The case of Brock Turner has lit up every aspect of social media and news/media outlets in the last eight days.
I first caught wind of the story from Facebook. I sat on the living room couch, mesmerized by the survivor’s impact statement that she gave in court. Tears came to my eyes. I felt sick the entire time.
Even before I knew Brock Turner’s name, I immediately wanted to sucker punch him.
I wanted him to experience a taste of his own medicine – How would it feel for him to be unconscious, digitally penetrated, groped, and assaulted for 20 minutes behind a dumpster?
Would he feel like he wanted to shed his body “like a jacket and leave it behind in the hospital with everything else?”
Then, on Thursday, I found this link on Facebook:
I read it, and one section resonated with me immediately:
Trauma has a way of blocking the logic centers of the brain and reducing its survivors to their most primitive survival instincts. When I touch my wife, nearly 13 years after her rape, she can be triggered into an immediate fight or flight response. We never know when, or if, it will happen because Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) often has no rhyme or reason. Her body remembers what her mind can’t. Sexual desire was non-existent for years, and is just now only slowly coming back. For years I couldn’t understand why she didn’t have the same desire for me that I do for her. It isn’t that she doesn’t want to, it’s that she can’t. The trauma she experienced has caused her primitive brain to associate sex with danger.
That exact scenario has happened to me, with Al, more times than I wish to count. It’s been tough, having been together for nearly six years now, and married for nearly seven months.
Let me stop for a second and clarify:
I was not raped, but I nearly was in 2009 by my ex-boyfriend, John Ivey. At the time, I was able to stop him, but only by screaming at the absolute top of my lungs, proclaiming, over and over and over, “Stop. No. I’m not ready. I’m not ready. I’m not ready.”
Sadly, many rape survivors are overpowered by their rapists. I’m talking about men, women, and children.
Over the years, I’ve read countless articles about other survivors.
Here are a few that have stuck with me.
I’ve also re-posted the impact statement from Brock Turner’s survivor, first published by BuzzFeed on June 3rd.
If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to do so. It’s already impacted my life.
- 27 Survivors Of Sexual Assault Quoting The People Who Attacked Them
- 25 Male Survivors Of Sexual Assault Quoting The People Who Attacked Them
- Here Is The Powerful Letter The Stanford Victim Read Aloud To Her Attacker
- Project Unbreakable
- Sexual assault survivors tell their stories
- Pandora’s Project – Meet Rape & Sexual Abuse Survivors
- Why are you okay?
I feel grateful that my situation wasn’t worse. I was abused from late 2006 through Friday, July 17, 2010, when I finally gathered the courage to break up with John, to tell him to his face that I wasn’t happy, that I had changed into a person that I didn’t recognize, that it was over.
I felt liberated.
Sadly, there are so many in this world that don’t, can’t, feel that way.
My heart breaks for them.
I never was molested by a family member, abused before middle school, assaulted by a coach or a priest that a survivor trusted. The list is endless.
Writing this post brought back some of my memories and experiences, but I know I am strong.
I’m able to tell my story freely.
It isn’t easy. I haven’t shared my story with everyone that I know.
My parents don’t know the entire story, the entire 3 1/2 years, although they were two of the first to recognize that I was being manipulated and taken advantage of.
However, I’m grateful for their undying support, along with Al, several friends, professors, counselors, and therapists. I’m also thankful that I was raised as a strong Christian. I say that because I relied heavily on my faith during my experiences, although I may not have realized it at the time.
I only have hazy memories of my freshman, sophomore, and junior years of college, which makes me sad. College is supposed to be one of the best times of someone’s life.
But, at the same time, I think of the survivors who have hazy memories of their entire childhood, or not have any memories at all.
I feel humbled, knowing that I was able to escape from John.
Many people have never escaped at all.
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂