"So, Here I am."
Updated: Sep 13, 2019
Anxiety and depression have become increasingly frequent topics on the internet as of late. You can scroll through your news-feeds and stumble upon a multitude of people opening up - via status updates, vlogs, articles, or even sharing memes that use humor as a coping mechanism.
However, I've always been the silent type. I'm not sure if it's a matter of me trying to convince myself that 1. Maybe it isn't a big deal. 2. That nobody will even give a shit. Or 3. It is not a big deal and nobody gives a shit.
Either way, I have allowed my anxiety and depression to deteriorate my soul. And this is the first time I am publicly announcing and admitting it.
I am well aware that it sounds like an exaggeration. But I kid you not - it is the truth. A deteriorated soul? What does that even mean? It is just a feeling I live with daily. It never dissipates.
I grin and bear it most days. I chastise myself for being "weak." Even though I know damn well that what I have been through is not something one should shrug off and ignore. But I have done just that.
7 years ago I was held against my own will and raped by 2 cab drivers.
The way the media and the general public sugarcoats rape infuriates me.
Even typing that all out makes me nauseous. A wave hits me. It is shame. It is disgust. It is something I can't even find the words to describe. I get lightheaded. Dizzy. My limbs go numb. I feel like I'm suffocating. Tears swell. And then ultimately I try my best to forget about it.
But it has proven to be impossible to forget.
So instead I have convinced myself that I am not worthy. There are people who have "real" problems. I am alive. Breathing. Happily married. I have a beautiful home. I have a loving family. A great group of friends. As if I can dwell on and let a single incident control the rest of my life? Unfortunately that is the case some days. Most days.
I didn't tell anyone for 4 years. I carried on and continued to tell myself over and over again to let it go and get over it. That I had control now. I could heal myself. I didn't need anybody to know what had happened. I was forever denying that I was struggling. I didn't want to be judged. I didn't want anyone I loved to look at me with different eyes. I didn't want anyone to know. Ever. Simple as that. I had planned to take it to the grave.
Eventually I had to admit defeat. I couldn't cope alone. I needed the people in my life to know what I was fighting internally and what I was up against.
I had to write my parents a letter. I still can't talk much about it with them. Knowing that they now know, and that it hurts them, hurts me too much to face them.
I know it's hard on my husband. And I feel like I don't deserve him. I tend to disconnect from the world. I am on autopilot. And that can make me feel like I'm failing as a wife. I know I need to acknowledge and address my pain so I can work on being better - for myself and for him.
I still live in a constant state of fear. Panic and paranoia set in at any given moment throughout the day without warning. I wake up every day convinced it is my last. Some days I can't leave the house. Or even get out of bed. I avoid and skip out on countless plans, events, gatherings, road trips...even grocery shopping. I just don't trust that I'll be safe. I am straight up terrified of death. It consumes me. I obsessively stress over the thought of myself or my loved ones tragically dying. Oddly enough, some days dying does seem appealing. It is an emotional roller coaster. I find myself questioning the point in living if I can't ever feel anything that isn't... This. Carrying this baggage truly is exhausting. It is a constant battle of the mind.
I know I don't take care of myself. Mentally or physically. The ambition just isn't there. To say "I Hate Myself" sounds so harsh. Or too much like teenage angst. But it is a thought and a feeling that I'm all too familiar with. How do you learn to love yourself again?
I do not want anyone to think I'm using what happened as an excuse or as justification. Ever. In any circumstances. I know it is normal to be sad. It is normal to be tired. It is normal to be nervous or anxious sometimes. But it is NOT normal to have your love for life forcefully taken from you in such a way mine was. This should not be anyone's "normal."
I don't want to get into any specific details of the incident itself. I can't. But I just hope maybe someone has skimmed over this and now feels less alone. I know reading about other people's experiences and struggles can be therapeutic. Especially when the world starts to feel dark and close in on you.
If someone who has gone through something similar (the statistics are alarming) reads this and feels some sort of relief - that's all I wanted. That is all I came here to accomplish. Please remember that life does indeed go on. As cliche as that sounds. Life can still be "good."
That's what still gives me hope. The "good." I have it. And I have to remember that. I have my husband. My family. My friends. And as much as I don't believe it right now - I have myself. I am good.
I didn't want to post a vague status on Facebook touching on my mental health struggles. And I'm not ready for formal therapy sessions either. I just wanted to share my story in the most discrete... public way.
So here I am.
This very blog has reminded me that everyone has their secrets. Everyone is dealing with some shit. Everyone is fighting a battle that we might not even be aware of is happening. And that everyone should try to open up about that shit and those battles more often. It may help. I know it did for me.