I’m really finding this blog to be something I look forward to doing. I am not completely surprised by this since I’ve always been a keeper of journals and someone who likes to write. But I AM a bit surprised at the response to it. I have been overwhelmed (in a good way) with information, well wishes, encouragement, questions, and people telling me their own stories of all types of challenges, including but not limited to, sexual assault. Hearing from people I don’t know who found the blog and find it to be worthy of reading was a huge shock to me. I shared it with my Facebook friends, so obviously I knew some of them/you would read it, but I guess I wasn’t sure what would happen outside of some friends reading it.
I am proud of this blog and of myself. That is difficult for me to say without laughing.
I am a person who copes with hard times by the use of inappropriate laughter. Now, I must include here that I don’t think inappropriate laughter is always bad. If a friend and I burst out laughing in an elevator full of people for no good reason until we nearly pee our pants (you know who you are), that is funny and probably only inappropriate in the sense that we definitely made some folks uncomfortable. And if you haven’t had a good fit of inappropriate laughter in a church, a work meeting, or places like that, then frankly I feel like you should try it. Soon.
I am proud of myself. And I haven’t felt or said that enough in my life. At least, not for a long time.
That’s over now and in case I didn’t mention it, I am proud of myself.
I grew up marching to the beat of my own drum. I did my high school/teen years frantically, not always making the best choices and not always being the nicest person in the room (many folks who were in high school with me are saying “that’s an understatement,” possibly while rolling their eyes). But I feel proud that as that girl, I didn’t make any apologies for who I was inside and how confident I felt about who I really was inside. That is the girl who resurfaced in 2012.
Some other time I’ll get into why and how that girl resurfaced (one friend is saying “seriously, you plan on sharing that?”). For now I’ll just say that because I found my way back to myself, I was able to declare some things that have helped me find healing and forgiveness. And that. is. awesome.
Being a rape survivor is a huge challenge. Almost every day I am triggered or feel shame, anxiety, depression, anger, guilt, hate, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Going to individual therapy is helpful, but going to group therapy is even more helpful. Those people understand me AND hold me accountable when I laugh and really need to cry. And some of those people played an important role in getting me to want to do this for myself and for other people who could benefit from reading things that validate their own stuff.
I’m able and willing to write this, to share my story, and to be in this space that allows me to feel vulnerable.
And that makes me feel really proud.