Today was my last therapy session for a few weeks. I felt heavy throughout the session, weighed down by the pain in my chest and drained by the continuing conflict between my head and my heart.
There was validation as always and also a very big relief to sit with my feelings- which is new in itself.
We talked of the difficulties of October, of why and what. I cannot share here (nor do I want to) the specifics of the abuse that are behind many of the triggers I face this month. I was able to discuss some of that today, which helped. It helps that my T knows so much, that he makes the connections between the abuse and my triggers without more than a few words for me.
I shared with my T my decision to take an anniversary off work later this month. It feels so right, I deserve that, a day to feel whatever I need to feel. That anniversary is an incident I have dealt with extensively in therapy and processed in my own time. It is an incident that is issue free. But it still took place, it was still done to me. Talking and processing does not undo it.
Though they do not cause flashbacks, the triggers remain. And it hurts more than it has ever hurt before.
This time of year especially. The fallen leaves, the smell of damp. The chill in the air, the darkness. They all remind me of the night I was raped by a group of men.
It isn’t flashbacks reminding me, or nightmares tormenting me, but I remember. I remember as if it were yesterday. And I can’t escape it, not when out of every window lays reminders, not when each time I set foot out of the door, I am hit by the October air and the memory of what they did.
I want to share some more of my story, as much as I can on here at least.
*Trigger warning here. Please be careful.*
It is strange the details you remember, things like I distinctively remember the smell of dampness and I remember the way the chill of the air felt on my exposed skin. I remember the feel of the trousers my first attacker was wearing. I remember how his hair felt on my fingertips as I tried to push him away. I remember my second attacker vividly, the words he said have stayed with me. The taunts and the insults, but the compliments particularly.
I left the building with the first rapist and the darkness was sort of swallowing us as we walked away from safety and from light. Because of that darkness, my most vivid memories are of what I smelt, what I felt and what I heard. There was an assault that made me lose consciousness, and when I came around I was in that total darkness. In my drunken state, it took time for my eyes to adjust. Forced to rely on my other senses, I could only feel the depraved and sickening sexual assault that was being done to me.
I was flat on my back, laying on a bed of soggy leaves. I remember the dark shadow above me, the pressure on my legs and abdomen. Frozen to the spot, I was rooted beneath this monster. There I reasoned. There I made excuses. There I tried and I fought in the only way I knew. Ignored completely, the violations worsened and pushing him away only served to make him angry.
Pleading and reasoning, I was forced to my feet into further assault. Force, aggression and cold. It was so, so cold. Shivering, shaking and pressed against a wall, movement from behind and
The distinctive noise of trodden leaves, breaking twigs. Laughter.
Pushed to to my knees and scared out of my mind.
Then more shadows in the dark, closing in from every side and
Laughing, taunting, insults and
A horizontal world in an abyss of darkness
Pain. Stinging. Sore. Burning
Fear, terror. More begging, pleading.
Sweat, semen, vomit, tears.
That was difficult, and so very painful. But it was also a relief. It is increasingly helpful to talk (write) about that night. I think I am entering a new phase of healing with this where I want and need to be heard in a way I haven’t been before.
Thank you for reading.