Happy Friday Readers!!
We we are happy to continue this week with our JUNE SERIES: "The Men Who Hear Our Healing."
This week, we are taking an account of our relationships with the men in our lives who shared a pivotal role in our healing, & more specifically, how our experiences with sexual assault influenced our sentiments about our relationship with our fathers.
Here are our stories:
The thought of telling my father I was raped was incredibly intense. I swore to my self I would never tell him; afraid that I would be looked at with shame or that maybe just maybe he would not believe me.
Growing up my father was always strict with me even if I asked to go over my neighbor's home 3 houses down...his answer was Almost always a very stern "NO". I never experienced childhood sleep overs, or had the freedom to really hangout without adult supervision. I mean I understand now that I'm a parent, the urge of protecting your kids and that it's perhaps better to be safe than sorry.
So to tell a father who was over protective that I was raped, felt like A complete impossibility. This would literally crush him. Almost as if I were to be telling him he was not a good father which was far from truth-- he has been the best father ever even though I was feeling some kind away then...like maybe my silence was better dealt alone then in hurting someone else. I rationalized in my own mind that hurting alone was better than hurting my father with my truth.
Our society has conditioned us to internalize this idea that men are to be the protectors in our lives. They are to provide and protect at all times. If men deviate in any way they are seen as poor male-figures or worse, lacking in their masculinity. But would if they couldn't? What if the man in your life wasn't there? What if he was the one who caused more harm then good? What if he failed to meet the unrealistic expectations that society has placed on his already fragile shoulders?---Shoulders that already carry the weight of the world without allowing the natural release of blood sweat and God-forbid TEARS when the weight gets to be too heavy?
My father was the absolute last, and i mean LAST person I wanted to tell of my experience. Until one day. When I was forced to look into his eyes stunned and disappointed he unintentionally found a paper I wrote for a writing class about my experience. Nothing could hide my first hand experience masqueraded as a third person account of a rape survivor, if the description wasn't already heart-wrenching enough, my dad could at the very least see the truth in my eyes after asking "is this true?"...
I muttered the word "yes".
And the truth though frightening was freeing. I couldn't help who hurt me, but it terrified me to know I could hurt someone else with my pain.
There is no perfect way to respond...but thank you Dad for being patient as I settled in my truth long enough to overcome it. There is much more I wish I could have said to pacify feelings of confusion, resentment, anger and sadness...to which I hope you receive the letter that follows. For now,
We thank you for hearing our healing as a slow process, ushered by the peace in your presence in our lives.
Until next week....
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.