Just about a year ago, I came out on here about my experience with sexual abuse. It was the first time I’d ever really talked about what happened to me or what my healing process has been like, and it felt timely, just a year after finally seeking help for my post-traumatic stress disorder.
As cathartic as it was finally being able to tell a part of my story, it was very difficult for me. Since my experience 8 years ago, I’ve felt a lot of shame and guilt. It has been hard for me to talk about it because I was afraid people would judge me or blame me. The fact is, when it happened to me when I was 13, people did judge me and blame me. I lost friends and people called me a lot of names and assumed a lot of things about me.
In my freshman year of college when I started attending group therapy, I learned that a lot of survivors share this same sense of guilt and personal responsibility for what happened to them. It was one of the things I struggled with most in therapy. I got over the panic attacks and flashbacks and I’ve started to gain back my sense of safety, but I have never been able to completely shake this feeling that I was somehow responsible for my abuser’s actions.
But I’m a lot stronger than I was 8 years ago, or even 2 years ago, and today I want to make a commitment to moving forward with my healing process by placing the blame where it’s really due.
There is no reason that victims of sexual abuse should feel guilty or ashamed or responsible for what happened to us. There is only one person who should have to deal with those feelings - our abuser.
So today I am placing all the blame on my abuser so that I can continue to heal. Because at 13 years old I could not consent. Because at 13 years old I didn’t understand what was happening to me. Because at 13 years old - or any age - the clothing I wore or the way I looked at someone or any of the other lame excuses abusers give for their actions did not make me responsible.
There is only one person who should feel responsible, who deserves to feel pain, who deserves to be silenced. And I’m not going to let him silence me anymore. I finally feel strong enough to say his name. Orry Clark.
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!