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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Happiness and Recovery

I’m traveling with the bus tonight, smiling widely, my heart overflowing with happiness. I have had a great day, devoid of the shadows of the past and filled with nice new memories. I don’t mind the gloomy tired people sitting next to me on the bus, or the cold. It’s been a while since I’ve been walking and smiling like this. Nothing can get to me. The city is dark blue, and orange from the street lights, filled with urban smells, and stressed out people, but it’s beautiful and it’s alive. Parts of my past are still here, in my family, in this city and I have dreaded them- but I’ve been stronger than them. I feel beautiful and free and strong and happy and loved. Untouchable. The air is filled with endless possibilities of great days and grand adventures in the future.

At that moment the sadness cuts through me and my heart shatters to pieces.

And I think of that moment 3 years back when that guy had his hand on my mouth and I couldn’t move however I tried. And my heart hurts, shatters.

*

To all of you who have been through something big and life- changing, something huge and sad that broke your heart, I’m sure you know what I mean. It’s that vague inexplicable feeling of getting sad every time you allow yourself true happiness and freedom. That feeling when you feel free, and alive, and strong and happy despite of anything, those moments when you barely remember anyone ever hurt you- those moments used to be your birthright. And then something happened- or someone- and you think you can never again let yourself feel so, because if you do, crashing on the ground next time will be much, much harder.

I’ve fought this feeling, thinking that if I refuse the sadness to overtake me, it will go away.

Instead, avoiding it closed my heart, and made me afraid of having a good time.

Stop running. May be a friend of yours died. May be you were in a car crash. May be you got your heart broken by someone you trusted. May be you lost a friend. I was raped. And I felt that exact same way, we all do when something like this happens.

Like your life was cut open, turned around. Like someone exposed you to the world and left you alone, vulnerable, betrayed, and somehow worse than you were before. And you think, if you let yourself feel sadness when you finally drag your way up to happiness again, may be you weren’t truly happy and may be you won’t ever be so.

But I think I was wrong in this.

I think it’s okay to be sad. I have lost something, when this guy attacked me all those years back. It’s okay to be sad in the midst of happiness. Doesn’t mean you aren’t happy. It means, you’re letting emotions out. Be happy. Be free. Be afraid of that, sad, heartbroken that despite all your “good sense” your heart has decided to take the fall again and be free, taking the risk of everything and nothing. Be happy. Be delirious. Cry if you feel like it, and then, let it go.

It’s natural to feel that way. Let it be. You went through something hard- be good to yourself. Be happy. Let the sadness run through you, and run out. Feel it, and let it be.

And then smile again.

Because it’s okay.

To feel, again.

To live, again.

To be happy, again.

To trust, even if you get hurt again.

It’s okay.

Let it be.