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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About Mothers and Honesty pt.2

So as I said in Mothers and Honesty pt. 1 , that fall while I was getting over the SA, me and my mom kept having fights; all the time.

At certain point it’s so often, that I forget that I always felt lucky about my parents. I forget that my mom raised me to be her friend and tell her honestly things whatever they are. I forget that just because they have had a rough life doesn’t mean I have to protect them from the bad sides of mine. Somewhere between trying to protect my family from everything bad that ever happened to me, and my own inability to handle the rough patch that I am going through, I forget how to be honest with my mom.

But there’s nothing like SA to give you the sense that you have to protect yourself – at all cost.

Having had that happen from someone you trust gives you the uncontrollable feeling that you don’t know whom you can trust with what anymore. If protecting yourself means being a little distant from your family-so what? If it means somehow getting colder and distant with your friends and never truly letting them in – then that’s what you have to do. It’s not a conscious thought of course. But that is what you do.

And after a while, I stop remembering why I’m fighting with my mom.

I just get angry.

*

All that was 3 years ago. By any counting, I thought it doesn’t matter. After I went back to university, and I got back to my regular life, we slowly stopped fighting as often. Since then, I always felt that we lost some part of the closeness we had. I told myself that it was okay. Sometimes you grow apart with your friends, or your parents. It’s not like there’s anything I can do about it, I told myself, so I have to just get used to it.

I was never quite as honest again. I started not telling my mom what I buy with my money because I thought she would judge. I stopped telling her when I had bigger problem, because I was afraid that adding to their problems would be too much – for her and for me. Sometimes, I vaguely regretted how things were, but the most part I was pretty content with just letting the subject go.

And then I came to this stage of recovery.

There wasn’t any big revelation about it or anything such. It’s not like in movies. For the most part, I don’t think I considered much what I’d say or how. Continue reading

About Mothers and Honesty pt 1.

The fall when I stayed home taking a break from university, and trying to recover from the sexual assault and get out of the depressing world in my head, me and my mom started fighting a lot. There was fighting, and shouting, and crying.

My mom knows too little of my summer, which I have protected her from or so I think, and she keeps giving me this long lectures of why haven’t I gotten that job and why am I not looking for another.

I can not explain myself in any shape or form that would make sense- I’d rather cut my tongue and let all my blood drain that do it. My mom is stressed so she sometimes overreacts about things, to which I have learned to just keep quiet and just let her have at it until she calms. I know I’m fully justified in what I do even if no one sees it. But all of her yelling just increases the pressure I’m under and the constant headache I’ve been having the last months.

I feel like I’ll burst in tears when she does that-but I have no official reason to justify such crying all the time- so I start shouting back, in a high pitched voice that allows me to keep the crying for later, a voice I don’t recognize. Who is that person?

If I knew how, I’d gladly stop, but I can’t. That makes my mom more angry. I don’t blame her- I’m supposed to help them out with money, or study or do something, but all she sees is me watching or reading, or sleeping and seeing people. I’m wasting, not making money, and at a time when they really need them.

BUT I know my reason trumps that, and I know I can’t say it. So I have to make a good performance. It all becomes some very sick cycle.

The anger I have never experienced before has settled in a big cold ball in my stomach, eating away at my strength, growing and taking permanent place there.

The ring of headache around my head closes further and stings with steel spikes into my brain. I can’t take my mom’s rants about money anymore, but I’ve been good girl all my life and look how far it’s gotten me.

So that’s over. I’m gonna do what I need for me. There is no turning back.  I just let her rant, nodding and agreeing with her. I shrug my shoulders- wish I could help, they are saying, but that’s how things are. Won’t apologize for that anymore. Or for anything.

“Your room is messy” A shrug. “You made him feel like that job is beneath you and you are lying around all they and he won’t offer it again, how can you do such idiocy” A shrug.  I’m a wall. Nothing reaches me, I’m too far under to notice. “What are you going to do when we can’t pay your next semester.” Another shrug. There was a time when I thought what I did made a difference. I’ve woken up pretty hard since then.

“Don’t you care about anything? Are you listening to me at all? Say something!” I can’t get out of it with another shrug, so I dig my nails into the chair under the table, until I feel very cold, and dig into my tasteless food with overdone concentration.

That’s not gonna fly so I look up straight at my mom, loosing grip on the anger I have been containing so carefully. My face flushes in red. “It’s not like you ever hear what I have to say anyway, or that you care about what I want. You just care whether I have that stupid job. Why would you pay for me to get to university if you want me to get such job at the end?” That will backfire and I know that it will the moment I say it but I can’t stop myself.

That fall we have that fight over and over again, along with all kinds of other fights, and I can’t stop. I’m not an angry person, I tell myself…yet for a reason I don’t understand, I can’t stop shouting at my mom….

*

Note:

In a post few weeks back, I mentioned that I have decided to leave this blog.

Truth is, there are stages of recovery that I am going through, that are a lot easier than what I went through last year. Some of them are nice, some of them are still hard. There are things I wish someone had told me in the beginning of my recovery, and so I wish to share such things with all of those who will stumble upon my blog.

I guess even if someone had told me those things I wouldn’t have heard them, but I want to say this nonetheless. I started this blog for a reason, and may be I am not finished with the reason yet.

But don’t get me wrong.

This post isn’t about what rape did to my relationship with my mom. It’s more about what has happened since. However, I can’t fit that into 1 post because it’s too long. So this is it for now.

And so I’m back with more stories about my recovery.

Yours, Atlanta

Honesty

Honesty is brutal.

Honesty can be dirty, nosy, so bad that we simply turn away and run. But what I have been going through for the past 2 months is more cruel than honesty, it’s more hard. Living 2 lives can be tough. Especially when someone asks you why are you not doing something, and you can not answer them, because the answer is so deep, so personal, that it would break you, to even say a word. Continue reading