It gnaws at the frayed edges of your nerves. It makes you wish you were invisible. It rests quietly and doesn’t speak until you close your eyes to go to sleep. It spills out of your eyes and burns your cheeks like acid because you have already cried too much. Sometimes it makes you sit and do nothing at all. [share ]Sometimes you are numb; almost at peace[/share]. But it will never let you be free.
It is a secret you will never tell anyone because they won’t understand. They will judge you. They will ask questions. They won’t care. They will care too much. If they care too much, their prying will remind you of what has been done to you. And you don’t need to be reminded because you already feel your secret in your every waking and sleeping moment.
You were raped. And like countless others like you, you are too afraid or too ashamed to speak up.
So you carry it. You carry the feeling of filthy hands like a sweater you can never take off. You carry the bruises left behind. Or maybe he never beat you; maybe he manipulated you with smooth or selfish words. Maybe he slipped a pill into your drink. Maybe the act wasn’t all that violent, and you wonder why you should feel violated when you think you could have fought him off. But the thing is, you do feel violated. [share ]Rape can come violently or it can come quietly[/share]. It happens to women and men alike, and it spares none of its victims a lifetime of pain.
The reality is, not everyone will understand. You might be judged or put under a microscope. You might face the reality that there is someone who doesn’t believe you. But the secret shouldn’t win. It shouldn’t poison every ounce of the peace you deserve.
I carried a secret of my own for years. I had no one to lean on because I wouldn’t let anyone support me. I pushed people away when they came too close, or when they weren’t there enough. How could they have known what to do anyway? I never told them the whole story. My secret determined my future.
According to www.rainn.org, [share ]68% of sexual assaults are never reported to the police.[/share] That’s not to mention the friends and family who are never informed. [share ]98% of rapists will never spend a day in jail.[/share]
These statistics are startling, but they aren’t surprising. There is such an innate sense of shame that comes from being violated that bearing your burden alone almost seems easier than seeking help. But men and women who have been raped are several times more likely to struggle with depression and to commit suicide. Men are more likely to suffer in silence because of unfair stigmas. There is no easy answer, but you deserve better than what you have been forced to live with.
I know how it feels to be so terrified of admitting what happened to you that you’re willing to walk this road alone. But this road is dark, and it’s full of memories that will always nip at your heels and tear at your clothes. Someone could remind you of your worth in times like these. Someone could talk louder than those taunting voices if you let them.
Please, don’t suffer alone. And if you are on the other side of the coin and have never had to face this unthinkable pain, don’t be afraid to reach out and let someone know you are there for them. Encourage them to report their assault so that other victims might be spared in the future. Comforting someone can be scary when you don’t know what to say, but say something, even if it’s only, “I’m here for you.”
I wrote The Choice for the very purpose of showing victims that it is possible to heal. The main character, May, is an example of a teen girl who loses her innocence to a boy who couldn’t be bothered to ask first. So she suffers in silence for fear of disappointing her parents or being drilled with questions by her friends. The depression and anxiety almost eat her alive. As much as anyone would want to tell someone like her to just be brave and admit what happened, the reality is that most don’t. And it just shouldn’t be that way.
Speaking up is hard. But hiding your misery will slowly dissolve all hope of ever escaping the prison you have been forced into.
So do this for yourself. You can.
About the Author:
Allison was born and raised in the mountains of Oregon, birthed of the crisp, clean air and rainy forests. She now resides in Oklahoma City, though she is still thoroughly attached to her home and finds much inspiration for her stories whenever she has a chance to return. As the spouse of a police officer and a full-time photographer, she is on her toes 24/7. In 2013, she was a recipient of the Oklahoma Next Generation award: an award given to thirty individuals under the age of thirty in the state who have proven to be innovative and inspiring leaders in the arts, entertainment, business, media, and other areas of impact.
Often told that she has her head in the clouds, she couldn’t deny it even if she wanted to. Allison began dreaming up stories long before she was old enough to write them. She enjoys a variety of genres, including YA, romance, historical romance, fantasy, dystopian, and anything else that hooks her interest. She prefers to write books that tell gripping love stories in heart-wrenching, real, inspiring ways. Her stories are deep and raw, taking the reader into a world that is richly intricate. Readers often say that they are swept away and left reeling when they have finished the last page.
Allison loves to interact with her readers, and she does her best to respond to every email she receives. To learn more about her, visit her website, Facebook, Twitter, or sign up for her newsletter.
About the Book:
How do you heal from your past when you’re still trapped within it?
I lost myself the night of the party. Just like that, my innocence and my sanity were torn away.
I would like to say that time heals all wounds, but it doesn’t. And I would like to say that falling in love is what rescued me, but it wasn’t. Nobody told me what to expect in the coming days and weeks and months after conceiving a rapist’s child. Years later, my wounds are still just as fresh as the night they were made. It would be so easy to disappear and allow the memories to consume me.
But that’s the choice, isn’t it? To live instead.
**This book contains rape triggers. Discretion is advised.
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Release Day Party June 16th from 6-8PM CST
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