Trigger warning ahead:
I’ve mentioned being raped at least once before, though I’ve never gone into much detail about it. There was never one good reason for that, and a tiny million ones. It wasn’t the right time, it wasn’t sure how to tell it, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to tell it. Talking about things like rape can be very empowering for the victims, but, for me, there was a large part of me that was scared that’s what I’d become in the eyes of anyone who would read: a victim. I didn’t want to deal with questions that may get asked, had been asked: what were you wearing, what did you do, what signals did you send. I’d asked and answered these things myself more times than I can even put a number to. I’d finally come to a place where I could say, with no hesitation, it doesn’t matter. I wasn’t in the wrong. I shouldn’t have to share guilt. I was done wrong and I didn’t contribute to it. But I wanted to talk about it, if for no other reason than maybe, just maybe, my story would help even one other person. I held off, however, all those tiny things keeping me from opening my mouth.
Then Christina DMed me.
Christina and I follow each other on Twitter and a few weeks ago, she told me about a project she was working on for school and asked if I’d be interested in contributing to it. She described it as being about the things that happen in real life that we don’t share online, and I was instantly intrigued for all the same reasons I’m pulled toward Whisper and PostSecret. We all have parts hidden inside of us, stories we don’t always share for whatever reason. Many use the Internet to talk about them, those things that we dare never speak in real life. But there’s another side to that coin, and there’s so much that happen in our day-to-day we would never dream of talking about online.
From Christina’s first post:
“ON THE QT is about all the things you’d dare never to share, or really have to think about even discussing with others. It’s also about how we are still human, not cyborgs cruising the Internet and deciding which Disney Prince or Princess is the love of our life.”
I’d agreed immediately and had been set to talk about something else entirely when she posted this.
I knew it was time. Not just to talk about my own rape, specifically the aftermath of it, but of the rape I’d witnessed a few short weeks later. The silence that covered both of them and why rape and silence should never ever mix.
I’m not a victim. I’m not even a survivor. I’m a girl who was raped, I’m a girl who kept it quiet, and I’m a girl who, now, advocates hard for rape victims because I know where they’re at. I don’t do it for noble reasons. I do it because I once kept it quiet, was shamed into silence, and I want to make up for that.
If you have a story you’ve been quiet about, be it funny, serious, short or long, and would like to contribute to Christina’s project, you can get a hold of her on Twitter.
Kristine Wyllys is the author of two amazing contemporary romance novels, Wild Ones and Losing Streak. Wild Ones will take you back to those murky “I don’t know what I want but I want it” days as a young woman and have you wanting more. Both books are must reads, even if you don’t want to admit it, they are.
Her tweets will also keep you entered for days. Personally, I literally laugh out loud to them or nod in agreement. Follow her at @KristineWyllys on Twitter!
The story below is from her, relating to an on the QT topic. Personally, I teared up reading it and you probably will too. Please feel free to comment on it after as well, since that’s part of this whole blog!
When I was seventeen, I went to a party.
That, in and of itself, isn’t much of a story. Certainly not…
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