THE STORY OF MY SEXUAL TRAUMASep 27, 2022
I’ve been trying to write a blog about my plant medicine journey, but I’ve been met with so much resistance within myself. I couldn’t figure out why.. until tonight. I realized it’s because my sexual trauma is so wrapped up in my plant medicine journey that one story can’t be told without the other. And so we begin..
I always wondered, growing up, if something had happened when I was young.
I didn’t remember anything.
I didn’t know myself enough yet to know.
I didn’t trust myself enough not to question.
I knew what sex was at a young age.
I made my Barbies have sex with each other for as long as I can remember.
I was inexplicably terrified of rape for what feels like my entire life.
I lost my virginity at 14 to a boyfriend who was 3 years older and really loved me. I was caught by my very strict Catholic mom and grounded for what felt like eternity.
I was having casual sex in high school, when no one else in my tiny, private, Catholic school was.
I was always an open book. Talking unfiltered about my experiences and feeling judged for sharing them.
When I was 17 I connected with a 23 year old on a mission trip and slept with him. That was a scandal, for sure.
Sex was always met with ease in the moment but so much resistance and shame in the aftermath.
I didn’t know why.
My freshman year of college was a doozy.
I was a HUGE partier, going out most nights of the week and drinking heavily, when most of my friends were not. I blacked out all the time. I was always the “fun” girl down to party no matter the day of the week, responsibilities, or consequences. Alcohol and sex were my escapes from this world that I so desperately did not want to be a part of.
A friend connected me with a friend of his for a date party on a week night. I had an exam the next day, but of course I went. I was the “fun” party girl. I believe I was drugged. I woke up naked the next morning in original said friend’s bed next to him in so much pain.
We had talked about having sex before. It had been established that he wanted to and I wanted to keep things platonic. I panicked the second I realized what had happened. I stumbled back to my room and proceeded to projectile vomit every 30 minutes for the rest of the day barely making it through my exam.
As the days afterwards went by I started to learn more about what had happened that night. I was acting extremely drunk after having a drink or two (despite my tolerance being so HIGH) and I tried to have sex in the bathroom with my date. It was filmed on many of the guys’ phones that night.
I was horrified, disgusted, and so disappointed in myself. One of my best friend’s boyfriends knew a lot of the guys and made sure the videos were deleted supposedly. I dwelled in my misery for days.
As I tried to talk about it with my friends I was blamed. It was my fault. I got too drunk. I had an on again off again boyfriend at the time. We were very much “off” but when we got back together I told him what had happened and he freaked. It was my fault. I got too drunk.
None of it made sense to me. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Every time I thought about that night I wanted to vomit. I still do to this day.
As I made it through the months that followed I thought I had efficiently suppressed the memories, the shame, the self loathing. Then my entire family was asked to attend a therapy session for my sister. Assuming it was to help with things she was moving through I happily obliged. I walked into the therapist’s office with my sister and sat down. My parents were in the waiting room. The therapist looked at me and said, “So are you going to tell them or am I? My heart stopped. My stomach dropped. I played dumb and asked what she was talking about. “Your rape. If you don’t tell them, I will.”
For those of you who don’t know me I have the ability to be as stubborn as they come. I can shut my emotions off in the blink of an eye. My ability to compartmentalize and do what it takes to survive is what got me through so much of my life and especially PA school. So I did what I had to do. “I’ll tell them.”
I would’ve rather relived that night a thousand times than witness my parents reaction to my stone cold recount of what had happened. It broke my heart. It broke me. They never should have had to hear this. And all I could think was it was all my fault. I got too drunk. I think I might’ve even said that to wrap my story up in a nice, neat bow.
Fast forward through many toxic sexual partners, relationships, slut shaming, losing friends, and a marriage to someone I never should have been with in the first place I finally was launched into my spiritual journey. I moved through lessons and revelations rapidly. Years in I was in a good place. Or so I thought.
It was 2020 and dating during the pandemic was .. weird. To say the least. I hit off with a server at brunch and ended up on a date with him the next week at his apartment. Because there was nowhere else to go. Because everywhere was closed. I knew how sketchy this was but I knew I could handle it. I was in a good place, right?
I had maybe two drinks, which during Covid times was nothing, and completely blacked out. I came to with him on top of me, inside of me. The only words I could muster were, “are we at least using a condom?” He freaked. All of a sudden he was on top of me, inside of me, SCREAMING in my face. I struggled to push him off of me and finally got out from underneath him. I put my clothes on and ran for my life out of his apartment and stumbled onto a street in South Philadelphia that I avoided at all costs in broad daylight, let alone in the middle of the night. I called friends out West who luckily answered and stayed with me until I got home safely.
The next day, beside myself, I went into work. Being around my parents having been through an almost identical experience to what had happened years prior was emotionally traumatizing. I fainted and collapsed in a ball on the floor, completely dissociating from my body. It was all too much.
I was horrified.
I was disgusted.
I was appalled.
And it had nothing to do with “him” and everything to do with me.
I thought I was better than this.
I thought I had come farther than this.
I thought I could handle it.
I thought I knew better.
It was all my fault.
I mourned for weeks. I sat in my shit. I blamed myself. I realized just how much “work” there still was for me to do and I was terrified. Prior to this I thought I had it all figured out.
I already had a trip to Arizona planned that weekend and was surrounded and held by loving friends. I ended up committing to a container with a sex and relationships coach of mine who offered beautiful perspective. I learned just how much these situations I kept finding myself in were all a reflection of my self worth.
Just months later I was officially living in AZ. An intuitive former trauma therapist friend and I were on the drive home from a night in Flagstaff. I had heard just days before to let her help me, but I didn’t know specifically with what. All of a sudden, in the car, driving through the mountains, in awe over yet another beautiful desert sunset, it hit me.
I asked her if I could talk through something with her. I explained to her my inkling that something had happened when I was younger, but that I didn’t remember anything and didn’t feel that I had repressed any traumatic events. I didn’t have much to go off of. We talked a little and finally she mentioned that people who have experienced sexual trauma can’t feel their legs. I turned white and felt all feeling leave my body as I said, “I’ve never been able to feel my legs.”
As I had dropped into deep work learning how to ground and be in my body after years of trying to escape it I had discovered this realization months if not years prior. I didn’t know what it meant. But it felt important as I shifted from an extremely ungrounded human to learning how to be more embodied, which is why it had been so on my radar. As soon as she said this and I confirmed, I knew what I had always known to be true.
Everything clicked. It all made sense. I knew who. I knew what age. I even knew who else it had happened to. I’ve had various mediums and intuitives confirm. But, ultimately what I realized was that the point of all of this was bigger than any of these tiny details.
The sexual trauma of our lineage has been passed down from generation to generation. These events, these low vibrational emotions are stored in our cells and manifest physically over time as various disease processes. It takes someone standing up and declaring, “this ends with me,” as well as someone devoted to committing their life to recognizing, processing, accepting, FEELING, and moving through it all to change it.
This is the “work.”
I was so afraid to share my story because I thought, what about all of the people with a story so much worse than mine? Mine’s not so bad..
And then I realized that this is the problem. If I don’t share, who else won’t come forward? There is no room for comparison in this space. There is no room for judging. There is no room for shaming. Only feeling and acceptance. Only love and gratitude.***
I share my story for those who can’t.
I share my story for those who have been silenced.
I share my story so you know you’re not alone.
It gets to end with us.
And so it ends with us.
***EDIT: As I laid down to attempt to sleep after writing this my entire body was buzzing. I felt the old, repressed emotions of judgment and guilt resurface and my immediate instinct was to repress them. "Feel it." I heard. "Feel it all." And so I allowed the judgment, guilt, shame, apathy, regret, self-loathing, and rage to fill my body, Emotions that I haven't let myself feel in so long.
I strongly believe that we have to feel our emotions to move through them and release them from our bodies. And so, for you who is triggered by my story, for you who notices judgment come up as you read this, for you who experiences anger arise, for you who witnesses comparison rearing its head, I invite you to allow it. To release resistance. To feel it. To sit with it. To explore it. All emotions are welcome here.
I'm here to talk if you need help navigating it all.