In a recent episode of We Are HER, Boom tells her story of being raped by her boss. At the end of the episode, she talks about how she wonders if one of the reasons why the rapist chose to assault her was because she was quiet and may have been viewed as being submissive. She felt the rapist thought, You’re not going to say anything because you don’t say a whole lot and you’re quiet. Boom wanted to change that stigma of herself. And she did.
As it turns out, I am not alone. Thank you, Boom.
This resonated with me because I have some of the same feelings when I wonder why the person who raped me chose me. I was nice, quiet, shy, passive, and submissive. Like I talk about in my memoir, I strive to portray myself as being tough, strong, brave, and courageous so I suppress traits that could make me look vulnerable, passive, and submissive. I’ve lost tolerance for not being treated with respect, and I’ve lost tolerance in myself for the passivity I once had. This is an attempt to prevent myself from being assaulted again or even being taken advantage of. I can imagine that many other survivors go through the same thing, such as eating nonstop to gain weight to appear undesirable, as Roxane Gay explains in her memoir titled Hunger.
The beauty of support groups, listening to podcasts like We Are HER, and networking is that it proves we are not alone. I know I’m not alone because I have my friends, family, and amazing boyfriend, but it is such a different level of understanding when someone has actually been through something similar and has felt the same things.
So here I am again, giving my two cents to survivors… network, network, network.
Boom also talks about advocating. It proves that she will not bow down, she will not stay silent, and she will not be submissive. Advocating feels good. It is rewarding. It is empowering. It gave me my voice back.
Advocating against sexual assault and being an activist proves to the rapist, community, and myself, that I will not stay silent. I will not bow down. I will not be submissive. And in advocating for others and the cause, I’ve realized I have started to advocate for myself too. As I've said before, there is hope for an even better life after trauma. You can become better than the person you were originally going to be.
Takeaways from this short post:
1. Check out the podcast called We Are HER (Healed, Empowered, Restored).
2. Network, network, network.
3. I think it is okay to change yourself for the better from who you were pre-trauma. Find the silver lining in what you’ve been through… embrace it. You may find that not only will it help you become a better you, but it may also inspire those around you. You are worthy. Take back your voice. Take back your control. Take back your power.