A girlfriend, a lover, a friend, a sister, an employee, a wannabe journalist, a graduate.
These all describe who I am, and I think it is important not to lose sight of all the other things that I can be apart from being a survivor.
I sometimes get wrapped up in my problems, my issues, my pain, and forget to live. I see myself as a victim, as a mentally paralyzed, victimized and broken person who is a failure in so many ways – career-wise, money-wise, relationship-wise and when it comes to living a successful and happy life.
While I do think modern humans are more and more unhappy (see Stylist.co.uk article on this from last week’s paper – I can’t find the link just now) and women’s magazines are so full of articles on how to become a more attractive, richer and fulfilled female that they now too write about the real keys to happiness, the kind of longing for a meaning in life, sadness and raw pain that survivors often experience can be quite unique to us.
It is easy to let my life revolve around all this, but I think today I am feeling like I should really remember that I am all sorts of other things as well than just a survivor, and that in reality, very few people that I interact with in my daily life know about my past and the burden I bear.
I have been described as social, friendly, bubbly, open, funny (yes, dear boyfriend of mine who read this, some people do think that I am funny!), strong, and brave. These are the qualities I portray to the outside world, and I hope to not lose sight of this.
Although I now am more committed than ever to commit to healing, to allow myself to feel everything I never have felt before, and to slowly work things out and let the pain go, I also don’t want to get too consumed by this and forget to live. It is very hard though because I am between a rock and a hard stone; to fully commit to healing will easily take over my life and if I go through with all the therapy that I would like to, I might have to stop working…But then again, if I want to pursue my passion for success, money and career, there will be no space for weakness, for flashbacks and healing.
I almost feel like I have to choose to let that little girl heal at her pace, or bury her now and follow what the adult me wants to do.
I am torn, yet I feel hopeful that I have enough strength to pull through both aspects of my existence, and live in harmony with the two contrasting sides. So to keep in mind the stuff that I am on top of being a survivor of childhood sexual and emotional abuse helps me keep things in balance, even when things get really difficult and all I can think about is the pain and the hard times.
It is not easy to live like this, with the constant conflict of interests and having to shift between identities and qualities depending on where I am and who I am with (whether I am with my boyfriend and can really be me and open up about the abuse, or whether I am in the office having to portray myself as a hardworking employee), but laying it out on paper like this eases the stress and anxiety, and I just hope that with time I can …manage being all of me, but in a better way.