The memory is my first thought when I wake up.
The world is my high school bedroom.
I literally physically feel him inside me. As if it just happened.
Just eight years ago.
Time actually doesn’t heal all wounds. When the wound is constantly reopened it can’t heal.
When the memory is constantly relived you can’t heal.
When the system is constantly retraumatizing you can’t heal.
You can’t heal something that’s still happening, and sometimes it’s like it’s still happening.
It’s still happening today.
I go to sleep hoping that a stupid date on a calendar might be just that in the morning.
I wake up hopeful that I won’t feel the same as last year. And I don’t. I still feel bad, but it’s different. And the surprise factor makes it worse. I don’t know how it will feel.
I’ve made conversation. I’ve had moments of reprieve from the prison that is my mind and the nausea that results from it. I’ve even smiled.
But when it comes down to it it’s the middle of the night and he’s pinning me against the brick wall of his middle school. And it’s the middle of the night and I’m walking down the streets alone deciding where to sleep tonight and my vagina is swollen. I feel it every step.
When it comes down to it I’m scared. And I’m tired. And I’m angry.
And I think maybe the more I realize what I didn’t deserve and what I do deserve, the harder the present hits between the flashbacks. Look at how I suffered. Look at how I’m suffering.
I believe in positivity. I have not let this destroy me. But it’s important for me to recognize how I’m hurting. And why.
I am not religious, but I find a lot of comfort in this prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.
I think I have some of the wisdom. I know I have the courage. I will continue praying for the serenity.
Maybe next year.