I was sexually abused as a child and raped as a teen and I damn well survived this far. I am turning 30 this year, an age I wasn’t even expecting I would reach.
I have legs covered with self inflicted scars, I have at times had borderline eating disorders, I have gotten a PTSD diagnosis and I at times get panic attacks from an empty local shop. I have tried throwing up in bushes from pure anxiety and I have wondered how to best protect myself with a pack of salmon.
But I have also slowly through the last 8 years learned that it is okay to be happy. That me smiling and enjoying life is possible without waiting on the other shoe to drop. Without looking for the darkness creeping in from the corners when you least expect it.
As a teen I used to write dark poems about death and scared girls. Very Sylvia Plath I’d guess. Pen in one hand whilst imagining stuffing my head in the gas oven. I did one with a message saying ‘you are fucked and on your own’. No one is going to swoop in and save you. No Prince Charming will fix you up with a kiss. You only have yourself and it is you against the world so tough luck cookie. And I truly believed that.
But strangely enough, after a lot of hard work by myself, it was in some ways a man who started piecing some of my last broken shards together. First by giving me an outlet to write whatever I wanted, then by steady support and most of all just by being there as I started digging up and facing demons I hadn’t even realised were hiding in my mind.
I have made a lot of progress and I do feel lighter and more myself than I have for years. I still have progress to be made but for the first time I’ve let someone in enough to know that I am not alone. And somehow just knowing that there is someone by your side who’ll be there when you fall is one of the best feelings in the world.
It has been weeks since I crossed the street and thought ‘should I just get hit by a car and get it over with?’ I still have days where going outside fells kind of scary. But I also feel lighter and brighter. I’m starting to see that I am kind of likeable and not just a grumpy cat. There are still clouds in my sky but the sun is doing its best to shine through.
So although in some ways I think my teen self was in some ways right at that moment, I’ve come to see that I was also so very wrong.