The "him" I am referring to has a name. He is a person with a pathetic life but a life nonetheless. To me, however, he doesn't deserve a name. Yes, people should know him for the monster that he is, but that is someone else's job. If I give him a name, then I still feel his power eating away at me and he doesn't have control anymore. I do, and I will for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, that does not diminish the damage and consequences his power had over me.
One of the most significant things that came out of my therapy sessions was a sense of empowerment. I know I'm safe and I can do what I want with no one taking it away. Somehow he has maintained such a death grip on my mind that I still feel guilty and defiant. I am doing everything that he pounded into my brain that I wasn't allowed to do. While it is indirectly, I am standing up against him. I am saying, "This is what you did. You stole my childhood but you sure as hell won't take any of my future." It was a big step for me; one that was in the workings for a long time. But a piece of me still feels that forced loyalty towards him.
I know that this whole situation is twisted. I know the difference between actual reality and the reality he created for me. So, why is it that I still here that little voice in my head telling me I can't tell anyone, that I deserve this abuse and, for lack of a better word, nightmare? I'll tell you why. Individuals are shaped by their childhood. What occurs during the youngest years of our lives dictates our personality, our morals, and, most of all, our way of thinking. A child nurtured with love and encouragement will become eerily different from another child that was neglected and put down.
We don't, as kids, have any way of changing our home environment. Although the option isn't there during childhood, as adults we have the ability to grow. Adults are less resilient than their younger counter parts; they are set in their ways and understandably so. It is not any easy task by any means and many people decide it's not worth the risk. In my opinion, if you have been through something as hellish as rape, even if it was only once, you have the right to choose how you deal with it. My heart hurts when I see those who have decided to let it hang over their heads. I want them to be able to be happy and get what they truly deserve.
Everyone handles things differently and I completely get why people don't want to work through it. Even the prospect of telling someone and taking your life back causes so much strife and pain that you shut down. All of us survivors have been at that point and some choose to commit to the fight while others just resign themselves to a grim reality. You can say that I'm full of it but the fight IS worth it. It has been one hell of a ride to get here and the fight never ends. There are good things out there, though. I know it seems like there isn't at times given all the evil and cruelty our world is filled with. Many times innocent people get the short end of the stick, but I can tell you right now I live for the amazing things rather than the pain. To me, happiness is worth enough to fight for.
In the end, it all comes down to who has the power: me or my abuser. I can remember what he did, I can even remember the demented things he made me think and feel. What I can't do is let him win. Every day is a struggle. Some days I feel like he has and always will win. That's not true but only you and I can can change our perceptions of reality. Believe in yourself and if you can't right now find someone who does. Stay strong!