Sit with it.
That’s a phrase I hear a lot in therapy, whether it is my individual therapist or in group. And the internal dialogue I hear is never as loud as when I sit with it. It’s uncomfortable at the very least and absolutely horrible on my worst days.
Tonight, I sit with it. Waiting to fall asleep knowing that tomorrow I will wake up to another March 25. When the day will go by and I will know as evening comes that I will start to remember the time I left my dorm. The time I arrived at a friend’s house to hang out. The time I walked back to my dorm alone, crying and throwing up. The time 22 years ago that “friends” assaulted me while others watched.
The moments that the hospital failed to help me feel believed and safe. The questions asked without hesitation at the police station about what I did. And the weeks of media and campus torment as I went through a trial where the only person questioned for hours was me.
It’s different this year. I am not having many physical symptoms and that’s nice. I have completed group therapy and embraced my right to feel empowered by that process. I disclosed the details necessary for me to heal in a room full of women who absolutely understood every feeling I have felt.
I have overcome.
It’s been 22 years. I will not ever forget some things. I will fight through the moments in my life when shame starts to try and creep back in and take over my days. That shame is no longer my burden. That shame never was mine to own.
You, both of you and those who stood by and did nothing, you own the shame. You own the guilt. YOU, not me.
I will celebrate my healing instead of reliving your crimes on this and every future March 25. Because you do not win.
I will absolutely not let you.
I have overcome. I have forgiven, not for you but for me. I have embraced full healing. That feels awesome.
And you cannot ever hurt me again.