Trauma: Sexual Assault

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Brene Brown:

When women talk about the shame of being sexually abused or raped, they associate most of the shame with the pain of being defined by their trauma.

The events are, of course, horrific and can have a lasting effect.

But the social-community reaction to their experience—and the attendant loss of identity and the right to “be normal”—is just as painful, and often produces the more enduring shame.

• If she has a father who could do that do her, what does that mean about her?

• She’ll never be the same—she’s damaged.

• She’ll never be whole after that.

• I don’t see how she’ll ever be a good__________(fill in the blank: mother, partner, vice president).”
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My two cents: How do we construct our self-image after trauma?

Is the “She will never be the same” accurate?

How do our family, our peers, our friends treat us after shameful trauma?

Are we defined by this experience?

I know my college girlfriend being gang raped was never the same.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by rudid96 on February 5, 2022 at 4:37 pm

    Good point. Can only speak subjectively. First, though this is a defining feature of my life and is my own personal divide between ‘people like me’ and ‘others’, I do NOT want to be known for that. After molestation and rape, you’re never the same. If it began when young, you live in perpetual confusion. Your sense of self was barely formed. If the assault was later, the divide is a permanent part of your psyche. The title of the book “I thought it was just me” reflects how I felt. When I joined a survivor’s group, it was a shock to look around the room and see so many faces, The particulars varied. However, despite the differences in age, race, religion, & gender, there was a commonality to our wounds. Most all shared the same current-day problems as a result of the assault.

  2. So many people like me

    That means many predators commit trauma on others

    What do abusers think?

    Is there not a conscience, not a distaste for harming and ruining lives?

    I do not get how you deliberately harm others

  3. Posted by rudid96 on February 5, 2022 at 4:48 pm

    It’s a mystery of the twisted soul. Professionals give lots of explanations but really, it’s simple. It’s Evil. I listened to David Kessel on his collaborative book with the now-deceased Kubler-Ross. The chapter on Forgiveness once again got me going. Perhaps David has never been to an assault survivor’s group meeting?

  4. So rudid do you share the specifics of your abuse

  5. There seems to be more evil that we spot than normal people also.

    Is it that we are more aware of Or our vision is distorted

    Most of us can not fathom harming others for personal gain

    I sure have not shed the shame from college

  6. Posted by rudid96 on February 5, 2022 at 6:17 pm

    Almost NEVER. I never shared it with my family for they are among the abusers. I never shared it with my husband for I know his level of emotional support is limited. I NEVER shared with outsiders because there’s a lack of understanding and a load of socially appropriate expressions and empty words AND who wants to be the focus of the prurient interest, drive-by?

  7. I hear your pain and know of the invisible prison

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