Tag Archives: assault

When I never was a person

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Mirrors didn’t matter, but neither did my presence
Insanity chased me more when I had to live in silence
Stuck in the spider web, tangled in the  shadows
The black widow came along, and jammed in its teeth
I climbed through a window as the room spun around me
I couldn’t make it to a shower, I could not let anyone see
Hide below the blankets and sob in the quiet
You remember the only thought pounding in your mind
“What did I do? What did I do? What did I do?”
“How will I wake up tomorrow, how will I face him?”
I’ll do it by disappearing, I’ll pull an abracadabra
Before they know it, I’ll be gone and nothing can touch me again
My skin won’t exist, and my body isn’t real
With lips sewn shut, and nonexistent tear ducts
I won’t feel and I will not be, because of your choices imprisoning me
There is no one in here anymore, that girl you used to know
She went away, into the sky, and all that remains is me
I’m not a person, people can make choices and I certainly didn’t
If you want to speak to her, let me know, I speak for her
Because her voice isn’t real, and neither is she
But when you stare hard, into my soul, you can catch a glimpse of a girl
Just a shadow, an outline of her, but then blink, she flies away
I grit my teeth, keep her hidden, because the last time she was a person
She turned into an object and that pain is too much to handle
So again I say, she is not here, you have to go through me to get to her

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What I am learning

Coming back from Tuesday has definitely not been easy. But, I think I am doing it, or at least I am trying. While the “slip” of my purge behavior is hard to move on from and upsetting to me, I think I’m getting there. What I’ve learned from my experience is more about myself and what I want for my life.

When I made the decision to use my voice and say, “It’s time to go, I want to go home,” or “let me drive, I’m driving,” I learned that had I been drunk or high, there’s no way I could have taken care of the other women and myself. Most likely, I would have gotten myself into a worse situation, dangerous, and also, been putting other girls in a dangerous situation. I also would have gotten in the car so drunk, I would not have cared that I was not driving, and that someone else was highly intoxicated and driving me home.

I also learned by watching the behaviors of random people at the club that there was a deeper sadness to myself, being assaulted years ago. I realized a more intense level of how I was defenseless and vulnerable. I’m not there, yet, to letting it go, but I am at least able to feel things differently.

From purging that night, I learned that when I was feeling helpless, afraid, scared and guilty, I took control by purging and also punished myself.

There is so much more I shared about during a recent AA meeting and I am learning that I am getting better in ways. It’s just a little discouraging, still, to rebound from a painful experience.

Sober girl in a club – what is the truth about mistakes?

I’m trying to listen to the words: “it’s not a mistake if you learn from it.”
But I wonder if that is even accurate or redundant because then there are these words: “No one is perfect, we all make mistakes.” So it appears to be an unending circle.

I messed up last night and I don’t know what to do with my head, my heart, my inside feelings, all of it. There’s too much and I feel like I am going to erupt and spill over or explode because I can’t handle it so I figured I would try and put everything in words. But it simply does not feel great at all. In fact, I feel awful, disappointed and just sad.

I went out last night with a couple girls with the attempt to have fun, let loose and just dance. Being sober, i did not care and learned to appreciate having all my senses and really understanding how alcohol is a pure disguise that blurs all decisions. This is something to be grateful for but this in itself stirs up a lot of feeling.

While the two girls around me were getting more and more drunk as the night went on, I was aware of the various behaviors these women fell into. Clearly, the alcohol, beyond causing drunk fools, creates this sense of vulgarity or unnecessary sex-capade. I am not being negative on those who enjoy a drink, socially go out, like to have fun and dance. Hell, I love dancing. I’m referring to these people who cannot control their drinking or behavior.

I also became completely overwhelmed with the fact of the sleazy men. I know that a club is a black hole, attracting men who prey on girls or women whose inhibitions have been slated from alcohol, and often drugs. Seeing the two women I was with, I could clearly see how judgment is completely impaired and there is no truth in making decisions.

While we were out, I felt extremely uncomfortable and sad. Suddenly, these older men were feeding the girls I was with mixed alcohol. I whispered to the one girl I was with to be careful and don’t take open drinks from strangers because you have no idea what they could have slipped in the drink, what they are mixing, or any other plausible possibilities.

Sitting there, I watched the moves these men put out there, clear to a sober person, but completely not to someone highly intoxicated or high. The man then offered us cocaine. At that point, I turned to one of the girls and said, “Hell no. I am not okay with this.”

I got up and walked away. And was able to pull the young women with me. At this point, I was having a panic attack, keeping my sobriety, having bad things around me, so I said I needed to get out and breathe in some air.

At this point, I texted one of my friends from AA because it was after midnight and I knew that she would be awake. After all this, I felt the men staring at me, some trying to pick me up or dance with me, and I just had no interest.

Eventually, I was ready to leave after only being there for two hours. We went outside to smoke a cigarette and a loud scream, “Put your hand behind your back!”

Police officers were all over this man loud and almost violent. I’m not sure what the man did but at this point, after witnessing something like that, I finally said that I wanted to go home, I was at my wits-end. As we were walking out the two girls were slurring, and stumbling when they walked. No surprise — one was the driver.

She tried to tell me she was okay to drive but I said absolutely not, I’m driving us home. And I did.

In the midst of all this miserable experience, while I was completely sober and clean, I realized that I am not this person anymore. Sure, I like to dance, but this scene, it’s not me. While I felt so stupid even trusting people again and trying to have a good time (My therapist points out that I could not control or predict what happened) that there was a difference this time. Last time, i was drunk and stranded. This time, I remained in control and solved every situation I could and used my voice. This is the new me. But the part that pains me is this: I had a slip and purged for the first time in about nine months. I felt like an animal, cornered, trapped and scared, and not knowing what to do, I did the only thing I knew how.

I’m sad about this. I’m sad I put myself, once again, in a not-so wise situation. I’m sad because while I watched all these girls and women in the club, I saw the 19-year-old me trapped and scared, in the club next to me.

I saw her (me) so wasted and what happened, again, four years ago. I relived the sexual assault again, but this time, while I could not protect her (me) I was able to understand deeper, the fault did not belong to me. It’s hard to remember that. But reliving things sober surfaced painful feelings of helplessness, sad, fear, anxiety, quiet. trapped. But looking at myself, i could see that I felt these things because I was completely taken advantage of and that man hurt me. I’m sad, because I do feel like it ruined me.

So it brings me back to the beginning of this entry: Are mistakes actually mistakes if you learn something or are mistakes something that does not even exist? I’m not sure. I do know I am struggling with the repercussions of an awful night.

That was such a bad idea…

***spoiler alert: this post possible triggers for those ultra sensitive ***

Part of my gut was kicking at me, screaming “this is not a good idea!” The ironic thing is that this is the same voice that screamed at me four years ago the night I decided I would sneak out on memorial day weekend. It was the same voice that I chose to ignore as a naive teenager when I was nineteen. It was the exact same voice that had been muted out when I was a girl who was sexually assaulted by a man twice my age. An acquaintance. A customer at my former job. It’s hard even writing this out because instantly I have flashbacks of my job at Starbucks, his face, him touching me, him on me. The scent of the living room, the noises from everything occurring in the small boxed off room. I remember the couch, the cigarette, and the kiss.

So when this reoccurring voice had popped up again, part of it was due to the constant flashbacks of my stripping in an effort to take control of my body in a way that was taken away four years ago and the other part was due to the sober alcoholic in me trying to be wise.

I was invited out to go dancing with some girls from my job. I am friends with all them and I had the conclusion that they would be fun and it would be a good time. In all honesty, there was an impulse screaming out from inside of my body to take on another identity, one where I was in control of my sexuality and my body. I decided when I went off into the city with my girlfriends that they were to call me Gia (my former stripper name). Yes, this is a read flag that among my stripper flashbacks, this was another way for me to manage the pain and self-shame that I was feeling about myself. The identity that people tell me is a lie that I find so painfully true.

But, regardless of my instinct, the neglected and scared, naked inside and exposed girl wanted control and feeling like shit, went along and said, “Hell yeah! I am down!”

The girls all knew that I am an alcoholic, addict and that I would not be drinking. Oh, did I mention that it was my 11 months sober anniversary last night? Of course I didn’t. But it was. Then I found out that two of the girls would be smoking weed. My thoughts were as long as I am not doing it, and I don’t partake, I am good and strong enough to stay clean and sober. Before I finish this story let me say it is not about me losing my nearly a year of sobriety at a spontaneous dance-off. This is not a story of shame because I tossed away a year of hard work getting clean and sober. This is a story about sexuality and sexual shame from another situation of violation. Although minor, it still hurts, and especially because I was trying to fix my problem and ended up being used, again, and feeling like an object and not to be graphic, but a whore. I am not saying that I am–it’s just how I feel.

Throughout the night I felt confident in myself that I would not drink. I am all about having a good time sober. Dancing with the girls is not a crime. But my feelings should be unlawful. What started out as a high anxiety situation, I began having flashbacks of when I was a strung out heroine junkie running around wasted and high in the streets of the city-ERROR NUMBER ONE.

So many bad and scary memories. I wanted to be past this place in my life and I should leave it in the past. But I put myself in this situation, in an extremely vulnerable time in my life (post-rehab and working on exposure on my trauma with my therapist, deep and raw, the darkest time in my life.)

My one friend kept pressuring me to dance with random men in the club. I didn’t want to. I tried keeping my cool, keeping my ground and staying in control of me and my body. In front of the men, she kept pressuring me to dance with them. They said I was “sexy” and “cute” so I deserved to dance with them. I kept telling my friend “No. I don’t want to,” but she just encouraged it in front of them, and I finally gave in.

From that point on, I felt disgusted with myself because I don’t dance like girls do now-a-days. I am unique because I like dancing and having fun. Not dancing like a stripper (not that I have judgment because, well, been there done that). I felt him on my body and instantly I had flashbacks. Suddenly I realized my friends were gone, and I was alone with the kid. Yeah, I caused him to get “happy in his pants” to put it nicely and PG-13.And I felt it pressed against by back. I freaked out, and felt sick and I froze. By the time my girls arrived back to me, I had no idea where they went. But one came up to tell me I had been filmed.

I’m not sure I have the words for this. Other than, sickened. I did not say it was okay for this man to be getting off on me while having a friend video it on his cell phone. From that point on, I just froze, then walked away. I have not been present since because all I keep seeing and feeling is a combination between stripping, being sexually assaulted, and then being filmed and left, frozen.

So, yeah. Fuck. I really hurt myself, again. I feel disgusted and like I am reliving everything over and over again, and I just spilled everything to my therapist and I am just so humiliated because this stuff still keeps happening to me. I should be wiser and smarter by now, but obviously I am not.

I little crazy for closure…err something..

I think I am a little crazy. I don’t mean the kind of crazy that we talk about in AA, or even compare ourselves to with eating disorders or any other addiction. I just feel a little odd with the fact that I am so preoccupied with finding answers that before, I would have fought to never think about, forget, run away from.
I’ve spent a little more than an hour trying to find the full name of the man who sexually assaulted me. Like, I was obsessed with getting the answer of who he was that is responsible for it. I messaged some old co-workers who knew him by first name to find out if they knew his last name. And then, I was googling everything and researching all I could. I don’t know what I would do if I had his name. I think I might find out where he lives and send him a letter…. maybe the letter I wrote in treatment or maybe not. Maybe I don’t want to say anything, or maybe I want to scream everything.
Knowing his name would not change things. But maybe I just wanted to know WHO he is and just know I had the option of telling him. I don’t know how to get closure on this. But ever since the thought of him came into my mind today, my mood is glum. I’m not depressed, just blank. Something inside still hurts. I haven’t talked about this incident for at least a month now. So maybe it’s just because it’s a wound that hasn’t closed up yet. I think I just want to close up this chapter of my life. I’m in the home stretch, but I feel like it’s this lingering thing that just needs to finally be dealt with.

Take Back the Night

I had to wait to blog about my experience last night due to the whiplash effect and also the frozen and simultaneous overwhelming emotional and mental feelings that occurred post event.

Last night, college had “Take Back the Night” as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Although I participated last year, the meaning for me this year was entirely different. After work, I headed over to campus and volunteered for the evening. Myself, and a dear friend of mine, handed out resources and talked to students about sexual assault in a successful effort to spread awareness.

The evening provided several speakers including a survivor of sexual assault/violence, resources, and… me.

While my participation was a very last-minute decision, I received some encouragement from a few dear friends who really suggested me speaking up. I had written a poem on a jean mini skirt.

The mini skirt itself represented a lot. The mini skirt is the piece of clothing that started everything. It was the skirt I decided to fit back into again until I managed to not fit in it anymore because the skirt came loose due to excessive weight loss. That weight loss that fueled my eating disorder truly took off after my sexual assault.

On this skirt, I wrote a poem about consent; what it means and what consent is not. Following the poem, surprisingly, I was able to find the words to share my experience with what happened to me.

I remember looking up into the faces of at least 100 people, staring at me, intently listening. At that point I could no longer look up from the speech I wrote, the paper shaking in my hands.

My friend and a girl I met in the moment last night stood next to me, visually standing with me to help me speak. My friend had her arm around me, a few times my legs almost gave out and she held me up, tightly. At times she had to remind me to breathe and at one sentence she had to whisper, “Just say it.”

The fact that I broadcasted to the what felt like the entire world, that I was “sexually assaulted” has left a whiplash effect on me that I don’t understand right now. After speaking, I had to walk through the crowd to get back to where I needed to be, and walking through the people, I heard cheers, perhaps, and then words of empowerment being yelled and spoken to me, and words of thanks, and words of encouragement.

I’m not sure how this experience is currently affecting me, because I don’t even fully understand my experience with what happened to me three years ago. My own awareness is changing and transforming and it’s scary and overwhelming. I have many feelings right now, emotions, even some tid-bits of “guilt” buried in here and I am not sure how to process.

Following the speaking, my friend and I led the ‘Take Back the Night’ vigil walk. This part was extremely phenomenal due to the amount of people marching, including men. The fact is, we were such a power in numbers that we stopped traffic. From the front of the line, I turned my head to see glow sticks and people continuously bending around the street of the campus… cars unable to drive due to our unstoppable parade.

I guess right now, I just have to deal with and work on me… last night was for other people, partially for me, but now I need to just put the pieces together because my mind is a mess and my body is following my mind.

Happy birthday: 90 days

After 90 days of sobriety, I am forced to reflect on my journey thus far. About three months ago, I started this blog as an outlet for my recovery to deal with uncensored feelings, emotions and fears. If I was to stop and think when I first registered my account with WordPress, I never would have imagined the gain I’ve received from simply being honest.

Three months ago, I made a new commitment with myself and my therapist to run full speed in the direction of recovery. I was determined to fight for my life and restore the shell of a young woman. A little over three months prior to today, I remember standing in my bathroom. I had just engaged in purging and I felt a chill wash over me. Standing up I turned to look in the full mirror across the wall hanging in my bathroom.

I remember the fear; I could literally feel death lurking in the room. I stared in the mirror for 20 minutes and broke down sobbing. For the first time in years, I no longer saw the 19-year-old girl I had been stuck at, but a broken and starved young woman. My brain finally clicked the age difference and I sobbed.

After that day, I returned back to AA. The first month and a half was the hardest. Not for the need or obsession to drink, but the acceptance and understanding; finding the answer that I couldn’t figure out: Was I an alcoholic?

I remember long drives, over an hour, to young people meetings and regular meetings, desperate for an answer. Just before two months, I came to my acceptance and I had found my answer that I was indeed a 22-year-old alcoholic. But it was far from the end of the world. From that answer, I was able to fully surrender and be okay with the fact I will never be able to have a drink of alcohol again. At first, it was overwhelming… but today, I am beyond grateful. Life is so much better without the drink. I just don’t need it. At a month-and-a-half, I chaired my first AA meeting.

Rounding out two months, I was trying to come out of the recent relapse with ED. Since then, I have put my weight back on and while I still do engage in the behavior, it isn’t day in and day out. I was eating when I was hungry and learning to try and stop when I was full and managed to eat more.

Halfway into my second month of sobriety, I learned the reality of my past. As I shared in my “Exposed: My Story” I learned that what happened to me when I was 19 was an incident of sexual assault. I will be honest, still, today, I have a difficult time saying those two words and I have an even harder time allowing myself to call it that. But, I accept that it is what it is…

I’ve begun working on PTSD (which is something I didn’t even know I had). That’s scary as all get out, and honestly, while I write this post, I still feel sick and raw and ill about the incident. I finally managed to reveal the remainder of the story, with what happened that night.  Right now, I am struggling with urges to self-harm and engage in bulimic tendencies, and it is the highest my urges have ever been. But I am moving forward. Trembling, but still moving.

Last weekend I experienced my first AA convention and the following day, I spoke for the first time and shared my story to women in a rehab facility.

Today I woke up and was already off to a shaky start. That feeling of unbearable fear, pain, emotion, memory, shook me. Hysterically crying at 10 a.m. I was afraid to keep moving. By noon, I was at an AA meeting and announced my 90 days of sobriety.

I texted my sponsor and told her “I feel like today is my birthday!” and she replied, “IT IS!!” Think about that for a minute. I can have TWO birthdays! The day I got sober, was my birthday. A new life of sobriety. So happy fucking birthday to me!!

In regards to this blog project, I have been blessed to be in touch with other bloggers and humans around the world. I can be honest with my life and have people actually hear me, and listen, no more sitting in silence every second of the day. I interact and gain support from their encouragement and inspirational words. I am able to respond to them and share that IT IS POSSIBLE to stay sober, recover and regain life. It just takes time… and sometimes I feel the clock is ticking backward.

But here I sit, sober and at peace. My daily mantra for getting through the pain as I continue to work through all of the debris is “This too shall pass” and it will.