I think it’s time I got over myself.
Ever since I decided to share my traumas with the world, I have been on this amazing, healing journey that has pushed me to grow in so many ways. I feel more in touch with myself than I ever have. I am more aware of who I am, and I have a strong sense of purpose. Sharing my pain and struggles has been therapeutic and a blessing. Helping someone to feel a little less alone has been more rewarding than any recognition I have received.
It has also been challenging at times. Reliving the rape and the thousands of emotions that follow me around still today, is exhausting. I have put a lot of pressure on myself to write about the most traumatized parts of me. And somewhere along the way, I started to feel as if it was my duty to immerse myself into the conversations of other survivors. As if it was somehow about me. It’s not. I feel that I am connected to so many people who have been victims of sexual crime. But the reality is, no two stories are the same. And no two people will share the same reactions, triggers or coping mechanism.
I have let the rape become a part of my identity. Everything always leads back to that. Each heartache or life-changing event, even having a bad day would somehow take me back to the “event”. I blame that for everything that I consider “wrong” with me. And to be honest, I’m just tired of it. I don’t want it to be my reason for anything. I don’t want it to be a sad story about what ruined me. I’m not ruined. I don’t want to be a victim.
All the therapy in the world will never erase the fact that it happened. It’s been 20 years of it and I’m still crazy (I say that lovingly.) But maybe that’s just me. Maybe that’s just who I am. Yeah, it happened, and it shaped me. But so many other things happened that shaped me too and most of them were really, really good things. I no longer want to be defined by the bad. The bad stuff will never be gone from my memories, but I don’t have to live there. I don’t want to feel sorry for myself any more. I just want to be over it. I sat with it long enough. I have taken everything from it that I could. But it’s time to put it away.
It’s time to create space in my life for goodness. There’s such a beautiful lightness that comes with letting go of all the weight from the past. I don’t live there anymore. I’m only moving forward, and I have a long stretch ahead of me, so I’m going to pack light. I’m shaking off the heavy. Clearing out all this junk continues to make room for adventure and that is what I want out of this life. I don’t want to be the girl who was hurt. I don’t want to be the girl that only talks about pain. It’s great to get it all out but sometimes it keeps me from being my best. It consumes me. I want to be the girl who truly lived. I want to be spontaneous, fun, smiling, laughing and unafraid. I’m the one in charge of making that happen.
I don’t have time to be consumed with the dark things anymore. I know it will always be there but if I don’t stir it, maybe it will stay dormant. I am taking back control. Yesterday I told my therapist I had nothing to talk about. I feel empowered and happy and I don’t want to give my energy to anything that could take that away. He was very proud of me and assured me that I had already given the darkness too much. Maybe the clouds are gone. I hope so. But if not, I’ll handle it. We always handle it, don’t we? Maybe sometimes we just forget how bad ass we are.
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