I wake with a feeling of dread.
Nothing is in my mind. And the empty blankness is not welcome nor comforting – with the feeling of dread it’s alarming.
I try to ignore it and fall back to sleep. I don’t want to know what the dread is. I want sleep again. But I can’t. It’s too late.
My mind is already wandering around searching for a reason.
And it’s so early in the morning it’s still dark. And I’m sleepy and my mind is foggy. So as I search anything in my mind is fair game.
I vaguely recall that yesterday was a massive day. But in searching for the dread I stumble deep. Too deep.
And suddenly I’m small. And the bed is huge and it is no longer dread I feel. It’s pure terror.
Nausea overwhelms me as his body crushes me and the pain is unbearable.
I force my eyes open and launch myself from my bed and dry retch over and over again. The past clinging to me like the monster it is.
I have to be quiet like in the past. But for different reasons. My sons are asleep I cannot scream and cry instead I cower over the basin. Silent tears streaming down my face and I shake.
I’m too cold or is it shock? I force myself back into bed for the warmth despite the memories. And I remember what yesterday was about.
Why I had been to the doctor.
Why yesterday had been massive or life changing or horrible or brave or all of these things.
And the dread and terror wave over me again as I try and suppress the tears.
I think instead of work in three or so hours. And how can I possibly manage?
Or who in the crisis world is available at this time of the morning as my body shakes and I know it’s too early for anyone of any use.
I’m not suicidal, though as that thought is acknowledged, I feel the longing for everything to end.
I want the pain to go. I want not to feel this now. Ever. I’d rather have died.
Somehow, later, I have texted my boss. I booked an online appointment with my doctor.
I force myself up and smile at my sons & make myself tea. Drive them to school. Constantly chanting in my foggy brain it’s 2018 it’s 2018.
I don’t make much small talk and as I pull away from the school. Tears explode down my cheeks and I struggle for breath and calm so that I can get home safely.
I can barely walk once I’m home. My body feels so broken and I cannot get it to move properly. I hobble up the stairs. And I look at the bed as memories of being r*ped flash across my mind. I fall to the ground instead and lay on my side. I feel so sick. My stomach heaves again and a clear strong voice tells me to get up that this is too much like the past. We can’t stay here.
I’m sobbing wounded guttural sobs. That hardly make a sound.
I stumble out of the room onto my balcony and climb pathetically into my pod chair, my nest, my safe space. And I rock myself and cry.
I am immersed in the pain and the feelings. Dredged up from the past.
And it is unbearable. I’m incoherent. Feeling pain like…like I’ve been hit by a truck and left for dead,
Or rather, as I correct myself to my therapist, like I have been r*ped.
She’s on the other end of the phone now. I’m crippled in pain, writhing with great sobs of grief, wanting escape but caught up in the seemingly unending release of emotions, pain and body memories. Finally able to acknowledge to someone the horror and the pain and the fear. Finally having someone hear me. No longer having to be silent.
Knowing that the only way out is through I cry and cry. Longing, wishing for anything, but this. Yet so glad someone knows, someone is listening, someone is helping me. At last. My body has carried this for too long. Decades. The release is horrific.
I don’t know how she makes sense of me as I cry out to her but she does and my sobbing slows as I listen to her voice and the familiar words of encouragement. It’s not happening now, you are safe now. I’m reassured that it’s different now and I am not alone.
And, again, I make it through to the other side.
Wounded but alive. Hurt but not by myself this time.
I allow myself space. I cannot brush this aside.
My body won’t allow me to anyway. It hurts too much. I cannot carry on as though nothing has happened.
I rest. I slow down. I know I will be okay again. I’m a survivor. I do not give up.