My therapist asked “Do you feel ready? We can go at your own pace.” My response? ‘I think I’ve always been ready. Just scared. So, if we went at my pace, we’d only be treading water.’ I don’t want to tread water anymore. I need to be pulled farther out in the ocean so I can learn to swim back to shore on my own. Sure there are sharks and other dangers lurking beneath the surface. But, I need to learn to deal with them.
I need to get a little ground beneath my feet. But first, I need to separate from it.
I’ve been struggling with the decision to post my entire story on my blog. I think it’s time to see the horizon and stare down the truth.
I’m scared. I’m scared to get back into this. I conveniently stopped going to therapy for one reason or another right when things were about to get really tough. My story was just read and now the real work should begin/have begun.
I’m scared. I’m scared of what’s to come. I can’t even read the book I was dying to get, that I’ve now had, untouched, for six months. I bring it everywhere. In the hopes I can read it some time. Even just a little part of it. The intro. The beginning. Hell, even the references. Anything. But, I haven’t read a single word. My love for the book hasn’t waned. The love for me? Has.
I’m scared. I’m scared I can’t do this.
Journal Activity p. 32
What is your definition of recovery and how will you know when it has happened?
My definition of recovery isn’t something that I would have happen. Recovery to me is the process in which one works through a specific issue (or ten). Being recovered would sound more appropriate.
I’ll know it has happened when:
-I don’t think about It every day
– When I can have a normal, healthy sex drive
– When my heart doesn’t stop when something, anything having to do w/ sexual assault is mentioned, no matter how vague.
– When I can tell others my story proudly and in a positive manner.
– When shame, guilt, blame ect, are not part of me anymore.
Ten years ago today, i was broken. for the final time. I will not be broken anymore.
Note on this post, and every post for that matter: I answer these journal activities as they relate to ME. My opinions are towards myself, NOT OTHERS. I may think one thing is true for myself, while the exact opposite is true for others, in fact, that’s the story of my recovery.
Journal Activity page 15
“What is the difference between a Victim and a Survivor?”
In my opinion a victim is someone who has something negative happen to them, which is NOT THEIR FAULT. Whereas a survivor lives through something, negative or positive, no matter who’s fault it was.
I consider myself a survivor by that definition, only because I don’t see what happened as not my fault. However, to further what a victim may be, which I do consider myself to be, is weak and someone who hasn’t “gotten over” what happened.
I don’t truly see myself as a survivor though. When I hear the word “survivor” I think of someone who is strong and gotten through bad times and doesn’t dwell on them.
“How do you think you will recognize the point when you have transformed from victim to survivor?”
I don’t know if I will ever really transform to a full blown survivor. Although I guess I would have to be able to think about, or even speak about, all the negative things without it being a problem and not bothering me immensely. I’d also like to be able to help others, so when I’m ready to do that, it will be a sure sign that I have become a survivor.
This exercise was to write a letter to my past self, where i knew i would be raped the next day but could not change any of it. The first sentence was given as well as the first part of the second. This is what I wrote…
Dear Trusting One,
“Tomorrow something is going to happen to you that will change your life. What I want you to know about it is…” you will survive. You will be raped because you finally trusted in (insert name). He’s going to be so sweet, no one would have said no to his plan. It’s ok that you didn’t. You’ll be confused and unsure of everything. You won’t know exactly what’s going on until it’s too late. You will walk around and go about your business in a complete daze for quite some time. That’s okay. It might be better than feeling. Don’t bother looking for confirmation, it will just compound everything. You’ll want to act out sexually for a while. That’s okay as long as you wear protection. Always. Take your body back. It does not belong to anyone but you regardless of what you may feel or think. No amount of sex is going to change that. You’ll want to tell your therapist about what happened. But, don’t. She will only make it worse. Call rape crisis hotlines until you find one that aren’t jackholes. You will find one. Other than talking to them don’t bother talking to or reaching out for anyone or trusting anyone until you move home. Which you will. So don’t try to kill yourself. At all. Not even once. It won’t work anyways. It never works. Just survive one day at a time until the pieces fall into place in Massachusetts.
In 16 days, exactly, it will be ten years since I was raped. I have kept silent for nearly all those years. It’s deafening. I will NOT be kept quiet anymore. Do you hear that? It’s the shattering of silence.
And so I’m going to step into the netherworld, my most private writings becoming public. Writing I never thought I would do, once painstakingly written on a piece of lined loose leaf binder paper. Every time I close the binder I hear the shattering of silence.
I’m not sure I will write another blog entry like this. From here on out, the entries might just be of my writing that I’ve done in this process. With the help of my therapist, Val, I am going through Resurrection After Rape by Matt Atkinson (www.resurrectionafterrape.org). If you’re not familiar with it, there are a lot of journal exercises which I am doing my best to complete. Each one shatters the silence.
In short, this blog will be my journey. If you choose to keep reading, you’ll be watching the shattering silence.