Late October surrounded by people I trusted in a bar I feel safe I was drugged.
On April 7 in the middle of the day at a “friend’s” house I was assaulted.
On April 25 in the middle of the night in a stranger’s house I was raped.
On August 5 in the evening outside of a bar with friends just inside I was assaulted.
I could go back years. I won’t because I know my mom reads this, and I’ve already said enough to break her heart. Enough to break my own.
I say none of this because I want any sort of pity. I don’t need it. I’m stronger than pity. I’m braver than pity.
Right now though, my mind feels like an itchy scab. Life scratches at the itch because it’s unbearable, but all of that healing gets ripped off in the process. The would starts to bleed again. Never as much as the initial cut, but still beads of dark red build. Huge gashes in my mind, all of them at different stages of healing. All itchy.
I started seeing a therapist again. She’s new in my life as my therapist, but not new in my life. She explained to me that my trauma is living in my limbic system right now. That part of my brain thinks it all just happened, thinks it happened moments ago all of the time. This makes my brain live in a constant state of fear, ever-ready for the next attack.
She suggested I not go anywhere that doesn’t feel safe. Nonetheless, on August 5 I ended up in one of the places that doesn’t feel safe. While waiting outside it proved to be just that. The part of me that will always blame myself initially for something that isn’t my fault keeps telling me that it’s like when a dog senses you’re afraid of her. She knows. She bites. People are not dogs. Some of them are, however, monsters.
I’m trying to build safe spaces for my brain to heal. I’m trying to learn where I can go. If I have any hesitation, I can’t go. If there are people I don’t know, right now, I can’t go. It’s not always respected. It’s not always heard. I can’t care about that anymore. I know what’s right for me now, and that’s what I’m trying to do.
It is some times I heard and respected. On August 5 a friend found me immediately after, and while not always quick to read people, saw my pain and never left my side, let me cry on him. A friend let me cry on her the moment I saw her. Two friends arrived shortly after and ran interference. I’m lucky. Some people aren’t supported like I am. I know that. Still, every time it happens it feels completely isolating. It’s meant to.
On August 5 I never wanted it to be able to happen again. I did some things I’m not proud of. It’s hard to believe it won’t ever happen again when it won’t stop happening. That doesn’t mean I should give up. I want to. Right now, I’d like to give up. I’m still here.
You are not alone. Even if you are on your own, you are not alone. It is not your fault.