I'd been traveling in Nepal for a few months; I felt a great amount love toward so many people I'd met. Their openness and kindness astounded me. I’d met so many people I could trust, and when I met one I couldn't, I wasn't expecting it. We met in a mundane way, an interaction like dozens of others - just small talk. He suggested we go get coffee and I agreed. He reminded me of a friend from home, thoughtful … if maybe a bit dark. We spoke about our lives, about our families, our schools, our hopes for the future.
The months leading up to the trip had been the most magical of my short, sweet life. I’d gradually become closer to a old friend, Elijah. He's the best person I've ever met, yet I pushed him away for years. He persisted, waited, he wrote songs, traveled far to see me. Finally, I stopped pushing him away. He’d sing me to sleep, then drive half an hour back home. We took walks late at night while the fireflies buzzed around. We took out the canoe we’d bought the year before onto the lake in the moonlight. We went to a contra dance for his birthday - he wore a floral skirt, we went to New York with a friend and rode the ferry until 4 in the morning. I slept on the floor of the subway in his arms while the sun came up.
Throughout our courtship, I’d been breaking up with a crappy, shitty, obnoxious fucking relationship. I dragged out because I didn't want to hurt anyone. Unfortunately it hurt quite a few people, Elijah included. He supported me though this, gave me advice and waited until I was ready to end it. When I did, our time together truly started. We lived in his house together for several incredible days. We cried together after watching Babe, we went to the river, we walked his dog. He drove me to and from work– half an hour each way. We were really in love, completely committed to each other.
I’d never felt more comfortable, more myself.
I carried the feeling of love and peace with me as I left for my four-month trip. It was so hard being so far from him - I felt I was spread too far. I wanted to be more present in Nepal, but I missed Elijah so much. I had pretend conversations with him, wrote him letters I never sent. We communicated less and less, but I never lost the feeling of love and closeness.
Near the end of my trip, months later, I was drinking horrible coffee with a person I was getting to know. He suggested that we go play pool and drink beer and I, feeling confident about my ability to travel alone, agreed. I don't ever drink and I don't know why I did. I went along with something I'm against and I don't know why. Maybe I was trying to break out of self-imposed restrictions. Maybe I was trying to be like all the friends I had lost. Maybe I was being reckless.
I lost control. I drank until I couldn't walk straight. We left and went outside - I was ready to return to my room a few miles away. He kissed me but it felt like an attack - so aggressive, so forceful. I said that I wanted to leave, my head was spinning; everything was spinning. He drove me back to my room. When I expected him to leave, he stayed.
My memory has so many gaps I can barely piece together what happened.
I remember telling him to stop, I remember the pain of him biting my breasts. I remember it stopped for a minute. I remember him saying it was okay, we didn't need to do that, we could just talk. I remember him entering me and every time I think of that there is nowhere to run.
I’m so furious at myself for not fighting, I can't understand why I was so paralyzed. My head was spinning, I was far from reality, but still, I could’ve fought him. This was my greatest fear - I had nightmares of being chased in a glass house by two men trying to rape me. Elijah had made me a dream catcher and they stopped. I don't have those dreams anymore - they became my reality.
Afterward, I lied to myself, I couldn't understand or face what had happened. I’d died inside, lost myself, I was less than a shell of a person.
It happened the next morning - I can't remember it, but I know it happened. He raped me the next night, too. I was dragged around, like meat on a hook, my life no longer my own. I was so far away from Elijah, from my family, from everything I've ever loved. I was a walking, breathing scar. I left that town and felt the most incredible relief. We met up again and it was the same feeling of complete loss of self; I felt disgusting and alone and dirty. He left. Again the relief.
I went back to the family I’d lived with for over a month, their love was the most wonderful, healing thing. My love for them was so powerful. I felt good again, temporarily able to forget the rape.
I continued lying to myself, and the lies, after I’d told them long enough, were difficult to disprove. I told myself that this was what I’d always wanted - to be traveling and wanted, to be pretty enough for people to want me. I covered up the assault with this bullshit façade I clung to it for dear life. I couldn't possibly be so alone, so afraid to face the truth: I was raped. I held onto these lies when I left Nepal and flew home to meet Elijah who’d driven 3,000 miles across the country to meet me.
I was so happy to see him but something was … wrong. We felt distant, we couldn't connect. I’d promised I would be honest and so I told him that I’d had sex with someone else. That was the worst lie I've ever told. I slept, but he was up all night; he drove to Washington and cried for hours.
In the morning, he had gotten us breakfast and we left. We spent the next 10 months not leaving each other’s side no matter that we were both so damaged, something so wrong. I blamed him for reminding me that I’d "cheated" on him and begged him to forget about it. He couldn't believe it was the truth. We fought for all those months – horrible, confusing fights. During them, I was so removed, almost apathetic.
We decided to take a trip to South America to truly commit to each other. After a few days there, the truth came out. Seated under a tree I told him the truth, about how I had said “no” but it happened anyway, how I’d been dead inside. It wasn't an easy truth to hear.
After all those lies, he can't always trust me. Sometimes he does, sometimes he wants to, and sometimes he wants me to suffer all the pain I've caused him. Sometimes he doesn't believe me. He tries to understand why I didn't fight back, why I let it happen several times after the first attack. I feel this foul, consuming darkness. I feel this love was ripped away from me, his trust ripped away. I need him to believe me, to forgive me. I love him. I don't want to pressure him but he blames me. He gets mad at me and believes first lie sometimes. He’s never laid a hand on me but sometimes I wonder how we can be together if he doesn’t believe me.
He's the only person I've told of my attack, I trust him and love him more than I can even understand, but this has made it really difficult for me to heal. I feel I’ll never have my life back, when I’m alone, I get so scared. My fists clench. Waiting for a sound of someone coming near.
The dentist said that I can’t make irreversible mistakes, he had no idea what that meant to me. I smiled. I know that this is irreversible, I just hope wherever it takes me, I’ll be all right. An old friend said that I looked as though I've really experienced things. He, too, had no idea what that meant.
My life is changed forever I think. I don't think it has to be for the worse. It certainly has been, but I have hope. I have hope that someday when my eyes are open they see the bright blue of Elijah's eyes, and when they are closed, they see the calmness of the night sky.
It was a dream that I had this morning that prompted me to write this journal, since I can type a little better than I write.
My ex and I were laying in bed together. I turned over to face her and gave her a very passionate kiss on the lips. The feelings that I got from this were strong and it was this "butterfly feeling" in my heart that awoke me from the dream.
I wonder what can this mean: I think it represents my feeling of love and remembrance of good times and passion we shared together.
"Clean your room!"
Every kid hears that at one point or another, right?
I was a frequent offender.
Okay maybe a bit more than that...
My room was in a constant state of disarray. Like straight from the movie "Twister."
It wasn't because I was lazy or anything, it was because I was comforted by the cluttered furniture and overflowing clean laundry baskets. Everything had a place, and I knew where to find it (general direction anyways).
After many failed attempts of getting me to clean up my room, my mother just gave in, gave up.
Or so I thought..
Then one day I come home from school to a neat and tidy room that I didn't recognize.
I freaked the fuck out!
My safe place was gone. I couldn't breathe.
If I were any normal kid I would have been happy that I was able to skip the dirty work. But, I wasn't a normal kid by any means.
I immediately threw all of the neatly folded clothes to the floor, emptied out my newly organized bookshelves and massacred all of the work mother did. I felt violated, I needed my chaos.
Here I am years later and an adult and I think back to that day and it makes sense. It finally clicked.
You see, I was diagnosed with bipolar a few years ago, although I've suffered with it for as long as I remember. I'm currently figuring out what medications "work" for me. I know I'll need to be on them for the rest of my life. I get that, I do.
But I feel like I'm suffocating.
My messy room is an exact mirror image to what it's like inside my head. I've lived with the chaotic thoughts and rapid mood swings for so long, that it's comforting in a way. I hate it, I hate not having a second to breathe. I hate climbing the highs and then crashing down to terrible lows in the blink of an eye. I hate that I can't sleep for days because my mind won't stop!
But it's become home to me.
Medication is like coming home to the room I don't recognize all over again. I don't recognize myself and it scares the fuck out of me. I don't know who I am anymore.
So, just like before, I will immediately destroy my newly organized mind and go off my medications.
Why is this so hard? Why can't I embrace the silence? It's what I wanted!
It's like I'm split in two; the rational me knows I need to gain control of my disorder to finally experience a slice of normalcy, and the bipolar me is terrified of who I'll become without the constant chaos. I'm so torn and so lost. I'm terrified.
But, it's not just me I have to worry about anymore. I have a husband and a 2 year old son who rely on me and are directly affected by my constant turmoil.
There was one week about 6 months ago where I was really good. I was happy! I was normal! And in turn, my husband and son were equally as happy.
But then I ruined it. I'd look in the mirror and I wouldn't recognize myself. It's like a stranger was looking back at me in my reflection.
I don't know who I am anymore, I don't know if I ever have. I've spent 23 years consumed by chaos, I don't know what will remain if that chaos goes away, what if I hate who I become? What if my family doesn't love the new "normal" me?
When I was little, my big brother would (in a good-natured way - never seriously!) hold my head under water until I thought I was going to drown, and then pull me up at what I thought was the last possible minute of life. I feel that way now - in my marriage.
I feel like I'm drowning over and over and at the last possible second of life for some reason I pull myself back up for a gulp of air and then the cycle begins again.
I know I need help. I know that I am probably at the emotional breakage point of needing to be committed. I know that at any second I feel like I am just going to not do it anymore - I am not going to pull myself up and I am just going to let myself drown.
You know what the worst part is - not being able to get the help you need. Knowing that so many days so much of you is screaming for help and knowing that you cannot ask for it because of the consequences.
I am preparing for a divorce - slowly but surely, I am preparing for a divorce. Being committed is fodder against my having the children. I cannot risk that. I cannot risk doing ANYTHING that could be counted against me in the divorce. I need help, I acknowledge that I need help, and I cannot ask for it.
So what do you do when your just biding your time until you can make the move you so desperately need to make for your own sanity?
What do you do on the days when a random person's simple kindness is enough to make you want to burst into tears?
What do you do on the days when you feel like you're an emotional wreck that cannot hold on anymore?
What do you do on the days where for a split second, you consider driving your car into the concrete median on the interstate before you tell yourself that you can't do that?
What do you do on the days when suicide, or perhaps homicide, feel like they are the only ways out?
What do you do on those days when you know - beyond a shadow of a doubt - you need help and you need it now and you cannot get it?
What do you do?
Wow, this is really hard to write. I've never written about it before.
I'm 22. I was raped in June of 2012.
I was at a party for my friend's brothers-in-law's high school graduation. I thought I could relax and have a good night. My friend was trying to hook me up with one of the brothers, but he was 18 and I was 20. I didn't like younger guys, so I wasn't really interested.
We were drinking. I remember I only had two drinks, but I couldn't walk, and I was throwing up so much. I would even black out for a minute and not remember how I got into another room.
I wanted to go home so bad, but my so-called friend said, "Its okay, just lay down." Stupid me, I did. The one brother came in and got in the bed next to me. The other one laid down on the floor. I didn't want him in bed with me, but she told me it was okay. I SHOULD NEVER HAVE LISTENED TO HER!
Next thing I knew, I couldn't move or say anything. I felt him in me, and I saw him on top of me. I felt like I wasn't in my body. I felt like I was standing up, watching it happen to me like in a dream. Then, I blacked out again. I opened my eyes because I felt more pain. It was his brother's turn.
I remember waking up at 4 am with no pants on, thinking it was just a dream. I ran down the stairs, out of the apartment, and went home.
The next two days, I just told myself "It was a dream, that's it!"
Father's Day came up, and my parents and I were going out for dinner. I got a phone call from my so-called friend. She told me it wasn't a dream and said I sounded like I had liked it! I told her I didn't want to have sex with them, but she didn't believe me. After she hung up, I fell to the ground and screamed. My mom came in, and I had to tell her what had happened. That was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.
They contacted me, and told me I can't go to the police because it's their word against mine.
I was so embarrassed. It started going around where I live that I was their graduation present from my so-called friend. They must have put something in my drink because I only had two drinks and couldn't move.
To this day, I feel like a failure and a slut. It's really hard, and I feel so alone. My own mother says I should get over it because when she was younger, she had to get over her mom dying. She doesn't realize I lost a part of me that night.
I really don't know what to do anymore. I just feel so lost and don't want to live any more.
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