The goal of How to Save a Life is to enlighten, validate, and lighten the lives and experiences of survivors of abuse, sexual assault, and social injustice. Sociology will be a factor on How to Save a Life, but only in fun little comic strips.Personal Stories I Can Help Tell Your Stories
Anonymous said: (Tw: rape, abuse) I'm confused. My childhood sexual abuse (might shortened to csa Idk) and eventually rape later on in life has pretty much made me feel repulsed at anything sexual even just pictures of it, but I still like the idea of a relationship and non-sexual intimacy. Is that called something or am I just crazy?
Is there a word for a relationship like that? I don’t know.
Are there people who look for relationships like that? I do know. A lot of asexuals (folks who don’t experience sexual attraction but may or may not have sexual desires) and folks who are sex-repulsed, still want romantic relationships. There are relationships that go on without sex where both parties are perfectly happy.
Unfortunately we live in a society that pushes a one-size-fit all ,with maybe the occasional v-minor adjustment, future. and lemme tell ya, that isn’t how it works.
Some people never want to get married or have a relationship. Some people want to have lots of sex, maybe even with the same person, but never have a relationship. Some people want the dating without the sex.
and that’s all okay.
does it make it limit your options some? yes. But so does having any kind of preference. Sex is a relationship perk- not a requirement. and it may mean you’re incompatible with some people. But that doesn’t make you wrong anymore than the fact that… for instance in dating I need lots of space. lots. and that makes me incompatible with some folks. It doesn’t make me, you, or them wrong or broken. It just means we don’t work.
Anonymous said: (tw: sexual assault/abuse) Hi there, I have a question. When I was 10 I went to a sleepover with my then-friends, which quickly became a living hell. They tried to beat me up, forced me to watch beastiality pornography, and made me strip naked (I may have initially joked about taking my shirt off but I was 10 so that's irrelevant). Was this sexual assault/abuse? I feel like it was, but my therapists don't want me to call it that. They just see it as bullying and I feel so frustrated.
Forcing someone to watch porn- especially at /10/ and especially something super graphic like that-
definitely hits the definition of csa. (which is the subset of sexual abuse that happens to children.)
If your therapist doesn’t want you to call someone making you strip and watch porn sexual abuse.. I’d honestly suggest finding a new therapist. It doesn’t sound like they’re doing a very good job at validating your experiences and helping you work through them. Minimizing your pain and trying to get you to call it something else is just.. gross.
You are not going in circles
You are making progress in a spiral. You do come back around to where you were at the start, since recovery and healing take time, but every time you come back around to that point you’re a little higher up because you’ve got more experience, more knowledge, and more strength.
You ARE making progress
this is the best fucking thing i have ever read.
Always making progress
Anonymous said: In a way, the ask about the grandfather helped me come to terms with my own digital rape. There's one thing that I can't come to terms with. My stepfather had been grooming me for puberty since I was five, and he would bribe me with chocolate so I would let him touch me "without struggle". I felt like I could never fight back because I had accepted it, and I still feel really bad about it. I still wince whenever I consider that it could have counted as consent.
I’m glad the ask helped you out! That is exactly why we do what we do here. We want to help as many survivors as possible.
Grooming, bribe and coercion are manipulative tools used to hide acts of wrong doing and violence. No matter abusers may say, they are never and should never be thought of as consent. It’s okay that you are feeling bad about it now, but I hope one day you will be able to acknowledge it without feeling like you “really consented” because you accepted bribes. No matter what he did or how he had you groomed, he violated your boundaries and went out of his way to neutralize your resistance. You couldn’t and didn’t consent, and I’m glad to know that our blog may have helped you get a little closer to truly feeling that.
Anonymous said: So my brother and I are in our mid-20s. He's just a year older than I am and I'm a gay male survivor. I had to tell him what happened to me, but about a week before I had to tell my story he came up behind me to mess with me and I don't know if it's the right description but he was basically dry humping me and said joked about fucking me in the ass to which I said back off (except i wasn't that polite about it). I know he's my brother and it may seem like harmless teasing but did he molest me?
Typically molestation is used in reference of minors. (Or at least- what I’ve seen of it)
But what you’re saying- could definitely fall under the category of sexual assault.
He’s your brother. which makes it all the more harmful. Family shouldn’t joke about fucking you (or- lets be real, raping you. because it’s not like he’s talking about getting consent. no, he was joking about violating you.)
You have every right to be extremely upset about this.
You have every right to be hurt over this.
What feelings you are feeling?
Too often harmful things are written off because it is a family member that does them but.. being family doesn’t make it okay.
it can make it hurt worse. because you have to see these people all the time- and you’re supposed to trust them. but when they do things like that? it doesn’t make them worthy of trust.
Anonymous said: The more I learn about consent, rape culture and those issues, the more I think back to conversations I had with my girl friends and realize they have been assaulted too but think it was just a bad sexual experience because neither them or I were educated on enthusiastic consent and what constitutes rape... and there are girls I don't speak to anymore and I just wish I still had a mean to contact them and give them the info I now have so they can process the trauma. ( part 1 / 2 )
(part 2 / 2) I know I didn’t process it until I was able to call it by its name, and yet it was ruining my mental health all along, with dissociation and other ptsd symptoms. Back then, some of them blamed their mixed feelings on past sexual abuses that fell into what they (we) felt was undeniably abuse and I just…I wish I’d known as much as I know now.I wish I’d been able then to infuse the idea that it wasn’t consensual and the guy was a shithead rapist. Fucking rape culture blinding us all
It can be so hard to look back and realize the moments that.. if we knew then what we knew now.. we could have done so much.
It’s so important that we talk to young people about consent. and especially consent out of the bedroom. and talk about sex in ways that aren’t just ‘don’t do it!!! you’ll get stds and die’ and don’t shame people for having sexual feelings. We need to talk about better ways to deal with this.
I think the biggest thing is just.. to remember that you can’t change the past- but you can help people now. and if someone told you those things now- you’d know what to do.