I guess this is a (probably very long) life update of sorts.
I went to a DBT group this semester before my university closed down. At first, I was worried about dominating the conversation, so I listened most of the time. As I got more comfortable with the group, I contributed more.
I had never been in group therapy before this, so it was an interesting experience. We had a mindfulness exercise at the start of each session, and I liked them because I could put my thoughts and worries to the side for some time. I found new ways to cope with stress.
When other people talked about the feelings they experienced, I felt seen. I could relate to them. There were moments when I wanted to jump up and yell, “EXACTLY.”
The sessions were insightful, and I felt more relaxed at the end of each session. One skill I took away from DBT is to think of other interpretations of a stressful/negative situation. I’m still practicing this skill, but it has helped me calm down so far.
In my last update, I mentioned that I wanted to read the messages from my assailant. Because I was curious, I tried to log into the Gmail account where those messages were. The account was deleted.
After the assault, my assailant sent questionable messages (which made me extremely uncomfortable), which my parents found out about. They helped me break things off with him. My dad asked me for the password for that account, and I remember giving it to him. It looks like my dad deleted the account soon after I broke things off with my assailant.
In one way, I’m almost glad because I don’t have to read those messages. I have a feeling that reading those messages wouldn’t have been good for me. I remember most of it, and my memories are enough. I know that it happened, and I don’t need those messages to trigger me.
In another way, it’s disappointing. I reported my assailant last year, and I thought I would have proof in case there was an investigation. I haven’t heard anything regarding the report, but now I don’t have proof. I have a feeling CPS won’t pursue an investigation, but it’s a little disappointing,
As for forgiving him, I don’t know if I’m ready for that. On some days, I feel more compassionate. On other days, I feel angry and dejected. I decided to give myself space to feel everything as well as detach from making a decision about forgiveness.
As of right now, life is interesting.
I’m finishing college at home, and it feels weird. Sometimes I feel unmotivated. I’m trying to follow a schedule so I can get things done and give myself time to relax each day. These last few weeks are going to be hectic, but I’m taking it one day at a time.
I’m trying to stay in touch with my friends. There are times when I worry about bothering them or being a burden. However, I try to reach out because I care for them, and I don’t want them to feel alone.
I haven’t had to see my assailant in a month and a half because church services were cancelled. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this relaxed on the weekends, and not having to see him has made a massive difference. It’s a much needed break. I was struggling for a while before this.
When it comes to healing, I believe I’ve made progress in a couple of ways:
1) When my parents are upset about something and take it out on us, I’m not as influenced by their mood. I’m learning to think, “I can’t control their reaction in this moment, but I can control how I respond.” I’m not perfect when it comes to this, but I’m getting better.
2) I don’t know if I can say I’ve forgiven my parents. Their behaviors are harmful. Yet they might fear they’re losing control. Due to that, they may be reacting in certain ways. They might be passing this behavior on from their parents without realizing how harmful it is. With that being said, I’m aware that these reasons are not excuses. However, understanding where their behavior comes from is helping me make peace with it. I know that I don’t have to pass this behavior on to anyone else. I’m trying to heal my wounds – for myself and for the people around me.
These past few months have been tumultuous, but I believe I’m doing the best I can and making progress.