Realizations

Realizations

174 21

CW: brief mention of ending everything

This might be a long update.

Today was another rough day at church. I’ve had a lot of those recently. 

I was angry this morning. I felt – and still feel – kind of disconnected, but I also feel these waves of pain. I feel sad. I don’t care about anything, which is a great feeling to have right before school starts (note: sarcasm). I don’t know who to talk to about it…about any of it. 

I’ve had two jumbled streams of thought in the past few months.

One stream is about how I’m very close to graduating. I’m doing a program in which I’m doing masters classes while completing my bachelors degree, so I’m able to finish my masters faster. I’ve been wanting to do this program for at least a year. There are so many possibilities for my life and what I want to do. I have good friends and AVFTI. I’m sharing – and writing – more poetry. I’m trying to be a better person. I’m studying what I want to study. I have other passions and goals that I want to explore.

The other stream is about church and how I feel so close to giving up (but I’m not really sure what that means for me) and hopelessness and resignation and anger and sadness and disconnection and wanting to run away/end everything and not deal with any of this. It’s about the trauma that some people expect me to deal with on my own. It’s about how I want to move out and how frustrated I get with my parents (sometimes). It’s about how I don’t feel strong, and even though I know I can’t look for external validation/happiness and expect to be fulfilled, sometimes I wish someone would save me from all this.

It’s so confusing because I’m thinking “life is great…but it’s not at the same time.”

I’ve had this “wanting to run away” feeling for a while now. I think the reason why I feel trapped is because I don’t feel safe. I definitely don’t feel safe at church, and I don’t feel emotionally safe at home. I wouldn’t want to escape if I felt safe and protected. 

It’s why I’m looking for these safe spaces, such as my counselor, my sister, my best friend, my guy friend, AVFTI, my writing, etc. I’m trying to make myself feel safe in my own life so I can at least get through. Maybe I’m trying to make up for the fact that I don’t feel emotionally safe around my parents, and I don’t feel safe in this place of worship. 

Yet even though I have these spaces, I feel weird confiding in them. There’s this resistance. I keep thinking that I’m talking about my problems too much or that they’re somehow not ‘important enough’ to mention and that I’m exaggerating. Maybe I fear that these spaces won’t be safe anymore (either because of me or them or even my parents getting involved), so if I don’t reveal anything, maybe it won’t be taken away from me. I’m trying to get past the resistance, and I know that bottling everything up isn’t healthy.

I’m also looking at pictures of myself from when I was 15 – when the assault occurred. I keep thinking about how young I looked and how much I didn’t know about the world. I was very sheltered and naive. I had no experience with manipulative guys or trauma or any of it. My face looked young, and I sounded like a child. My assailant probably knew these things and used them to his advantage, which is infuriating. In a way, I’m grieving for the child I was before the assault happened. It feels like a loss. I know more now, and I’ve completely changed as a person since then. I’m proud of who I am today. Yet it still feels like a loss – almost like I had to become an adult at an accelerated pace. 

I guess writing and posting here is my way of processing all this. Thank you for being here.


Join the Conversation

21 comments

  1. Jordan Volunteer

    Dear music2799,

    I just want you to know that you can ALWAYS confide in us no matter what. That can be as much or as little as you want. It is whatever you are comfortable with. Regardless, we will always be here for you no matter what as you continue not just your healing journey, but your journey throughout your life as well. You have accomplished so much. I think it is amazing to see how far you have come in your education, your friendships, and just yourself as a whole. You truly are worthy of love, joy, happiness, and contentment in your life. It seems like everything is going well so far minus church and your parents.. keep holding on girl. You are so close to being done and being out of that environment. Perhaps you and one of your friends could get an apartment together! Then you would not have to worry about feeling not validated by your parents and feeling like you have to continue to go to the same church as your perp. Things are gonna get better. I can feel it. Just don’t give up <3 Thinking of you and sending hugs your way <3

    – Jordan

  2. Lizzi

    Hey music2799,
    I’m sorry to hear that you’re in such a tough place right now. It’s hard to be caught in the middle of “some things are good and others are not good” because you want to be happy about the good things, but the bad things stop that. You have so much going for you right now with school and your support system. However, it seems like church and home are difficult for you, and I wonder if there’s a way to either change those or make them more comfortable places to be. Is it possible for you to move out? Or talk things out with your parents so you feel safer while you live there? If you can’t leave your church, is there something you could get involved in there that makes it a less dreaded experience? I don’t know what any of this would look like for you, but you seem like a very rational person that identifies the problem and tries to fix the issue. I’m proud of you for making it this far and I encourage you to keep sharing, even if you don’t feel like it’s “important enough” because it is. We’re here for you.

  3. Ashley Day Captain

    I can tell there are some wonderful things happening, but it seems like the difficult things are causing you to feel discouraged. Although life has been challenging, I commend you for continuing to pursue higher education and wanting to achieve additional goals. Having a safe place to turn to can be comforting; it’s not unreasonable to have the desire to feel safe and protected. I’m thinking your counselor, sister, best friend, and guy friend don’t mind that you confide in them because you don’t deserve to be alone in your pain.

    We’re always here for you, music2799.

    Ashley

  4. jcas120 Volunteer

    Hello music2799,

    Thank you for taking the time to come here and share your story. Your bravery is inspiring. I’m sorry to hear about your rough times recently, going into an environment where you don’t feel comfortable must be tough. Especially if you have to see someone there who harmed you in some way. I’m sorry you feel disconnected. You have been through so much and it’s understandable, although not desirable, that these feelings come up. It is difficult to find someone to talk to about these things, this is why I like AVFTI as we always do our best to be supportive of everyone.

    It is great to see some of the progress you’ve made! School starting back up sounds exciting. It’s also great to hear that you are writing and doing poetry, these things can be a great way to clear your mind and have a chance to be creative. I’m sorry you’ve felt like giving up. This is a really difficult situation that you were thrown into. Feeling trapped in places where you live and go to on a regular basis sounds very scary. I am glad you are looking for safe spaces however I understand the resistance you feel from them. These feelings of being taken advantage of are incredibly tough to deal with but you are doing a great job so far!

    Also, if at any time you feel like harming yourself please be sure to text VOICE to 741-741. This will get you in touch with a crisis counselor. Thank you for trusting us and taking the time to tell us your story. We are here for you!

  5. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    I’m so sorry that you’re struggling with these feelings right now. I understand exactly what you mean. I used to feel the same way about many of my safe spaces growing up. Please know that we’re always here for you. Your feelings are never trivial and we love to see your updates roll in anytime. You will always have a safe space here.

    All the best,
    Becca

  6. sfmbelle413 Day Captain

    Hey there music2799,

    Writing is an amazing way to process things and I’m glad you feel this is a comfortable space to do so. When we experience trauma we get that sense of wanting to run away to protect ourselves. That is completely normal. It’s also normal to want to continue to protect ourselves and not enter these seemingly safe places – since the safest place is ourselves. You’re doing an amazing job fighting through to get yourself to those safe places and to peace. It’s also truly inspiring that you’re working through that accelerated program. Keeping fighting for your dreams. You will get there.

    Sending light,
    SFM

  7. tayestlack Volunteer

    hello love, thank you for coming to us and for trusting us. I’m so sorry you’re having these feelings, but I’m glad you have your safe places. Since you have these safe places, maybe you could focus your energy on these places to help bring you up and help fix these emotions. Writing is a wonderful place to process your feelings and help focus your attention. I hope you find your way out of this dark time. Hold your head up and stay strong

  8. KatherineL Volunteer

    Hi Music2799,

    All of what you’re feeling is completely valid and absolutely important. I understand that it can be really uncomfortable and unnerving to not have the basic necessity of safety being met. Just know that you’re strong and that you can make it through this. Thank you for sharing what you’re going through and talking us through your feelings. You should be proud of who you are today; we sure are proud of you.

    Katherine

  9. Rustin Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    I know it’s crazy to think about the innocence that was stolen from you. It’s a whole different world being on the other side. Just remember that even though you know now that there can be pain in this world, that little kid is still inside of you. That little kid still wants to enjoy the good things in life. It can be difficult working with two perspectives but you are doing the things that you need to help you heal. Having a good support system and seeing a therapist are great steps to processing this so it doesn’t run your life. Just take one day at a time.

  10. colton95 Volunteer

    As someone who’s both been assaulted and felt uncomfortable in church or a religious setting in general, I understand somewhat how you feel. I was able to get through my discomfort thanks to loving family (for the most part) and caring friends around me who I can talk to about literally anything. I really hope that there is or will be someone in your life like that. Feel free to reach out to literally anyone here if you need to vent or talk!

  11. mikaylaanne11 Volunteer

    Hey again music2799,

    I’m glad you’re back. Writing is such a great way of processing for a lot of people, and I’m glad that AVFTI and your poetry is helping you. What you’re experiencing is so valid and is a very natural response for survivors of trauma. It’s good to keep in mind the wonderful things that you have and have experienced, but that happiness doesn’t invalidate your negative experiences. Even though you have a great support system and are following your passion, you are allowed to grieve and process in your own way. You can mourn the loss of the childhood that you wanted to have and still be grateful for where you are today. Emotions don’t occur in a vacuum—you are allowed to hold many of them at the same time, even if they’re conflicting.

    It might be good to express these feelings with your in-person support network. It sounds like you’re having more difficulty being vulnerable with them because you’re afraid of losing them—that’s a valid fear! I’ve seen vulnerability pull people together in the most impossible situations. It’s scary to take that leap when you have every reason not to, but it’s worth it. And if you feel that the people closest to you are invalidating your experiences, it might be time to let them go. There is always someone out there who is willing to listen, like us! You are full of so much strength and deserve to feel heard.

  12. Jess Volunteer

    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been having such a hard time. It’s difficult to process feelings – especially when those uneasy and distrustful feelings are coming from multiple sources. It’s great to hear that you have people and places in your life that you trust. It is so easy to think that we are burdening others when we share our struggles, but it is necessary to rely on those people and places in our lives. Remind yourself of that necessity as often as you can. Remember to rely on those things to help you – you deserve to have people and places that are comfortable and safe for you. We are absolutely always here if you need anything. Stay strong and keep fighting. <3
    -Jess

  13. Breanna Grunthal Volunteer

    Hey music2799,

    I’m so sorry to hear that you’re feeling like this. I know that each day is tough, I’m proud of you for keeping it up. It is really hard when there are two significant sources of uneasy feelings. I’m glad that you have people and places where you can confide. I understand that burden-like feeling. But these people (and of course, us!) love and care about you. I know that trusting them to keep you safe and comfortable is hard. I hope you get to a place where you feel comfortable. We will always be here for you! Keep your chin up, and let us know how we can help.

    Sending love and support,
    Bre

  14. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear music2799,
    I see you!! Your situation is extremely difficult and you have every reason to be exhausted and to want things to be different. You are not too much and you need your safe places…rely on them!
    Sending you love and strength,
    Roxie

  15. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi music2799,
    I’m so sorry that you are feeling like this. I actually feel very similar to you. We are both kinda going through the same thought process as school is about to start. Just remember that when you are feeling this low because of your assault, remember that he doesn’t define you. You are stronger than him and you are going to go sooo much farther in life than him. I know you love to go to church, have you thought about going to a different church, so you don’t have to see him? You are going to get through this bump in the road. You’re going to go back to school, start working towards your masters/bachelors, and you are going to have an amazing semester. Continue to stay strong. Thank you for updating us.
    -Alyssa

  16. musicislove

    Hi music2799,

    Thank you for trusting us with your thoughts and how you’re feeling, I’m sorry you’re struggling right now. It sounds like you have some great things going on in your life with graduating soon, friends, AVFTI, and your poetry, but I understand still struggling. You have every right to grieve your childhood, anyone that suffers from trauma early on in their lives has to grow up way too soon and that’s unfair. I’m sorry you’re feeling so upset and angry as well. Church and family should be able to bring you peace, not make you uneasy. I understand worrying about oversharing and losing those safeties but friends and your counselor want you to be okay and are there for you. We’re also always here for you and will be on your side. Try to be kind to yourself, healing takes time.

    Delaney

  17. dzreid Volunteer

    Hi Music2799,
    I am glad you have found AVFTI to be a good source of support to you! You are awesome! I also see that you have others in your circle of support that have a strong part in your healing journey; hold onto all that! The wounds from abuse (any form) run deep & can last way longer than we want them to. I am sorry that you don’t trust your family. Sometimes, our minds have a strange way of protecting us. You amaze me at how you are able to accomplish so much! You are a lot stronger than you believe you are. I’m so sorry that by attending church, you have to do so having constant reminders of what happened to you. You should be able to attend freely. Hopefully the day will come where you are able to attend church. You deserve to attend in peace. I hope you will continue to write, share, & work on you. In time, it will get easier (hopefully). I wish you the best as you work towards reaching your goals & dreams.
    Dawn

  18. meg Volunteer

    Thank you for sharing with us, music2799. I am astonished with the strength and understanding you shared. You should be absolutely proud of how far you’ve come. Being able to process that you have these two separate streams of thought alone is a major sign of growth. I am so sorry you were assaulted…no one has the right to take your childhood from you and I am so sorry that it feels as though they did. I know how painful it must be to not trust your family. But, it sounds as though your close friends are your new, chosen family. They’re there for you, just as we are!

    Remember to be kind with yourself. We can’t hurry along your healing if you broke the bones in your body. Let yourself heal. Let your heart and mind heal. You’re doing everything you can to survive in the situation at home that you are in. Know that being there isn’t permanent and you will find the opportunity to create a new, safe home.

    It sounds like you’re already taking great strides in taking care of yourself. Writing and sharing is hugely important and thank you for sharing with us. Try finding time in your day to practice some deep breathing so when you find yourself on the thought path of hurt, you can kindly pull yourself to the path that is loving and understanding. You’ve got this. You are so strong and so brave. If you do find that you can’t pull yourself out of the dark, please text VOICE to 741-741. You don’t have to go through this alone.

    Please continue to share with us. It’s not only helpful to you but for so many of us that feel the same to see how strong you are even when you don’t feel like you are.

    I believe in you!
    —Meg

  19. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    I understand what it is like to feel you have to compartmentalize yourself and your trauma into safe spaces and not. It is how I have lived the majority of my life. It’s how I’ve had to live. And that is painful, it’s exhausting. You are not too much. You need those safe spaces because right now, you cannot get away from those unsafe ones. Eventually you will. But I know that you cannot always escape those unsafe spaces, and that I’m sorry that you even have to do this. You should be proud of who you are. You are doing the thing, the best that you can. Thank you for being here.

    Erin

  20. Ryan4121 Volunteer

    I’m sorry you have these jumbled streams of emotions. And I’m extremely sorry about the abuse the went through at 15. I must say, it sounds like you are so incredibly strong and are doing great in your recovery.

    It sounds like you are in your late teens in about to graduate high school. Naturally, this is an emotionally confusing and exciting time. Couple that with your traumatic past, and my goodness, I can’t imagine what you are going through. As someone who has gone through that time in life, I can say I (as well as millions) can relate. You will soon move out or move on and find yourself growing in new spaces. If I could go back to that time in my life, I’d try not to over think things and just do my best. You will naturally fall into a place where you feel comfortable 🙂 But please, continue to recover from your abuse and be a light for others. Your posts are so inspiring and we thank you for everything. We are always here for you.

  21. Solongago Volunteer

    music2799,

    I am sorry today has been rough. How you are feeling is completely understandable. And concerning at the same time.

    There is a sense of loss and anxiety as the end of school/college approaches. Lots of people feel this way. It is a major transition time and it can throw anyone for a loop. You have an added stress/anxiety of taking master level classes at the same time. These things can add up. You have a wonderful future in front of you if you can hang on. And you know that. But you also have serious losses that you are trying to manage while finishing up college.

    Please take a few moments to give yourself the credit that you deserve. It is damn hard what you are trying to do and on top of that you are dealing with trauma, the inability of your family to support you with regard to that trauma, and the bombarding of emotions resulting from revisiting the trauma every week by going to that church where you are very likely to see the jerk that perpetrated the trauma.

    Being overwhelmed by a variety of feelings is understandable. I am glad that you are reaching out here. But sometimes it can be helpful to reach out to someone physically present. Most universities, if not all, have counsellors available to students, that can help you. You are doing so well on your own, I mean, you’ve gotten this far in your education, that just a little bit of help will probably relieve enough stress to make it a little easier to finish the semester.

    You are doing so much, I am amazed at your endurance/stamina. And yes, you are grieving for the child that was, and it is grieving that you have to do, it can be exhausting. And when we are exhausted, depression and feelings of hopelessness, and resignation, and the like seem to go to town on us. Please, listen to your body. If your body needs rest, give it rest, make it a point to give yourself 7-10 hours a night to sleep. You have to take care of yourself. Whether you body asks for it or not, make it a point to give it some exercise — 10-20 minutes, once or twice a day. Just do it for you. It sound counterproductive with all the class work, but it gets the blood to where it needs to go and gives you more energy. And anyway, we learn the most in the first 20 minutes and the last 20 minutes of any study session, so if you are studying more than 40 minutes, take a 10-20 minute break to either eat something healthy or to run around the block. About eating healthy, pay attention to that too. When we get down, we tend to over eat or under eat or eat all the wrong things, and that makes us feel worse physically and emotionally. Taking care of our physical needs when we are doing good is easy, we rarely notice how it impacts our mood, but doing it when we are feeling down, can make a huge difference.

    We love you and want what is best for you. We want for you to be happy and to be healthy. We want you to be able to achieve your goals, and to be proud of yourself. You deserve to be proud of yourself. You deserve to have people who care about you and want what is best for you. You deserve the good future you are working toward.