One of the (many) things that kinda sucks is that sometimes I see it still.
I close my eyes and I see the moments of complete powerlessness. I see him on top of me, ignoring me, laughing at me as I cry. I won’t even list all the moments, ’cause it’s not even fun to list all the tiny moments I see…
I don’t see every single thing happen perfectly in chronological order. (I didn’t have my eyes opened for everything when it happened. So, some of it I can’t see…)
But some things I saw, I can’t unsee. (I know that’s a lot of variations on the word “see” all at once.) Anyway.
There are certain little moments I can see clearer than almost anything from my whole life – clearer than joyous moments, clearer than moments I experienced 1,000 times. I can see moments of the times he assaulted me clearer than I can see any other sexual experience* I can think of.
Sometimes when I’ve had sex since – especially if I’ve been having amazing sex or sex with a person I really love, I will try to concentrate SO hard. “Burn this in your brain! See it! Really SEE it! Have a new lil’ movie to call upon so that when you see the old one, you can just replace it in your head. You can see this instead.”
But it doesn’t work that way.
I can remember times I’ve had sex, of course. I can remember certain wonderful things people did or how they looked at me, but I can’t remember it in the same way. It’s not as visceral. It’s not as clear. It’s not as refusing-to-retreat-from-my-brain when it happens. (It also doesn’t usually just come out of practically nowhere, as flashbacks or nightmares of being assaulted seem to, sometimes.)
And it makes sense… Because sexual assault is not a sexual experience, it’s a violent one. It’s a traumatizing one. So, of course I remember it differently. (I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure the brain remembers traumatizing things, right?)
*I said sexual experience up there because part of me thinks it should be this 1:1 – see a guy on top of my in my mind, be able to see a different guy that clearly. But even though there were a lot of things that sort of “looked” like sex, it wasn’t. That’s one of the things that’s so hard about this. I keep thinking of it in the realm of sex (because it kind of is!), but it’s not sex in the way I normally think about it…
Anyway, these are just some of the thoughts that roll around in my brain. But the point is, sometimes (and sometimes even when I’m least expecting it), I see what happened. And I hate it.