Minutes after I published my story, I felt my panic level spike; my head spun as I debated removing the post… would people believe me? Would they think I was being too dramatic?
I looked at the views — already 30… five minutes later, another 20 people. The toothpaste was out of the container, and we all know, once it’s out, it’s out.
I went from concern about what people would think to replaying the situation, wondering if there were any details I didn’t get exactly right.
“Hey, Devon. Just wanted to reach out and let you know I read your story. It was amazing and I was floored. Thank you so much for sharing.”
That was part of a message that came in from someone who knew the… perpetrator… is that too harsh of a word? The wrongdoer? The miscreant? Nah, perpetrator is just right.
I breathed a sigh of relief and felt the strain in my body start to dissipate, but it came back minutes later after realizing my mom definitely hadn’t read it yet, nor had my boyfriend.
Would he think it was inappropriate for me to share in such detail? Would it make him uncomfortable? Would he see me in a different light? Would my mom think I called her out for not educating me on how to establish my worth?
Then I connected with Gillian Sisley — a trusted writer on this platform, who read my story and told me I would likely experience a “hangover” from the release; she likened it to one’s body being sore the day after a workout. Another sigh of relief.
Over the next few days, the views on my story rose, as did the messages; I connected with so many women (and a couple men) that felt comfortable enough sharing what they’d been through, one even admitting her story enabled her to have the conversation with her mom she’d been dreading for years.
My sore muscles began to bind; my sleep went back to normal and I now feel inspired to continue unifying those that have suffered from sexual trauma.
And I finally feel safe saying the words, “I was raped.”
In closing — tell your stories — we need it.