Monday, July 8, 2013

Sexual Assult Is Everyone's Issue

Here is a TED talk from a man who calls the violence against women a men's issue. YES!
There seemed to be a lot of interest in the blog about my first massage and I have to think it was because I talked some about overcoming sexual abuse. A long time ago I heard a statistic that 1 in 4 women will be a victim of sexual assault. When I heard that I was in a large auditorium full of students and I looked around the room and thought how many of us were in the same boat like it or not.

One in four college women report being sexually assaulted
My abuse was from a trusted person, as most abuses are. He was my gym teacher when I was about 6 years old. It took me many years to realize there was abuse because um, I was a baby! Back then I thought of him as a favorite teacher and I was sad when he left our elementary school. Years later in Jr. High I ran into him in the hallway as a dean at my new school and my fond memories evolved into, "Hey wait a second!" I was cold to him (as a 12-14 year old) through the years there. He seemed to be confined to the boys' gym activities at that school anyway so our encounters were few. I warned my little sister of him once she attended but that's the only person I felt the need to tell at the time.

In college I wrote about the abuse in a creative writing class. Still just seeing it as a previous incident. In the papers grade notes the professor suggested I might speak to a professional about the matter. That didn't register because I always saw it as something "in the past". There was nothing to it anymore as far as I knew.

In discussing the college paper with my parents I got some more information about what happened. My mother said she went to the principle at one point because I cried over a report card where Mr. _ gave me a "C". She said I was extremely upset. I told her he promised me an "A" (if I did what he asked). Hopefully that red flag had something to do with why he got moved to Jr. High teaching boys.
Fast forward to my first massage at age 24 where I came to the realization the abuse was not confined to the past but still with me. I discovered there was still distrust in my body revealed in the very spot he would sit near. After the massage it was more clear to me how in my daily life I was putting myself in similar uncomfortable situations but allowing it because it was what someone else wanted. What I wanted was secondary and unfamiliar. I realized I had been repeating that same situation over and over and over up to the present day. Still experiencing that discomfort and having no voice it was as if I had been 6 all of those years. I became very sad. I was diagnosed with PTSD in therapy and was prescribed pills for a year.
But I also broke the cycle.

Yes, this is personal information. It's boiled down but there is no shame just one of my life's many victories.

No comments:

Post a Comment