Iíve told the police, my Dad and his wife, my brother, my boy friend, my best friend, my attackers Stepmother, the youth organization, my priest, my old councilor and the two people the crown may want to call as witnesses. Iíve told it so often right now that I donít think I can bear to tell it again.
Now not all of those people get the details. Heck, I am a master at giving only the most needed information. But still, every time I have to tell even part of it again, I feel like I am being torn asunder. I feel raw, like all of my feelings and my skin have been rubbed with 60 grit sandpaper. I hate the sick feeling in my stomach that starts bubbling when I think about having to open up the memories again, I hate seeing the shock and pain in their eyes when I do tell them, and I hate worrying about whether or not they are going to pity me. I sometimes wonder if it wouldnít hurt so much if these were people I didnít care about. When I tell them it is like I can hear their hearts breaking for me.
I have been so fortunate; everyone I have told in the past while has been great. They have said and done everything right. They have each and every one of them told me it wasnít my fault, they have asked if there was any thing they could do to help, they have said they were sorry this happened to me, they have been there to spend time with me and they leave me alone when I want that instead. But what I really want is to not have the story to tell in the first place.
I realize thatís just not possible, but really, thatís what I want. I want it to not be real. To have it just all go away, and thatís just not going to happen. So since its not going to happen I am trying to find ways to make this process of telling easier on myself. I try not to tell more than one person a week, so that I have time to heal a bit in between times. And most importantly I only give the actual details to the people who absolutely must have it.
Part of the reason I donít let people have the details is that it is just too hard to share; part of it is that I still struggle with shame and embarrassment. I realize that I have nothing to be ashamed of, and the only one who should be embarrassed is my attacker, but, knowing that and making myself believe it are two different things. That is what I am struggling the hardest with these days. I know that I will get there, eventually, but right now I just feel so mortified when I have to tell people.
The other reason I donít often give the details it what I think of as the ďdirt factorĒ. What happened with me was awful. It went on for months, and it was so degrading that I feel like my insides were washed in dirt. That it is like there is some kind of permanent stain on my soul. And when I give the details to people, I feel like I am spreading the dirt; that I am adding something to them that will change them forever. That these people shouldnít have to even know about this kind of crap let alone have it touch their life. And I donít want to be responsible for that. I donít want to be the one to do that to them.
There is on other reason I donít give the details, but this is just to do with my Dad. I canít tell him about the details. I just canít. I canít bring myself to share it with him; itís not that I think he would judge me or anything like that. Itís that I just canít stand the thought of my dad have the sexual details. And the thought of having to tell him details is even worse. And as silly as it may seem, it comes down to the fact that I donít discuss my sex life with my dad. Ever.
All that being said I do recognize that this is different, and that rape and sexual abuse are not a ďsex lifeĒ, but when it comes right down to it there are a lot of sexual words and details that have to get mentioned if I give someone the whole story, and there is just no way I am going share that part with my dad.
So I think for now I am almost done telling, I think other than the Crown, and my new therapist, every one who I need to tell before the case goes to court knows, or at least knows what they need to for now. And I canít tell you what a relief it is to be done with the telling for now. To begin to think that my skin might be able to start to grow back, and that I might be able to go more than a week with out tearing myself apart is so wonderful. If only I didnít have to do it ever again.