End of the Semester: About Concentration and the Fragmented Life

I’ve blogged about most of that first year after my SA and what it was for me, in a way.

But before I move on to the second year, there are few more things to mention.

Oh, and for those of you new here who are new to the story, if you scroll over “Story and Background” you can choose time period, and then go backwards in it to see what I’ve written. I’ll soon add few pages with chronologically linked posts for easier access. I’m also possibly writing a memoir book/guideline for those going through rape recovery. I’ve learned some things on the way of getting here, and although I am not an expert, there are things I learned in the past year that I wish someone had told me when I was first struggling with this. Anyway, that book is in the process of making, and meanwhile, there are few more things I would like to share.

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1. Counseling

I’ve mentioned in a previous post, that counseling somehow helped me, even though I told the counselor very little. One thing that struck me though- and that I tried to conceal from her, because I thought it made me a freak or crazy- was my inability to separate how I feel.

She started asking me things about how I feel.

I remember I mastered some answer, even though I knew that at best I’m twisting the truth.

But she kept asking me how I feel, and what was I supposed to say?

I was spending most of my time at my favorite university, with my friends, completely miserable? And despite that most of the time I am not sure how I feel? I can’t make difference between good, bad, sad, angry? Everything had somehow blended together and it wasn’t that I was running from how I felt. I had no clue how I felt. None. I ran her question through my head many times after that, for myself, and found it disturbing that I still didn’t feel in way. There was no separation of feelings within me anymore. I was an emotional time-bomb waiting to explode.

2. Fragments and concentration

Now, that is the other thing about my first year that I’d like to share. Mostly because while going through it I constantly wondered if I’m going crazy or have somehow broken my brain beyond repair. Only now, getting out of it, I can see how it was, and that it wasn’t forever. I wish I’d known that what I was going through was perfectly fine considering. Continue reading

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Back in University pt.2 (on the ability to dream and other disasters)

“Hereon by, I live in a different world. My world has been stripped to it’s very core. I have no expectations, no hopes, no dreams. People that dream much, they can’t survive here. I have to find a way to tip the scales in my favor, but after everything, I feel completely lifeless and broken. I can’t really let myself try, because I’m already broken, and if I go on, I’m not sure I will make it. I’m sulking, not just miserable, but so much under I can’t remember, anything really. There might have been times I have been more, but they are too far to remember. I’m so out of options, I have never been before. I don’t talk about it. I repeat it’s fine, pick myself up and keep trying, because this is what we are learned to do. But it’s not fine, it isn’t.

It’s what people say when they know they have hit rock bottom.”

                                                                   –me, right after the rape, summer of 2010 Continue reading

Back in University

When I was teenager, and my wisdom teeth started growing, they grew completely horizontal, pushing the teeth next to them, so I didn’t even know. I understood the day when they were completely grown and pushing so much I had to go to bed with painkillers so I would be able to sleep. Until they took them, the damage on the teeth next to them was done and I had to have 1 nerve removed from one of them.

That’s the very same way, about 6 months after my rape the trauma settle under my skin, growing, eating away at me so unnoticeable, that I forgot it was there until year and a half later. By that time the suppressed feelings and memories had piled up and grown so much, I quite literally had a breakdown.

But at the time, for a while everything was really good. Continue reading

6 months in

There is this moment, that was probably the greatest moment for me that first year after the rape. It’s that moment you know. The moment you have been waiting for. The moment in which you look into your friends eyes and know you are finally home and nothing has changed.

It took about a week for it to blow up in my face.

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This is the moment I fly back to my country, about 2 months or more after the rape.

I’ve waited to get back for all this time. All that kept me going through the too little work hours and the nights waking up each hour, was the thought about a home. I have home, friends, family, university, future, all waiting for me to get back.

I crave that moment every day, this is the moment keeping me going.

I deny access of everything and anything bad to my brain, and it slowly grows under my skin like a tumor. I smile widely, I think positively(or so I say to myself). I push all the bad memories down, because I can’t fight for job and survival and deal with them too.

Even as it becomes clear that I won’t make enough money that summer, going back home is what keeps me going. It’s hell., but it’s a temporary hell. I can do temporary.

Not getting the money I need means also that I need to take a leave of absence at my university. As I think over that, it makes me feel weak with relief. I love university. My friends are there. It’s my home. I like even the classes and the little sleep. I love it. So that feeling of relief catches me off guard and I’m not able to explain it for a while.

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September comes, and I am back where I belong, at home, and everything that happened in the summer is safely an ocean away from me. This whole first week goes in euphoria. I have been in hell, and I am out of it. And for a second, it seems everything is right again. I am at home, I have my friends and family around, I have the university. It feels like I’m on top of the world. I have struggled with classes and other things during my university years that far, but now they all seem so much smaller than what I went through during the summer.

If I can do that I can do anything….right?

Wrong.

About 10 days later- 10 really great days of sleeping, resting, and seeing friends, my past finally catches onto the distance. The happiness wears off and I step into the reality. The reality of not having enough money to return my debts, not being able to tell great stories of my over-seas adventure, not being able to sleep or make the money I need.

I tell myself I am trying that fall. I am trying really hard. I keep repeating. I was through the worst, I am here, I can do anything. But it doesn’t work. I don’t have any strength to make it work, no will, no hope. I am so drained, even getting up in the moment feels pointless. Yet, I can’t explain that to anyone, I don’t want to. I just want to forget and move on. So I push myself.

Be positive. Try again. And again. Be positive. Forget. Find a way to turn things around. I don’t turn things around that semester in leave of absence. I just live through the months. I don’t even live. I simply exist. Most of the time, I cry in the bathroom(I feel that I don’t deserve to do it, so I can only let myself feel that way when I’m alone) and get in fights with my mother for no reason at all. I keep lying to myself. There’s no way I can explain the truth about that summer to anyone, so I lie to myself, force myself to be happy and try to find a way to turn things around. Which, considering the fact that I am having very silent, invisible, breakdown- can’t really happen. You can’t fight for a life you want if you can’t find a reason to even keep breathing. And all this time, even with my friends, I push the unhappiness down and I don’t let them see anything is wrong. I have been through the worst and I need to be invincible. I go through that fall the same way I went through the summer- thinking that the moment I get to the spring everything will be different. In the spring, I am going back to my university, which is in another city. Everything I was before is waiting for me there, or so I think.

Meanwhile, that fall, to everyone I know, I have few empty months. My parents want me to get a job, my friends expect me to get an internship. I can’t do either, and I am angry at all of them for no reason, all the time. And all this time I can’t explain why I am so deeply unhappy with everything.

But, unhappy or not, I somehow make it to the end of January, and that means a new semester. And getting back to normal. Fresh start. Or so I say to myself. Because I feel fine.

It’s that moment you know. The moment you have been waiting for. The moment in which you look into your friends eyes and know you are finally home and nothing has changed.

In that exact moment I know, nothing has changed, but I have.

There’s nothing left from the old me, that I can remember.

My life as I know it has changed forever.

And there is no going back.