Rebuilding my confidence and my life after rape

 

 

There is this moment while I’m in THAT summer, the one where I got abused, and the one where all my ethical and moral beliefs crashed. I have lost myself. I’m hurt, I’m bruised, I’m emotionally and mentally tired. I run out of my house in some childish fit, unable to control myself. I circle the streets I know, and I walk. I walk randomly and with no direction. I walk until I can’t feel my legs. I watch straight in front of me, pale like a ghost, scared to face what happens if I stop walking and actually think about what happened to me.

The word of it, the formulation, r-a-p-e, doesn’t even occur to me.

I always had those ideas about things, you know? You think you know, even if you hadn’t experienced something, you think you know how awful it is. Some of us get close to the truth. What happened to me feels much bigger than that. What a fool I was! Have I known anything til that moment, anything at all? Had I really thought education was going to help me have a brighter life, get as far away as I can from the bad things in life? Stupid, stupid girl. What is happening to me?

That summer, I do and say a lot of things that aren’t quite me. That summer, and every moment after that. Something within me has snapped, broken, torn. I have no idea what it is, but I can’t find logic in anything at that point. I can not find as many reasons to stop myself from things that I have previously found low, unethical, immoral, wrong. But my body hurts, and my soul hurts, everything I can feel is just pain. Some things just stop making sense.

You would think that this is the moment my faith really starts to waiver, but it wasn’t.

It’s not when I am laying bruised on my bed in a foreign country, wondering when will it end. It’s not when I go home and I can’t handle anyone touching me, or coming close near me. It’s not when writing my home works and going to parties stop making sense, or I stop recognizing my body in the mirror. It’s not when I try to make out with a guy, and completely freeze. It’s when I have graduated, started a good relationship, move to a new place where I feel safe and at home. It’s when I start dancing, and meeting new people, and making money online, as I have dreamed of for a while. It’s when all the things that I have wanted start happening, and I can finally feel SAFE.

It’s when I stop waking up panicking that the relative security I have in the dormitories or back in my parents house will be gone soon. It’s when I start living again. I have spend 2 years having nightmares, running from the truth, or dealing with it, and trying to rebuild my life. I have spend 2 years, knowing that everything can fall apart any moment.

The moment I am SAFE, that is the moment I fully loose any shred of faith I was holding onto.

Continue reading

The Illusion of Control pt.2

In the last post I told you about where trying to regain ALL control led me.

Now, after a long talk with my partner and a lot of thinking, I start to realize the duality in what I’ve been trying to do.

I have been trying to accept that I have made a mistake- hurricane sized mistake- and I am living in the twisted aftermath of trying to fix it and constantly failing. I keep living with that sense that all in my life is consequential of what I do. That the rape wouldn’t have happened if I’d done things differently. That I could have made more money if I just pushed myself a bit more. That I could finish my BA degree in a very small city and at the same time get enough money to pay off my debts. I’ve accepted that I did everything wrong and for 2 years I wrecked my brain trying to fix it.

The truth is, we don’t have full control over everything.

You can’t stop airplane crash, or predict that it will happen. Even if you do everything right, even if you go to self defense classes, never walk alone in the dark and all that, you can’t always prevent an attack. There will always be someone stronger. And even if you are fully certain in a job and take out loans, the economy can crash, you can get fired, and your security is done.

That seemed like a depressing thought.

I thought, that is awful, scary. That means, it makes no difference what you do. Bad things can still happen. It doesn’t matter if you are bigger, stronger, smarter, have more money. Your life can fall apart in a minute. Continue reading

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

Between two worlds

Lately, I’m living 2 lives. I have done that before, I have. Only then, I was living my real life- job, classes and friends and all that, dreaming about a life I couldn’t get, because I thought I was damaged forever. And those 2 lives, the made cracks in me, and in those cracks I began to look back in the past, and I couldn’t be in denial anymore.

I am starting to live 2 lives again, only this time, it isn’t a bad thing. Things in life are always the same, but it depends on where we are coming from how we are going to view them. Last time I was lost. May be looking back at the past wasn’t such a bad thing, because I needed to do it, but it did hurt. All these time, 2 years, I kept thinking, I didn’t have faith. I lost my faith, I lost my ability to dream.

I didn’t lose my ability to dream. I always knew exactly what direction I wanted to take, and felt no remorse for taking it, even when it was hard. Now, even in my worst moments, even when I couldn’t make sense of things, I still knew what direction I want to take. I just couldn’t do it.

That wasn’t loss of faith. That was loss of life force. Continue reading

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.