For a long time I hid a very big secret. I hid it from my parents, my friends, and my family. I even tried hiding it from me. It was too awful to put into words, to think about, or even to accept. My memories going back to middle school is a long time to hold onto those feelings.
For a few years now I have been open about it and even told a bit of the story in my book. The painful memories come in waves and usually when I least expect it. For a while my sleep was disrupted with awful nightmares to the point I was acting out in my sleep and hitting Dave. We finally sought out help with a hypnotherapist after we had been married, to cope with some of the pain and lock it away. The problem was I never fully dealt with the rape. I never processed it, I just hid from it.
Adding an auto-immune disease, cancer, surgeries, and then a Metastatic diagnosis my world was reeling with feelings of despair and anger. It was time to deal with ALL of these feelings. It has been four years now where Dave and I see a therapist and I have opened up pandoras box. Although I can put it behind me and not walk with it everyday, it’s still there and the trauma creeps back in and knocks me down.
This week I held a friends hand as she had to see her perpetrator again in the courtroom. Four years of the broken judicial system listening to lie after lie coming out of this mans mouth and legal counsel. We watched the judge appease the system yet again and drag this case on, yet again. It is so wrong. And it is so infuriating to know they want to drag this on in hopes that she gives up. Pieces of my heart truly break for our broken system, for all the women who NEVER feel as if justice is on their side, and for anyone including myself who feel as if their voice won’t matter.
The sad facts are rape cases are not being reported. 60% of sexual assaults are NOT reported.
97% of rapists never spend a day in jail. 73% of sexual assaults are perpetrated by a non-stranger. Every 2 minutes someone in the US is sexually assaulted. Leading to 17.7 MILLION American women who have been victims of attempted or completed rape. These numbers and facts are despicable!
Writing this has taken me all week. I have had to walk away, cry, be angry, sit with the pain, and then come back and write some more. I can honestly say that I don’t know if this has helped me. I still feel angry with our broken system, with myself for adding to the numbers of non-reporters, for feeling as if my voice wouldn’t matter. But the truth is OUR VOICES DO MATTER! Our stories matter and make a difference. Every time a woman stands in her power and truth, we win. Every time a woman uses her voice to help others, WE WIN. So I may still feel angry with the system but I am using my voice, so it’s a WIN.
Small steps lead to big results, so please don’t ever feel like no one will listen. Fabulously Fighting is a mind set and we will continue to grow our community, loud and proud of our stories.
Wrapping you all in fabulous light and love,