***I kind of feel like this post, and many to come, should have some kind of trigger warning in addition to the fact that sometimes I will add sexual assault disclosure warnings. But I am not sure what kind. So let me just say please be self-aware when you are reading this post and any posts going forward for awhile. This is very new to me and I have not spoken about it with the majority of people in my life or disclosed it publicly. I have barely been able to recognize and name it and accept it myself.***
Well, here it goes. I have committed to another 12-week Adult Sexual Assault (ASA) therapy group and it starts a week from today. It is technically the same group I did last year. The topic and goals will be the same and there will be a disclosure.
But for me, and I can’t even believe I am saying this, I think it might be scarier this time around for me. The last group was extremely tough in many ways and disclosing that college rape experience was SO challenging. However, even though I needed to rid myself of some blame, guilt, anger, fear, and shame, the completely logical side of me lived every day knowing that it really had not been my fault at all. Getting through the group last year was about making a declaration, shaking off the shame, and recognizing that I have the right to complete healing in order to rediscover the me that was lost and ashamed and terrified. The level of healing that I have experienced from completing that group has been just awesome. I am thankful every single day for that group therapy success.
This time I will tackle some experiences with a specific person from my past that in my head are much more complicated AND that will force me to examine, discuss, accept and cooperate with that girl in the corner. The one I avoid and ignore and cover with laughter. And for the last 7 months or so, I have gone back and forth in my individual therapy between being ready to tackle this and trying to convince myself (and my therapist who wasn’t buying it) that it’s fine if I never deal with it because it doesn’t really affect me on a daily basis. But it does and I don’t like that.
The worst part of taking on the girl in the corner is that I don’t like her and I don’t even feel like she is worth my time. And I am ashamed of her. And I sometimes even hate her. And I don’t feel like anyone will believe her. I judge her and disregard her. I call her names and I blame her.
For anyone reading this post who hasn’t followed my previous posts and feels confused, that girl in the corner is me. A younger me. Somewhere between 16 and 20 most of the time. And once in awhile she’s 38 year old me. And I shoved her in the corner a long time ago, never to be dealt with again. Or so I thought.
For this session of group, I may be disconnected or distant or crazy or mean or many other things. Maybe I’ll be fun and happy most of the days. Maybe I’ll look like I’m listening to you and have to ask you to repeat yourself. I really have no idea what to expect.
So for now, I just want to say that I have great people around me and you each know who you are and what you mean to me. If I don’t call enough, or laugh enough, or respond enough, or reach out to you it is NOT because you don’t mean the world to me or I don’t trust you or want and need your support. This fight for healing is going to be difficult. Because today, I can’t even talk about the experience as rape or sexual assault without immediately victim-blaming my very own self.
And that is a miserable feeling.
One I am proud to say I am ready to leave behind to continue rediscovering me.
So look out girl in the corner, I’m coming to rescue you and learn to love you again.