As we come to the last day of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I want to share a few thoughts.
Three years ago, I posted a blog about being raped almost three years prior. I was overwhelmed by the amount of people who not only read and shared it, but the people who reached out to me publicly and privately, who shared their stories with me, who confided in me, trusted me, accepted me, and loved me. People I knew personally, and people I didn't know at all. It was one of the most humbling and humanizing experiences of my life.
Since then, I have continued to heal and grow. I've learned that even six years later, it is a constant process. Most days I am great (and that came with so much therapy), and there are some days that I don't want to talk to anyone, especially anyone of the opposite gender. Some days it hurts really bad. I still don't understand how I was so wrong about someone I trusted. I still don't know if he knew what he was doing. I still sometimes try to make excuses for him. I still think of what I could've done to avoid it, to get out of it, to have a better chance of getting justice. As time goes on, it's less and less. Sometimes I go months without hurting. And then one thing can cause it all to come flooding back. And I think that will be like that forever.
Shortly before I moved to Nashville, I was driving and thinking about how mad I was at this person. I was thinking about how unfair it was that he got to keep living his life like nothing happened while I had to suffer, while I had to hurt, while I had to deal with the consequences of his actions, while I had to pick up the pieces and try to make them fit together. And he got to keep singing and performing all around Vegas. Mutual friends posted pictures of him, posted articles about him, talked about how proud they were of him. Meanwhile, I was in hell trying not to relive this ugly piece of my life over and over. As I was driving, the lyrics and melody just came to me.
I want it to hurt
I want it to burn
I want it to sting and bruise and cut right through
Til you're bleeding in the dirt
I want it to ache
Want your heart to break
And as you fall you feel like all
The air has gone away
I want it to hurt
And when I got to Nashville, I brought the song to a friend, Chip Martin, who helped me write the rest of it. The song was and continues to be one of the biggest sources of healing for me. It is incredibly vulnerable and portrays just one tiny facet of the feelings I have felt for this person. And sometimes I still do feel this way.
I always knew Hurt would be a music video. And I knew I wanted other survivors in the video, representing the one in four of us who are sexually assaulted in our lifetime. I am so proud of the brave women who stood beside me and shared their story. This song and this video are for ALL OF US. Women, men, and children who are attacked by selfish, evil beings and have to carry that pain with us forever. For our friends and family who stick by us, who comfort us, who help us to navigate through the trauma and rebuild our lives. I SEE YOU.