It’s no secret that words have power.  How we speak to each other and ourselves changes everything.  Telling our stories helps others heal.  The words we use to do so make all the difference.

It took me years to be able to use the word “rape”.  Longer to say it out loud.  Sometimes it was as if saying it conjured it within me.  Others I felt judged, like people were going to make me prove it every time I formed the words with my lips.

In order to find my “no” I had to first be able to formulate “rape” instead of softening the blow with words like “sexual assault” and “he was rough with me”.  It wasn’t.  I was raped, a feeling that can only be articulated in the sharp stabbing word that it is.  In order to find my “no” I had to have the conviction and confidence to say it, so that instead of it conjuring it would expel the trauma from me.  The fear.  The questions.  The nightmares.  The regret.

I feel myself there again, and I hate it.  Choking on my own words like I’ve forgotten how to say them.

He raped me. 


And just like that… my NO. 



Go now, find your “no”.pexels-photo-279013.jpeg