paradigm shiftPosted: September 20, 2013
About 3 weeks ago, Shawn and Jeff and I were at my old house having a general conversation about porn and sexual assault and comedy. It was actually pretty great. It was one of those conversations where everyone was talking about things in an open and honest and non-judgemental way. In talking about why some kinds of jokes aren’t funny, I said something like “One in four women have been sexually assaulted, you never know who and how they are dealing with it.” At that time, I did not identify as one of those people, but as the conversation continued, I started to feel really uncomfortable and deeply upset.
It brought up feelings within me that I knew I’d have to deal with sooner or later. And so, for the last few weeks, through the stress of moving and unpacking and getting the kids settled into a new life-routine, I’ve also been dealing with realizing and accepting that I am a victim of sexual assault. I am also a victim of psychological and emotional abuse. I know that legally, this is going nowhere, it’s not even worth bringing up. I have to stay in a somewhat amicable relationship with my abuser, for the forseeable future.
There are many reasons why some women stay in intimate relationships that are violent or abusive. These include:
- societal pressures
- to prevent disruption to her children
- a lack of alternatives e.g. financial constraints
- fear that leaving might lead to further violence
- shame about speaking out about what has happened
- difficulty recognising or accepting what is happening
- blaming themselves for what is happening
- hope that their partner’s behaviour will change
I’m not going to go into any more detail right now, but know that this is something that is on my mind and that I will be working through for some time. I will be posting about this and I absolutely welcome feedback from every person who has access to these posts.
For now, I think what I need is to:
- Look into my work-plan to see if I can talk to a professional about this. I feel kind of lost like “What the hell am I supposed to do about this? Am I supposed to cry all the time? Am I supposed to be so angry?” I definitely have FEELINGS about it, and they change several times daily.
- Find more sources of information. I’m definitely about researching things but you know, there’s a lot of terrible crap on the internet. I found THIS, which even just reading the first two lines has me going “yup, that’s what it was like”. I’d like more resources. Do you have any?
- Tell my story, right here. It won’t be sequential, I’ll probably go over the same stuff a lot of times as I remember more snippets to add in. For so long, I saw everything as separate instances of bad stuff, and I need to get a good idea of what happened as a whole. I feel the need to really define what happened, and how that made me feel at the time, and how that makes me feel now, and what to do about it.