Aug. 6th, 2012

bravocharliesierra: (Default)
Recent events in my online and offline experience have brought to the
forefront of my mind a memory that I thought I had solidly forgotten. It's
a moderately traumatic one, and one that I had hoped to never think of
again. It was from a time when I was the most vulnerable. Here's the thing,
though. I know the value in people sharing about their experiences with
assault (of any variety). I know that being open and exposing the things
that happen to me is part of being a transparent person. A part of me knows
that there is value in telling people - both for me, and for other people.
On top of that, I'm typically an honest person who keeps little under
wraps. I encourage being public about everything, because I am generally of
the opinion that it keeps you honest and that without secrets, life is
typically easier.

I'm not going to share this story.

I don't want to discourage other people from sharing their experiences, or
from reporting sexual violence (or any violence) - I really do think that
reporting things and talking to someone (a friend, family, or a therapist)
is always the best way to deal with this kind of situation. The thing is,
this memory is a fuzzy one and it is not very recent. This leaves a lot of
possibility for error in my explanation, and vague descriptions, which I'm
not comfortable with. I also know that with telling my story will come the
risk of the same type of harassment I have seen other women receive online.
There might be the accusations that I made it up, or that I'm exaggerating,
or that I deserved it. After all, I know what kind of person I was when it
happened - but that doesn't make what happened my fault, even though I
still have trouble acknowledging that fact.

I could choose to just tell people I know to help myself get through this
difficult experience of remembering, but I even fear their reactions -
maybe just the little inklings that I feel about it, that I should have
fought back harder or that I should have been more responsible. It also
risks the dismissal of my experience - that it wasn't as bad as other
people's, or that my feelings don't matter, or that I should just get over
it. I can't go through that. I know now that I will have to refuse to put
myself in situations where I will risk my emotional health, and that it
might be difficult to do, but any difficulty in that would be heartily
trumped by not knowing how severely this recollection has affected me and
the possible repercussions of my own emotional ignorance.

The fact is, the only important thing is that I am another woman who has
had an experience no one should. I was assaulted by someone I knew who took
advantage of a damaged emotional state, and it has made me realize that
there are a lot of changes that need to be made in the world. It has made
me remember one of the many reasons I have lost trust in other people, and
remembering it has changed *me*. I understand now why so many women never
tell anyone about their trauma, and I'm very sorry that I didn't before.



bravocharliesierra: (Default)

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