Anger: The Sign That We Are Still Here

I would have never thought I would be sitting down and recounting a particularly painful event that happened in my life. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support and love from folx around the world but in particular, people who have helped me emotionally during this past year, a small co-operative somewhere in the world, you know who you are. The immense support and love that I receive everyday warms my heart. Love and solidarity to you all.

Speaking out about abuse perpetrated by cis-men against me is difficult given the victim-blaming rhetoric that spews out of people; questions ranging from if I did anything remotely “unacceptable” that would have validated their abuse against me ~to~ what I was wearing. It’s questions like these that have made it difficult for me to go public and talk about what happened, listening to people judging me for the violence that I’ve been subjugated to. It’s exhausting trying to heal from trauma and explaining to people at the same time that you didn’t deserve the abuse you received.

I was five or six years old when a man who I had trusted sexually molested me. He owned a grocery store that was located on the opposite street of where I lived at the time. I would often go with my mother to buy groceries. I remember the first day he sexually assaulted me. He locked the entrance to the grocery store and told me to stand in the corner; I was concealed between stocks. It was dark and he walked towards me holding a short stool to sit on and to grab me closer. I was standing while he was sitting. I was taught that adults were always right under any circumstance. I don’t remember what I was thinking of when he was assaulting me, I remember being uncomfortable but not sure why I was feeling that way. I remember when he forced a kiss on my lips, his eyes were closed and that he had his fingers in me, I remember feeling disgusted and helpless at the same time.

I went home that day feeling numb and scared that he might break into my house. I couldn’t explain what happened to myself, I didn’t have the vocabulary to articulate how I was feeling. I didn’t know whether I was the one to blame or him. I felt guilty. Guilt for coming into his shop all by myself, guilt for not fighting back, guilt for not being more aware of his intentions, guilt for not informing my mom about what he did to me because I knew it was all my fault. I did this to myself. I let this happen to myself, this is what he made me believe. That I liked what he was doing to me and wanted more. I was revolted and would have frequent nightmares about him trying to murder me or break into my house to take my safe space away from me, to invade my space and invade my body.

I’m still trying to heal from the sexual assault I’ve experienced when I was a child and trying to recover from a recent rape in my early adulthood. Healing is never linear; it’s a never-ending process that involves nervous breakdowns, panic attacks, anxiety and depression. I’m angry that there will never be justice for us survivors, I’m angry that there is no accountability to our abusers. There will never be justice but there will always be anger.

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