Updated: Dec 20, 2020
I don’t want you to feel bad for me. We (survivors) don’t necessarily want sympathy; we want allies. We want acknowledgement of what happened, an ear to listen, and maybe a shoulder to lean on once in a while.
I didn’t tell you that when I watched the most recent episode of Station 19, I cried my eyes out. I didn’t tell you that when they showed two young, crying girls kidnapped in a basement, I gasped, my lip quivered, and the tears started rolling. I didn’t tell you that the first 5 tears were because I knew what it felt like to be kidnapped, the next 5 tears because I knew what it felt like to be helpless, 5 for having to plot survival, 5 for having to plot an escape, 5 for fearing my life and my son’s—just as they are on the show: fearing for their life. Add that all up and it equals the flood of emotions that washed away my mascara like a tsunami washes away a city.
Everything is so emotional now days (fucking 2020): being quarantined, the state basically shut down, being alone, people dying, people angry about the mandates, businesses closing, racism, and politics. And on top of it, everyone has a story, right? A lot of people have PTSD and triggers about something or another. And the PTSD shows up out of nowhere like a ton of bricks slamming us in the chest and taking our breath away-- on top of it being 2020.
I didn’t tell you that I sat at the kitchen table with my laptop open only watching the show while I ate dinner because I couldn’t add to my Victim Impact Statement while eating (not enough hands, I guess). I didn’t tell you that I was crying alone in my quiet house without my son nor a significant other, and no one here to hear me but myself. And my guard dog, I guess. And as much love and attention that she gives me, she can’t wipe away my tears and tell me it’s going to be okay. She can’t hug me and hold me and tell me that she loves me. Instead, she lays her head on my lap and looks up at me with those big dark eyes and I can see the love in her soul looking back into mine. But it’s silent. I also didn’t tell you that I was chilled to my bones for the rest of the night, cuddled under a heated blanket with a second one on top, but still shivering. Maybe from inconsistently taking Synthroid for hypothyroidism, but maybe from the trigger, maybe from PTSD?
I didn’t tell you that I was triggered. I didn’t tell you because I still wanted to be alone, despite how shitty I felt. I didn't tell you because if I told you every time I felt like this, it would be too much talking, and you have your shit too. So I get to tell the keys on my computer, and watch the words populate before my eyes, without having to have a discussion about it.
I had a choice between opening my eyes wider to try to see around the buildup of tears, letting them linger, or closing my eyes and flushing them away, opening them slowly for a fresh start. I chose the latter. And here we are.
So don’t feel bad for me for still going through the aftermath of being heinously raped (I understand that's not an easy term to read). Everyone has their stuff they're going through. And no, I don’t prefer waterproof mascara. But rather, do you want to be my ally?