I perhaps did a foolish thing today. I posted a shortened version of this thread on Twitter, not known for its tolerance. But i couldn’t contain myself any longer. The E. Jean Carroll trial has been kicking up a lot of stuff in me for weeks. I was also sexually assaulted.

So many of the things thrown in the face of Ms. Carroll as inconsistent about her testimony could have been thrown in my face. Sexual assault is such a fundamental trauma that it messes with your head. This is true of any trauma. Survivors often have difficulty remembering details or remember in nonlinear fashion. Defense attorneys know this and use it to get Old Boys (and young) out of rape charges.

* I can’t tell you the exact date of my assault.
* I didn’t scream.
* We were alone in the house together–his word against mine.
* I was made to believe it was my fault and that I got what I deserved.
* I didn’t tell anyone FOR 30 YEARS.

Trauma is not logical. It isn’t clean and precise. It’s often buried deep and never brought to light except in “acting out” or self-abuse. It can lie dormant for a very long time. Until, if you’re lucky, the festering gets to be too much and it finally bursts forth. Then, if you’re luckier, you can see it for what it truly is, own it, and do something about it.

Some trauma victims never get there. Some continue to blame themselves. I am grateful that I was able to shine a light on my deep buried shame and, with help and therapy, realize that it wasn’t my shame at all.

I thought long and hard about sharing this publicly. My talking about it could draw negative attention (although I’m not important). AND NO ONE IS OBLIGED TO TALK PUBLICLY ABOUT THEIR TRAUMA. But for me not talking about it was increasingly giving me that same feeling of buried shame.

And I am way the f*ck done with that. My hope is that talking about this helps someone.

How do I feel about it now that I’ve publicly disclosed? Momentarily clean. Lightened. It won’t last. I was a 13 year old girl, easily manipulated and always ready to believe that I was guilty of something. That 13 year old is still alive inside of me. She always will be–and I’m actually glad and grateful for that because she brings me many things beyond her trauma. Good things. But at least now I can turn to her when she’s hurting, give her a hug and tell her she was guilty of nothing besides misplaced trust. Sometimes she even believes me.