“I need the darkness
the sadness the weakness,
oh I need this… ”
-Natalie Merchant, My Skin
I have read that expressing your feelings in some artistic way may help with things like abuse and so on a long time ago, but I didn’t have to read it to use it. At some point, there is only so much you can do when you are dealing with rape.
Talking gets old and only hurts more. Reading can’t save you from thinking, and thinking about it prevents you from being able to do any other work. There is this deep, bleeding void within you, and you simply have to do something.
And so I did. It started about 2 years ago. It was the first year after I was raped and I simply needed something to fill my days, so I started writing a fanfic about Gilmore Girls on the official fanfiction.net page. And then, eventually I just stopped writing. I guess it was because I knew very well how to write about the exact act of abuse, but had no clue how to get my heroine to a happy ending from there. I barely knew how to keep going myself.
But about a month or 2 ago I was thinking about it. Writing. Now that I was half-way through my recovery, it seemed somewhat of a nice idea to get back to it. I mean if I did get myself through recovery I could get to it in a story too- and the other way around. And it was going well. Somehow, it started helping me at those moments in which thinking of the matter was so hard that I just had to express it in some way and lose myself in some way.
Until this week.
I’ve been sort of discouraged by the pace of my recovery until this week. Things started looking better, and I started enjoying doing some work and getting my life a bit more in one piece. May be it’s because of the coming new year- new beginning and all that.
Either way, I know not to fool myself. I know that simply because I feel well for a bit, doesn’t mean I’m done with recovery. That I still have to leave time for it. Today, I open Word to write the next chapter. I even know what happens next, but writing somehow isn’t happening. My chest suddenly tightens. I can’t write. I can’t think of it. I like doing things, I like living, and it doesn’t include all of this ugliness. I wonder why it gets harder as I’m better. May be there can’t be one world, may be I can’t be both living in that nightmare and processing it, and living in my present and enjoying myself. May be my brain can’t comprehend it being in the same life.
Either way as I start writing I stare blindly the screen. I can’t be writing about this. I’m almost better, but writing about it, it bleeds, and I don’t know why.
So I just leave it for the moment. I want to enjoy my celebrations this year, and that wont happen like this. I will probably keep working through memories in the darkness of night, but for now, I have a day to live.
I feel the usual deep, dark, voiceless pain threaten to swallow me, and I refuse to give into it. It’s good, it’s fine, it’s okay. I redirect my energy. Dinner. Warm food. Working on my crafts. Enjoying chats with friends. I’ll be fine.
And then, I smile.
I have managed to win over it at that moment. It’s still there, waiting to get me if I mix my steps…but I managed for that moment, I won this battle, and thats a first.
Usually, in good moments I can do great, but once the past gets one of its octopus arms on me, I’m done. The past swallows me, the darkness surrounds me and for the time, I can’t fight it. I usually just wait for the storm to pass so that I can breathe again. But not today.
The darkness, I don’t need it, after all. It doesn’t own me. And I refuse to let it get to me tonight.