been wrestling with the emotional fall out of all of those things ever since.
I can’t remain silent about it anymore. It’s too important. If there is any hope that the future might change for my daughter I have to speak up. I have to do the right thing. Even if it means I’m fighting this battle alone, I get knocked down more than I’m helped up, and I never see a notable change in my life time. I understand the reality that my voice is unlikely to make a difference in the world as a whole. Maybe, just maybe it will make a whole world of difference to one person who needs to know that they aren’t alone. That someone else cares even when it seems the entire world is against them.
A song came through my shuffle the other day, and the chorus really hit home. The rest of the song doesn’t really apply so I’m not including the entire thing, but as I continue forward it’s become my mantra of sorts.
“If I stand up, I’ll break my bones
And everybody loves to see a fallen foe
Ain’t nobody giving up, just ’cause no one gives a fuck
I’ll stand up and break my bones”
Most who endure trauma choose not to talk about it and some can’t without risking their health, sanity, or reputation. Some of us can talk about it, and I feel a sense of responsibility to do so for those who cannot.