Often times we expose ourselves on a blog in a way that we probably wouldn't in REAL time. We claim that it's the anonymity of the internet but it can't be that anonymous with my pictures scattered across the computer screen. Exposing myself is more about sharing my experiences so that maybe the next person to read it can learn from it. And well, I just might be an exhibitionist and enjoy exposing myself.
On a serious note, I am a rape survivor.
The experience has NOT defined me. It hasn't crippled me. I haven't allowed it to stop me from developing productive relationships with men. And the experience had the potential to do just that.
When it happened, I was embarrassed to tell my parents about it as though it was in some way my fault. (I learned that this is a natural reaction.) My mother reacted in such a way that has forever changed the dynamics of our relationship. In my tears, as I'm sobbing, she said to me, "This is God's way of punishing you for all your evil doings." Did I deserve that? I was devastated by that. The one place in the world that should have been peaceful, that should have been a haven of sorts, my childhood home, had turned into a terrible nightmare. Not only had I been raped but the woman who I thought would be able to see me through turned her back on me. It still hurts today.
After that evening of truth, my mother and I have never quite seen eye to eye. I know I haven't completely forgiven her for even implying that God would send someone to do that to me as a form of punishment. She changed the relationship I had with God. We argued about it endlessly and she stood firm on her belief. Oddly enough, she suffered a stroke a couple years later and does not recall any of it. Her memory was wiped clean.
I went through a really tough time dealing with all the anger inside of me. I didn't have my family to support me through this and I was doubly determined to do this alone because of the things my mother said. That's not quite what was in store for me. I am convinced that God works through people and HE sends us exactly what we need.
My first step up from the despair I found myself in was contacting a counselor. Her name was Sue Lowery. I can still picture her right now. I will never forget her. She helped me to crack open the shell that was beginning to form around me. I am grateful! I couldn't say the word rape before I went through therapy. The word rape automatically represented VICTIM in my mind. And I didn't like being seen as a victim. She helped me to overcome the post traumatic stress that was setting in. She nipped it in the butt before it even had time to settle. And I owe much of my stability now to Dr. Sue Lowery for bringing me out of the darkness. Wherever she is... THANK YOU!