It takes moments, but steals lifetimes.
As days move forward, a part of you never does.
Chained, anchored, paralyzed in place.
You breathe in, you breathe out - an involuntary act that keeps you alive. Well, most of you.
You perfect silence, denial, a smile, a face you show the world.
To the outside you appear strong, confident, maybe even successful. There are days, maybe weeks when you do not let it cross your mind. You’ve got this.
Until a sound, a smell, a comment, a news story pulls the trigger on your trauma and the tsunami strikes.
You flounder, you flail, you rage, you weep as the flash flood of those moments threatens to drown you, pull you under.
Because who you were when it happened - and everything you lost, endured, had stolen - is forever chained to who you have tried to become.
There is no escape.
This is sexual assault.
(Special thanks to Toby Sharp for helping capture what happens every 98 seconds. The moments that last the lifetime.)