***Trigger Warning – sexual content***
Three years later, I still want to give up—to check out of this world—every single day. Sometimes even the thought of my kids can’t keep the darkness away.
Although I’ve always struggled with anxiety and depression, and survived domestic violence, at the time I was rather well-off. The best part of my life, besides my family, was my relatively short, yet successful, career in Education. I was on the fast track to doing great, no greater, things. That is, until I was raped by a Senior student on a field trip. I wanted to hide it; I was ashamed, blamed myself, doubted who would be on my side, etc. He decided to tell his friends that we had a consensual “hook up,” and the rumors spread rapidly. I was put on leave, and eventually charged for solicitation of a minor. I didn’t defend myself. I didn’t tell anyone what really happened. Some people get fight or flight—I freeze. There were so many emotions and misconceptions and flawed thinking going on inside my head that I was completely unable to represent myself and my truth to the police, my attorney, anyone. I, naively, took a plea to just try and get through it with as little damage as possible to my already weakened state of mind. I have, and continue to go through, horrible, damaging, and unjust consequences. I was at my lowest right after this happened. I decided to drive to a deserted country road one night, and take a bottle of prescription pills chased with liquor. If I couldn’t muster the strength to do that, I had also brought along a kitchen knife to quickly release all of my pain, as it flowed from my wrists. I was so suicidal, I had a back-up plan for my exit from this f’ed up world. Luckily, at the last second, before I swallowed the pills, something stopped me, and I checked myself into psych at the hospital instead.
Now I can add PTSD to my list of issues. The normal, every day anxiety of a run-in with the cops (even if just passing on the road, or going by the station) is amplified by a million for me. Every time I see someone who resembles my rapist, I have a panic attack and go into a reclusive state for hours to days. Every day I think about how I’m going to try to put back the pieces of my life—which is literally every day—I feel pessimistic and overwhelmed. I lose joy in the things that should be providing it, like time with my boys.
At times, I feel like I’m getting to the point where I’m strong enough to fight back and right the wrongs that were dealt, but then I start to research options and I get discouraged again, making me go through the whole cycle of doubt and blame and self-harm again. I continue regular therapy and my meds are regulated, but I’m still searching for that last part—the part that will free me from all of this. I want it to be answers, and not a farewell.