I'm Different Now
5 years ago, I was raped. If you were too, this might be a difficult read. I will probably delete this when we go public.
- •I have trouble trusting people.I used to love meeting new people. It's harder for me to do that now. Sometimes, I don't even trust people I have known for years because the man who raped me was a good friend and my ex boyfriend. And now I know literally anyone can have ulterior motives for being nice to me and that terrifies me.
- •I am sadder and angrier.Sometimes, I get deeply sad and can't physically do anything. Other times, I get so furious that I am singularly motivated to do things like write and work. I like the angry better. I burn out quicker but I can at least get things done with angry energy more than I can with debilitating sadness.
- •I don't hide when I'm uncomfortable.If a situation or person is making me feel unsafe, I let people know. My body language shows it, I am very vocal about it. I no longer feel like I owe the world any modicum of politeness when it comes to my boundaries and safety.
- •Triggers are a thing.Little things that were once innocuous now remind me of my rapist and what happened. My reactions vary from sweating/palpitations to full on panic attacks. It has gotten better with time and I have learned to deal with them, but I am still way more sensitive than I used to be.
- •Drinking is weird.I was drunk when it happened. I drank to forget. He was at a party months later and he did not acknowledge my existence so I drank to numb the feeling of him looking right through me like it never happened. I used to drink a lot. I don't drink that much anymore.
- •Sex is weird.Like the trigger thing, this has also gotten better with time. I can enjoy the physical act, but my feelings about it are more complicated than they were before.
- •Dating is weird.Before I enter a romantic relationship with anyone, I need to tell them. It's a mood killer, but it's important that they know dating me requires knowledge of my trauma and the understanding that boundaries and mental health are very important to me. And like I said, sex is weird. They should probably know that before doing it with me.
- •Writing is weird.This was the most unexpected. Before he raped me, we used to write together and I learned a lot from him. After he raped me, I didn't write a single sketch for 4 years. I write more than I did before it happened, but they are essays and articles and things firmly grounded in unfunny reality. Writing scenes for my students this year gave me a safe fun space to embrace silly writing, but I don't know if the instinct will ever come as naturally as it once did.
- •I'm not afraid anymore.At worst, I am resigned to the fact that the worst has already happened to me. At best, I know that this thing did not kill me. It did not destroy me. I am here and I am alive and that is amazing.