ALL ABOUT TRAUMA
The first time I was raped, I was 14 years old and was attacked by four men. That is called a gang rape. They took me out into the woods and raped me for approximately four hours. I was later told by the lawyer my parents hired that I was lucky to not have been killed in those woods.
At the time, I thought that the law would protect me and serve me justice, that my parents would love and support me, that my friends would gather around me, and that medical professionals would make sure that I would be okay physically, mentally, and emotionally. With very little exception, I was wrong on all counts. What I was taught was to be silent.
Life did not return to normal, and the next few years were horrifying. I lived through one trauma after the next in quick order. After decades, I am as far removed from these tragic beginnings as a person can get. I am in a happy and healthy second marriage, have a beautiful family that I am very proud of, have recently completed a doctoral degree, and have an interesting professional career.
The road from there to here has been filled with extremes and painful personal recognitions, and in some cases, reckonings. I am, however, in a place that I never believed that I would be – memories and all!
What I am aware and sure of is that I am not alone. I am not the only person raped, and then confused, traumatized, and left to “figure it out”. I am not the only person that has been left to navigate the aftermath of despair, loneliness, terror, and imaginings that sometimes are just as threatening to my life as the violent acts committed against me. I am also sure that the thread holding it all together for me was and is human resilience.
To hear all about my story you can read my book, I’m Not Good at Holding Hands.
I also want to hear from you. I am a great listener and look forward to hearing your stories. This is a community and we can learn from each other. While I am going to share my stories, you have a choice. You can talk to me or to everyone. It is up to you!