The leaves are falling and the days are becoming shorter. The first rain has come and gone. Nine months ago I could have not foreseen this season coming. I was living in the “now” and unable to see much into the future. I was still surviving and doing my best to cope. Different coping skills are warranted at different times. My current coping skill to deal with the mental fatigue is writing with my head cocked to the right. Right now, in this moment, I am okay.
As the months have passed, I have been able to recognize that I do have a future. I can foresee all the way into next Spring, when I will find out or not if I got into the University I had hoped for. Applications have yet to be started. I know that I have a future because I no longer want to die. I look forward to my appointments with my therapist and as soon as one session is over, I cannot wait until the next, though I do need recovery time in between. I would not be able to do that kind of introspective and difficult self-discovery work every day. I admire him that he does do that work with other people every day.
Now and then I feel sad. Sometimes I feel anger toward my ex-abuser. Less often do I find myself angry with me. Depression, it is said, is anger turned inwards. I have become more accepting of myself, my body, my self worth as a person, someone who deserves to have a positive future. I suffer less emotional depression even though I still exhibit a lot of behavioural signs of depression, such as staying in bed for 22 hours in a 24 hour period, or not showering as often as I should, not exercising, not going for walks. For the most part, however, I am able to take care of myself. I eat. I shop for groceries. I go to the ATM. I am a good driver. I go to work.
This was a difficult week. I experienced extreme anger – rage – and I expressed that in a letter to my ex-abusers’ future wife. Then I tossed and turned for several nights and even had to take a day off of work. Now that I have resolved to not actually send that letter, I feel more at ease. But what is leftover from the anger turned outwards is extreme sadness. I am sad for all of the hurt that I endured, all of the emotional pain that I have battled with. I am grieving the loss of my self. I lost myself and now I am finding myself, really, for the first time in my life. When I got together with my ex I was still a teenager and my full self had not yet formed or had a chance to develop. Now I am allowed to be whole and to be me.
Why didn’t I ask for more intensive therapy sooner? Why didn’t I do it? I thought it would be a burden to my therapist. I didn’t want to take up even more of his precious time. Yet, he did not hesitate one beat when I asked to see him more than once a week. “What are you doing this Saturday,” he asked me. “Nothing,” I replied between sobs. “How’s 2:00?” He had his schedule memorized. He didn’t even need to look at his calendar. He is going to dedicate himself fully to me, yet again, from 2:00 – 3:00 this Saturday. “That means you have to get out of bed, can you handle that?” “Yes,” I replied sheepishly. Yes, I will get out of bed for you, if it’s the last thing I do. I will not miss a chance to see you because I love you and I need you.
I feel relieved because it’s Thursday night, just 26 hours since I last saw my therapist, and I only have to wait two and a half more days to see him again. Much less anguish, less stress, less anxiety, because I know he will talk to me and help me and say things that help make my life okay again. Because my life was not okay this week and I was not okay. But I am becoming okay again.