From my journal…
“I feel like I am a ticking time-bomb and I am not sure when I’ll explode. Mostly, I feel okay, and, at times, I can even ‘forget’ about what’s really going on. What makes this so hard is not knowing when things will happen. I put this quote on my Facebook this morning:
“There is sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousands tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief and unspeakable love.” ~Washington Irving
If this is true, that tears are not a sign of weakness, but one of power, then I must be the weakest person on the planet. I certainly do not feel like I have any power at all. I have understood for a long time that I have no control over anything but my reaction to things. In this case, I can’t even control my reaction because my brain chemistry is all messed up. I feel more out of control than ever. And I look fine to the outside world. When I look in the mirror I still don’t see the real me. I’m not sure where she is. Perhaps locked away until it is safe to reemerge?
Kim recommended I watch some YouTube videos about sexual assault in the military. The one thing I took away from “Angie’s Story’ was her saying that PTSD does NOT go away on its own, that without help, you will always suffer. Also, that it took a year (oh, crap) for her symptoms to fully manifest. So then I think, okay, fine, I’ll just go about my life until that happens, except that isn’t how it’s working. It’s like I am half in, half out. I can’t move forward, I can’t pretend or will myself past this, so I sit, stuck in the now. The fact that I get out of bed every day is quite an accomplishment because all I really want to do is stay there. Right now, the symptoms I do have are manifesting themselves as depression, though I am not depressed. Going on an anti-depressant doesn’t seem the way to go because it will be masking the very feelings I need to feel in order to move through the trauma. Talk about a catch-22.
And then I go back to the fact that I wasn’t actually raped, that, really, I wasn’t hurt very badly at all, that physically I’m healed, so why aren’t I healed emotionally and mentally?
I am so close to starting to write about this on my A Little of This That and the Other blog. I feel like I am alone and I know that’s crazy. I am feeling an overwhelming urge to talk and write about this on a much larger scale than I have already. I think the biggest ‘issue’ I am having is reconciling what is going on with what I believe. If I believe everything happens for a reason, that there are no mistakes, no accidents or no coincidences, then what happened, happened for a reason. That I can accept. And I’m pretty sure the reason is to move me to the next chapter in my life. I get that, and can even be grateful. What I am NOT getting is why I cannot override the negative with the positive? Why, even as I’m saying the words, the opposite feelings are what keep showing up? Why I am unable to ‘will’ what it is I want? Why, if our thoughts create our future, that what I think today, creates my tomorrow, what thoughts did I think to bring this violence into my life? I KNOW I never thought these thoughts. And, really, how much trauma can I possibly endure without checking out completely? Yes, I am determined to stick around AND I can’t help but think I have already passed my breaking point, and so far, have been stronger than that very small part of me that doesn’t want to stay, that doesn’t want to be here. When does it get better? When does the pain stop? All I can think right now is the pain is so unbearably acute that I can’t feel it at all, that that’s the reason I’m not crying, the reason I can’t allow myself to feel anything. For now, I guess that going through the motions is as much an accomplishment as anything. I am doing the best I can and I feel like I’m not doing much of anything. Round and round I go.
9:45a What if I really don’t deserve to be happy? What if only certain people are destined to have all they want and the vast majority are meant to lead lives of mediocrity? To be forever searching, but never finding? To always be mostly unhappy? This is a world that I do NOT want to live in and a reality that I cannot, no WILL NOT, accept. With God, all things are possible. It doesn’t say, with God, some things are possible or a few things or even most things. It says ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. I have to believe this. I cannot, and will not, let one incident in my entire life determine or dictate who I am and how I’ll live the rest of my life. No way, not how. And still, I wonder…
12 noon – Well, I did it. I made it official. I posted on my blog, came out to the world, so to speak. I declared my intention to write, although I mentioned photography first, and then writing. No matter, it’s out.”
It’s funny, in an interesting, ironic way, that I ‘came out’ about my desire and intention to write, but made no mention of the impetus behind it. And going through my journal of that time last year is actually a lot more difficult that I thought it would be. At the time, I both knew and didn’t have a clue as to what I was really going through. I so wanted to be healed and finished with the entire process, never realizing that length of time it would ultimately take. Looking back, I think I thought if I didn’t ‘hurry up and get better’ that that meant I was weak or that there was something far worse wrong with me than ‘just’ having been sexually assaulted. Remember, this was only 5 weeks or so after the attack. And one of the things that did come out in therapy was my tendency to be incredibly hard on myself. I cut myself no slack. I thought if I wasn’t perfect, no one would stick around. It took me a while to, first of all, even understand it, and secondly, to start being more gentle and loving to myself. Something far worse came out, as well, and that was the hatred (yes, a real hatred) of myself that I wasn’t even aware of. I would have laughed if you had told me I actually hated myself. Turns out, I did. There are reasons why that manifested and I will get into them at a later date. For now, suffice it to say that this made my healing from the attack that much more difficult. In the end, though, I did what I had to and worked through it and was able to put that piece behind me. I’m telling you that EMDR is the most amazing thing. Without it, I certainly would not be where I am today. That is also a subject for another day.