Posted by: CeCe | May 30, 2013

Not broken

[possible trigger warning, sexual assault]

Over the past 16 months since I’ve had this blog, I’ve written several times about when I was sexually assaulted and when I was molested as a child.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the effect that both of them had on me, such as my views on sexuality as well as my health, and how important it is to not be silent about it.  But I don’t want to talk about that, no.  I’ve talked about that too much already.

Some who read this blog may recall an instance where I spoke briefly about my PTSD, about waking up with nightmares almost nightly, about my social anxiety, about having flashbacks and living in near constant fear after I was assaulted.  What I’ve come to realize though, is that even though I’m a damaged person and I won’t deny that, I am not broken.  I am not broken.  I can still love without reservation.  I can hug people without fear.  I can smile and laugh without sadness (except when it comes to my mom, even still).  I can reach out in love and compassion to others.  I can still give of myself.

There are so many other pieces of evidence I can present to show that although I’m damaged, although I still struggle with the occasional nightmare and pangs of social anxiety and fears that will probably never again come to fruition, although I still fight with my depression, that I have not allowed what others have done to me against my will to control my life, but here, I think, is the strongest evidence of all: I’m still standing.  I’m still fighting.  I’m still advocating, and speaking out, and I walk down the street without letting any fear I have show, because I know, I know, that as long as my body has breath and my heart continues to beat, I’ve beaten those who would seek to victimize others.  I’ve already beaten them.  They just don’t know it yet.

If any of you reading this made yourself get past the trigger warning to read this because you were assaulted and you’ve been struggling yourself, know this: As long as you keep breathing, and your heart keeps beating, you’ve already won, even if you feel as though there’s no end to the darkness in which you’re traveling.  There is.  Hold your head up high; you may have been damaged, but you are not, not, NOT broken!  And your battle has already been won, even if you don’t know it.  You survived.  And you continue to survive, even if and even when it’s the last thing you want.  You are already so much stronger than you realize.  Tell yourself that every day if you have to, let it become your anthem, you are not broken!  Remember that.

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Responses

  1. And, I’d like to share my insights as a sexual abuse survivor, who has been through therapy. I dealt with a lot of shame when I was younger, and it took me several years to acknowledge the issues. I spent time in therapy and group therapy, and eventually, found the path towards forgiveness.

    I share this, in hopes that anyone who is in the midst of these triggers and feelings will receive hope that it can end.

    But, forgiveness is the final stage, and along the way, there will be shame, forgetting the details, remembering the details, triggers that remind you of how you felt, anger, bitterness, resentment, acceptance, forgiveness, remembering and dealing with the anger yet again,repeating any amount of the cycle…to the point that you are so very tired of it all and how those feelings resurrect their ugly head.

    At some point, (and it may take many years), you do get to the point where you realize that the person who hurt you can no longer hurt you. And you will get to the point where you will finally be able to put the issue in your past. You will realize that you are stronger, that you are a SURVIVOR, and that it’s time to finally let go.

    For me, I finally was able to put it into the past when the person who hurt me died.

    I can now read what happened to another person and no longer feel those triggers. However, I know when I was in my 20s, those wounds made me feel like a freak, like I was damaged.

    As you grow older, those wounds will heal— in time. You will find comfort in knowing others have dealt with the issues. You will find friends who understand and kindred spirits from those individuals.

    And there will come a day when you realize, you can finally bury the abuse, not covering it up…but being able to give it that well-deserved funeral.

    • *Very* well put! I’ve been very fortunate in the fact that one of my abusers died not long after the abuse ended (we moved); I’ve been able to find at least some semblance of healing and normalcy, but I also understand that I’ll probably always be at least a little bit damaged. I’m okay with that. At least I know I’m not broken, even if my scars bleed a little bit sometimes.

      Thank you very much for your wonderful comment! ❤


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