I am Lucky

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I am even luckier that the other person, my babysitter, my parents never bothered to remember his last name. And for the short time they might have known, never shared it with me. Maybe because I had not yet entered first grade. Maybe because they wanted to forget it as soon as it happened. I am the luckiest survivor because when I was 21 and came to terms with what had happened to me and wanting to learn more called the police department, they said the records were sealed and there was nothing I could do.

I am so unbelievably lucky. I will never have to write a letter to a senator telling them that the nominee they are about to consider had molested in me my sleep. I will never have to testify during a Supreme Court nomination hearing and retell the story of when I was six years old and my babysitter telling me to take my pants off and spreading apart my legs and poking in my vagina.

I will never have to see them on tv. I will never have to know they are making decisions at the highest level of the law.

No. I will never face those scenarios. Because I don’t know the identity of my first rapist. And the other is a terrible, terrible drunk. I am lucky. And for that I am eternally grateful.

Knowing that my assaulters will never amount to anything brings me some level of peace. Not because I wish ill on them. I do.  But that’s not the reason here. I feel peace because I will never have to go in front of the country and tell my story only to be ridiculed patronized, disbelieved, and ultimately ignored. I am lucky. I only have to face my demons privately.

I am lucky that the only person who does not believe me is my dad and not an entire country. I am lucky that it was only my dad who asked me for evidence like my journal entry from that night and not a senator looking for holes in my story. I am lucky that my dad refused to believe me despite eventually calling my mom to say my step brother admitted to it but to this day still refuses to believe it.

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I am lucky that I have told people who believed my story but was told not to talk about it anymore, to move on, that it is not normal or healthy to still think about being assaulted fifteen years after the fact. I am lucky that the person who tells me this is my mother. And not an entire country silencing my voice.

But didn’t this country tell me this week that my story does not matter? Or is to not be believed? Yes, that’s what the world told me last week. My parents only echoed what our country thinks of women and our stories.

Maybe so, but I am lucky that I got to lay in bed all day, body aching and stomach in knots, as Dr Ford told her story to a group of people set on humiliating her, all while being broadcast across the world. Yes, I am lucky that I get to be weak in the privacy of my own home.

Yes, I am lucky. Because every day I get to face these demons privately. I’ll never have to be that brave.

I am lucky that I only lost my parents when posting my story publicly and didn’t receive death threats, losing my sense of safety.

All this time I’ve been dying inside because I’ve never had the support I needed and deserved - as a six-year-old experiencing assault. Or a 13- year-old experiencing it again. Or a 21-year-old coming to terms with it. Or a 29-year-old sharing her story on a little blog. Until now, it’s been unbearable. But now I know I lucked out and those are small prices to pay as a sexual assault survivor.

But of course, I’m not lucky, am I? There is no competition in trauma. We do not receive awards based on the level of assault or aftermath. It doesn’t help anyone to compare scars.

I write this to let you know that while my story could look very different, it speaks to the Survivor’s Story: Not being believed. Losing our sense of safety. Experiencing shame and humiliation. Finding our voices. Being brave.

Every one of us who has been violated, assaulted, raped, attacked, we are survivors, and each of us has a story that deserves to be heard and believed.  Our stories look different from one another. We’re all at different points in our story.  We are all survivors. But none of us are lucky. Nor are our sisters after us.

If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault and you are suffering, please know that you are loved. And please, please call RAINN at 1-800-656-4673.

Stephanie DeLacy unapologetically shares what it’s like to navigate the world as 20-something white girl, with humor, profanity, and raw vulnerability. Stephanie recounts stories of her travel, mental health, and the journey to loving her body. Her descriptions of dating are bawdy but incredibly relatable. She courageously describes her dysfunctional childhood, healing from trauma, and how she’s evolved as a survivor of sexual assault. At times, heart wrenching, her stories will evoke raw emotion and connect to you on the most guttural level. She hopes to inspire authentic living and human connection.  Stephanie lives in Cleveland with her dog and two cats.