Saturday, January 14, 2017

Writing It Out

Things have been unprecedented in my life lately.  At the end of 2016, I closed on my first home.  It was decision predicated by the amazing job I got earlier last year and the logical steps of my life.  And it has been absolutely amazing.  I've felt steady and well adjusted.  And even in dealing with my assault in November, I've been able to focus on this new chapter and how excited I am to be a home owner and making it my own space.

And then, my body betrays me.

I have been able to bring myself to be in my friend's apartment.  Mainly because the love I feel there has overcome the very, very bad experience I had.  But it also means that my assaulter is often one floor down in the place where he works.  For the most part, I've become very good at dealing with that fact.  I've seen him.  But I've yet to enter the bar.  Usually I keep my eyes on the ground and walk to and from my friend's place.  And it has been hard, but ok.

Today, after spending a wonderful evening painting, watching movies, and making new friends, I finally decided I was ready to go home.  And he was outside.  He was there, smoking and talking to people.  And in an instant, I was not okay.

My pace quickened as much I could on an ice covered sidewalk.  My eyes immediately started to water and my heartbeat picked up its pace.  I tried to keep myself composed until I got to my car because there were people outside and I didn't need someone noticing me in my vulnerability.  By the time I got to my car, I was hyperventilating.  I placed my stuff in the car and got in, immediately locking it in case he had followed me.  While I don't fear for my safety, I also haven't spoken to him and don't know if he would make that effort.  He did not.

The whole 8 minute drive home I could barely control my breathing.  I made my way inside, shaking as I fumbled with my key in the difficult lock.  Once inside, I slammed and locked the door behind me.  My poor dog looking at me as if to ask what's wrong as I collapsed on the floor crying.  I laid there for a moment with my warm face against the cold tile floor.  I composed myself, I got up, and I moved on as best I could.

But it's still with me, as much I as I move forward and focus on positive things, it's there.  It's there in the dark part of me.  The recesses.  So that in my weakest moments, it hits.  My therapist suggested that I write when I am this emotional, hence this post.  I'm not looking for pity or sympathy.  Only for people if they do not already understand, that the pain and damage of trauma runs deeply.  And it is painful.  And I wish with all my heart that I could get rid of it.  But I can't.