The two-year anniversary of my rape was last weekend. I couldn't find the words to write a blog post. I cried the moment I realized the weekend's significance, and sunk into a depression until my D* held me and helped me out of it. Then I spent that Weekend with him and was mostly fine. On Saturday night, when my mind was filled with intrusive memories and fear and misery, he held me and the storm eventually passed.
But now I am back to being alone, and the thoughts have settled in again. This morning I could not bring myself to get out of bed. I do not remember having bad dreams last night, but I woke up feeling numb, miserable, afraid, closed-down. I passed the morning under the covers with my laptop, doing everything I could just to pass the time. Finally I willed myself to eat something, and my numbness loosened up just enough for me to accept that the memories and emotions are back.
I have been reading survivor stories and allowing myself to cry. Some of the stories echo my sentiments and sometimes even my very own words. I cry because of the reminders; I cry because some wounds are still fresh; I cry because to this day I still grasp for validation even though the pain is there right before my very eyes. Even though I saw my symptoms, I still feel inferior, ashamed, to call myself a rape victim when so many others have experienced trauma worse than mine.
Right after it happened it was too easy to convince people-- no one argued with me, and everyone just accepted that it happened, because he was a jerk and he was gone, never to return anyway, so it required little effort to throw support behind some words. Words, but few actions. Words drift away. Words fade away. Two years later, all I know is that I feel alone because I do not, cannot, tell my friends when it hurts. I tell D* sometimes, but then I feel awful because it just becomes another weight for him to bear. I tell my therapist when I see her, but somehow nothing really helps these moments-- they have to come and go on their own.
It is lonely. My covers are warm and my laptop is a decent connection to the outside world, but I am lonely. Perhaps I will return to Pandora's Aquarium again, to seek out a group of people who might understand. Still, though, the pain, the exhaustion, the tears-- they are mine to bear. I don't know how to reach out to people when most everyone thinks, or wants to think, I am healed. I don't know what anyone can do to help me. Somewhere in my mind I know that I have a good future and that my life is not solely made up of the Event, but right now it is a distant thought shrouded by the fog. I have at least been able to stay safe and not harm myself-- that is one relief. But how do I escape this fog? And more importantly, can I let myself, or will my ability to move on deny me the validation I still yearn for?
When I am happy, I feel guilty. I feel as though I have lied. Because if my experience really had been that bad, I would still be suffering. The more I suffer, the easier it is to accept that my pain is legitimate and okay and real. But then another voice whispers that it has been two years, and maybe it is finally possible to reconcile those two things, that the event could still be intrinsically and truly awful, yet it is okay to heal.
I still struggle to convince myself that being able to walk away from pain doesn't lessen the severity and true, legitimate horror of the event. For some reason, I cannot simply accept that it is okay to fully heal, or even to want to heal. Instead, I fight my body's desire to seek relief and happiness. Sometimes I seek exposure to triggering media in order to immerse myself in the familiar numbness and pain. I would try to explain that behavior by calling it an attempt at mastery, but that's not it, either-- if I were trying to re-expose myself to traumatic thoughts to prove to myself that I am stronger, I would not be so hesitant to break the spell and return to my happy, carefree self. Instead, I sink. Am I waiting for someone to rescue me? God, I hope not, because I don't know who could, or would. What am I waiting for? Why do I do this? Two years later, I still don't have good answers. The memories of the Event do not burn as brightly as before, but dull pain is not much better than fresh pain. Dull pain brings with it the worry that I will never heal.
It is 6pm and my entire day has been lost in the fog of my mind. The solution is not as simple as taking a bubble bath or treating myself to some soothing tea or music or books. Crawling out of the fog has never been that simple. Do I talk to someone, or do I hide? Do I stare at mindless things on the internet, or do I bury myself under the covers and will everything to go away? Do I ask sleep to overtake me in the chance that all will reset, or do I struggle to stay awake because I am afraid the next day will just be more of the same? What should I do?
I don't know. I just don't know.