This time, two years ago, I was laying in a hospital bed. I couldn’t move my arms and legs effectively and had no idea what had happened to me. All I could rely on was what had been told to me. Minor details of what would come to have a major impact on my life.
I was being poked, prodded, tested and given a fist full of pills to swallow. All while giving my initial police report. Looking around, I could see blood, bruises and a badly broken piece of my clothing still barely clinging to me. Some things were missing, some were intact.
This is all before my rape kit had even started. By this time I had been in the emergency room for hours.
My poor mother, I can’t imagine what her heart went through when she answered the phone only to hear me on the other end, telling her that I had been raped, was in the hospital and needed a change of clothes.
That day was one of the worst days of my life.
Reflecting on everything that has happened in two years, I am surprised that I’m able to function normally in society. A large part of that is the overwhelming support I have received from my community.
I have to give myself credit in my healing though because I have fought tooth and nail to overcome and manage the resulting emotional damage. PTSD is a strange and unfamiliar beast, it flares up when you least expect it to and it will grip you so tightly you no longer recognize yourself. The nightmares, flashbacks, and extreme paranoia are only a small part of the terror it inflicts.
I have walked through hell to get to where I am today and I am thankful to be alive, to be able to love fully and trust. So many survivors do not make it back to a place of love, trust or stability. Many suffer in silence for a lifetime. Many must confront their assailant on a daily basis. Thousands do not even survive.
Ironically, I am one of the lucky ones.
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