Saturday marked 3 years since the day I was raped. 3 years since everything changed, in the past 3 years I have had so many accomplishments and setbacks, I have gone to treatment to deal with the trauma and even opened some doors to things that I have repressed over the years. I have worked extensively in therapy to get to where I am today. Saturday was a really hard day for me I woke up to yet another terrible nightmare of that night with Cameron. The nightmares haven’t gotten any better in 3 years time. The flashbacks however have eased quite a bit, I can control them a bit better now (sometimes). When I feel a flashback coming on I can begin grounding myself, distracting, preparing for what will happen. It’s taken a lot of hard work to get to where I am today, and maybe one day with continue treatment I can be completely okay again.
I’ve spent the weekend away visiting a friend who was in treatment with me a few states over. It has been a good distraction from all the trauma. We went to a sexual assault survivors group and I got to share my story about the rape, it was so empowering to be able to stand up and recall the events and not experience a flashback. To be able to stand up and say I was raped aloud is something 3 years ago I never imagined happening. I’ve made so much progress since the first year it happened, I’ve struggled with accepting it happened, forgiving myself and realizing it wasn’t my fault. But today I can say I know i didn’t deserve it, I can say no matter what happened, what I did, whether I kissed him back or not, I am not to blame for being raped. I can say “Cameron raped me” and retell my story without getting physically sick or flashing back and that is healing!
In the group we discussed the worst aspects of the assault, some women talked about the actual rape itself, others said it was what the rapist said. But for me the worst part of the rape was how he broke my trust by raping me. The thing is I don’t think of Cameron as a bad guy, even to this day I think of him as the Cameron I knew and adored. The Cameron who tried to protect me from Cody. The Cameron who help clean me up after Cody punched me in the face and gave me a bloody nose one evening. I think of the Cameron who spent his entire senior year raising money for children less fortunate, even though he was only required to do it for a semester. The Cameron who was well dressed and polite, the night of our date before he raped me. Who opened the door for me and brought me a single sun flower because he knew it was my favorite. I think of that Cameron and it gives me such conflicting feelings because I hate what he did to me but I don’t hate him.
Cameron stole my sense of trust and safety I felt with him. Because of what he did I fear not only strangers but those close to me. I fear what some of my best guy friends can do to me. Cameron violated my trust in him, he took away the feeling of knowing your safe with someone. I think that’s the worst part of all of this.
Since going to treatment I have been more open about what happened to me. I have joined Sexual Assault Survivor Groups and shared more of my story. 3 years ago when it first happened I was so afraid to tell anyone and now I share my story because it’s important for people to hear. I am not ashamed of what happened to me, I know I didn’t deserve it. I only hope by me sharing my story I can help someone else. If you’re reading this and you were recently sexually assaulted, just know that you can heal from this. You will heal from this! It’s not going to be easy, there will be days when it hurts like hell and it’s the first thing you think of in the morning but then there will be days when it’s the second.