Kind of a lazy-woman’s weekday post today, I’m afraid!
I am currently trying to learn more about the WordPress platform and all the “bells and whistles” of my blog. I thought I would try adding some polls to my blog. It might be an interesting way to see what experience my readers have with rape and sexual assault. If you can think of some good questions for future polls, let me know in the comments.
This one is much more disturbing than my last post. I guess I should have reversed the order to start with a bad one and end with something more uplifting. Please note that this video is about child exploitation and may be triggering.
This is upsetting on so many levels. There has always been exploitation of women and children, but new technology is making it so rampant and easily available. That pedophiles from all over the world are using the internet to find ways to exploit the poorest children is simply appalling. The sheer number of pedophiles is astounding. I wonder if it’s growing due to these webcam type operations?
What else I find appalling is that it takes a private organization like Terre des Hommes to find these people. They found so many, so quickly and were able to get their information to the police. Why can’t the police do this?
(Please forgive the short post today…I’m still pretty sick.)
If there is one thing I have learned since I started writing this blog, it is this. Everyone has something that they are battling, we just don’t know what it is. Think about the people you know. How many of them are grieving the loss of a loved one? How many have been abused? How many have an illness that just doesn’t show itself? How many suffer from mental illness of some kind? How many have children who are taking the wrong path? People hide their pain, even from those that they are closest to.
The survivors I have spoken with are all battling huge demons–PTSD, Dissociative Identity Disorder, eating disorders, substance abuse. Some are scared just to be in their homes. Some are scared to leave their homes. Some have to see their rapists every day because they are family members.
Others are like me and seem pretty together on the outside. But the demons are still there, and they do require some fighting.
(A special trigger warning applies to this post. Please take care of yourself.)
Survivors speak a lot about triggers. We use trigger warnings on everything we write, we say something triggered us, we apologize for triggering others. Trigger is both a noun and a verb. And triggers are the bane of our existence. For those of you lucky enough not to know, a “trigger” is something that brings out our memories of the trauma that we went through. It can be anything and it draws us back into the original traumatic experience. A trigger can bring on a full-blown flashback, or it can just set off a series of emotional and physical responses. Because they are so common an experience for survivors, I thought I would attempt to write a piece about my triggers to help others understand.
Triggers can be anything. Seriously, anything. A smell. A sound. A seemingly innocuous object. A place. An action. A time of day. Our friends and family are often baffled by our reactions to what appears to be “nothing” to them. Whatever the trigger is, for some reason our mind associates it with our rape or our rapist. When we are triggered, it is a very distressing experience. This is why we post trigger warnings. The last thing we want to do is cause our fellow survivors distress. A rape survivor sees the warning and can judge for himself/herself whether they are feeling strong enough to read on. It’s a “spoiler alert” of sorts. More
This was a Facebook find today. I think it’s an amazing statement. We all have a story. And many parts of that story are very, very bad for survivors of rape and abuse. But it’s us. It is part of who we are. Too often we push that part of our story down and silence it because it is so very painful. Bringing it forward and owning that part of ourselves takes great bravery and courage. And with it comes power. Power over our rapists. Power over our past. Power to change our futures. There is a lot of wisdom packed into this one short sentence.
I apologize for the lazy blogging lately, but I’ve been really sick. I still want to share any messages of encouragement that I find. I’ve been chatting with lots of fellow survivors lately, and I’m finding a lot of messages that show their despair and desire to just give up on fighting this fight. This is to remind all of you that the fight is worth fighting. Please, please don’t give up. You’re worth too much to this world. Listen to that little voice, even if it’s only a whisper, and try again tomorrow!
This song was shared with me by a fellow rape survivor. Matthew West, another amazing Contemporary Christian artist, asked his fans to tell him their stories. And boy did they. Matthew was spending 2 months in a cabin in Tennessee writing songs for his new album and read thousands of letters of pain, redemption, strength, fear, faith and hope. His album and book, “The Story of Your Life” came from that time he spent in the cabin, based on the real-life inspirational stories of his fans.
“Broken Girl” was born of the many, many stories he read of sexual abuse. This song is very powerful for me. There is a definite part of me that is still that broken 14 year old girl. It’s getting smaller, but it’s still there. While the song has much the same theme as MercyMe’s “You’re Beautiful” that I posted about earlier, I really like the tone of this one. The driving drumbeat has almost a righteous anger to it. Anger and power mixed in with God’s unconditional love. He shares our anger. There’s a definite strength to it which I find reassuring. We’re fighters, survivors. We have a right to be angry. We have a right to be loved.
After Silence is a website dedicated to helping survivors of rape and sexual abuse. It has a message board and chatrooms. The forums are broken down into all different types of categories. There are special boards for women, men, young and “more mature” survivors. There are boards for specific types of abuse–date rape, stranger rape, abuse by a family member, etc. There are spots to share your story, if you so desire. More