On being “lucky”

I am a survivor.

I have survived not one – but two sexual assaults.

I have survived the loss of my babies, Alexandra and Frances.

I have survived the loss of my dear friend Jennifer.

I’ve also survived three car crashes, four job losses, and high school.

Yet, I still consider myself a “lucky” survivor of sexual assault.

I was able to get away from my attacker.

So many – too many – women are trapped in situations of domestic abuse where they cannot escape for reasons unique to each individual. Some stay for economic reasons. Some stay because they have nowhere else to go and at least when she’s with him, she is only being raped by one person. Some stay because they truly love their abuser and believe there is good in him, that he can change – and he’s a really great guy when he’s not drinking / beating / abusing me.

I’m also “lucky” because was also older. The first time I was raped was in July of 2012 and I was 29 years of age. By that time in my life, I had previous sexual relationships that were loving, compassionate, and caring. I had learned that sex could be a passionate expression of love. Sex can also be boring at times. Or sex can even be hilarious!

For some young women and girls, their very first sexual experience is rape. I cannot imagine what that does to a woman’s sexual psyche. I cannot fathom the uphill climb those women have to reclaim themselves and their bodies. Yet, I have seen such women go on to have beautiful relationships with their partners and themselves. Somehow, they are able to overcome those horrific early experiences and move on to learn sex can be something other than assault. Sex shouldn’t hurt. Sex shouldn’t be forced – or even coerced.

Sex can be fun.

Sex can be funny.

Sex can be intimate.

Sex can heal.

Sex should never ever hurt.

Every_98_seconds 122016


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