5 years ago, I was raped. If you were too, this might be a difficult read. I will probably delete this when we go public.
  1. I have trouble trusting people.
    I used to love meeting new people. It's harder for me to do that now. Sometimes, I don't even trust people I have known for years because the man who raped me was a good friend and my ex boyfriend. And now I know literally anyone can have ulterior motives for being nice to me and that terrifies me.
  2. I am sadder and angrier.
    Sometimes, I get deeply sad and can't physically do anything. Other times, I get so furious that I am singularly motivated to do things like write and work. I like the angry better. I burn out quicker but I can at least get things done with angry energy more than I can with debilitating sadness.
  3. I don't hide when I'm uncomfortable.
    If a situation or person is making me feel unsafe, I let people know. My body language shows it, I am very vocal about it. I no longer feel like I owe the world any modicum of politeness when it comes to my boundaries and safety.
  4. Triggers are a thing.
    Little things that were once innocuous now remind me of my rapist and what happened. My reactions vary from sweating/palpitations to full on panic attacks. It has gotten better with time and I have learned to deal with them, but I am still way more sensitive than I used to be.
  5. Drinking is weird.
    I was drunk when it happened. I drank to forget. He was at a party months later and he did not acknowledge my existence so I drank to numb the feeling of him looking right through me like it never happened. I used to drink a lot. I don't drink that much anymore.
  6. Sex is weird.
    Like the trigger thing, this has also gotten better with time. I can enjoy the physical act, but my feelings about it are more complicated than they were before.
  7. Dating is weird.
    Before I enter a romantic relationship with anyone, I need to tell them. It's a mood killer, but it's important that they know dating me requires knowledge of my trauma and the understanding that boundaries and mental health are very important to me. And like I said, sex is weird. They should probably know that before doing it with me.
  8. Writing is weird.
    This was the most unexpected. Before he raped me, we used to write together and I learned a lot from him. After he raped me, I didn't write a single sketch for 4 years. I write more than I did before it happened, but they are essays and articles and things firmly grounded in unfunny reality. Writing scenes for my students this year gave me a safe fun space to embrace silly writing, but I don't know if the instinct will ever come as naturally as it once did.
  9. I'm not afraid anymore.
    At worst, I am resigned to the fact that the worst has already happened to me. At best, I know that this thing did not kill me. It did not destroy me. I am here and I am alive and that is amazing.