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When You're Conflicted If You're the Victim or the One to Blame for Sexual Assault

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Editor's Note

If you’ve experienced sexual abuse or assault, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact The National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

I can still feel his hot breath on my skin and his hands all over my body. I can still hear the sound of him slapping me, echoing inside of my head.

• What is PTSD?

I still remember where he lives and I wonder what would happen if I went to his house and knocked on his door. Would he answer? If he did, would he even remember me? Or was I just one of many girls he assaulted?

I want to be “normal.” I don’t want these memories. If time heals all wounds, how much time will it take to heal me? It’s been three years. There’s a part of me that thinks I am unworthy of healing. Because, it wasn’t as bad as what could have happened, or what has happened to other people. There are so many real victims out there. Certainly, I have not experienced the same level of trauma.

That part of me is saying to get over it already. That it wasn’t a big deal. That I wanted it. But the bigger part of me is saying the opposite.

am a real victim.

do deserve healing.

It was a big deal.

didn’t want it.

So I’m conflicted. I’m embarrassed. I can never tell anyone the real truth, the whole truth. I just want to forget. I want to get to a point where I can forget the sensation of him kissing me. Where I forget his face and what he looks like and where he lives. Where I can forget him.

Because what he did to me was sick. It was twisted and sadistic and no “normal” person should ever do that.

I am a victim.

It’s hard for me to admit and I would never tell anyone I know in person. I’m too ashamed. I’ve gone through these years blaming myself for what happened. Because truthfully, I believe I put myself in the situation. I made the mistake.

But maybe it’s not completely my fault. Because truthfully, he chose to do what he did. What he did was illegal and wrong and I have to live with that knowledge. I’m paying the price. But I’ve realized I am not completely at fault. This whole time, I’ve been blaming myself alone for what happened. When really, he was the assailant. Maybe one day, I can move on. But for now, this is what defines me. I am the victim.

Getty Images photo via fizkes

Originally published: March 20, 2019
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