The 16 Impacts

1. SHOCK  I didn’t know this could happen. Reading that, (and this is exactly how it felt, writing it down), you’ll be thinking – is she stupid? What do you mean you didn’t know rape could happen? Of course, I knew of … Continue reading →

2. SHAME  The first feeling to emerge from the fog of shock is shame. And when it comes, it hits hard. Suddenly, the disorientation, the dullness and the emptiness give way to a searing, inescapable assessment of culpability along with an unbearable … Continue reading →

3. TERROR  Security is an illusion. One you take entirely for granted until you can believe in it no longer, until you find it has been plucked from your possession viciously and malevolently, leaving you only with a gaping emptiness, a horrendous, … Continue reading →

4. EXHAUSTION  At first I slept. At least twice a day. I was always in bed by eight o’clock and got out of bed as late as I could. The aim was to go to bed before it got dark and get … Continue reading→

5. DISCLOSURE  To speak is to ask to be heard. When what you have to say will be damaging, to both yourself and to those you ask to listen, how do you decide to speak? When what you have to say will … Continue reading →

6. FLASHBACKS  Living with trauma means being a tight-rope walker. To not be put off-balance by the post-traumatic selves that you must juggle while you walk, to manage to move forwards while the competing demands of everyday life and a traumatic past … Continue reading →

7. DISPOSSESSION  Compromised, my body abandoned me. Humiliated by its inability to protect me, it disconnected from the rest of me and fled. Broken into, manhandled and then disposed of when the fun had been had, the only response my body could … Continue reading →

8. GRIEF  There is a great gaping hole at the the center of my life. Many things belong in that hole: safety, security, confidence, faith, laughter, freedom, trust, joy, focus, relaxation, pleasure, sleep, comfort, the future – the list feels endless. These … Continue reading →

9. ANGER  Sometimes, when I have an excess of nervous energy, I run. This is no small feat. To leave the house to go for a run on my own along a nearby and very familiar, well frequented walking path that traverses … Continue reading →

10. LONELINESS  I often feel that I am standing on one side of a large canyon. Everybody else – civilization, mainstream society, all my friends and family – is on the other side.  It’s quite crowded over there – all those people … Continue reading →

11. INJUSTICE  Rape has disoriented me. It has left me stranded in a world that not only terrifies me but also thoroughly perplexes, dismays and appalls me. I can no longer seem to find any reliable indicators to reassure me of what … Continue reading →

12. RESPECT  I expect to be disrespected. Far too often I find myself, breath bated, response mechanisms on alert, just waiting for the person I’m talking to to suddenly lash out at me. I expect them to hurt me. It feels like … Continue reading →

13. DISGUST  Sometimes, in the quiet, private space of my own mind, I allow myself to feel the force of my disgust. I allow it to unravel within me, aware that, once unleashed, it is almost impossible to pack neatly away again. … Continue reading →

14. LIFELINES  To be kind to another human being, simply because you can, simply because you care, is perhaps the greatest act one person can do for another.  You might believe too much has happened to you. You may feel like a … Continue reading →

15. SOLIDARITY  I used to think of myself as the architect of my life. The one in control. The one who dreamt up the plans, who was responsible for the construction and who, as a DIY kind of architect, mucked in there … Continue reading →

16. RESILIENCE  I wish there were a neat way to end this. I wish I could say ‘and then it got better’ or ‘and then it all went away’ or ‘and then she lived happily ever after’. But it’s not like that. …Continue reading →


1 Response to The 16 Impacts

  1. Pingback: A Supportive Space | 16 Impacts of Sexual Assault

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