A Challenging Week
This week was fucking hard. You know by now what happened so I won’t go into extreme detail. But in terms of my mental health, this is about the most difficult things have been in years.
The decision to publicly say what was happening was impulsive. I didn’t have any control, and I felt that saying this would give me back some of it.
To be honest, I didn’t expect the reaction, the calls from media, the messages. I didn’t post the tweet for attention. Rather, it was self-preservation. I wanted to get ahead of what was going on.
I’m happy to say that most of the reaction was positive, supportive, compassionate. People reached out to see if I was okay, to say that similar things had happened to them, to let me know I could talk to them if I needed to. The vast majority of the press I talked to were kind and compassionate. They asked if I was okay. Some outlets were less caring – they just wanted a story and they didn’t seem to care about me as a human being, so they didn’t get it.
There were trolls, of course. Nameless, shapeless trolls saying awful things. Trolls don’t bother me much. If you don’t have a name or a face when you talk to me, you don’t get taken seriously. There were, however, some real people trying to shame and victim blame. The editor of the Irish Medical Times, for one. This was disappointing, but not surprising. We live in a world where it’s still common to blame victims of sexual assault. But, even when this happened, the majority of people had my back, and for this I’m extremely grateful.
The first few days of the week were grim, dark, stressful. My skin broke out and my back ached. I couldn’t focus on anything at all. But then, as the days passed on, I surprised myself by how much I was able to separate myself from it. People’s reactions didn’t affect me. People could say what they wanted. Some tried to suggest I made it all up for clout. It didn’t bother me, because I knew the truth, and the small circle of people I care for in this life had my back.
Going public, I think, was the hardest part. I didn’t think it would go where it went this week. But, as I’ve found out in recent days, talking about this openly, despite how embarrassing it is for me, has helped people. Hopefully, it will continue to help people. Because, the dark truth is, some people take their own lives when they become victims of intimate image sexual abuse. And so, hopefully, talking about it openly and honestly will help to prevent this from happening.
Preventing suicide has always been the goal here. And so even though something truly awful happened to me, I know I’ll use this hardship to try and help others.
I also write a Substack