It is now the middle of January.

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*Trigger warning: Rape, emotional abuse, suicide mention
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This is my first entry. I have to admit that I’m really nervous, starting a blog. I’ve started blogs before without letting them go anywhere.

I don’t know what to say.

In August of 2008 I was raped. The morning after it happened I told my cousin. She told me not to tell anybody. So, I stayed quiet. For six months after the rape, I stayed quiet.

It turns out that my cousin was still partying with my rapist. My former best friend had started dating him. Both of them knew what he did. It didn’t make any sense that the people I grew up with were loyal to this random dude we just met at a party. For months after the rape, I had tried to contact my former best friend. I tried calling her, emailing her, instant messaging- anything. I desperately needed to talk to her about what happened, and I didn’t want to admit to myself that she was actually dating that guy.

She ignored me.

This thought kept playing over and over in my head: “They knew what he did, but they don’t care. This clearly is evidence that you aren’t worth anything.”

I spiraled into a depression that I can’t even describe. I stopped eating. I stopped talking to people. I stopped showering. I dropped out of college. You can see it on my transcripts. My grades just plummeted.

Around November of 2008 my former best friend got her permit and decided to drive to my house. I wasn’t around at the time, though. When I went into my room, I saw that she had written something on one of my bottles of anticonvulsant medications. She wrote “CONSUME ALL PILLS.”

I actually did swallow a bottle of pills around 2014. I immediately regurgitated them and sought help from my mom. She would later say that I was trying to get attention.

My mom was the worst person to have in those months after the rape. She would physically force me into the shower to bathe. She would physically force me into the car to go to classes. She would hit me. Years later when I confronted her about that she said that I “deserved to be hit.” When I started smoking to try to calm my nerves, she said that I looked “so stupid.” She said that I smiled “like a shark.” When I told her that that hurt my feelings, she said that it’s “better that I heard it from her.”

I have seizure disorder and I cannot drive. I have to depend on others for rides. When my mom would drive me to the therapist’s she would scream at me the entire way. I never actually addressed the rape with any of the therapists. I would only ever talk about the fight I just had with my mom. One time around March of 2009 she was dropping me off at work. She screamed at me and told me not go to go court against my rapist. She said that I wouldn’t want to “relive all that” again. When I objected, she told me to get my own ride home.

It is now the middle of January. My sister has been dating the cousin of my rapist since around 2010. Neither my sister nor her boyfriend believe that I was raped. My parents welcomed him into the family, saying “He’s not the one who raped you.” This man told me to “back off” when I was trying to go to court against his cousin in 2009.  Around 2014 my sister started bringing him to family functions. She would show me pictures of them on vacation together. If I tried to walk out of the house to get away, my mom would say that I was “rude.” If I stayed in the same area, my mom would say that I have this “ugly frown on my face.” If I got triggered by my sister talking about him, my mom would call me a “heartless monster.” She would say that I “don’t love my sister.”

In the summer of 2016 I was living by myself in an apartment. I was researching different methods of killing myself. If I had a gun, I may have done it. I reached out to a hotline several times. I reached out to my mom for help. She said that I was “just trying to make them feel sad.”

The last time I interacted with my parents was in June of 2017. I asked my mom if she had an issue with my sister’s relationship. She said no. I asked her if she would go to family therapy with me. She said no. I said that she doesn’t support me. My stepdad got into my face and said “How dare you say that your mom doesn’t support you?” I said “Stop screaming and spitting in my face.” He said “Oh, I’ll spit in your face.”

I flicked him off.

About three months later in September my stepdad texted me, asking “How are classes going?” I ignored him. On my birthday in October my mom sent me a gift package with everything she knew I loved. It was like that giant explosion in June never happened. I wanted to throw that box away. I ended up throwing it into a donation bin.

Two weeks before Christmas last year, I sent my family a letter stating that I do not wish to visit over the holidays, nor into the 2018 year. I arranged with a therapist to help me open any Christmas gifts that arrive in the mail. To my surprise, none were sent. This was a relief and also kick to the gut. Like, “wow.” They can switch off their feigned display of love just as quickly as they can switch it on.

I believe that my PTSD from the rape in 2008 was exacerbated by the ongoing emotional abuse from my mom, sister, and former best friend.  I now have C-PTSD and I experience triggers to this day. The triggers have decreased in number and intensity, though, since I have established boundaries with my family.

I was raised with abuse, so I ran to abuse. I want this pattern to stop. I only want supportive relationships in my life. My life matters. I matter.

I guess that’s what this blog is about.

I guess that’s what my fear about writing a blog has always been about.

What if I don’t matter after all?

That’s the abuse talking.

I want to, need to break free.

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