I awoke yesterday morning to a flood of intrusive thoughts and physical flashbacks. It is abhorant to feel the malevolent perpetrator. It disgusts and nauseates me, makes my skin crawl as though infested with toxic slime that cannot be rubbed off. My anger escalates in the realization of how powerless I am to control their invasion. Having been coached, I say to myself over and over, “It is not happening now, it happened in the past, it is not happening now, right now I am safe.” Then I get more indignant that even this knowledge does not squelch the feelings. I am dirty, covered in disgusting filth. My failure in ability to change the situation inflames my self-loathing.
[Side note: I was later told by my psychiatrist that my traumatizing week was most likely a result of the surgery I had last week to repair the injuries from the sodomy. The anxiety leading up to the procedure, caused by knowing where the doctor was going to work, as well as what my body experienced during it would have released body memories. The result would be that this week would be experienced in my mind and body, the same way as the weeks following the rapes.]
On my way to work I stopped by my house to grab a couple of necessities. I noticed that I was expressing my anger through irritation at fellow drivers. Realizing this, I did not want to continue in that mode and have my irritation bubble over on my co-workers. I decided it would be much healthier to express and release my anger by pounding on my couch before I was around anyone. Better yet I would use a swim noodle and no one or thing would be damaged.
I pounded and screamed until raising the noodle over my head caught the edge of what used to be a beautiful glass sunflower. I heard it explode behind me as it hit the concrete floor. Again my heart was broken as this had been a special gift from my sister. I slunk to the floor and sat there among the broken pieces. In the center of it all was a glittering word. Joy. It once hung around the flower on my entertainment center. Now it lay in the rubble of a shattered life flower, there on the spot where my joy was so violently stripped away; my body, mind, and spirit violated. How apropos. Tears ran slowly down my cheeks, my power and my passion had vanished and weakness overtook me.
I watched blood run from my feet as the sun danced off the shards and fragments of glass making them shine like glitter spilled from a child’s picture. There in one moment, death and life co-existing. Perhaps God was sending a message of hope that I will find beauty even in the brokenness of rape. A reminder of His promise to bring beauty from ashes.