There is the version of what happened that I convinced myself of before I told anyone else about what happened. I did it in a desperate act of self preservation. If I convinced myself it wasn’t that bad, maybe it would just go away. I would forget about it. It wouldn’t affect me everyday.

You have either been to the Indy 500 or you have not. And until you’ve been you can’t fully comprehend the sights, and the smells, and how witnessing such an event changes every other sporting event or mention of car racing forever.

When I talk about my assault I talk about it in the same sense as calling the Indy 500 ‘just a car race.’ It’s safer that way. It keeps all the little things that happened, that hurt, in a safe little bubble where they can’t be reached.  Details like the door opening from the right or the sharp buzzing pain I felt when he cracked my head against the wall don’t come rushing back when I tell my version of the story. Basically I took all the awful parts, boxed them up and locked them away three levels deep where I could pretend they didn’t actually exist and hope they would just disappear.

spring @ the oldfields-lilly gardens. Indianapolis

I started listening to Tori Amos again for the first time in over 15 years. Tori was my life in high school, and if you would have told me that I would remember every single word from Under the Pink after not hearing the album for 15 years I would have thought you were crazy. But I do remember. I don’t know where I stored that information with everything that has gone on, but I remember. And in remembering the words I remember the life events that surrounded my obsession with Tori Amos. My favorite sweater, the boy who broke my heart, what it felt like driving my first car up Emigration Canyon with the windows down and nowhere to be.

I’m in therapy. And the person I’m working with is easily the reincarnation of every good and loving thing that has ever existed in my life, brought together to help work through everything that happened and everything I have tried to stuff down and ignore.

It hurts.

It’s scary.

It’s hard.

I’d rather not.

I was doing a really good job of ignoring it.

She said I had a magnificent gift of self preservation. That I was really good at putting up walls, defenses and coping mechanisms in place to protect myself. I said “Thank you.” she replied “It’s not a compliment.”

She explained my assault happened in a space and time where I had no defenses, no walls, no protection, no choice and that’s also where my recovery needs to happen as well. Not from the safe place I’ve created for myself since then.

Ugh. She’s right.

Just the thought of going back makes me nauseous. Blergh.

But it has to happen.

Comments

  1. ??

    Lindsay Reply:

    Oops…that was meant to be a heart. :)

  2. This are beautiful words about a terrible situation. The beauty comes from you, because you are beauty, your heart is beauty.

  3. I am so glad that the person walking through (and that is key, THROUGH) this is the ‘reincarnation of every good and loving thing…’ As you need that security and safety to go back. I’ll be praying for you and yours through this.

  4. ALL OF THE HUGS. You are a mom, a wife, a friend, a writer, a daughter, a million and one things. This doesn’t define you. But it did happen, and I’m so glad you’re getting the help you deserve.

  5. Words fail me.

    I have not been in your shoes. I was mugged once, briefly beaten as I tried to hold on to the bag I was carrying that had no valuables in it (my money and bus pass were in my hand and I didn’t lose them). But I was hysterical and screamed for help as he hit or kicked me in the face (I was down on the ground at this point and my glasses had fallen off, so I was essentially blind). And people came to help, the police came, but I refused to report it because I thought I was going to have to look at mug shot books and I hadn’t really seen his face.

    And that incident became a burden – enough to make me quit my job (at a gas station/convenience store where I worked every shift every week, including Friday and Saturday overnights).

    So I haven’t been in your shoes. I can only imagine a tiny bit of what you have been and are going through. But I’m glad you are in therapy, so you don’t have to try to work through this alone. You have a guide.

    You also have a group of people who only know you through your words, but they/we care very much.

  6. I hear you.
    xoxo

  7. I hate that someone hurt you. I think of you often.

  8. Amanda Gee says:

    Your words are beautiful yet cut deep.

  9. I’ve read your blog forever. I am a deputy prosecutor. I thank you for sharing your story. It is important. I just want you to know that there is a magnificence that IS a compliment waiting on the other side of the hard work you are doing right now. I will continue to pray for you as you go through this. God bless you and your family.

  10. I was nodding as I read…I also said thank you when my therapist said something very similar. Oops, didn’t know it wasn’t a compliment Dr. I am so sorry you’re going through this.

  11. Sending so much love and hugs your way. You are brave, you are strong, you are beautiful, you are powerful, you are loved!!

    Here for you even if it’s only through prayers, thoughts and good wishes. I can’t even begin to imagine what you went through but your writing is extraordinary and makes me hurt for you and also cheer hard for your recovery process too!

  12. Hello love,

    I’ve missed your writing, as your words have often been a life boat for me when I’ve drifted further into depression. I thank you for sharing this part of your journey in healing, I know too well how much this part hurts. I, too, am working through my assault and find writing to be cathartic in processing this terrible stuff. You didn’t deserve what happened to you, but you are also so much more than your assault. You’re an amazing mother, incredible wife, and kickass writer.

    And you’re also not alone. I’m sorry for this pain.

  13. You described some very powerful and true emotions and coping mechanisms.
    It sounds like you are working through a lot and I hope you can find the strength within to continue with this process. All the best!

  14. I’ve been thinking of you, praying for you, and wondering how you are doing. Thank you for your update.

  15. It does to have to happen Casey, and although we feel it gets worse because we keep talking about what happened there’s good reason for that. It takes time to heal, and believe me when I say this…you will. What happened to us will always be in our thoughts, and mind, but we have the power to control our thoughts, and mind. And replace those awful memories with good ones, and to keep focused on the positivity to find healing through this. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts, and prayers. I love you, and know that this will pass. Stay strong girl!

    xoxoxo

  16. Love you, your writing, and your view of the world. If and when you’re ready to share, we are here. This group of people who love you.

  17. darkwitless says:

    You are worth it. You are worth healing. Even if you don’t believe it right now, those who love you most will believe it for you until you can catch up.

  18. Sending you light and love.

  19. Right there with you. I’ve been repressing everything for fifteen years. Before I started seeing this therapist, I’d been told that I had a chemical imbalance; she was the one who figured out that my problem is trauma. While it’s been incredibly enlightening—in some ways, it feels like I have some control back—it’s also been overwhelming, because all of these memories are surfacing. I didn’t even realize that I’d been stuffing them down. My instinct is still to run, but in order to move forward, I have to hold my ground. I’m still dealing with a lot of shame, but I’m starting to see there’s some strength and courage here, too.

    Love to you, Casey. I’m cheering for you.