The last few days have been interesting.
Sunday was exhausting and excruciatingly painful. I was struggling with the fact that I even had to be there, and I was upset because of my parents’ response. It doesn’t seem fair that I’m around him, even though it may be physically unsafe, and it’s emotionally draining in so many ways. Yet this small voice in my head is whispering, “Is seeing him a big deal? He didn’t go all the way.” I’m realizing that this might be my parents’ voice. I’m trying to get it out of my head, but I still think about that from time to time, even though I know that assault is assault. It’s wrong, and there’s no scale for it. I was also angry at him, especially because he’s still helping the priest after all this. Seeing him on that altar infuriates me.
I noticed another feeling. When I first realized it was assault, it was extremely painful. During the services, I used to dig my fingernails into my arm – not enough to create scars, but enough to be slightly painful. I was trying to drown out the emotional pain with physical pain. I’ve gotten much better at not doing this, but when I have a terrible day, I end up doing this. I did something similar on Sunday, and my thoughts were spiraling to a negative place which I had never been to before. Thankfully, the second my thoughts spiraled, I realized what was happening and was able to change it. The rest of the service – and the day – was still difficult, but my thoughts didn’t spiral anymore.
It took me a few days to recover from Sunday. I felt sad and frustrated about the situation, and I was trying not to discount my feelings. This is when things started looking up.
My guy friend and I were texting, and he asked how I was doing. At first, I wondered whether to even talk about this. Then I thought, “I’ve been wanting to get better at communication for a while, and I want to be honest with him. This honesty could help our friendship.” I explained the anger and frustration I had been dealing with, and he was so understanding. He wondered why my parents weren’t letting me stay away from the church and told me that my feelings were valid. He thanked me for telling him, and I thanked him for his support. He said that he only listens – that he doesn’t do much. I told him that it meant a lot to me. Having someone listen to you, especially if other people have belittled your feelings in the past, is amazing. I felt like I could breathe and let down my armor.
Speaking of my guy friend, it’s been great with him. We’re able to joke around, and I’m able to be completely myself. I asked him if I was texting him too much, and he said no and told me not to worry about that. We’re letting each other into our lives, and it feels great. Reaching out after 2 years was worth it.
Even though Sunday was so difficult and I felt like I was hitting a breaking point, I’m glad that I was able to tell the people I trust about it. Since it’s summer and we’ll be on vacation soon, I’ll be able to take a much needed break from seeing him. I’ll use that time to enjoy my vacation and decompress. I’m feeling much better than I was a few days ago, and I’m glad that I’ve reached this point.