Reading the news and seeing all the victim blaming talk is wearing me down and it feels like I’m slowly sinking into depression. I am trying really hard not to let it get to me, but it does.
Here are some friendly reminders:
You are not alone. If you were assaulted: you are not alone. If the news makes you super depressed: you are not alone.
You deserve to be believed. All victims/survivors deserve to be believed.
Drinking does not justify assault. If you were drinking, it does not give people permission to assault you. Also, being drunk is not an excuse for assaulting people.
People who experience trauma have gaps in their memories! Experiencing trauma is an overwhelming thing for the brain. A lot of details get lost, but the ones that tend to stick with you are the moments of being in danger/fearing for your life. It is normal to have gaps in traumatic memories. It does not mean a person is making it up.
You do not owe anyone your story. There is a lot of “Why didn’t they come forward sooner?” being talked about in the news lately. People do not come forward because of fear/shame/any other reason. But it is important to remember that you do not owe anyone your story. It is yours to tell if or when you are able to.
There is no timeline for healing. It does not matter if something happened decades ago. If it still hurts it still hurts. I have heard so many people talk about their traumas. Some more recent traumas and some that happened over half a century before. I can tell you I have never heard someone not sound hurt when talking about their traumas. There is a lot of healing that can be done, but people do not “get over” their traumas in the way people might expect.
Sexual assault/rape is about power. It is not about having a high sex drive and it is not about raging hormones. Those are not excuses for assaulting another person.
It is okay to take a break and walk away from the news. It is hard when it is everywhere, but it is okay to actively avoid these stories if it is hurting you.
Please remember you are loved. You didn’t deserve what happened to you. You deserve to be believed.