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Still Breathing


..... So. How can someone start writing something so personal? Jeez. I guess I'll just take a deep breath. And 1... 2... 3... go. 

There I am, lying on my bed, covers draped over me, snuggled in my mountain of pillows. Resting my arm on said mountain, I'm scrolling through my phone. Instagram to be precise.  Nothing more out of the ordinary, Kim Kardashian, big lips and make-up tutorials.
Until I saw a post with #MeToo. Of course, I clicked, and scrolled, and scrolled. There I was, exactly one and a half hours later still scrolling and reading. The stories.... my god the stories. The utter bravery. I inhaled, clicked the right side of my phone and let it clump down on my mattress. I closed my eyes and immersed myself in to my thoughts.

'Well this is kinda weird' I thought. Want to know why? Well... Me Too.

I won't go in to the ins and outs of my muffled, winding thoughts that took me a while to iron out that night, not even I could write about it so it's understandable. What I will do, is write about how the events of my rape left me scarred, broken but yet stronger and wiser than ever.

Any girl, boy, woman, man that has gone through rape/sexual assault will understand how it can take months, if not years, to really digest the facts after the event. For me, after it happened, I was in a bubble. I survived my bubble by walking around, visibly upset, unable to carry out day-to-day activities (usually college work as that was my main priority at the time.) But I found myself telling anyone who would listen about what happened to me. But why would I? I was in my bubble. I hampered this bombshell onto anyone, my friends, tutors, I even told the new girl at my job at the time (it was only her first shift, but I didn't care, she was an ear, she could listen.)

I was desperately trying to heal myself, I was always told throughout my life to, "Talk about your feelings," "Let it out" and "It heals you." But what the funniest thing was, even looking back, I would struggle to talk about it to those who mattered the most; my mum, dad, grandparents etc.

In the end, I found myself telling my story over and over, I was used to what I'd say and the way I'd say it I'd gone through it that many times. It was almost like I'd leave my body and watch myself tell the story, as if it was fiction, as if I was an actor rehearsing my lines for a play.
The rape itself was incredibly traumatic but in the end, I would completely play it down and tell people, "Ah well, it's done now," like, again, it would fix it.

After a while... roughly two years, I met the love of my life. The second that happened, my whole facade dropped, the curtains on the play finally closed and I found myself completely naked. I was as vulnerable as I'd ever been, even more than this, writing to a bunch of strangers about my experience.

I told him things I hadn't told anyone, I told him the real, true, raw version. Not the scripted, robotic version. He listened, he absorbed, he cared. We shared a kind of emotional intimacy that I never thought would be real. It was big.

I realized that there were things that I felt that I hadn't acknowledged, there were things I hadn't understood and words I hadn't spoken. My bubble finally popped.

The care and tenderness that I felt made me understand what it meant to be loved. What it meant to begin to heal.

So here I am, on the beginning of that healing. I'm pretty damn sure I have an incredibly long way to go and God, I'm scared about that. But I am brave, I am strong, I am here.

Whoever you are, if you have gone through this yourself. Please promise me, that you will remeber that you are here, you are alive, you have got this. Most importantly, you are not alone.


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