The Eye of The Tiger, Part 5

Chapter 5 – Acceptance
A Five Part Series, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

I will crawl through my past
Over stones blood and glass
In the ruins
Reaching under the fence
As I try to make sense
In the ruins

But if I am to heal
I must first learn to feel
In the ruins
I will crawl
Melissa Etheridge

I am at peace now.  I am truly happy. I love my life. I love my children and I love my husband.  But I do believe that my love is different – permanently altered by events in my life.  I show my love sparingly.  I can only love on my terms.  It is still difficult for me to be vulnerable – vulnerability brings on panic so I have to be tough.  I have to be seen as someone who’s too strong to fuck with.  Honestly – that’s just an act, but I think it keeps me safe.

Other than my husband, I don’t have any really close friends.  I don’t really share my personal thoughts and feelings with anyone.  I’m scared to open the gates to my feelings; they may start spilling and never stop.  But I’m a good friend to others; the one that everyone comes to with problems because I prefer to listen than talk.

I have been called aloof.  I’m a loner.  I need my space.  I can’t bear to feel suffocated – either figuratively or literally.

I can’t fake physical contact with anyone.  If I don’t want to hug – I won’t.  It has made being a parent difficult at times.  It has made being a wife very difficult.

My body is sometimes my enemy.  When your home is violated, you can move to escape the scary memories.  When your body is violated – you’re stuck with the memories forever.  It’s the crime scene that you can never wash away.  I still have trouble looking at my body.  I’m not ashamed of how it looks physically but I still suffer from some disconnect with it.  Some days, my head doesn’t want to be attached to it and my body feels awkward, like an uninvited guest.  Those days are hard but they happen very rarely now.

I still feel haunted by the fact that I can’t remember the details of my attack, but at the same time I wonder if it’s a blessing.  Do I really want to know?  What purpose would that serve?  But I just wonder if I could recount details would I be able to completely heal?

The fear and pain is down to a slow trickle now – mostly silent.  I manage my sadness with exercise – I keep running and stay strong.  I have to feel strong.  If I start to feel weak, my fears get the best of me and I start to crumble.

I don’t self-medicate anymore.  I don’t need to.

I don’t have one ounce of musical talent but the powerful lyrics in music got me through the bad days and helped me to heal.

I said at the beginning of my story that I am not a victim anymore and I have transcended just surviving.  The events in my past life do not define me anymore.  They happened and I can’t change any of it.  I can’t keep wishing that my life had been different.  What happened, happened and I dealt with in the only way I knew how at the time.  And until I made THE CHOICE to move on and make the best of the life that I DESERVE, nothing was good.  I had two options – change and be happy or don’t change and be unhappy.   I eventually chose change.

The hate and anger for me and everyone else is gone.  Being bitter got me nowhere.

I have no idea what my life would have been like if none of this happened.  And it actually doesn’t really matter anymore because I LIKE WHO I AM NOW.

I am strong.  I am powerful.  I am worthy.  And finally, I almost feel beautiful.

And I want to live every single minute of every single day.

Sharing my story hasn’t been the reason for my healing but rather the other way around.  It hasn’t been until now that I could share.  The truth is that I didn’t even realize the magnitude of what happened until I saw it all in writing.  I didn’t truly believe or validate any of it until I wrote this and re-read it…almost like it was someone else’s story…and I was horrified.  And the fact that others commented on my posts further validated that yes, it did happen and yes, I have had reason feel the way I have for all of these years.  My feelings are valid.  My feelings are true.  And now I can let them go.

I am not an advocate, nor do I want to relive or dwell on past pain.  And I’m not qualified to offer any advice.  But I have one really important job to do in my life and that is to make sure that nothing like this ever happens to my daughters.  I don’t need to tell them my sordid tale – they don’t need to feel sad for me or feel any of my pain.  But I will teach them to be strong and proud and to feel worthy, regardless of what life hands them.  I took a long and winding path and I made some mistakes in how I handled the tough stuff but I eventually got here.  And here is a pretty good place.

About The Author

SDFMy story began 20 years ago.  It began with a sexual assault – all because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Then my broken soul left me vulnerable to another predator – an abusive boyfriend.  Posting this story will finally end my silence; I will finally be free.

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6 comments

  1. you are an amazing woman. I am glad you have shared your story and that it has helped you to heal. Please know that you do have friends and even though we may all just be connected through our own “survivors” club, we are here for you-an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on.

    1. I am both in awe of the amazing people I have met through this blog and at the same time heartbroken to hear so MANY stories. It hurts my heart to know that anyone else felt or feels the way I have. This must stop – too many lives have been hurt…or ended because of sexual and domestic violence and abuse.

      Thank you for both your ear and your shoulder. I’m here too and I will pay it forward as well.

      1. yes I agree that it is sad and crazy that there are so many unfortunate stories of what has happened to wonderful woman like us. For me, I have to advocate, try and change the laws, make the abusers pay for what they have done-and not just slaps on the wrists. Alone we are weak, but together we are unbreakable. Only through education can we break the cycle.
        Thank you again

  2. We all have to heal our own way. You did, I did, others did. Healing is the most important part. As for me, I will always be healing. You are a strong woman in more ways than you imagine. Finally talking about it all is the best healing that you can do. It’s an old cliche but it’s so true. A hurt won’t heal if it doesn’t get aired and see daylight.

    1. You’re right. I was initially worried about sounding foolish or having to endure people tell me what i did wrong, but Melanie assured me that there is no right way, just our own way to heal. This blog is a safe place – a safe place to talk and to heal.

      And yes, my wounds have finally aired out and they feel so much better. Thank you and take care.

speak loudly, donkeys are sleeping

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