Monday, December 5, 2011

What am I so scared of?

I have so much anxiety these days, but it's not just the anxiety itself that is bothersome. It is the fact that I have only been able to make vague associations to the source/s of my anxiety.

Something I have referenced a great
 deal in this blog is my inability to speak about my experience rape. As soon as I feel myself about to go there, I clam up. In addition, I have been on a long hiatus in completing my story. I want to finish it - I do - but whenever I think about sitting down to do it, I begin to feel anxious, and my mind starts "bouncing around." Basically, I start to feel overwhelmed.

When I first made the decision to revisit my college experience with acquaintance rape, I was excited, empowered, motivated- gung ho, if you will. Now, I frequently feel tired, overwhelmed, and if I'm honest with myself - scared. I want to truly commit to putting this experience behind me, but I'm still very hesitant to really go there. But, why?

Why am I scared of something that happened years ago?
Why am I scared to hear myself say out loud what happened?
Why am I scared to truly commit to healing from my rape?

I think when it comes down to it, I'm not scared of what happened to me anymore. Don't get me wrong, it sucks that some jerk-ass guy whom I considered a friend turned out to be a sleaze-ball and saw my drunken state as an opportunity to get off despite being well-aware that I didn't want to have intercourse with him. Yes, that sucks BIG TIME, but it's been over 9 years now, and I am no longer scared of the facts.

So why is fear paralyzing me from productively putting the past my rape behind me?

I think it boils down to one thing. Emotions.

I am petrified of how that night my rape made me feel. It scares me that 9 years later, that stupid night could still have a hold on my life. It scares me that I felt such chaotic emotions as a result of my rape to the point that I lost control over my life for a while. I am scared to lose control again. I already feel like revisiting it has already made me lose my footing to some degree.

If I continue with this and start talking about it in therapy - if I admit how hurt I felt that someone I knew violated my body in such a serious way, if I admit how hurt it made me feel that my parents responded as though I were the main one to blame, if I admit how hurt and confused I was regarding how poorly my mental health professionals handled my pain - will I lose all control again??!!

Not to mention, if I were to hear myself say aloud what happened that year and how much pain it caused me, would I realize that I was way out of line for feeling the way I did??? I know everyone says, "it's a normal reaction to an abnormal situation," but what if that doesn't apply in my case? Is my situation really that abnormal?!

I felt really, really, really, really hurt, confused, out-of-control, worthless following my rape - but I wasn't  brutally beaten. What if I find out that I was overreacting? My emotional scars far outweigh my physical ones. I think that's what I'm really scared of - bringing my past emotions fully into the present. Trying to understand why my life has been impacted so much by this. Identifying the sources of my anxiety and pain and facing them head-on. That scares the shit out of me.


  1. It scares me too. I promise you this, You are not over-reacting.

    I think a part of us wants to convince ourselves that we are over-reacting. The thought of our nightmare not being as bad as we KNOW it was can lend us a little bit of comfort at the expense of a diminished trust in self.

    That's my theory.

    Keep up this scary, shaky, healing work. If healing was easy, no one would be damaged.

  2. Thanks Jaime. I'm going to keep on keepin' on and try to push through these periods of doubt. As always, thank you for reading and commenting. Your support really means a lot.