When I first started writing my blog I wanted to reach one person. Not any particular or specific one person. Just one person. Because at one point and time I was that one person that I wished someone had reached. Writing my blog, I wanted that one person to know that I knew what it felt like to be afraid too. I knew what it felt like to be overwhelmed too. I knew what it felt like to be at a bottomless pit of despair and feel like there was no way out. I wanted to share exactly what happened to me so that one person didn’t feel like it had just happened to them. I wanted to share the choices I made after the abuse so that one person didn’t feel they were the only one who made those choices. Throughout my blog you can read about the abuse I endured and the many abusive experiences that happened in my life after.
I know what it feels like to be that one person.
I started my blog as I was searching for answers, and sharing them as I have discovered them. I have been completely honest, raw, and transparent in everything I have written because it is in the secrets that I carried the shame. In revealing the secrets I have shed the shame. I have transferred the shame to where it belongs. I had guilt. I carried that guilt. I have learned to shed that guilt and place that guilt where it belongs. Not on me. I carried the blame because the blame had been put on me. I shed the blame. The blame was not mine to carry.
I did not choose to be abused. That abuse left me a huge train wreck with debris everywhere. Bits and pieces of myself were scattered in places I am just now finding and just now putting back together. I was torn apart. Every part of me was torn apart so much that I had no idea who I was or where I was going. From the age of 11 when the abuse started, until I married my husband when I was 25 years old, I was a only a fragment of what I am now. From 25 years old until 35 years old I found pieces of myself that I thought were lost forever. Then I was sexually assaulted again. I then saw the wounds that had only been bandaided. Only in the last few years have I truly faced my past. I have felt it. I have seen it for what it was. I have discovered the depths of the abuse and the permanent scars of PTSD. I share very private stories about my past and my life on my blog. I don’t need them to be private anymore. Private secrets all came from fear put on me and there is no freedom for me in a life of shame.
My brother condescendingly asked if I was going to talk about this”forever.” Since this IS mental health awareness month, it is a good time to bring up that PTSD IS FOREVER! It would be like asking me if I was going to be talking about my osteoporosis forever…well, since currently there is no cure for it, and it keeps getting worse, and my bone health worries me, then YES, I will be talking about it forever. It would be like saying am I going to be talking about my muscle disease forever. Well, it has symptoms, daily symptoms, and there is no cure, so, YES, I will be talking about my muscle disease forever. Mental health issues are there just like my bone disease and my muscle disease. It shouldn’t be censored or filtered because it is hard to hear about. I don’t talk about ANY of my disorders or diseases every day or all the time. But they are part of my life and there will be times that I will bring one or the other up. I bring them up to share what I have learned, what works for me, what coping skills have helped me, and also to reach out to that one person who needs to know they aren’t the only one. If my brother doesn’t want to hear about it, I have no idea why he reads my blog. But I don’t write my blog for him nor will it be changed or censored for him. I write for that one person. That one person that is out there that I hope to reach.
I was friends with and looked up to the man who molested me. I was conflicted because I cared about him as a father figure and he was doing these awful things, but I trusted him. He said what he was doing was right and good and I was supposed to enjoy it. But I wasn’t. I was scared. But I was confused about being scared with a man that I cared about and trusted. That right there in and of itself fucked me up for a very long time. He took away my sense of boundaries. I did not know what was the right way to feel,or the wrong way to feel. He confused my sense of self. He confused how I felt about my own body. He confused what my role in life was supposed to be. He confused me down to my very identity. He scattered parts of me all over the place and it has taken me until I am 45 years old to even begin understanding the ramifications of the crimes he committed against me. As I put one piece back I understand myself more. I regain my identity. The root of myself has been there all along. But the branches were broken, splintered, and chipped away.
I felt like I was the only one. Some days I still feel like I am the only one. Some days it feels lonely being me, in this body, when the PTSD triggers hit me and I feel/remember the hands of a man I wish I could forget. I’ve always had triggers. I just know what they are now. I had them when I was 18 I just had never heard of PTSD or even the word “trigger” so I didn’t know that’s why I felt the way I did.
If I had that one person sitting in front of me I would tell them that there will be bad days. There will be lonely days. There will be unbearable days. But I have found the days in between. The days in between matter the most. There are days when you won’t remember, you will just be. There are days when the past isn’t hitting you in the face and you don’t have triggers, you will just be. I would tell you that you aren’t the only one because I exist. I may not have experienced exactly what you experienced but I know the feeling of being dirty. I know the feeling of being used. I know the feeling of unworthiness. I know what it feels like to wish you didn’t have to live another day with the memory of these things weighing on you. I can’t tell you that you will always be ok but I can tell you there will be days in between when you are. If I had that one person in front of me I would wrap my arms around you and tell you, ” I believe in you. I believe you. I see you for who you really are and not what an abuser tried to make you believe. I see you as a whole complete resilient beautiful soul. I see the real you. I see the one. And you are not alone.”
Don’t let anyone silence you. Your voice matters. My voice matters. I will keep sharing my stories, my experiences, good and bad, defeated and victorious, because I matter too. I need you to know you are not the only one. So I will share my life so that you will know, even if it is just me, there is one person out there that understands what you’ve been through. All it takes is one.