Aftermath: The first week after

Here I am, back, after what feels(or may be is, haven’t checked), a week since I last wrote. I had been doing well for a while with the recovery, so the natural thing happened- I slid back. And it took me a while to contain myself again. Another step forward, finally.

But before that, I finished a post that I never actually published, because it made me sick. Now that I feel better, it’s time for it. Here it is:

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This post I have successfully avoided for a while, too. It wasn’t that I was scared of it or it was hard. Writing the reason I created this blog was harder, for sure. But, in the big scheme of things, the reason for all wasn’t on me. I had regrets about it, but mostly I didn’t feel I was to blame for how things turned out. The next 2 years, despite everything, despite me feeling it wasn’t so, were my choice.

And that’s a choice I’m not proud of.

I’m spending considerable amount of time getting okay with what I did and how I lived, accepting that for the sake of recovering I needed these years. But it was never easy to accept it.

The first week

I was in another country, and my brain knew that what my emotional state was, would be irrelevant if I do not have a job, and stay on the street. One was matter of grief and falling apart, while finding job was a matter of life and death literally, since I was on my last money, an ocean away from anyone I can ask for help. The morning after the rape, my brain had pushed the memories down so much, I remembered nothing- absolutely nothing. It was a missing memory of 1 night- but I was tired lately, and I really didn’t think about it- I had job hunting to conduct.

I’m really not proud of that first week look back at it. I was a train-wreck. I guess in some ways, I had the right to be, but regardless. The brain has good way to cover up such memories. The bruises on me I couldn’t explain quickly became “probably I fell somewhere”– on someone’s fingers, but whatever, couldn’t think about their strange place . The fact that my body felt like I worked out the whole previous day- it was from too much walking while looking for a job, and from working at my temporary job. The broken zipper on my clothes was just a zipper- I probably didn’t notice when I broke it. And all the clothes I couldn’t look at anymore- I got tired of, I presumed. And the fact that I felt strange resentment towards the guy living in my house, who went out of his way to be nice to me…I guessed that it was intuitive feeling without a reason that we always have for people- one I had since I met him. And considering all the ways he tried to help me settle in- probably one that was completely unreasonable. Human brain has ways of covering up everything we are not ready to accept.

It was few days later, when a friend of mine(or acquaintance, I wasn’t sure yet how strong our friendship was) came to the house, and while I was trying to find something in my room, spend some time talking to the people living in my house. A little later she informed me that the guy told her that I have hit him few times for no reason.

“You have got to be joking,” was the first thing out of my mouth. How dare he…or more to the point, what have I done to him, for him to start spreading rumors about me??? I was bewildered, and I told her that.

“But you told me yourself you did so!” she adds, and I stop for a second, having the feeling like someone punched me in the gut. My mind feels like it will explode while the memories flood back.

The night before when I had went to hang out with the guy, and he tried to massage me, and hit on me, and I hit him and nothing was working, and he kicked a chair so hard it broke, and…My mind panics, spins…I remember him pushing me to the bed and pulling my clothes and kissing me without regard for my protests, I remember the other guy getting out and locking the door, I remember that guy smashing my fingers in his fists while I try to kick him off of me …and from there, until the moment I run out, crying, with messy clothes and hair, and bruises, I don’t remember anything. For the next 2 years, the beginning and the end are all I remember, with the exception of the occasions when I wake in the middle of the night out of breath and with desire to scream, pale, sweaty, and nauseous, unable to say what exactly is it I have dreamed of that had made me so upset.

The moment I remember coincides with the moment I get fired from my temporary job- one for which I haven’t signed contract ever- for refusing to sleep with my boss. The first night of being fired, I keep calm(it’s important more than ever), I buy food with as little money as possible, pay my rent for the week(to be sure at least my sleeping situation is assured), and think. Regardless of what happens to me(I don’t remember, I don’t remember, I don’t…I try to convince myself), or how I lost my job, here is the fact- I need job, and I need it fast. I haven’t come to another country to give up so easily.

So, the next few days I look for job-unsuccessfully. I look and look. The best that happens is me arranging 2 interviews, both of which are at least 2 days away. After another breathless hot day in that urban hell, I snap.

I cannot take this anymore. I barely have food for the week, I have rent only for few more weeks, I’m out of job and options. I don’t anymore feel safe, in my house or out. I have to use all my strength to convince my mom back home that I’m doing great when I call her on the phone- she has enough worries as it is, I’m not about to add to them. I need something, anything, to hold on to. The only thing left of my life back home that I can reach is my casual relationship with this guy a few cities away, whom I had not seen since he was in my country a month ago. We spoke a lot since then, but we haven’t seen each other, and I’m not so sure he cares anymore- I stopped being sure in anything.

I need something to hold on to, or else I’m afraid I’ll lose my mind until my interviews come. I need him. So when he sends me SMS that he wishes I was there, I’m done. I call him and ask if he really wants to see me, and few hours later, I’m on the overnight bus to his city. I’m not sure what I expect of him, but I know one thing. The moment the bus leaves the city, I can forget about everything that happened in it. At least for the 3 days until I get back.

Nothing happened, I say repeatedly to myself, so convincing that I start to believe it. Nothing happened…right? 

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