I’m Being Watched

I can see when the posts on my blog have been viewed. Occasionally, based on that, it appears to me that someone has just discovered my blog and that they are getting something positive out of reading it, because they will read or browse many of the posts. That has been a rewarding thing for me to see historically because in my mind I imagined it was some survivor somewhere who found comfort in reading the words I’ve written, that I may have verbalized their own experiences and made them feel less alone for it. Sometimes I will hear from survivors telling me this, and I feel less alone for it myself. I know how impactful it can be when I find something that says what I haven’t been able to say, and knowing I have sometimes been the author of those words for others is unbelievably fulfilling. It makes me feel like I can create something positive out of this experience that has caused me extraordinary pain and suffering.

Recently, I saw that sort of activity on my blog, but instead of feeling fulfilled, I felt violated. Instead of imagining a survivor being comforted by my words, I imagined my abuser’s attorney scouring them for ways that they can be twisted and weaponized. The reason I suspected the activity was not a survivor but an attorney was because of an upcoming deadline in the court case, and because it seemed the same viewer was coming back over the course of several days picking up where they left off and they were only reading during business hours in my time zone. Of course I couldn’t be sure it was an attorney, but suffice it to say I am pretty sure now that it had been.

I am aware that the internet is not and never has been a safe space. But for me sharing my experience online has been an immense source of healing. Now, it feels more like a battleground.

I do not like admitting that. Writing it here, if I decide to share this, feels like I am confessing directly to my rapist that his threats have scared me. But it also feels like if I never share again then I am letting him take this away from me. So here we are.

Something I read recently that resonated strongly with me was “I was abused quietly, so I choose to heal loudly.” I believe the author of that quote is Angela Yee. My abuser has insisted on my silence since he raped me in 2011. I believe in my right to talk about what I have been through. My best advice to him, since I can’t get it out of my head that he and/or his attorney is going to read this, is that perhaps if you would not like people to say things about you that paint you in a bad light, you should avoid doing things that paint you in a bad light.

To everyone else who has read my words and supported me or found some kind of healing from them, thank you for being here. I am still here. I am doing okay. I hope you all are too. It is a really chaotic time for all of us. Let this be a reminder that you deserve to have a genuine safe space to recover from all life is throwing at you.

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