By David Coy
“I may have been raped behind a dumpster, but I don’t know by who or when or how. In newspapers my name was “unconscious intoxicated woman.” If I told them, (family) I would see the fear on their faces, and mine would multiply by tenfold, so instead I pretended the whole thing wasn’t real. I tried to push it out of my mind, but it was so heavy I didn’t talk, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t interact with anyone. After work, I would drive to a secluded place to scream, and I became isolated from the ones I loved most.
I became closed off, angry, self deprecating, tired, irritable, empty. The isolation at times was unbearable. I can’t sleep alone at night without having a light on, like a five year old, because I have nightmares of being touched where I cannot wake up. I did this thing where I waited until the sun came up and I felt safe enough to sleep. For three months, I went to bed at six o’clock in the morning.
I used to pride myself on my independence; now I am afraid to go on walks in the evening, to attend social events with drinking among friends where I should be comfortable being.
I have become a little barnacle always needing to be at someone’s side, to have my boyfriend standing next to me, sleeping beside me, protecting me. It is embarrassing how feeble I feel, how timidly I move through life, always guarded, ready to defend myself, ready to be angry.” (Excerpt from a letter by Emily Doe) Grief comes in all shades of experiences.
This is Sunrise Aftercare, firstname.lastname@example.org.