Reflections on 2016

cw:rape, mental health and medication

I woke up today and actually felt like a different person, as though a weight lifted and I’m plateauing back to rational. 2016 for me was a stretch of a year, one which made me face myself head on. The lithium medication left me stranded in a small internal hell that I couldn’t represent externally. But I stopped taking it, and even while on it forced myself to be productive. I do remember how inadequate and guilty it made me feel any moment that I was not being productive. I ended my relationship with Dan. I still don’t know how this makes me feel. A great amount of my choices are based on my mood cycle so I never quite feel connected to them, only in some distant way do I feel like they affect my current actions. I’ve gotten very good at compartmentalizing but this has also allowed me to survive the downfalls and bad choices that I have made recently. The resilience to continue despite wanting nothing but to stop has proved to be my best character trait, better than anything I could portray externally. I experienced a third case of rape this year; it left me angry, energetic, self-destructive. I think these feelings are staring to fade, becoming a quiet hum while instead I just want to make real connections. I became for a while this person who kept displaying inappropriate emotions and critique. I think 2016 served to humble me: it showed me that I am no one and that I am not superior to anyone, just living through this capitalist reality. I have a lot to externalize in the sense of repressed sadness but I think that eventually I will be able to and the days are staring to get longer rather than shorter. I think that I am ready to go back and to be at peace again. I beat the beast that was trying to suffocate me and I am in a non-cliche way new.

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Fragmentation: my trauma

The fragments pull,

what fragments and how exactly can objects, or ideas, or parts pull and in what direction?

I suppose the fragment of forgetting,

the fragment left behind by compartmentalized pain,

What exactly do we mean when we say trauma?

It all goes back to the concepts of consciousness and memory,

but we discussed that memory is often reinvented, remade

the balloon suddenly appears and it is red

never-mind that you never consciously perceived it,

but it is there,

an explanation to the fuzzy image that distracted you and made you vulnerable.

Perhaps the falsification of memory allows us to exist beyond violation.

We not only invent after the fact but interpret memory in whatever way

allows us to exist, allows us to not jump when the subway zooms by,

so when I woke up with no memory,

I remembered the question, that I would have theoretically posed:

I never expressed my consent, except in remorse,

in the crawl on the floor, in the rising anxiety, in de-realization,

in letting you touch me again,

until I couldn’t anymore.

 

Spinning Through the Danger

The air hot and heavy, reminds me of the panic that once held me in its arms. My toe touches the floor, my body swings its weight towards the other, as I spin in endless bliss. I spin to forget that men have pressed their weight upon my body, upon my brain, and threw me into a closet of deep regret. Every day I think of the night of the pink ever-glow. I see blond hair, sparkles, my black dress; all tarnished and lacking. I was date raped and I thought that it was beautiful. The light shone pink, the smell of danger flew from my brain, my body was an open temple full of longing and loneliness. The beauty went away, I awoke to darkness, a throbbing head, a man who had convinced me I loved him, and faltering memories that seemed more like dreams than events. Men had always defined me. I sometimes think that they still do. I remember walking back, five loose singles in my bag, a fake peck, so many burdens to carry. How can you explain why everything went to shit in a resume? I know I dropped that class but I could barely handle sleeping. I once sat with this man on a beautiful patio, drinking wine as he stared through my skirt. Nobody teaches you how to value your self-worth. I resorted to seek something: ended up in a church. I hid in that church for a long time. I still don’t understand my relationship to it. I found loving people at the expense of losing my ability to see. Months went by: my body grew as my relationship to food became more co-dependent. At some point I switched food with cigarettes. I found more men who touched me. Some deeply, some superficially. I think a lot now about who I am and who I want to be and it saddens me to see that the young girl with all her dreams has flown away. I think of rational career choices, I panic at the thought of a slim resume, and every day I keep my opinions to myself. Anything that I say will never be more than superficial. I think back to the old days before I lost my innocence: the world was beautiful then. Now I fail to see the flowers and focus on the discomfort of heat. I hide under layers of personalities, there is no me. I have lost myself and taken people’s opinions to heart. But at least I still spin.

The Pink Overglow

I’m tired of feeling like I’m fucking crazy
I’m tired of driving ’til I see stars in my eyes
It’s all I’ve got to keep myself sane, baby
So I just ride, I just ride

I hear the birds on the summer breeze,
I drive fast, I am alone in the night
Been tryin’ hard not to get into trouble,

Ride- Lana Del Rey

Thinking back on my life, I can see the covert transgressions that men have done to my body. I recall moments where I was coerced into fulfilling some carnal desire that my body did not mirror. There is one moment that stood out the most to me. 

I am in the dark room and there is no liquor flowing in my veins. My only desire is to return home, to lay in my bed. Instead I am stuck because I cannot drive back, and my father is not one to be there at knotty moments. It is not his fault because it is late and I made the decision to come with this man to this room. I beg to be driven home. “Please don’t be mad at me, I just hate sleeping in foreign beds.” But my lover does not listen and instead tries to nudge my skin into awaking in passion. But my skin does not react and instead I shut down. He takes off my clothes and as a lie there without moving he pulls in and out of me. There is no lubrication, just the grind of friction; skin against skin recording the violation. “I knew you didn’t want it and it made me finish faster”. I put my clothes on and he finally drives me home. I don’t recall anything else.

I became the person who drank to feel desire because my body no longer reciprocated efficiently. Maybe it was my weight loss, or my loss of self, or maybe I have never been in love but I have convinced myself that I acted not to fulfill anything but to prove my feelings. I suppose it’s the discovery that I am not loved out of physical boundaries that turned me into a rock.

This event was rape but I didn’t admit it to myself until a year after it happened. I did tell him to stop but I think the minor details are gone and they are replaced by fog. Sometimes a muggier picture saves us.

Speaking of muggy, I recently began to think about a more recent event that is even more within blurred lines. My transgressor once told me that a girl had told him that the song made her think of him but I merely giggled and gave no thought to this observation. I overlooked many words that he used to bring my self worth to the floor: ” What will people think? Me as your white male contributor, you as my spanish _____. I never remember the word that he used to describe me. He truly violated me but I didn’t see it until distance enhanced my clarity. Sir as he liked to be called took me to a strip club. I think that at some point he put a drug into my drink. I recall the buzz of the alcohol and compare it to times where I have been just drunk and not drugged. When we left the gentleman’s club everything seemed more illuminated. I drank more than I could have without passing out but didn’t puke, nor sleep. Instead I went into a dream like state. When it was happening and I was in his bed, as he touched me, I saw shades of pink in the lights. Everything was rosier and beautiful. It all felt amazing but even if it was good at the time, I feel violated that I may have been secretly drugged. I probably would have consented to the sex because I felt that I had to repay his kindness. I have been such an idiot. As time went on, the pink turned to black and the rest of the night happened without my consciousness. I didn’t think that I was raped. I thought I had placed myself into a situation that ended with me feeling like I needed a million showers. I felt dirty for a long time and had no self-worth until very recently. I gained weight within a few months because food became my outlet.I never told anyone that I was raped because I never admitted it to myself. I woke up naked and didn’t understand how time had moved without me. My dress has a little hole on the shoulder which is the only physical mark of my violation. I saw a pink glow as my violator touched me. I hid behind that glow for a long time and pretended like my life was just maturing. Instead I was dwindling into the woman who let herself break down for seemingly vacant reasons.

I have begun to face my demons. I had a dream where possessed people appeared and with God’s name I made them disappear. I think that the demons have gone but I think that it is time that I evaluate how sin purged me into a darker world than I was ready to face. I also think that God is granting me the strength to face my past. I will grow because I am ready for a new opportunity to live. Like the phoenix, I will grow out of ashes.