I’ve been feeling worn out.
My feelings have been all over the place ever since I realized it was manipulation. A couple of weeks ago, I went to church and saw him. I was feeling okay until he started singing. The second he started singing, this feeling of panic rose in me. I had to leave the service for a few minutes, but it didn’t really help. I was so scared. I told a couple of my friends at church a little bit of the story. I just said that I had a bad experience with someone in the church and that I’m paranoid around the person. I didn’t want to tell them anything else, especially because they could find out who it is. They were relatively supportive, and talking to them helped me get through that day. After church, I remember feeling this pressure on my chest. I felt unsafe for a few hours. That reaction seemed to come out of nowhere. Now that I look back on it, I was extremely stressed about school. I learned that when I’m stressed, it tends to spread to the other aspects of my life. That was why I had that severe reaction.
Last week, I felt better. I was less stressed about school, so I felt like I could truly make myself feel safe. I kept reminding myself that my feelings were valid and I thought about the things you all have said. That helped me get through that service. Your support has helped a lot throughout this process, and I can’t thank you enough.
As of a few days ago, my mom was talking to my grandmother about this insensitive comment my relative said. This relative decided to say that people shouldn’t report their assaults if it’s been over a year since it happened. I was infuriated when I heard that. It’s so hard for people to talk about what happened, let alone report. My mom was infuriated too. She said that the comment was extremely insensitive and talked about how traumatized people are due to assault.
I think my mom is beginning to understand what survivors go through. However, it’s hard for me because I’m remembering what my parents have told me in the past. They told me that I needed to move on, that it was my fault, and that it wasn’t a big deal (and some other things). When I confronted them a few weeks after they said those things, they said that that was how I should think of it when moving on. I personally don’t agree with that. I think we have to accept our feelings and learn how to work through them without invalidating ourselves.
They said those things when they were angry. I’m struggling with this because I’m wondering how much of what they were saying was truth. Maybe they were thinking those things (in a less severe way), and it came out in a more severe way because they were angry. I’m not sure. Maybe since he didn’t go further than groping, my mom doesn’t see it as a big deal. For me, it was a big deal because it was nonconsensual, it happened in a church, he was an adult, and I felt violated. It was the first time I had ever been kissed and groped, and that was nonconsensual.
Maybe she still blames me for talking to/agreeing to meet with him. I remember her saying a while ago that I shouldn’t have gotten into that situation in the first place (meeting him in that room), but she also said that him assaulting me wasn’t my fault. I really don’t know how I feel about that. Just because I agreed to meet him in that room doesn’t mean he had the right to do what he did. I told him that I wasn’t ready, and he disregarded that. He was the one who asked me to meet him, and he was also the one who initiated the sexting. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I never met him in that room. I try to tell myself that I’ll never know what would have happened.
In some way, it’s kind of hypocritical, and I’m not sure how to deal with this dissonance. I haven’t talked to my parents about this in months, so I’m not entirely sure where they stand right now.
My trust issues are also suffocating me. It’s been hard for me to confide in people lately. I get scared, and I guess some part of me keeps thinking I’m a burden. I’ve been telling myself that I’m not a burden, but I don’t think I’ve fully accepted it. I don’t want my friendships with people to only be based on me talking about my feelings. I want them to share things with me. I don’t want it to be one sided, which is why I haven’t been confiding in them recently.
My thoughts have been all over the place. I’ve been busy with school and research, and I feel like I haven’t had a break. I’m just very tired, and I don’t know how to deal with any of this.
Thank you for reading this update.