Rape & Recovery: Preparing to tell my mom

“My mom saw the drawing as well, and said it was good, but perhaps too dark in emotion.

That was a perfect opportunity. Last year I would have bailed, but that was my chance.

I didn’t tell my mom what happened to me, but I did tell her that I had such emotions and I can’t always be cheerful.

I proceeded to tell her that I have before sheltered her from some things when I can, but that now I’m an adult. And as an adult, I want honesty in my life, and I don’t want to filter anything.

It was a clear message: no more lies, no more spinning the truth, and no more lying about bad things. I WANT honesty in my life.”

As you all know, there has been a good portion of years around what happened to me, in which I avoided the idea of telling my mom, as if it would set me on fire. I guess in full honesty, I did it half for her (to spare her the pain) and half for me (I was too drained to deal with emotions that anyone but me is having). In any case, once in university, I had spared my mom some bad moments, thinking I was protecting her. So by the time the rape happened, and things got a lot harder and darker, I started sparing her anything remotely bad- even me having the flu. It’s a bad cycle to be in. Until that time, we had the type of relationship where I could share anything. Pushing down all my emotions wasn’t good.

Anyway, somewhere down the line last year, I started occasionally attempting to admit a truth. I said when I was sick, I said when I had some other problems.

It wasn’t a huge thing, but it was still a big step considering.

Still, when it comes to a lot in my life, I am still pretty much leading a double life, and it’s exhausting. I bet there are people that live like this all their life, I’m sure of it- people with incurable conditions that they don’t want known, people to whom something happened and they never admitted a word. I’m not saying that I want everyone knowing- but I don’t want to hide so much, all the time anymore. A lot of who I was, who I always wanted to be, was based on honesty, and such thing weight on me. I didn’t tell a lot of my friends that I was raped, at least for year and a half after. I never told my mom I was depressed and why. In my dance classes, for the first months, I had too many panic attacks to count. I often had to stop in the middle of class, and just watch. Who knows what people thought- people that are now friends- especially when I often said I was dizzy or sick. Anyway. Then there is the other problem. I’m an artist. And I do, I write bad things, but that isn’t venting for me…in drawing however, I’m often unable to draw anything sad, or scary, or dark.

Again, I’m not saying I want to tell everyone- but for someone who wants to be an artist, someone who would like to lead honest lifestyle…I’ve pretty much been concealing all I can. With other people. With myself. At some point you forget that you wanted to be honest at all. The brain is like a sponge. The actions you take may not be who you are…but they always leave a mark.

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Getting through the Storm

“Right now, you aren’t making difference between fantasy and reality.” I look at the counselor, not so convinced.

The reality of what happened, it’s engraved in my memory, in every scar on my skin, in every night I wake from nightmares. What does she know?

*

That was 2 years ago, when I went to a counselor, to get help so that I wouldn’t want to drink all the time anymore. It helped, even though I never told her that the main reason that I want to drink is the broken memories I had of my rape, and trying to move on as if it never happened.

*

People are learned constantly that we need roots. Familiar things. That in a hard situation you have to try to contain your life in normal routine. When we get into a situation which is hard but we have no control over, we hold onto what we know, until the storm passes.

But no one tells you what do you do if the storm doesn’t pass.

*

Let’s rewind a bit.

That summer.  Continue reading

2. Starting recovery


Sometimes, you start the right thing for the wrong reason or for no reason at all. Sometimes in the midst of a nightmare, you find something to hold on to. In retrospect, the reason doesn’t matter. The reason has no meaning when that one thing is the one thing that keeps you holding onto life.

Until things get better. Or if they do.

         It’s the past August and I have just realized, my life is falling apart. I have just graduated, I have an internship at a great place, and I’ve just recently fallen in love with the perfect person for me(we are still together and crazy for each other)- so you can see how that would come as a surprise. But when you realize that you’ve stopped caring enough to brush your teeth or hair, food has become a chore, and you cry all the time…that has to give you heads up.

I’m breaking down. You’re too weak to deny it anymore. Continue reading

1. Awareness

It all begins 5 months ago, which was exactly about 2 years after my SA.

There is no problem. I have no problem. Nothing really big happened that summer. I’m completely fine all the time. I mean minus the nightmares, not-sleeping, not-eating and feeling everything is completely pointless.

That first week back from working as an intern at a festival at the sea, I know something is changing in me. There is part of me that has enjoyed immensely the sea, the new people and memories, and that wants to save the experience and try to build from it. But there is the other part of me. The part I have pushed down for way too long. That festival, it has pushed me to the limit, and I can’t continue to deny what I have for 2 years.

 I can’t, but I have to. The free week I have until I’m back at work is enough to get myself together, or so I say to myself.

Tough love baby! I just gotta make it through few more weeks of work.

I’ve made it 2 years, swimmingly, this is a baby job, I can do it in my sleep.

*

That one week I circle the apartment like a ghost. I don’t call my best friend, or my other friends, they don’t even know I’m back yet. I go out to buy food, I skype with my partner who is then back at his city. I sleep and circle the apartment like a ghost, trying to get myself ready for the coming week. 

But I am not ready, not even a bit.  Continue reading