Archive for May 7th, 2008

Dark Skies (c) Lynda BernhardtThe most popular article on my blog is one entitled Recovering from Childhood Animal Rape. That article has already had over 300 views. I am not telling you this to toot my own horn. (Most articles have far fewer page views.) I am sharing this information to drive home that you are not alone.

When I faced my own memories of animal rape, I was horrified to say the least. This was the form of abuse that my sister most separated herself from, whereas for me, it was the vaginal rapes. Animal rape had not even entered my radar because I was soooo not ready to deal with it.

Then, my sister and I were talking on the phone, and she was saying that there was one abuse that she feared we had suffered but did not want to face. I said it was okay to ask if I had any memories of whatever it was. She said, “It involves a dog,” and then I was free falling. I had a flashback right then and there of being raped by a dog with a camera taking pictures. I confirmed her suspicions and then had to hang up.

Thank goodness for my friends over at Isurvive, and I am so grateful for the chat room. I self-injured, but that did not help with the shame. I was so sickened that I could not look another person in the eye.

I worked up the courage to tell an off-line friend, who knows my whole story. I could not look at her for the rest of the visit, even though she was very supportive. My biggest concern was whether this was the abuse that made me less than human. How could a person participate in bestiality and still be human?

My friends, both off-line and on-line, were quick to point out that bestiality does not equal animal rape. I did not choose the sexual contact, so this was rape, just like all of the other sexual abuse was rape. It took me a while to be able to accept this truth.

Healing from animal rape was hard, but I did it. I can now talk about it without feeling even a hint of shame. Why should I feel any shame about it? I did not choose it. The abuse was an indicator of how contemptible my abusers were but has no reflection on me. I was a precious diamond both before and after experiencing animal rape. NOTHING that another person does to you can change who you are.

I have found a lot of freedom in facing my history of animal rape. Now that I have found my way to loving myself, even after knowing that I was once a victim of animal rape, I feel confident in loving myself no matter what another person ever does to me. Through this realization, I have taken back my power.

If you suffered from animal rape as a child, you are not alone. Many other people know the same pain and shame. You do not deserve any of the shame that you are feeling. That shame belongs squarely on the shoulders of your abusers. You did nothing wrong.

You are a beautiful and precious person just the way you are. Even being raped by an animal could not change the beauty and value of who you are.

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Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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