This article may be sensitive for certain readers. Please take notice of this. It contains content regarding sexual assault.
If you have not read the first part here is the link to part one.
My Symptoms And Psychosomatic Symptoms
A lot of people barely disclose how uncomfortable the forensic examination is. I felt humiliated during the process and I still feel the same way years later. I still cannot fathom how bad I felt about myself and what happened to me that day. The follow-up appointments were bursts of anxiety waiting to happen. I cried every time I had a follow up appointment. Out of fear of what might happen next. It felt unfair that he (my perpetrator) did not have to deal with the implications of what happened that night.
This quote below sums up how this assault made me feel. It may not make sense initially because it encompasses a sense of mystery.
” Try and imagine what it would be like to go to sleep and never wake up. What was it like to wake up never having gone to sleep? That was when you were born. You see you cannot have an experience of nothing; nature abhors a vacuum. Everybody is I, we all know that we are you “.— Alan Watts
I experienced bouts of symptoms and psychosomatic symptoms. Some of them are below. Other symptoms are merely there to make people aware of how differently we react to such a traumatic experience.
• an inability to speak about the rape
• a fear of touching
• grief about loss (at that point I lost my virginity and my voice)
• the desire to use drugs and alcohol
• the desire to hurt themselves, for
example by cutting themselves or even burning or starving oneself.
• suicidal thoughts or feelings.
• powerlessness and a loss of control
• Migraines or headaches
• IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) or other digestive issues.
• Oversleeping or overeating
• Possible diagnosis of mental health conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Bipolar Disorder/schizoaffective disorder, Major Depressive Disorder and even Anxiety. Or other Health issues such as Fibromyalgia.
• Having no voice or the inability to express oneself.
When I worked my way through this journey of recovering I realised a lot of things about myself. I realised that certain things don’t have to have a reason behind it. They are sometimes there to teach us about ourselves. I went from psychologist and doctors but in all honesty it took me years to admit what happened to me. I kept my rape a secret because I was too afraid of being judged. When I recovered I got to realise this; an epiphany came about me that:
” You don’t have to know how to shine the sun. You just do it, like you breath. Doesn’t it really astonish you that you are fantastically a complex thing, and that you are doing all of this and you never had any education in how to do it? “–Alan Watts
Thank you for being with me. Let us rebuild a healthy state of mind.
The recovery stages of sexual assault are to follow in part 3.
If any of you need help after a sexual assault please dial these numbers and visit these websites.
Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust: 021 447 9762 and Rape Crisis Blog.
Tears Foundation Trust: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and Tears Foundation.
Please use this booklet to help you in your healing process. Know that you are not alone. You and Your Recovery.