Tw: mention of abuse, suicide, and rape.
I have ptsd. This is not something that I tend to talk about often because it has a stigma attached. I get claustrophobic. I hyperventilate. I dissociate. I struggle with the urge to hide. I am an insomniac. I am a survivor. None of the things I have listed make me a bad person. Most are the result of trauma and of keeping myself so hypervigilant for so long. I see a doctor. I take meds. Some days are better than others. I have learned coping methods. I have learned to be aware of my triggers. No I am not a snowflake. No I don’t have to have a safe place. I don’t even know what a safe place is. I take life one day at a time. I have panic moments as so many people do. They are from knowing that real monsters exist in this world. Monsters that hide in human skin. I am not suicidal. I really don’t want to die. However on my bad days I find that I wish I had never been born. I struggle with telling my story. I spoke my truth. I was called a liar. I came forward with one piece… And was not believed. I only told one person, because I was a child. If a child tells you their pain… Believe them. For you may be the only one they tell. My journey has been long. I was so fractured that I had at one point nearly 13 separate “alters” I am down to two. I used to have nightmares nightly. I am down to on average twice a month. Struggling with this does not make me less. I have come an amazingly long way… From losing months of time to now I lose an hour rarely. I am healing.
This is not something that I expected to post, if I am honest. I am careful about letting this all be “known” because I have others in my life that I know are embarrassed when the topic comes up. I have no reason for embarrassment. I am not ashamed of who I am. But, I love them. So I hold my tongue sometimes. However, I have been thinking about it. Perhaps it is not the right thing to do. I think that perhaps sharing the struggle might be more helpful for others who are struggling. I don’t know if I will share the details, yet.
I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. The man who did it abused others. He served time for one, and only one, of his victims. He has never been to court for what he did to me.
I survived a gang rape. And I survived another rape.
I survived domestic violence, by more than one of my relationships. My current love is the first time I have not been physically abused by the man in my life.
I have been homeless. I have been without food. I learned how to survive in each of these cases.
I have done things that I was not proud of. Hasn’t everyone? So, if I have a bad day… I might post some depression memes on social media. My poetry may get a bit darker. My art angrier.
Still. I survive. I am always here ready to listen. I understand what survival costs. Some days are better than others. Today I did not sleep. My mind would not quiet. Today my mind was attacking me with my faults in litany. Tomorrow may be better.
I know that this is published on Wednesday. I will post the art for Wednesday a day late because I think that this is important.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.
If you or a loved one is affected by sexual abuse or assault and need help, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.