I write this at a time of despair.
Where my triggers take me to a place that I don’t want to be yet this time every year I seem to go there. This time each year my mind drifts through pain, loneliness and isolation. The nightmares and the numbness increase. Feeling suffocated with my own breath and frightened of every shadow.
What makes this harder is people’s lack of understanding. Their inability to communicate or even show empathy. Their silence speaks volumes. I like to think people don’t know what to say but deep down I hear their judgements and questions. “What happened exactly, what did you do, what did you say, why didn’t you run, why didn’t you scream, why didn’t you report it”. Nobody has ever said “I’m really sorry, how can I help.” Why is that?
Even the most sympathetic of faces are still covered in verdicts especially after all these years. I assume there’s an expectation that you just ‘get over it’, as they years pass you learn to forget it.
Well you don’t. You learn to live with it. You move on. You try to accept it as part of you. As part of your insecurities but also as part of your strength. I spent years succumbing to silence, swallowing my own fears, anxieties and isolation. But like a jack-in-a box, each year it springs back to remind me that it will always be there. It will always be part of me.
And when that darkness descends no one seems to understand. No one seems to realise. I get looks like I just need to be more ‘resilient’. Some people diagnose me and encourage me to be someone else’s ‘problem’, to come back when I’m happier and more ‘sorted’.
But that doesn’t help me. I just need people to say “it’s ok to be in pain, we’re here and you will come through the other side, as you always do”.
Until that happens I just sit on my own in this darkness, knowing it will pass until next year when that anniversary comes round again.
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