Being With A Survivor of Sexual Violence

It can be frustrating, I get it. But trust me, it’s more difficult for me. (I’m only speaking on my own behalf since I’m sure everyone deals with their trauma(s) differently). 

I dealt with it by shutting myself off. No emotions. No relationships. No friendships. I stayed quiet for a few years. I didn’t even talk to my mother. I didn’t even talk to myself.

I still carry some of that with me today. And while I’m working on myself and on being a better me, sometimes it creeps up into my relationships. My abuse gets in the way. And as much as I want to care and love for someone, sometimes it gets more difficult than it should be.

So, here’s two tips I’d like to share. I think everything else may fall into these two. Things I wish partners had with me. And maybe, just maybe, it would make things easier for the both of us.

I also understand this can translate into all relationships

  1. PATIENCE

This is everything! Patience for when it’s difficult for me to talk to you. To be intimate with you. When I’m crying and don’t want to share why right away. When I have nightmares. When I try to share something with you and it’s difficult to understand why it has traumatized me. When something you do triggers me. When a specific song, action, movie etc triggers bad things. When my trauma is too much to explain and too much to understand. Patience for when I ask for my space. Patience for when I push you away. Patience for when I shut myself down. Patience for when it seems like I may not want you.

  1. COMMUNICATION

Please please please please. Lets talk. Talk about consent. Talk about what I am willing and not willing to do. Talk through it with me. Talk about what is good with me and what isn’t. Talk about my fears and hopes. Talk about your frustrations. Listen to mine. Lets talk about what happened, please listen. Try to understand before you insist on being understood. Don’t push me don’t rush me don’t manipulate me or make me feel guilty. I’ve already spent some time blaming myself. Lets create a space in which we feel safe enough to express ourselves honestly. And hopefully, everything else will fall in to place.