Sunday, January 25, 2015

Moment of Truth

After 6 months without working, I was running through my nest egg. Truthfully, I was really surprised how much money I was able to drum up during those months. It was impressive.

Plus there was the dating scene. After a short break to get myself under control, I jumped in head first. But the numbness pervaded everything. But that may have helped me logically look for a partner. And it was a good thing because the guys I was meeting were looking like models.

At the age of 30, it feels weird to start dating for the first time. All of my relationships had been long term. Dating was a new concept. But here is what I knew: you attract people with the issues you like- or the issues that compliment your issues. That should be noted as not necessarily a positive. For instance, I had had a fear of abandonment when I was 19. Lo and behold I unwittingly got with a meth addict whose worst trait was going missing for days. Naive wasn't even the word. We tend to look for partners whose traits feed into our insecurities, blindspots, and shortcomings.

Starting out dating after such a core-shattering experience (the rape) was hard enough, but I had to make sure I was "healed" from my previous shortcomings also. My top priority was that the people I attracted did not mirror the unresolved issues I had with intimacy.

As I dated, I gauged who I was attracted to and why. After being married to my selfish ex-husband, I looked for people that wanted to meet my needs. Guys that were known for sticking around. Loyal men. It was a great feeling when I realized I was not attracted to the "bad boys" anymore. Not only were they not attractive, but they repulsed me. This encouraged me.

Successful men found me attractive, and I had quite the list of suitors. But I was very open with what I was going through, since I was never sure I would be able to hold composure if they triggered me. Luckily no one ever did. The companionship was exactly what I needed. But I was looking for a companion to be my lover, so after a date or two, I would usually end it, saying that I couldn't lead them on and I had decided they were not who I was looking for. This was a very disappointing and sexually frustrating process. The more sexually frustrated I became, the more scared I became out in public, as if I could not drink even a glass of water without worrying about being drugged. I dared not meet at a bar or drink any alcohol during a date. Instead I would meet for coffee..... Who does that?

Having men, successful attractive men, take an interest in me to the point they would fight for my attention and not just take what they wanted from me..... it was exactly what I needed. They showered me with gifts and extravagant dates. Me. The rape wreck. They did not see me as an object, I was a person to be respected and charmed

But I needed to move and start over. So I went to be near my father. If I didn't have a father figure in my son's life, I could at least give him a grandfather. Some things are more important than an awesome dating scene.

I had not seen my father in 13 years. Seeing him was like salve to the soul. My father had a conscience, so I did not need any penance from him for the things that happened half my life ago. More than anything I wanted my family back. So we made peace before I moved to be near him. Losing time with your children has to be punishment enough. After a few weeks near him, I had cheered up enough to get a job and start returning to normal.

I love my father. You do not always appreciate what you have, so I swore to appreciate my time with him. And I do. He didn't need to do anything to "fix" me. Him being near was enough. And he was patient with me when I struggled. I will be forever grateful.

Friday, January 23, 2015


You know how you have this mental image of yourself? Like you think you know what you look like- or at least what people see when they look at you. I have always felt full of excitement and curiosity. Sometimes I swear I might as well be glowing. Every one has always commented how I have such an expressive personality..... Is that code for me being loud and annoying? Because either way, I'll take it! ;D Some people just don't have a healthy sense of humor..... lol

For almost a year I was nothing but numb.

When you see those anime cartoons and the character gets hypnotized- that's how I felt. It was as if all the light had drained out of me. My voice sounded different. There were people that began to think I was suffering severe mental health issues....

[Shaking My Head] Come on people....

A person that cries often after something bad happens to them or they lose something important to them.... They are MOURNING. That is a normal expression of human emotion. What is not normal is you acting like nothing happened.

With mourning, sometimes the crying just sneaks up on you. You catch yourself before you realize it. You try to redirect your focus on something happier, something you can control, but when your mind wanders, it always leads you back to that deep sense of loss.

I needed people. I needed activity. I needed to stay busy, but have the flexibility to work through the mourning. The last thing I wanted to do was go to work and start bawling. So I didn't work again until I was ready.

And my life as "an island" had to stop. Even though I had just moved to San Antonio, I had to move to be around a support network. There is no way I am going to let myself spiral out of control. That is just not me. What I needed was a "controlled burn" or a safe place to go and work it out. The reason I needed a support network was not someone to take care of me- I do that myself. It was so I could recover faster. So my son could get the one-on-one attention he needed when he was playing, or I was crying. He needed people, too.

My two best options were only 45 minutes North of where I was living at the time and the other was in Florida. My pretend family lived only 45 minutes away, but I always knew I wasn't really family with them.... I was the red headed stepchild. That feeling I was an outsider was always there. But we had history. My real family lived in Florida, but I had not seen them since I was a teenager. There is a reason. They had not believed at the time that I had been raped by my family member, so they had worked hard to get me to recant my story. Over the years, I had made a success of my life, and the perpetrator had continued his ways. Time had proved my side of the story. So I was kind of in a debacle choosing between two less than perfect situations. And either was an interesting situation if I chose to move to be with "family."

I tried to make it work first with my fake family, but a well-meaning aunt tried to talk me out of having my son or my dogs and actually tried to convince me to stay at a shelter. Believe me, I thought she had lost her mind. This is exactly the opposite of what a person recovering from trauma needs. Maybe in the initial shock stage- but those that return to the previous routine or "normal" as some would call it, were actually the quickest to heal. So in other words, I needed to move on with my life, not wallow in it. I was even planning on getting a part time job in order to ramp up into a high stress job. She was wanting to adopt and here was my cute son who bonded with her- it was obvious her intentions were well meaning, but she was being selfish. In two weeks of moving North, I had packed up and headed East to Florida.

It was time for me to face my demons. And win. But I will admit- I was terrified. I was weak, I was broken and I was vulnerable. And here I was moving to what could easily be a minefield. The whole move could have been a disaster.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Me I know is back.

At some point, I knew I had to walk away from this blog so that I could begin to live. Every day was living in the past. And I realized I was retraumatizing myself bringing it up every day. Restoring myself to a sexually healthy individual would take me moving on from my memories, so a daily reminder would be counter productive.

But now the me I know is back, and it is time to pick up pretty much where I left off and get to the most important part of this blog. It isn't just about being sensitive to someone when they are at the apex of the trauma, but it is also about guiding the way to healing. We all suffer in this life. That is a given. But using that suffering to make yourself stronger is the best you can do with a tragedy.

This was the Me I missed. I have been through horrible circumstances due to rape, and if it was just the rape, it would not have been so bad. But the problem is how it gets in your head, even when you pick up and vow to be more powerful than before. One minute you are fine, the next you are there again. Sometimes it is an orange streetlight that takes me back. Or sometimes it is the funny way a stranger looks at me. My son tries to sneak up on me to startle me and always wonders why he can't surprise me.

My body is hypersensitive to people sneaking up on me, moving behind my back, getting closer to my personal space. When he is older, I will tell him, but for now, I just leave the idea I am a super mom in his head.

More than once I have mentioned I am a nurse, with a large background in psychiatric nursing. This was a wonderful skill set to help myself recover from this trauma. When the ups and downs came, I already knew what they looked like. Some awkward behavior may be socially unacceptable, but it is necessary for recovery. Some behaviors are scary signs of regression- or return to a less acceptable stage. The best thing from this process is I knew how to gauge my behavior and when to ask for help.

Unfortunately, I had lost a large part of my support network simply from using the word Rape. Every one gets so emotionally charged around that word. The largest thing for me with rape is that it makes me furious that someone can look at me and decide to violate me because I am beautiful. That is not my fault. How can people disrespect another person's boundaries for a quick momentarily satisfying end.

Sex to me is so fun, so incredible, and so sacred. I love it. But it has to be with a special person. Rape makes it so cheap. It takes everything I dislike about sex and glorifies it. The only way I would have a one-night stand is if I meet someone I really like, they are special enough to have sex with, but then they are horrible in bed. What a waste.... And how infuriating to give yourself to someone and find out it is lame!

After this rape I knew I had to be careful. For once I was actually emotionally sensitive (like a baby) when it came to guys and sex, and I could't let it morph the dynamics of a new relationship.