Follow up to a Story: There is no perfect healing

Follow up to a Story: There is no perfect healing

The survivor who wrote: Anonymous Story: On Loss and Regeneration reached out with a follow up to her Story, below.  When You’re Ready welcomes guest bloggers who would like to share their experiences related to sexual violence – not just their stories but their experiences in the healing journey. Please contact me via the “contact” form on the site and let me know you’ve got something to say!
For years, for months, I’ve been healing. I’m not entirely sure what that entails, but it’s exhausting.
I’ve had my fair share of sitting in offices on communal couches, going over the details of my assault. Every nook and cranny. The details I sought to keep with me until the end. I’ve tried new therapies and the trusted ones, exercise and meditation. Each has its purpose, its own marginal successes. But I always come back to that big, black mark. The shame and the pangs resurface and then those marginal successes are merely things I’ve tried. I guess it might be that way for others. Because, really, enduring doesn’t mean forgetting; it’s pushing forward even when we don’t want to. Sometimes, it’s barely existing. No one ever said enduring was seamless.
I just might be stuck in a particular rut. My anxieties have returned.  I’ve eaten very little, slept way too much and my work is half-assed. I’ve developed forgetfulness. I forget my words. I forget directions and I even forget where I am at times. It’s noticeable to loved ones. Embarrassingly noticeable.
That’s not to say I’m lost completely. I have humour and humility. I can sit through a dinner. I have moments, that’s all. Moments that are daggers, you see. Sharp and cutting. Eventually, though, the bleeding stops. I think.
I always imagined trauma was like being followed. Every once in a while you’ll pull far enough ahead of the lights, just to see them catch up again. Except in this case, I feel that when it’s really close, I’m splayed out on the pavement, the high beams blinding me with those gnarly details again.
Scent is a big one. Bigger still is language.
I was recently at a party where the language the boy who assaulted me spoke was free-flowing. I was mid hors d’oeuvre and mid-conversation when I choked and bolted from the room. I found a corner outside the apartment and just kind of stood there until I realized I should probably go apologize to the person I so rudely interrupted.
There is no perfect healing. I’m not even sure it’d be great if there was. How else would I learn persistence? It’s nonlinear and so am I.



Lauren Reid is the founder of When You're, a three time survivor of rape who built this community to let other survivors of sexual violence know that they're not alone. When you're ready, I'll be here.



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