Rebirth

Something has been on my mind a lot lately. It’s a topic I have visited before. Victim vs Survivor. I am not sure why it’s started to revisit my mind, but it is there.

Let’s go over the facts. I have been raped and abused. I became pregnant with my rapists baby, and then miscarried.  I cannot sugar coat it. I have reached the point since therapy of being able to say it aloud. I was raped. Does this make me a survivor though, or a victim?

According to Dictionary.com a survivor is one who continues to function despite hardships or setbacks whereas a victim is person or who suffers harm or death from another or from some adverse act. So where do I fit in for this?

I’ve gone through years of depression. At my lowest, suicide seemed to be the best and only answer. My only way to feel better.  I no longer felt anything. As my ability to feel became a thing of the past, self-mutilation became a new hobby; an addiction which was the only way I would allow myself to feel anything. I was the one in control of how much and what I was feeling, along with when I was able to feel.  Feeling anything was too painful, making it harder and harder to get through the days without people seeing something was wrong. So I decided to not feel. I pushed all emotions to a place and locked them up tight. I stopped feeling.

With stopping the emotions, I could make it through the day. Then the next day. And the next. Pretty soon I was making it through one week. Then two weeks. Then three. Before I knew it I was making it through one month. Then two months. Then three. Eventually I just didn’t feel and managed to think this was a normal state to be in. I was able to function day to day and no one was the wiser.  If I wanted to feel anything I would, by controlling it myself. I chose when to feel and how. I would self-mutilate. I cut myself. The need to release some emotion decided how deeply or how many. Some left scars. Some did not. It left me in charge of how and when I felt and how deeply I felt.

I eventually went to individual and group therapy. I saw a plethora of psychiatrists. This would help, and I reached a small break through. I was able to stop harming myself (a tiny miracle in my world). I was still unable to feel, but I was no longer hurting myself.

I was always addressing the effects of the rape, though not the rape itself.  I addressed depression; the inability to feel or desire not to.  I was unable to sleep. When I could I had nightmares. I was scared of any real or imagined noises. My own shadow scared me. I remember one time I was vacuuming, and my shadow was cast on the wall behind me. Enough to see it out of the corner of my eye. I had a panic attack. It came to the point that I was unable to work. I was having panic attacks at work, going to work, and after work. I was unable to function. I quit my job. I knew I had to. I needed help.

Up to this point, I was a victim. I allowed what happened to me to dictate how I was. It became who I was. It ruled me. I was a victim and took that title to heart. I was a shadow of myself. I did not even know who I was anymore.

I did seek help. The right kind of help this time. I admitted to myself what had happened. I admitted to a few that were close to me, including my parents, what had happened to me. I made it clear that I didn’t want to be treated differently, but that it’s beyond the point of being able to deal with it alone. I needed help, and not just for depression. I needed help dealing with the trauma and aftereffects of being raped. It was no longer something that I could ignore. It had taken my life over. It had been dictating what I do, how I act, where I go, and I needed it to stop. I needed to be in charge again. I needed to be human.

I went to counseling at the local Rape center.

This was the miracle I was looking for. I slowly started to live again. With each session, I was able to stand up a little straighter. I was not hiding in the corner. I was able to refer to it as “the incident,” then as “the attack,” and finally as “the rape.” I was able to say “rape” without a panic attack. I could reference it without getting sick each time. Eventually, I could talk about it, stating it happened in the past. And a while in the past, not the night before. Slowly my nightmares have subsided. I have had only a few in the past year. I have only had one panic attack recently, but it was in regard to my fear of bridges, not of being attacked. I haven’t had a relapse of cutting in over a year. I’ve replaced the cutting with tattoos instead. I have art to remind me of hope.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote

Sparrows

Sparrows

I have had a smile on my face and a cheerful demeanor lately. I have a functioning and loving relationship with someone who means the world to me. I have a job where I am not having panic attacks every few days. I’m no longer an emotionless zombie. I have feelings and emotions which pour out of me. Sometimes it’s more than it should be, but I’ll take it. I feel as if I’ve become a beautiful person full of love and joy with a little wear and tear, but stronger for it.

Does that make me a victim or a survivor?

I was raped, and I survived. It took me a bit to find my courage and strength, but I found it and fought back for my life. Now I am living.

I’m not a victim, nor am I a survivor. I’m a fighter. I fought for my life, and I have won.

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You Keep Holding Me Down

Something always brings me back to you.
It never takes too long.
No matter what I say or do I’ll still feel you here ’til the moment I’m gone.

You have a hold on me, and no matter how hard I try to shake you off, I cannot seem to leave you behind. You’re there, all the time, hiding in the shadows, waiting for a time to pounce, or there, taking a hold of me, leading me to where I do not want to go. Back to where I was before, where I am trying to escape from.

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You’ve held me captive for so long. I didn’t have a voice, unable to run away, so weak that I let you lead me, tell me what to do, how to be. You were living for me.  I was a prisoner, with you holding my chains. Taut, ever so taut, with no hope of escaping. Would I ever see the light? Would I ever be free?

You loved me ’cause I’m fragile.
When I thought that I was strong.
But you touch me for a little while and all my fragile strength is gone.

I didn’t think I would have the chance. I didn’t think I would be able to escape, to run away. I waited, waited for so long, trying to find an opening.  Would it ever be there? Would I find my opening? Would I be strong enough to try, if I did see one?

The moment came. I felt the tension lessen. Oh would I be up for this? Could I do it? Was I strong enough?

I made a run for it. I felt so strong, felt that I could do it. The door was there, in my sight, my finger tips just grazed the knob, then you lashed out, pulled me back. My strength I thought I felt, you broke it into pieces. I had no hope of making it.

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I live here on my knees as I try to make you see that you’re everything I think I need here on the ground.
But you’re neither friend nor foe though I can’t seem to let you go.
The one thing that I still know is that you’re keeping me down.
You’re keeping me down, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
You’re on to me, on to me, and all over…
Something always brings me back to you.
It never takes too long.

You’re always there, and so here I live, in your clutches and shadow, with you holding me down when I think I’ve gotten somewhere. Pulling me back when hope and freedom are with in my reach.  Here I am, on my knees, begging for you to release me. Please, let go of this hold on me, let me be me, the me I am suppose to be. If you weren’t here, holding me down, pushing me down, I could be so much more.

Please, let me be free, let me live, let me survive and be strong, even if it’s just for a day. Let me go.

One of those days.

Have you ever had a day where you wish you had not woken up? That’s today for me. I wish I never woke up. That it did not exist. Just make it go away.

That’s all I want. To just forget today, pretend it didn’t happen, go back to sleep, and not wake up. That’s what I want.

I woke up with a major migraine, a pain in my side that felt like I was kicked by a donkey there, a nose that seems to be acting like a running faucet. So it started off awful. Then it just got worse. I did take some Excedrin Migraine, then back to sleep I went. Upon waking, it just continued to get worse.

Everything is setting me off in a rotten mood. I feel like Sid Vicious. (I’m praying you know who he is, I’ll be rather disappointed if you didn’t.) I was irritated with the dogs. I was irritated with myself. I told myself off. I throw everything in my room into a pile because I couldn’t find my robe. It’s a nice fuzzy fleece one that I love when I’m feeling blah. Then the fuzzy slippers were missing. I wanted my fuzzy slippers. Not socks.

Then it was up to the tea. Not finding the one I wanted. Then I found it and the world was right, for a moment. Then it was back to sneezing every minute. Sometimes it was about 5-10 in a one minute period. Oh the joys of colds or allergies. I will now perpetually be sick for about a month. It’s how my cookies crumble.

Then I just seemed to disappoint people. I slept most of the day, I said the wrong things, people got quiet and didn’t know what to say to me. Just when I needed distraction, I couldn’t find it.

Back to bed I go.

Upon waking, it was a rinse and repeat. Why did I even bother? I’m still not sure. Perhaps I should go back to sleep. If this is how the week is going to go, perhaps I best not wake up.

 

It’s not what you think…

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Antisocial personality disorder is a mental health condition in which a person has a long-term pattern of manipulating, exploiting, or violating the rights of others. This behavior is often criminal.

Not what you were expecting were you? I know I wasn’t. Antisocial to me was always the person off by themselves, refusing to be part of life.  Ok, I admit, I have referred to myself as being antisocial. I would rather read a book, play video games, work on art projects, just be by myself. It was easier. I knew what I wanted, I knew what makes me happy. It’s what I wanted.  Apparently I was wrong though. It seems that antisocial is a behaviour personality disorder.

Interesting.

What makes this seem more interesting though, is that the definition, states that this person is a master at manipulating, exploiting, and/or violating rights of others. In other words, this person is great at being social. He’s a chameleon. You do not really see him coming. You always look out for those that are “antisocial” (def: unwilling or unable to associate in a normal or friendly way with other people.)  as the ones to look out for, the ones that are on going to be on the most wanted charts.  Wrong, this whole time, we are looking for the one in the crowds and groups. That’s what you need to look out for.

What though makes this person so “evil”?

 A person with antisocial personality disorder may:

  • Be able to act witty and charming

  • Be good at flattery and manipulating other people’s emotions

  • Break the law repeatedly

  • Disregard the safety of self and others

  • Have problems with substance abuse

  • Lie, steal, and fight often

  • Not show guilt or remorse

  • Often be angry or arrogant

Those first 2 scare the ever loving crap that is just waiting to come out of me, out. ( Whoops! It just happened. ) It’s those first 2 that blind you to everything else. Everything else stays hidden until it’s too late, until the damage has already been done. Usually, this damage is not something little, and the hardest thing to recover from, if you can at all.

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This personality disorder was brought to my attention in my therapy/counseling sessions for my PTSD from the rape. I’ve been having the hardest time wrapping my head around the fact that someone that I trusted, and seemed safe, could do something so vile to me. In my head (which I will tell you is still rather warped from this experience and ones after it… I’ve only had 3 serious relationships, and they’ve all gone very poorly) I keep thinking that this was my fault, I must have wanted this, must have given off signs that this was ok.  I never thought this would have happened. So my counselor is trying to help me figure this out. We look at everything as if it was a court case, and need to have evidence to prove a thought. Her evidence this week, was an antisocial person. You can trust them, they’re the most charming person you will meet, they seem honest, they seem safe, but then they surprise you.

I was surprised, majorly.

It’s also making me think differently. Maybe it wasn’t my fault, of course I still berate myself with the “I should have known” or “why didn’t I see it?” It is a work in progress, but I now know a little piece of evidence. That perhaps it wasn’t my fault.

I seem to have a knack at finding guys like that, but I’m hoping to change it. I want to change it.

That’s my plan.

The Makings of JERK

I think it’s time to describe something in my life I don’t like talking about. Well one of them.  You’ve seen pieces here and there of it, but this one has been in my head all day today that’s to some texts that were received last night from JERK.  He is like the Black Plague, I swear. Every time I think the is finally out of my life, he finds a way to get back in. Mind you, I said TRIES.  I’m trying so hard to not let it happen this time.

Let’s start at the beginning shall we, and when I get to the end, I shall simply stop.

JERK is an ex boyfriend, in case you didn’t know. I met him through my brother, who I trust more than anyone else. My brother and I look out for each other, are as close as siblings can be.  It can be creepy when he is hurting at times, I know, I can sense it, freaks my out, but it always tells me when I need to call and make sure he is ok, so anyways, I trust him and his choices in friends. So when the JERK asked for my number, I said ok.

At the time, he was nice. He is good looking, seemed ambitious, was attentive, caring, all those good things you hope to find in a guy (or a girl). I didn’t think twice about how he is from another country (Iraq), thinking this would influence how he would treat me. He was very American in his actions.  Apparently I was blind, but I haven’t gotten to that point yet, so I won’t say how until a further paragraph. I was completely shocked, surprised, and happy that he wanted to go out with me. (As I’ve said, I do not have the best self esteem, any wonder with the things I have gone through?)

So we started hanging out, talking and texting, trying to get to know each other better. He told me some of his past, what it was like growing up in Iraq, what he went to school for, how he came to America, his past relationships. We talked about my past, my past relationship (I really only had the on serious one) and how that fell apart, why I thought it did, where I was working, things like that. Notice, he was very into my past relationship ( this was a hint I didn’t notice, just keep this in the back of your mind), but not much about too much else about me. I didn’t really notice this at first, later, I noticed I should have noticed.

Things gradually progressed into a relationship. He kept saying things to me about how he was not like my ex, would never be like him, that I would be important in his life, blah, blah blah. Yes, really, blah, blah, blah. It just all started to become a routine. He’d find out something about the ex, then promise to not be like that, though he would never share much about his past. (There’s a problem I have, when I trust, I trust completely, it’s hard to earn, but once you have, I feel you have my life in your hands, and I will share with you, and share everything, after all, in my head, that is what you do with someone you trust and respect.) I honestly didn’t notice this at first, after all hindsight is 20/20, where is foresight when you need it? I thought things were going good. We talked all the time, we seemed happy together, we’d do little things/get gifts for each other, just little things.

Then things got a little  strange. I’d get random extravagant gifts, and if I didn’t do something of equal value, I’d be on the outs for the day or week, depending on his mood. Ok, whatever, everyone has their own quirks. Then something new would happen. He didn’t like someone I talked, so I was no longer allowed to talk to them, or if I did, I couldn’t talk to him. Strange. (You’d think I would start noticing that this wasn’t right at this point wouldn’t you?) Then he started having issues with my job. I was a waitress at the time working until close, but to him, oh my goodness, you’d think I was fornicating with every guy that walked into that place. (Hello, so not me, you’d think he wold have known that.)

Then there was a new twist on everything. I found out he had a temper. And that temper, no matter what, seemed to come out on me. (No, not violence, trust me if that was the case, after things I have been through, he’d probably find himself.. well not a good situation.) If something didn’t go his way, it suddenly became my fault. If I was working and couldn’t make time for him when he was wanting to spending time (I never had a say in this), then it was my fault, or my job’s fault. I was told my job, that was paying my bills, was bad for me, that I shouldn’t be working there, and should quit immediately. Didn’t matter that I had no job to fall back on. (Smart, don’t you think?) Then if I was tired and didn’t have time to talk about something, then it was my fault, I didn’t care, I didn’t love him anymore. (Yes, I was an evil vile person because I was on 4 hours of sleep, and had to be back up in 4 more hours for another double, I’m evil for not hearing how you don’t like your boss because he made you stay until 10:30, not 10.)

Things like that just kept continuing. Then the controlling started. Well tried to start. ( I might not be the smartest in relationships, but some things I draw the line at. That’s one of them.) It started oddly. I always have had short hair, pixie style, then one day decided to grow it long. It’s now about halfway down my back.  He told me if I ever cut it, I could never go out with him, as I’d be like a man then. I’d be unattractive. Weird, but at the time, I was growing my hair out and wanted it long, so this didn’t really matter to me.  He kept trying to make me choose between him and my job. When I was looking for a new job, after I quit when I was having panic attacks and flashbacks nonstop, he told me we couldn’t talk if I took a job that kept me out until past 4pm.  The job that I was waiting to hear back on at the time, was an overnight help desk shift. I really wanted that job, I was use to be up until 4am working, just add a few more hours to it, no problem.  He hated that. He won anyways as the job that through in the offer first was the job I’m in now. (Seems I lost to that because I have Fred now, and he is a nightmare.)

We were constantly bickering.  Really, we were. It was over anything. I talked to someone he didn’t know, that was a sin. I was only allowed to talk to him. He was jealous of me talking to my brother, the person that is practically like a twin to me. Then apparently I was always lying to him. (No way, my last relationship, the ex fiance was always lying about things, I didn’t like that, and said I wouldn’t be like that as I didn’t like it.) Where did that come from? Let me tell you. Remember about my event? Well lets just say that was the first time I had sex.  Yes I was raped while I was still a virgin. I didn’t see a need to have sex at the time, pure and simple. So instead, it was stolen from me. The ex fiance was fine with me not wanting to have sex, scared me at the time, but he didn’t know why, but he was ok with it, respected me in that way. Not the JERK.  When I told him about what had happened, he changed completely. Apparently I was ASKING for the rape to happen, and WANTED it to happen. He said I had lied about being a virgin, even though I said.. ahem. “I was raped, therefore my virginity was stolen. I feel that I still am as I didn’t give it away, but rather, it was robbed from me.” Yet apparently, all he heard was that I was a virgin. I didn’t lie, he didn’t listen.

I learned he did that a lot. He only heard what he wanted to hear, or would twist your words to be what he wanted them to be. So then when you tried justifying something, or reminding him about something, you were wrong. He heard it straight from your mouth, but only what he wanted to hear, not everything. Therefore, I lied a lot.

The tipping point to me was him stating that I was asking for, and wanting the event to occur to myself. (Yes, you’re right, I was standing out there with a t shirt on that said I wanted to be sexually assaulted and be tormented by it for the rest of my life, because you know, that’s how I like things.)  That’s where I started having problems, and sat back and took stock of what was going on. See, he was the first person I told I was raped too. (I was raped about, at that time, 8 years before that.) I thought he would understand, that he cared. No, it was all just a facade. A veneer of sorts. He cared, just not about me, about himself. I would be a stain to him. He treated me with no respect at all. None. I don’t know how else to say it, except that if we were back in his country, I’d be that woman walking 3 steps in front of him so he wouldn’t get blown up by a landmine.

He became everything that my ex fiance was, and then worse. He put on a good show of being what I had wanted and wished for in a man, then little by little, he showed who he truly was. Still, he was the one to end the relationship. Apparently, he couldn’t stomach being around me anymore. That’s ok, after a little bit, I realized how much better I was without him, that he was not good for me. I saw how much he brought me down and sunk me back into depression. I decided I was completely done with him.

That’s what I thought.

Apparently, he didn’t like that idea. And would randomly pop back up every once in a while. Usually because he was “lonely” and wanted someone to talk to. I tried being a friend. (I know, I cannot help, I tried to, but I try to be kind to almost all people, it’s how I was raised.) Then he would get mad and say he’s never speaking to me again, simply because I said no, I do not want to hang out with him. (Why would I want to put myself back through that again?) I firmly told him that no, we are done, pointed out that he is the one that said so, and would ignore him.

This was finally working. Then last night hit.

Apparently he must be lonely, and must have been turned down a lot lately. He told me he wanted to “fix” things, that he’s learned and is much better now. I firmly told him no, things cannot be be fixed. He still kept texting. I turned my phone off. (See, I’m staying strong here.) I eventually had to turn it back on though because it was the source of my alarm. I had a lot of messages. Apparently he thinks that he can easily fix things. I’m still ignoring him. A lot.

After all, how can you fix a lack of respect for someone? He has no respect for me, and is ashamed of what has happened to me in my past. I don’t need that in my life, especially as I’m trying to go through a healing process to put my past behind me.

Random side effects

Some of the various side effects from the different antidepressants are:

Dry mouth
Urinary retention
Blurred vision
Constipation
Sedation (can interfere with driving or operating machinery)
Sleep disruption
Weight gain
Headache
Nausea
Gastrointestinal disturbance/diarrhea
Abdominal pain
Inability to achieve an erection
Inability to achieve an orgasm (men and women)
Loss of libido
Agitation
Anxiety

You’re familiar with these. Side effects from medications. Every commercial you see it hear throws out this long list of things that could happen from taking a certain medication. Sometimes the effects sound more dangerous than why you are taking them. Interesting.

As I read these side effects, I am thinking, “mother fraker! This is me!” Though this is me with or without medication. Scary isn’t it? I take medication for anxiety, yet it can make me anxious. Others are suppose to be for combatting depression symptoms, yet they can increase the symptoms. Something seems iffy there.

So why am I saying this? What brought it about? That’s easy peasy my fine friend. My depression.

Why is that? I noticed something this week and was trying to figure it out. I’ve lost my appetite. Not just a ” I’m not feeling hungry” feeling, but an almost constant “I feel full” feeling. I know I need to eat, and should, but I cannot.

Now before you even think it, no it’s not an eating disorder. I’ve been there and refuse to again. Bullies and peer pressure, the geek girls best friend huh? So no, not an eating disorder, well that I know of at least.

Still, I don’t like it. It’s increasing my anxiety. It’s making me edgy. Yes, I need to lose weight, but not from not eating. It’s funny, as I start to readjust my diet to be better, I suddenly can’t eat because I feel full constantly.

I guess I better put a service request in to get a new appetite.
Side effects, many. Always changing. May make you worse. Chance of getting better. Could make you a zombie.

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