Thursday, 27 August 2015

A 14 month (and 1 day) retrospective

14 months ago yesterday I shaved off all of my hair to raise money for Rape Crisis.  

I suppose it's natural for me to be reflective. So much has happened and it would be unwise to never think about the impact. Whilst the effects of the sexual violence I've endured are still ever present and discussion of it and other issues are the point of this blog, I want to use this piece to talk about the past year.

One of the biggest developments over the past year is my psychotherapy treatment. I attended weekly therapy sessions for just under 6 months, talking to a psychotherapist about not just the fact I've been raped but everything else including my pregnancy, my emotionally abusive & estranged father, the constant bullying at school throughout my time in education including the sexual assaults etc. I had some idea it would be tough but I couldn't imagine how much it would challenge me but also how positively it would change things. I had an empathetic, professional therapist who allowed me to express myself but challenged me to really get to my emotional core and truly feel in a safe environment. In that safe space I finally acknowledged that I had been raped more than once by different people. I dealt with that information and was able to process it without downward spiralling into total despair. Therapy helped me in a massive way and whilst I'm still struggling with trauma, I'm far better than I ever was. I truly took on that I did, I do and I will deserve far better than those monsters. 

Another massive change between then and now is my personal life. I've dated and seen people casually albeit they all ended in rather unfortunate ways. Now I'm dating the kind of person I never thought I would end up with. Someone empathetic, kind & funny who also has no issue challenging me when I need it. My issues with intimacy are still there but they have improved significantly. He's a great part of my life and I feel ever fortunate. It's also worth noting that whilst most of the friends I had then are still friends now, I've also managed to meet some incredible people who've provided support for me creatively that has reinvigorated my drive to create. 

I'm not 100%. I still have very dark days and I have a long way to go. I will require further therapy and mental health treatment but I'm definitely going in the right direction.