Damaged Goods?

I think we all have those “ah ha” moments. Sometimes they suck, sometimes they are beautiful, and sometimes…. they are a mixture of both. I don’t know what my “ah ha” moment qualifies for. Probably the bit of both.

It suddenly came to me today that I settle for less with men… because I don’t think I am worth more. I see myself as damaged goods. As not good enough for the type of guy I want. Because what do I have to offer? Sure I may be beautiful… but my panic attacks, crying spells, triggers, and promiscuity outweigh my outward appearance. I feel like all I have to offer… is my outward appearance. And that will fade. So I settle for less. Again, and again, because I do not think I am worth more than that.I think that I was worth more… and then Juan happened. And though I know in my head that ultimately it was his fault for raping me, I still feel to blame. I feel to blame for going in his room. I feel to blame for dating him. I feel to blame for not being over it, for still dealing with triggers and I feel to blame… for feeling to blame. Never ending cycle.

Now I suppose realizing I think this way is a small step in the right direction. A small bit of proof that counseling is working. I have to change the way I think. I don’t know how exactly to do that at the moment, besides just saying the things I know God says about me. Because he thinks I am worth it. He thinks I  am new. And something that is new… has never been used. He thinks my heart if beautiful, not just my outward appearance. And the thing is… if I don’t settle for less… God will give me so much more. The man he God has for me… I wont be too much for him. My scars will not be too much to handle. He will not feel cheated.

I may not feel I am… But I am worth more.

I am worth more.

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“It’ll get worse before it gets better”

When I started counseling my counselor warned me that when you begin the healing process it typically gets worse before it gets better… She was so right. But I don’t know that it is getting worse in the right way if that makes sense. I haven’t been able to go in over a month and I… feel like I’m drifting. Today I almost got hit by a truck because I just… wasn’t paying attention. Which can happen to anyone. But… I don’t know how to put it… it’s like when my son isn’t around, when I  don’t have to focus all energy on him… I don’t have any. I fade. I am a very hard worker at any job I have ever had. I typically get promoted quickly because I do my work well and enthusiastically. The past couple of weeks have been quite the opposite. It, literally, feels like I am struggling just to do everyday work at my job. And my job is not a hard one. I honestly think if I didn’t have a child to provide for…. I wouldn’t be here. In the sense that I wouldn’t show up to work. I’d lay in bed. It feels so hard to make it through the day. I still feel so pathetic admitting this things. I know what people would say. That I’m just being lazy. That I’m playing the victim. That I’m just seeking attention. But… I don’t want to be like this. I miss myself so bad. I was talking to a guy that is a possible… something (such a bad idea at this point of my life, I’m sure) and  we were discussing what we do with our time. I used to write songs. Try to learn new things. Spanish. The piano. And I want to do those things… but… it’s like I can’t pull myself up. I can’t find the drive to do the things I used to enjoy. To workout. To do… anything. I just want to lay in bed all day. When my son is at his dads…. that’s what I do. I try to make myself do something…. I’ve gone out to dinner with a pal a couple times… but… I don’t even what to do that. I used to thrive being around people. Used to be a go,go,go type of person. And now… I’m this pathetic girl that cries at the drop of a dime and cant seem to climb out of the darkness. People say that I’m being weak. So I try not to say anything to anyone anymore. That guy I mentioned above tries to get me to talk, but, I know how that will go. My crazy will overpower the situation. He thinks he can handle it… buuuut that is his ignorance speaking. It is sweet. But it is naive.

Nativity. What a beautiful thing. I don’t know why people try to fight that. I’d give anything to be naive again.

I’m sorry for the boohoo fest. It’s been a rough ride lately. And I wont tell anyone about it except the internet, because at least if you judge me you don’t know who I am. You can’t do it to my face. I can pretend you are a uncaring monster, rather than if I saw you, face to face, I would have to recognize you as a friend. As a family member. It hurts worse when you know someone to know that they are annoyed by your struggle. Believe me, I’m annoyed by my struggle too.

Okay. Pity party over.

Say it ’til you believe it

Things I know to be true… even when my emotions don’t believe.

God adores me. More than anyone ever has or ever will.

God forgives me. Period.

I am not stained. I. AM. NOT. STAINED.

I am whole.

I am new.

I am loved.

I’ve been made worthy.

I am the head and not the tail.

I am healed.

Though sorrow may last for a night, joy comes in the morning.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the humble. God rewards humbleness. Me coming before him with my broken and contrite heart… he doesn’t despise it. He welcomes it. He will reward it.

Jesus fills everything in every way. That does not exclude my heart.

By Jesus’ wounds I am healed. Emotionally. Physically.

I am not my past. I am not what I’ve done. I am not what has been done to me. I am not my emotions. WHO I AM IS IN JESUS.

Healing is possible from rape. Because the impossible is possible with God.

Being honest is hard. But it is worth it.

God thinks I am lovely. He thinks I am worth it. He would pursue me and die again and again all over for me.

God is not disapointed in me. He is hopeful for me. He believes in me when I don’t believe in myself.

It is okay to be weak, because it is in my weakness that God is strong in me. Where I cannot lift… He lifts for me. I wasn’t meant to carry the burden. He trades with me. He takes my heavy burden and gives me his… and it is light.

These truths do not change based on my feelings. I am going to begin saying these, among others, everyday. In the mirror. In the shower. In the car. When I am struggling to fall asleep. I will say them until my emotions line up with them. Because my God is stronger than my struggle. He is stronger than my pain. He is stronger than my shame, than my regret, than rumors, than Juan. HE. IS. BIGGER.

 

Distorted reality

I know that God has cleansed me…. but I feel like the stain of what Juan did is still there. I feel his touch. I feel his dirt. I feel the weight of how I have “handled” it. I try to believe all men are not the same. I have a son. He is beautiful, and innocent, and full of joy and no evil… I place him in a separate category. I have to. He is my love. I will never tell my son what I feel of men. I will tell him the truth that God created men to be. I will raise him up in the way that he should go that when he is old he will not depart from it. ….But when I am alone, when I am without my son and with the  rest of the world… I see men as evil. I don’t want to even feel this. I am working on changing but I have to be honest with what I feel. Ignoring wont change anything. Only acknowledging and working towards recovery will.

I feel they go after what they want. i am not a person, I am an object. Even the nice ones see me as such. They don’t think they do. They claim they don’t… but I have only to listen to their stories of past wives or girlfriends, or even current either. They all seem to be the same. They are attracted to innocence. It is something that they think not many have touched, not everyone gets the goods. so they want to touch it. They want to take that innocence. But then they get bored. They miss the chase, the feeling of “winning” what not many win. They have already taken what they wanted and now… they aren’t interested in the person. They have their fun until they have used up all the newness… and then they want something else.

My hearts desire has always been to get married. I know it isn’t everyone’s and that is 100% okay. But it is a piece of mine. But I am filled with grief that the likelihood of having a man that wants ME for always is slim to none. I know God created them to be better. He did not create a monster as a man… but I feel that is what they have become. I know my experiences have tinted my view of them. But in this moment…. This is how I feel. HOW can I possibly find a man that will love ME. HOW can I find a man and keep his interest… if it doesn’t matter how perfect you are, physically, emotionally, etc, they still will get bored because they want more innocence. They want the new excitement. They want something they have not had, but they have had their wife time and time again…. I’m not even on the scale. I am NOWHERE near perfect. I am a damaged mess. I have flashbacks, nightmares, triggers out the wazoo. I am broken and used. How can I expect a man to take that on? I am a single mother. I am “hot”. (I don’t want that to sound conceited. I have come to hate being attractive a lot of the time. I feel like that is all I am to anyone, yet at the same time I don’t want to let myself go) but what happens when they see the rest? When he sees how dirty my soul is? I cannot wash it. I cannot change what was done or what I have done after. I know there are good men out there… but it is like a needle in a haystack. And I know they existed… but I don’t FEEL they do, if that makes sense. I know I am wallowing in self pity. But I don’t know how to change how I feel. I KNOW every man is not a rapist. But my feelings are so contradictive. I will trust almost immediately. But then at the same time I constantly think they may rape me. It doesn’t make sense. I used to always believe the best in people, and that is still there… kind of. I don’t know. It is all over the place.  I long for someone to truly trust. To break the mold. To prove they are not all wannabe rapists that only resist because they don’t want to face the outcome. Where did all of this come so strongly so suddenly? I mean… it has been there since Juan. But I guess the trigger was the other day when an guy I used to work with, that I thought of as a kind, good, Jesus loving, man told me about his rocky marriage and explained the innocence thing. He told me that is why men find me so attractive, besides my looks, is because of my “innocent spirit”. He claims he wasn’t trying to do something with me by telling me all about his rocky marriage and how he doesn’t “buy my whole innocence thing”… but i know he was. I kindly told him he should talk to someone else, a man that he was not attracted to, about his fear of cheating on his wife that he is bored of since he has had her innocence so many times. I told him he could not talk to me about it. I don’t think he realized how damaging his words were to my perception of men. I never want to talk to him again. The fear of being raped by any man is much worse this week. My father… who I would NEVER tell this too,it would destroy him…. I don’t even like to sit close to him with his arm around me. He would NEVER do anything to his child, or a woman close to his child’s age. He actually is disgusted and has stopped hanging out with friends of his that have gone after 18 year olds that are his age. He says “Just because they are legal does not mean they are mentally an adult. They are little girls that they are taking advantage of. Her body may look like a woman… but I can tell you what I wasn’t a man at 18. And you girls weren’t “women” at 18 either. It’s sick.” I know this. I know with my head he is a good man…. and I am very affectionate. I love human contact. Holding hands with people, sitting close. I’m probably that annoying clingy friend…. but when I sit next to even my daddy… I get anxiety. I try to push past it. I sit there and hug him anyway because I love him, and miss him. I don’t see him as often these days… but the anxiety is still there. When I am out in public with him and I see an attractive woman I make myself not look at him. What if I see him checking her out? It would trigger me. I know it. I hate it. I hate that I feel this way.

Change is possible. It has to be. Jesus says it is. Jesus says it is. He doesn’t lie. I need to cling to that and bring my tormoil  to him. I don’t understand my emotions that contradict one another, or my hypocritical actions… but he does. I don’t know where healing is… but he does. Please Jesus let it be so.

The Years the Locust took

So often I feel that healing isn’t possible. That I will never fully be whole again. I mourn for the girl I used to be, but she is no more. It is a hard fact.

I hear story after story of rape ruining one’s life… and I get it. I understand that. But the thing is… God is bigger than my limitations. He is bigger than my pain. The holy spirit once told me, “Meggan I am above every name… even Juan’s”

If this is true… then it is possible to be be fully healed. Not to forget, but for the wound to be bound and sealed. For it to become a spot for reference, not for restraint. Right now the wound holds me back. Right now it feels gaping and deep… but Jesus’ love goes deeper. I truly believe this. I don’t always. I often focus on my pain rather than focus on my God. Which is risky business. Because true healing. Full healing… it isn’t possible without him. Don’t misunderstand what I am saying, I think it is possible to function and to even thrive is certain areas without him… but that wound  will either be calloused or gaping still. So my choices are to run towards God and let him heal this gaping wound… Or I can become hardened. I don’t mean to discredit anyone going through healing. In fact… I have been reading many blogs of survivors, both christian and non, and you all inspire me. You help me. You give me hope in my weak moments. I thank you. I just believe with Jesus… it can be sweeter. And I want that sweetness. Today I cling to him with a new hope. A hope for a new me. A hope for a better me. See I miss who I was. That girl was a…special girl. She was filled with light. With sweet naivety. With a passion. She was unafraid and confident. She was a different person. It really does feel like losing someone. So I mourn for her. But God is able to restore the years the locust took. He is able to raise the dead. To turn ashes to beauty. NOTHING is impossible for him. I mean… think about it… He parted the sea using an old dude and a staff. Uh… impossible. He healed lepers. Again… impossible. He made manna fall from the sky so his people could eat. Last time I checked vanilla wafers weren’t falling on my driveway…Unfortunately. If he is able to do that… plus some… then why would I say this is beyond him?

“Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.”

God has started this healing within me. I know it is a rough road ahead. Filled with a lot of pain. But what God has started he will bring to completion. Regardless of my feelings. I don’t feel this to be true.. but feelings lie. I know God is true. He is not a man that he would lie. So this… this healing is possible.

Playing the Victim?

I have a really hard time figuring out what the “right” way of handling my rape now. The girl I wrote a pretty crappy (haha-but really.) poem about in my last post once told me, after I shared a piece of my story with her, telling her that I was having a hard time holding it together, that there were a lot of triggers where we were working, “Has anyone ever told you you play the victim a lot?” That shook me to my core. I have a probably unhealthy, want for people to like me. And honestly…. they usually do. Probably because I genuinely like people.

I don’t want to be seen as a victim. I DEFINITELY don’t want to be seen as someone that just wallows in their pain. Every time I open up about my story, or about my struggle, I feel what she said. Because… is it true? DO I play the victim? But then… how SHOULD I be handling this? Never tell anyone? I know that’s not right. I want to be okay. I want to not have triggers. I don’t want to be where I am right now but I am. I’m working towards healing. That’s a right step right? How can there be healing if you deny what you’re going through? I went years not acknowledging what happened. Refusing to admit the pain. It made matters worse.

Every time I open up, even here, when no one I know will ever read this…. I feel like I’m doing something wrong. I feel like if she read this she would tell me, though much more articulately, that I was “playing the victim again, wallowing in self pity and putting the blame on everyone but myself.” Am I? I don’t want to. Two of my closest girlfriends, that can be very harshly honest, told me that I don’t play the victim. They know me best. They’ve called me out when I was being lame and needed it. I suppose I should take two peoples opinions of me, that actually know me and that are actually kind and not catty, to heart. But still… I second guess myself. And I put most of the blame on myself, so she’s wrong there. But that sounds self pitying. How can one be honest without being in self pity? I DON’T KNOW HOW TO HANDLE THIS.

I don’t want to be silent. I want to heal. I don’t give my boohoo story to everyone constantly (my counselor told me I tend to down play what happened when talking about it… I’m realizing after just calling it a “boohoo story” she may be onto something) but it is my story. And I am struggling. That doesn’t mean I tell everyone I talk to about my struggle. But sometimes I can’t hide it. Which is why I’ve reached out for help.

So maybe Marcy is just a jerk, put nicely. Or maybe Marcy hasn’t dealt with some of her own things and my reactions are a trigger to her? Maybe she is fighting her own battle she hasn’t admitted to herself. I want to hate her sometimes…. but I honestly think I’m right with this. You don’t know anything about her, so it would be impossible for you to agree or disagree… but I’ve been praying to see her the way Jesus does and to not be so angry… and…. yeah she sucks. Yeah she’s said some of the meanest things about me anyone ever has. She’s lied to me and about me. She has turned former friends against me using catty tactics filled with half-truths. But…. hurt people hurt people right? I pray whatever it is she hasn’t dealt with, and I have my suspicions, that she’d let God help her. I don’t always feel this way about her… but I want to have grace. When I wasn’t dealing with my trauma I wasn’t as mean as Marcy by any means… but  I haven’t been myself. I did things (And do. struggling. Keeping it real yo.) that I’m not proud of. Things that I thought I’d never do. Maybe… just maybe that is where Marcy is. Because we used to be friends. I’ve seen another side of her that was beautiful that I think she has hardened and hidden to keep from harm.

This blogging thing is kind of therapeutic. My blogs are so terribly written… which is strange because I rocked English in college… must be because I just write in the chaotic pattern my brain goes.

Marcy

 

Your tongue like feels like blades,

So quick you are to accuse me of wrongs I’ve never done.

So quick to accuse me of lying of wrongs I did do.

So quick to say it never happened.

The moment I can’t seem to forget.

You saw the bruises on my heart, on my face,

yet you say…

I lied?

You accuse me of seeking attention when in fact all I wanted was a friend.

You spread lies about me to those that thought well just so you can say that you were right.

I tried to be the bigger person.

I was kind when you spat your venom.

I kept your secrets close to my heart. And I’ve still not spoken them.

But you…. You took what was secret and used it for your gain.

You took my truth and molded it with your lie so you could tell all who would listen…

That I was fake.

My character was flawed.

And I wont fight you.

You would win, so perfect are you with your words for battle.

You forget I know where you were hurt.

You forget I have not used it against you.

But then…. I know you don’t want to remember.

Just like I want to forget.

I want to be angry.

I want to tell the world what you’ve done.

But I will hold my tongue.

I will attempt peace.

I will not use your shame and blame and pain against you.

I will not find your weakest parts and exploit them.

I will not do what you have done to me.

You say I play the victim,

Perhaps, I’m just in the process of learning how not to be.

Hope

Last night I had my first session with a trauma counselor. I have been avoiding this for quite awhile. But really… I’m so glad I went. SO glad. As I’ve said before, there are a couple of people that I have shared quite a bit of detail with, but there are certain things I have never spoken, or written. They have been caged inside me, slowly rotting me away. Last night I spoke some of those things. I would imagine that it is probably common to not share so much on a first visit… but I do this thing when I get nervous where I either can’t find words at all, or I can’t stop talking haha. Last night I was very nervous and the words wouldn’t stop pouring.

I know not everyday will be like today, in fact my counselor told me that when one first starts therapy things tend to get worse before they get better. But today…. today I want to cry with relief. Because there are so many aspects of how I have handled, or… lacked in handling the rape that I felt alone in. I thought I was reacting abnormally. That my feelings were stupid and I was just weak and crazy. Last night I learned that, in fact, I’m pretty textbook. Usually I would want to be unique, but knowing that I’m not abnormal…. this is comforting. Understanding myself  a little bit more is comforting. I don’t want others to react the way I have, but knowing that my reactions and break downs are normal for someone that has been through rape…. I don’t feel quite so alone. And that is a little bit of a freeing feeling.

I have, and continue, to feel so much shame and guilt over not fighting. It is one of the things that haunts me the most. Why didn’t I fight? My body just shut down. I had always heard of flight or fight, but did not know there was another survival reaction. Freeze. It’s normal. It is common. Your body goes into survival mode. It thinks, as is true with all the the reactions, that based on this or that factor that ____ is the best way to respond and stay alive. For what ever reason, my body thought freeze was the best way to survive. Melissa, my counselor, has advised me to think about that a little. Which, she warned me, will be difficult. But it is normal that someone surviving trauma will block things. It is normal, contrary to what the media would tell us, for the memory of a trauma to be splotchy. To come in bits in pieces. (This is why the approach officers tend to have toward a victim is so messed up. “Her story keeps changing. She doesn’t know what happened? Doesn’t remember? Must be lying.” often times the brain will only deal with a piece at a time.) So my homework is to think about details that I have pushed and fought aside. Yay.

I learned quite a few things I didn’t know last night. And with knowledge comes power.

I learned it is common to remember things you didn’t before. It is normal to seem to forget “important” details while seeming to remember tiny irrelevant ones.  That having random boughs of anxiety and panic attacks is common. Not feeling capable of saying no to a guy, even if you do not want sex at all, and also, even when you don’t want it, initiating sex. This is called hyper-sexuality. It is a reaction.   I’ll discuss that at a later date.

The Holy Spirit has been telling me to get counsel for a long time. Turns out he knows what he is talking about. What a big difference today is from my last post. Today there is hope.

Pull the Trigger

*Spoiler alert* Today is a bad day. A very bad day. I’m currently sitting at my desk trying to hold it together. I read something that was a trigger. Something that reaffirmed everything I try not to say I believe, but that I really do. That it was my fault. That if I had screamed louder, If I had fought… he wouldn’t have done it. Or someone would have heard me and come in. I could have potentially stopped it. But I didn’t. I didn’t scream. I didn’t fight. I let it happen.

I know that I will have these days. But these days make me feel like I’ve taken so many steps back. My friend, that works with patients that have been through various forms of trauma, told me it is common for rape victims to begin feeling like everything is happening all over again, to have more triggers, when they get to a “safer” spot in life. The body thinks it doesn’t need to be in survival mode, it can relax and deal with the wounds. This makes sense to me. I have a job thats salary covers the bills, a place to call my own. I can pay daycare. There are so many things going RIGHT right now that what she said makes sense. I am in a “safer” place. My body is basically forcing me to deal with this I guess.

When a trigger hits I often shut down. Or break down. Or break down followed by shut down. I panic and cry and things don’t seem to make sense, I get confused. But like in the bathroom just now I talk myself down and I try to bring into remembrance all the things I’ve learned (like above) because it helps me to try to understand what is happening. I suppose because with rape you want to understand SOMETHING. I Tell myself I’m okay. This is a normal reaction even if I feel insane. I’m trying to learn to cope with it (my first official therapy session will be on Wednesday), but what normally happens is I become numb. Which usually ends up in actions that are very out of character with who I am.

I wish I had something inspirational to say right now. But honestly today I am barely treading water. I feel heavy. My heart both aches and is numb at the same time. I’m a walking contradiction that I don’t quite understand. I know God is bigger. And I have my good days. But today… today I feel small. Today I feel shame and regrets. Today… today is hard.