paradigm shift

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.

6 Comments on “paradigm shift”

  1. Diana says:

    Thank you for opening up so much, this is a topic very near and dear to my heart.

    I read this today and it also triggered immense feelings of sadness in me, especially when I got to number 10.

    I had been attacked about 2.5 years ago and lost half of my family because of it. I also was in a (sexually) abusive relationship and I know how it shaped every moment from that moment on (I haven’t dated since…it’s been about 5 years).

    I have found that finding help in dealing with this has been so difficult. For the past 3 years, I have expressed to numerous doctors and help that I am looking for resources to help me through this. I have been turned down for treatment (2 doctors told me to my face that they didn’t want to be responsible for dealing with me as a patient), promised resources that they never followed through on, etc. As someone who also deals with mental illness, I can’t believe that anyone would turn anyone away. I think about people who are not as self-aware as I am or people who deal with much tougher levels of mental illness and I am completely empathetic as most people who suffer from grave mental illness would not have the focus to deal with such a lengthy process. They might not also deal well with all the rejection.

    Sorry if none of this makes any sense.

    • Tiana says:

      Oh I saw that link the other day too. It was tough to look through.
      I’m sorry about your family 😦 It’s tough when people who are supposed to support you, fail to do so. I’m not sure what kind of professional help I will end up seeking. Probably just someone to talk to I guess. I think I’m still in the stage of defining what I went though, since it wasn’t a thing where I can really point at one instance on one day. It seems kind of ambiguous.

      Anyway, thank you very much for sharing with me. It helps to know I’m not alone. I mean, I KNOW I’m not alone, but I don’t know many people who talk about their experiences of sexual assault openly.

  2. Jeff says:

    Please let me know if we ever get into trigger territory. I’d like to give you a hug, if that’s okay with you. I find that when I get emotionally distressed, the physical comfort helps me a lot, and I believe that over time, having new feelings of strength and refuge during that kind of exploration helps soothe old feelings of trauma. Also, I highly recommend my therapist, let me know if you’d like his contact info.

    Here’s the Louis CK rape joke we were talking about:

    • Tiana says:

      I think that through my work, I just get assigned to someone? I don’t think I’m ready to start that process just yet.

      • Jeff says:

        I don’t mean to cause you any pressure, just letting you know that I’d like to help any way I can, if you want any help from me at all.

        I’m really sorry to find out that you’ve been a victim of sexual abuse. May you heal and find closure in your own time. May you not suffer. May the challenges you’re facing because of this get easier.

        • Tiana says:

          I wasn’t getting any pressure from you. I feel like I’m mostly outside the bounds of suffering. Dealing with it now is WAY BETTER than still living it.

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