[trigger warning] I am Emily Doe

13413145_10102277879218831_2805973173930222569_nTRIGGER WARNING This article or section, or pages it links to, contains information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors.

Yesterday I made it to the doctor and had a conversation about why I need a referral to PsyQ. The last time I needed a referral, it was to the crisisdienst and I didn’t make it clear enough (I was being American, I didn’t realize communication was difficult) that the situation was dire.

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I said that I was going to keep on the mask of composure and calmness that I was wearing because if I take it off and indicate how upset I am, I will howl and sob and find it very difficult to regain control of myself. That four weeks ago I was traveling for work and a former colleague kissed me on the lips, “Oh, I could kiss you!” and that I laughed it off and walked away, but two days later I woke up so NOT FINE and ended up sobbing in the shower and wrestling with thoughts of suicide and so I didn’t want to go back to that place, but I wanted him to understand the severity of the situation, that I was having ideation without intent. In english, ideation is thought of suicide and intention is you are going to kill yourself, you just haven’t figured out the details yet and I AM NOT intending, “just” having thoughts.

And can I please have a recommendation to PsyQ?

And, yes, this is related to that time so long ago when I needed a recommendation to the crisisdienst, but I don’t need THAT recommendation, I’m not going to act, just to PsyQ, but perhaps to the same department – trauma – that I was with years ago, but since it’s been more than six months since I was there, they’ll need to start a new folder with a new recommendation from you, my general practitioner.

And so he did.

We talked about how it may be four to five weeks before they can fit me in and what will I do in the meantime? Well. Knowing that the recommendation is sent and that the process has started may be enough to keep me stable until that appointment, but if I need to come back in to get a recommendation to the crisisdienst or if I have thoughts of suicide WITH INTENTION, I know I can call you during the day or call the 24 / 7 huisarts on the evenings and weekends and get the help I need.

He nodded.

So I have a recommendation to PsyQ, but in the meantime, I’ve already started exposure therapy because of Emily Doe (not her real name, but the name used to reference her during the trial of Brock Turner who was convicted of three counts of sexual assault). She’s been in the media and people are responding so strongly to how the guy was convicted of sexual assault, but only given six months of prison time because the judge feared a longer sentence would have a “severe impact” on Turner.

Poor turner.

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Because this is in the news and so many people are reading and speaking out, a friend of mine reached out and asked me if I would join her in changing my facebook profile picture to something red, something showing support for Turner’s victim, something that said we stood by her, that we had similar experiences to show how common and that maybe if other people did the same thing, that people would start to realize how prevalent sexual assault is.

So we did.

And I hope you do, too, but I also hope you don’t because if you do it means that you are or know someone who has experienced sexual assault and they tell us that those statistics are really high, but another part of me would love to believe that we live in a world where no one is sexual assaulted and no one touches anyone else without permission and there is no rape or violence or war or famine or crime.

Except we don’t live in that world.

And then I thought it’s time to tell my story. Now. Someone else just told her story and everyone is reaching out in support – it’s time to tell my story, too. You can do this, Rain. But that time is not now. Not today.

Not all of it.

But this is how it starts:

I was raped in a hotel. The rapist was let into my hotel room by his friend, an employee of the hotel. I was unconscious. I fought back.

And I still fight.

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  • Joe Wrigley

    When I read that penultimate paragraph, my gut clenched and tightened and a wave of rage washed over me that somebody did this to you. I am glad you are still fighting.

    • K Rain Leander

      Thank you, Joe.

  • Lisa Pineau

    Round two, check. Supporting your efforts!

    • K Rain Leander

      *hugs*

  • Marieke Van Vugt

    I am so sorry Rain! I don’t really know what to say, but I am sending you my hugs and prayers

    • K Rain Leander

      Thank you, Marieke.

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