Cruelty Free Makeup

The Cost of Not Being Heard

CAUTION. For those who have also experienced sexual assault this may be triggering. Please lovingly use your own discernment to choose if reading this feels okay for you. 

Sexual assault takes a piece of your soul. No matter how many years pass or how much light you conjure to fill the hole, that piece is lost to the moment when you were not heard. 

To those who did not hear, you are not bad humans but there is a cost to your not listening, a cost you need to understand. A human forever walking through life missing a piece of their soul. 

I was 16 and just beginning to come into my body, my sensuality, and an understanding of my power. A short skirt, a sexy walk, a flirtatious smirk. I liked the attention and the power I thought it gave me. 

I was seemingly just “mature” enough to think I could handle anything so I went out on my own. I drank for one of the first times. I flirted and smiled and when it was time to go I said my first no. No to going back to his house, no to him driving the golf cart I had been entrusted with. And that was the first time he didn’t listen. 

I can still feel his long finger nails searching for my most sensitive area. And despite my fidgets and my no’s, they still continued their search. So many forms of no. “I need to go home”, “the cart is my responsibility”, “I have to get up early tomorrow” “there isn’t enough time before my curfew”, “I have a boyfriend” “I can’t” none of which was heard. 

So conditioned to only think of others and their happiness, to make sure I don’t hurt their feelings, to make sure that they like me I even in moments found my mouth or my body making the sounds and the motions that would best please him, all along sinking deeper into a dark corner of isolation within my self, the “gone corner” a corner I would come to know well in the shadow moments of the next 18 years. 

In the beginning I couldn’t even touch the edges of that corner without either dizzying into a panic attack or sucoming to the swallowing gone-ness. After 4 years, I could talk to a therapist, after a few more years I could tell friends without getting fully sucked into the “gone corner”. After 10 years and a lot of inner work, I could say the word rape, see it on tv, and talk about my experience without unraveling but I could still feel the pull of the “gone corner”. After 17 years , I could notice when I got triggered during sex, allow myself to stop, cry, and communicate from a healthy and vulnerable place. I didn’t end up on the bathroom floor which was always the cold place I would land in the “gone corner”. I was healed, right? 

Yes and no. I have worked hard over all these years to meet myself in the gone corner, to hold out my hand to myself and walk back home to presence, to my heart and healthy self. And while the rape lives in me differently, holds less power, there is still a piece of my soul that is missing. Lost to the moment when my voice didn’t matter and was not heard. 

And yet, it was in the space of that lost piece that I inserted choice, power and devotion to myself in order to make myself whole. Not broken, but pieced together by light. 

I write this at 4 AM, woken up by the throbbing of my womb, day one of my cycle and my body yet again helping me to purge and release the stored trauma. 

It took me all these years to fully learn that it was safe for me to hold boundaries. To learn to love boundaries and the power and self love they represent. 

To my 16 year old self, I see you sweet, beautiful, sexy girl. I see you. And I’ve got you. 

For us all, listen and really hear. Those boundaries you hear, they are a sign of personal power, self devotion and for some, the blood, sweat and tears it took to claim them.

Honor them. 

To my other survivors, I see you and the work, the healing, the courage, and the love that make up the mortar, the light that fills the empty space and makes you whole. My lost piece sees your lost piece, my wholeness sees your wholeness. And you are beautiful. 

All my love,

Emily


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