The song “Praying” by Kesha…. Oh, does that song hit me right in my feels! I get goosebumps when I hear it. The emotion, the truth – her truth, the freedom, the astounding courage. Everything about that song is praise worthy. Kesha, now I know this will never reach your dazzling face, but girl, you are a hero to so many women. I for one was inspired to write after listening to “Praying” at least 100 times.
This blog post might be unorganized when it is read because I am going to try something different. I am going to write and it is going to be raw. Purely from what I feel as I listen to the words in that song. So I apologize in advance if this gets crazy.
There are days that I don’t want think about any of this, but here recently it seems like more days than not are filled with the haunting memories from this. Regardless of where I am or who I’m with, I could be reminded of this in the blink of an eye, and that in itself is frightening. I want to set this burden free by getting it off my chest but I don’t want to be judged for talking about it. I don’t want to be asked questions, because honestly I don’t want to give the answers. I don’t want to be labeled as a victim and I don’t know if I even want to be labeled as a survivor because honestly, it’s still a label. Some days I just want to be a normal person not a rape survivor. I realize though that I will never not be a rape survivor. That is something that I will be labeled with for the rest of my life. Whether it be a label I give myself or a label that the world gives me. Even though I might have a label, I refuse to let it define me.
Its hard for me to come to terms with the fact that something I don’t want to think about, still controls a lot of aspects of my life. From the way I think about dating again, trusting again, loving again. Like, honestly, why would I want to date? For one, who wants to be with someone who has been through something as terrible as what I have been through? For two, if I get close to someone, it is going to be something that I have to talk to them about because let’s face it. This was not something small that happened to me that I can just shrug off. No, This was something that changed my entire life. It has changed who I am as a person. It has changed the way I trust. It has changed the way I love. It has changed every aspect of who Shay is. It is going to take a special person to find it in their heart to love me. Not because I was raped, but because of the effect that the rape had on me, like Complex PTSD, Anxiety, or Depression. Someone who chooses to love me will have to understand that a something seemingly harmless can send my mind into a whirlwind. Trauma is a weird thing and to try to put into words how it impacts your daily life is extremely difficult. Like I said, it is going to take someone special to step up to the plate and take on this battle with me.
I never in my life imagined that this would be my reality. I didn’t choose this. This was something that I had no control over actually. It was something that a selfish person chose to do to me. The only choice I had in this was how I reacted. I couldn’t control his actions but I could and can control mine. Instead of letting this destroy me, I used it as a motivator to succeed in life and touch those around me. I have had to dig deep within my soul and find a strength that I never knew I had, not only to survive but to rebuild my life completely.
It is important to me for the man who did this to me to know that he was not successful in his attempt to destroy me. His sad attempt to maintain control over my life was shot down when I found the voice that had been silenced for too long. There is so much power in knowing that my voice has been heard and the truth has been set free, like a wildfire ready to expose the dark secrets that were hidden for so long. As much as I hate the fact that this is part of my story, I know that I can’t change it, I can’t erase the memories, and I can’t pretend it never happened. I have to embrace it and start moving forward.
I have been through some seriously dark shit. Some of the stuff that I experienced has the potential to bring a person to their breaking point. There were many times that I thought I reached that breaking point. Times when I didn’t know how to get out of bed. Times when I didn’t want to get out of bed. Times when I would recluse from friends and family. These were times where those close to me knew that I wasn’t being rude or hateful when I wouldn’t return their texts or phone calls. They didn’t ask me to be social, they didn’t get mad at me for going days without messaging them. They simply asked me to let them know that I was breathing. These are the people that became my guiding lights, the people who helped me walk through some of the darkest days that I have been through.
I try to look back on everything that happened to me and try to find purpose in it. Like, why did all of this happen to me? Why did my life take this turn? What was the purpose for it? Maybe the purpose is because I am STRONG enough to survive it. I am STRONG enough to talk about it. I am STRONG enough to help other women that have been sexually assaulted or raped. I know there are women or men out there that have been through a hell of a lot worse than I have. I’m not trying to sound like I have had a horrible life. My life has been fairly great. I am extremely grateful for the life that I have had. Regardless of how good my life has been, there have still been some unthinkable things that I have encountered.
I hope that one day I am able to talk to other women and men about my story. I hope to inspire women and men to speak up about sexual assault and rape. Now, I know that I’m just one small person in a world full of billions of people and I don’t think I can start a change or anything, but all it takes is one voice to be heard to touch that man or woman who is hurting. So here I am, inspired by Kesha and her amazing song “Praying” to write a little about my story, showing people that they are not alone.
So there it is, my latest blog post, all unorganized and shit.