Maybe mine is a special case. Maybe not. But admitting my first rape was not met with bleeding hearts and compassionate hugs. It was met with hostility, retaliation, and harassment. The reaction from my admitting the rape, in the end, turned out to be worse than the rape. The third rape was like reliving that nightmare.
The pain I have gone through, the hostility I have endured, the hardships I have survived, most people do not know I have gone through so much. Instead they see a pretty girl with a biting sense of humor and a mile deep of compassion. This is exactly what I want people to see.
What I have lived through has not killed me, but it has left me scarred. With those scars, I reach for people, I see hurting when others don’t, I love when others choose to hate and I choose to value moments that most people are not able to appreciate. Building walls is so much easier to protect yourself from others, but it takes an incredible amount of strength and courage to face the pain that I have felt. Yet, instead of me losing the most important thing to me, my humanity, my compassion, the ability to love and become vulnerable, the ability to get close to others, I stare and live in defiance of the pain I have endured.
Imparting any of this that I have learned has become critically important to me. Imagine one less tear? One less moment of pain that someone may have to feel. This world is changed one person at a time, so if we can make that commitment- the commitment to change one person’s life- then we essentially change the world.
My memories may haunt me, but the idea that my pain is being experienced by men and women all over the world stirs me to action. Since I have had such terrible experiences and I am trained professionally with the perfect skill set and personality traits, I want to help. So that is exactly what I am going to do.