Jang Jae In Opens Up About Experiencing Sexual Violence And Health Issues

Jang Jae In talked about suffering from mental health issues and becoming a victim of sexual assault in a series of Instagram posts.

On September 22, the artist shared a story about dealing with her mental health in the following post:

Celebrating how I finished recording an album today that’s taken a long time and how things are improving as I’m consistently receiving therapy! I’m leaving this message. It took me 11 years to tell this story.

I had my first seizure when I was 17 years old, and at the age of 18, I began to suffer from severe anxiety, seizures, hyperventilation, insomnia, anorexia, and bulimia due to events that I don’t even want to talk about. (Those who have suffered from these things probably already know what I’m referring to, and they’ve really went through a lot.)

I said I’ve been receiving therapy, but it wasn’t easy to find a doctor who was right for me, and I couldn’t be treated more because going to a hospital was seen as taboo at that time.

On top of that, the environment in which I grew up had a big impact on my symptoms. (Sorry, Mom! But you know that I’ve decided to sing.)

So as I entered my 20s, my wish when I was 24 to 29 years old was to please, please become a little bit happier, but that wasn’t something that happened even when I decided to do something about it.

Even if I only wanted to think good thoughts, and even when I wanted to live diligently, becoming sick inside the heart makes me keep falling apart.

That’s how I grew up with a long-running illness, and lately, it has become a part of me.

1. First off, I let go of the word “happiness” completely

2. I acknowledged that I’ve lived a life where I had no choice but to be tied up by my low self-esteem

3. Above all, I took medication consistently for a year

And many of my symptoms improved. (In the past, I was disapproving of medication so I only took it for three months at the longest!)

As I was planning my album when I was 18, I decided to tell my stories honestly, and that was because I found strength seeing others do the same. When I was younger, I hung on while watching artists sing after overcoming what I suffered from, as well as their own hardships.

Just as I had found courage back then, if I were able to pass on that strength to others, then wouldn’t the things I’ve gone through become meaningful? That way of thinking is what helped me ground myself in the worst of situations, and even now, if I were able to give strength to others, I think I’d be very happy.

I’m worried my first post is too long to read. If you read all the way here, thank you. The only thing I’m good at is telling stories, so I’m trying to unpack these stories little by little along with my album.

This is something very personal, but the pain and anxiety of others are more familiar than you think.

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오늘 참 오래된 앨범의 녹음을 끝낸 기념, 밤잠처럼 꾸준히 다닌 심리치료의 호전 기념! 글을 남겨요.? 이 이야기를 꺼내기까지 11년이 걸렸네요. 저의 첫 발작은 17살 때였고, 18살에 입에 담고 싶지 않은 사건을 계기로 극심한 불안증, 발작, 호흡곤란, 불면증, 거식폭식 등이 따라붙기 시작했어요. (아마 이거만으로 같은 일을 겪은 사람들은, 무슨 일인줄 알죠, 고생 많았어요 정말.) 치료를 한다고는 했지만 맞는 의사 선생님 찾는 것도 쉬운 일이 아니었고 그 때 당시엔 병원 가는 걸 큰 흠으로 여길 때라 더 치료가 못되었네. 거기에 내가 살아왔던 환경도 증상에 크게 한 몫 했을 거고. (엄마 미안! 하지만 노래하기로 맘 먹은 이상, 알죠.?) 그렇게 이십대가 된 나는 24살~29살까지 소원이 제발 제발 진짜 조금만 행복해지고싶다.였는데, 그게 맘 먹고 행동한다고 해서 되는 건 아니더라구요. 좋은 생각만 하고 싶어도, 열심히 살고 싶어도 마음 자체가 병이 들면 자꾸만 무너지는 거라. . 그렇게 긴 시간 나는 병과 함께 성장했고 이제는 그것이 나의 일부가 되어버린 요즘. 1.우선 행복이란 단어 자체를 내려놓았고 2.나는 낮은 자존감에 묶일 수 밖에 없는 삶을 지나온 걸 인정했고 3.무엇보다 일년간 약을 꾸준히 복용했더니 많은 증상들이 호전됨. (그 전엔 약에 대한 반감에 길게는 삼개월 복용이 다였음!) 18살에 앨범을 계획하며 내 이야기들을 솔직하게 하기로 다짐했었는데, 그 이유는 내가 그렇게 행한 이들을 보고 힘을 얻어서에요. 어릴 적에, 나랑 똑같은 일 겪고도 아님 다른 아픈 일 겪고도 딛고 일어나 멋지게 노래하는 가수들 보면서 버텼거든요. 내가 그랬던 거 처럼, 내가 받은 그 용기를 내가 조금만이라도 전할 수 있다면 그럼 내가 겪었던 사건들도 의미가 생기지 않을까? 하고. 그런 생각이 최악의 상황에도 저를 붙잡았던 것 같고 지금도, 그럴 수 있다면 참 맘이 좋겠다 싶어요. 첫 타래가 생각보다 길어져서 읽기에 괜찮을까 염려되고 미안해요 긴 글 여기까지 왔다면 또 고맙구. 잘하는 게 이야기 뿐이라 조금씩 앨범과 함께 이 이야기 보따리들을 풀어보려해요. 아주 사적인 이야기지만, 사람들의 아픔과 불안은 생각보다 많이 닮은 것 같더라.??

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Later that day, Jang Jae In uploaded the following post, where she opened up about her experience with sexual assault.

Warning: discussion of sexual assault

She wrote:

Thank you. I started my album beginning with that incident.

A year later when I was 19 years old, I was notified that the culprit was properly caught.

The person who did that to me and left was…a guy my age.

But the hardest part about that was hearing that the guy turned out like that because he was bullied by others.

It looked like they saw me on the streets one winter and promised him they wouldn’t bully him any longer if he would do that to me.

The reason why it was hard for me to learn about this was because I thought, “If that guy is a victim as well, then what exactly am I? What did I just go through?” That’s what broke my heart the most.

Now that I’m older, I have better judgment about those things, but if I reflect on the general situation, I think about how nice it would have been if someone had told me that what happened to me wasn’t my fault.

There are probably more victims of sexual assault living with shame and guilt than you’d think, like me.

I gained strength and endured everything by watching singers who went through the same thing I did.

I hope that I, still hanging around to sing, can become a source of strength for someone who’s going through the same thing as me.

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감사합니다 ? 앨범은 그 사건을 계기로 시작이 됐어요. 그 이후 저는 1년이 지나 19살에 범인을 제대로 잡았다는 연락을 받았었습니다. 저에게 그렇게 하고 간 사람은 음.. 제 또래의 남자분 이었어요. 그런데 당시 가장 힘들었던 부분은 그 아이 역시, 다른 아이들의 괴롭힘으로 인하여 그렇게 됐단 이야기였어요. 한 겨울 길을 지나가는 저를 보고, 저 사람에게 그리 해오면 너를 괴롭히지 않겠다 약속했던가보더라구요. 이 사실이 듣기 힘들었던 이유는, 그렇게 그 아이 역시 피해자라면, 도대체 나는 뭐지? 내가 겪은 건 뭐지? 라는 생각이 가장 가슴 무너지는 일이었어요. 이젠 조금 어른이 되어 그런 것의 분별력이 생겼습니다만, 돌아보고 너비보면 그 때 이 일이 생긴 건 니 잘못이 아니야. 라고 말해주는 이가 있었다면 참 좋지 않았을까 생각이 들어요. 생각보다 많은 성피해자들이, 피해자임에도 불구하고 내가 그러했던 것처럼 수치심과 죄책감을 갖고 살아가고 있을 거에요. 나는 나와 같은 일을 겪은 가수를 보며 힘을 얻고 견뎠어요. 혹시나 혹시나 아직 두 발 발 붙이며 노래하는 제가 같은 일, 비슷한 일을 겪은 누군가 들에게 힘이 됐음 합니다.

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In her Instagram stories, Jang Jae In left a message that read, “Now that I’ve talked about it, I’m really exhausted. I’m nervous right now, but I’m trying to calm myself down reading your comments. I’m just grateful…!”

Jang Jae In shared another post on the matter, where she explained that she was contacted by her old high school friends who were worried after seeing her Instagram posts. Jang Jae In wrote that she had gotten rid of her phone after the incident and couldn’t contact any of her friends.

“I found out later that you guys were upset with me,” she said. “I hope you all won’t be sorry about the news about me today. I want to say that I’ve grown a lot after everything happened!” She ended her post by sending her love to her friends and thanking them.

She later shared in her Instagram stories that she wondered if the world had changed compared to how it was in the past, when the act of revealing such a story was looked upon negatively. She wrote, “Will I regret what happened today?” and said, “I think I won’t now.”

Later on, in the early hours of September 23, Jang Jae In wrote, “I’ve read everything! It was such an exhausting day, but — how should I describe it — I feel like I’ve grown roots.”

She explained that being unable to be honest with the people around her had caused the painful feeling of floating around without roots. She wrote, “I feel like by telling this story, a wall that I’d secretly put up between myself and my friends has come down, and I’ve now grown roots that I hadn’t even dared to hope for.”

She went on to say, “If you possibly felt uncomfortable because of my news, then I’m sorry. However, let’s not put shame upon cases like this.”

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