Disclaimer: Any names or personal information have been changed in order to keep my privacy and their privacy safe.
First of… Happy National 4-H Week!!!! I have to represent the organization that has made the biggest difference in my life, so if you have any questions or want to know how to join a local 4-H Club, hit me up. I’d love to talk about my experiences and amazing memories I’ve made during my years as a 4Her.
Now that I am done marketing my favorite organization, it also reminds me that this month is October, which for those who know me the best – they know that this month has been difficult for me over the past several years. Most people are excited about Halloween, and Thanksgiving coming after this month and don’t get me wrong…I’m excited about those things as well, but it also means memories and other things I would love to forget and move on from all being brought back to the surface.
When I think of October though, it reminds me of the difficult times that I had to endure such as; making a huge decision that no girl at the age of 16 should have to make and doing it by herself (aside from my stuffed animal Scruffy), going back that next week to the school I knew he’d be at and continue my studies like nothing had really happened those months before then. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I suggest reading Someone Else’s Shoes before continuing to understand where I’m coming from with this post.
It took a lot of energy on a spiritual, emotional, physical and mental level in order to remain what I thought was myself, little did I know that would be harder than I thought. I thought after what had happened, that I would be able to go back to my old self and how silly was I to think that was possible. So over the next couple years, I decided to take my time and that I would heal and forgive when it was time for me to forgive him for what he had done and forgive myself.
You probably wonder “What does she mean by forgiving herself? She didn’t do anything, she didn’t cause it”. You are right in the fact that I didn’t cause it, it was all his doing but I needed to forgive myself for being in an abusive relationship, that leading up to the months before it happened my mom would keep telling me that he was being abusive and I wouldn’t listen to her. I also needed to forgive myself for waiting as long as I did before telling my mom what had happened, and if I did the reaction she had, would have been completely different. Those were the reasons why I felt like I needed to forgive myself for what had happened before I could see myself as Ciel again.
For anyone that is curious as to how long that was, it was almost 5 years before I could really forgive myself and in turn, forgive my rapist. So yes, time does heal but it depends on that person and how long they spend loving and appreciating themselves despite their flaws and mistakes. For some victims, it may take a couple years, or in most cases, it may take over 20 years to completely heal. I’m not saying by any means that I am completely healed because I still suffer from the triggers and anxiety that I received because of my assault. No one is ever completely healed from being sexually assaulted, but if you feel like you are….good for you and please let me know how you did that.
So since it is finally my Senior Year at college, I decided that I’m not going to let those memories, the bad taste in my mouth or feelings get in the way of my last year at my university. I’ve grown so much in the last years that I couldn’t ever see myself as the old Ciel anymore. I’ve matured, I’ve lost “friends”, discovered who I wanted to be and where I want to be in my life. I also gained a new perspective and a voice inside of me that I didn’t know I had before then.
I hate what happened to me, as much as my family does, but I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t of gone through it. I wouldn’t be getting my degree in Psychology and becoming a School Counselor. I wouldn’t be the daughter, sister or friend that I am today if I didn’t go through those rough patches. Honestly, I don’t know who or where I’d be if I stayed in that horrible relationship, and for that, I appreciate the journey that I was given. Each day I get to wake up to grow, learn and live as the person I am today. I hope my fellow victims and survivors will be able to say the same thing in their future one day.
From the Ashes,
The Rising Phoenix