My home isn’t the same anymore

This weekend I went to Chicago for a retreat and when I was on my way back from the airport a weird wave of emotions came over me. I didn’t want to come home. I didn’t want to  be here. But, most importantly, I didn’t enjoy the warm welcome I was given.  I was just overwhelmed.

Before I came home, my  mom called me and said that my uncle would be staying with us for about two to three weeks because he’s doing some sort of program in the area, but lives two hours away. We JUST had family stay with us for my sister’s wedding and I am tired.  But it’s not even just people staying with us that’s a problem. I am tired of cleaning up after people. I am tired of using dirty facilities. I am tired of feeling constant anger towards my father.

My home isn’t the same anymore because I am now the sole provider for this household. I am the one paying the bills, but I don’t have any income coming in. I haven’t worked since September and I spent about $10,000 since then. I am starting to become stressed out because I am constantly applying for jobs, but I am constantly being rejected.

I feel like I am stuck. I feel like everyone else is moving on with their lives around me and I haven’t made any progress. It is coming up on four years since I’ve graduated and I feel as if I have wasted my time. Yes, I got a job, but it’s not consistent. Yes, I got into a master’s program, but I didn’t go. Yes, I’ve lost some weight, but I gained it all back. Yes, I stopped self harming, but I relapsed a few times. Yes, I was raped and was suffering, and I got over it, but then I didn’t. I feel like I am doing all these things and not making any progress or even worse, going backwards. The only thing I can say that I accomplished this year is the fact that I read three books already. Yay?

My home isn’t my home because when I am here I don’t feel happy. I feel angry. I feel tired. I feel like I am a child living in an adult’s body. I keep giving and giving to others and doing things for others, but can I say they’ve done the same for me? I feel like a butler, a nurse, and an assistant, all at the same time. I want to move out and be on my own and have something of my own, but if I leave how will my parents afford this house?

I hate that this is the stress that I have to deal with at the age of 26. I also hate that I am all alone in it. I don’t have a partner to share the good things that happen in my life. Nor do I have one to be there to pick me up when I simply can’t go on anymore. I know I have friends, but I don’t know how to explain to them that,

  1. I am not okay.
  2. I am not happy.
  3. I am not the same person I used to be.
  4. I don’t like who I have become.
  5. I hate that I am angry all the time.
  6. I hate that I am not succeeding professionally or personally.

I hope that something changes soon, because I hate that my home isn’t my home anymore and I am tired of being here.

Alex.

Always Silenced

I feel as if every time I want to open up, something happens. Something always comes comes up and I feel silenced, and I feel as if I have missed my opportunity. Then the ten seconds of bravery that I did have, I lose. And I never truly get it back until I eventually break and then what’s the point of that?

It also doesn’t help that I can never really gather my words to actually express what I want to say.

It doesn’t help that I can never really gather my mind to figure out how I feel.

I keep fighting with myself that I am not allowed to feel this way.

I keep telling myself that I shouldn’t be feeling this way.

I keep reminding myself that I don’t need to feel this way.

And I keep saying that I am making it all up.

Like, is it all in my mind? Am I actually feeling this way or do I just want attention?

But if it’s all for attention, then why don’t I share what I am feeling to get that attention?

Why don’t I call up my friends every night or every other night to let them know that I am feeling lonely or sad, or that I haven’t stopped thinking about those nights all day.

Or maybe I should tell them that every time I go to workout I think of him at least once, because remember I was training for a Tough Mudder at the time and he would come into the gym as well to work out.

Should I tell my friends that when things start to wind down on the weekends is when I have the free time to actually remember the things that happen and for the past two weekends I’ve had boughts of tears.

How do I let them know that as the time is slowly approaching and the second wave of the project is happening in April again, I desperately wanted to be on the that project for reasons I can’t even bring myself to say out loud.

You know it’s gotten to the point that the most upsetting thing isn’t the actual incident itself, but how much time has past and what’s happened in the aftermath.

How do you explain out loud the fights that you’re having in your head?

I’m Okay

Two words. 

Six letters. 

One contraction. 

That’s all it takes to get someone to stop worrying about you.

I can’t believe it’s that simple. I hate that it’s that simple.

I want it to be the truth. And maybe it is the truth.

But, what is it the truth? Is that all it take for me to be okay with myself?

Am I okay? How will I know? When will I know?

Alex.

No One Asked

You know what I have been thinking about these past few nights? I have told 6 people total that I was raped and not a single one of them asked if I was going to press charges.

Why not?

You think that if someone told you that a crime was committed against them that they would want that person to pay for what they did. But, no one asked if I was going to press charges. Or at the very least, no one asked what I was going to do about it. One of the reason I hesitated to tell anyone was because I didn’t feel like I was ready to deal with the consequences and the aftermath of what happened. But, it never came.

Why is that?

I know it’s not a subject that people want to talk about, believe me. And I know it’s hard to know what I want at times, believe me. It changes constantly. But, why is it okay that I could tell you that I was violated in the worst way possible and your best response is “Fuck that guy” and not “Let’s go after that guy and make him pay for what he did!” Now, I am not saying that that is what I want to do, by any means. The thought did cross my mind, but as quick as it came it left. But, at the very least, why didn’t anyone bring it up? How come they were just so accepting of what happened and so giving of their apologies and condolences? This is not okay. I am not okay, and a ‘no one should ever have to deal with this’ just doesn’t suffice anymore.

What’s wrong with America?

Why is okay that women can be attacked feel that they should just stay silent about it? Why is it okay that I had no control over what happened to my body and there’s still nothing I can do about it? Why is this okay? WHY IS IT OKAY!? It’s not. And it shouldn’t be.

Why am I accepting this? Why do I have to be the one who suffers and he can just go on and live his life like normal? There are absolutely no repercussions for him and that’s my fault. I am the one that’s letting him get away with this. I am the one that’s too afraid of what everyone else would think about me that I can’t even face facts and let the world know that he’s an awful person. But, is he? Or is just what he did awful? And maybe that’s also something that is holding me back. Maybe the fact that I am still separating what he did, from who he is, is what’s holding me back. But, should I be? Is that the right thing to do? Are the two separate?

I don’t want to feel like I am still doing the wrong thing, by not reporting it. But, what’s the point really? There’s no more physical evidence. There’s nothing left, expect for ‘he said, she said’. So, at this point, is it really worth it? By me containing the situation, I am containing the reactions of others. I am able to limit the amount of lives that this affects. Including my therapist, as of right now it’s only 8. (The irony is that’s my favorite number). Maybe, I should just leave it at that. I should just drop the entire situation and try to move on with my life, sicne I can’t do anything to change what happened. But, I can change how I react to it.

I am tired of reacting to it. I am tired of dealing with it. I am tired of feeling helpless. I am tired of worrying about this. I am tired of creating ways to make myself miserable. I am just so tired. I want to live my life, the way it was supposed to be, but I can’t anymore because this is now apart of it.

This was never supposed to be apart of my story and now that it is, I don’t know how to cope. I don’t know how to live without constantly thinking about it, about him, and about how this has and is consuming my life. At times, I feel like if I don’t think about it, or a I don’t talk about it, then maybe it never happened. Maybe, I was just overreacting. I don’t know how I am supposed to respond to this. I don’t know what I am supposed to do. And whatever it is, I don’t think that I am doing it right. I have become to consumed by this.

In fact, I feel as if I am living two separate lives. Perhaps three.

  1. The life that my family believes that I am living: Happy, healthy, working, and applying to school.
  2. The life my friends think I am living: Happy enough for the most part, healthy enough for the most part, and applying to school.
  3. The life that I think I am living: Happy for a moment and miserable the next, healthy enough at this moment, but I was healthier before and could be doing better, and applying to school.

As much as a I am dreading grad school homework. I am actually genuinely excited about it. It’s one of the few life goals that I have right now that I am still happy about. I feel like it’s the only thing that I have done/ am doing for me. Yes, I am a consultant, but my sister helped me start with that. Granted, I have earned my own keep since, but it wouldn’t have been possible without her. And trust me, she doesn’t let me forget it.

Grad school is something that will prove my worth. It is something that will make this whole thing worth it. It’s a way for me to prove to myself and to everyone else, that I am actually good at what I do.

I am actually really good at what I do.

Contrary to how it seems with me barely holding it together at times, I am very good that the things that I put my mind to. I just have felt that in the recent past, people don’t seem to believe that. And maybe it’s because I continue to do things for other people and they don’t seem to understand/recognize my worth. But, I am a damn good person, friend, and educator.

Why isn’t that enough? Why do I have to keep proving that? Or maybe I don’t, but it sure as hell feels like I do. Grad school applications are basically you selling yourself and saying that schools should pick you over other people. I am so tired of proving my worth. I am so tired of continually saying that I am good enough to be here.

I am good enough to be here.

Other people believe it, why can’t I?

I just want to move on, but I feel like I’m stuck.

Help,

Alexandria.

Edit: I take that back. One person did. The first person I told. She did ask. But, only her.

Unpopular Opinions

In April of this year, as many of you already know, I was raped by a co-worker.  It took me a while to come to terms with what actually happened and that it was in no way my fault. Although, there are still some days where I have to keep reminding myself of that aspect.

Prior to the rape, I was sexually assaulted by the same individual. I told him what I was comfortable with and where my views were on sex and he completely disregarded it.

Since my assaults, I have been placed on birth control (mainly because I was already going to get on it for painful periods and slightly because of fear that it will happen again) and I have been seeing/speaking with a therapist regularly.

I have come to terms with the fact that I will forever be a victim of a sexual assault, but it doesn’t define who I am.

I have also come to terms with the fact that I did not cause my first two assaults, because I knew what I wanted and what I didn’t, but when someone is stronger than you are there really is little you can do.

However, I haven’t come to terms with the fact that I did not cause my rape. Parts of me still blames myself for even putting myself in that environment and in that situation. I have however forgiven him for what he did. But, and this is where the unpopular opinion comes in, I haven’t forgiven myself.

I know, I know, what you’re thinking, but this is my truth, for now, and I have to own it.

I was weak, I was new to the attention and the advances and I guess I cracked under it all. It’s sad that all it takes is for a guy to pay attention to you to lose a part of who you are. But, it was more than that, I know. He was aggressive from the beginning and I took that as flirting and him knowing what he wanted. I thought there was something about me that he was interested in. And there was, it just wasn’t my personality, but my private parts.

I realized too late that I was nothing but a body to him. When we flirted it was nothing more than surface stuff and he never really tried to get to know me, so that should have been a red flag from the beginning. He was just after one thing, and he basically got what he wanted.

So I forgive him for using me, I forgive him for assaulting me, and I forgive him for everything really. Because there’s nothing that I will gain by not doing so. But, I will gain peace and serenity from doing so.

Unfortunately, over the past week I realized something about myself that will get some getting used to and some fixing. I have come to realize and vocalize the fact that I am a certified people pleaser; I am constantly doing things for other people. Now listen, there is nothing wrong with that. But, when it hinders your ability to do for yourself, that’s when it becomes a problem.

I tend to put other people’s wants and needs before my own, whether they know it or not. I check in on people constantly, I make sure that, if they are going through a tough time, they are okay. I let my presence known that I am there for them and that they can reach out to me anytime. In short, I am a damn good friend. 

However, as a result of my constant need to put others first, I tend to get hurt in the process. A lot of what happened between me and the co-worker I did not want to happen, but clearly his needs overcame mine. Don’t get me wrong now, I did ask/tell him to stop several times and I said I wasn’t ready and I didn’t want anything to happen, but he didn’t listen. But, I didn’t put myself first and fight harder. I was afraid of the repercussions, afraid of what he would think, feel, say or do. To say the least I was also paralyzed in fear.

As a result, I actually want to see him again. Not to confront him, or even tell him what he did was wrong, but to prove to myself that I can stand up to him if he tries to make advances at me. I want to prove that I am strong, well, stronger now than I was before.

In reality, I just want to prove that to myself. Actually, I need to prove it to myself. But most importantly, I need to start putting myself and my needs first.

Alex.