Seek counseling for sexual trauma

Andrew Paisley

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The age of 17 was a hard one for me. I had just come out publicly with my sexuality the year prior, I was dealing with distant family members who shamed me for being gay, I was in a phase where I was extremely promiscuous and … I suffered sexual assault.

It is so crazy to me how our brains can protect us sometimes by completely blocking out the trauma from our minds. This is what happened to me.

I rarely think about my sexual assault, my assailant or the turmoil that came with it all, but since getting clean and sober, it seems that little memories are starting to come back.

My assailant was someone who I knew was gay and who I had planned on hanging out with. When I got to our mutual friend’s home where he was hanging out at, we were in a separate room where the assault took place.

I have always said that my assault was not as bad as others, and to me, it really wasn’t.

He did assault me, yes, but it could have been much worse in regards to physicality.

I kept this a secret for a few months, before police began investigating my assailant for other crimes.

The police contacted my parents as they wanted me to come in and speak and give a statement. This was so hard for me.

My point in writing this column is to express that even when you do not think about your sexual assault like I do, eventually it will all come to a head and you will have to deal with it.

I have made the decision in the last few months that I plan to get counseling for my assault as I feel it will help me to deal with my unresolved issues and feelings that I have.

If you are a victim like myself, do not feel ashamed. It is easy to feel this way, but we have to remember that we are the victims and we did not ask for the assault and trauma that we got.

Please do not wait and keep all of this trauma inside your head.

It will be too much to handle, and you need to talk through it with someone, even though it can be too much to even think about at times.

We will always deal with our trauma, but we can get through it and ease some of the pain.

Don’t let your assailant’s mind games take control over your decision to tell your story.

They may have caused you pain and suffering because of their actions, something that you cannot forget, but you do not have to let this control the rest of your life.

You matter, and you deserve to get help.

 

Andrew Paisley is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]