Hello once again,
Two years later and here I am again! I hope life has treated you well these past few years. This is going to be quite a long ramble about where I am in terms of coping with what happened.
It was quite a bizzare feeling to read the words I had written two years ago.
And do you know what’s really strange? The same trigger that caused me to start writing two years ago caused me to come back here - intimate, long term, relationships. (For some reason this seems to be a huge issue for me - probably because I crave it and yet fear it all at the same time)
And reading the words that I wrote two years ago was shocking. It was like nothing has changed.
But actually, my mentality has changed- I will try and outline this change (maybe you have experienced a similar progression?)
So, as coherently as I can, here goes:
- so initially (~ 3 years) utterly and shocked and numb, pretend everything’s fine because I was completely unable to accept what had happened. An example of this would be getting angry when someone told me I had been r*ped - far too terrified to actually admit it.
- ( 2 years ) slowly realising everything’s not fine - I have to face what happened, and realise that it’s changed me. This realisation that it didn’t matter if people believed me or not, it had changed me dramatically. No matter what others thought or said, they couldn’t change how I felt and what I felt was real.
- (1 year - current state) mourning my past self. I’m no longer going to be who I was before and I should not try to be who I was before. It’s time to relearn who I am.
So currently I feel very naive. I’m finally ‘awake’ and have no illusions. I was raped, struggled to cope and pretended I was fine. I am not fine, I won’t be fine again, but maybe that’s okay.
It’s time to learn how to live with this new normal.
It’s hard though. It’s hard to let go of who I was before (6 years ago... it’s crazy) and it’s hard to reconcile who I feel I am now with societal expectations and pressures.
For example, I think that I don’t want a long term, committed relationship right now- and maybe never will. (Because I am scared of how vulnerable it makes me and don’t think I am ready for it yet) But, I’m a 24 year old women, many of my friends are starting to build futures with their partners. And I’m starting to get questions - why are you not dating? Why are you not looking for someone ... you will be alone forever!
But secretly... I think I do want it.
So here we are again. I met a person and I really started to like him a lot. These feelings of love (?) / loneliness / desire (?) have brought me back here. Because how can we cope with these things?
Of course relationships (and I really do only mean this very committed long term intimate relationship when I use this word) will be a huge hurdle- physical intimacy is terrifying, the power dynamic is terrifying, the ‘oh wow sorry I’m so messed up I’m not worthy of love and too inadequate for your love’ situation is terrifying.
So terrifying, that just feeling physical / emotional attraction and desire is enough to reopen old wounds