I tweeted on July 8th: “The discussions that are most difficult to start, are the most important conversations!”. I then included these: #mentalhealth, #suicide, #domesticviolence, and #rape.
When I wrote this tweet, I was reflecting on all i have heard and all the various emotions I have felt these past months. I learned of my relative’s diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, which has been chipping away at my heart. Also, I heard details about someone’s unimaginable experience that has propelled me into the depths of my fears. I have felt anger, compassion, fear, happiness, madness, and relief. The only way I know how to describe my life this month is “an untimely chaotic consistency”. Yes, that phrase doesn’t make much sense. However, on the other hand, it sort of does.
As a bystander to what I have learned, I attempt to make sense of it all. I attempt to understand how cancer cells can simultaneously deteriorate a family’s center and question a body’s ability to function. I attempt to question and understand the possible limitations of an individual’s strength. Although I am not the one with the cancer diagnosis and I am not the person that has experienced the greatest degree of sexual assault, I am the one that is indirectly impacted from such experiences. These two individuals are people I thought were untouchable.
Maybe I’m thinking about this all wrong. What if, these two individuals are touchable in the physical sense, while their souls are impenetrable? Their souls remain intact within the darkness and chaos.
The souls of these individuals are what remain after damage has been done. The soul of my relative is allowing them to continue receiving chemotherapy treatments. the other person’s soul is sustaining their unweathering strength as they move forward in retrieving the power that was taken from them against their will.
This month has been tough. Now that I think about it, the coming months will be the most challenging for these two individuals personally, and for myself indirectly as I witness their fight against the odds. These will be the most emotionally and mentally challenging months ahead. Fortunately, these two individuals will not go through their path towards recovery alone.
* This blog was written for those that have been impacted by a cancer diagnosis & have either experienced or know someone that has been raped.
If you have been raped, please contact RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) at 1800-656-HOPE. Visit RAINN.org.
Peace Over Violence: http://peaceoverviolence.org/emergency/sexual-assault-rape.
Safe Horizon: http://www.safehorizon.org.
Safe Horizon’s Rape, Sexual Assault & Incest Hotline at 212-227-3000 or firstname.lastname@example.org (please allow 72 hrs for response)
“Rape Is” Support Center: http:www.rapeis.org/support.html
Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project (24 hour): 1-800-832-1901
National Child Abuse Hotline (24 hour): 1-800-422-4453