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Healing From Sexual Trauma: Sharing my Story of surviving sexual assault

Updated: Apr 19, 2023

Overcoming doubt and insecurity to speak up and inspire others to heal and find their own voices

Trigger Warning: this post contains content about sexual abuse and rape

I know that some of you reading this may be wondering why you should care about my story. I'm just an ordinary person with no special qualifications or expertise. But the truth is, I believe that everyone's story is important, and everyone has something to offer. Sharing our experiences and perspectives can help us feel less alone and more connected to others.

But I also have my doubts and insecurities about sharing my story. What if no one reads it or cares? What if people judge me or don't believe me? What if I'm just not a good enough writer to convey my thoughts and feelings?

These doubts and fears can be overwhelming at times, and it can be tempting to keep quiet and keep our stories to ourselves. But I've learned that by sharing our struggles and vulnerabilities, we give others permission to do the same. We create a space for empathy, understanding, and healing.

So even though it's scary, I'm choosing to share my story. I hope that in doing so, I can offer some comfort or inspiration to others who may be going through something similar. And even if my words only reach one person, that's enough for me.

It's taken me years to find the courage to talk about my experiences with sexual trauma. When I was a young woman, I was in a relationship with a man who was much older than me. At the time, I thought I was in love with him, but looking back now, I realize that what we had was anything but love.

He was emotionally and sexually abusive. He manipulated me into doing things that I didn't want to do. At first, I thought it was just part of being in a relationship, that I had to compromise and do things I wasn't comfortable with. But it didn't take long for me to realize that something was very wrong.

The first time he forced me to do something sexual that I didn't want to do, I was so shocked and confused that I didn't even know what to call it. I blamed myself for not being strong enough to say no, for not being a good enough girlfriend to him. But the truth is, it was never my fault.

Over time, the abuse escalated. It became a pattern in our relationship that he would pressure me into doing things I didn't want to do, and I would give in because I thought it was my duty as his girlfriend. Looking back now, I know that it was never my duty to do anything that made me uncomfortable or violated my boundaries.

It's taken me a long time to heal from the trauma of that relationship. I've had to learn to love and accept myself again, understand that what happened to me wasn't my fault, and forgive myself for any mistakes I made.

For years, I felt like I was the only one who had gone through something like this. I thought that the shame and the pain were mine to carry alone, that nobody would understand or believe me. It wasn't until I started talking to others and sharing my story that I realized I was not alone. I learned that sexual assault and abuse are sadly common experiences and that many survivors carry the same burden of shame and self-blame that I did.

It's understandable to feel like your experience is unique to you, especially when trauma is involved. Trauma can make us feel isolated and disconnected from others, and it can be difficult to see beyond our own pain. But the truth is that you are not alone, and you don't have to carry this burden by yourself. There are others who have gone through similar experiences and who understand what you're going through.

It took me a long time to realize this, but reaching out for help and support was one of the best things I ever did for myself. I started going to therapy, talking to friends and family, and connecting with other survivors online. It wasn't easy, and it took time, but it made a huge difference in my healing journey.

So if you're struggling with the aftermath of sexual assault or abuse, know that you are not alone. It's not your fault, and healing is possible. There is help and support available, and there are people who will believe you and stand by you. You deserve to heal, and you deserve to live a life free from shame and pain.

Hotlines and resources

  • United States: National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or online chat at https://www.rainn.org/

  • China: RAINN Global offers a list of international sexual assault resources, including resources for China at https://www.rainn.org/international-resources

  • Israel: The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel has a helpline

  • Rape Crisis Network Europe: Provides a list of rape crisis helplines in different European countries. You can find the list here: https://www.rcne.com/links-to-support

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