My name is Meghan. There is a lot to me and a lot you will learn as you read my blog or check out my instagram, but one undeniably massive part of who I am is my identity as a survivor of sexual assault. I am one of many survivors in my family. One of many survivors among my friends. One survivor of many across the world. Some have survived more. Some have survived less. But we have all lived that trauma, experienced that abuse, and been changed by it.

I was raped when I was 14. Again when I was 16. Again when I was 22. Alongside various instances of assault and stalking. Every person that could not heed “no,” every painful memory is a part of me and my story. As I began healing this year from my neighbor raping me in my sleep multiple times over the course of last year I felt desperate┬áto share.

I started on Instagram. The response was not massive, I have a small account, I’m happy with my small account, but the response was nonetheless overwhelming. Survivors appreciated me sharing. Allies appreciated me sharing. My community saw me and thought “brave.” Not the handful of other labels survivors often carry around like scarlet letters.

I didn’t feel brave though. In fact, I wasn’t being brave. I was just sick of keeping quiet. I was sick of pretending that they hadn’t happened. Sick of keeping two separate versions of my life in my head: the one that I knew, and the one that everyone else knew. I couldn’t be honest about huge pieces of my life and I was tired of my own damn silence.

Now the dam is officially broken and what I have to say has grown bigger than any number of Instagram posts can fit. So here goes healing…