I'm Tired of Not Talking About My Rape When I Talk About My Mental Health


I’m tired.

I exist in a world that for 12 years I have not completely understood. I exist in a world that I feel forced to comply with. A world that, although it says it accepts and acknowledges that rape and sexual assault as actions are deplorable, still does not fully protect, believe, or advocate for those of us who have been affected.

I have depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. My post-traumatic stress disorder is from my rape. We talk about rape as an action. A single moment in time. We talk about post-traumatic stress disorder as a diagnosis. I have separated the two long enough.

I am tired of not feeling like I can link the two because it makes you uncomfortable.

My life and my mental health were severely affected by my rape, that moment in time you deem deplorable. But you also think about it as it ending then. You forget that it has had lasting consequences on my everyday life.

And for that, I am tired.

I am tired of being in public and suddenly feeling like the world is falling in on me and not knowing how to escape. I am tired of being at work and suddenly feeling like I need to cry. I am tired of closing my eyes and flashing back to those horrific moments. I am tired of, recently, needing to wash my pillowcase once a week because my night terrors have been so real that I wake up drenched in sweat and tears and cannot fall back asleep. I am tired of being tired.

I don’t want you to understand what I go through. I need you to let me have the floor.

I have clawed my way through the past 12 years, and for that I am proud. But it has not been easy, and it has not been without loss. I am a suicide attempt survivor, I have battled addiction, and I have ruined relationships. I have survived a moment in time that you knowingly acknowledge is unthinkable. But you don’t realize there is much more than that. There’s the every day following it, just not the day.

Be uncomfortable. You need to for us. For all of us who have survived acts of sexual violence, who now have mental health disorders, you need to let us speak our truths. You need to listen, you need to believe us, and you need to understand the two can go hand in hand. They are not separate issues, for one can created the other.

If you or a loved one is affected by sexual abuse or assault and need help, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

Thinkstock photo by redstallion


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

New App Will Make Netflix Binge-Watching Safer for People With PTSD

Feerless app makes trigger warnings on Netflix for viewers with PTSD. Read the full story.
Woman typing on a laptop, with cell phone and coffee

How My Facebook ‘Word Vomit’ About My Childhood Bullying Set Me Free

Major depression. Bipolar disorder. Anxiety. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Four autoimmune diseases. In recovery from alcoholism. Survivor of rape. Survivor of domestic abuse. So that’s what I have and what has happened to me. Not who I am. I recently blew my lid and went public with my childhood bullying experiences. I was not looking [...]

Truths People With PTSD Wish Others Understood

The Mighty partnered with the PTSD Support and Recovery Facebook page to ask people who live with post-traumatic stress disorder what they wish others could understand about it. This is what they had to say. Read the full story.
A young girl looking off

When the First Step of Healing From PTSD Is Telling Your Story

My father was diagnosed with cancer when I was 10, and died when I was 15. His sickness plagued so much of my youth, and my clearest memories of that time are of hospital rooms, ambulances and fear. What made that time so much more traumatic was that my father was suicidal, due to the [...]