The Me Who Used to be…

I want to thank BrownEyedGirl163 from the site From the Ashes We Rise. When I read it I had to stop what I was doing to bookmark so I could come back and reblog it.

Truly this is one of the best descriptions I have read dictating what life is like on an emotional, spiritual and physical level after having been raped and the struggle to not only make sense of it all but to accept, to adapt and to heal. This is really any crime of the sexual nature. Please don’t just read this post here, please go visit the site From the Ashes We Rise.

Follow her if you will, after reading this, I expect she will have more enlightening post in the future.

The Me Who Used to be…

Someone recently asked me if I truly think that healing is possible after Rape. I thought about this question hard over the next couple days and gave her the best answer I knew how to give, “That depends on how you define healing,” I said. Do I think that you will ever be the person that you once were…? Sadly, no but someone new will emerge. That person will be neither good nor bad only completely different.

You will find new strengths, new weaknesses, and new challenges.

I try hard to remember the woman I was before this all happened. I never see her anymore. I used to catch glimpses every now and then; but they were very short lived. I no longer recognize the woman staring back at me in the mirror. Her eyes are almost unrecognizable and her pain intricately woven into her soul. A stranger, new and unfamiliar, stares back from where my reflection once stood.

I must get to know her. I must understand her. I must love her. My assault changed everything. That was the day that I died. That was the day I was given new life. On one sense, I was afraid that people could see my brokenness and on another I was afraid that they were blind to the burdens that I carried.

I soon came to the realization that they saw the same stranger staring back at them; neither good nor bad only completely different. I wondered if they would get to know her. I wondered if they would understand her. Mostly, I wondered if they would love her.

I still have to grieve the person I was before because she had family and friends who loved her, and eyes that shined. I also have to celebrate the new life that I have been given. It’s a beautiful thing to know that a stranger will inherit all the love in the world.

Yes, healing is possible but it’s almost always transformative.

3 thoughts on “The Me Who Used to be…

  1. I can really relate to this. I once had someone come to me after I spoke at a church. I had prepared for about a 10-15 minute talk that Sunday. When we arrived that morning the pastor told me God had laid it on his heart that I would have the entire service to speak after the opening music and announcements. I was not prepared for that much time. But as I have never spoken from a prearranged script I felt I could cover the time period. I now know the look pastors get when they run long on the sermon. While speaking I noticed one member that was listening to every word. It was the intensity of her gaze that really struck me. She came up to me ever so shyly. She introduced herself. She said she wanted to apologize for staring while I was talking. I told her she was not starring she was just listening very intently. She went on to say that while she had never had the life experience that I had lived she felt she was watching it happen through my story. She then asked me if you could go back in time and erase what happened and have a different life, would you? I was caught off guard and surprised by the question. What surprised me even more was that I answered the question without even stopping to think about it. I told her that who I am today is a product of all the past I had lived and that who I am right now is someone I am proud to be. She then asked me if I wouldn’t at least remove the pain both mental and physical or even one of them? I told that that question was harder than the first. How so, she asked? It’s hard to explain. While the physical pain was not something I could ever find words for and the mental pain was something that most people will never understand no matter how well it is explained, they were and still are very much a part of what has been at work in my life and helped make me who I am. Believe me, I know how blessed I am. Strange way to say it but it’s true. I am blessed because I made it through to the other side even though there was a few times that making it to the next minute was not something I would be able to do. I also have a very clear picture of who I could be right this minute. I could be the monster that we are talking about. Or, like a friend of mine from church. He and his brother were both victims of the same man that was my abuser/rapist. I only found out about them decades later. M, as I will call him, was never able to break free from being the victim of manipulation. He was a victim in his marriage and later was the victim of some whispering in his ear that he needed to kill someone that was performing abortions and that it was God that had come to them and told them he needed to do this for God.
    I am truly blessed not because I am any one special here on earth. I am special because I am loved by God the Father and his Son died for me. I am blessed because somehow through all the times when I didn’t see how I was going to make it through another day, God placed someone there for me that, without them even knowing, that would do some little thing of kindness or civility that somehow sank into me and that I didn’t ignore it. Is life a bed of roses now? Ha, that would be nice. I am just like most people. Making it day to day. Robbing Peter to pay Paul hoping he doesn’t find out. Life and all of its challenges continue to mount up and try and crush me. I was in a life altering crash six years ago and lost my company of 28 years and all our life savings paying medical bills and many other things have pilled up on that. But God still puts people in my life to give me that little push to remind me that God is good. My wife is the number one at reminding me. She will remind me that in less than about four minutes, I made the choice to drop our daughter, that was two and a half years old at the time, I dropped her at daycare and in about two or three hundred yards I was hit from behind while at a full stop by a car traveling at least 40 mile per hour. Now if that’s not Blessed I don’t know what is.

    1. Thank you for sharing this with me, Grace. What a powerful story. I get asked often if I would change my past if possible and I always say, “No”. It’s not that your proud of the abuse, it’s that your recieved so many blessing because of it. You’re stronger, more self reliant, compassionate and truly love deeper and can make a difference in the lives of others must in sharing those blessings. God has given us all gifts (according ot the book “God God Gifts’ mine was administrative) and when something tragic like rape happens, He still uses those gifts wtihin us for the good. All we have to do is seek Him and give Him our pain.

Why hello, friend! Thanks for sharing your comments. Should you have a question, please feel free to ask it here and I'll do my best to reply promptly. Thanks for stopping by! xo Kerri