I’m Not Alone, But I Am

I know that I am not the only person in the world who has gone through a traumatic experience. I get that. I truly do. But, I am the only me who has gone through one. When people say that they are there for you, I believe them I know that they are, but it’s not the same.

I have tried reaching out to support groups or people who have gone through something similar, but that’s also not the same.

What people fail to realize or simply what they fail to tell you is that, no matter how often someone says they will be there for you, it’s not the same as you being capable of being there for yourself.

If that makes sense.

Until, I can wrap my head around the fact that some days will just suck and I have to move forward regardless, it’s going to be hard for me to fully accept support from others.

This past weekend was the closest I have come to in a while when it came to self harming. For the most part, I have been able to distract myself or just not have triggers for a while now. I have just been that busy, which is good. However, this past weekend I felt as if something was wholly off and I wasn’t able to feel like myself.

Long story short, I made it through the weekend without a slip up and I am really proud of myself mainly because as much as I reached out to strangers it was truly to strength from within that kept me safe.

I tend to think the most about my incident when I am in my room on the weekends because for the most part I stay in my hotel bed all day. I also tend to think about what happened when I am at the gym because there was a point in time where I kept running into him. I also tend to think about him whenever I meet someone new that even remotely resembles him. I tend to think about it whenever I hear the words sex, or rape, or backdoor, or virginity, etc. Or even whenever I am out for drinks with friends I tend to think about it. I also think about it at work whenever I am going to the bathroom because I feel as if I am going to be attacked in the stall. I think about him/it whenever I am walking down the staircase. I think about him/it when I am listening to my audio-books or when I am watching TV.

Moral of the story: I think about that night a lot. More than I would like to admit. More than I can admit, because it hurts too much.

What they fail to tell you is that there is never NOT going to be a time when I don’t think about it. And even now when I do I still get that pang in my stomach of just hurt and realization that this truly happened and I wasn’t able to stop it.

See here’s the thing. I know that my friends will always listen to me if I have an issue or a problem, especially when it comes to this, but the problem is they haven’t experienced it. I pray to God they never will.. But, because of that, they don’t get the leaps that my mind takes whenever I am triggered. And let’s be honest, it’s not big triggers, it could be small, but I don’t know how to let them in.

I don’t know how to tell them that even though I may seem fine and I am fine…. enough, that I can still feel not 100%.

I know that I am not alone, but it does feel that way a lot of the time.

Alex

Trigger Warnings 

Trigger warnings are real & needed. 

I always thought they were a joke. I always felt like people were being overly sensitive about specific issues. But, no. They’re oh so real. 

I found that out the hard way on Thursday. I was watching The Carmichael Show and I couldn’t even get through the first five minutes of it. 
Without any warning they were arguing about what constitutes rape and I think it was the first time that it actually hit me that I was raped. It was the first time that I allowed myself to feel it? I don’t know, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. That day was hard and filled with alcohol and tears. I just had a breakdown, really. 

It only stopped when I found out that one of my close friends from school had a baby. A nice distraction, but a hard distraction because it reminded me of how close I was to being in the same situation. Regardless, like I said it was a nice distraction. But, I still spent all of Friday in the craziest funk. 

I was supposed to go out with a friend, but that fell through. So I decided to go out by myself. I needed to get out of the house. Big mistake. I was in the crazy funk. I went to breakfast and ate. It was good & I’m fine with eating alone. That wasn’t the issue. The issue was I had to many things on my mind. 

I didn’t want to go home so I decided to go shopping instead. I needed new running shoes and I wanted to check to see if the TJMaxx by me had a certain pair of shoes (Toms) that I wanted, they did. But, I couldn’t even be happy about it. I bought them and bought baby clothes, super cute baby clothes mind you, but I couldn’t even be happy about that either. 

Before TJMaxx I went to Marshall’s and bought work pants (lots of them) and after TJMaxx I went to Belk and bought more baby clothes. Afterwards, I went to the outlets to find tennis shoes and found none. But, literally for the whole 3 hours that I was out, I literally couldn’t feel happy. I couldn’t really feel anything? It was as if I was going through the motions just to say that I did something. I had never felt that way before and it was kind of scary. I just didn’t care. I spent over $200 on Friday and I just kept telling myself, it doesn’t even matter. 

Yesterday (Saturday) was better. I didn’t think about it as much. And I even was able to go out with my mom and feel something. I went to my favorite store Bath & Body Works, bought a few things, and felt happy. 

So at least I am making progress, right? I’m getting better. I’m drinking less, or at the very least feeling the urge to drink less. Although, today was kinda hard, I wanted to get drunk. I didn’t though. Plus side!  

Anyway, I guess I’m just learning that this will always be a part of me. It’s something that happened and something that I can’t change. So, I just have to learn how to deal with it. It’s hard, but I’m trying.

One day at a time. 

-Alexandria Bridges