Rape, Deflection and a Good Night Sleep

For the past year, despite all the other progress I have made with recovery, I have struggled to go to sleep on my own. My boyfriend goes to sleep later than me (we live together), and that means one of two things- I either do something (anything) until I am so exhausted than I have to fall asleep, or I watch.

I tell myself it’s because I got myself into this horrible habit of watching too much, and I’m not sure how to stop.

That, while it is the truth, is not the full truth.

I started this blog few years back, working through my issues of being raped. When I began writing, I couldn’t even say the word rape out loud. The first time I said it, I cried for hours.

Since then, I have written in forums, I have read books on recovery, I have written on here, I have gone to counselling, and for the most part, I have shared with the people I wanted to share it with. I have taken big leaps; put myself together, started a new life. Other than the first few months when I wrote on here very often, I have been writing on here only on occasion, when I had something to share.

And here is the BUT. While sharing, in so many way, has been so helpful at first, it’s now also restricting my recovery.

It feels as if sharing it, talking about what happened, would always be a release, a way to get rid of any leftover feelings I have. While that’s true sometimes…sometimes it’s deflection.

I’m not taking feelings out each time (though there was one time lately when I did share and that was a whole LOT of feelings). I’m rather…telling a story. It has me as the main heroine, and it’s deep and sad and profound. Except, I have said it so many times at this point, in so many ways, that telling it again is like a rehearsed speech. It’s nice feeling support, and sharing, but all that talking, it’s just deflection for my real feelings. See, I am telling what happened; in the past. It’s an old story, one I’ve moved on from, and as such my feelings about it aren’t quite as new. And because it’s a long story, I never get to my current feelings about it.

I write on here, but by sharing my previous experiences I avoid talking about the fact that there are feelings that linger even now. I avoid it so well I don’t even know what I’m doing, until I reach the evening. And I’m alone. In bed.

If I allow myself to be alone with my thoughts, I’ll know the truth.

I will know that I’m not anymore sad about what happened in general. I’ve chewed over it again, and again, because it’s easier. Because I am sharing old feelings. I don’t allow myself to accept that while I can be happy with my new life now, I can still sometimes be sad, or triggered, or have flashbacks. I know it’s natural, I just don’t allow myself.

I will know that sometimes I am so deeply sad, in a way that can’t be shared. In a way that doesn’t require long talks with resolution, because there isn’t anything to resolve. I’m just sad; I have to let it be. I can use a hug at those times, with no words attached to it, just warmness. I can use not talking, because then I can just feel however I’m feeling, and still know I’m not alone in it.

I will know that I’m sad that so many times when I feel certain way about a part of what happened, I have no way to share that. That I’m not sad for the things I do tell others, but for those things that I can’t; the things that I can’t digest, or which I can’t share because I need to share with the person the background story first.  Or because the person I’m sharing with is my friend, and I don’t want them to worry. Or because… Continue reading

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Falling and Handling Triggers pt. 1

“You want to try?” asks the dance teacher instructor. “Hold onto my hands and let yourself fall”

I start panicking, my heart racing. I look at her, unable to say yes or no. In my head, I don’t see the other students around me attempting to fall without hurting themselves. I feel hands holding mine and pushing me; I feel me falling down, rather like a sack of something and not like a human, and hitting something hard through the fog surrounding my brain. Continue reading

One step forward, two steps back

For couple of weeks during the summer, full of a lot of work, it finally comes down on me- the life I chose, the things I’ve been through…. I’m not completely sure why I’m going back to that, but after these couple of weeks I end up completely drained. I have no more power to fight it. The harder we run from something, the stronger it comes to hunt us, and I have never ran from something as much, my entire life. And so, I come down to dealing with it. Between panic attacks, flashbacks, crying, depression, ptsd, lots and lots of talking and thinking and taking walks, I lose myself, more then ever. I lose sight of whom or what I’m doing this for, or whether I moving forward. I lose a sight of ever being in another situation.

Sometimes I have the feeling I am moving forward, and sometimes, I’m simply drowning. I lose sight of the shore…which, as they tell me is a good thing. And so it all comes to this week, these days, when one morning I look out of the window and I realize that the fall is coming. I have lived through the summer, and my nightmares. I have work piled up to my ears. And all I can think of is: when did it become fall?

I have been so focused on getting through the days, that I have missed when the seasons changed. And most of the days I have this familiar, yet foreign feeling, that I’m not sure if I’m going forward or backwards. Even if you don’t have that literal meaning in you- you have to accept and get through your past, to move forward- I keep taking steps, and sliding backwards every once in a while. But unlike in theory, where math shows you that 2 steps backwards, and one step forward should equate to being one step back after all, life’s calculations aren’t exactly such.

Because in life, the real true fact that matters is which are the steps taken. Sure, I spend another 2 hours trying to create something for my business, only to break down again, and let go for the night. I did create one thing though. That’s a start. Yesterday, I mostly didn’t have such a great day- I had another flashback, which led to a short breakdown on my part. I also did not finish the work I had for the day- 2 steps back.

Meanwhile however, I met with one of my best friends. I had recently told her the truth about my rape, and spend few half-awkward half-nice meetings with her. In the past 2 years, between my not-talking about anything while I was in denial, and us often being in different countries, we lost touch a lot, and even though meeting occasionally was still the same, I missed the day to day deep talks we used to have. Now, few meetings where we talked about random stuff happening to us, and I was somewhat telling her the hell I was going through, we are finally back. Back to being the kind of friends that can talk every day and always have what to say. If I feel bad I don’t have to lie to her anymore. But we can also talk about nothing and everything. We are back to being as close as we were.

So, in the math of life, I think I have gained. Sure, another somewhat fruitless day, and memories I’d rather not have. But the times are this way. I’ve been having such days for months. And despite all, I think I will be out of them soon. But on the way, what is a missed day, compared to having gained back my best friend? That’s priceless.