Living in a world where very few understand the way I see or feel things can be hard. The way things happen in my head are like a ripple effect into other things, that ripple into other things, that cause forbidden memories, that spark unwanted feelings, that cause unwanted pain, that cause damage, and in the end leave me where I am now.
Back in a therapy room. Wondering…
How did I get here?
Why does not one person understand me?
Why did this happen to me?
My therapist gave me a project. She asked me to write about how things that happen in my life, the things I am running from or avoiding right now and how I react are different from those who are not in my shoes. I love this because, nothing is the same. I am not the same person I once was. The girl I once knew before I was raped, is no longer.
When I think of all the things that have changed, my first thought goes back to how I feel about myself. When I look at myself on my worse days, I wonder… Do all men see me as an object to take advantage of my body? Do all men look at me with the intention to forcefully push themselves into my sacred space without any intention of asking, or making sure that I am first Ok. I remember a time when on my worse days; of course these visions are very vivid, that I felt always powerful and in charge. I knew that I was in charge of the way I felt. When I think back to who I was before I see an innocent, naive, outspoken, carefree girl that no one could stop. I was unstoppable. Never had I once thought about what a man saw, or if I was going to be taken advantage of.
I stay in the comfort of my own home these days because I fear walking outside and being cat called. I struggle with someone calling me out of my name and not knowing anything about me. I fear that being cat called is just a door way to many other possibilities. My train of thought may not make sense to some, but to me it does. It goes something like this. When someone cat calls me… what if I deny them, will be they angry? What if I ignore them and they get so mad that they follow me home, what if they follow me home and I forgot to lock my door, or they break in and I am again raped? What if… and then the cycle starts from there. When I have brought this chain of thought to my friends who have never been assaulted, they look at me as if I am crazy. I promise, I am not crazy. I cannot help that my brain is conditioned to think that things can spiral out of control, and people can do things out of anger, or impulse and somethings that people cannot control can harm people.
I am living proof.
I see so many women on social media putting their bodies out there and being confident and beautiful. A piece of me is screaming for them to keep it up and to continue, and then a piece of me is screaming when I go to the comment section. No! Don’t let them objectify you. How can you post something that allows people to comment like that. Even though I know, these things don’t matter. My train of thought looks like this. If we post pictures that allow people to critique us in a way society seems inappropriate then we are open bate. When we are open bate, people in society will claim we deserved what was going to us. When in reality we do not deserve demeaning, hurtful comments about anything we do. I want to save the world, its in my nature. But, rape happens. Men cannot control themselves and I don’t want any woman to go through what I went through. This idea is confusing for me. Because, I want women to be proud and confident, but I also don’t want to see them be objectified. When I explain this to others, they get lost in my translation and tell me I mean well and to not worry about other people. But, what I think they are missing is I am trying to find a way to create balance, and to separate what happened to me from my current existence.
Sleeping at night, is different. There are some nights I go to bed with his face in the forefront of my mind. I toss and I turn and I can’t sleep. When I close my eyes, there that face it. This dark face, asking me “are you okay”, he even went as far as to say “you don’t think I raped you, do you?” I don’t think anymore needs be said about the difference in how I sleep vs. someone who hasn’t been through such a trauma. Imagine, sleeping next to someone who isn’t there physically but mentally holds a space in your mind. Sleeping with the enemy has never carried so much weight.
Intimate relationships. This one. I fucking suck at being intimate. I allow myself to settle for less than what I deserve because as long as he hasn’t raped me than I am doing alright. I know I am a Queen worthy of all things great. There are days I have to remind myself that I am worthy, even when I have a man sitting next to me who has failed to do so. I remember my hands being held above my head, his grip tight on my wrist I couldn’t break free and my head was shaking no, tears rolling down my face and I was saying please no… and it didn’t matter. To this day, if a man even grasp my wrist too tightly, I return back to a place I never want to be. My body freezes, I go into a state of panic. I am strong enough now, that I can use my coping skills to come back to reality and remember where I am and who I am with. This hasn’t always been the case. I have ran into a different room in fear of the person I was laying next too because I was so scared. Then I have to explain, it wasn’t your fault, you didn’t do anything. It is embarrassing to be the girl with issues and baggage. But its here and its real. Take me as I am or leave me.
I never wanted children or a family, but as I grow into a different woman and find that my soul craves one person that understands me I find myself yearning for another. My body, my mind, my spirit cannot take anymore abuse or pain. I just wish one person despite their life situation, the stress, everything would just say, its you. I could wake up next to you everyday and I couldn’t imagine life any other way. I want this because I feel broken and damaged and no man after my assault has ever fought to keep me around or when given the chance proven they respect and cherish me. Not because I need the validation, but because I just don’t want to keep running into all the wrong people. If you meet me and spend time with me and you don’t say this is the girl I know I could spend my life with, then I am not sure you’re the one for me. I don’t want someone to second guess me. I have been drug through the ground, abused, raped, cursed at, yelled at, you name it. I don’t need or have time for second guessing and more damage. I remember a time I wanted a man because I was lonely, or I wanted attention. I mean, I still want attention, but now I want it for different reasons. I just want someone who loves my flaws. Unconditionally.
I feel as if there is so much more I could talk about an say, but I will leave this here for tonight and give myself a breather. Even though writing helps me, it takes a lot for me to share my mind on these things.
Everyday I get better. I am always strong, but sometimes with weak moments. They never last too long.