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

Coping mechanisms: TV addictions and other disasters

  There is this moment today, when I have a panic attack, yet again. The panic comes from the fact, that the natural progression of taking few months to recover, is a lot of work past deadline, that I feel ashamed for not finishing. Either way, I am so panicked, that it’s absolutely besides me to be able to work well.

     But today, I choose differently. I take the evening off to relax, and leave the solving for the morning, when I have clear head. Continue reading

{my} Africa

I was going to first do a post on what happened during the last 2 years before I stopped denying my trauma, but if I go chronologically, this post comes before.

This is about the reason I made this blog besides getting over the rape.

This is about who I became and the dream born that very same summer.

*

As I said before, when I went there, I needed to make money. In combination of things, including being in the middle of financial crisis years, I found finding a job increasingly hard. And with everything else happening that summer, in the middle of addiction, abuse, homeless people and gunshots I saw that summer, I knew I had to make choices for myself, and I was reluctant to let this world chew me up and spit me out. I knew I was smart and creative, and I thought I can change things around.

As it turns out, that was too naive of me. I was facing something bigger than the knowledge I had. Either way, I was there, and I had to do something to preserve my sanity.

So I thought- long and hard- of the life I want after I get out of that hell hole. I have been raised not really thinking that I can make a living out of creative things. Artist life was for hobbies, not for actual making living out of it. That summer assured me that life is too short to live it in a way you don’t enjoy.

I wanted to do something creative. I was going to try to do it part time while being there, to make some more money. At first I thought of the most obvious (for me) – making drawings and greeting cards, and trying to sell them to tourists (it was the middle of the summer, I loved drawing, and that made sense)…but in the middle of the emotional turmoil I was feeling, I couldn’t find inspiration to do that. Unlike some people, feeling low usually completely froze me when it came to drawing. I can draw only when happy.
I even tried pushing myself- I went to a crafts store and bought things for drawing in vague attempt to inspire myself. The fact that I spend some of my last money for supplies for something that I wasn’t sure would work, produced the opposite result. But I kept trying and praying.

Drawing did not work out for me. I stopped drawing that summer and none of my attempts to get back to it these 2 years succeeded.  But in my second visit in the store, I completely randomly stopped in the isle with beads and things for creating jewelry- they were all so different and colorful and I was fascinated. I must have been there for an hour, looking through things, materials, books with beading basics…that day I bought my first supplies for jewelry creating.

Later on I will create my own etsy store and decide to sell them online. And it will take 2 years for me to figure out that I want to take it and make it main source of living.

But for that moment, I just bought supplies, not even sure what my plan is, and not knowing much. But between different types of pliers, head pins, and my first pale pink crystal beads, I fall in love with jewelry making.

And 2 years later turns out, it isn’t a fling-it’s a life-long love affair.

p.s. yesterday I missed adding post for the day, but just like missing a day in a diet should now stop you from completing it, I’m not letting this one day derail me from posting each day from now on.

Screams

When there is something important in our lives, something bigger than all we know, it pushes through the walls of our lives. It screams for attention, corroding all the other connections we have build for ourselves, until we are unable to know else. It blinds us from seeing things in perspective and devours all of our knowledge. The things we have known fade and shrink, and blur in comparison, while that one thing screams like an awful spoiled little child, taking it’s toll on our lives.

It grows under our skin and eats up our very being, and while we may not always see it on the surface, we can feel it’s there. And when it has eaten away on our being, only then we want it to stop, only it doesn’t.

By the time a scream reaches the surface the sheer force it gathers is bigger than everything we know. It has build up, slowly, surely, at the place where we haven’t left anything else to grow so far. By that time the scream is so strong that it blocks our thoughts, mutes our hearing, rejects our voice, until we can’t realize there is anything more to life.

By that point, healing is hard, because we can’t fight something so big with a single thought. We need to take our life apart, pick the pieces and connect them again, to allow ourselves to be more. Nice people, nice places, who cares? The noise pulses, pushes to the surface, swallows our understanding of the world, mutates, scrambles our knowledge of things.

Who have we been before now, before then, before the noise? We have pushed all other feelings under water because it hurts too much. But the scream build up of millions of screams over the years can’t be covered up by a moment’s desire for something nice.

Screams are like magnets at the center of our lives. And when we are so drawn to them, and sticking to them, if we realize this isn’t the place for us, we may chose differently. But to do so we need strong will, strong belief. We need to find another center, and build around it, and grow it, until it is big enough to concur the old one. We need to hear its sound and see its colors to know there is something better. Getting to build over is hard, because we have to do it consciously, while screams build in the dark corners of our minds without us noticing. It’s hard because we have to think of every detail, and hear it over the screams, and make conscious choices to get to something better.

In this past 2 months I have pondered over every single detail of that summer, leaving no stone unturned. I cleaned my consciousness, and my memory of all the dirty past gathered in there, and scratched until everything was clean, until everything was squeaky clean, and sore, and bleeding. Every feeling I had pushed down these 2 years had resurfaced and screamed for attention. I got so devoured into that pain I stopped seeing straight. People seemed darker, colors more muted than before. The faith I had was like matches in the dark, minute’s explosions leaving no memory to remind that once I have had a fire in me, keeping me alive and pushing me forwards towards the things I want.

I knew I needed stronger faith that this one, but the pain screaming in me had twisted my view of the world so much, I saw no way to move forward.

Until today.

Until I chose.

I no longer want to live in the dark.

I no longer want to push down my feelings until I can’t avoid them.

I no longer want to live in a glass house, avoiding the outside world, so that I won’t fall again.

I no longer know what I need to do to recover.

It might take thousand things, thousand matches, to regain the kind of faith I have had before.

But through the scream, through the pain, I finally felt something, and I chose.

I want to live.