Not Over It

A couple nights ago, I had a bit of a heart to heart with one of my friends, S. We sat in her car talking about how frustrating it is sometimes to feel so much and not know the cause.

To explain my feelings better, I read her my blog post about feeling Gutted.

She asked me, “What was the difficult anniversary?”

Her directness caught me off guard. So many people in my life tip toe around my feelings and my past, and I realized that I always danced around my past experiences. I used thinly veiled terms because I still felt uncomfortable talking about it.

“Well…my sexual assault and emotionally abusive relationship.”

She knows the stories, and she actually knows the two men in my life who left such devastating scars. Like most people in my life, she had forgotten about it.

I continued.

“It’s been four years. It’s been four fucking years. You know I thought I’d be over it by now. I thought after four years, I’d be all whole and well. It pisses me off that I’m not.”


As those words tumbled out of me, I finally realized why I was so angry, why I was so mad at the world, why I was feeling so much self-hatred.

Being assaulted and abused was never part of my life plan. And when it did happen, it was never part of my life plan to hurt so much, to struggle so much. I was going to fight and be well within months. I thought I would be okay and normal within a year. I was mad at myself for not being strong enough or whatever enough to have healed.

It’s been FOUR years.

That sentence circles round and around in my head until I feel completely disgusted. It’s not fair that I still have nightmares, have intimacy issues, anxiety, and an harmful coping habits. It’s not fair that I haven’t been able to be in a normal relationship since then. It’s not fair that I still have a mental breakdown every year around this time.

After realizing the source of my anger, I called my best friend J. I told her everything from my blog post to my conversation with S. She told me some women she knows from group have turned their lives around, found healthy relationships, created safe and stable lives, but they still find themselves triggered and struggling at times. Even after 25 years, there are still days that are hard, days when they can’t get out of bed, days when something triggers them so much so that chills run down their back and they feel as helpless as they did 25 years before.

I didn’t really find that comforting.

We discussed how the healing process is always a process. I know I’ve always said, “I’m always living in the After,” but I never fully understood the extent to which it would continue. I think I need to learn to accept the fact that being healed doesn’t mean always being 100% okay. I need to be okay with the fact that I will have off days. I need to be okay with the downs as well as the ups. Healing means coming up with healthy ways of coping with triggers. Healing means learning to not feel ashamed of my scars. Healing means not dancing around my past but moving on and dancing with my present, my future.




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