There’s really no time limit when it comes to things such as trauma. And I really despise when people feel the need to put a time limit on how we grieve, mourn, or move forward. It doesn’t matter. For some people it takes years to realize what happened to them. Sometimes we spend so long moving these traumatic events out of our minds so that we don’t remember.
On December 5th it will be 10 years since I was sexually assaulted for the first time.
Sometimes it feels like it happened 10 days ago, rather than 10 years. I still am coping. I still am moving forward. I still mourn. The first week of December is the hardest for me because of this event. I can still feel it in my stomach. That nervous feeling. The uncontrollable thoughts. The muscle memory associated with the event. I don’t mean event by celebration. I mean by traumatic event. 10 years ago. But sometimes it feels as if those years don’t make much of a difference.
It has been scientifically shown that the body creates new cells every 7 to 10 years. So I am just about to be out of the 7 to 10 year window in a few days. Which means that the person who sexually assaulted me will no longer be imprinted on my skin. Which provides me with an alarming amount of comfort in the physical sense. In an emotional sense it still exists. And that becomes difficult sometimes because although the cells have changed on my body. The muscle memory and the memories associated with the event have not.
This means to me that I have much more work to do when it comes to my emotional capacity around this time of year. Which, is okay. However, I feel as if I continue to fall back into my grieving process this time of year. I get depressed and anxious. I get this nervous feeling in my stomach. So will I ever stop living in fear?
The answer is, yes.
I will stop living in fear every day that I realize that I do not need to fear anything.
As I move forward in my journey called life I realize that there is an abundant amount of growth that I must continue to do every single day. And living fearful is something I must move away from. Although in the last 10 years more than being sexually assaulted has occurred which brings more to the picture, but it is still a reminder that growth is inevitable.
I have grown so much between 2008 and 2018. And I am proud of my growth and my ability to recognize my own toxic ways and my own ability to recognize when I need to realize certain behaviors are no longer needed.
I can say that in a sense, I am free.
I can say that in a sense, I am living without fear.
But what I can’t say just yet, is that I am not 100% over what happened. Nor do I think that I will ever be. But I think that there is still so much room for monumental growth and healing from the situation.
I was only 15 years old when this person tried to take my innocence. But my innocence had been taken about 11 years prior. But he did take a lot away from me. My sense of security. My sense of safety, trust, mental health, etc.
10 years later I’ve walked off the battle field and into a better light because now I feel I am in the right place to rebuild what was broken so many years ago.
So, when I say there isn’t a timeline of how and when we repair the damage that others have put on us. I mean it. There isn’t a time limit. We deal with it when we have the emotional capacity to do so. And I feel that I now possess the emotional capacity to face this demon head on. Slay it. And keep it moving. But it took 10 years to get here.
For my fellow survivors. Don’t feel rushed. For damn sure don’t feel pressured to feel like you have to pick up the pieces right away.
And do not feel like you’re never going to get to a place where you have emotional freedom. Because baby, you will get there. But remember that it takes time.
One step at a time.
But you/we will get there.
Let’s keep surviving. 💜🙏🏽