The healing process after sexual abuse is never ending. I always think there is going to be a special day when the memories stop affecting me, but that’s just not the reality.
The trauma that affects my mental health can be debilitating. If I am being completely honest, I have spent most of the last few days in bed, mostly sober, just crying and feeling miserable about myself.
This is my reality.
Some days are filled with wonder, and the work gets done and I feel amazing, I feel like I can take on any battle and I am a fucking super hero…but this feeling never lasts.
On days when it gets bad, I have my Krisya to remind me that things will get better, but sometimes that doesn’t work either. Bad days are like a frustrating head cold, mostly you just have to wait them out.
There are ways to deal with the bad days, but unfortunately none of them consist of things like exercise and moving your body. For some people this works, for me, not so much.
Exercise tends to piss me off and put me in a bad mood, so I have other ways.
- Taking a hot shower. Sometimes a shower can be soothing. I have anxieties that revolve around being naked, so I tend not to do this too often, but on days when I am feeling absolutely and utterly gross about myself, a nice warm shower is a release.
- Light some candles and play some soft music. Music therapy is essential to my healing, and some days music helps boost my mood.
- Eating. I know that eating is a coping mechanism for many, for me I struggle with food and cannot eat unless I’ve smoked a joint.
- Smoking a joint. Smoking isn’t the healthiest way to consume cannabis, but it does help deal with my anxiety and stress.
Sometimes, when I am feeling particularly low, I pray. Although I believe in a huge number of Gods and Goddesses, the Our Father prayer always brings a sense of peace to my heart and helps me to dig past the darkness to find the light.
The thing you have to focus on, is the fact that every single step you take towards growth, is a step towards healing, even when it doesn’t feel like it.
On days when I absolutely cannot crawl out of bed, I am not just merely laying in bed listening to the voices in my head, I am emotionally working on some serious dark shit.
Sometimes I have to fight back and say “no” and set a boundary and other times I am interested in what the voices have to say because they help me learn where I could have done things better.
Some people might call this crazy behavior, but I don’t think so. I think we all have internal monologues that genuinely talk to us on days when we’re willing to listen.
I think its part of the human experience and I think it’s one we need to start recognizing as a valid tool for those of us healing from emotional trauma.
On days when I have to “defend myself”, even against my own thoughts, I am usually frustrated.
Part of the mental health journey is teaching yourself not to listen to what other people think about your healing process. This is especially hard when you have a Doctor who would rather call you psychotic than admit you may actually have been gang raped.
I don’t say that bitterly, I say that honestly, because that is the reality of my situation. Even though I have a new Doctor now, there is added pressure because although the new Doc may have read my file, they still don’t know “me”.
We haven’t met yet, and so that’s stressful for me. To deal with that, I have set in place certain things to help me feel more comfortable. My Psych nurse who knows me quite well will be in the meeting.
During the meeting I will have time to explain myself while she asks me questions about my life, to help her get to know me. I will also have the opportunity to ask questions that will help me get to know her.
Although I like to focus on what is happening in the world, sometimes, some days in fact, it gets hard and stressful and I have to turn it off for a few hours and focus on something else.
Changing the language you use around your abuse trauma is exactly the same as distracting yourself from negative thoughts and emotions. It’s all about turning the darkness down or trying to tune it out completely, so that you can let the lighter happier stuff in.
It takes practice and it takes work, but it’s entirely and completely possible. Other people have been doing it for hundreds of thousands of years and living successful life after trauma and abuse.
There for that must mean when we learn to develop our skills against trauma, we too can live happy and successful lives.
Do you have things you do or routines that help pull you out from the darkness? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please consider leaving a comment below to share your own experience.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall