I never talked about this, I buried this story and promised to erase this from my memory. No matter how much I wash, I can never feel clean. this is something I never thought i’d experienced, but it is not as uncommon as I was led to believe.
Recently, Someone dear to me confided that they are disgusting and that they want to kill themselves or that they need to be quarantined. They told me they don’t know what to do anymore and the they are dirty but I think it’s partially because we were always told that it’s our fault and I think it’s because the society force fed us into thinking if you get taken advantage of or raped ‘it is your fault.’ Regardless, Seeing them withdraw reminded me of what happened to me 6 years ago, in a peaceful starry night.
I barely knew myself back then, I was in college studying fashion. I remember my Professor instructed me on how to do patterns, how to play with colors and textile. That you can create and construct anything from your imagination. It can be from a folklore or 50’s inspired.
Being a lady gaga fan I always gravitated towards high fashion couture and monstersque style adorned with the spiky studs varying in sizes that I bought in juan luna street in divisoria. These monsters came in all size and forms and I would always be frightened of the sketches I make.
Until as traumatic as this may sound, I met a real monster. He didn’t roar, he didn’t have horns or sunken cheeks.. He didn’t breath fire or spit poison. He was quite beautiful actually, Statuesque, mascular and has a million dollar smile. He didn’t scare me or intimidate me, He didn’t even leave any marks.. He knew what he was doing. His tempting exterior was his bait, the palm of his hands and his downy smelling pillow was his weapons.
Many sexual assault survivor has many trouble with guilt, At first we were always convinced that it is our fault with what happened. What people don’t see is that it is hard to see our attackers as guilty or a monster, depending of course in the situation.
I thought maybe because I didn’t have bruises, or I wasn’t choke that it was my fault.. I should have yelled harder, I should have fought harder, I shouldn’t have frozen. But I did.
I didn’t realize the impact what happened to me up until years later. Whenever I think about it I get stuck in a staring contest of what’s in front of me at a time.. It’s like time stops and it gets back to his bed. I was able to get through it by playing video games. more and more video games.
I did a little research and found out it is called ‘Post traumatic stress disorder’ that manifests in so many ways.
People often talk about ‘flight or fight’ response to this situation.. but in my case I think I flight.. I felt my mind vacating the premises. I felt my mind slowly slipping away from me and my body was as still as a corpse. I thought ‘I came in here with him, so I must have liked it, I must want it, It’s my fault’ he ignored my protest and forced his way inside of me and I just lied there until he was finished. I felt like something inside me died. I realized I didn’t want it.
I left and he kissed me goodbye, I didn’t have the strength to do anything else. I just went straight home. It felt like he pulled out something from me and my immediate response is to fill it with something else.
So, I played video games lots of it, and I went out with a lot of men because I was so guilty for putting myself in that situation, it’s like when a parent made their children cry so they compensate it with something more. I don’t remember a single face or a single name, I tried cover my trauma with a hundred gentle memories but it’s like a virus clawing it’s way out like a virus devouring a hardrive.
If you are a sexual assault survivor and you are reading this, I’m still coping up to this day.. We’re probably never gonna forget about this and I want to tell you that It’s Ok.. I Promise. you are not alone, I’m not alone, I promise you that talking about it will free you, that it’s no longer kept inside of you slowly killing your mind. It’s OK to cry and that it’s not your fault. And maybe even though we are never gonna fully clean.. Maybe we can all hold each other until it feels ok, until the memory doesn’t hurt us anymore. We can help each other feel clean again.
You are brave.
I root for you and I love you.