Survivor Stories: Jenny

Jenny is our first Resident Survivor Contributor. She was sexually assaulted by a friend. The most recent entry is posted at the top of the list; the oldest at the bottom.

We understand that some of Jenny’s story may be difficult to read and encourage readers to call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or chat with them online (here), if needed. We also encourage readers to develop a self-care plan.

14. Still Standing. The anniversary of Jenny’s rape was last week and today she shares with us how she’s been feeling.

13. Out of My Comfort Zone. It’s been a while since Jenny last developed friendships with guys her age. Even though she’s happy she made the move to somewhere new, she’s now in a position where she can no longer isolate herself with female friendships. It’s going to take some getting used to, but she’s reminding herself that baby steps will still move her forward.

12. A New Start. Jenny has officially started over in a new city and realizes that she made the right choice in moving somewhere new. She acknowledges that she still has a lot of healing to do, but for the first time in a long time feels like she’s in a place (physically and emotionally) where such healing can take place.

11. Liberating. Jenny lets us in on her feelings about moving to a new city, where she’s no longer reminded of that night with Chuck* or a life with him in it.

10. No Eyebrows at the Altar. Jenny shares with readers that she didn’t realize the way she lost herself during her friendship with Chuck*. She is anxious at the concept of letting anyone new into her life due to the fear she has that she will lose herself in someone again.

9. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Jenny pays tribute to Dr. Ford. Though Jenny has not seen Chuck* in a few years, she often thinks about what would happen if she was forced to face him again. Jenny admires Dr. Ford’s courage and bravery in coming forward, years later, and recounting her truth.

8. Coming to Terms. Jenny writes about the ways she came to terms with what happened to her. There is no right or wrong way to respond to a sexual assault. We encourage survivors to focus on self-care after an assault.

7. Numbing. Jenny writes about the men she slept with in the months following her rape. After an especially dangerous sexual encounter, Jenny realizes it’s time to finally come to terms with what happened to her. Many times, sexual assault survivors will turn to casual sex as a coping mechanism. There are also survivors who do not. Both are valid responses and neither response is “better” than the other.

6. (Not Forgetting). Jenny shares with readers that she no longer recognizes herself in the mirror because of how significantly her life has changed since that night with Chuck*. She writes about the ways that she tries to forget the night that changed it all. Survivors of interpersonal violence survive in different ways and their choice of coping mechanisms should not be judged.

5. Reporting. Jenny sheds light on her experience reporting her sexual assault. Jenny reported to her school, her school’s police department, and the local police department’s special victims unit. Under no circumstances are survivors of interpersonal violence obligated to report. Choosing not to report does not make a survivor’s experience any less valid.

4. Angry. Jenny is raw regarding the anger she feels about her rape, her rapist, and more. A sexual assault can leave a survivor feeling a number of ways. These feelings can fluctuate over time and some days will be more challenging than others. Remember, sexual assault is never the survivor’s fault and all of a survivor’s feelings post-assault are valid.

3. The Other Times. Jenny talks about her sexual history with Chuck* and her realization that not all of their experiences together were as consensual as she initially believed they were. This entry may be triggering fro individuals as it describes an instance of sexual assault. If this entry is triggering for you in any way, we encourage you to reach out to a trusted friend or contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

2. The First Time. Jenny talks about her first sexual encounter with Chuck*; A part of her knew that what happened that first time with him wasn’t okay, but she wasn’t ready to accept the truth of what he did to her. And that’s okay. This entry may be triggering for individuals as it describes an instance of sexual assault. If this entry is triggering for you in any way, we encourage you to reach out to a trusted friend or contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

1. Meet Jenny.In this entry, we meet Jenny where she’s at on her healing journey. Jenny shares where she’s been and how she hopes her healing journey will progress by sharing her story with Unapologetically Surviving.