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Trauma, Consent and Confidence

Updated: Mar 29, 2021

Trigger Warning! Rape and Sexual Assault

I was raped.

There we go. I said it. For the first time ever outside of my husband I have said it. Probably because for many many years I pushed down the trauma. Refused to recognize it for what it was, and was too scared to talk to anyone about it.

I was 16. It was a boy I knew. Someone I considered a friend. And yet without consent, in the middle of the night I woke up and realized someone was on top of me. That I was frozen and scared beyond belief.

After I just kept telling myself I had brought it upon myself. That somehow he had taken my friendship as more than that. That I had somehow given him mixed signals. That I brought it on myself for inviting him to stay over with me and our other friends. I told my self that now I was dirty.

So I didn’t tell anyone. Not a soul. Until I went through some serious soul searching and trauma recovery and the memories came flooding back years later. I told my husband what happened and he helped me realize that it was rape. That I had in no way given consent.

This trauma and so much more around the purity culture and the victim blaming mentality frustrate me. We always see stories of people coming out years after rapes to finally tell there stories and I always see the comments, “if this really happened, why didn’t they come out sooner?”

This is serious trauma. It’s not something you magically wake up from and know exactly what to do. You aren’t thinking logically. You are thinking reactively. It’s the fight or flight response. Trauma can be repressed for years and only serious therapy work or another triggering event can bring it up.

Yet it can also manifest itself in everyday life. You can have a massive shift in personality, difficulty with consenting sex, decreased self confidence, etc.

So here’s my hot take. Let’s talk about it. Let’s shift the mentality and mindsets around it. 1 in 5 women will be raped at some point in their lives. Over 80% before the time they are 25.

I did my own personal survey on this and every single woman who answered it said they had been or known another woman who had been raped or sexually assualted. 100% of them. 75% of them had experienced rape or sexual assault themselves. Of those 82% of them knew their attacker and 57% had memory loss or repression due to it. 9 out of 12 didn't tell anyone about it for a year or more.

Isn't that absolutely insane!? We have to be better.

Let’s teach our sons and daughters consent. Let’s talk about our traumas and help others see that they can move past it. That they aren’t the problem. That they are still worthy of love. That they can move past it and find confidence in themselves, and their sexuality.
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