— daily the handmaid’s tale (@DailyHandmaids) July 29, 2022
My inner child has been nudging me to write this, pretty much every day.
I have gotten to know her so well. She is a vital part of my Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) recovery. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. One of the ways to make myself feel safe is by reaching out to her and asking what she needs.
She saved my life by being so damn strong. She endured all those horrible things that should never happen to a child. She survived and that is how I am here today. I can not say enough about her. She is my absolute favorite person. We all carry our younger selves through adulthood and if we listen to them, they have a lot of light to shed on why certain things affect us. They consistently try to teach us things about ourselves and if we are smart, we will listen.
To say the Roe v. Wade ruling has made me feel unsafe is an understatement. It is so incredibly difficult to feel safe when you are a survivor of abuse. It’s a lot of work to find ways to battle these demons. However, now, I do not feel safe anywhere in the entire country. It is more than I can process and I know so many women are feeling the same way. Rape and incest are touched upon when discussing abortion, but that is where it stops. Nobody wants to discuss it. That stops now.
In June 2022, my phone alerted me to some breaking news. I picked it up and read it. I thought, “Well, I must have read that wrong.” So, I read it again. The moment I realized that the Supreme Court ruling overturned Row v. Wade, I completely broke down. Tears streamed down my face and I wept, loudly. I started calling my family and friends who would understand what this really means for women. My hands were shaking so violently I could hardly use the phone. I said out loud to myself, “Here we go again.” Except this time I’m 41 years old, not 4 years old. Someone has control over my body, again.
According to people who are anti-abortion, it is never okay, in absolute any circumstance. We hear so much about the unborn. “Pro-lifers” in government and the Supreme Court, say it repeatedly. I would like to know who is advocating for the children who are being sexually abused and get impregnated by their abuser. Where the hell is their advocate? Who is looking out for their precious lives? If you’re so damn pro-life, why aren’t you protecting these poor, traumatized children? Their lives are changed forever. My life was changed forever. According to these individuals, if I was impregnated by the family member who abused me in elementary school, I would have to carry that baby to term and give birth.
Children do not ask to be abused. They do not ask to become mothers in between school activities and playing with their friends. The blame is being placed on the victim, not where it should be which is on the abuser. As a survivor who has been in trauma therapy since 2019, I can tell you about the amount of shame that comes with sexual abuse. However, that shame should not be carried by the child who endured the abuse, but on the person who is preying on children. And now, on top of that, our government is trying to tell children they have to carry a baby when all they were doing was living their innocent lives. As someone who earned a Master’s degree in Child Development and who has worked with children for over 20 years, I can say with confidence that these children do not need one more traumatic event like being forced to give birth to their abuser’s baby after being abused.
We need to keep fighting and keep our voices loud. People need to get to the polls in November and vote. I cannot express my gratitude enough to the individuals in our government who have and still are fighting for our reproductive rights. I heard Congresswoman Susan Wild speak just a few weeks ago. She also shared these thoughts on her Twitter: “I’m thinking of all those immediately, and personally, affected by this decision. And please know this—I will stop at nothing to stand up for your right to access comprehensive reproductive health care, and the freedom to choose.” It brought tears to my eyes because as a survivor there is nothing more important than feeling seen and heard and to know someone is in the fight with you, especially when they are in Washington.
So to the survivors who do not feel safe enough to share how this ruling has affected you, exhale. To all the children who are currently being affected, I am so sorry you are forced to walk through the flames of a fire you did not start. Please know there are so many of us carrying water to save your little lives. The biggest mistake anti-abortion, mediocre men can make is underestimating women. I’m sure most of them love the “Handmaid’s Tale,” Aunt Lydia specifically. What you do not know is most of us are named June. Believe me, when I say, you could never endure a fraction of what we have as women. Survivors will lead and we are coming for you.