The aftershock

As I have thought about writing about this for a very very long time. I decided against it more than for it. I didn’t want to open myself up to the world on this matter. However, I live with this pain, this disgust everyday of my life. And I will continue to live with it for the rest of my life. Even as I’m typing the words right now, I’m contemplating just erasing this and not ever speaking about it, but I can’t. I can’t bring myself to shut myself down once again. I can’t shut my mind off. The words will just flow like vomit.

I was four years old. FOUR. YEARS. OLD. I don’t remember the years before four, but everything after- is what stings the most anyways. My mom tells me I was a happy kid, me and my brothers all were. There’s pictures to prove it, however- I know things would have been different had the disturbing actions not happened to me while being so young. Actually it doesn’t matter what age it is, whether it’s 4 or 40. IT’S NOT RIGHT. IT’S NOT NORMAL.

My mom always told me she didn’t care if it was my brothers, or a kid from school, my grandpa, my dad. Any man in my family or any one for that matter was NOT to take things from me- especially my innocent little mind, my innocent little heart, my innocent little self.

I don’t go into details with anyone ever, and I probably never will. No one needs the details. No one needs to know anything. The only thing anyone needs to know is that it happened to me. It can happen to anyone. Any age. Any race. Female or male.

It was never brought up to my mom until I was 17. I’ll never forget the tears that poured over my face as the words spit out of my mouth. And I’ll never forget the devastation that came over my moms face as the words slammed into her. She didn’t understand because like I told you before- she always told me as a young girl that NO ONE was allowed to do that to me. If anyone ever made me uncomfortable- I was to tell her right away. And I did. 13 years late.

Everyday of my life I feel disgusting. Everyday of my life I feel violated. Everyday of my life I feel ashamed. Everyday of my life I feel embarrassed. Everyday of my life I feel the sting. Everyday of my life I feel broken.

The flashbacks hit me like a ton of bricks, no exaggeration- every single day. It’s not crazy for me to say that the aftermath is way worse than the actual events. Not in the moment but all the seconds after. The minutes after. The weeks after. The months after. The years after.

19 years later and I’m still just that four year old girl trying to make sense of it.

If it’s happened to you, you must know you are not the only one. And the truth is, the fear- it never goes away. The pain never vanishes. I’ve learned that after 19 years, it will stick with us forever. No matter how hard we wish it away, no matter how hard we fight. It happened, and because of it- we are different. Our lives aren’t shaped the moment we are born. It’s all the moments after. Some good, some bad. The bad is usually what sticks forever.

Being a victim of this, I should have gotten into drugs and turned to alcohol and ran with the wrong crowd- but I didn’t. I saw the opportunities lying ahead of me and went forward. I don’t like to dwell on it, but sometimes as I’m sitting in a room full of people, I feel alone. I feel like I’m four again and I’m crying myself to sleep. I feel like it’s my fault. I should have told someone, anyone. But being 17 and telling the people who mattered, some didn’t believe the accusations. That is called denial.

I have already said enough. More than I ever pictured myself speaking about the topic. Without me saying the words, you can guess. The more I’ve spoken to my friends and some family- I realize I am not the only one. It’s common and that disturbs me. I could tell anyone who’s been through it to just push the thoughts away, move forward. But we all know that’s impossible.

I feel it’s important to let the world know. Better late than never. You are allowed to be angry. But please from my experience, don’t punish yourself. Don’t blame yourself. After all, you did nothing wrong. You are not alone.

Stop normalizing abuse. Whether it be physical, sexual, verbal or mental. Let’s talk about it. “You will not be the keeper of the rest of my life.”

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When I get where I’m going

When I think about the future- I really can’t picture anything. Not at all being negative, I just honestly don’t know where I wanna be in 5 years or even in 1 year. I hope to one day get married and have children- the American dream right? But I gotta be honest, I’m just not sure what I can hope for anymore.

I pray I find my soulmate. I pray I live a happy life.

I think everyone around me is anxious to see what I’ll do next, because I can be unpredictable at times. My family is constantly asking me when I’m going to get married, or “do you have a boyfriend?” The answer is idk (marriage that is). My question for them is why is it such a rush to find the one? Why can’t I just live my life and be me.

I pray my children are happy and healthy. I pray my children are loved by everyone surrounding them.

I have been around plenty of failed marriages and failed relationships in my lifetime. Does that mean I’ve given up on love? No of course not. Do I have my doubts? Yes. My mom always tells me that when I find him, I’ll have one of the greatest loves there is.

I pray my mom is right. Who am I kidding? She’s always right.

I am so beyond proud of all my friends who have children, pregnant or just in love. I wish them all nothing but the best. This is not me trying to bash them by any means. BUT I AM SO CONTENT WITH NOT BEING A MOM AT THE MOMENT. I don’t even know where my life is going at this point, the only way is up.

I pray I find my passion- before it’s too late.

Sometimes I lay in bed and try to imagine what my life will turn out like. Nothing comes to mind. All I see is a husband and children. No clue what career path I will choose, not sure where I’ll be living. But I will make sure that whatever it is- I’m happy.

I pray I make all my loved ones proud- whatever road I take.

Would it be nice to have someone to share my life with at the moment? Yes and no. I only say that because my life isn’t built up to its full potential yet. Will it ever be? Who knows? At this time, I’m content with being alone, it gives me space and time to focus fully on myself, my mind, my body and my future.

Lost a piece of my heart

When I talk about this love of mine, I still get butterflies. He was my very best friend. And until I learned about the others, I thought he was the one. I thought he was it for me. I was only 16 or 17 but I was without a doubt done searching.

My cousin worked with him- which lead to a good friendship between the two of them. My cousin was dating a guy and they all knew one another. She kept bugging me to just talk to him, I refused at first. Eventually I gave in and told her she could give him my number.

A typical love story would mention how we clicked instantly. But to be completely honest- I didn’t like him (at first). I “friendzoned” him after a few hangouts. He was really nice and I was so young, I didn’t appreciate that then. I was into the bad boys.

He then started dating my cousins friend and coincidentally I was envious. He still checked in on me quite often. Eventually I told him that since he was dating that girl, he didn’t need to check on me. It wasn’t until he told me that he still planned to sweep me off my feet that I realized I was in love. He wasn’t giving up on me. (No I wasn’t a home wrecker).

To my knowledge at the time- I believed he was a good man. He was taking me on dates, which at my age was rare. He met my mom, we double dated with my cousin and her boyfriend, hung out all the time. Until his girlfriend contacted me. My cousins friend. She told me that they were still very much together and I was livid.

I mentioned it to him and denied it. Deny deny deny. That was what he did best. I was fed up and cut him off. He took her side and denied everything I and she accused him of.

A few months went by and I get a text from him. With the words we need to talk. I hesitated at first but finally agreed to meet with him. He apologized terribly for everything and admitted that him and his girlfriend broke up not long after everything happened. He just didn’t contact me for awhile because he wanted to give me space.

My cousin found out she was pregnant. Me and this guy were on and off for quite some time. He was so wishy washy. It aggravated me.

Sweetest day. He decided to text me and tell me that he thought we needed to take a break. I was upset but for some reason I knew that wasn’t the end of us. The next day, my cousin went into labor. I of course was up there with her all day. I get a text from him asking if I would be mad if he came up to visit. Without a thought I said that was fine, he was more than welcome to come up.

He stayed through the birth of my “nephew.” While I was in the delivery room, he was in the waiting room- texting me- sweeping me right back off my feet. He said all the right things (that was another thing he was good at). I stayed with my cousin that night and he offered to stay too. We slept on this tiny little couch, but I gotta say- that was one of the best days of my life.

I had no idea how to get home from the hospital, he let me follow him until I knew where I was. He later texted me and said he wanted to go back up and see the baby and my cousin. He also mentioned how excited he was that everything was okay between us. Things were wonderful for a short period of time.

We continued to be on and off, but no matter what that was my number 1. I then found out through sources that he was talking to a younger girl. So me being who I was, confronted him. And like I said above- deny deny deny. He one day decided to come over and hang out. While sitting there not knowing what to say, he admitted that his girlfriend was pregnant. Well I wasn’t pregnant so, wrong girlfriend…. lol.

I was devastated. Beyond belief. All the while I was being faithful to someone who was dipping it in others…. I was done. I deleted him out of my life and tried to move on. He continued to text me saying that they weren’t together, they were just going to coparent. Should have known better but he said all the right things.

I got on Facebook one day and saw him tagged in his gender reveal pictures. Happily taken with his baby’s mother, she also had a ring on that inevitable magical finger. I texted him a nice (sarcasm) message. He then just replied with “this is my family, I have to be there for my son.” Well I had no problem with that- just didn’t have to lie to me.

It was an ongoing battle from there. I was finally getting myself together. Hadn’t talked to him since the day he found out he was having a son. I missed him so much. That was my love. He reached out to me, we had short conversations. Nothing too crazy. He said they were not together- I knew better but I did it anyways.

Come to find out he was married to this woman. Just recently. Why was he texting me if he had a whole wife? After a long 6 years- to this day I can say I only think of him rarely. I haven’t had contact with him since I can’t even remember. It’s a wonderful feeling. I’ve already blabbed enough, although I’ve never told this story in full swing of all the details. It honestly feels so great to let it all out. The memories will always be there, but they’re memories for a reason.

Thankful for time and healing. Thankful for my maturing and him keeping his distance. Thankful for my willpower. He was no good for me, never was- I was just too blind to see that then. Better late than never. I pray he’s become a better man for his wife and his children.

I can say I’m in a place in my life that- if he were to reach out to me, I would handle it like an adult- but I’d also be strong enough to keep walking in the other direction.

A bad day doesn’t mean bad life

There are so many “coping tactics” to help with anxiety. And with a lot of those I call bull crap on. BUT there are a few things that help me get through a rush of panic. I have tried anything you could name to try and limit my anxiety- and everything works differently for everyone.

4-7-8 breathing

This is exactly what it says. You breathe in through your nose for four seconds. Hold it in for 7 seconds and then exhale for 8 seconds. You focus on this and you will forget what you were even panicking about.

https://www.medicaldaily.com/life-hack-sleep-4-7-8-breathing-exercise-will-supposedly-put-you-sleep-just-60-332122

Take a hot shower

Sounds simple but simplicity is the key. Everything in life just gets too hectic sometimes. Taking a nice relaxing hot shower will ease your mind.

Writing

I don’t say this just because I do it. It truly helps get your thoughts and feelings out on paper and out of your head. Putting your “problems” on paper helps you focus on what the real problem is- your brain. (Not physically lol)

Being around people you love

Just having a conversation about absolutely nothing can re route your brain somewhere else. Some say that redirecting your thoughts to something else is “running away” but to me- that’s the best way to get through a panic.

Dance it out

It sounds silly but blasting your favorite music or any music for that matter will automatically calm your body and brain. But add a little movement to the music and your negative thoughts and worries will soon vanish.

These obviously aren’t all of the techniques out there, but these are the ones that most effective for me. Remember everyone is different. Keep pushing through it. There is nothing physically wrong with you, it’s all in your head.

If you start to feel the rush on anxiety come on, think to yourself why you might be feeling like that. Write it down or say it out loud. Pin point it and push it out. They’re just thoughts.

Jokes on me… again

I do not exaggerate when I say what I’m about to say. Every single time I believe I have found the one, I am proven wrong every single time. No matter how hard I try, no matter what I say or what I do- it never feels like I’m good enough. Saying that phrase out loud hits harder than a ton of bricks. My family & friends always tell me that I’ll find him. And although that may be true- it still doesn’t make things much easier.

My two BIGGEST pet peeves relating to men:

Not being honestly open- it sounds like common sense however to most it is not. I always give guys the option to say how they feel or what they are truly thinking. They don’t take the opportunity and then later down the road they decide to pull everything out WHY when they had multiple chances to express how they feel?

Not giving closure- I have had sooooo many guys just ghost me altogether and I have to tell you, it feels so much worse than just being rejected straight up. Most of these guys have been the ones pursuing me- and then disappear with no sign of being annoyed or just not interested… just simply reply back to me and say just that I’m not interested. I will have ten times more respect for you if you can do that instead of being a coward.

So with that being said; sometimes it’s hard to believe that you ARE good enough when things like this happen quite often. I don’t consider myself desperate by any means. If someone isn’t interested- why keep pursuing them? If someone isn’t responding… why keep writing? It goes a long way if you’re honest. This is YOUR life and how you live it is up to you. Don’t waste your time and more importantly someone who believes they have a chance. Let them go and move on so they can do the same. Because even if you don’t see a diamond in the rough- the next man might.

This is to all the ladies who let men dictate how they feel about themselves. The way they make you feel says nothing about you- but everything about them. You are good enough. Even if I sometimes have a hard time believing that myself and even if I haven’t found Mr. Right- I do believe everything happens for a reason. Keep pushing through- learn to love yourself and you’ll soon find your worth.

https://pin.it/xzo5tivmhkhhap

Black Hole

I know it’s a term that people use often times during depression. And it all makes sense when you think about it- a black hole is dark (obviously) and scary for most people. You don’t know what’s down there, you don’t know when you’ll hit the bottom and you don’t know how to get out of it. Depression and anxiety are all those things bundled into one. I have struggled with these two things since I was about 13 years old- so roughly 10 years. I didn’t know what was happening to me when it all started. I remember sitting down eating dinner and all of a sudden I felt a rush of bad adrenaline. I left the table and went upstairs to my room, I just thought maybe I was getting sick. It wasn’t until it kept happening over and over again- every day at the same time that I realized something wasn’t right. When explaining to my mom how or what I was feeling, I couldn’t describe it. I just always said I’d felt weird. I dealt with it the best and only way I knew- my mom. I called her into my room almost every night just to sit with me until I fell asleep. There were nights I woke up terrified because she wasn’t in the room with me. I would tip toe into her room and beg her to come sleep in my bed. I was 13 and having my mommy sleep with me. I was embarrassed but at the time I really didn’t care- it helped relax me and ease my mind that my mom was sleeping next to me. It got to the point where my mom decided it was time to go talk to someone. And I did so- all she could tell me was it was normal and that I just needed to change my lifestyle and remove the stress from my life. Well hello I was then 14 and didn’t know what the hell that really meant. I was never into drugs or really alcohol for that matter- so changing my lifestyle sounded inaccurate. I wrote down my thoughts as told and tried not to stress out about little things. It wasn’t until I swore I was seeing my dead uncle in the hallway that I decided enough was enough- I had to talk to someone else. I spoke with my aunt whom I later found out had experienced a great deal of anxiety for a long time. Eventually I was put on Prozac and things started to look up for me. I didn’t struggle to sleep at night, I was starting to learn how to drive- school was going great. I had no more worries. I felt so good that I took myself off the Prozac. Sometimes the medicine itself would make me very angry, angry that I was having to take medication at the age of 15 for what I thought were adult issues so to speak. I didn’t want to do it anymore, being young and stupid I thought I was cured. When I was 19, things started spiraling downward again. I couldn’t eat without the fear of choking. I couldn’t sleep without the fear of dying in my sleep. I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t get in the shower without thinking I would pass out and no one would ever find me. It’s crazy thoughts like that. I remember being in bed for almost a week. Eventually I went back to the doctor and she then prescribed be Prozac again. At this point I was ecstatic. I was finally going to start feeling better again. WRONG. Prozac took me on one of the worst roller coasters I’ve ever experienced. I couldn’t sleep at night, I was so worried that something would happen to me while everyone else in my house was sleeping. I would go get my mom and I’d be hysterical. Crying to her, feeling so helpless about my emotions. Called my doctor and eventually got put on Zoloft. It took a while (forever) it seemed like to me. BUT now the good days outweigh the bad ones. Zoloft was literally my saving grace. Some see it as a weakness to have medication for the issues mentally. I see it as a way of life now. I couldn’t imagine my life without my medication. Do I hope that someday I won’t need it at all? ABSOLUTELY. But for now I’m just taking it one day at a time. So honestly- if you feel like you’re stuck in a black hole. Don’t hesitate to ask for help, cry it out or lastly- medication (prescribed that is). If you’re so far down and you feel like you’ll never get out, just keep looking up- you’ll eventually be able to see the “light” not the the death light lol. I thought I’d never start to feel better, but with time and a little help from my loved ones- things did spiral upward for me.

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