I was raped in January and February of 1991. I spent 1991 in an emotional daze. Denial. Self blame. I had been pregnant and had a miscarriage. That tore me apart more than anything else. On the one hand, I knew I was not capable of raising her on my own. On the other hand, I was upset at losing perhaps my only opportunity to have a child. My body knew better than my heart. I spent the better part of the year lamenting the loss of my daughter, and thereby ignoring and supressing the other trauma.
Little Angel-a poem
For the next few years, I buried myself in work, food, and shopping sprees. I lavished my friends' kids with gifts. For myself, collections of books, videos, video games, autio tapes and so forth. I juggled payments, fenagled around to a huge debt, and I gained 65 pounds as well.
When I awoke enough to realise the financial nightmare I created, I filed for bankruptcy. This, it turned out was the first step I took toward putting the past behind me. In the fall of 1994, I stepped away from my debts and began to look at my life as a life that needed to be cleaned up, changed.
In June of 1995, I decided that I needed to make some positive changes in my life. I knew I had to put the past behind me and get on. I wasn't sure exactly how, and I still wasn't even thinking about dealing with specific things that had happened. At this point it was "all I have is me, and I've got to see to my self; no one else will." I took a correspondense course. I stopped my endless spending. I took a second job to bring in a little extra money and learned more about managing my finances.
In 1996, I began to take off the extra weight, and lost the 65 pounds that I had gained. I also began to deal with what had happened to me. When I met my boyfriend, I told him about what had happened to me. He was very understanding, and promised to be patient. I've been able to talk about these incidents more and more with other people.
With rapid progress, there are also set backs. I've only been dealing with this heaad on since October 1996, and while most times I am positive, and strong, there are times when I become overwhelmed. I started having flashbacks in January. I was told they were normal, but that didn't make them less frightening or less annoying. At first, they would just happen. As I dealt with them and with the feelings they brought to the surface, they started to be triggered by specific types of things. I harly have them anymore at all (June 1997), and when I do, I can look to see what caused it and why. I was very very surprised that the writing of this web site didn't trigger any flashbacks at all.
Surviving to me has gone from merely existing,, overshadowed by the past to becoming who I really truly am supposed to be, free from the chains that bound me.
I can tell you that I like the me that has emerged, like a phoenix, rising from the ashes.