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Monday, March 31, 2014

If only...

The first time, I lost twenty two years, blaming myself. The next time, I lost almost three years and am still recovering . I cannot help but think that this would have helped to prevent so much. I hope my story is not unique but sadly that is not the case. I think my health problems would also have not gotten so dire over the last few years had I been treated differently.

supporting a loved one after a sexual assault

I have been dealing with the aftermath of this sort of abuse for over half my life, and that does not include what I experienced as a child and adolescent.  Sometimes I have to make myself remember that I am a university instructor, that I have earned all of it, that I am a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, that my writing has been published in some of the best literary magazines in the country.  I am not the sum of what happened to me, and I consciously try to affirm that to myself. And no one who has experienced sexual assault is to blame, either...the fault is squarely on the shoulders of the perpetrator and no one else. To call someone a "victim" with the implication that they are wallowing in self pity and that they asked for it, should never be said to anyone who has been traumatized. It is a very deep form of ignorance and a dehumanization.

It takes a long time to heal. It takes a long time to put down roots again after they have been torn up.  Patience and belief in the tremendous power of the human mind to heal...that is the medicine we can offer, to anyone who hurts, and also to ourselves.