Story 14/25 Survivor: Iesha Murdoch
By the time I was 18 I was beaten, broken, assaulted, addicted and found the rooms of 12 step meetings. I thought I was a survivor then - until January 4th when I was 21. I was raped in my house by someone I knew. This is when the fight for survival began for me.
People say I "went crazy", that I stopped taking my medication, that I relapsed and just slashed my wrists for attention. People gossiped about me, people started rumours about me, people abandoned me. I wasn't "crazy" and I hadn't relapsed (thank God) but rather I was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. I would have flashbacks of that night, I wanted to die, I discovered what it was like to black out sober as a way to protect myself from those flashbacks, I was made aware of how our justice system would let me down and what it felt like to stay awake for days without drugs to avoid nightmares.
It has been almost three years. I am no longer a victim. I have learned that it's not my fault. If you don't agree, that's your choice. I have learned I am not the only survivor of rape. I have learned what rape culture is and about educating those around me. I learned that my story is powerful yet he no longer has to have power over me.
I suffer from PTSD. I still have nightmares, sometimes I lock myself in the bathroom and cry for hours asking god "why me?!", I jump at any and all noises and occasionally I am a prisoner of flashbacks while he walks a free man and I will always hold resentment against the justice system for that. I am 24 years old, I have been clean six years and a survivor from sexual assault for almost three years. I am not the only one. I am empowered by women sharing their stories. I am a survivor.