I have to admit, the past month has been a little shaking.
After spending so long resisting every change in my new life, even the good ones, I have finally started to take steps forward. I’m spending more time with friends and new people, I’m letting the failed projects go, and starting a new job…I am leaving more time for my partner, and buying new clothes that make me feel attractive again. I’m going to counseling weekly. I’m trying to be better. I’m trying to let myself be okay again, be good, be happy. At the same time, I got reminded of the shortness of life twice this month. The first is when I learn that a friend who lives on another continent had died few months prior. I hadn’t talked to her in a while, deep into my own problems, and her death hit me a little. She was also one of the only people that knew the situation around my rape, at the time when it happened. In a way, her death seemed like closing some weird circle. And then came the next one, in the midst of all my nice steps forward. There had been a girl at my university, that graduated at the same year as me. We weren’t really close, but I still knew her. It was a bit of a shock when about a year after she graduated, I learned that she’d went missing and no one knew what happened. Still, I let myself not think about it.
Such things, they dig right to the core of me. If I let myself truly think of it, it won’t be healthy. So I don’t. I hope that all of it is just a horrible misunderstanding. Except that it really isn’t. Now they have a break in the case- apparently she was killed by a rapist that had been paroled early and allowed to work in her building. May be he raped her too. And THAT is that.
I can’t begin to say how all this makes me feel. The culmination of both those events(or me learning about them anyway) within a month is hard. Every once in a one, huge waves of grief rare high over my head, and I let them overtake me. I’m okay and then I break down sobbing. Then I feel the need to take another step in my life, because damn it, at least I’m ALIVE. At least I got out alive.
I have been through a lot, and for the most part this blog is the place where I don’t twist the truth.
I feel like I’m going through hell sometimes, and this is the one place where I can tell the full truth.
I remember this one time while I was still in denial about what happened to me. And ex-boyfriend whom I was still trying to be friends with, unknowingly made a rape joke, and I got extremely upset (though I had no reason to, because nothing like that ever happened to me, I told myself…nothing at all, nothing). Later, while thinking we can still salvage out friendship, I tried to suggest that I had been through something like that. His response just confirmed I was right in not talking.
While I was panicking about what I had just said, and feeling like I will break down in tears, he said, with very practical tone. “Well, at least you survived. So everything’s okay.”
I wanted to scream in his face, but I didn’t. He’ll never know any of what followed. I wasn’t okay, of course. Following this were 3 years of depression and panic attacks and flashbacks and therapy. Holding onto my will to live and fight for better life was extremely hard at times- it still is, even now. But here, in this blog, I have said all of this. This is my one place to say things as they are, even when they are killing me.
And so here, this time, it’s my turn to say: at least I survived.
Damn, truly, it scares me seeing what people can do. Surviving isn’t quite the same as living, I know…But in these years, I’ve won back a lot of pieces of my life. Things get better and worse, constantly, but the general direction is still towards better, that I know. So even in my hardest times, I know this, I know that one day I will be completely okay. I know that one day, I may still have occasional nightmare, but I will be strong, and happy again. I am sometimes even now. I’ve grown a lot. Yes, having survived something like this, like rape(multiple instances one), it’s horrifying. Survival can feel like death sometimes. Just because worse things happen in the world, no, that doesn’t make it better…but see, I can’t help but think like that in the light of those events. At least I’m ALIVE.
Even though I wanted to die at first after he assaulted me. Even after the bruises and the tears and the desire to run from anything good and normal in my life. Even when I was convinced that something is really wrong with me. Even when I was so depressed I could barely get out of bed. I fought through all of that and I’m here.
SURVIVAL’s a bitch, I won’t lie to you. It’s been hard and intense. But that other girl from my university, who was really beautiful, and on the top of her class, and knew multiple languages…she’ll never get a chance to recover from what happened to her. At least I have a chance, even if it’s the hardest thing I’ve done.
Sure, her death -or my other friend’s death- none of this makes me suddenly quite different. I’m still me, and I still have a long way to go. At least I have a shot. At least I have an option to try. Sometimes the pain of those news, it still pulls me under. I’m grieving, and I think it’s quite normal. But I also keep trying to make my life better, and I won’t stop.
There are horrible things that happen, all around the world. The bigger I am the closer I am to some of them. They aren’t a solution to my life in any capacity. But they remind me, there is no security in this world. No matter who you are, there is no ultimate protection. You can make it less likely for something bad to happen, but you can’t avoid it. So I guess the best I can do- the best we can do, is work on the things we can control. Which is basically only what we do. So this, this is the best I can do. I can continue fighting, and try to build myself up, to experience new things, to become stronger and happier, to enjoy what I have when I do have it. The rest is chance.
I still feel like crying over those 2 women sometimes. It is a lot, for learning in the span of a month. But I’m here, and I can take my time with processing. This one time, I disregard all else, and I am glad, I am glad I am ALIVE and I have a chance to try and have a good life. And that’s all there is to it.