Writing about my mental health has given me the ability to really think about how I feel about the situations that I am living with in ways I never thought I would before.
When I was working, I didn’t stop to think about why I was feeling the way I was feeling, I just understood that I was genuinely unhappy in my life. Whether I was at work or at the club, I was consistently faking happiness, all the time.
I don’t do that anymore, and I think that’s why I am having such a hard time with my fiction writing. I can’t fake it until I make it anymore, because that’s a part of living in survival mode that I don’t have to do anymore.
Once the truths of what I experienced came out and the people in my support group heard my story, I stopped having to fake how I feel and I’ve come to this place where I am mostly genuinely happy.
I am happy with where I am in the world, even though I admit it’s a bit lonely now that my support group has been whittled down to my mom and a doctor who doesn’t believe me about my abuse.
I really realize how lucky I am to be where I am, because even though I am lonely I am finally living authentically in ways that I wasn’t able to before.
In my past life all I was doing was lying to everyone around me, drinking so that I could hide the shame and the fear that I was constantly living with, and treating the men in my life as if they had some kind of supernatural power over me.
I remember asking permission for things like going on a trip from a man who wasn’t my boyfriend, do you know how fucked up that is? I do, I recognize that subservient behavior was a part of my survival technique, in ways that I didn’t back then.
Recognizing the ways that we lower ourselves for the benefit of others is a huge part of the healing journey, and while I know that there will always be a part of me that is somewhat subservient, I hope that what I am learning now will teach me to strengthen my confidence so I don’t have to submit all the time.
Being submissive by nature comes from being emotionally, physically and sexually abused. In some people submission is a choice that they enjoy because it is kinky and sexy, for me it is a survival technique that I used to prevent myself from being abused.
If I submit then it won’t hurt as much.
For me, submission as a kink was never something I truly enjoyed, and any relationship where submission was required or expected had me acting like a brat out of my natural inclination to fight back against authority. I’ve never been great at submitting to men, specifically, it wasn’t until I asked someone for permission to go on a trip that I realized I had crossed a line I couldn’t come back from.
It was also that moment that set me free. This man as I said was not a man I was in a relationship with, he had no power over me, and yet I had learned to treat him as if he did, because I had just been badly gang raped by his friends.
That event changed the way that I treated this person, and made me realize that I didn’t want them in my life anymore. It was this moment when I asked if I could go, that I suddenly felt the need to close the door on that relationship. Needing to ask permission from this man was the trigger I needed to set me free.
When I look back at my life from five or six years ago I see someone who had a lot of people in her life, that I can’t honestly say were my friends. They were just people who hung out at the same place I did, because we were all in our own ways living in different forms of misery.
At this place of being in my mid thirties, I am far more respectful of my boundaries than I was in my late twenties, and that’s largely because I realize how lucky I am to be alive. I am lucky to have survived everything I have, call it God or Angel’s or whatever you want, I got lucky. Not every girl whose been through what I’ve been through is so lucky. Some of us don’t make it to the other side.
In this place of healing I am realizing how precious friendships are to me, and while I’ve had to close the door on all of my past relationships, I am looking forward to the day that new people and experiences come into my life.
Mind you it might just be that I got a good night’s sleep for a change.
What about you? What was the trigger that set you free? Let me know in the comments below.