5 years ago I started undergoing EMDR therapy (commonly used with PTSD clients) with my psychologist. I don’t even remember how it came up in the session, or when, but i uncovered a repressed memory of a rape when i was 12. It was a neighbour, who was 19 or more. It was violent. The short story is that I was knocked unconscious for a period of time whilst he raped me.
Since that first repressed memory, I’ve had two more uncovered. The other two from two different abusers when I was anywhere between 4-8 yrs old. Younger ages are suspected as I’m unable to piece things together very well, which I’m told is probably because I was too young to assimilate the memory properly with thoughts and feelings that I’d understand as an adult. One was a family friend at a farm I used to stay at with friends on school holidays. He was late teens. The other was my step-grandfather whilst he visited from overseas.
The details to all of this is irrelevant. I think for me its about the journey it’s taken to understand and know this has happened to me. I spent many years thinking I was weird. I did lots of strange things to protect myself. I struggled with depression and anxiety and PTSD (unknowingly). These struggles, behaviours and circling thoughts was me trying to piece together what happened to me. Now that these memories have been released, all of those things i did that seemed weird, make so much sense.
Only recently have i stopped blaming myself for these rapes. How can a 4 year old or a 12 year old be to blame for these acts? Even if i had said “no, i don’t like this.. I don’t want this”… it wouldn’t have changed anything. It would have happened anyway, they were all stronger than me.
I’m mostly just angry of how it’s affected my life so much. I don’t want to carry around their dirty secrets anymore but there’s nothing I can do. One is dead, the other two, well… going to court seems fruitless with what I’ve discussed with police and other victims.
So why write this? I want the world to know that I was raped. No one protected me from them. I was alone. I didn’t want it. I didn’t ask for it, and I didn’t deserve it. No one does. I hope for myself (and others in my situation) that I let the pain go. I let the anger go… for me. I deserve better than what I’ve done to myself since those dark days.
— Survivor, age 36