After I was sexually assaulted it only took a matter of months for the community and home I had built for myself to completely dissolve. For twenty-five years,I had tried to live well, learning about myself and nurturing my friendships. He took them from me. My friends and family did not know how to be around me anymore. I was terrified all the time. I saw his face everywhere. (I still have nightmares). My fight/flight/freeze responses were on high alert. If I heard a loud noise, even in a grocery store or some other familiar environment, I would be scared out of my mind and ready to fight someone with what little muscles I had left. I say what little muscles I had left because I did not realize it then (I slept only three or four hours a night), but my body had begun to deteriorate. I wanted to be invisible and in my quest I unintentionally became anorexic. I am 5’6” tall and by the time a doctor told me that I was anorexic, I weighed 92 pounds. I could not sleep the night through; I would wake up at the time I was attacked and every hour on the hour afterward. I lost my job and my apartment. I had to sell or donate all of my belongings and move across America to stay with my mother. My mother did not recognize the skeleton I had become.
I will carry this with me for the rest of my life. I graduated high school, I earned my BA, but no one ever told me what to do after I was sexually assaulted. If I immediately called the police and went to the hospital for my SAE (Sexual Assault Exam), I could have successfully convicted him. But I was in shock - I was hysterical I just wanted to shower and burn my clothes and feel safe again.
I hope this monument happens. I saw a photo of the temporary monument and it really resonated with me. One day, we really will be equal beings.