Lately, things have been hard.

I don't know why or what changed, but I feel like my past is haunting me. Every thought I have goes back to me being raped. It's like no matter how hard I try, I can't let it go.

The odd thing is that I was fine. I didn't feel much about what happened unless it was near the time of year, or something reminded me of him. Maybe I repressed it all this time. Maybe I was in such a denial that it's finally hitting me. I don't know, but it's haunting me. I literally can't stop thinking about it and it follows me, everywhere I go.

I'm not thinking about it in an "oh, that thing that happened once," but rather it creeps into my mind in the most unexpected of moments, forcing all other thoughts from my mind. It takes the happiness away and brings pain. It takes all the good with it's cold, ghostly fingers and only leaves panic in its place.

I'm a pretty private person, so I never really told anyone except my boyfriend, the person I trust the most. Though I told him, I never went into detail (who'd want to hear about that) and I think I need to go into detail. I think it's catching up to me and I can't let it go anymore. I can't tell myself "it's fine, it's over" or "don't think about it, it doesn't bother you" because those lies are what got me to this point and now I need help.

Ignoring what happened no matter how much I want to, isn't the answer. Instead, I need to work through it, even if the first step is telling someone.

I know my fear is that if I say it - out loud - then it really, truly, irrevocably happened. There is no gong back or denial, but rather facing him and admitting that it happened, so that I can finally move away from it.

I can never forget or let it go, but I can learn to handle it better.

That starts with telling someone, from beginning to end, what happened. It also starts with me admitting that I'm not doing well. I'm not handling it well. I began to have bad thoughts again and be self-destructive, but in recognizing that I can stop myself before it gets too far.

It starts with me saying I need help and I'm getting bad again. It's not just thoughts, but touches that are haunting me. I feel it creep up on me like a ghost hell bent on getting its notice. It warps my mind, allowing the coldness to leak into my heart, turning it to ice. It looks me in the eyes as tears stream down my face, silent and haunting.

It's the look in my eyes that I see when looking in the mirror. It's the look of pain and knowledge that you can't escape and wish away. It's the quiet in my mind that allows echoes of the past to move into the forefront. It's my shirt moving over my head, reminding me of him. It's the hands that brush my skin, causing fear to steal my breath and the fear that my own hands are his.

The ghost is me. And I need to deal with it. I need to tell someone and get help so that I can be better again. I want to be better again. And getting better starts with admitting there is a problem.

My name is Cat. I was raped. I'm not handling it well anymore and I need help. I need to get better, even if that means facing the worst thing to ever happen to me.

If you were sexually assaulted or raped and need help, please contact 800.656.HOPE