What do I want to accomplish when I break the silence to someone?
Social Anxiety -At times, I have broken my silence to a friend to explain my behavior to a certain situation. For example, if I have a flashback or general unease in a social situation. I especially don't want to be left alone with anyone I do not trust.
Support-Other times, I may just be having an extremely rough day and need someone to talk to. Not to judge me or my situation. Not to make assumptions, like 'I must have been drunk, or asking for it'. (For the record, I was 3 years old at daycare, but why is it about what a survivor was wearing?) I just want someone to listen, really. Please, if you are going to say something, never say to 'get over it'. Or 'that happened in the past/ a long time ago'. Tell that to my flashbacks, my fear, my nightmares, my anxiety.
Safety- Maybe I'm telling you because you have or will be crossing paths with the man who raped me as a child. I want you to know. I want to protect you. What you do with that information, is your choice.
Fear of touch- Possibly, I told you so you wouldn't touch my shoulders or neck. I remember his hands around my neck and that is a trigger for me. Please don't touch. I mean it.
Possibility of relating- Once in a while, I tell other survivors because I can relate to them on a deeper level. They know what I'm facing and I understand what they are going through. Sometimes I feel so different from everyone else, until I talk to a fellow survivor. Stuff clicks in a way I don't always get with other interactions. It is powerful just knowing I am not alone.
These are just a few reasons I have broken my silence in the past. Presently, I am breaking my silence more as I reach out to people about my book, Breaking the Chains of Silence. I am so thankful for all the support I have received so far. The most important thing I want to tell someone thinking of breaking their silence is to choose who you tell wisely. You get to pick who you tell. Pick someone trustworthy that will listen to you without repercussions or judgement. If no one in your life fits that bill, reach out online. Google a hotline. This is an important step in your healing journey.
Please drop in the comments below why you break your silence.