Saturday, December 1, 2007

What should I say to people who tell me to “just get over it?”

I was told by so many people to “get over it,” “forget about it,” “put it in the back of your mind,” and my favorite “pretend it never happened.” A friend of mine told me how I could respond to these comments. She told me just to turn around and tell anyone who said these things, the ones who were upsetting me more by saying them, to “f*ck off!” I laughed when she said this. I still laugh. I told her that I couldn’t say that to my friends and family. They were the people I loved, and they just thought they were doing what was best. She told me that they didn’t get it and that they weren’t going to. I brushed it off tried to ignore the comments from my parents, friends, co-workers. I was a wreck. I was in the middle of an adjudication process, trying to speak up, trying to stand up for myself… and all these people were trying to silence me.

Finally, one day I was coming back from the shower in my dorm. I rarely left my room but still had to shower multiple times a day and this particular building had public bathing facilities. A girl from down the hall started screaming at me. She was standing in front of my door and wouldn’t let me pass. So here I am… raped 5 weeks prior, naked in the hall, with a woman screaming at me because she couldn’t handle the idea that I had been raped. To her, I had to be lying or had to have done something wrong because rape didn’t happen on her campus in her dorm building. Standing before her, I was sobbing and shaking. I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t listen to all garbage from the other people that couldn’t deal when I was trying to. I pushed her aside, went into my room, told her promptly to “f*ck off,” and slammed the door.

I kept crying because I knew I had possibly lost a friend, but I also realized that if I was going to fight I was going to have to have a team that was behind me 110% . I knew I wouldn’t make it if I listened to all of the people who wanted me to stop talking. Those that loved me most, changed their ways and still stand by me. My parents didn’t take the words too kindly, but they too now stand with me.

I laugh now not because it was funny. It was painful. It was hard. I laugh now because I don’t know any other answer. In your own way, you have to tell people that you have to decide what is best for you. You have to take the control back in your life especially when there was a perpetrator that tried to take it from you. So maybe you don’t drop the f-bomb, but you can stand up for your own right to heal. No one but you can put a time table on your healing process... keyword: process. It's yours!