karnythia: (Default)
So, I was diagnosed with PTSD a while ago & I have drugs to help me sleep (my insomnia was out of control), but mostly treatment has been centered around which of my coping mechanisms are harmful & which ones are necessary. Skipping sleep? Not a good plan. Not talking to my parents? Best option. It’s a process, & one of the odd parts of it is looking at how survivors of childhood sexual abuse are portrayed in the media vs. how I feel as an actual survivor. It seems like the depictions lean on the idea that we are destined to be damaged goods forever.

It’s very important to me that I am more than what happened to me. So important that I have created a whole series of ways to distance myself emotionally from it & from other things as well. There’s no good way to reintegrate my feelings at this point (compartmentalizing is second nature & often happens on a subconscious level), but it’s odd to me how little is discussed about life after being assaulted. It’s like we’re reduced to that moment (or moments) and nothing else is supposed to matter besides the damage that was done.

I know some of that is our victim blaming culture in action (if you’re not always reduced to that moment then it must not have been that bad right?), but some of it also seems to be about erasure so that no one else is uncomfortable, or has to face the possibility that it happened to someone they know. We talk a lot about fixing the abusers, but not so much about healing the abused. Or about life after abuse. I’m not saying treatment isn’t important, or that rehabilitation is always impossible, but why so much focus on that & no discussion of helping victims reconnect with their feelings & their bodies? We do grow up, you know?

And we deserve the right to speak of our experiences without it being about how other people feel. To talk about having a sex life as an adult. Or about how it feels to have to tell a partner (or partners) about our triggers. To have our triggers recognized as valid emotional responses even if they don’t make sense to anyone who doesn’t know the whole story. To be able to choose who knows the story & how much of it we want to share with the world. To have some things stay secret because that is what is best for us & not be judged for that decision. We’re still human even if our relationships with sex & sexuality are complicated.

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karnythia

May 2015

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