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my body itself could not deny that i had been assaulted. i started to experience racing thoughts, extreme anxiety, a constant heavy feeling in my chest. at times i felt like i was floating, up above the cage of my body, floating up in the air, looking down at myself. there were other times when i was swept from reality entirely. panic attacks and flashbacks overwhelmed my mind. two months after the sexual assault, my limbs were numb. i could not even feel my tongue.
part of me knew that what the guy did to me was wrong. i knew what he did was wrong. however, my cousin had told me, the morning after it had happened, to not tell my parents or the cops. i grew up with her. i trusted her. it made sense to me, at the time, to take her advice.
day after day- i felt like i was dying. that was the worst depression i have ever experienced.
i lost 10-15 pounds, during those months. i was nothing but skin and bone. i only left my room to go to the bathroom or grab a plate of food to eat. the dishes in my room piled up.
i would rarely shower. if i would go to class, i wouldn't bother to do my homework or study for my tests. i couldn't even read my textbooks. if i would try to- it all was just a blur. i was student with a scholarship that covered everything. it was my last semester at the community college and my life was in shambles.
i would not talk to anyone in my family. i stayed in my room all day, every day.
my mom... i think she sensed that something was wrong with me. she must have.
it is hard to talk with her about it.
we had started to fight- very very intensely.
at this time period she was an alcoholic. i had no idea about her drinking. she had no idea i was sexually assaulted. both of us were hiding things from the family that were severely affecting our behavior and our ability to function.
one day, my best friend of over 10 years had messaged me. she said "i'm not going to fucking hide the fact that i am dating him."
i remember this moment when she told me, so precisely. i just remember staring at the message. i couldn't believe it. i couldn't believe that my own best friend was dating the guy.
it would repeat over and over in my head. i tried to keep it down, i tried not to think about it. but it was like some sort of echo in the back of my head. "m**** is dating him. m**** is dating him."
as the days progressed- i started to develop feelings of anger, about the sexual assault. not anger at the guy who did it, not anger at m****, not at my cousin- at myself and at my family.
i needed a reason for why he assaulted me. my reason? i honestly believed- firmly- that it was my family's fault for my sexual assault. it was my family's fault that they raised such a weak, pathetic person who is just going to be treated like shit by guys.
i hated my family. i resented them. as this false belief got more and more firm within my head- i got more and more and more angry. i remember i would scratch at my desk with a knife- just to relieve my anger.
my mom... oh- i wish i could remember the exact first fight she and i had. i don't know if there was a first fight. i think she just got more and more worried about me- as the days turned into weeks, which turned into months- inside my room. i think she might have seen my sudden behavior shift as some sort of act of rebellion, or something.
it did not help that she was drinking.
when we started fighting anytime she would drive me anywhere, and the tension in the house got really bad- i have to wonder what things would be like if she was sober during those days. i know nothing good can come of looking back on ugly times... but i can't help it.
i was out of my mind with anger. two of the girls that i had grown up with, my cousin and my best friend, had failed to support me. and my mother... she would say things that would make me feel terrible about myself.
she would say things like "you smile like a shark, around people. you look way, way too desperate. i'm just saying this because nobody else will."
"get your head out of your ass."
"i don't want to just hit you. i want to do more to you."
the woman who had gotten drunk on a daily basis and had started hitting me as a way of dealing with me... she's in the other room watching a seminar on psychology now, probably cuddling her puppy. about twenty minutes ago she and i were laughing at the pup and the cat play together.
all of these things between us... the fighting, the anger, the resentment... it was five years ago. i am living with mom and dad again.
i have apologized so many times to my parents for the way i have acted in the past.
mom has never apologized, once.
i don't know. she's supportive, now. i just wish i could hear her say sorry. it would help to have her acknowledge that her behavior in the past wasn't all that great, either.