There are some words surrounding the whole abuse topic that give that heavy shameful feeling in the pit of your stomach. You know the ones. Sexual abuse. Rape. Child abuse. I learned a foreign language to not say them ever again. Maybe you have done something similar.
The painful memories, shame and guilt attached to these words give them power and make them difficult to hear much less say. In a way the words keep us stuck where we are. How can a survivor tell her story if the very words used to describe what happened carry such a trigger?
When I first told my story I used synonyms to diminish the word’s power. It was easier to say “he violated me” than the shaming words “he raped me.” Maybe because nowadays we usually associate violate with breaking the law in some way.
Sometimes the words hold us back but keeping the silence only helps the abuser. One day these words wont be so full of shame and guilt. You can find your words. You can tell your story.