Mental Health Awareness Month

“I may resent disappointments, rebel against a series of misfortunes which I regard as unmerited punishment. Yet in time I may come to understand that these can be considered gifts of enlightenment.”

-One Day At A Time

Since time has passed since the rape I have discovered that I am becoming grateful to have survived.

No, I am not grateful for the experience. I do not forgive the action, or even the person, I forgive myself for being a victim. I don’t believe in this forgiveness of a person who has no regret for what they did wrong. No one has asked me for my forgiveness. And I don’t expect anybody to ask for my forgiveness. Doesn’t mean it’s right. It just is.  I have asked others for their forgiveness, some of flat out told me to fuck off, and that is okay, because I sat down and looked at myself, my actions, and knew it was the right thing to do, even if I got their forgiveness or not, I at least honored their hurt, and learned from the experience. Because I needed to do what I could for me, and for them.

I am grateful I survived. I am grateful to see the darkness inside my soul, the hatred and anger from injustices, to see how I handle unrighteous experiences.

It is not fair to others, or myself to hold this “but I was raped when I turned 29,” to prevent me from moving forward, or hating others, or hating my lot in life. I am not being raped today, so why let it hold me back, that gives that man power over me, and I will not allow that for my life. It is my life on this earth. Mine, not his. I am not a toy.

My mind is not a toy. Sometimes I will remember at the most inopportune time of what I went through. Driving in a car, or as a passenger, or when I am just sitting in a parking lot about to go into work. Summer heat and weather always gets to me. The aftermath did more damage than the actual act at times.

Yes i have scars. A crooked nose now. When I model for others’ drawings, or paintings, or photos, it’s a problem for lighting, but that’s if somebody is trying to look for perfection in my face. And I tell them, “work with it, don’t hide it.”

I also drop things with my right hand. I hit the side of my finger where the blade sliced my skin and made me submit to further rebelliousness from my attacker and escape efforts. It tingles when it gets hit. The nerves scream across my hand, more intensely as the nerves heal, a 4 year old scar, still healing after all this time.  The scar on my neck from him choking me when I tried to jump out of the vehicle, that is almost gone now.

But that is the nature of healing, sometimes it takes a few months, and everything is back to normal. Sometimes it takes years. Like my mind, the memories, the PTSD.

I don’t trust doctor’s anymore with my life like I did before. I had to repair the damage of mis-diagnosis, and the effects of the wrong medications. When you take an antidepressant and you get worse instead of better, that means it is the wrong medication. It’s funny that Zoloft is the one that I spoke about how it made me feel better, and the previous doctors’ kept giving me the wrong medicines, changing it up quickly instead of gradually. Needless to say those doctors are no longer employed anymore. After I submitted my medical treatment for review to the state medical board. A lot of doctors try and treat rape like a “splinter” and look for another underlying issue, mainly just to put money in their pockets. Medicine is a business. My body is not a toy to play with, and I will go as far as to say some people tried to rape my mind with the wrong medications.

So I found a doctor who knew what they were doing, who listened, and stuck with them. Eventually my mind calmed down, eventually I regained trust, and eventually I got better.

I have had a horrible story turn into a better one. A lot of that I have had the help to realize, that when you are surrounded by people with diseases, like self-mutilation and depression. A partner that was suicidal. Family who has the disease of alcoholism making decisions for your life, without your help. You’re only issue was low self-esteem due to weight issues from untreated hypothyroidism and allergies, and an auto-immune disorder. And then there is you, no drinking history, straight A student, 3.8 GPA, graduated cum laude. A 6 figure job, that you left trusting peoples words that they would be there for you. And then you were suddenly scrambled in the head, suicidal and depressed from medications, and a choice you have never not regretted. Treating it like a simple procedure, a “removal of a parasite” that that family had said it meant, and yet it never felt right, as you convinced yourself over and over again. Doing something that was counter-intuition. It was a someone, not a parasite.

And then everything that defined you and was apart of your identity was quickly stripped away. And then your homeless and helpless after being drugged with mood altering anti-depressants. No food, no money, no job, helpless. Hearing hateful hurtful words from your best-friends and loved ones, who decided together, to kick you out, because you had changed forever. You weren’t performing to their standards, no longer useful, ta ta.

That would shatter you. Make you angry, make you depressed, make you irrational. Make you not you. All they did was help hurt you, instead of love you, and you tried as best you could at the time. And the reward you get for all that pain you’re going through, on top of it all, you get raped by a stranger, a third-level sex offender just out of prison. You are nameless. A disgrace, you are “where you belong” according to the “experts.”

Fuck that noise.

But that isn’t me anymore. I have re-defined who I am, and yet again I will again. Because the only constant in life is change.

I now know my dark side, It’s not pretty, nobodies dark side is. And after you have been beaten down so much, like a dog who gets beaten, or any animal on this planet you stop thinking, you start reacting, and you defend yourself. You fight back.

It’s called surviving.

And while people will sit there and judge you. They will fool themselves into thinking they are better than you, “I would never wind up homeless and raped at knife point. I am this…….. , or I am this…….. , and you are worthless. You are the monster, you are the crazy one.”

I am “crazy.” I have PTSD. I wasn’t “crazy” before, and I’m not really “crazy.” From trauma, from abuse, and people have tried to use my new mental illness to their advantage.

But the thing they don’t realize is that you can heal from PTSD, it’s a scar, on your brain,  the human body can heal itself. It is only temporary.

It is only temporary.

And even if I have it, and sometimes it sneaks up at times when I am at rest, or telling my story, I am better. I am healing. I am stronger. And I am grateful. I am grateful to know what other people go through. I am grateful to know that there is a light through the dark night of the soul.

I was raped. And I am alive today. He didn’t kill me. They didn’t kill me from their lack of love, from their abuse, from their stupidity of self-importance.

I am alive.

I have PTSD.

And I have people in my life who know the real me. The scarred, once broken, almost murdered, hated because of my gender me, hated for being a survivor, hated for not being that monster they want to believe I am, Looking for a way to explain and place blame on me for getting raped. “She must be a drug addict,” or “It must be some issue from her childhood,” or “It must be because she has a mental disorder,” or etc. etc. etc.

They also know the laughing me, the joyful me, the creative and compassionate me. I am called to help others when they need me. I am dependable, I am responsible, I am open-minded, I am passionate, I am adventurous, I am non-judgemental, I am supportive.

I am “crazy” and I have PTSD.

I’m happy to be me. And I am no different than anyone else.

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