Editors Note: This month I’ll be featuring a number of pieces about sexual assault written by authors with disabilities. If you or someone you know is willing to share their story or their perspective, please use the contact form. Trigger Warning in effect for all posts with this header.
This piece comes to us by Lillian Cohen-Moore
I was beaten and raped the night of April 3rd, 2001. I was 17.
I know people heard me screaming, because the music nearby just got turned up louder. I stumbled home the next day in incredible pain. That pain didn’t go away. It didn’t go away when I attempted suicide the next month. It didn’t go away after that.
I didn’t know there was an infection. I put off seeing anyone for as long as I could, still hadn’t told my family what had happened when the pain was so excruciating I couldn’t go to class. One of my sisters drove me to the Planned Parenthood, and that’s when I admitted I’d been raped. They were kind to me, even when I started screaming in pain during the exam.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. Not uncommon after rape. I was days away from requiring surgery and hospitalization. They said bedrest and gave me a sheaf of Rx papers. Take them all. As directed. Report to an ER the minute it got worse. They took blood and samples to check for STDs, assured me it wasn’t my fault, that I was going to be okay.
PID can leave scars. It reduces fertility. It can leave behind chronic pelvic pain. I’ve had that pain daily since 2001. Every year I try to get past this date, past the night it happened, the post-rape trauma, its contribution to my PTSD.
The PID was bad enough it left behind a mark I feel daily, a pain that has not ever fully ceased. I want to let go of what happened so desperately I sometimes sob and scream in frustration that I cannot forget, in body or mind.
I might not ever be able to have children, I might not ever get past the physical pain he left me in, pain that increases on my periods.
It hurts daily.