Looking back, troubles followed me for most of my life.. That, or I follow it..
I was sexually abused at 8 on two separate occasions and violently gang raped at 12. These events have played a major role in who I came to be. The out of body experiences had started.
We were like gypsies really.. moving around all the time, never really mixing outside our own little clique. I thought it was normal. I thought a lot of things were normal.
Dad raised us while mum worked 14hr days. How she found the time to be an alcoholic I’ll never know..
I buried everything. By 14 I was a professional liar. I’d perfected my masks, and there were many of them.
At 18 I lost my first baby. I was absolutely devastated and the pain only grew as I lost more.
By 20 I was married and I’d had the baby I’d prayed for. Nothing about that had been simple though. I nearly died after giving birth. I’d been given infected blood and had a Near Death Experience which also shaped who I became.
They sent me back from the light and I was bitter, hurting, confused.. I was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression and the following 2 years would introduce me to both hell, and myself.
I couldn’t forget the light. It had released me. I’d left my body and tasted freedom. Tasted truth. Tasted love, of the unconditional kind. And I wanted it back. Instead, I lay in a broken body, with a mind haunting me with memories, utterly defeated.
I’d blocked the abuse, the rape, the pain. And it had all come hurtling back as they dragged my newborn from between my legs. Bam.
I wanted to be everything I knew I could be, for my daughter.. but the past was holding me back. And I willingly let it drag me from the present.
My first husband was drinking a lot. I was crying a lot. Self harm really began and I was a danger to myself. It was during this time I first attempted suicide and our marriage broke down. I begged the light to send me sunshine and they sent me my first born son.
Things were better. I’d buried it all deeper. But a divorce was imminent and seemed to take the last of my strength.
At 24 I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. I couldn’t deny the diagnosis but I was angry. I didn’t want a label, I didn’t want to have people poking in my mind or thinking they could define me so easily. I detested myself.
I married my second husband and it felt like the light had heard my screams. I was no longer alone. No longer worthless, unlovable.
They told me I had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression & Anxiety. I no longer cared what they wanted to call it. No name fit the pain.
10 years after my first diagnosis I still hadn’t had therapy. Medication at most. And I’d done plenty hiding.
I lost my daddy next. The only constant I’d had. My best friend. I lost all hope. My strength had gone.
But the light had sent me two more babies. And joy came with each. My children were the reason I didn’t cut my own throat at every opportunity. They made me want to be more of myself, they made me want to Heal.
But man I knew that was gonna be a long road. One I’m still travelling, still without treatment or therapy. “I go it alone” always hums in the back of my mind.. but I’m finally ok with that.
When the darkness claws at me, I hold hope for that light once again.
Rachel started the facebook page Bruised But Not Broken. That is her therapy.
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Thank you for sharing this powerfully vulnerable essay. I wish you the best on your journey to healing. There are many, many wonderful books on writing to heal, but I’m sure you know that already.
Lacy M. Johnson’s Memoir, _the other side_, is highly recommended reading for how a SA survivor might use writing as a tool for healing/recovery.
Don’t forget that you are incredibly strong. Thank you for hanging on.