The past couple weeks’ news media and social media have been swamped with talk, argument, explanations, revelations and yes, arguments about the sexual treatment including the systemic verbal and physical sexual abuse of women in our enlightened, advanced, ‘first-world’ western culture. I haven’t had much to say about it, for many reasons. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t sure what to say, I didn’t know if what I have to say would communicate my own feelings and experience the way I want it to. I knew that those who know me best would sadly, painfully believe me, because they already know about it. I knew that most people I love and respect would hear and believe and accept what I say because they love and respect me and other women, who, like me are survivors of sexual abuse.
I’m not going to catalogue my experience here. I’m going to talk instead about why I hesitated to talk about this issue, in the light of so much talk about it, and so many women bringing forward their own painful, sorrowful, heart wringing truths. I know they were all as hesitant as I am to talk about this matter, this issue, this ‘problem’ in our modern culture. I know they were all as reluctant as I am to continue the feeding frenzy on this ‘hot topic’, much less add to it.
Why? It is very simple, truly. Every time a survivor like me hears another one of these accounts it opens their wounds all over again. Every time a survivor like me listens to those who have not had these experiences analyze, process, dissect and otherwise vitiate them, it sears like another pouring of antiseptic over those wounds. Every time a survivor like me, no matter how long it has been since she had this experience hears the rest of our society froth and foam and even curse and scream about these matters, it sickens and revolts the survivor, because no one was frothing or foaming, cursing or damning or screaming or shouting when they were wounded, except for those closest to them and no one else gave a flying fig.
My own experience was 28 years ago, give a few months, and none of the above facts seem to have changed that much, sadly.
So we don’t want to relive these experiences. We don’t want to think about them, talk about them or worst of all try to ‘explain’ them. We are walking wounded, struggling with things that everyone else and with this added layer of experience, things we hope NO ONE ELSE ever has to struggle with. Our experiences are immensely painful and on top of that, according to our modern, enlightened, post-sexist society, shameful. Only who bears the pain whenever this subject comes up and who feels the shame? The survivor. THAT is why, as was asked in a recent ‘thread’ on one of the busier social media platforms #whywomendon’treport’ their abuse or their abusers. It is absolutely that SIMPLE.’