Last fall I got to a point where I was just sick of being a survivor — sick of triggers, sick of the exhausting recovery process, sick of it all. I lost my patience with the whole thing. I just wanted to be “okay” already. My motivation was all but gone. And then within the last two weeks I had two important changes in perspective:
Commitment one was simply this: From now on, I’m only allowed to think about sexual assault in a positive and/or constructive way. In other words, I’ll only think about sexual assault if my thoughts are productive and could help me heal. Like I said in this post, “I need the majority of my thoughts to be on how far I’ve come and how much farther I can go.”Commitment two was to be patient, compassionate and accepting. Patience means knowing that the recovery process is slow and nonlinear, but things will continually get better. Compassion means not beating myself up for not healing “fast enough,” getting triggered and not always snapping out of triggers quickly. And finally, I need to accept that I’m a survivor and that I need to adapt as best I can to my life circumstances.Already a lot has changed. I feel renewed and ready to take things on again. I react to my triggers with more humor, sometimes seeing them as more of an annoyance that a nuisance. Plus, suddenly the frequency of my triggers is far less! For the last week or two I’ve had an average of two or three little ones per day. That’s nothing! Last fall, when things were at their worst, I was probably averaging twenty per day. Sure, all of them were relatively small, but it took a lot of energy out of me and became quite distracting.But here’s the cherry on top: A (my boyfriend) unintentionally touched the side of my ribs the other night and I liked it. I only once remember enjoying being touched there. If he had done that same thing a year ago, I would’ve had a very strong trigger. This is huge! I think part of the reason I didn’t have a strong reaction is because it was A. I always feel safe with him, so these days my reactions are less strong when he’s the one who triggers me.All of this sure as hell feels like a turning point to me. I can’t wait to see what will happen in the coming months!Thank you for reading this article. You can find my backstory here.