I found my rapist on Facebook last night, he is using a common nickname for his name. Stalking through his public posts, I was able to figure out that he has not really changed, and probably believed that it was his right to continue having sex with me even after I had said no. The thing is, looking at all of his behaviour, I am able to say, perhaps he has not changed, but I have.
I have survived to be so much stronger than that. Of course, I carry some scars still, I always will.
But, I remember when I was in primary school with a young girl who had been badly burned as a child, and who had scars on her face thinking that they were beautiful…a wonderful pattern of lines that were completely unique. Of course, I was oblivious to the pain that had caused the scars, but the scars did not cause the pain. The scars represent having come through.
One of the things about a history of abuse, and some subsequent mental illness, is that the strangest things will trigger you. For example, one of the triggers for me about my rape, and irrationally believing that it is my fault is blackjack.
I am currently enrolled in an online course about programming, and it so happens that this week’s assignment involves writing a program for blackjack which has driven me absolutely crazy. Every few minutes I keep believing that my being raped was retribution for us playing blackjack.
Welcome to the bizaare world of guilt. Thank you Catholic upbringing for that. However, I have decided to tackle some coding, so wish me well on this journey…while I say to my rapist: You are not in control any more, I am in charge of this one.
This week has been a bit strange for me and I have been feeling a bit down. Not depressed, just having moments of down-ness. Today, I looked at the date and had an aha moment. I don’t know if I mentioned being raped previously or not, in some ways, the rape was relatively trivial in my life. It was a short spanned form of abuse against a backdrop of years of abuse.
I am not trivializing other people’s experiences, I am just saying how my particular experience is currently fitting into my life puzzle. Don’t get me wrong, it was traumatic, and I have a collection of feelings around it: doubt, blame, shame, secrecy, anger. But while it was a big thing it was not the biggest thing and in many ways it is just one of those things that happened to me. (Watch this music video of Oasis by Amanda Palmer, and perhaps it might make sense with what I am trying to say, maybe not). Perhaps, its something you have to live through standing on the cusp of adulthood when you have just turned seventeen.
But either way, it was at the end of May that it became real to me that I had been raped by my boyfriend, and that the relationship was over. This was the guy who a few weeks previously had spoken of me moving to the United Kingdom with him. Dear god, I was naieve, and desparate to believe that somebody could love me, that I was loveable. Either way, today is a mental health day. Tomorrow I have some things that have to be done, but today, I am taking the day off. Going to spend the day reading, and hiding away…being gentle with myself. Reminding myself that what happened, happened and it was not my fault.
I have been having flashbacks from hell for the last week. I have been reliving the sensation of hands around my neck. A slightly stronger pressure on the right side of my larynx. I am feeling fingers tighten. Making it more difficult to breathe.
I have been battling to believe myself. I know it happened. I know it is real, and yet I don;t quite believe it. Today I made a connection though. When I told my parents about the physical bullying that I had endured in primary school, my mom turned around and said to me:
You are wrong. It never happened.
Those incidents I knew about. Those incidents I have no doubt believing occurred.
Yet my mother was adamant that they did not happen. She used the exact words that she used to deny her own abuse. I am not wrong. I know my mother abused me, and yet sometimes I battle to believe it. Its tearing me apart somewhat.
I do not want to forget the abuse that I l have lived through because it is one of the things that shaped who I am.
It is one of the reasons that I able to empathize with the outcasts, the beaten and the down.
It is one of the reasons that I feel deeply. It is one of the reasons that I believe in kindness.
I do not want to forget because having experienced abuse is one of the things that made me who I am today.
I don’t believe that we would have been given the ability to feel emotions if they are sinful and contrary to our nature.
I don’t believe that we are given things to experience unless they aid in our growth.
I don’t believe that the Gods want us to suppress who we are, or what we feel.
I believe that life is for living, and that we should choose to live and feel.
Oh dear god, I have no idea where to start writing this. I am just not coping right now. I don’t know where this resistance is coming from. I want to break free. I have no idea how to though. I am falling back onto habits that don’t help me.
I want to become financially independent.
I want to have super-sexy arms.
I want to be able to run a 9 minute mile. And do a 5 k in under 30 minutes.
I want to be able to prove the people who have made me doubt myself wrong.
I want to be confident.
I want to believe in myself.
I am managing to work out every day, but I need to do more. I need to start bringing it on a work side to.
I am just feeling really over-whelmed right now. I am feeling like an inadequate little kid with a disappointed mother in the background saying you are useless, worthless, not good enough.
I want to make good choices. I don’t want to eat a giant packet of niknaks all by myself and then crawl into bed crying. I want to stop feeling all of this pain. I remember being numb and part of me feels that it is better to be numb but I don’t want to be numb. I don’t want to sabotage my weight loss efforts I am getting close to my first goal of 65kg…but I am hurting myself and I don’t know how to stop.
I have been dreaming about water lately and I took that to signify from my subconscious that perhaps I was ready to deal with the time that I nearly drowned as a kid. And today in therapy, we did just that, and it was one of the most intense experiences of my life. Literally coughing, feeling the water getting pushed out of my lungs, my heart pumping faster and faster to keep up. I was only three and a tiny little mite and did not deserve that experience, and yet when my therapist asked the three year old me whether she decided that she should die, I said no, and when asked why not, I replied that I was stubborn.
One of the most powerful things in hypnosis is the fact that you can talk to parts of yourself, reminding them that they are special and loved.