Add to Technorati Favorites

Monday, March 14, 2011


I've been told by friends and therapists that this is an important step in healing. By less sensitive friends, I've been told it's an important step in "putting this all behind [me]."

Putting everything behind me...laying it to rest...moving on...

This is what I should want, I suppose. In a way it is what I want and I have definitely worked on acceptance.

1. I have accepted that I was a victim of rape and that I will live my life as a survivor. I did not want this. I wanted to change it. I cannot. I have accepted it.

2. I have accepted the fact that my mother will never see me as her daughter. I'm a friend, a convenience, a scapegoat, someone to ask for help--but I am not her daughter. She feels detached from me. She feels no loss when I'm unable to attend family events or when I must leave early. She acts surprised when I arrive and, as if she doesn't quite know what to do with me, alternately ignores my presence or begins giving me things to do--usually things that someone else is doing so that they can be relieved of the duty and go visit with her. I've learned to draw lines, to say no, to refuse the caretaker role. I've learned to be pleasant, funny, self-possessed when in her presence. I've learned to avoid personal conversations which become sessions for gossip. I've learned never to confide in her. I've accepted what is and learned to be happy with whatever that means.

3. I've accepted that I'm a survivor of physical and emotional abuse. I understand that many of my perceptions about myself are flawed and unkind. I understand that I sometimes perpetuate the emotional abuse toward myself because I was trained to do so and I've not yet learned how to stop. I know I have spent my life sabotaging relationships because I didn't have enough self-worth to believe I deserved love from anyone. I'm learning not to do that. It's difficult. Even in my most cherished, closest relationships I do not know how to believe that I am valued. I think I am. I don't know how to believe it. No one I love has struck me in anger or an effort to control me since I was 16 and that will never happen to me again. That part was easy. The wounds on my heart and soul are much more difficult to heal. I accept that the abuse happened. I accept that it will take time to negate its affects--but I don't know if I'll live long enough to overcome it, and I plan to live forever.

4. I've accepted that touch aversion is a by-product of abuse, and perhaps it sprang up because of the rapes, as well. I've accepted that there are ways to hide it, and I'm very good at utilizing those ways. I've accepted that no matter what I've done to overcome it, I've failed. Touch confuses me. I've been known to misinterpret it. There have been times when I desperately wanted to be held--but when that need was filled, I was left feeling guilty and miserable. I worked to overcome those feelings, and I think to some extent, I did. I no longer feel guilt. I no longer feel miserable. I also no longer feel a desire to touch or be touched by anyone. I accept that.

5. I accept that the person I am is no worse than any other person on earth. Nor am I any better. Each person's life is remarkable in its own way. I would love to have a life remarkable because I was a brilliant scientist, or an amazing mother, or a marathon runner. I would like to be remembered because I was kind to others, or because I grew beautiful flowers from seeds (not my method of gardening in which I buy all ready growing plants, dig holes in my garden plot, put them in the ground and spend the summer replacing the ones that die with newly purchased ones), or I wrote hopeful, inspiring words--even if only one person was inspired.

Instead I will be remembered as the person who thought she could make all the hurts in her life go away in three weeks, and instead spent the rest of her life fighting all the demons she had been ignoring; never winning, just keeping everything at bay. I will be the person who talked about PTSD and flashbacks. I'll be the child who was unwanted and abused, the adolescent who was raped, the suicidal teen who lived. Some people who have spent personal time with me will know I play the piano well enough to earn three music degrees. Some will know I'm a brilliant teacher of many topics. Some will know I love to giggle, and read, and sing, and dance. Some will know I love with my whole soul, even if I don't understand how to be loved in return. Some will know I joined MENSA on a dare--but I keep renewing my membership because I like to play the games on their website. Some will know that sometimes I'm funny and sometimes I cry.

I'm learning how to be me. This is not what I planned, nor what I wished for. Each admission of something I cannot change or overcome leaves me feeling helpless and beaten. With everything I accept, I feel more isolated and alone and there are times when I wonder if that is the ultimate acceptance: To accept that no matter how hard I have worked, no matter what I have done, no matter how strong or talented or capable I am, I will never know how to not be alone.


  1. "Instead I will be remembered as the person who thought she could make all the hurts in her life go away in three weeks, and instead spent the rest of her life fighting all the demons she had been ignoring; never winning, just keeping everything at bay. . . ."

    Not by anyone who knows you. All of these terrible things that have been done to you are a part of your life, but they do not define you. They are not what you make your life about. You are vibrant and vivacious and, yes, kind. An excellent and compassionate listener. You have no fear of being creative or trying unusual things (like cooking experiments or planting mutant tomato sprouts). Your energy and your passion for life always astound me. As does the sheer volume of subjects on which you are a self-made expert.

  2. Mutant tomatoes!!!

    You made me laugh! I need to find more of those things.

    See--this is why we're friends. You ignore my attempts to drown in self-pity and you remind me that I'm going to be okay.

    And I love you!