I've been on AS for a few days now and I've been reading and posting a ton. As much as it feels good to connect with people who understand some of my experiences, it also worries me. A few years ago, I told my therapist about how I watch a lot of crime shows and I particularly enjoy watching ones about sexual assault. I've never experienced very much support in my healing and it's comforting to watch those shows and see people being helped. It's also triggering. Not in a "panicky" kind of way, just that it can cause me to get lost in thinking about my traumas. It can consume my thoughts. It can make it difficult to focus on the present because I'm thinking so much about the past. Analyzing, re-living, trying to understand. My therapist told me that it's quite common for people who have experienced traumas to do things like obsess over movies and TV shows that are triggering. It's not weird or bad to trigger myself in this way. It also isn't healthy and it is something I should be cautious of. I wonder if joining this online support group will actually help me to continue healing or if I'll end up obsessing over the darkness in my past. I've come so incredibly far from where I used to be and I don't want to get sucked back into a shitty state of mind. However, I think now that I'm in a safer place, maybe it's time to start confronting things that I wasn't able to work through before. Just a little bit at a time. But, I spent a couple hours writing about a few incidents that happened years ago and it got me really worked up. My heart was pounding and I was shaking. I was fine, you know? Safe, and coping with the emotions, but it felt really real. I came to where I am to get away from my past. I've created a new life for myself, a new me, and I'm happier than I ever thought I could be. As I've been delving into the shitstorm that is my trauma, I've felt connected to my old self and that scares me. The parts of me that are born from my struggles are quite isolated here. I have been here long enough to form some really deep, meaningful connections with people, but the cultural barrier makes it tough sometimes. It's certainly not like abuse and assault don't happen here, it's just that people deal with it differently. It doesn't help that most of my close friends are men. I've come to feel so at home here and I don't want to feel out of place. I don't want to feel even more like I'm lying to people. Sometimes it feels that way; like I'm pretending not to be some shell of a person who was robbed of their insides. As if I'm selling this image of a strong, courageous, empowered woman and in reality, I'm weak and scared and a victim.
But, I'm fighting those feelings. Every day, I'm focusing on the good. I'm believing in myself and good things are happening in my life because of that. Maybe that's how I use this website. I write about the bad, I talk about the shitty feelings that come from it, and then I decide to rise above it. I decide to heal.
It's almost 1am and I teach tomorrow, god damn it. Ok, time for bed.