I was watching a movie earlier today, in which a woman’s stepdaughter gets raped and brutally beat up. The movie did such a great job depicting the emotions and anger in real situations that women go through after being assaulted. But the reason I’m writing this post is because of one of the scenes; the daughter was showering in the middle of the night, scratching her skin off because she felt so dirty. I instantly started crying. I wasn’t raped or brutally beat, but I was sexually assaulted. For weeks after I would shower and scrub myself to the point of making myself bleed. I would get reminded of the assault and would keep scrubbing to take away the feeling of being so dirty and disgusting. I gave myself bacterial infections by using too much soap, did you know that was possible? I didn’t. I went on antibiotics and would be fine and then again, I would scrub myself so much and back on antibiotics…it felt like a non-ending cycle until I finally reached out to a friend and talked to her. She went through something similar. I cried, a lot, and she hugged and supported me and told me to seek help. I didn’t. I thought that talking to her was good enough, and at the moment it really did seem like it. I never did seek help and it seems like it’s too late now because I feel “fine”, but sometimes while I watch TV shows, movies, or read about assaults, it still triggers something in me. A part of me was lost that night, but I gained so much from it too. I learned how to be strong and remind myself that I got through it and that I will be okay. I learned what to say to others that have come to me and told me about their assaults. I learned to make people feel courageous enough to tell me about their assault without feeling ashamed. I never wanted to feel like a victim and I won’t allow myself to and if you’ve went through something similar, don’t let anyone, including the person who assaulted you, make you feel less worthy. They should be the one ashamed of themselves, not you. They should be the one regretting that night and their actions. They should be the ones scrubbing themselves from their dirty deeds. Allow yourself to heal and seek help instead of dealing with it alone, I know I should have.