Hanging on

Right now, I am battling. I don’t know why, or even if there is a reason for this battle at all. And I feel like a pathetic whinger for putting this out there. For not pulling my socks up and carrying on. But right now I cannot just carry on. My urge to self harm has always been limited. I binge occassionally, and I don’t eat that healthily. Once upon a time I used to pinch myself but when I realized it was self-harming I stopped. But for the past couple of days I have had the urge to hurt myself.

Partly, I think I have had this urge as a way to feel real, to take my mind off the shadowy thoughts running through the back of my mind. To silence the voices that tell me that I am worthless, stupid and pathetic.

I know I am not…but knowing and feeling are not the same.

In Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman, there is a scene where Richard is in a railway station and is fighting for his sanity, fighting to not hurt himself, and right now I take a great deal of solace in that. In finding the courage to just hang onto the bead in my pocket moment by moment and just not give up. Even if it means that I don’t have the energy to do anything else.

I hope that my loved ones will understand and forgive me this weakness, the fact that this week I have not been able to keep my promises that this week all I have been able to do is hang on and make sure I don’t give up on me and hope. That I just put one foot in front of the other as exhausting as it is.

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Scars

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.

Triggers

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.