Y’know, something I have learnt, and then learnt to find real comfort in over the last couple of months, is that just so so many women have a trauma involving men. Like so many it is fucking heartbreaking. Within this realisation and connection has come a lot of comfort in knowing I am not alone, but also so so much anger, rage, and a feeling of protection for us females. But, anger is so much better than withdrawal and isolation around the subject…the route I had taken until now. I am so not off that route, but I am slowly beginning to know it is safe to talk and to share about it, even if only one or two sentences at a time. Baby steps.
When healing from any kind of trauma or ANYTHING as a matter of fact, knowing you’re not alone is so freakin’ key. But I feel this even more relevant to a trauma that can leave you feeling so dirty, so ashamed, so powerlesss and embarrassed, and just wondering whether the world should just swallow you up because of it. Or that you should tuck it under a rock in the garden and never ever look at it again. In a way this is kinda relevant to any kind of abuse. Hearing tales of others going through the same journey of healing, has brought so much comfort to me. Even though I have only heard a few, I realise my great stint with silence and living as though it “wasn’t that bad” or that it didn’t even happen, is a very normal thing. I was numb.
The few stories I have heard of people keeping schtum with their rape or sexual assault until years down the line when it all just burst out gently or not-so, gave me reassurance that I’m not the only one who goes this way. To look at beautiful women around me and know that they have encountered some kind of abuse of their rights, in varying ways, brings solace to something I just never ever ever thought I would end up facing or sharing or dealing with. I need more of this, I know I do. But to even find words to type and the confidence to know it is okay, is a big whammy of progress…so, sitting amongst a therapy group of women will be one day too, I know it. And I long for it. Just not yet. They need to be the right kinda women. And for now, these kinda women are the ones I find online!
I still feel a million miles away from truly embracing this trauma, holding my hands up and letting the empowerment fill my bones, and feel full of beauty and power despite the dirtiness, shame, helplessness and most of all, the terror that still lingers. But, I am getting there. Something I notice that is helping me along the way is working how the way to share in a way I feel safe. Like, actually all the gross and fucking mingin’ details are not the ones I want to share. NO THANK YOU VERY MUCH. They are things I never want to think about again, and don’t really believe I do need to – unless we’re talking within an EMDR session. The things I do need and want to share with loving folk around me, are the feelings I had/have around it. These are the things that are safe to share, and don’t leave me transported back in a PTSD spaceship, to the time when one of the most awful things happened to me. The fact I could have died. The fact I was so isolated and desperately alone, literally. The violation. The terror. And all the other things that I can’t quite bring myself to type just yet. That PTSD spaceship still kicks in pretty quickly.
It’s hard really because I feel almost split down the middle. One side of me feels as though it’s going to burst at the seems if I don’t talk about it ALL, and share everything. Right. Now. It blinds me and leaves me seeing only this terror and feeling of trapped-ness as though it only happened yesterday. Yet the other side of me wants, so strongly, to gently let this trauma seep out. Rather than it being a tsunami wave that hits and causes destruction to any kind of feeling of stability, control, sense, peace, that I have just recently in the last couple of months, begun to find. This side wants to integrate it slowly, little brick by little brick, not mega sky scraper by mega sky scraper, and honour the fact that I am still connecting to the fact that this trauma even freakin’ happened to me.
Then, the wiser witnessing part of me that is increasingly taking shape and coming into strength, knows that actually what about a balance? This part of me can step away from this split down the middle feeling, and know that a balance can and will happen. A little bit of falling apart and sharing it in the moment that I get the desperate urge to, but with the knowing that I don’t need to share it ALL that milli-second – I can let it be something I feel in control of. That PTSD spaceship is the thing I blame for this – the way that all control of your processing and sanity goes out the freakin’ window and is replaced by serious anxiety and a feeling as though you are right back in the moment the trauma happened.
Well, by hopefully continuing to just type out little, or long, words about it. Simply just sitting in front of the computer, feeling the feelings but typing about something completely different or just loosely associated to the topic, is so freakin’ healing. By slowly knowing it is safe to have these memories rise in my mind rather than get freaked out about it. To tell these memories I am safe now – to be able to converse with them, or just put them in their place, rather than get swept sideways is a giant leap on this path of healing. And by gently sharing the Feelings, not the gory details, with those I love or with those that I know understand, will continue to bring solace, rather than fear and disconnection.
I think by these kinda ways, this trauma will slowly integrate brick by brick and leave a lasting foundation of strength and empowerment and protection – of myself and towards all the other women in the world. Then, someday, I’ll be able to openly share this thing that happened with a solid knowing that it is safe and I am safe, fo’ real.