Sunday, October 30, 2011

Finding my voice

The following quotation came from a website geared towards helping veterans heal from combat trauma:

"What cannot be talked about cannot be put to rest. And if it is not, the wounds will fester from generation to generation." Bruno Bettelheim ("Surviving and Other Essays)
The website link is provided (click on post title) as the website lists many great, inspirational quotations from famous individuals regarding healing.

Since I made the decision to begin healing, I have come across the phrase "finding my [your] voice" over and over again. It's frequently mentioned in forums and even implied in forum titles. Books that address PTSD and healing stress the importance of creating your own narrative and reflecting on it, in order to move on and heal. From what I gather, learning to narrate your story is the cornerstone of healing from rape or other traumatic events.

Upon the recommendation of my therapist, I started writing down my story and thoughts/feelings surrounding it. I haven't finished writing out my story, but most of what I have written has been included in this blog. At first, I was very fearful of putting myself out there. Of being judged by others. 

This is the main reason I initially decided to keep myself anonymous. In both forums I joined, I created a fictitious name and have been using it in my blog as well. Also, I have been referring to the guy who committed the sexual assault with a fictitious name. Perhaps a little distance is what I needed to initially get me started, but I started feeling like I wasn't writing about the events of my life, but rather those of someone else. 

I have made a decision to rededicate myself to my narrative. To healing. 

I have started to use my initials - M.M. - in place of my fake name. And I have started to use poop face's real initials (A.T.), too. In addition, I added a photo of myself to my blog. While I do not plan to use my full name (i.e., since I do not want my blog to pop up if a potential employer googles me prior to an interview), I think that these changes are a step in the right direction. For whatever reason, I am beginning to feel more in control of this mess for once. And lighter. I feel like I am sharing some of the secret that I have been keeping for nine years. Making these changes has definitely been somewhat liberating.

Next stop - being able to say aloud what's on paper. This has been a constant struggle, but I think that I am getting there. I kind of fantasize about it sometimes, as strange as that sounds. The past few weeks have been full of tearful attempts to do so, but instead of leaving me feeling unbearably exposed and vulnerable, I am beginning to feel a little more at ease with releasing my emotions. Well, let me rephrase before I get ahead of myself, I am attempting to be less critical of my emotions and more accepting of myself. :) 

I have not shared my blog, or anything I've written for that matter, with anyone I know personally. I am trying to decide if this would be helpful. When I was in college, I did not have the greatest experiences with sharing my story, or whatever fragments of it, but I wonder if carefully choosing a few individuals  to tell would be helpful. I don't think that I'm quite at the point of handing over my blog address, but the thought is there. 

It is my hope that one day I will be able to say aloud to the important people in my life that "Yes, I was raped. By a friend. It sucked, but it doesn't define me." I want to say it and believe it. I want to be able to say this without fearing the reaction of the other person. Without the fear of being judged. I want to believe that the full blame lies with him, not with me. 

I want to put this to rest.


  1. It is so much easier to write than it is to talk about what happened. I fear talking about it even too my dad who I know without a doubt will not judge me. It's hard to talk about, I get it.

    When I first created my blog I did so that I wouldn't have to tell my story over and over to family and friends. If someone asks I simply direct them to my blog. That's much easier for me than to talk about.

    M, I know you will eventually put the negativity to rest. (((HUG)))