Tuesday, 17 October 2017

THE BIG AWKWARD CHAT: SEX, RAPE, & SEXUAL ABUSE

trigger warning: this post contains discussion of topics that may be upsetting to some readers


Even just writing the title of this post has me feeling awkward, embarrassed, anxious and doubtful that I should write such a post!
But why?
People talk about having children.
People talk about getting married.
People definitely talk about sex.
And people are starting to talk about rape and sexual abuse.
So is it that, because someone/I experiences those last two things it is made more difficult to discuss – or even mention – the rest?


People talk about whether they’re a private person or open, and honest. But can you be private and still be honest? Can you be open whilst maintaining your privacy?
I’m not sure that I can say I’m a private person considering how much of my life has been read by over a quarter of a million people all over the world; because I’ve published it on I’m NOT Disordered for all to see/read. And that’s not taking into consideration readers and listeners of my media appearances (most recently BBC5 Live! *cheeky plug to lighten the mood*)! In fact, there was an event I did recently (that I’m yet to blog about) where I was asked to give a presentation of my recovery journey and a number of the event co-ordinators reiterated to me that I need only share what I felt comfortable with but that as much as possible gives a higher chance of it helping others, or ‘hitting home.’

And I guess this is why I’m writing this post. Because this combination of things is never really talked about. Some might say that is for a reason. Some may think I’m being crude. Some might find it ‘unprofessional’ of me to sit here and talk about sex. But as someone reminded me recently, I’m NOT Disordered is my blog, and no one else has editorial rights over it. If I lose out on ‘work’ opportunities through this post but help one person talk about their own feelings on one of these things then it was worth it.
I was never the little girl who fantasised about having a big princess wedding so ‘sexual abuse’ would be the first thing from the list that occurred in my life. In my blog I often refer to this period in my life as me being ‘hurt’ but there’s also times where it’s obvious what I mean by that but – correct me if I’m wrong – I don’t think I’ve ever said the words ‘I was sexually abused.’ It started when I was only 15 and until that point I’d never had any sexual contact with boys, had only done the usual banana-condom exercise in Sex Ed classes at school, and was only just starting to hear my friends talk about sex. And when they did, it was in a ‘oh-my-God-I’m-such-a-rebel’ kind of way. It’s cliched, but… I didn’t know what was being done to me. Didn’t know it had a name. And now I do? I hate to use it. It feels dirty. In the same way that I did every time it occurred. Taking hour long showers could help erase that dirt but saying the words? Writing them?
I could never take them back. Can never scrub my life clean.
And I guess that this is the difficulty (for me, at least) when it comes down to sex; learning to differentiate between it being positive and negative. Learning that there’s no need to have the feelings I had after I was raped. Ashamed, scared, angry, dirty, wrong…
But how do I make that change?
This is my point! No one talks about this stuff! I have nothing to refer to for advice or ideas.
So, all I can come up with is that learning to differentiate is when you find the person that you love - when you find your soul mate - and you want to share those moments with them.