A culture that diminishes sexual violence is indelibly linked to my experience. I still have days when I find myself thinking, at least it was only once. While I am thankful I was only raped one time, the truth is it’s never only once. I’ve been haunted by the memories of that moment my entire life. The effects of abuse ripple out to impact relationships, decisions, habits, and my sense of self every single day.
“Where did this dog come from? Is she coming home with us? Can she sit in my lap? What’s her name?” I adjusted the rearview mirror, not wanting to miss a single detail of his excitement. “Yea buddy, she’s your new dog. Merry Christmas.” For the moment, I was his hero.
But that wasn’t always the case.