Three years ago, I was sexually assaulted. Don't worry, this is not a sad boo hoo, I need sympathetic comments to help me through this type of myTake. This is about my experience with this life-altering event which spun my life into a whirlwind of amazing circumstances.
I was one of the girls who planned to wait until marriage to have sex. I was a conservative Christian who was not interested in chatting with people who were sexually promiscuous. I thought I was better than everyone else because of my choice to stay chaste....Until that night I'll never forget and often try to. I had been dating a man for 9 months who had been fully warned about my decision to stay chaste. One night, as we were camping I remember waking up to something foreign in my body. It was him. I was shocked. Didn't know what to do or how to react. I started to cry and then he stopped. "Sorry" he said as he removed himself from inside me and went back to sleep. I cried myself to sleep that night because I knew what he had done. Long story short, we broke up due to other selfish decisions he made.
Growing up, I was taught (in the cornfield church I attended), that my biggest asset was my virginity. My parents even gave me a purity ring for my 16th birthday which I wore even after I had been raped. But I felt dirty, ashamed, and full of rage. In other words, I was royally fucked up. The following year, I took a job in Washington state in one of the most beautiful national parks the US has to offer. I had to get out of Arizona because everywhere I went there, I couldn't escape him. Not physically escape but psychologically. The moment I came here, I knew that this is where God sent me to mend. The trees, moss, wildlife, and friends I made reminded me that my worth was not in some social construct that people made up to give a woman value, it was the skills, knowledge, and willingness to jump outside of my own selfish world that changed me forever.
I had seen forgiveness at a distance growing up but had no idea how to tackle it. I assumed one could just forgive my saying the words "I forgive you." But its not all that simple. Forgiveness is a constant state of mind, its where you take that person's wrong doing and essentially absorb it into yourself. You can no long point a finger at that person, you simple just let go and move on. Let me tell ya, letting go is not easy. There were times I wanted to kill him for what he did. What was even worse was when I would find him on Instagram and find pictures of his new perfect girlfriend and how incandescently happy they looked together while I, so messed up, couldn't let a man close to my heart.
My forgiveness finally came naturally once I learned how to be a better person. I've traveled the world, joined a Search and Rescue team in the park I work in, and have gained many skills that are used to save lives. I became a life giver, not a drowner. This is of course, not how everyone forgives but it CAN happen when you seek it out. My sex life is also very healthy now. I never sought out to "become a virgin again" because that just sounded silly.
I don't have a question for you, I have a statement for those who know how I felt. There is no one in this world keeping you from living but you. Blaming someone for your sorrows and sadness only gives them more power over your life. Most likely that person will never come back to ask you for forgiveness so you have to stand up and do it yourself. It will take all the strength you have and more, but also recognize that you CANNOT do it alone.