IT’S NOT A STRAIGHT LINE

As much as I’d like it to be, as much as I’ve tried to make it be, it simply is not a straight line.    In my mind it goes something like this — you get attacked, you do whatever it takes to make sure your attacker is prosecuted and sent to prison, you go to therapy, and you are healed.  But what happens when you get attacked, you do everything you can to make sure your attacker is prosecuted and sent to prison, you go to therapy, and you aren’t quite healed?  If you are me, apparently, you beat yourself up for not being where you feel like you should (there I go, shoulding myself) be at this point.  I have been accused in the past of being too hard on myself, for holding myself to some impossible standard or ideal that pretty much no one could ever attain, and when I, of course, fail to achieve it, I then beat myself up.  This is a vicious cycle and it needs to stop.  The question is how to do I do this, how do I get off this merry-go-round?

I am not sure why I have such a hard time acknowledging and being proud of myself for how incredibly far I have already come.  I can easily say that I understand this to be true on some level, but I’m not sure I truly understand that to be the case.  I think I want it to be true, because otherwise all the work I’ve done, and it is considerable, would seem to be for nothing, and that might just put me over the edge.  Some days I do see the progress I’ve made and I feel good about it.  Other days, though, the most innocuous comment sends me off the deep end.  And, worst of all, sometimes it is me who makes that comment.  Like today.

I was accused (and rightly so) of being mean to myself.  At first I did not see it this way.  I was being sarcastic about what I was saying about myself.  I used to be a very sarcastic person (pre-Hoffman), but these days I rarely use sarcasm because I now understand that sarcasm is just thinly veiled anger.  And I make an effort to be kind, not condemning to others.  I somehow forget to include myself in that effort.  (How’s that for irony?)  Then it was pointed out to me that perhaps it is myself that I am angry at, for not being what I call ‘done with my healing.’  This, of course, starts me on the hamster wheel yet again.

All of this happened today in my energy healing session with Marsha Bliss.  I am still in physical pain, and though not a lot, it is still enough to make me want to do something to get rid of it.  While Marsha was working on me and we were talking about my post a week ago about my ‘new normal’, as in, is the way my life is now my new normal?  Marsha made up an example of someone who has lost a limb, and after a period of time, is now skiing.  This person has not let the lack of a leg stop them from moving forward.  This has become the new normal for them.  Something about that conversation triggered an incredible sadness in me and the tears to go with it.  Here’s the thing – when we see someone, (from the outside, because, really, unless you’ve been there, you can NEVER know what goes on behind the scenes, what goes on inside of them,) who has triumphed after a tragedy and we think, wow, this person is happy and has moved on and bla, bla, bla.  That’s just it, we simply do not know what happens when they go home at night, if they are crying themselves to sleep or are one step away from suicide or really are doing okay, in spite of it all.  We just don’t know.

 

I wrote the above paragraphs last night, and while I have no idea if they somehow influenced my dreams, I did have really weird dreams and woke up this morning feeling rather blue.  Then when I was going through my emails, I came upon the following quote, which gives me enormous hope:

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”   ~Benjamin Franklin

I’ve been nothing if not persistent in my desire and actions to move through this traumatic event.  And something else Marsha said yesterday has been running around in my head, and that is that we are never done with whatever it is we are doing in our lives.  If we’re done, we’re dead.  I get this, I really do.  I understand that once we get through, put behind us or in some other way move on from a situation, traumatic or otherwise, something else is bound to come up.  We’ve all heard the adage that God, Life, the Universe (whatever word you want to use) never gives us more than we can handle.   I believe this.  I even have it posted above my desk (don’t always remember to look up to read it, but it’s there.)  And as much as I subscribe to this belief, I always just as often forget about it.  I think what all this means to me is I just have a lot more stuff to deal with, and not all of it, maybe even none of it, has anything directly to do with my attack.  I definitely attribute, if not all, most of what I am dealing with these days to that one event, and that would be because so much of it seems to stem from it.  Physically, I have not been the same since, so it makes sense that it would be the reason.  And, really, it probably is.  At the same time, what this also means is there is still unresolved issues from my past that are arising now because I am finally at a place in my evolution that I am able to deal with them.  That is both comforting and annoying.   So, to paraphrase F. Scott Fitzgerald from “The Great Gatsby,” I beat on, boat against the current, born back ceaselessly in the past.

 

 

HARD TO BELIEVE IT HAS BEEN TWO YEARS

Yes, I have been neglecting this site.  Not for any really good reason.  I guess because I pretty much finished my story, I kind of stalled on how to proceed.  The truth is my story is nowhere near finished, not really.

Today marks the second anniversary (there must be another word that I could use that isn’t so ‘positive’) of my sexual assault and the first anniversary of this website.  I was curious to see what I had written last year in my journal about the launch of this site, and because I was doing my best to clear the clutter out of my house, that particular journal got put in a box in my garage, which meant I had to go and find it.  Imagine my surprise when I saw what I had written!  Nothing.  Nada, zip, zilch.  Really?  How can that be?  Well, last year at this time, though I was close, oh so close, to being finished with my therapy and dealing with my attack, I was still very much in it.  The closest date to today that I wrote was on 28 September 2012 and all I wrote was:  “Mostly, I feel like a big, fat fraud, pretending to be happy.”  Clearly, I was still struggling.

And if I am truly honest with you, and with myself, I still am, to a degree.  Oh, it is nowhere like before, and I definitely have more good days than not, BUT I am still dealing with the aftermath.  I am working on forgiving my attacker, and believe it or not, forgiving myself.  I have been told my numerous people that I am too hard on myself, and this is one example of that.  On the one hand, I KNOW I did nothing wrong; on the other, though, I think I somehow blame myself for what happened.  Still.  And this drives me crazy.  It seems so illogical.  Yet it is still there.  Not always, but enough to make me aware of it.

I have been feeling ‘off’ the last week or so, and waking up this morning there was no question of what day it is.  I wonder how long this will plague me.  Will I always remember this day?  Or will it fade in significance over time?

This is what I wrote in my journal this morning:  As I was drawing my angel card this morning, I ask that the perfect card be given to me, and my reaction to drawing ‘COURAGE’ was, Oh My Gosh!  This is the one word that has been used over and over to describe me and my reaction and/or handling of my attack.  And the one word that I have trouble seeing myself as being.  It feels surreal, like it didn’t even happen and at the same time, it is ever-present in my life.  It’s not that I necessarily or particularly dwell on it, but it is definitely there.  I think physically I feel it the most.  I still have a lot of neck pain, and though it is not debilitating, I am still very much aware of it.  I realized this morning, too, that I haven’t completely forgiven myself for ‘allowing’ it to happen.  That’s what I tapped on this morning – forgiving myself, Bill, the police, the EMTs, the D.A., his attorney and my attacker. I must forgive, not because any of it was right, but for myself, for my peace of mind, for my emotional health and well-being.  I DESERVE to be pain-free, emotionally, physically and in every other way.  Two years of my life have been dominated by an event which, in all likelihood, was just a few minutes long.  How is this possible?  How can 2 or 3 or 5 minutes out of a lifetime be that important?  525,600 minutes in a year and I continue to let those few minutes determine how I feel?

All I can say is I am doing my best to continue to heal what is still left to heal.  It is an ongoing process.  I am hopeful, however, that in time it will be less and less so ‘present’ in my life.  It is just one event in a lifetime of events, it is in the past and I choose to live in the present.  I choose, as Milton said, heaven.  I choose to release the regret, the blame and the guilt.  Through love I am made whole again.  I choose love.