Must Read: How I Survived My Sexual Assault

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I survived the rape physically. They left me on my front lawn. It was a humiliation that would haunt me for the next decade, literally. The next decade consisted of self-destruction in every form. Bad relationships, partying, excessive everything, eating disorders, you name it, I did it. And then there was the moment where I could not continue life, bearing the load of what happened anymore. I found myself calling free help lines and hotlines every night, talking about what happened in an attempt to stay sane.

It’s really hard, if not impossible, to get over this type of violation. When the scene of the crime is your body, you are confronted with what happened to you every day. My new routine of calling rape hotlines ended the night I woke up an on-call operator. I discovered that some of these hotlines were quite small where people took turns manning the phone. Even though the woman who answered wasn’t happy about being woken up, she was perceptive enough to see that there was something seriously wrong going on at my end of the phone. Over the next few days she called, urging me to make an appointment to go to my local rape crisis center. I remember going there and sitting in the room and reading the “Survivor’s Psalm” on the cork board. I wrote about it here on “The Huffington Post” almost six years ago.

I did get counseling and help, but it opened another can of worms. After finally talking about what had happened, I developed horrible anxiety and a new awareness that made me not want to leave the house. I was fearful of people and became depressed. I started grieving the 10 years I’d lost between being raped and actually getting help for what happened. I grieved the person who was almost destroyed. I felt sorry for what she went through, and the potential and talent that was lost because of all the time and energy she wasted by not dealing with what had happened.

And then the miracle happened when I began to blog a series on how I dealt with rape and the aftermath. I didn’t immediately feel comfortable writing about this. When the first article I wrote was published I cried because I felt so ripped open and naked for the whole world to see.

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