I am Not a Victim by ATALANTA98
reposted with permission, We are HER
TW: Sexual assault, rape
I AM NOT A VICTIM.
I have repeated that to myself for almost three years. Every night before I go to sleep and every morning when I get up, I believe that if I tell myself that enough, then one day, I’ll believe it. Every day, it seems like I also end up asking myself these same questions that go along with my mantra: Why did I get singled out? Why did I go to a party by myself and why didn’t I wait for people I knew to come as well? Why did I wear what I did — was I asking for it? Why did I take a drink from a guy I didn’t know (I know the importance of watching your drink at parties so why did I take it without question from a guy I had just met?)? Why didn’t I scream? Why didn’t I fight back? Why didn’t I call the police? Why did I call him instead of my family or friends? Why didn’t I do something?
I’m not the only person who has blamed themselves for what has happened to them, and I’m not the only person who has asked these questions. We live in a world where I am blamed for what happened to me, where people assume I was lying. I would have been asked what I was wearing, how much did I have to drink, and if I was sure I had said no. I knew all this when I left that party, so I drove back to my empty house where I sat in the shower shaking for six hours before I got out and went to work. I couldn’t stand the way my body felt. I couldn’t look at myself without feeling so much hate for myself. Ever since then, I’ve put my own markings on my skin; I’ve gotten five tattoos to make my body feel like mine again.
I can go grocery shopping or to the dog park without the chance of bumping into the person who raped me or his friends who just stood there and it’s the most freeing feeling I’ve ever felt.
I recently moved across the country. They say you can’t run away from your problems, but the fact that I can go grocery shopping or to the dog park without the chance of bumping into the person who raped me or his friends who just stood there is the most freeing feeling I’ve ever felt. I’m slowly having less nightmares, panic attacks, and complete mental breaks. I’m taking control over my life and body again. I’ve stopped telling myself that it was my fault. I’ve stop blaming myself, and someday, I won’t think about it multiple times a day. When I moved, I left one of the only people I ever told about what had happened, he was the person who convinced me to talk to a doctor and get help, and I was thought by leaving him behind I would be alone in the healing process and I wouldn’t be able to do it. But here I am.
We Are HER provides an outlet for any survivor of sexual or domestic abuse or assault to become HER: healed, empowered, and restored through our online community. This article reposted with permission. View the original here.