An Open Letter To My Abuser, I forgive you.

This is an open letter to one of the guys that sexually assaulted me in high school…

Hi.

You probably don’t even remember me, all this happened such a long time ago, 21years actually. Somebody’s whole path from birth to adulthood has occurred over those 21 years, yet in some respects it is as if time for me has stood still. 21. Coincidentally the same as the table number in the trendy city cafe I am sitting at as I write this.

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I was only 12yrs old, you were just 13 yourself; and while I imagine you have long forgotten me, I will always remember you.You’re name has been coming up lately in my therapy sessions, as we delve deeper into my past and I try to come to terms with some of the events and triggers that have contributed to a lifetime of mental illness.
Your part in my mental unraveling was I suppose small over all and I can see that perhaps you were more of an accomplice, but still what happened that day has impacted me far more than I have ever cared to admit.
I wonder if you even remember how after years of bullying me about my weight suddenly one day you decided that you wanted to use me to expand your sexual repertoire.
You were friends with the boy I liked at the time, you lived down the road from him, the boy whom I trusted explicitly and had been sexually experimenting with for a while as young teens tend to do secretly, privately.
Turns out he had told you about us, bragged I suppose. It must have just sounded like a good opportunity for you. One day you and he agreed on a time and a place to ‘share’ me, you agreed upon this without my knowledge, without my consent.
When I found out what was supposed to be happening, just minutes before it was due to go ahead, I begged the boy I had previously trusted not to let it happen, I couldn’t understand why he was doing this to me, I thought he liked me for me, he knew I was frightened of you and now I felt like a piece of meat.
I also didn’t understand why you suddenly wanted this, I thought I was nothing but a big fat heffer to you, isn’t that what you used to call me? I had those disgusting “thunder thighs” you had so often reminded me about, the ones that stopped me from wearing shorts and skirts. But you didn’t seem at all phased by that now, instead you had a determined coldness in your eyes that petrified me.
My friend, the boy I had trusted, was upset with me for expressing my unwillingness to partake, he made me feel awful, he was the only boy that had ever showed me any interest and I was devastated that he was upset with me. “You have to do it, I told him you would” he had scolded me angrily.
I felt so guilty and so ashamed of hurting my boyfriend by being a ‘wuss’ that despite every fibre of my body screaming at me to stop, I still walked with him down the little cul de sac to your big house on the corner.
I was still too frightened to say no as he led me shaking upstairs to your bedroom. The world blurred out from around me as I watched you and him touching me as if it were from a distance, I felt so scared, confused and embarrassed, my fat disgusting pig body that you had always teased me for having was suddenly very exposed and here you were looking at it, it’s rolls of lard and stretch marks in its most vulnerable state, both of you.
All I wanted in that moment was to melt into the ground and die- that was the first time I remember dissociating- my memory from there is patchy at best, I know I somehow found the strength to get up and run out before you went much further, I remember that you were angry and my friend was really angry, I was humiliated, the bullies were right, you were right, I was nothing more than an ugly fat slut.
I googled your name tonight, I don’t know why. For twenty one years I had been trying so hard to block you from my memory. I had never even considered what might have become of you. It was a bad idea, to look you up, I don’t know what I was hoping to see, retribution perhaps, Karma?
It turns out you’re rich and famous now, a happily married CEO of a big company no less, Australian champion in your chosen sport too, a real up and comer.
It turns out, according to the ‘about’ section on your website that you were bullied too, your high school life was horrendous but you ‘beat the odds’ and broke away from the pain to become an ‘inspirational success story’, now you mentor people on how to live their best life. You.
I guess you didn’t know how to process the bullying you received back then and you were just passing on the hurt in the only way you knew how, but when you passed it on to me, I never was able to let go of it, I didn’t beat the odds the way you did, they beat me.
Most of the time if I’m honest, I forget about your existence. I don’t think about you, until sometimes when I make love to my husband that is, because even after all this time, your name and an image of that day tends to flash involuntary into my head at the exact moment I am supposed to be giving my entire focus to the man that loves me and cares for me with his whole heart; and while I do my best to shut it out, swallow that sense of fear and shame that washes over me, forget your face, think of something else, sometimes I just can’t.
You’re still there, in all the ways I cannot be intimate with my husband because the memories of that day are still too intense, too painful.
Perhaps my beef here is more with the friend who had betrayed my trust than with you, perhaps I need to recognise that your childhood had its own pain and you were just reacting in the only way you knew how to at the time, as a hurt pubescent teenage boy.
When I first read of your success last night, I wanted to scream and cry and punch things, a ball of hate welled up inside me with such viscousness that I scared myself. Why?! Why should you get to treat people that way and still go on to live your best life while I am stuck inside my head struggling to breathe?
But this morning, I am choosing to try and let go of the power this pain has over me, for the sake of my marriage and my mental health.
So in an effort to move forward, for the part you played that day and for your contribution to the relentless bullying of my youth, I want you to know that while I can never forget what happened, I do forgive you.

Maybe There’s Hope After All

Last week when I walked into my psychiatrist’s office I was suicidal and broken, I had left feeling even worse than I started which was only fueled by a parting comment by my psych about eating cake which I wrote/whined about here, anyway, she had somehow managed to fit me into her intensely busy schedule again this week. I was vaguely trying to ascertain whether this was because she is lovely or just because she was worried about a possible law suit if I offed myself; or worse, that she needed the cash to buy a new Mercedes.

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I somehow survived that night, and woke up different. Separated from it all, I actually felt good – it felt like that day and the weeks preceding had belonged to someone else.

Something had happened though, I’ve mentioned this in passing before – it’s hard to talk about because it confuses the living fuck out of me and I don’t understand it. I felt the demon’s presence again. No, not the red dude with the horns and pitchfork, it was Bel. The entity that has been absent since around October and who I stupidly thought I’d managed to get rid of was back, lurking, silently but definitely.

The cake thing was the week’s second “Bloody Mary” and I was one spin away from her returning with fire and fury. Emotionally speaking, I am significantly less stable than a certain president right now and frankly, full time co conscious Bel would about be the end of me.

Oh, I could write for days about Bel. One day I am sure I will. Long story short for those that haven’t been following me for long, I’m kinda split, emotionally speaking. I am able to relate to some people I know on here with Dissociative Identity Disorder because of it, don’t get me wrong, that is not my diagnosis and this isn’t anywhere near as severe as that – I don’t have complete changes in my personality, nor do I have total amnesia surrounding the switches.

 

Anywho, basically I feel a handful of different “me’s” inside me, they have different names/ages/opinions/strengths & weakness’s but feel like ‘parts’ of me and while they do kind of take turns at being in ‘control’ it’s generally to help me cope with a situation that I am losing it in. We all answer to Kate and know everybody in my life, usually nobody else can even tell that it’s happening – I remember a conversation has happened if I wasn’t ‘leading it’ so to speak but I may forget the substance of it.

I might get asked why I’m acting ‘weird’, my husband sometimes notices.  I can’t communicate properly with all of my ‘parts’ yet, one of them seems to though, but I can’t really communicate with her. No, I don’t understand it either. There are also two Outsiders, Bel is one of these and there is a older man too, I originally thought he was just a hallucination but now I don’t know, I just know that he is scary on a whole new level. Okay, all caught up? Good. No? Wait, don’t leave, yeah – I know, I’m weird, sorry, it’s supremely frustrating on my end too, which is why I don’t tend to talk about it (self stigma) and (until yesterday) have avoided the subject with my psychiatrist.

ANYWAY…

When I arrived at 12:30 yesterday the waiting room was empty – the waiting room there is NEVER empty, they have a stack of on-site psychologists plus my psychiatrist and I think all of their books are closed. I deduced rather quickly that she had given up her lunch hour for me *cue guilt trip*. As she’s booked out literally 12months in advance and receiving a cool $350 per session – I decided money wasn’t her main motivator for cramming me in over her lunch break and I had already promised her nobody would ever sue her if I did knock myself off after she had released me from one of our sessions rather than having me carted off in a straight jacket, I guess she was just being nice. I’m rambling. Sorry.

The session was amazing, I had been umming & ahhing about telling her how the cake comment made me feel, (confrontation is scarier than cake) you guys said “Do it!” and I was going to until I got there and felt guilty. I swear there was a war in my head for the first two minutes over this and then the part of me that is apparently able to stand up for herself got some rare floor time and told her. She was of course, awesome about it, she apologised and suddenly I saw myself from a distance explaining that I was terrified of summoning the demon back.

“Tell me about the demon…”

Whoa. I didn’t agree to this, WTF? But I was powerless. Words flowed – okay stammered – from my mouth but I didn’t say them and honestly, I don’t remember exactly what was said, but we/they told her everything, all of it, Bel, Him, us, all the things I couldn’t say, the things that terrify me, all the things that will make her think I am crazy (okay, that ship probably sailed a while ago).

She didn’t kick me out of her office, she was amazing, supportive, didn’t call me crazy, in fact she didn’t bat an eyelid. She heard me, validated me, said that we can make this easier, work on finding out which part of me my protector is, I remember saying I didn’t know, but my protector was the one doing the talking… She said we can work on opening the communication up between us all, and being able to ask for help from the ‘protector’ on demand rather than relying on her appearing involuntarily at the last second.

I could breathe again, someone knew my terrible secret and the world didn’t collapse. We then went on to talk about some experiences of my wayward youth that were recently triggered and she gently informed me that a ‘something happened but I don’t know if it counts’ moment was in fact sexual assault. I think I knew that deep down, but it’s harder to admit to than I would have thought.

It was a bloody big session, but I felt so much better walking out of there this time, with that weight lifted from my shoulders I felt free, I felt like just maybe, I have a chance.

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Have Your F’ing Cake

This is really silly. You know those little comments someone makes, someone you trust and think knows you, those little comments that make you wonder if they have understood anything you have been saying to them at all? Ever?

I know I am being WAY over sensitive here, but a tiny thing my shrink said with the intention of being nice at the end of our last session which must have really upset me because 5 days later it’s still playing on my mind. It was an exhausting session that I wrote a bit about here . She knew I was drained and then right at the end she simply remarked “you should go and get yourself some coffee and cake now, you’ve earned it”.

Now that’s a nice thing to say, right? Well, for most people, yes. For me, not so much – particularly coming from her.

She knows about my eating disorder but I guess it’s not really been our strongest focus at any point – mostly because I haven’t been ready to tackle it and also don’t get to see her very often as she’s a very hard to get into psychiatrist and when I do see her she’s usually trying to talk me down off of the cliff or off of the walls depending on where my Bipolar is at the time. Most of the ED work I have done was with a therapist.

So maybe I have never explained to her how deeply this affects me? I kind of thought she got it – I mean she has personally had her leg in a walking boot twice in the last few years because she is aggravating a stress fracture by insisting on running on it when she shouldn’t have; there’s something in that.

So anyway, in my fragile state that little statement of intended goodwill instantly made me want to sink into the floor and drown in a puddle of my own blood. It felt like she didn’t know me after all.

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Image stolen from Google Images

Eating cake is absolutely the last thing that was going to make me feel better, cake feels like my Kryptonite I have eaten four slices of cake in the last two years and the guilt trip accompanying three of those slices has made me deathly suicidal. The fourth slice was eaten under extreme duress last week the day before this appointment and I was still waiting for the fallout as Bel (ED entity/voice/alter/idk wtf she is) was thankfully yet to appear from her mysterious 4 month hibernation void to chastise me and M saying the word “cake” out loud felt akin to three bloody Mary’s in front of a mirror. DO NOT SUMMON THE DEMON!

As she had spoken I was in the middle of trying to disguise the fact that I had been ugly crying for the last hour so that I could leave the room and all I could say in retaliation was “Yeah I hardly think that will help anything” then she seemed to click but rather than apologise she tried to justify it scientifically by saying “no really, you could use the blood sugar boost right now, your levels would be depleted, it’s not going to hurt you”.

I didn’t know what to say so rather than tell her where she could shove her fucking cake, I just fake smiled without looking at her and said “I don’t think I’m up for letting that particular demon loose right now”.

Do you think I should talk to her about this in our session tomorrow or just let it go?

It seems SO stupid, I mean she was just trying to be nice for Gods sakes so why am I being so sensitive?

 

Moments In Nature

I sit on a patch of dirt blanketed by sticks and leaves watching the little black ants scurrying quickly about their business in anticipation of the impending afternoon storm.

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The sun slowly breaks through the purple clouds gathering above me and radiates onto my back. I inhale the humid summer air, filled with the sweet scent of eucalypt leaves and casuarina needles and a sense of peace washes over me.

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The sounds of the bush are surprisingly loud today, branches creak lightly as the wind whispers through the tall gum trees. Circadas chirp, flies buzz and baby magpies squark relentlessly for their mothers.

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I am lost in the moment, present, real, alive for the first time in ages.

Slowly I get up and wander down to the dam, from the waters edge I can see two eastern long necked turtles floating just below the surface scouting for pray as blue winged dragon flies hover above, oblivious to the dangers lurking inches below.

 

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In a nearby tree a family of kookaburras sing out with their jovial laugh, unafraid of the distant rumbling thunder, they are happy, they are free.

Untouched, nature is beautiful; a perfect circle of energy interchange, far removed from the chaotic world of human interference.

 

Deja Vu

How many times have I died before?

Yet I keep on living.

Just to replay the mistakes of my past,

over and over in endless time.

 

My souls circle around and around the sun,

we are infinite in possibilities,

yet stagnant in one.

 

How many times have I written this before?

Seen your face,

fallen to the floor?

 

What lesson can be learned,

when a lesson can’t be heard?

Time is a mortal concept,

held within an immortal world.

 

There was no beginning,

there is no end,

there are no words to change this,

it will happen again.

 

Although we are both held captive here,

exploring every outcome,

crying every tear,

we’re together on this never ending path,

with no north and no south.

 

Yet still we can change our direction,

if we choose to with no wrath.

Feel no fear and we can continue,

for even on this endless path,

freedom is always within you.

Straya, Mate

So today is Australia Day, I would like to start off by saying that there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the date. The current date is the 26th January to coincide with the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet back in 1788. For many it also serves as a sad reminder of what is often deemed “invasion day” and the atrocities that occurred causing a devastating impact on the Indigenous people of Australia.

 

Traditions are hard to break, I know most people, particularly the older generations in the small town where I live hate the thought of change and we all love a good public holiday, but they are talking about changing the date, not scrapping the Day itself. We have successfully managed to cope okay with changing public holidays in the past and I am sure as long as there’s still cold beer and a sausage sizzle, we could do it again.

Personally, I feel that Australia Day should be about celebrating our triumphs and growth as a nation, part of that growth is accepting that the current date holds deep emotional scars for our Aboriginal community. I feel that perhaps a new date would be the best thing to do, a demonstration of understanding and solidarity as a nation allowing us not to forget or ignore our rich and troublesome history, but centre our celebrations around the idea of building a new history together, as the wonderful multicultural society that Australia has become.

So, on a lighter note, I thought I’d throw in some Aussie anecdotes for your amusement and or education, feel free to have a squiz, make a cuppa, take a load off and enjoy. I would also specifically like to dedicate this next part of the post to the lovely and hilarious Dyane Harwood who’s awesome memoir Birth Of A New Brain I reviewed here. Her comments are always chockablock full with attempts at Aussie lingo, she never ceases to crack me up!

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*Firstly, a little reminder that ‘Aussie’ is pronounced “Ozzie” and  ‘Australia’ is pronounced “Uh-Stray-Yah”! Got it? No worries mate.

10 Fun Aussie Facts:

  1. As an underage Australian teenager, your drink of choice isn’t going to be beer, particularly not Fosters. It’s “Goon”. Goon is the silver bladder full of liquid stupidity that you find inside of a wine cask (the cheaper the better). Goon may be carried around town over the shoulder or hung from the clothes line for a game of “Wheel of Goon”. Goon is available for purchase at any local bottlo’ where you can bribe Dazza to turn a blind eye to your age by giving him some free Durry’s (smokes) ((cigarettes)).
  2. Touching the seatbelt buckle in your car during Summer can give you third degree burns, so can touching the steering wheel.
  3. You can’t ride a Kangaroo. Ever.
  4. It is perfectly acceptable to buy thongs for your 3yr old daughter and 80yr old grandmother. Because they are simply practical footwear.
  5. Prawns not Shrimp. And they taste like crap ‘chucked on the barbie’ so for best results Aussie’s recommend they areserve fresh over ice.
  6. Kangaroos can be well over 6ft tall and built like brick shit houses. They can and will hurt you if you get too close, so if you over do the goon and come across Skippys scary older brother, don’t try and prove your manhood, simply walk away quickly in the opposite direction. (See #3)
  7. The word “Fuck” can and will be used to replace pretty much every other word in a standard sentence.
  8. “Yeah, Nah, Yeah” means Yes “Nah, Yeah, Nah” means No.
  9. Vegemite and banana sandwiches are WAY better than Peanut butter and Jam.
  10. Aussies invented WiFi. Your welcome.

 

Traditional Aussie Summer Cuisine :

  • Fairy Bread (white bread with too much cheap margarine covered in 100’s & 1000’s)
  • Iced Vovo’s
  • Snags (sausages)
  • Meat Pies from the servo (fuel station)
  • Zooper Doopers (Ice blocks in a long plastic tube)
  • Flies. Okay this is mostly unintentional, but there are just so many of the little bastards that you are bound to eat a few along the way. But she’ll be right, just try and think of the protein…

This is my favourite (scarily accurate) Aussie meme:

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I don’t know where this meme originated from but its dead set right on the money!

 

I love living in this vast sunburnt land, I whinge about the heat and the cold and the snakes and the spiders and the… well I whinge a lot, but I love watching the wallabies playing in my garden and I wake up every morning to the sound of Kookaburras and Magpies. I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Well I’m off next door to crack a cold one, have a snag & play a game of backyard cricket,

Happy Australia Day Mates!

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A Good Day

Just a quick note to say I’m feeling quite a lot better today, in fact I’m feeling quite good. I only had 3hrs sleep but I have a stack more energy. Yes, I know thats potentially a bad sign but while the fluctuations in my mood are so frequent I’m just going with it while it lasts and catching up on things I haven’t done in ages like reading blog posts, having a shower without having to leave the house and the worlds largest pile of washing…

Thanks for all of the awesome support over the last few days guys, you rock because you are my rocks. Just for fun, heres an unflattering picture of me with a goat on my back when I was 14ish, (please ignore the fact that you can see down my top).

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((Hugs to all)) xoxo Kate

 

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