Thank you for the comments on my last update. They were incredibly helpful. I’ve talked to my guy friend about seeing my assailant since I told him my story, and he’s been wonderful. I told my best friend about how I felt today, and she was supportive.
Speaking of today, it was another rough day. I didn’t understand why during the service, but I understand now. I’m trying so hard to maintain my composure each Sunday, and keeping up the act is exhausting. I’m extremely tired every week, and I deal with a lot of physical symptoms (such as muscle tension, shaking, feeling a weight on my chest, a racing heart, etc.), which are very likely connected to my emotions. It feels like a small part of me chips away every time I have to be there. My feelings and needs are last in line just to maintain an image – to show that I’m not defeated by what my assailant did to me (according to my parents). However, I don’t feel like I’m winning by dealing with the effects of trauma so often. Leaving does not mean he wins, and it never will. It’s almost like my parents chose this church over me, and it feels like a betrayal. However, I don’t know if I’m making this into something it’s not.
Sometimes I wish my parents would acknowledge my pain. It’s hard to accept that maybe they won’t, and I’m still working on this. I oscillate between feeling angry about their response and feeling completely resigned (like nothing will change and I won’t ever leave this church).
I’m worn out, but I’m trying to hold onto hope.