I try and remember that. It’s difficult for me. I don’t believe it sometimes.
Last week was pretty tough in some ways and not as tough as it could have been in other ways. And after it, I feel a little less broken. Which is mostly nice, but a little bit hard to handle.
In my individual therapy last week, she asked who I am without the burdens I carry, without the negative tapes in my head. Without feeling broken.
I really don’t know the answer to that. What if I wake up every morning and feel worthy of love and safety and a great life? What does that look and feel like?
I’m beginning to learn.
Processing trauma is strange. If you really commit to the process, it’s unbelievable. One of the coolest things is that after a disclosure or a big moment of any kind, you go through a continuing process. You feel a bit numb. Sometimes a bit let down. But then your brain just keeps on working. I sleep great after many big moments. Not last week, but many times. A few days go by and I realize I just feel different. Calmer. Tired, exhausted, really, but calm.
And also free. Lighter. Less burdened.
Not broken. NOT fixed, but renewed and validated.
Giving my most recent disclosure was not at all planned when I started this therapy process. Mostly because I had buried the thoughts and experiences so far away from my reality that I didn’t know they needed to come out. I didn’t carry them around like bricks on my shoulders.
What I didn’t realize though is that the experiences were just as present in my daily life than the burdens I carried from the sexual assault that was clear in my brain. Sometimes more present because the experiences belonged in a relationship space in my head. They didn’t fit into what I could see clearly as assault because they were connected to some love. Some loss. Major confusion. And a very large chunk of blame.
In 2012, I faced something I always knew may happen, but that I had minimized for a very long time. And at first, I handled it great. But then I let my guard down and that’s when I start blaming myself for everything after that first moment.
Should haves. Shouldn’t haves.
It was a year of complete chaos. And I blame myself for every bit of it.
Or at least I used to blame myself. I am working on that. And I’ve come quite far now that I’m not spending so much energy avoiding.
Avoiding that Girl in the Corner was slowly killing me inside. Sucking every bit of confidence out of me most days. Keeping me in hiding. Pushing me away from acceptance of myself and of love.
Keeping me feeling broken.
I’m throwing that Girl a blanket and digging her out of that corner. I’m learning to accept that the Girl is me.
And that I am not broken.