This Sexual Assault Awareness Month I Will Remember The Safety In Myself

Trigger Warning
A blonde woman in glasses longingly looking at the window
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As a child, they taught me if I held their hands and didn’t stray, they would protect me. They told me if I behaved, no one would hurt me. They promised me they would keep me safe.

So, I held their hands and didn’t stray far. I behaved. I trusted.

He still hurt me.

As a teenager, they taught me if I didn’t do dangerous things — if I didn’t drink or smoke do drugs, I would be ok. They told me if I followed the rules, no one would hurt me. They promised me they would keep me safe.

So, I didn’t do dangerous things. I followed the rules. I trusted.

He still hurt me.

As an adult, I have to protect myself, but I’m still scared sometimes that if I allow myself to live, I will pay the price again.

So, when I outgrew 19, I didn’t stray far from what I knew. I missed out on a lot because I started thinking that maybe the other times were my fault. “Maybe I didn’t try hard enough to stay safe.”

He still hurt me.

Some taught me the world wasn’t safe. Others taught me I should trust that if I do the right thing, the world will be safe. The truth is, the world isn’t safe. Some people are safe, but many are not. He hurt me. He still would have hurt me.

What I wish they taught me was that it’s wrong to hurt people, especially kids. What I wish they told me was that it wasn’t my fault; it didn’t matter what I wore, what I said or did, or what influence he was under — that’s on him. What I wish they promised me was that even though scary and unfair things happen, I can still find safety in myself.

The world as a whole isn’t safe,

Not every person is safe,

But if I ever find myself being hurt again,

I won’t blame myself. 

And just because someone hurts me, doesn’t mean I have to hurt myself.

Even at times, everything around her feels unsafe,

The six-year-old within will echo her mantra,

“I am safe. I am safe. I am safe.” TC mark

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