I realize this post might take this blog in a different direction. (Whether this is good or awful is yet to be seen. . .) The last few posts on here have been awe-inspiring, joyful, and really powerful testimonies of the incredible women of SOAR. I’m in awe of the caliber of the women in this group. Honestly, I don’t feel worthy to be among Team SOAR, especially during spells like the one I’m in now.
Over the past sixish years since I was attacked, I’ve been through the typical gamut of emotions — sadness, loneliness, fear, self-pity, self-loathing, pure survivor’s bliss— you name it. Through hundreds of hours of counseling and personal development, I thought I had gotten past the “bad spells”. A few weeks ago, I started to realize I was in the midst of a quarter-life crisis. Much like a mid-life crisis, I was having feelings of worthlessness, feeling generally lost in life, and feeling as though I didn’t measure up to my own (and society’s) ridiculously high standards. I finally have come to the conclusion that it’s more than a quarter-life crisis: I’m in an “angry” stage of my life-long recovery.
I shake with anger when I think of my rapist (who has never been brought to trial) still being free to attack again. I cried angrily when I read the horror that Debbie (see previous post) had to go through to find some semblance of justice. I even vomited a few weeks ago when I heard about children as young as a day-old being raped because of the myth in Africa that raping a virgin will rid a man of HIV (read the CNN article here).
I’m a straight-laced businesswoman all day, but lately I have found myself lacking eloquence and composure even in a professional environment, where I normally excel. I used to handle telling my survival story with ease, but lately, I’ve struggled to get the words out without shaking. I started to tell a co-worker who runs a self-defense studio (as a side-business) about SOAR and how valuable his practice is, and I couldn’t finish. I literally couldn’t tell my story because I was so angry!
When does this anger subside? I abhor being an angry person (Yup! I’m angry about being angry) I’ve tried to refocus the anger toward doing positive, results-oriented actions, but am I just covering up the real issue?
Before I was raped, I used to run when I was emotional (hmmm, maybe that’s why I ran so much :) ), but I was attacked while I was out running. To this day, I still can’t run longer than 5 minutes without freaking out. The sensation that someone is following me is just too much for my body to handle. My attacker even took one of my biggest passions away from me. . .you guessed it! That makes me even more angry!
It’s not just running that’s been taken away from me. Virtually every area of my life has been affected – my worldview, my health, my brain functioning (I sustained brain damage from the attack), my ability to get insurance from aforementioned drain bamage, my education and speech – again, drain bamage, doctor’s visits, my ability to run, my sex life (overshare?), my goals, my faith, my family and friends. . .I know I’m not the only one here. I know you’ve all been through this anger stage! ARGH!
So what do you think? What helps you get through the angry days? Am I ridiculously emotional? (okay, maybe ‘yes’ to the last question ;) ) Will this stage pass like all of the others have?
Bravo if you made it all the way through this post. I know so many of you have experienced or maybe are currently experiencing anger as a result of the trauma you’ve experienced; I sincerely appreciate any ideas, advice, or commiserating stories you can offer!!
Love to you and yours.