Alyssa Milano has opened up about having flashbacks of being sexually assaulted when she gave birth for the first time, saying it ‘triggered all of these memories.’
The actress, who shares a son Milo, ten, and daughter Elizabella, seven, with her husband David Bugliari, reflected on her childbirth experience during her appearance on this week’s episode of People’s new podcast ‘Me Becoming Mom.’
‘I remembered at one point [during childbirth] really not enjoying the fact that lots of people had access to my vagina,’ Milano, 48, told host Zoë Ruderman.
‘And thinking to myself, “Why does— I don’t like this. Why does it feel so familiar? I’ve never had a baby before. Why does this invasive feeling feel so familiar?” That was just a fleeting moment, a tick in time, but I didn’t forget about it.’
Candid: Alyssa Milano opened up about her childbirth experience during her appearance on People’s new podcast ‘Me Becoming Mom,’ saying it triggered sexual assault flashbacks
Trigger: Milano said feeling like she was being held down and having things done to her when she gave birth to her son Milo in 2011 (pictured) was ‘reminiscent of being sexually assaulted’
Later, when she was undergoing therapy for postpartum anxiety and depression, she was able to better understand her experience.
‘After going through therapy after giving birth to Milo and remembering that one moment of feeling like I was being held down and had things being done to me that I didn’t want, to me, was very reminiscent of being sexually assaulted,’ Milano said.
‘It triggered all of these memories that I thought I had dealt with. I think anyone who has dealt with trauma has the moments where you’re like, ‘”Yeah, I’m fine.
‘I’ve dealt with that.” Versus the moments where you go, “Oh, no I didn’t. I just tried to tuck it away so no one could see them or I couldn’t see them or feel them anymore.”‘
Trauma: Milano (pictured in 1992) revealed in 2018 that she had been sexually assaulted twice, including once when she was a teenager
Reflecting: The actress, who also has a daughter Elizabella, explained that she was better able to understand what she was feeling at the time through therapy
She added: ‘I gotta think that because it felt that way for me, it must’ve felt that way for other women. I wonder how much of my postpartum anxiety was due to — of course, hormones and all of the things — but also that feeling that felt like I wasn’t in control, you know?’
In 2018, Milano revealed on Twitter that she is a survivor of sexual assault, writing: ‘I was sexually assaulted twice. Once when I was a teenager. I never filed a police report and it took me 30 years to tell my parents.’
Using the #WhyIDidntReport hashtag, she spoke of the harrowing ordeal in response to President Donald Trump’s tweet questioning the credibility of Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual misconduct allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Realization: Milano (pictured with her husband David Bugliari) said giving birth ‘triggered all of these memories’ that she thought she had dealt with
Using her voice: ‘I gotta think that because it felt that way for me, it must’ve felt that way for other women,’ Milano said of her childbirth experience
The activist later recounted one of the traumatic sexual assaults during an emotional speech that was filmed at Sen. Susan Collins’ office.
Milano said she was 19 years old and at a ‘very famous’ pop star’s concert when there was a ‘stampede’ that had her fearing for her life.
‘People were smashed against each other. I couldn’t breathe. I thought I was gonna die, she explained. ‘From behind me, I felt a hand up my skirt and I was punched repeatedly in the vagina.
‘I couldn’t turn around. I looked to the stage, and I looked to the security guards, and I said, “Please help me” and they couldn’t help me. They shook their heads.
‘I managed to break free and I climbed up the stage to get away from my predator. I turned around and I didn’t know which one it was. I looked to the sea of people and I couldn’t find him.’