A lot of really good points in this, and very well written. I could offer my own commentary, but this pretty much sums it up.
Six years ago, I was raped.
I’ve never been able to call it that or say the word out loud, not even once. I’ve used other words to describe it, like “molestation” and “sexual assault,” words that don’t invalidate the experience but make it easier for me to talk about.
I came out about it over a year ago in an article for In Our Words and never used the word rape. When I talked about the experience with a friend who hadn’t read the piece, I referred to it simply as “assault.” She misunderstood and thought I’d been the victim of street abuse, a mugging or other forcible attack. I didn’t know how to tell her that her assumption was incorrect. I didn’t know how to just say it.
Even after coming out as a survivor of sexual assault, I’ve struggled with how to deal with my abuse. I…
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