Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Battle of my Recovery and My Abuse

I was abused
Taken advantage of
My body felt dirty and shameful
The pain was so deep, so intense
I needed to numb it out
I couldn't bear to remember

So I stopped eating.

I felt strong and powerful
Finally in control of my body
For once it was doing what I wanted
And I barely remembered the abuse
All I felt were pangs of hunger
And it felt good, the physical pain was a relief

So I continued starving myself.

But the control turned into fear
I was afraid of not being accepted
For the body God gave me
For the past I had to endure
For who I really truly was
And I was getting weaker, not stronger

I was scared, numb, and weak.

I ate so little, my body shut down
My heart was barely pumping
My brain shut down
I couldn't think coherently
My emotions had shut down long ago
I wasn't feeling

I was dying.

I had an eating disorder
They sent me to treatment
And there I began to eat
Not out of desire, but rather out of force
When my body got its strength back
My heart began to thaw

I hit rock bottom.

The emotions overwhelmed me
The flashbacks overtook me
All the pain I had shut out
Finally resurfaced
And the urges to restrict came back stronger

But I held on stronger.

I finally knew what it meant to feel alive
I had gained back part of my life
And I wasn't giving it back up so easily
The eating disorder and the trauma told me I can't do it
However the joys in my life that I only recently felt
Tied a knot in my rope and forced me to hold on

I continued eating.

The journey is hard
It's like walking through fire barefoot
Every step burns
But if I stop, it'll consume me
And I'll never get out alive
And that's all I really want
So I'll just keep fighting every day, every meal, until I win.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

It's What I Do With My Pain

Survivors. It's such a general term.

We use it for anyone who has been through sexual abuse. But not everyone who has been through sexual abuse is the same. There are different types of abuse. And that leads to various effects. And all these people who have been abused turn out differently.

There are the Forever Victims. They may speak up about their abuse. They may not. However, it is always about them. Their message is always the same. I have been hurt. I have been betrayed. You owe me now. You all owe me. Everything is about my pain and suffering, never about empowerment and moving forward. They pull out the victim card whenever they get the chance.

Then there are the Survivors. The ones who have been hurt and acknowledge that. But then they decide they want to heal. They want to have a good life, turn the pain into power. So this is what they talk about, how awful the abuse was and how it transformed them, changed their lives. It's a powerful and important message, one we all need to hear.

And then some Survivors become Advocates. They dedicate their lives to helping others become Survivors. They speak up about their abuse because they know how important it is for others to hear how devastating and how common it is. It is these Advocates who are changing the face of sexual abuse, today and tomorrow. They empower other Survivors just by being, just their mere existence inspires others. Because they make it about everyone else's suffering. Not their own. That was just the process they had to endure to save others.

But let's not be mistaken and assume that it is the ones who have endured the worst abuse and with the least support who become Forever Victims. Interestingly enough, it is usually the ones who have been hurt the most who sympathize the most. They have been hurt and beaten and stepped on, over and over, so they understand how much it hurts. They want to make you feel better and not go through what they did.

"Above all be the heroine of your own life, not the victim."