Surviving the Aftermath of Abuse

Surviving the Aftermath of Abuse

Warning: This post contains information about sexual assault that some readers may find disturbing. Rates of abuse are higher among those living with disabilities. In an effort to raise awareness about this very serious issue, Jessie has written a special series on sexual abuse that will be published over the coming months.

As survivors of sexual abuse we have been violated in the most inhumane of ways. Our dignity, power, and a piece of our minds was stolen with our peace of mind. We are forever left wondering why us. We wonder what we could have done differently and that answer is nothing. Predators do not need a reason, only a target.

There is absolutely nothing you can do that incites a rape. Whether you were home tucked safely in bed or out partying the motive is always the same. A rapist needs to feel in control and powerful to get off sexually. It has nothing to do with a short skirt, a tight top, being out somewhere, or being flirtatious. It is only about their need for power.

Do you blame yourself for letting things go to far with a partner? No means no more, even if that moment occurs in the middle of consensual intercourse. At that moment it becomes rape if it continues. Many people are raped by their spouses. Until recently the church and even the law did not recognize this as a crime. We are not here for the needs of someone else to define us.

We are victims in this situation, but more importantly we are survivors. Life is forever changed, but life is constantly evolving without a rape too. It is our mindsets that keep us trapped in those moments. There are ways to move forward with your life, but the memory will never leave.

Therapy is the most useful tool in dealing with the mental aftermath. Therapy is painful, but we need to talk about those moments and put them into our history and out of our present. We deserve to walk freely without fear or to question every choice in clothing wondering if it will draw attention to us. We can not fix ourselves. Not even I can do that and it is what I have done for a living for hundreds of others.

Please do not make the choice to live in denial and think that you are untouched by this event. Being raped changes every aspect of how we think, our choices, and how we see ourselves even if we are not conscious of those changes.

It affects our sexuality and makes us question whether we are wanted as people or are here to be treated like whores. The only whores in this world are people who use sex as a tool to get what they want from other people. I am not talking about prostitutes who have no other means for survival and their survival depends on bringing a man that money. They too are victims of a control freak who is using their bodies.

Please seek therapy if you are a survivor of sexual abuse of any kind. It is never too late, even if it’s been 30 years. We deserve to own our sexuality and know we are beautiful, entirely whole, and absolutely worthy of the world and utmost respect. We deserve to own our bodies and our sexual freedom. We deserve to say hey I want some and not feel disgusted with ourselves.

We can never get back what was stolen us. We can move forward much like living with an acquired disability. Things will be different, but that does not mean that life can not be beautiful again. Only you can make that call to reach out to a therapist. I promise it will change your life.

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