rape | It's Me Laura Lee

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He put his hands around my neck, gently pressing his thumbs into a notch of my throat.  Demonstrating how someone feels when being choked.  He asked me if I felt it.  I tried to nod. I froze. He was supposed to be an ally.  I came to him for help.

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Laura Lee, 53, with invisible wounds and scars. I've learned to embrace PTSD and depression because if I don't own them, they'll own me.  I don't want to simply survive, but to thrive.  I hope you'll join me on my journey.  It's sure to be a bumpy road.

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He put his hands around my neck, gently pressing his thumbs into a notch of my throat.  Demonstrating how someone feels when being choked.  He asked me if I felt it.  I tried to nod. I froze. He was supposed to be an ally.  I came to him for help.

I couldn’t breathe.  It didn’t make any sense until my therapist asked me a simple question that made me realize that finding my voice meant losing my breath.

Stepping on the scale. It was only three pounds.

What will truly be the hardest days are yet to come.  My weight gain, in part, was a defense mechanism against future sexual assaults.  My rational brain knows that rape and sexual assault isn’t about sex, but rather about control, but my irrational brain tells me that if I’m undesirable, I’m safe.  This may be why it was so hard to lose three pounds.  And, this is why my therapist and I will have a lot of work to do as I start losing the weight.  I’m ready to take back control.

We would lie in his bed, watching TV and he’d fondle me.  I don’t know if he penetrated me.  I just don’t know.  But I do know there were times that he’d insist that I return the favor.  I remember what I think was the first time he unbuttoned his jeans and took my hand in his, pushing it under the waistband of his underwear, until it reached his coarse pubic hair.  My tiny fingers reached his penis.  It was warm down there.  I pulled my hand back.  He pushed it back down.  That’s the last thing I remember.

I woke up in my hotel room, nude, sore, bruised. Thick, crusty, sticky goop – semen, on my legs, in my pubic hair, on my thighs, on the sheets. I sat on my bed in shock. I knew what happened, yet I didn’t know. I couldn’t know. Not to me. I had no memory.  Who? How? My head was pounding and swirling. I could barely keep it upright.  My tongue was sticking to the roof of my mouth. I needed water.  I looked at myself in the mirror.  My eyes were swollen and bloodshot.  I clearly cannot hold my liquor.

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Laura Lee, 52, with invisible wounds and scars.  I've learned to embrace PTSD and depression because if I don't own them, they'll own me.  I don't want to simply survive, but to thrive.  I hope you'll join me on my journey.  It's sure to be a bumpy road.

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