(Extra special trigger warnings are perhaps needed)

If there was ever any doubt in my mind that what happened to me was truly a rape, the feelings provoked in me by simply seeing this picture make any and all doubt vanish.  Shame.  This light fixture, of all things, is my biggest trigger.  This light fixture has been burned more permanently into my mind than almost any image.

It was brighter.

The flowers were etched a little differently.

In my head I carry a perfect photo of a 1970s style, simple white frosted glass light cover.  It’s edges are fluted or rippled.  It’s hard to describe.  The flowers are etched, so they appear grayish when the light shines through them.  One light bulb is burned out.  Most houses had them in all their bedrooms.  Nothing  fancy.  A quick Google image search turned up this photo.  My heart started pounding; I began sweating.  My hands are still shaking a bit.  It’s been 20 minutes.

This light represents shame to me.  I tried to block out what was happening to me when I was raped.  He pushed me down onto his bed.  Neither of us was fully undressed.  He was rough.  I was scared.  The lights were on.  I tried closing my eyes, but in such a small room the light was still bright and was hurting my eyes even through my eyelids.  I couldn’t bring myself to look at his face, so I looked up at the light.  Studied its details.  Took some refuge in the blindness.  What I remember is crying, full on tears, and this light.  It was an anchor of sorts.

That’s about all I remember until after it was over.  I went right into the bathroom and sobbed.  I was humiliated.  Shame isn’t something someone should ever feel.  Embarrassment, regret, awkwardness, self-consciousness, these are everyday emotions–but never shame.  I wonder how many people can say that they have truly felt it.  It’s a deep and long-lasting emotion.  And it hides within the crevasses of your mind and burrows in.

Waiting for a picture of a light fixture to bring it out.

I wish I could just turn off that light.


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. chaotican
    Sep 16, 2012 @ 20:43:38

    There is a particular dollar store happy birthday balloon with a butterfly on it that does the same for me.

    If you’re looking for a way to turn out that light, can I suggest hypnotherapy? Most effective thing I’ve ever done, and I’ve scrambled for a way to pop that balloon as frantically as if I were a stray cat caught inside.

    Good luck.


    • Aimee
      Sep 16, 2012 @ 22:41:03

      It’s funny how simple objects can hold such power. How sad that a balloon for a happy occasion brings such sadness. I’ve never tried hypnotherapy, though I do a lot of yoga and meditation, which helps considerably. I hope you pop your balloon, Chaotican. My light has grown much dimmer over the years 🙂


  2. unladylikemusings
    Sep 17, 2012 @ 00:13:30

    For me it is a cross, the towering wooden kind you would find on the wall or in the front of a sanctuary. How ironic and horrible since burning a cross isn’t necessarily a great idea (my ill attempts at humor).


    • Aimee
      Sep 17, 2012 @ 21:29:43

      That’s a rough one, Musings. How awful that a symbol that gives so many people such hope can cause you pain. Are you a churchgoing woman? That would be so hard for me. I’ve been thinking about this one all day. On one hand, the cross is a hopeful symbol, but on the other it symbolizes the shame and humiliation that Christ suffered for humanity. Having it as a trigger would really shake my faith. PS…I wouldn’t try burning one, the police tend to frown on that and we’d like to keep you out of jail 🙂


  3. Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher
    Sep 23, 2012 @ 13:43:41

    I truly wish that was a shame no person ever had to endure. It’s funny how the world works. I was musing in my mind last night writing about my personal experience with rape/possession/crazy boyfriend – and how just a simple question from someone can bring that terror rushing right back after 20 years like it was yesterday.


    • Aimee
      Sep 23, 2012 @ 13:57:41

      It’s been 30 years for me, Rutabaga. Most of the time it’s just there lingering in the background and I can ignore it. But then it slams into the forefront and pummels me out of the blue. I encourage you to write about it, even if you don’t post it. It’s very empowering.


  4. Aimee
    Sep 23, 2012 @ 14:56:59

    Do it for yourself 🙂 Don’t worry about anyone else.


  5. Lindsey
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 16:25:59
    I’m very horrible at actually blogging, but there are posts and every once in a while I change the pictures and stuff.


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