Ask Ciiku: What should I do?

Dear Ciiku

What do you do when you discover that most of the sexual experiences you had with an ex were not consensual? Like it didn’t matter that you were not up to it, he would still ensure that you had sex. Sometimes I’d just zone out and let him do whatever he wanted. He would hold my hands above my head whenever I said no and keep going. Sex with him got to be painful and rough and I don’t know how to forgive myself either for staying with him.

Anonymous

Dear Anon,

I am so sorry you went through this.

It should never be the case that someone you are in an intimate relationship violates your trust and your body.

What you went through is a traumatic experience. Sexual assault and being a survivor is not something that we ever want to associate with ourselves. We always expect these perpetrators of assault to be people we do not know, who attack us and force themselves on us.

You need to realise that you are not to blame. We always feel like we should have known better, or that we should have left sooner but it never is the case. So many other factors come into play and it isn’t as simple as we think it will be. But you are here and you are going to be OK. Ok means that you will find a way to forgive yourself. OK means that in time, you will find a way back to you. OK means that you will realise that you are lovely, beautiful and more so, a survivor.

I will not lie to you, there will be moments when the memory of the experiences will spring into your mind and it will not be good. But allow yourself to feel it. I usually feel like the more you ignore or try to fight things, the more you obsess over it. Time, is your friend. Let it heal you.

You might also need to seek professional counselling if you feel this experience is affecting how you are living your life.

Also, please read this essay

Find joy,

Ciiku

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