Valuable insight for those of you who love someone who has experienced sexual abuse or other types of trauma. Although fictionalized, this is a deeply personal piece.
Photo Credit: Peter Szto, PhD
WARNING: This piece could be triggering for readers with a history of trauma
It is the flood of emotion that always makes her flee. The triggers are unpredictable but the reaction is not. It is like someone is ripping her chest open, using a rib spreader, exposing the fragile membranes around her heart to the glare of light. She clutches her hand to her chest, as though she can hold the gaping edges of her body closed the way she would the sides of an unbuttoned shirt.
She gratefully makes it to the sanctuary of her bedroom before the flood of tears. She does not turn on the light. The key is to make herself small. She sits on the floor, back against the bed, feet under the dresser and pulls her knees to her chest, hugging them tight. She pictures the weight containing everything…
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