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I Think I Was Raped a Year Ago Today

February 20, 2020. The date that will forever remind me of how vulnerable I am. This might take some of you by surprise. I mean, how? I was a law student, a married woman, someone who seemed to have their shit together. Well, it happened. And it can happen to anyone. That's the unfortunate truth. (I actually started this blog as a way to cope).

In the grand scheme of things, a year is not a lot of time. Virtually no healing can take place in such time. But this is the one topic that I've struggled to write about for a year, and I'm writing this as a big fuck you to the experience. (The only thing I've written has been a "list of triggers," but that was a year ago when I was struggling to be a functioning member of society.)

For those that don't know, this is the second time that I've experienced sexual trauma. The first time seemed a lot easier -- it wasn't violent and I was conscious. I was 13 and the man was 24. Not really any better, unless you ask someone who has a fucked sense of reality and/or doesn't understand the concept of consent when dealing with a minor.

This time around I was 22, heavily drugged, and unconscious for most of it. I don't remember much, but I remember the fear and the helplessness. I remember trying to leave, but then giving up and accepting there was nothing I could do.

The worst parts of this time around were the feelings of disgust, shame, and guilt. It was such a lonely experience -- from the hospital room to the interrogation room. Everywhere I turned, everyone I told seemed to be thinking the same thing: "what did you do? why did you do that? how do you know?"

Sadly, I asked myself the same questions. Over and over again. The truth was that back when I was 13, I was so self-conscious and I had extremely low self esteem -- seriously, reading my middle school diary is so depressing. I would verbally abuse myself constantly. On February 20, 2020, I felt confident. I felt happy because I had finally moved past my childhood trauma. I felt sexy & empowered.

Ha! That went away quickly. The moment I got a glimpse of myself in the mirror after the rape kit was done was the moment I once again saw that ugly, pathetic loser from 10 years ago.

I took a week off of work and school after 2/20. When I went back to my "normal" life, I was immediately tasked with doing research for a case involving a defendant that was being charged with sexual battery. The joy.

I quit my job shortly after, and I decided to give school all of my attention while actively trying to pretend like nothing had happened. I was lucky enough to have the support of my wonderful wife, but I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt. She hadn't asked for this and certainly didn't deserve this. Some of the people closest to me would make that guilt run deeper, constantly poking a finger at the wound.

The 2020 quarantine was probably one of the best things that happened to me and for my marriage. I was able to create a safe space that lacked any and all triggers. I spent 85% of my time studying for the Florida Bar, and I spent the rest of my time juggling my marriage, my health, and spirituality.

With my wife being away on military duty, I've once again learned to be alone and enjoy it. I've rediscovered what I love doing, and I've worked on slowly letting go of the fear of being home alone.

I don't think about 2/20 much now. Recently I've spent a lot of my time dwelling on my experience as a 13-yr-old. It seems like some of the wounds have been reopened.

I've cried so much and so hard during the past year, many times feeling unworthy of shedding tears.

I am well aware that I have an incredible support system, and I definitely couldn't have done it alone. I am also now well aware of the many reasons other survivors don't come forth. I am still healing, and I've come to realize that one never actually stops healing. One bad experience can really bring it all back.

If you've experienced sexual trauma - or any trauma. Know that this is not your end. Know that your feelings are valid. Know that it wasn't your fault. You're stronger than you think. You can get through it. You are heard.

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