Getting through the Storm

“Right now, you aren’t making difference between fantasy and reality.” I look at the counselor, not so convinced.

The reality of what happened, it’s engraved in my memory, in every scar on my skin, in every night I wake from nightmares. What does she know?

*

That was 2 years ago, when I went to a counselor, to get help so that I wouldn’t want to drink all the time anymore. It helped, even though I never told her that the main reason that I want to drink is the broken memories I had of my rape, and trying to move on as if it never happened.

*

People are learned constantly that we need roots. Familiar things. That in a hard situation you have to try to contain your life in normal routine. When we get into a situation which is hard but we have no control over, we hold onto what we know, until the storm passes.

But no one tells you what do you do if the storm doesn’t pass.

*

Let’s rewind a bit.

That summer.  Continue reading

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

{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.

Spring – Cleaning for Your Brain

For most people, they may never get to that process. For many people, thinking so much over every single detail of what they do and how they do it, is too much over-thinking, when life is complicated enough as it is.

But for everyone who has been through trauma, we all go through this process eventually, with or without counselor/ psychologist. We deny what happened, cover it up, find a way to live with it, like a dirty secret, and learn to live with the overflowing ripple effects of hiding it in the corner of our brain.

Until the day comes, where it catches up with us, and we finally start dealing with it. And just like a room which hasn’t been cleaned in years, there is a lot of dirt. A LOT. What happened, how it happened, how we reacted, things we did or didn’t do because of that, guilt, pain, denial, weakness…We don’t want to see those things, which is why they have ended up piling in a corner in a first place. But, sooner or later, we all get to cleaning them.

I got to start doing that 2 months ago, and for these 2 months, for the most part, it seemed like I’m cleaning and cleaning without any obvious effect. Until yesterday that is.

Here is the thing.

When they recommend over and over again in the glossy magazines to do spring cleaning of your house, they never mention how dirty work spring cleaning is. We all want to see our floors and rooms and shelves clean and ordered, but mostly none of us want to drag through mud to get to them, and dealing with traumas is close to our brain’s equivalent to that.

Dealing with my own recovery, I’ve tried to make it clean-cut. Research all I can on the topic, talk to enough people, have good support system, try to take good physical care of myself. But, while none of us want to admit it, recovery, as spring cleaning, is a dirty job. It requires going deeper into our psychology than we would like to, flipping through things that we would like to pretend are not there.

And after all the scrubbing of my soul I did lately, yesterday, I finally started seeing clean surface. It was the first time in months, in years, I really slept. Not to forget or avoid something, not with troubling dreams, not because I was too exhausted or drunk. I just slept, like a baby.

And when I woke up, for a first time, I had energy to start planning my future again, and to see I had one.

For a first time, I looked the color of the sky, and didn’t feel like I was doomed to never enjoy it again.

For a first time, I had the energy to order and clean, and workout, and talk to people, and feel excited about it.

And for a first time in a while, the shroud of pain broke, and I began to see.

I’m sure I haven’t cleaned all I have to, and I have long and bumpy road of me, but I know I made another step. I know it hasn’t been pointless. I know that cleaning unsettling things, even when it hurts like hell and takes forever, it still has a point.

I’m sure I have a thousand more steps to full recovery, but for a first time I’m strong enough to know I can take them, one by one.

I have done more thinking lately than some people do most of their lives, and I’m happy about it. Most of it, the dirt of it, has involved a lot of thinking of my rape. But beyond that, in the tiny part of my brain where I still had hope in tomorrow, I thought a lot of the life I want to have, where do I want to be and what do I want to do. I know how it feels to not have reason to live.

So now that I do, I’m never going to live a life of excuses. I’m not going to work something I don’t enjoy(well, may be temporarily), or lose time being concerned with people I don’t even know. My brain went to way too dark places in these years. If I get out of this, I have no excuses to life unhappily. Life is too short for that.