CW: Sexual Assault
Never judge a book by its cover. We all know this saying but do we ever follow it?
On the outside you seem strong, smiling, like everything is okay. But when you get to know someone you realize that you don’t know the half of what they are going through.
I personally put on a brave face most days to what happened to me, as I don’t want to seem weak. Therefore, when something small happens that everyone else would just seem as a little inconvenience to them, and then you react in a different way to what is deemed normal, people don’t understand.
You never know what people are going through.
I write these blogs in order for other people to know that if you’re a survivor of a sexual assault, that you are not alone. I felt so alone when I was assaulted but I had so many people I could turn to. You think that no one will understand that’s why you stay silence. You think that if you say what happened to you that people will look at you in a different way. The truth is you may feel alone within a sea of people, but you’re not. You need to try and see that. You are not alone in this. People are there for you and you have a right to feel what you’re feeling.
If you’re like me and put on a brave face, this does more harm than good when you are going through something. People think you are okay and then when you react they don’t know why you are reacting the way you are. This leads to alienation and even your friends becoming more distance from you. I should know, I did this. I began to alienate myself because of the fear that people would not understand how I was feeling. The truth is if you explain to anyone, why you are reacting the way you are, they are going to more than likely understand. You need to open up to the right people and let them know that the brave face you put on is only just that, and that inside you are in pieces. If you don’t tell people how you feel they don’t know how to react around you or what you do.
You’re probably reading this and if you’re like me you’d be thinking but what if they don’t believe me? It is something very personal telling someone that you’ve been sexually assaulted. It is not something to be brushed aside. If they don’t react the way you want when you tell them or if they don’t believe you, should you even be around this person in the first place?
It is your life. Your happiness, your mental health. Believe that if you tell people they will be kind. Believe in yourself.