I didn’t sleep last night. I tossed and turned because I could only think about this post. On a night that I should be happy about speaking out – even a subtle as I did. It has taken years for me to say something, to heal, to really understand that it isn’t my fault. But, the only thing that I could think of was, how will this affect everyone else in my little circle? And then an amazing person asked, “Would you rather have published a lie?”

***Disclaimer: This post is going to be real. Deep. But, this is my story. Our story. 

Many moons ago I was introduced to an incredible blogger who wanted to do something amazing. At first I was hesitant because I’ve never publicly talked about what happened. Sure I may have insinuated things in my blog but never, “This is what happened.” Until now.

It’s been almost two decades and there are times I feel as if it happened not more then ten days ago. I remember what I was wearing. What I was thinking. I remember how and why it happened the way it did. I remember every detail of that day and how incredibly alone I felt. Alone and dirty. I remember sitting in the shower disgusted with myself. And for a whole year after that day I built a wall, kept everyone out, and hid the secret of being raped.

“The truth shall set you free,” my dear friend said. She was right. No, I would not have wanted to publish a lie. I needed to do this. This is one step toward my journey of healing. I was raped. And what people say that the assaulted asks for it, is a lie. I can tell you right now I never asked for it. I can, in fact, tell you that I told him no many times. Begged for him to stop. Cried for him to stop. At first even fought for my life.

Please don’t feel sorry for me. This is my story. I don’t wish it on anyone. What I do want is for the word to go out. This does happen. Women AND men are victims of sexual and indecent assault. And it’s time that we remove the stigma of disgrace from those words and provide strength and unity for the survivors. We need to hold these survivors up and not discredit what they went through.

Nearly twenty years after the assaults I am finally finding a way to fight back. This journey has brought me to this book. This is, what I believe, the first giant step I need to take to become free from the guilt and the shame of those days.

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The amazing blogger I talked about in the beginning of the post, this is her baby. Juni Desiree opens up on her post on the reasons she wanted to do this project. She shares an excerpt from the book on the courage that her mom and sister had after their assaults. Please Tell Someone is a book that was compiled by many wonderfully amazing survivors who have experienced the agonizing feeling of sexual assault and/or indecent exposure. These people are survivors. If you would like to purchase this book  for yourself or for someone who could benefit from it, it can be found on Amazon.

Today, I’m through with hiding my secret. Today, I grab the survivor next to me and leap. This is our story, and we choose to fight. xoxo

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