Growing My Safety Net

I currently consider myself well into my recovery journey. This is a far away place from where I was emotionally and mentally 5 years ago and really even one year ago when I started more intensive therapy.  I had never verbalized many of the atrocities that happened to me.  It was as though the words and thoughts would harm me somehow more than my past pain and trauma.  The words have now been spoken, all of them.  On June 22 I shared the details for the first time in their entirety…..and I did not spontaneously combust.  In fact I may finally realize that this is NOT my trauma to relive. I know it happened, I survived, and now I GET TO move forward.  That’s what I am going to choose. Consciously and with effort, and with tears, hissy fits, and ice cream I will absolutely #JustShowUp.

I did get mad; felt sad, desperate, and ruined; felt utter disgust and sorrow and grief for the loss of innocence; felt pain from somewhere deep within my soul that I had not allowed before.  I sat with it, I took many deep breaths that were a cross between snot-rocket crying, laugh/crying, hysteria, and mania.  Then after a few calming breaths and reminding myself I was not in fact on fire…..I moved forward and went to my group meeting.  Actually I spent a few hours pretty numb and pretended like nothing happened once I left the safety of the Gatehouse.  I’m sure I will continue to process this experience more as the days unfold.

Now that I can see a bit of light at the other side of what has been my dark and lonely journey, I can see there was light all along, I just had to look harder for it.  My husband is my brightest light, and my family and friends as well.  One goal I have been working on with both my psychologist and peer support coach is that of re-defining some roles of people in my life.  This has led to the realization that I feel truly vulnerable around men.  I have some male acquaintances and some I consider friends but there is a big-ass wall up there in terms of a firm boundary.  These include some core beliefs that are flawed but there for a reason. *NOTE: These are negative beliefs I know are untrue and I am working on them so please don’t bash me for this.

  • Men are looking for something in return.
  • I can’t be friends with any other man than my husband.
  • I can’t confide in a man without judgment.
  • Men will not just physically overpower me but can also emotionally harm me, therefore it is best to just stay away.

I still hold several flawed core beliefs about myself that I am working on but I’m not ready to write about that just yet.

My goals continue to shift, but I have realized that I have to break things up into manageable chunks so I don’t feel overwhelmed.  My main goal right now is self-care and enjoying summer with my kids, as I am balancing many roles in life as well as a return to work.  My secondary goals include continuing to seek out social activities, allow my friends and family to be a safety net for me when I need support, gradually return to running for FUN and not as a purging method, and to keep moving forward in this learning journey.

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My name is [X]. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and rape. But that wasn't something I chose to voice openly until this year; I had to do something to move forward so I called my abuser, I called him out, It makes people uncomfortable, so some will choose to pretend nothing happened, but I know my truth. I won't take the blame any longer because the shame is not mine to bear. I am 37 and have spent more than 20 years pretending nothing bad happened. I survived ten years of childhood sexual abuse, non-consentual sexual acts/ritual abuse, emotional/psychologiocal and physical abuse and that was NOT my fault. I am so much more than a survivor! I am a warrior and my personal challenge is to be brave and show up-- to use my voice so others know they are not alone. To anyone who is seeking support, please know that you are not alone. I believe you and I'm so sorry someone hurt you. You are ENOUGH. That's what I'm striving to know for myself from deep within my soul.



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