I don’t even know where to begin this particular blog. I don’t have any of what I think are funny antics or silly opening stories. I feel completely raw and exposed. I feel thrown for a loop, not at all something I expected when I woke up this morning. I feel drained and shaken. When I woke up this morning I was tired, I had coffee too late in the afternoon yesterday thinking I could handle it, apparently I cannot. So I was up late last night, mind racing, thinking all the thoughts, over-analyzing every single thing in my life, as I often do. It was multiplied by a thousand because of course my coffee induced brain. My son also has a cold and kept waking up and crying and coughing so I slept on the floor by his crib, so when he woke up coughing I could nurse him back to sleep. So I woke up pretty tired, feeling for the most part at peace and ready to take on my day. When I put my son down for his morning nap my little sis and I decided to watch some funny t.v., she fell asleep watching though and I realized I hadn’t watched the most recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy. I’ve been watching the show since I was in college and naturally was like, cool she’s asleep, time to see what’s happening this week. I don’t know if I missed the “sensitive material” warning on Hulu or if they even had it, I probably would have ignored it and watched it anyway. I was not prepared for the reaction I would have, not at all.
I am not entirely sure how trauma works. I do know, having walked through my fair share of trauma over the last year, that there are in fact “triggers” that occur. In my own experience those triggers lead to re-living the trauma or being “taken” back to that place emotionally. I am only now really trying to engage self or become self aware if you will, understand who I am and what makes me tick, who God created me to be and understanding my past and decisions I’ve made, why I do what I do etcetera. I am not a scholar or a psychologist or anything like that, obviously, haha. I am just speaking solely out of my own experiences. When I watched this episode (STOP HERE, if you are currently watching the show and don’t want it to be SPOILED.) and it was dealing with rape, I didn’t realize what a massive trigger it would be for me. I had NO clue it would WRECK me today. No clue, that I would be so upset and crying so hard I couldn’t breathe. You know the kind of crying that is therapy in and of itself, the kind that you’re heaving and you can’t talk and there is literally snot pouring out of your nose. The kind that once your done you feel like you weigh ten pounds less. I thought that I was okay. I thought I had done the work and had healed from the trauma of my own rape, you know I hesitated to type that for a minute, I was going to type sexual assault, which it was, but rape is such a heavy, disgusting, ugly word. It’s ugly. It’s repulsive and it makes you feel dirty and gross and sometimes when people know that about you they look at you with different eyes, almost like pity or I don’t really know what. I’ve been wearing my story, with a badge of honor almost, like I don’t want to be looked at like a victim, but a victor. It’s just sometimes the weight of it and the reminder of a storm you survived literally punches you in the face and knocks you out cold and you didn’t even expect it.
I have been really struggling today with whether or not I’ve fully healed from this experience, I mean in happened almost 12 years ago. Do you ever fully recover from trauma? I guess this is what I am wondering. I mean have i regressed because I saw something that shattered me for today? That I watched this episode and saw myself and my story, that as the actor delivered her monologue she was speaking my reasons for not reporting my own rape, that I could see and feel her fear, that I could see my face in hers as she was delivering those lines and as they performed the rape kit on her I found some weird sense of healing in that because I was too scared to get my own, that watching that scene with tears pouring down my face left me feeling unhinged. That in one of the following scenes when the parallel story was happening the woman spoke about watching what was happening to her, hovering outside of her own body, she said,”That’s the moment I lost my mind” and the clarity that hit me in my own head like a ton of bricks I realized I had a similar experience when I saw myself in the shower, sobbing not wanting to admit what happened, after it happened, that’s the moment my innocence went down the drain, along with my saving myself for my husband because I was a virgin and that was in fact the moment that I lost my mind, that I lost myself. As a matter of fact I wrote a blog about that particular experience a few years ago, and I thought I was okay. This really has thrown me for a loop because I keep thinking, am I okay? I thought I was okay, I thought I was healed. So I wonder, if with trauma triggers happen, memories come back and just like the most recent trauma you work through it. You face it head on and you slay the dragon, because you are a survivor. You are fierce. You are a warrior. You bring that UGLY, disgusting thing that wants you to keep it buried in the dark, festering and growing and taking up root in your heart and in your life until in suffocates you. You bring it in to the light and you are gentle and gracious with yourself and you know these truths:
- John 1:5 “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
- Luke 1:79 “to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
- John 12:46 “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”
- Psalm 18:28 “For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.”
So I can slay this dragon. I can cling to the truth of God’s word. I believe that what He says is true. I believe that I don’t have to sit and fester in the sadness, that I can experience it, feel what I need to feel and give it back to God because He is “For I am the Lord who heals you.” – Exodus 15:26 and “He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.” – Psalm 147:2 So whether I have a flashback to a trauma I experienced years ago or I am healing from the present I can trust without a shadow of a doubt that it is okay to feel what I am feeling, it is okay to rest in that for a little while and not stuff my emotions or hide it and tell everyone how amazing I am doing. I can say today is hard, shockingly hard, unexpectedly hard but I know that my God is healer, I have seen, felt and experienced His healing in my life and in my heart and I don’t have to worry that I have regressed in my journey. I can have peace knowing He created me to feel and He can heal even the deepest darkest wounds, the ones I choose to share and the ones I choose to keep to myself. This blog today was really just me desperately needing to work out what was going on in my head and heart. If you have experienced or are experiencing something similar, you are brave, you are a survivor and you are not alone. Feel free to message me and I would love to be a listening ear as you process. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that please know you have resources. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, it’s never too late to get help. Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org this link opens in a new tab to chat anonymously one-on-one with a trained staff member.
Thank you for going on these journeys with me, each blog I write helps my head and my heart align and allows me the opportunity to continue healing and stepping into who God has created me to be. I am thankful for the creative space to do this. My hope is that even one person is encouraged and can see that there is hope. That they don’t have to walk through the storms, the mess and the yuck alone.
Feeling like a legit hot mess today,
I am in the process of figuring out who I am all over again. For now I know these things about myself and I am sure as I continue on my journey of healing and self awareness I will learn more about who I am growing to be. I am a single mother to the most beautiful little boy I have ever seen. I have a wonderful family of strong determined women who have poured into me and built strength and courage that I didn’t know I possessed. I love to travel and explore and discover new places. Pink is my favorite color, unashamedly, pink and sparkles. I am strong, stronger than I give myself credit for. I am who I am by the grace of God, He has blessed me abundantly and far more than I deserve. I have a heart for people and my goal in writing is to encourage them to seek God not only when they have everything cleaned up and figured out but to know and reassure them that they can come to God in the middle of their mess, the broken and their yuck. He is waiting with arms tenderly wide open willing to embrace whatever mess you are in the middle of.