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Personal Narrative: Survivor Of Sexual Assault

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There are many things I wouldn’t put past my estranged mother: she’s trolled me in the comment section of my online articles, publicly disowned me and my sister on Facebook more than once, and put me in very serious legal trouble. But I never thought I would see her openly defending a man who bragged about “grabbing pussy”, nor did I think I’d see her outright mock victims of alleged sexual assault, especially because she is a survivor of sexual abuse and assault. Her trauma was something I knew about from a young age; one of the earliest books she bought me was about a young girl who was molested. She told me time and again about how so many people didn’t believe her, how she had no one to turn to when she needed it the most. Never trust…show more content…
I thought her wildly incorrect assumptions about other women and offensive generalizations came from a place of anger that I couldn’t understand. I didn’t even know what internalized misogyny was at the time. During all of this, my parents never had a comprehensive discussion about consent. The only message was don’t touch or be touched. I wasn’t allowed to attend sex education at school, and only received a short, clinical explanation – without any review of birth control methods. Getting on birth control wasn’t an option, and she never asked if I wanted to see her gynecologist. When I mentioned that other friends were on it for acne and other conditions, she accused me of only wanting sex, like it was very bad thing. I didn’t understand the full concept of consent, because it was never explained to me and my sister. We didn’t realize that parents shouldn’t grab at you, pinch your body parts, even in jest if it makes you uncomfortable. We were conditioned to believe that it was all in good nature, even when my mother compared our bodies like cantaloupes at the…show more content…
She spoke openly about sex with my sister, and told me that it was because my sister was honest with her. If I made a comment about the difference in treatment, my mother would say I was making it up – that if I had just been honest, she would’ve been more accepting of my sexuality. Growing up, my privacy was non-existent, with my parents rifling through my stuff for proof that I was hiding a scandalous lifestyle. I was constantly accused of hiding things, because I didn’t speak openly about my private life. I wasn’t open because I wasn’t given a safe space to do so. As I developed my own sense of feminism through pop culture and literature, I detached more and more from my mother’s sexism. Because she was prone to rage outbursts and volatile tempers, I learned to escape through another medium, like books or music, so a lot of what she said didn’t stick. While I was aware that her behavior was toxic, I didn’t realize how dangerous it truly was until this
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