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Old vs. New


mentaldragonflies

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I used to be someone else. 

The me of old used to be sassy, sarcastic, and not afraid of anything.  I used to be friendly and outgoing, and I truly thought I could change the world for the better.  I always believed the best in people and that, deep down inside, people were good and kind. 

Today, I look at old pictures of myself and, even though my hair style hasn’t changed all that much, I don’t recognize myself.  Gone are the beaming smiles, laugh crinkles around my eyes, and the mischievous smirks that told those who knew me I was about to do something goofy.  In the rare few pictures that I allow myself to be in, my eyes look hollow, my jaw is always clenched, and, if I had to suffer through someone else in the picture touching me in anyway, my body is so stiff that it borders on being painful. 

People used to say, “Are you okay?” and “You just haven’t been yourself lately.”  I would just shrug and say that I was tired or stressed.  After a while people stopped asking if I was okay.  I lost friends.  Some got annoyed at the new me and decided I wasn’t worth the effort.  Others just got “busy”.  But, truthfully, it didn’t matter to me.  And, in a small way, it was a relief when I lost friends.  Even though I was unsuccessful at it, pretending to be okay even though I wasn’t was so emotionally and physically exhausting.  Besides, being alone felt safer.  Not safe – just safer. 

It’s hard thinking about the person I used to be.  She was so full of life and energy.  I truly believe she could have been and done anything she wanted.  The me of today is so jealous of her. Maybe she was a little bit naïve when it came to the world, but she was so happy. 

And so I struggle with coming to terms with the person that I’ve become.  The fear, the shame, the anger, and the loss of hope.   Sometimes it feels like I’ll never feel happiness again or feel “normal.”  And that’s what I really want more than anything.  I just want to feel normal.  I just want to feel like the real me. 

 

 

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Hi Dragonflies

You will never be the same person again. That is a fact. I wished for that many times. Something happened that is going to affect the rest of your life. Sometimes in major ways in the sense that you cant bear the thought of someone else touching you, which could also possibly affect future relationships. And sometimes it will affect you in smaller ways, you might get triggered by simple and little things people say that reminds you of the abuser/abuse. You cant change what happened but you can choose how to deal with your trauma. Alienating yourself from others wont help. I cant stand people around me all the time, I get irritated. But no "man" is an island. You need to surround yourself with positive supportive people if you are able to do so. I am an introvert and even I cant stand silence and isolation all the time. I surround myself with people ocassionally.  
It will get better with time. The different and overwhelming feelings you are experiencing. You might find that difficult to believe right now. You will never forget, you will never heal completely, but it does get better.

You will learn to accept the new you. Not the sad, conflicted you as you are now.  You will work through that. You will learn to deal with it in a postive, constructive way. You will decide how the new you is formed and at what pace. You will decide who you interact with, who you surround yourself with, who deserves to be in your life, who not, to whom you open your heart, most importantly you will decide the type of attitude with which you live your life each and everyday. Sometimes it is hard to have a positive mind set,a positive outlook, a positive attitude during the midst of it all, but when you feel down, depressed or at your lowest think of something or someone that makes you happy. We all had dreams before we were sexually assaulted. I pursued mine despite my trauma. The thought of little children makes me happy. I could just eat them up. I just wanna hold them and protect them from the ugly things in life. They look so young, innocent and carefree. 

You are brave, you are strong, you are a fighter. The new you emphasizes that in a much more powerful way than before. Your journey as a survivor is an inspiration to other women and male survivors. 

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