Can You Hear Me Now?

It has been a while since I have posted publicly to my blog. At times I feel it is best my thoughts remain private, but right now, I only feel I need my voice to be heard.

I don’t know how many tines I have written about the invisible terrors mental illness causes. I have probably spoken on this topic far more than I could count. One thing I often don’t talk about though sexual assault. Now for those who may be triggered or have a hard time reading about these types of things, I do encourage you stop now. I would never want anyone else to relive trauma.

Now, every form of abuse I have suffered still causes me problems in my life. This very specific form of abuse however hurts me in ways I can’t even comprehend.

I want to tell a brief story. There was a young man who came to my work place looking for a home. Now, to everyone else, he probably seemed normal. If anything, maybe he seemed to be a tad bit conceited. To me, he was different. This man’s personality, his actions, & his mannerisms flipped a switch in my head. In my mind, I have seen him before. Even though I probably had never actually met him, my mind knew him. My mind recognized his mannerisms and set off a warning alarm. My body’s fight or flight defenses turned on because all of a sudden, It wasn’t a stranger. This man wanted to hurt me, degrade me, rape me.

I don’t know him and he probably is an okay guy, but from past experiences, my mind and body thought this man was threatening. It pulled to mind gruesome memories and details that I never wanted to think. Now, do you want to know the worst part? It was noon and I still had to work six more hours before I could go home and cry.

One of the worst feelings a sexual assault victim can feel is degraded and unheard. My mind screams internally and my body feels numb. Those same describing words could be used to describe several of the sexual assaults I have survived. I’m fighting this deadly feeling and I can’t say a word.

Why don’t I say something? Well, times like these happen more often than I care to admit and if I said something every time, I would surely turn into the boy who cried wolf. That is why I stay silent. I keep quiet until I get to a time that my body produces a physical reaction: sobbing, yelling, convulsions, hair pulling, etc. I wait until this happens because I know people will see something is actually wrong. They will be able to hear me. They will be able to understand. It’s like my mind is screaming “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW!?”

I hate living life like this. I’m in constant fear. I wonder if anyone can relate. My therapist suggested I get a doctors note so if I feel unheard, people will believe me. My everyday life consists of trying to stay calm and trying to remain normal. I practice many coping skills throughout the day just to function.

Sometimes it’s even worse after I go to therapy because it brings things up that I would rather ignore. I have been hurt too much and I’m mad that it’s able to control me. I’m mad it can hold me hostage. I’m mad it can take me away from my work. I’m mad that it effects my intimacy with my husband. My mind is mad and now it’s screaming at all the men who hurt me “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?”

That is why I wanted to make this public. I want people that know me, to hear me. I want them hear the silent screams for help. I want others who read it to relate or to hear others. Think of the four closest women to you. Now pick one. Statistically one in every four women are sexually assaulted in their lives. Let our voices be heard. Because sexual assault isn’t just a “me too” Facebook post and then let’s all forget. Sexual assault is a monster that devours its victims daily.

So this goes out to those who feel like they can’t be heard. And I ask those around me, can you hear me now?

2 Replies to “Can You Hear Me Now?”

  1. I hear you loud and clear. I have been there. I have screamed at the top of my lungs only to feel the silence of those around me. I felt alone, worthless, isolated, violated, and unworthy. I waited for 40 years to feel like others cared about my pain. They may have, but if I thought I was gonna get any retribution, apology, or special accommodations, it wasn’t gonna happen. I realized I had been crying about my childhood for 37 years. I felt like if I didn’t dwell on it 24/7 that it didn’t matter. That if I stopped crying then it didn’t traumatize me. That my feelings MATTERED!!! My feelings absolutely mattered. If I never think about it it again, I WAS traumatized. Have you ever heard the saying “Whichever seed you water grows”? I realized I was CONSTANTLY thinking about my trauma. Searching for some meaning, some reason why these bad things kept happening to ME. Did I deserve all of it? I was so angry, so sad, so resentful. It felt horrible. Every day was agony. Once I was clean from Vicoden and Xanax, I decided that I could be angry about what happened without LIVING my life angry. I can think about my past, think “That was a terrible time in my life” without LIVING my life sad. This is the only life I’m gonna get. I won’t get a do over. I choose to water the garden. Not the weeds. Every time you dwell on what happened, you’re watering the weeds (painful memories) Water the roses, the peonies, the daises (things that make you happy) I’m not gonna lie. My transition felt a little like an exorcism. But life on the other side isn’t too bad. It’s not rainbows and butterflies every day but it’s a 180 from a few years ago.
    I just put up a post about how I conquered my own stomach turning, non stop butterflies anxiety. It’s not a sales pitch. I Just want other people who have been through similar issues to feel better. 😊

  2. PS: Intamacy can be tricky. I learned to say no when I don’t want to. The hubby gets upset but the flashbacks are bad when we have sex when we don’t really want to. To me, it feels too much the same as the assaults. When I’m really feeling it, the flashbacks are at a minimum. If I need a second to look at him, the room, my adult hands he’s okay because he loves me

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