Have you ever had a time in your life where many circumstances pointed to one epiphany? (Hah.. my big word use for the day). Well, I have had them from time to time and I feel the need to get it all down and out where I can look at it and see what other folks think.
Let me start by saying this. I am many things. I am strong, I am tough, I am kind, I am stubborn, I am a submissive wife, a loving mother, and I am a survivor of sexual abuse and assault. There I typed it. They don't look different from any of the other words, but oh the impact of just those few words at the end.
I have worked hard, and worked through many things. The Man and I have worked together and we enjoy a very healthy, loving, hot relationship that is the most precious thing to us both.
It has struck me very boldly this week that society at large has absolutely NO idea the long lasted impact this kind of abuse inflicts upon the victim. How invasive and pervasive. Some are bold, some are obvious, some are quiet and some not so obvious.
Things like the terror of going to the dentist because you are leaned back in a chair with a man standing over you with his crotch at eye level and he is prying your mouth open. The struggle to stay in the present, to remember you aren't the little girl, to remember he is trying to help you. The embarrassment of having to explain BEFORE you get there, what has happen (even in the vaguest of terms it's humiliating) in hopes of avoiding a full blown panic attack. Or feeling bad for the tech and the dentist as tears silent slide from your eyes into your hair despite their every attempt at being kind.
Most all of that goes double for the gynecologist, female or not. The being naked, vulnerable, miserable. The nurse holding your hand while you cry, and your need to apologize over and over and explain it's not them.
Things like not being able to ride in an elevator for fear you are going to end up in one alone with a man, and it's just not worth the terror.
The sorrow of hitting the man you love as he wakes you up from a nightmare and you fight like a she cat until his soft and gentle voice brings you back to reality.
The need to shut down, distance from the one who loves you must when you have to deal with things like the dentist because it's the only way to make it through it.
That certain smells make you sick and your stomach clinch no matter how hard you try.
I am fortunate. Many of these rarely every happen to me anymore. This lifestyle has done more for both of us. It's not for everyone. It makes me feel safe, cherished and loved. The structure brings order and peace to my life. Do we have to do things differently because of my PTSD. Damn skippy. Does it work for us? Yes.
Society at large needs to understand that this is a life long struggle that is thrust upon those of us who made it through. I am healthy, I am happy, and I am vigilant, and sometimes like today, I cry at the dentist.