Guest Post By Shehrish
Rape. It’s one of those words that I can repeat a thousand times over without ever associating myself with it. I hear, read & speak about it often, but without a sense of self. I say that because I’m a rape survivor.
I survived rape even before I knew it existed, let alone comprehend the pain and complexities it brings with it during & years after. I can talk about its repercussions and the every minute struggle, I can speak of pain, the lack of understanding on how rape is more about violence and less about rape, can testify to its ability to mess with your brain & everything else, but what I can’t do or don’t do enough is associate it with myself, my life & who I am today. I survived rape. But there’s more to my life than just that. I’ve achieved more than I ever imagined I would, most of all I’ve been loved more than I ever though anyone could ever be. I’m not social, but I am friendly, I can feel compassion and be passionate & motivated by things. But while I continue to live my life, there are also these tiny moments of relapse, of vulnerability, sometimes I feel it’s like life is more like playing mine sweeper, you never know when you hit a trigger & everything goes roaring back to zero.
But my rape doesn’t define me. It’s only a fraction of time, among all the other moments I cherish and regret. It’s a part of my life. It’s not my identity either. But my rape, and I say ‘my’ as means to eliminate the last bit of shame — unintentionally unknown shame that’s not mine to keep, is what unfortunately shapes my interactions & thought process many a time. The sight of a staircase, a broken branch, a ball rolling down an alleyway, a rope. Far too many harmless things that have the ability to cause severe emotional and physical pain. Sometimes the triggers are so severe that all I can think is pushing back every single thing that could possibly protect me; to isolate myself and detach completely. The flashbacks, they’re lethal, it’s like each time your abuser comes back physically in front of you, his voice in whispers
” No one’s going to hear you scream, no one’s coming to help..”
Like everything you’ve ever been able to accomplish is razed to the ground within moments. But those words have never meant anything to me like they did today. When I felt that I’ve lost my only one ability that allowed me to act, my ability to listen & my words; that’s all my strength. But I know that this too shall pass, but for starters I want to hold on to the only thing that gives me strength & use them to tell my story.
You don’t need to know who I’m. Please allow me the anonymity & the ability to tell my story without taking any more burdens.