Disclosing as a rape survivor means becoming privy to so many stories from other women (and men) about their own experiences of sexual violence, both threatened and completed.
Am I “extra sensitive” because of my own experiences? You bet.
Does that make it only a personal issue, as non-survivors often suggest? Does that mean that I respond to every story, every interaction, exclusively through my own particularized lens? No. And fuck you very much for asking.
It means that I respond not only through the lens of my own experience — as do we all — but also with an awareness sharpened by all the secrets and confessions and long-held shame other survivors have shared with me. Only privilege-bred ignorance could allow you to believe I speak as a voice of one. I speak in concert and solidarity with countless other survivors.
We are legion. We exist everywhere you look.
If you do not see us, if you do not hear us — if you can dismiss my anger as being merely the particularity of one person — you are part and parcel of the problem against which I rage.