survivors

When will it be the right time?

I met a woman on a beach once in Canada, trying to sell everything she owned on that beach, laid out in the sand, everything, clothes, jewellery, even photographs. At first I was pretty intrigued by this woman, and why she was there selling all of her stuff, and being a bit of the blunt kiwi I am (so I was called by my Canadian friends); I asked her why she was there. She was leaving Vancouver to go back east, where she was originally from, to see if things had changed much there, she told us she wanted to get rid of all her stuff before she left because the last thing she needed when she was going back home was any extra baggage. My friends were still very confused, but I totally knew what she meant.

This is what they do to us

This is what drives me crazy about abuse and abusive people:

They screw up EVERY memory you have of childhood, to the point where I feel like smashing photos of myself out of frames in my house, because everytime I look at that kid I see what he did to me written all over my damn face.

They take and take and take untill your whole sense of self is so screwed up that you think thats all you can do for people, is give and give untill you realise oneday that that is all a big load of crap and that you wasted the majority of your life doing that when you could have, i don't know, LIVED?

"Commission calls for overhaul of rape trials"

This morning I awoke to a Newspaper story that really made me want to cry with relief, as it is something that really is ahuge deal for New Zealand, and we are in desperate need of. The Law Commission of New Zealand have finally recognised that rape trials in this country are so extremly unfair and taxing on survivors that many women dont bother reporting, or following through with reports, I am one of them. The law commission has stated that how rape trials are carried out in this country are "brutalising and distressing victims, and the system must be overhauled".

I have been to counselling on and off for a while now, to more than one counsellor, all of whom have explained to me that if I was to go to trial, the process is often not worth it and moving on is the best step. So often the male sex offenders are found not guilty, especially in my case when it is a wealthy man, and the survivor comes out worse off than before. This has been a decision that has haunted me since the day I chose to make it, and to se it written on the front page that many of the senior lawyers in our country wouldnt advise women who have been raped to go to trial because of the harsh process they would have to endure and the outcome is likely to be against them, almost made me weep.

Guilt of the past heavy in my heart.

In my last counselling session I found myself caught in a conversation which I had previously tried to avoid entering into with anyone. Those words: “Do you think he has hurt anyone else?” make me feel sick to my stomach. That is never far from my thoughts and the guilt I feel about that weighs heavy on my heart. Yes. I do think he has hurt others. I think there were others before me. I think there were others after. I wish there were none, including myself, I know I couldn’t have saved those hurt before me, what kills me is that I could have made the lives of girls after me better. And I didn’t.

New new year

Today marks the tenth year since he started hurting me. Today, is the first new year day, in ten years, where I have not been raped on the day. The first day of the last nine years before this one, started with abuse. But not this one. I didn't do anything special for new years, I just worked at the bar untill three this morning, but it was special to me anyway. Those other years I guess I just expected it to happen, and I expected the rest of the year to follow that pattern, just as it always did. When I was in my early teens I didn't really have any way of getting away from him on that day, but as I got older my attending the parties with my family, where he would be, was out of fear for the other girls there, my sister, my cousins, my friends, I didnt want them to be seeing the new year in the way I did, so I just went. I also started drinking, hoping that I wouldn't remember it, but all the while making myself more vulnerable.

Why cant it just go faster?

As the new year gets closer I have found myself becoming nervous about what next year is going to be like for me. In a way, I am excited because I know that next year there is not going to be abuse waiting for me around every corner, because finally, he is gone. But I don't want to allow myself to be too hopeful for next year, not after this one. This year has been painfully long and hard, and I have made a lot of changes in my life, many for the good. But yet, here I am with a brand new year just a couple of days away, and I cant even let myself look forward to it.

I keep being told that each day after the abuse is supposed to get easier, but each day I wake up feeling as though maybe I should be hurt that day because I woke up late, or because I spilt coffee, just small, stupid things that I do, I don't know how to deal with those. I am not getting hurt or yelled at anymore for those, so why do I feel like I almost need that? Everyday is so confusing. Conversations with other people are just a blur where I go around and around in circles about the same things, the same issues, talking about everything we have discussed a thousand times because I don't know what else to talk about without bursting into tears. I know the new year wont take that away, I know it is also silly to wish for such a thing, but I really really do.

n/a

I think I must have accidently hit my self destruct button...

...Because I am falling apart! I finally sort of get myself together (well, as together as I could possibly be right now) and off I go and get myself a kidney infection. Lovely. Ok, so there was a little more to it than my kidneys just being out to get me, there was another incident with Nick and getting hit there, which made the infection more painful. But, my real story here (yes, there is a point to this post) is about what happened when I went to the hospital today. As has happened many times before today when I have gone to the hospital about such things, I ended up with a male doctor. This was ok with me today, I was not feeling too concerned because it was not a gyn issue and so I thought maybe I can deal with having him examine me.

I made my choice: for that, I'm sorry

Today I dropped the charges against my rapist. I just can't deal with all of that right now. I know I have let alot of you down by doing this, and for that I feel terrible, and I am sorry.

I did it because I he has moved now, he has gone, and it's over. I didn't want revenge on him, I just wanted it to be over for good. It was in no way the easiest option to take, I didnt do it because I thought it would fix everything straight away. I know better than that. But I do understand that my decision has let many people down, who wanted me to win this. I never wanted to do that, and I'm sorry.

Why should I...?

Yesterday I finally made the appointment and went back to see my counselor to talk about everything that has been going on lately with me and with the man who hurt me. I had not been very thrilled with the thought of going back to counseling to be honest. I do like my counselor a lot, and she has been a great help in this whole thing, but opening up to someone after so many years of this all being a huge huge secret, sometimes just gets way too big for me. But at the same time, when I walk out of her office at the end of the session, I feel like I am leaving a little part of the hurt behind, which I never have to talk about again unless I want to, and I guess it's that feeling which makes me go back.

Survivors support groups: my concerns.

Those of you who know me know that I am a survivor of long term sexual abuse. But for those that do not, I was abused from childhood until just recently by a good friend of my family. For years I was numb about it all, and not willing to deal with it at all. I finally did get myself together enough to get into counselling not too long ago, and was able to work up the courage to go to the police and report this man.

Now that it is over, and I have been through that, it has not all left my mind like I had hoped it would. Stupidly, I was hoping that I would wake up the next day and feel that huge weight lift off of my heart and no longer have to deal with the images that have been in my mind since the first time he hurt me. I was wrong. In fact, since it all stopped I feel like the images have been much clearer and I have been having flash backs much more frequently. And, to be honest I am just not dealing with that well, particularly not at night time, when I have anxiety attacks and can’t sleep at all because I feel like he is watching me again.

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