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The aftermath of sexual violence + the beginning of healing, part 2 (Anonymous)

About a year ago, six weeks after giving birth to my son, I posted my first entry.

It’s been a tough and fun year and yet again my body has changed a lot. I am still breastfeeding and that has helped me lose all my pregnancy weight, without any effort on my part. That was quite unexpected – I thought I’d really have to struggle to reach my pre-pregnancy weight. My breasts are softer and saggier than before the pregnancy and one is quite a bit larger than the other because my son prefers to feed from that side. When I lean forward, my stomach looks like it belongs to an old woman, with all the wrinkles and the lose skin (that doesn’t show in the pictures here, because I am standing straight). After the birth I thought that the skin on my stomach would “recover”, but I have now realized that it won’t. I tell myself that that simply comes with having a baby and it doesn’t bother me too much, but I am embarrassed when my husband sees it.

Sometimes my negative thoughts take over. Sometimes I still see my body as belonging to the rapists. Sometimes, when my son presses his sweet face against mine, I wonder if he would still love me if he knew that I have been raped by four men. And I wonder if I am worthy to be his mother – can someone as damaged as me be the mother of someone as pure, innocent and wonderful as my little boy? I try to console myself with the knowledge that even though I am far from pure, at least my love for him is. And I remind myself of the great things my body was able to do during childbirth and I remind myself that my breasts have nurished and are still nurishing this healthy and happy boy and I am thankful for that. It helps, because the negative thoughts don’t take over anymore as they used to before we had our son. My hope is that one day I will feel completely worthy as a mother, a woman, a person.

The pictures show my body one year post-partum.

in Belly, Breasts, First Pregnancy, Postpartum, Sexual Abuse/Violence, Submissions, Update

19 comments… add one

  • Bonnie (SOAM) Thursday, April 8, 2010, 9:50 am

    Purity has nothing to do with what has been done to you (or, even with what a woman has done intentionally) that is archaic thinking and deeply damaging to a woman’s heart. You ARE pure. As evidenced by your pure love. Hugs, mama.

  • Shannon Thursday, April 8, 2010, 9:57 am

    I have to agree with Bonnie…you are not impure for what happened to you…it WAS NOT your fault. Your son will never think anything bad of you…unless you do not lend him money and let him borrow the car!!! You look beautiful! Don’t you love nursing? My son will be 1 on Saturday (2 more days…and I don’t look nearly as good as you!) and I am still nursing. It is the best thing for them :) I hope you can love yourself and body fully someday…

  • Emma Thursday, April 8, 2010, 10:28 am

    You are worthy, as a mother, a woman, and a person. My heart goes out to you for what was done to you. As far as your physical self, I see great beauty and the strong body of a mother.

  • Anna Friday, April 9, 2010, 9:23 am

    Would you view another girl who’d been through that so harshly? You have a beautiful body, it’s all yours, take good care of it.

  • AmyK Friday, April 9, 2010, 9:41 am

    You look incredible!! Seriously, you look way better than a lot of women who haven’t even given birth.
    I am also a survivor of rape, and I know how you feel about feeling like your body still belongs to the rapists. It’s incredibly hard to recover from rape, and so all I can tell you is stay strong! Remember that you have incredible worth and the rapists can never take that away from you. And your son will love you no matter what has happened to you.

  • Amy Friday, April 9, 2010, 11:01 am

    I know what you mean about the stomach. Mine looks fairly flat like yours when standing, but when I bend over I have some loose skin and wrinkles. Like you, I have thought that it looks like that of an old woman. But then I remind myself that it doesn’t look like an old woman, it looks like a young woman who has had a baby! Maybe the only reason old women’s bellies look like that (do they? I don’t even know, I haven’t seen any!) is because they had a baby when they were younger. We associate that kind of skin with old age, but obviously it can be very much a result of youth, fertility, and motherhood. You look FANTASTIC.

  • kat Friday, April 9, 2010, 11:28 am

    I understand how you feel. I was raped and I am pregnant with his child. Its a very difficult thing to overcome and I hope you can someday realize that your body is not theirs. It is yours, your baby’s and your husband’s. Having said that, your body is beautiful!!

  • Annie Friday, April 9, 2010, 5:39 pm

    You look better than me and I haven’t given birth. I applaud you for your bravery. You are a wonderful woman!

  • tanya Friday, April 9, 2010, 6:43 pm

    your body is gorgeous! so womanly and curvy i wish i had your shape! You are MORE than worthy to be your sons mom and your body is NO ones but your own.. I hope you know that one day..:) stay strong ! you sound like an amazing moma :)

  • Sarah Friday, April 9, 2010, 9:54 pm

    You are both physically beautiful and your heart is beautiful! Thank you for your story. You are so strong and that strength will be a part of your motherhood.

  • Andrea Sunday, April 11, 2010, 12:30 pm

    What happened to you was awful and traumatic. You are not responsible for what happened, you didn’t “bring it on,” you didn’t deserve it, no one should have to go through that… have you seen a therapist to discuss things? I was date raped at 16 and my virginity stolen as well, and I really feel you should talk to someone. It’s a wound that doesn’t heal with time, but with therapy! I hope you are able to recover and RECIEVE the love around you, because you are worthy of it. Your body is beautiful and amazing and such a wonderful, powerful thing.

  • Mariah Monday, April 12, 2010, 8:26 pm

    You’re not too impure to be the mother of a child, and certainly not too damaged. Your son would love you, no matter what. What happened to you wasn’t your fault.

    Be strong, momma! You are beautiful, and a little man in this world will always see you as HIS world! Your body belongs to ONE person….. YOU!

  • Shanyn Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 2:44 pm

    “Who is anyone to tell you that you are anything but beautiful? Who is anyone to tell you that you are anything but whole?”

    I too am a victim of rape and abuse and I spent years referring to myself as “broken.” These song lyrics always bring me to tears because they make me realize that for all of those years I thought I was broken, I was the one breaking me. No one has the power to break me, but me. The abuse I went through was horrible and tragic, but it did not break me. And I can tell from your amazing story that your abuse did not break you either. You are whole, gorgeous, strong and deeply in love with your son. What an amazing place to be!

  • shannon Thursday, April 15, 2010, 6:23 pm

    I too was raped by four men and ten years later, still have nightmares…but it does get a little easier to deal with as time goes by and go to therapy…the state will pay for it if you go through the health department. Just talking to someone professional really helps.

  • Kim Thursday, April 22, 2010, 7:17 pm

    I was raped by two men a few years ago. I just wanted to tell you that what happened was NOT your fault. No woman deserves to be raped, ever. I’m sure you’re a great mom, and you’re going to raise your son to be kind and respectful to women. I’m sure if he ever finds out about what happened to you he won’t judge you or be disgusted by you. I can’t say it enough: rape is never the victim’s fault, ever!

  • Brittany Saturday, April 24, 2010, 9:43 pm

    I am so happy that you found this website. Obviously you were led here for a higher purpose: discovering your intense beauty as a Spirit of the universe and sharing your story not just for your healing, but the healing of others, which is hard to do. You are beautiful, you will be in my prayers.

  • Suzanne Tuesday, May 18, 2010, 5:49 am

    no way.. sorry but theres no way you have ever been pregnant! you have an incredible body.. those boobs.. JEALOUS!!! ;)

  • Libby Monday, August 30, 2010, 4:46 pm

    no one can ever ever take away your purity! it resides in a place in your soul that is completely untouchable. you are beautiful!

  • theresa Friday, May 29, 2015, 11:15 am

    I’m a mother of 4 ,my first baby i nursed for six months my second one at two months due to my first relationship where i had to go back to work inorder to pay the bills and rent.w. wish i could’ve breastfed him longer.my third pregnancy had to stop due to my right breast was very sore and my last pregnancy i’m still nursing him even though he stopped nursing on right breast. They’re uneven but don’t bother me so much cause i wear a padded bra although i have stretch marks from all 4 pregnancies i wouldn’t trade it for the world.

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