(TW: Physical Assault)
The last two days I have felt a lot better and finally feel like I have a clear head. I was going on week 6 of on and off flares, catching every crazy virus I came in contact with, and week 3 of being highly emotionally triggered. (Which only makes my physical symptoms worse). Being emotionally triggered is weird, especially when it’s coming from multiple sources, because sometimes it’s one or two memories on repeat, and sometimes it’s all of them flashing at once. (For me personally. I don’t know what its like for other people to be triggered) I’ve had both experiences this week, but there was one memory that surfaced above the rest and played on repeat. One time behind a bar, a guy that I used to date grabbed me and would not let me go. He kept trying to kiss me and I kept saying no and moving my face away, and he kept saying “I know you and I know you want to kiss me” back to me. We were not even dating anymore at the time, I might add, not that that matters in the slightest- because it does not matter your relationship status or what kind of touching is in question, no means no. Eventually he let me go, I do not know if it was 30 seconds or 10 minutes, and we never talked about it again. I did not even allow myself to feel the weight of how deeply it affected me until a couple years later honestly, because I had learned to suppress all of my feelings, and I grew up in the epitome of rape culture and I was still learning that it was not my fault when men abused me. I doubt he even remembers because he was probably drunk, and he probably does not know that I was terrified when I realized I was physically overpowered by him or that I had bruises on my shoulders and arms the next day. I felt really unsafe all week this week remembering it though. I knew Jim was upstairs when I was home, and Matt was down the hall in his office when I was at work, so I felt safe in those places, but I got anxiety going anywhere else or even driving home alone in my car. I kept trying to figure out why that was the memory my mind was pushing out. I didn’t want to talk about it or bring something up that happened years ago, so I didn’t. I just prayed and sang and cried. I realized yesterday once my mind had calmed down and I was no longer experiencing anxiety, that it probably had a little to do with feeling the recent loss of a relationship that made me feel safe, and probably a lot to do with feeling totally out of control of my body right now. I also just feel a lot like I have been getting beat up lately. I do not like the way I look or feel when I’m black and blue, especially when some people do not believe the bruises are there or do not think that they are that bad. It feels so isolating. And maybe it’s partly my fault. Maybe I belittle symptoms, or don’t talk about them at all, because I don’t want to sound dramatic or be too overwhelming to the people around me. Maybe I feel like if I’m honest how bad things get, I’ll be all alone, or feel like a burden to the people who stay. Maybe I can’t even fully acknowledge it to myself, let alone find the energy to explain it to someone else. These are my own personal issues, and I’m committed to working through them. I can only tackle so many issues in one week though, haha. I take comfort knowing that Jesus knows though. At the end of the day when I collapse in my bed utterly depleted, and nobody knows it or sees it, I don’t have to explain anything to him- he knows it all already. And he weeps when he sees the metaphorical bruises I’m covered in, and he is tender and gentle when he draws near to comfort and heal me. And he tells me that there is so much grace for me and that I need to have some for myself. It feels so uncomfortable to be in such a place of need, and these days I’m often feeling the weight of failing the expectations on me whether my own or from others, but he sees every effort we are making and he’s pulling us forward another step each day. I feel my heart expanding in response to situations that used to make me close it off, and I hear him singing freedoms over me. There is constant progress Jesus is making in each of us, even if we cannot always see it, and it is so sweet of him that he has not let me close my eyes to the ways he is moving around me. We are gonna be dancing one of these days, we aren’t there yet, but I have visions and dreams of dancing and I know that’s where I’m headed. So maybe the next 6 weeks are going to be easier, or maybe they’re just gonna get worse. All I know is exactly what the end destination looks like, it’s glory with my Jesus, and my eyes are so fixed on Him.
“God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her in the break of day.”