"My heart is just taking a little longer to catch up..." - Senator Lynn Ruane speaks bravely about being sexually assaulted 1 year ago

"My heart is just taking a little longer to catch up..." - Senator Lynn Ruane speaks bravely about being sexually assaulted

"I couldn't stop crying. I was shaking."

Independent Senator Lynn Ruane is our guest on Ireland Unfiltered this week.

The former President of the Trinity College Dublin Students' Union joined host Dion Fanning to speak honestly and candidly about her life and experiences, including her years of "chaotic drug use", the double standards that exist in Ireland's legal system and, having recently spoken about it on national television, her experience of being raped.

"I just wanted to forget about it," she told Fanning.

"I wanted to pretend like it never happened. And when I spoke about it on The Ray D’Arcy Show, I walked off from behind the camera and I just… I literally just had to be sat down on a sofa. I couldn’t stop crying. I was shaking.

"And they’re the only two times I’ve probably really allowed the emotion of that come up. I think it’s an unresolved piece of me. I think it’s an ongoing battle in me. I don’t think I’ve fully allowed myself explore it and look at it and I’ll probably just do it in bits and pieces."

When asked whether the sense of shame she feels surrounding the experience has since lifted, Senator Ruane continued:

"No. It hasn’t. I wish it had. It’s like, my head is not ashamed… it’s like, my head is there, my thinking is there, I know I’m not to blame and I know I shouldn’t be ashamed, but my heart is just taking a little longer to catch up. But I will keep working on that and I think the shame comes from somehow not valuing myself enough to see that it was wrong, y’know?

"It’s like I felt that, 'well, Lynn, do you know what? You’ve had sex before, y’know, and you had sex when you were very young. Maybe if you hadn’t had sex when you were a teenager, fellas wouldn’t feel like they think they could just take it from you', and that was the narrative I think I told myself for so long."

You can listen to the fourth episode of Ireland Unfiltered in its entirety by simply clicking here and you can use #IrelandUnfiltered to join the conversation on social.

Ireland Unfiltered will be available everywhere you get your podcasts and on YouTube every Tuesday.