Operation Caffeination

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it’s cold in here.

with 2 comments

I am a survivor, never forget that. Call me a victim to my face and you won’t like what happens next.

Survivor is my identity, it is my defining trait, it’s all I’ve had some days. It is my career, my role in my family, my mantra in life, my self-made society, my language. I hear other survivors talk about rape culture, victim shaming, honor killings, even less-talked about things like astral vomiting and I don’t need to ask what they mean, I know because I’ve been there. Maybe I’m still there. I have learned to dwell with the pain.

I have woken up to empty bottles and cried when I realized that I was drinking alone again. I’ve backed out of therapy appointments at the last second, showed up at the wrong hospital, “forgotten” to fill prescriptions because I just couldn’t face it, couldn’t talk about it, couldn’t deal. I’ve been too afraid to go out, or returned home in defeat after being confronted by an unexpected trigger. I’ve had fifty pound weight fluctuations, spent days in bed, maxed out credit cards. I’ve lost memories, including most of the memories of my son’s babyhood. This is the real deal, you know? This isn’t movie shit. This isn’t sexy. This is me, not sure if I even want to make it, carrying on because I have to carry on.

It’s been four years now, and I’ve made a lot of progress. I can look at my reflection in the mirror and smile now. I can eat and revel in the deliciousness of it all, and I don’t hate my body for having wants and needs and vulnerabilities anymore. I can laugh and make jokes now, and I can step into the crosswalk without triple-checking to make sure that I won’t inconvenience anyone by taking my turn. I can take the last cookie, I can leave the kids with someone else for awhile and let them deal with all that “spiritedness” while I drink wine with a friend and that is OK. And it’s also okay when it isn’t so cute and spunky. It’s okay that I blew a test in school because my study time was eaten up by my need to reflect and process. It’s okay that I cancelled on a friend at the last minute with no explanation, it’s okay that I didn’t return some phone calls, that I missed an appointment, that I was late. It’s okay with me that I still refuse to go out at night/alone/whatever because I’m fucking tired and can’t fix it all and can’t be it all. I am fine with me, the way I am, with where I am. It is ok to take a break, to eat the whole container of ice cream, to smoke all those cigarettes and leave myself hoarse and nauseated the next day. If I regret it later, well, that is because I know I am better than that, not a cause for self-loathing.

Learning to reclaim ownership over my own identity is the hardest work I’ve ever done, and up until today I thought it was the hardest thing I’d ever have to do.

Until this evening, when someone I love very, very much called me in tears, asking me to come pick her up, and I know everything I need to know from the tremor in her voice.

We’ll be picking up these pieces for a very long time.


Written by GRSeim

February 2, 2012 at 6:49 am

2 Responses

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  1. *offers of hugs and cookies and solidarity*


    February 6, 2012 at 6:21 am

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