I’d Rather Be Alone

By Rachel

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I was the victim of sexual  abuse. Calling myself a “victim” is something that I am having a tremendously rough time dealing with. It’s not something I ever wanted to be or be viewed as. Who wants to be a victim? I can’t even wrap my head around the fact that for four years, that was my life, let alone the implications of what it means with regard to me on a personal level.

Victim. Weak. Manipulated. Naive. Afraid. Betrayed. Used.

Typing these words is just as hard as saying them aloud. How could this have been me? I was smart. I was strong. I was supposed to meet a wonderful guy and have a family. But I didn’t. I fell prey to someone who knew exactly how to take advantage of my weaknesses and use them to break me down in every way possible.

Some days I feel perfectly fine. I’m happy. And overall, I am happy and pleased with my life. But since I’ve began to confront my past, I also have days that all I can do when I lie in bed at night is cry until I can’t cry anymore. I have moments where I just get lost and stare into space. There are times where it is easier to become numb than feel the anger and the pain. I just shove everything down like I have become accustomed to doing over the years.

After I published the last of the three blogs I wrote, I’ll admit, I fell apart emotionally. While I was writing, I felt alive. It was like years of secrets and lies escaping at once and freeing me from their weight. Once I began receiving messages from readers, I panicked. It was finally real. It wasn’t a skeleton hiding in my closet. I put it out in the open because I believed it would be theraputic and would solve everything. What actually happened was I took the first step in healing. It couldn’t happen with just one click of the mouse. It’s going to take time.

Since I have written about my experience, quite a few people have come to me and told me that they had similar experiences or were abused by a domestic partner in some way. Most recently, a very good friend of mine confided in me that she shared my experience.

I don’t like hearing that I’m “not alone.” I don’t want to hear it. It doesn’t make me feel better. It doesn’t make it easier to know that I’m not the only one. It absolutely breaks my heart, especially knowing that several of my closest friends from over the years have been victimized in some way.

I’d rather be alone than know that the people I love and care about have hurt the way I did.

The damnedest part of it all is that I’m living a paradox. I need to know. I need to know that I’m not alone because I can help someone else get through what they have experienced. I need to know because it keeps me fighting. I don’t want my friend to hurt the way I do or to have to feel what I feel as I work through my issues. Knowing her personally though, maybe we can help each other.

My friends that know have been amazingly supportive since I put this out  for the world to see. The people I consider my best friends have been patient and understanding as I start the healing process. I appreciate every day that I have them available to listen when I need to talk. Having someone I know intimately though to talk to that has also survived abuse will help me in so many other ways.

I’d like to say that since August and September that I’ve gotten better, but the truth is, I don’t know if I’m better. A lot of days I feel worse, but I know that it is because I’m forcing myself to stop ignoring and start letting it out. I’ve ripped off the bandaid and now I have to find a way to survive the consequences of doing that.

I’d rather be alone, but it’s painfully ironically lucky that I am not.

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One thought on “I’d Rather Be Alone

  1. I have not read your previous posts yet. I was in an abusive relationship for three years and left a little over two years ago. In these two years I have continually grown in understanding of that relationship. Even as recently as last May I had major revelations. I still had denial to cut away, apparently. New understanding brings temporary misery. You feel so much worse, but it is a process. It’s intellectual and emotional. You must reason through something and you must feel it totally. It might always hurt, but not so much. It will be intense right now, but not always so intense. Having good support and undoing the effects of abuse upon you also help you move on. For instance, I have been in my first healthy relationship for over a year now. Because I have been able to develop a healthy relationship, I have healed much more. Of course, I was also able to develop such a relationship because I had healed enough to have one. If, instead, I had tossed away all hope of having a healthy relationship and chosen to remain alone for the rest of my life, yes, I could have still been content, but I would have viewed my life as hindered, damaged to that extent by the people who have harmed me. Ultimately, I would have felt worse about myself. “I’ll never be in love because of what he did to me.” “I’ll never trust a man again, because of what he did to me.” Only a few months ago I was processing my former relationship further; sometimes my entire shift at work I would be fighting every millisecond to not burst out crying. I had to wait until I was home before I could let it all out – crying for 20, 40 minutes. Years ago, when I was 19, and was breaking my silence in child sexual abuse forums, I was also that upset – all of the realizations, all of the understanding, the mourning. It was a phase, too. I am still in pain. I will probably always be in pain. But it does fade with time and healing.

    When I entered my first relationship, which was abusive, I was already a victim. I had not healed enough to not be a victim. I was fated to respond to abuse as a victim. I knew better, yet I was still easily confused. I tolerated mistreatment. It was how I was raised. It takes a lot of effort, time, and understanding to undo these ways of thinking and behaving. Four years is a long time, too – a way of being. It will take time for you to feel better and not feel like a victim. Just so I am clear, by “being a victim” I mean that a person responds to abuse with tolerance, acceptance, self-doubt, etc. You fail to protect yourself. You fail to get away from the abuser or end the abuse. You believe it’s your fault. You don’t realize or accept that it’s abuse. I was very ashamed of myself, too. I promised myself when I left home that I wouldn’t tolerate abuse again, I wouldn’t settle. But I did. I’m not ashamed anymore. I understand why I continued to be a victim and I think I can protect myself now.

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