Moments of doubt come at me when I least expect them. Sometimes without me even knowing that it is doubt. These moments feel like many things, none of them very pleasant. I get tired of these moments. I get frustrated and lazy and anxious. I get unreasonable and crabby and negative. I want to do nothing and just wait for the moments to pass.
Sometimes they do.
And sometimes they don’t pass very quickly, but fade into the background of my days.
I love to laugh and even on my worst days I can normally be found making jokes or having a good time. But I still may be feeling lost inside. Struggling. Lacking the vulnerability that allows for full healing. I ignore the moments and hide them in hopes that they will pass quickly.
Thankfully, I haven’t had many days like that for awhile and that is really nice. The disclosure still comes to mind when I think of how far I have been able to go toward healing and not having to go back to certain doubts and certain thoughts that keep me from rediscovering the full me. That disclosure seems so long ago and also seems like it was just yesterday.
Seeing The Monument Quilt was powerful for me. I’m certain that it was not a mere coincidence that when I found out about the quilt, it was only weeks from being displayed in an area that I could travel to very easily. An area that had additional anxiety and healing qualities for me. It would be displayed on the very campus of my assault. It never crossed my mind ahead of time that the location would keep me from going to see it. I never felt a moment of doubt leading up to that day.
And then it was the very day I was to see it. And then the doubt and the tears came as I decided I didn’t know if I could go. But more of the fight inside me took over and I went.
I read stories and looked at the designs people made to release themselves from some of the burden of being a victim and becoming a survivor. It is always difficult to read other stories. I find myself thinking that some have suffered so much more than me and, at times, it is difficult to see other stories and not let the terrible doubts of rape culture creep into my head as judgment. A terrible feeling and one I don’t allow to stick around for long at all. It is so easy to pass judgment, on myself and on others, but in those moments it is SO important to remember that all suffering is terrible. ALL trauma is true for that victim and I absolutely believe in every one of those people and their stories. Our stories are no worse or no easier than others, no less rape and trauma. The mind is so complex during trauma that many leave a situation not even fully understanding that what they experienced is rape. THAT is why it is so important to believe someone if they tell you they were assaulted. And to stand by someone who may be turning to you for support if they aren’t even sure that something happened or that what happened really was rape. The feelings a victim experiences are so full of guilt, disbelief, shame, and so many other things, that many deny that it happened at all.
I believe. I support ALL survivors. And I was honored to see the quilt. I’d like to reconnect with my group members to make a quilt square, but I’m not sure if I will or not.
I’m glad to have overcome my moment of doubt to see it. There were squares for each city where it is being displayed and on those squares were blank fabric where anyone could write. Part of my message was this:
It happened here and I will leave it here.
And I am glad that I could do that.