Another year passes
I was feeling on edge all week. Something I attributed to the oppressive heat and humidity we've been experiencing - However yesterday I started feeling a bit more shaky and I had an ache in my neck...a knot. I put it off on stress, and all the things I have on my mind lately - then tonight I was sitting here at the computer when all of a sudden some poetry started flowing out of me, flowing fast and furiously...for the second time today.
I wondered to myself if I was losing my mind...was I going through some sort mid-life crisis...or was it this damn heat....
I decided to play some games on Facebook and that's when it hit me.... Just one hour ago...a half an hour before midnight....30 minutes before the date changes from August 12th to August 13th...it's been three years....three years ago the man I once loved had his hands wrapped around my throat while he sexually assaulted me and threatened my life.
Images flashed before my eyes...like pictures in a photo album. Moments in time forever stored in my memory bank. A deposit I never wanted to ever make, nor to see again. Yes, three years ago and now my body feels the trauma all over again.
I remembered the fog I walked through that day and the days that followed. Walking into the police station with my boys at my side....looking into the eyes of an officer I knew and saying "I think I was raped by my estranged husband"....holding the laptop that had recorded the hour long event that took place in front of my sons....I remembered coming home after they caught him and carted him off to jail - I could remember sitting at the kitchen table with my boys...the three of us sitting there in the middle of the afternoon....the silence that was deafening ...none of us knowing how to digest what had just taken place.
How the next day I woke up and went about my day...went to work covering a story at the courthouse...a hearing that was taking place in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on whether or not Juneau County should have a second judgeship. I remembered the ache in my legs, how they hurt so badly I had to force myself to take each step, and how my back cried out in pain as I sat on the cold, hard bench ...taking notes...wondering who already knew...everyone I knew was there....everyone within our justice system was there...who knew? Who had already heard that audio recording? Who heard me cry out in pain when he said he didn't care if it was considered rape? Who heard me whimper when as he had his hands around my throat he said, "What, bringing back childhood memories?" - the coldness in his face, how it was twisted and red, but yet controlled. Digesting it all but at the same time trying to hold it all together - it was after all deadline day and now I needed to make a living more than ever before - all the weight of the world placed on to a shattered soul.
Yes, in just a few minutes from remembering and realizing what the date was, all those memories flooded back. No wonder my neck ached...no wonder I had been edgy and shaky...no wonder.
Then, just like last year, I found I was angry at myself for allowing another August 13th to be haunted with memories. Angry that no matter how hard I try, they still creep in.
It's amazing how many thoughts a person can have in so short of time. How when the memories flood back they leave you breathless, and stunned...and how so very hard we are on ourselves for being human.
Now that I have been able to vent this out, and as these words make it from my thoughts to the screen before me, I know that what I am experiencing is normal..to be expected, and all part of healing from trauma. Just like a mother will remember on her child's birthday the joy in her heart the first time she felt the baby move within her womb, we also remember the pain when we've suffered loss. It's part of life, it's part of love, and it's part of loss - it's the human experience.
One day this all will balance out for me, and while I may always remember the pain of that fateful August 13, 2007 - I have time before me to create better memories that may balance it all out - life has not stop, I have not stopped growing, I am living and moving forward.
Well, I thought I would share this as I experience it...because I know one day some victim of sexual assault will happen along this post, and it will be on the day she finds herself remembering her own trauma...and like me tonight when I happened along articles and posts of others, she will know it's all part of living beyond the pain - that it's normal - and no she is not going crazy - I may never know who finds comfort in this, but I do know we all share that bond.
Life will get better...there will be joys...and even some more tears shed, but at least I know with each passing year...each anniversary...I am moving forward and not standing still.