Coping with Rape-related things in the media

Today, in the middle of my usual Facebook break in between work, I scroll down updates from pages I’ve liked (I do it more than I should, as I am sure a lot of us are guilty of). I’ve been pretty fine lately- even managed a huge work crisis without falling apart, which to me was a big thing. Usually any situation that makes my living feel threatened, sends me for a huge head spin that leads to a lot of panic and very little action. Being this afraid of failing, is paralyzing. But I have been doing good. Really good actually. Still, there are days, and then, on occasion there are the days

So now I’m scrolling in Facebook, and get to update from a newsletter than tends to publish personal stories. It’s about a woman who reported employee of a company for making a rape joke, and he got fired. (makes more sense in context, but my post isn’t about that story really). Suddenly, I’m pale as a sheet(at least I feel that way), my hands are shaking and my ears are filled with noise. I can’t remember how to breathe, let alone what is on my agenda for the day.

I’m not actually trying to make a thing out of this at all; it happens. After the first year(or few) we all learn how to cope with things. If you get injured, even if the place heals well, you’re always a little extra careful. There are times when old injuries still affect you- you get tired faster, or something else. If you have ever been assaulted, even when you recover completely, triggers get to you sometimes. 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

The Minimalist Guide To Recovery

When I started out this blog, I went deeply into research of the issue (i.e. rape, depression, PTSD) and I was trying to encompass everything. Taking care of emotions, going through memories, understanding my reactions, taking care of myself physically, and doing my work.

In other words, I was doing what every busy adult has understood to be a faulty concept- the one that you can do all you want to do in all aspects of your life.

Even work aside, I was in over my head. Continue reading

Of bad things and good consequences

Today is probably the third solely fun day I spend. Just regular day, for most people, I suppose, but for me, it’s a novelty. After spending the past 2 months between panic attacks, flashbacks and depression, a fun day is not what I expect at all.

But after piecing most of that night in my head, and it finally comes to place something changes. Slowly, in waves.

The first one is when I tell the last person for the list of friends that I have not told the truth to yet. I have not spoken to her for 2 months, and that is my only leverage to plead for her to forgive me. We used to live together, and I guess admitting it to her was in a way harder.

After the horrible few second where my heart pounds after I say the words- for a first time pronouncing them in my native language, and not in English, I know something changes. By the end of the conversation- one I have dreaded for weeks- we even manage to get to laughing and talking or regular daily stuff.

The next day I’m weak with relief. And ready for a new version of myself. I have mourned my past, and I’m sure I have more to figure out, but I’m ready to stop waiting around. I can start my knew life, and deal with the rest as I go.

The next surprise comes today. My ex-boyfriend and currently good friend, whom I was dating at some point during the last 2 years, wrote a story, which  included few sentences about the end of our relationship. What he said was not  important- but suddenly I was filled with overwhelming storm of feelings. It didn’t matter what he said- but every memory of the last 2 years was somehow impacted by my abuse, and I suddenly started thinking of it again.

His words from few weeks ago when I finally admitted to him what happened to me rang in my years. He said he’s proud. That I’m not the uncertain, shy girl that was jumpy all the time. I took his words as they were meant- as compliment. Now they rang in my ears as I read his recollection of our relationship. And I suddenly remembered how quick paced, always nervous person I have been, how I always looked people for approval, and was ready to jump from the smallest thing. I guess it was a leftover effect from being bullied in school, or my abusive relationship few years back, or may be I was always that way. I’m not exactly sure.
I think at some point I took it as part of my character.

Now, lately, I realize, even through everything, I have been a lot calmer, confident. I’ve grown a lot. Dealing with the rape took a lot out of me, but apparently made me better than I ever was.

I knew that despite hating what happened that summer, it brought me 2 great things- through connection of events and people it brought me to my current partner, which I love more than I have ever loved anyone before, and that is how I found what I want to work.
So of course, I appreciated that there was something good in the whole situation.

But I never thought that the worse thing in my past my end up making me better person than I have been before.

It’s too bitter irony.