I hope y'all are doing fabulous and fantastic. Me? I'm in between states of being and unsure of how I feel. My heart doesn't quite know where it is in the midst of... well, everything.
I thought when I started blogging again, sharing and opening up more, things would get easier. When I say that I mean that instead of harboring everything I feel and think on the inside and having it take its toll on me and everyone around me, I thought I was ready to open old wounds and pour the salt in them that is exploring and working through and eventually resolving and moving on.
There has been a sort of pattern with me and this blog of mine the last couple of years. Tough things happen, I close off, take a step back, time passes, I feel like I'm ready to share, and then the reception of what I just shared with other people leads me back to the belief that closing off and internalizing is the way to go.
Before my rape, I NEVER cared about what others thought about me or how others felt about me. In the 48 hours afterward I had been poked, prodded, scraped, examined, photographed, questioned, interrogated, accused, and every other mortifying, intrusive, demeaning thing you could possibly imagine by no less than 10 different people of which only 3 were female. I was forced to relive every terrible second of my attack 4 different times with four different people. Those 48 hours are in my opinion, without a doubt, the 48 hours that completely changed my mind, my heart, and how I myself down to the deepest depths react to human interaction whether it be face to face or via phone or internet conversations.
I got put on the defensive when accusations were thrown around that I was making it all up. Are you kidding me? My swollen and bruised throat, my arms, thighs, and chest were covered in cuts and huge hand print bruises yet I was making it all up? Then it was suggested that my husband was responsible. When that was first said aloud to me I wanted to recant EVERYTHING because I was absolutely terrified my husbands career was going to be ruined because of the blatantly ignorant beliefs of the people over my case. Since then I have tiptoed very lightly when it comes to opening up and sharing. It makes me sick with worry and anxiety but I get brave and I open the flood gates. I get an outpouring of support and encouragement and love from the vast majority but there are the few who feel the need to degrade me even further with their words full of hate and lies.
What am I supposed to do? Just a few years ago I wouldn't have batted an eye or thought twice about people being rude or hateful toward me. They were inconsequential and their words and opinions even less so. Now? I start to shake, my heart races, my throat closes, I feel vomit about to come up, my eyes cloud over with tears and then terror and hurt and just indescribable angst takes over and paralyzes me.
Its pure hell.
But its also my reality.
It feels like weakness.
Last week I told a friend that I can't stand that these people still have such complete control over me. That when I made the decision to stop hiding this terrible thing that happened to me and finally open up and be honest about it, that would be the first step to getting better and becoming free. Then I get an email or a comment and it leaves me completely downtrodden and back at square one wishing I had never talked about it at all.
"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do. "
I'm waiting for Eleanor's words to take immovable root in my heart and mind as truth. I don't know how to make it happen but there has to be an infinitesimal glimmer of hope deep inside of me somewhere otherwise I would have given up a long time ago.