So that nap was a bad idea. Waking up with another panic attack I was like, "I'm dumb." I just wrote about doing even a little is better than doing nothing and I then went and did nothing instead of something. Just having a funky day I guess.
My friend just broke up with her boyfriend and moved out of their apartment. She's doing well, we've been talking a lot. Her ex's issue is the same as at least 10 guys I know. Going through life in a haze of indecision and fear. He was hurt as a kid and his parents just swept all those issues under the rug instead of confronting them, "Now it's massive rotting dump." Yeah... because pushing your issues down doesn't make them disappear it just makes them fester and become infected and necrotic.
I got taken advantage of when I was 13 years old. I never dealt with it, I never told my parents I just lived with that pain, that feeling of powerlessness and self loathing. It stayed there rotting me from the inside. I didn't understand then. I didn't even know it was something that affected me. No I just thought I had this really cool talent of being able to shut myself off emotionally when someone wanted to use my body. I went to a happy place where no one was hurting me. The guys growing up now are taught that it's okay to get a girl drunk and then have sex with her. They aren't taught that it's disgusting and that she doesn't have the wherewithal to consent, on the contrary media makes it seem completely acceptable. So now there's a generation of girls growing up with this ability to have casual sex and pretend it's not bothering them. Giving yourself to another person is a big deal. Your body should be treated with the respect and reverence it deserves. It should not be used like a tissue for some guy with a need and no sense of respect. Women deserve more than to just give themselves up because a dude is horny. And men should have more respect for women. They are going to be mothers and wives and sisters. They are daughters. Do onto others, remember.
Anyway my point is I never dealt with the initial trauma, I swept it under the rug instead of confronting it. It never went away, I never learned from it. When I was assaulted in November I was already in therapy. It happened on a friday and I saw my therapist on monday and I didn't tell her... I didn't tell her for another week because I tried to sweep it under the rug too. I woke up in the morning after it happened and was like, "Ah well, time to just get over this and move on with my life." But I couldn't because it was a big deal. I even ran into him after it happened with my friend and he gave me a casual kiss on the cheek as if I didn't catch him having sex with my unconscious body. My skin was crawling but I was too ashamed to tell anyone what he did to me. I felt stupid and irresponsible. I wondered why I didn't kick and scream. I didn't even let myself cry. When I woke up terrified with his weight on top of me. All I wanted to do was scream and yell but then I was like... "This is Carmen's best friend, she's going to be so crushed. They're going to make me call the police and then I'll be responsible for this kid going to jail and ruin his life." I remember telling that to Alec and he was like, "Did he give a fuck he was hurting you? You're hurt now, right? It's not like a scrape it's like something that is hurting you from the inside, like cancer. You had to go on disability, you needed counseling and medication- that's ruining your life."
Honestly it was probably the best thing to ever happen to me. I did get the help I really needed to completely heal. It wasn't until a week after he assaulted me that I told someone. I was working in Jersey City having an off day but trying to focus on the upcoming ski trip Carmen and I were planning. She sent me a text saying, "I invited Danny and Gio." I remember staring at the text them writing, "I don't want them to go," then erasing it and writing it and erasing it and writing it again. Finally I put my phone down because I couldn't decided and thought better to just finish off my work day. I was driving in Jersey City on a busy street going the speed limit of 35 when a little boy ran out in front of my car. I hit the brakes but already envisioned my car breaking his little body. Thankfully they worked and stopped inches away from him. I wanted to get out of my car and hug him and then beat the shit out of him. I was shaking for the rest of the day and on my drive home my panic attack got so back my arms went numb. I pulled over and called my friend Victor and told him Danny raped me and that I was freaking out because Carmen invited him on the ski trip. Victor helped me as much as he could right away... He was a good friend.
Anyway... By not confronting things they don't just go away. Your mind has to spend so much time and energy ignoring the things that are bothering you it doesn't have the time to enjoy things. My friend was saying that she couldn't sleep imagining her ex drinking himself into oblivion. I told her what I do which is just recognize that it's his life and he's on his own journey of self discovery. She said that was easier said then done. So I told her, "Well then look at it this way. You loved him and treated him well and tried to help him and offered him all your love and support and instead of embracing it he ran away screaming like a little girl. That's his issue. It may make you sad but he's on his own journey and worrying about him isn't going to help anyone."
"I guess he has to hit rock bottom."
"Maybe, maybe not. But something does need to change. He has to change. He's the only one who can save himself."
We must actively break the cycle. People hurt us yes, but that doesn't mean we have to hurt ourselves. My friend is an amazing girl. She is beautiful and intelligent and amazingly kind and caring. He isn't pushing her away because he doesn't love her. She said that when she moved out he told her he loved her but he couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of relief that he didn't have to worry about his mood affecting her. He doesn't want to have to deal with what's bothering him every time he's in a funk. He doesn't want kids or a family anymore because he doesn't want to worry about his issues ever hurting anyone else. In that it says it all. He's terrified of fixing what is within him. He loves her and he knows if he continues his life with her happily he will have to confront all that pain... A bottle of whiskey and a lifetime alone seems like the only thing that makes sense right now. It's either that or really let go of all the pain inside and become vulnerable to having it happen again. The thing is that it won't happen again if you understand that everyone is just hurt and any type of emotional poison they lash out is their own and has nothing to do with you.
It's difficult to trust people when you've had a lifetime of mistrust. But it gets lonely turning everyone away who knocks at your door. Pretty soon people stop knocking and then you realize that's not what you wanted you just couldn't deal with the pain at that moment. Just like I pulled away from all my friends after November and when they were all gone then I felt abandoned. You let people in. You love them. If they hurt you it's because of their own issues. You forgive and move on.
Today I spent the day battling anxiety because I now know better but I'm overwhelmed by the doing better part. I know it's just little changes... Baby steps. When Derek and I were first going out he used to use "baby steps" as code for "bitch you're freaking out and overthinking." But it's good advice and I repeat it to myself whenever things get overwhelming. Baby steps... Because a little bit of progress is still progress. Everything takes time. Little steps add up and once you realize it you're almost where you need to be. Patience Tania...